5 Maternity Photography Ideas for Expecting Clients

Becoming a mother is a special, special time in the life of a woman who chooses to walk that path. As cliché as it might sound, women who want a child and manage to become pregnant with one are truly experiencing a touch of the miraculous in their lives, and expecting couples are often so touched by this experience that working with them as a photographer can be the source of great inspiration. It is very often that these couples – or women – want to immortalize the special time they are currently experience through a beautiful photo shoot, and this is where you come in. If you take these few maternity photography ideas into account when you get contacted by expecting clients, the results will surely make them happy, and make you a better photographer in the process.

1. Combine the maternity photography niche with the boudoir photography niche.

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Sometimes, the altered body appearance of a pregnant woman is the main thing which she wants to immortalize in the special photo session, and posing semi-naked for it almost comes naturally. Although for most photography outsiders, the ideas of maternity and of boudoir photography don’t mix very well, in professional practice they mix perfectly, and quite often (as we’ve shown you before in a post about boudoir photography). If you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense: a woman who wants to document her journey with professional photographs wants to beam with joy over her swollen belly, but wants to feel feminine and attractive too. Therefore, nude or semi-nude photos (perhaps just with a silhouette) are one of the best maternity photography ideas ever.

2. Make the belly important, but don’t make it your sole focus.

Styled maternity session at the Propel Workshop 2013

One of the most common novice mistakes when it comes to experimenting with maternity photography ideas is making the belly the main focus of each photo. Sure, the unborn baby is sort of the main point of the shoot, but if you center your photos on it, all of them will end up looking the same, and you will have missed other crucial aspects which should have been captured. Try alternating the focus and concentrate on other things like the people’s facial expressions, how your props are making the whole setting change and so on. Speaking of props, when shooting indoors in your studio (though it shouldn’t be a must, as we’ll develop further on later), some of the best maternity photography ideas include using unlikely pieces of furniture for comfortable poses. If the woman feels very comfy in an armchair, try creating the same pose with her in a kid’s wagon, for example, and so on.

3. When photographing couples, make the other partner feel important as well.

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Another potential mistake you could make is to overlook the other partner or make them just a supporting character within the photos. Maternity photography ideas should be more than simply photographing the pregnant woman with her partner behind her and holding her or her belly. Ask them to play around until you find the potential for something funny, like the partner’s surprised facial expression being the focus of the photo, right next to the pregnancy itself. In real life as well as in photographs, the non-pregnant partner of expecting couples can sometimes feel like the third wheel, and it’s part of your job to counteract this effect in the photographs and make everyone feel like the united family they are.

4. Help your subjects relax and feel attractive.

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Keep in mind that your subjects are not only non-professionals who don’t know how to pose and how to not get tired by it, but they are also pregnant women who may have some trouble feeling attractive during this delicate time. The better they feel while posing, the better will the photos be, so do our best to help them feel relaxed, to prevent exhaustion and to keep their spirits up.

5. Don’t settle for classic poses and try something creative.

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Your first two or three couples who come to you for this kind of photos may challenge you enough just by requiring a classic maternity photo shoot, but after you become a bit more experienced in the field, you will soon notice how all studio photos will start looking more or less the same. After gaining a steady hand, try a more creative approach. Your artistry and your customers will both have to gain from the fresh view. For example, go outside the studio: try shooting the photos on the beach, if conditions will allow it, or simply somewhere outdoors. Some of the most creative maternity photography ideas we’ve seen around often involved being outdoors, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Have fun and good luck!

5 Sensible Ideas for Couples Boudoir Photography

During your career as a photographer working with people, if you manage to successfully transition from doing this as a hobby to becoming a pro, you will be approached by couples quite often. When two people feel happy together, when they are at the beginning or when they have simply reached a new relationship milestone, it is quite often that they want to celebrate that feeling by commissioning a series of couple photography. But on that note, you shouldn’t be surprised that sometimes they want to try couples boudoir photography, since it’s one of the most popular commercial trends of the present. It can’t be all wedding photography or classic portraits; but on the other hand you shouldn’t feel queasy about it: boudoir photography is by no means erotic photography, which is much more explicit or debatable. To prepare a bit for the time when you’ll receive a request like this, here are 5 sensible ideas for couples’ boudoir photography to achieve the ideal balance between enticing and tasteful.

1. Combine the niches of boudoir photography with maternity photography.

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Sometimes, pregnant mothers want to contract a photographer to help them immortalize their new bodies in a beautiful light. It is a way for them to feel beautiful at a time when their bodies are going through miraculous and tremendous change, and you need to be highly imaginative as a photographer to be able to capture the exact angle that will produce a suitable photo. The final result must be neither too revealing or overtly sexy, nor too abstract, as if you don’t want to show the body at all, nor focusing entirely on the belly. The good news is that if you get this right, your client will love it, and you will add a very desirable niche to your portfolio.

2. Use lights and shadows to highlight only one area or shape of your subjects’ bodies.

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When photographing bodies in a delicate and non-overtly erotic manner, the play of lights and shadows can be your friend. In the example above, the shadows help make the photo not too explicit, while the lights make the contours stand out in an alluring way. Tasteful boudoir photography can be easily achieved through light and shadow play, so it’s a trick you should keep in mind for every such photo shoot.

3. In couples’ boudoir photography, your people skills must be extra sharp.

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Brushing up on your people skills to make sure your subjects are relaxed enough to pose and to also prevent their exhaustion is an important part of any kind of photography work, but in the case of boudoir photography, perhaps it is even more so. A person’s body is the thing they often are the most self-conscious about, and it is your job to make them feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. They must feel so throughout the photo shoot, and the results have to make them feel beautiful. Perhaps a talk with your subjects about the body parts they feel most self-conscious about or the body parts which they are proud of and would like to bring into focus can prove itself useful, if you are as tactful about it a possible.

4. Try shooting the photos from partially concealing angles.

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If you manage to tactfully find out what areas of their bodies your clients are comfortable with and what areas they would like concealed, you can use this as a guide. If there isn’t anything to be concealed for this reason, then just try to follow this rule of revealing something and concealing something else, in order to make sure the final result is tasteful and just slightly erotic. In couple’s boudoir photography, you have to deliver a result which will make your clients happy with their decision of posing for you even after a long while has passed.

5. As much of a cliché as it sounds, focus on the feeling of the overall setting than on the bodies per se.

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The décor is very important in couple’s boudoir photography, as it will set the whole feeling for the entire series of photos. Not only will this feeling be visible to the viewer of the photos, but the subjects themselves must be successfully be immersed in it to relax properly and glow. This setting includes not only the objects in the room, but also the way you choose to frame the image you want to capture.

If you manage to apply these few ideas for couples’ boudoir photography, your clients should feel very happy with both the shooting experience and the results of your work, and your reputation as a reliable photographer will have nothing but to gain from it.

The Best Photographers We’ve Encountered Online in 2013-2014

Talking about something as definite as “best photographers “ can be more than a little bold, if truth be told, since the visual arts in general and photography in particular are so highly subjective that picking absolutes is impossible. But since we’re not claiming to choose the best photographers of all time, but only a few select ones which caught our eye since last year and the months that passed from this one, we dared to give it a go.

1. Davina Palik and Daniel Kudish

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This couple of photographers, based in Montreal and Ottawa, specialize in wedding photography, taking beautiful pictures of couples around the world on their big day. Although wedding photography seem to be a field where you can’t improvise all that much, at least not in a completely innovate or shocking way, these two are some of the best photographers out there precisely because they can demonstrate the contrary.

Take a look at their superb portfolio here and see for yourself how fresh wedding photography can actually be with Davina and Daniel behind the camera. We especially love the occasionally funny moments captured, because one rarely gets to see something funny and romantic at the same time.

2. Spencer Murphy

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For the portrait photography niche, our favorite is Spencer Murphy, one of the best photographers in Britain, in our humble opinion. We especially like the serious air of his portraits, because sometimes, there’s just more to the realm of photography themes than autumn foliage (not that there’s anything wrong with being into that). Pictured above, you can admire the portrait of a female jump jockey right after the jump (part of a wider series of specialized portrait, which won him impressive awards).

You can take a better look at this photo series of his here.

3. Rafael Marchante

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This brilliant photographer from Portugal has reached a famous professional status on numerous websites after this iconic photograph of his was widely distributed in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s death. He managed to capture the spirit of the African leader’s legacy in a unique photograph of a well-made graffiti that was serious and playful and full of great impact all at the same time. His niche is taking pictures of seemingly banal street situations and homeless people, as opposed to most of our visitors who are mostly taking pictures of clients, but his images are a great inspiration nonetheless.

Take a look at his Facebook page here to browse some of the most amazing portraits you’ll ever see.

4. Camilla de Mafei

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This brilliant Italian lady truly deserves a spot in the best photographers of recent years. Her work is hard to put into just one box, as she seems to move effortlessly through landscape photography, sad and eerie portrait photography or still life shots.

Her official website, where you can browse more of her photos, is here.

5. Michael Roud

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One of the best photographers of Los Angeles, Michael Roud isn’t exactly a recent entry in the field of famous photography, but his works remain so edgy and impeccable that we couldn’t finish this list without him. Mostly into headshots (but also into wedding photography), he also impresses with his work as a director and with collaborations with celebrities. The one certainty about the work of this incredibly talented guy is that getting photographed by him is certainly an honor and privilege.

His official website and portfolio can be admired at will here.

These were, according to us, the best photographers of the recent years which you should check out every now and then for an inspiration bonus. All in all, there’s no improving your own skills without also getting familiarized with the work of as many photographers as possible, and they might as well be worthy of the attention.

7 Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

Summer’s gone and every photographer on Earth is looking forward to the amazing colors that autumn brings along with it. Summers are always busy; you’ve got weddings, holidays, trips and all sorts of events that involve subject and lots of light and heat. We’ve recently talked about how to take precaution to prevent your subject’s exhaustion, but what about the photographer’s exhaustion? At the beginning of this autumn, it’s time you took a little break and enjoyed nature; take your camera out and go on walks and photograph the lovely autumn foliage.

Autumn isn’t just about foliage and lovely colors, though, as it can prove to be quite a difficult season for a photographer: you’ve got less light, fog, shadows that will prove challenging, even to the more seasoned photographer. That’s why we decided to provide you with a few tips of shooting autumn foliage. Read on and take notes!

Do We Even Have to Mention that Location is Everything?

trees Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

If you want to get awesome photographs without much effort, then you need to go to where the magic happens in the falls. Places such as New England, Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Colorado Rockies and even New Hampshire are amazing in the fall. If you can’t afford to travel, or you simply do not have the time to do it, you can ask Google some question and it will deliver.

Exposure?

Our advice is to use Matrix metering for pretty much everything, but do make sure to check the histogram to see if highlights are being clipped. Another great tip regarding exposure is to push the ISO to keep the depth of field while maintaining a high shutter speed, in case there are too many clouds in the sky. The thing is that when you’re photographing landscapes you don’t want to open the aperture, because it’s going to take away from the depth of field.

Macro Works Great in the AutumnMilkweed Tips for Shooting Autumn Foliage

Autumn close-ups don’t necessarily need to be of foliage; think about how wonderful a close-up of a milkweed seed pod will look on film. It won’t look like an explosion of color, but it will still scream fall. Use the colors of the fall as an excuse to hit the woods and find great things that need photographing.

Water and Autumn Go Together Perfectly

Water simply becomes magical in the autumn, so focus on creeks, ponds, lakes, rivers or whatever puddle of water you’ve got around you and great results are to be expected. When choosing a fall location, take water in consideration, because it transforms any good location into a great one in the autumn. Try some long exposure when photographing and you’ll get texture that will make your photographs uniquely beautiful.

Long Lenses Capture Autumn’s Beauty

If you want to focus solely on autumn foliage photography, then our tip is to use a long-focus lens. Try an 85mm long lens and see if you are happy with the results. There would be no reason why you wouldn’t be.

Take Advantage of the Autumn Fog

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Fog and mist can be a photographer’s worst nightmare, but in the right circumstances (in the autumn, mostly), fog can make you achieve some spectacular results. Fog will soften colors and add mood and atmosphere, but it will take you a few shots until you get the hang of it.

Start Exploring

Fall is perfect for driving around and exploring the areas that have great potential. Grab a map and start searching for spots where you think the most color will be. Obviously, the more trees an area has, the more colors you will find there. You can even leave your camera behind the first time you do your exploring, so that you can simply scour the land for great spots and enjoy yourself. If you have the time, do your exploring in the afternoon, when the sun is softer.

Did you enjoy our tips for shooting autumn foliage? Would you like to share any more tips with us and our readers? Drop us a line in the comment section below. 

A Short Guide to Interacting with Your Models

Becoming a professional photographer is a hard enough job as it is if you only focus on the technical aspects of the work, but throwing the human relations part into the equation can sometimes make things more complicated. As we mentioned earlier, keep in mind that most of your models (meaning clients) are not professional models and are not trained to find their own focus point without a bit of help on your behalf. Also, they might not be comfortable in front of the camera, especially if this is the first or second time they see you, nor will they know how to properly pose.

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In addition to all this, a pushy attitude on your behalf might disturb the delicate balance within your working relationship and cause them to retract (first by not cooperating properly and then perhaps completely). So, what can you do to make sure your relationship with your models is as productive as possible for both you and them? First of all, abstain from being pushy or too firm and remember that these are either volunteers or even paying customers, so you can’t treat them like they’re your employees. Second of all, take a deep breath and try to follow these three tips or guidelines on interacting with your models.

Have one or two meetings before the shoot, explain the process and negotiate some rules.

Since these people or this person aren’t accustomed to being models on a regular basis, there are a whole number of things related to this lack of experience that can transform into draw-backs during the shoot. Your best way to prevent it is by meeting up with them once or twice before the actual photo shoot and try to discuss these aspects and inform them on what will take place. You can present the meeting as an opportunity for you to explain the process to them in order to create more comfort, and also ask them what it is they expect and want exactly. In addition to this, you can also use this opportunity to negotiate some ground rules which will activate during the shoot.

For example, let’s say that one of your customers wants a boudoir photo shoot. You can have a meeting in which she will outline her preferences and expectancies, and you will tell her how the basic posing takes place, how long will it take, that you can help her pose better by suggesting adjustments and movements and so on. Also let her know that there are some things that will not come naturally – like how to focalize her look – and that you will need to tell her what to do during the shoot. This way, she will know what to expect and won’t feel taken by surprise in a bad way when these things happen.

Show them the pose you want in a printed photo, and then gently guide them into it.

If you feel like your model misunderstood a pose suggestion after you told them the first time, don’t insist verbally the second time, as it will make them feel awkward for not getting it and perhaps they will even see you as pushy. Instead, if you feel like the subject is having a difficult time grasping exactly the pose you would want them to try, show them a picture of other models in the position you want them. It’s not only more efficient, but it’s more delicate to their ego and to the overall atmosphere.

Contribute to their confidence, but don’t exaggerate with the compliments.

If you’re dealing with a particularly shy subject, you can try punctuating the photo shoot with a few discreet compliments every now and then, especially when you intuitively feel it would be needed most. But make sure you don’t splurge on the compliments, or you risk giving off a creepy or at least unprofessional vibe. The point of working with a customer is precisely to make them feel as confident and amazing as actual models, at least for a day.

Take Precautions to Prevent Your Subject’s Exhaustion

As most of our readers are amateur photographer trying to make the transition to professional ones, we address this post to them as part of the things one must learn at the beginning of the journey. There are many things to learn, it seems, so many that at times all the effort you’re making can feel a little overwhelming. While no one can guarantee that you’re going to make it as a pro in the business, what we can promise is that if you do, things will get easier, and they only seem overwhelming for now, when paid gigs come in very rarely if they do at all. To most of us in the beginner days, putting that much effort and money into something that is still only a hobby can seem hopeless at times (especially if you also need to maintain an unrelated job for the time being). Since this post is about exhaustion, this is a point when you can feel a sort of exhaustion yourself, but if you persevere, better things will come, eventually.

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The point we are trying to make is that amidst all this info which you’re supposed to acquire, it’s easy to get lost in the technical details of ISO and lighting and forget the people skills which a good photographer needs. Helping your clients relax while you photograph them is very important, both for preventing exhaustion and for making sure the photos are actually good and don’t feel artificial or forced. The so-called bedside manner is indeed a requirement in many professions and photography is definitely one of them. Moreover, if you lack this quality or skill as a photographer, this can modify your whole work for the worse, unlike the other professions who only require it to make the people you work with be comfortable. Not that we’re implying that’s optional or anything.

The one thing to keep in mind is that most of the people you will photograph will not be professional models, familiar with the whole drill. They will be people hiring you to help immortalize a precious moment of their lives, like, for example, if you will become a wedding photographer. Since they are not used to the routine of posing, exhaustion will catch up with them rather quickly, leading to the portraits being less good than they could be, leading in turn to a lessened satisfaction with your services. But the good news is that you can keep this in mind throughout the photo shoot and take little precautions at all times to prevent your subjects from getting too tired too fast.

These precautions you can take would depend a bit on your personal style too, but an example of a good strategy you could develop is this: spend the first 10 minutes or so helping them relax and feel comfortable enough to pose, then ask for the poses you want in a series of more intense minutes, then tone down the rhythm and suggest breaks.

During the breaks, you could suggest refreshments like water or juice, then, after removing the drinks from the scene, you could allow a semi-break by telling them to act more natural or pose whichever way they feel like it. This may lead to very good photos (which is a win-win situation), or to not that good photos, which are still useful for the respite and for allowing you subjects to become more and more comfortable with posing. Few things beat exhaustion better than being allowed to pose however you want to every now and then, so if you only take one tip out of this post, take this one.

Making the Most of Your Wedding Portrait Photos: 3 Trends in 2014

As many artists will tell you, wedding portrait photos are an art in and of themselves. They are very important to the clients, of course, and can also greatly enrich your portfolio and enhance its overall value. That’s why, for today’s post, we’re taking a look at three trends that have been dictating the rules for this segment over the past months. They’ve been confirmed enough for us to assume that they’ll also be around until the end of the year; so, pay heed and make sure you’re doing everything right, in order to make the most of your wedding portrait photos.

1. Posed shots are the past

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It’s not just wedding portrait photos that have become more dynamic and focused on storytelling. In fact, as seasoned family or pet photographers will confirm, the entire niche of photographic portraiture has become far more focused on natural settings and dynamism. Most photographers nowadays choose to photograph their clients in natural outdoor environments, thus lending an air of freshness and vivacity to their shots. It also helps place the subjects in a setting they love, since this will help them feel far more relaxed in front of the camera.

Another trend, which only comes to complete the above, is that of wedding portrait photos that could easily pass for photojournalism. What does this mean, in terms of actual images? It means that both the photographer and the clients take on a more candid approach. The end images are more natural and raw, less processed, more creative, and with a more ‘in the moment’ feel to them than ever before. Since photojournalism is all about spontaneity and capturing a good story within an instant, it goes without saying that the photos created like this are far more unique, fun for everyone involved and creative.

2. Pricing goes up with experience

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Given today’s rather harsh economic climate, many wedding photographers are reluctant to increase the pricing of their services overall – and of their portrait sessions in particular. However, as seasoned pros will tell you, this is not necessarily a good approach. After all, if you’re investing in your business, it’s only natural to expect the prices to match your level of experience. What’s more, portrait photography can even be regarded as a separate niche within the wedding photography segment. It requires specialized equipment and technical skills. If you’re committed to creating ever better wedding portrait photos, you’re probably also investing in this. Classes, lenses, accessories and other investments should be reflected in your pricing options. What’s more, as you continue to grow your wedding photography business, it’s probably also a good idea to book more clients – in the long run, this increasing roster of customers will also act as an argument in your favor, when it comes to asking for higher fees.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of the print

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Sure, everyone is online these days: wedding portrait photos garner impressive amounts of likes on Facebook, they’re shared by your clients over Instagram, and maybe even featured on Pinterest. But the problem is that they all too often end up forgotten on a CD or DVD somewhere. To help your wedding portrait photos enjoy a longer lifespan, but also to help increase your business, you should perhaps try offering a special print as a bonus to your clients, thus encouraging them to print more photos.

Also, one clear 2014 trend is experimenting with print materials. Canvas is very popular at the moment, but there are so many options the list is virtually endless. Some photographers over shadow boxes, others print on glass or wood, while others are experimenting with artwork products like metal and acrylic.

How to Photograph Food at Weddings – The Bare Essentials

We live in a society that seems to be more obsessed with food than ever before. Not only has the cultural trope of the foodie risen to mainstream media prominence, but the endless streams of Instagram hashtags that revolve around food confirms this obsession. In such a food-centric day and age, the question of how to photograph food at weddings may seem simpler to answer than ever before. After all, if your smartphone touting 15 year-old cousin can do it, so can you – a seasoned professional of this visual art we call photography. Right?

Things are obviously not that simple, of course. In order to truly photograph food at events like a professional, you still need to bear a few essential tips and tricks in mind. So, here they are, for your convenience, dispensed in numbered list form.

1. Bounce those whites

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There are few things likely to make meals look more unappealing than harsh shadows, the kind caused by natural light in mid-day, for instance. As such, one way to fill in those shadows is to bounce the whites and silver highlights in a picture with the aid of some easy-to-carry bounce cards. Not only will these simple aides make your images look better, they will also restore the level of detail you’re looking for, which you’d otherwise lose to deep shadows.

Such shadows are often unavoidable, especially at indoor events such as wedding parties. If you were shooting in direct sunlight, the situation would probably be different, in terms of contrast, colors and texturing. However, since you’re often stuck photographing courses in light mediated by windows, it’s important to keep things looking soft and delicate. So, if you’re wondering how to photograph food at weddings, one simple answer is to try and soften that harsh window lighting.

2. How to photograph food at weddings? Just focus on the food!

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Sounds commonsensical enough, right? When photographing food, you should be focusing on the dish itself, not the props, or other decorative elements in the shot. As such, one good tip is to focus as close to the front edge of the food as possible. You’re aiming for shallow depth of field, which means your aperture needs to be as open as possible. One strategy is to find that one detail of the food shot that stands out most prominently. It can be a sprig of rosemary, a drip of whipped cream, a beautiful slice of fruit – or whatever looks most appetizing to you. Chances are it’s also going to look scrumptious to the onlooker as well. Not to mention you’ll be achieving great bokeh.

3. A bird’s eye view always helps

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When the above tip on how to photograph food at weddings doesn’t seem to be working, as there’s no wonderful detail to focus on, you can always shoot straight from above. This way, you can add props and other interesting details – while also avoiding that common pitfall, shooting food that looks like it’s about to fall off the plate. This trick is especially useful for flat dishes, such as pizza, platters, or soup. If you’re working with a taller dish, like, say, a beverage, a layered cake, or a sandwich, you are probably better off shooting from an angle. This will help you reveal all the multiple interesting layers. But overhead photos also allow you to include the cutlery, the way the table is set, and the dishes, too. for weddings and other special events, this is a particularly good strategy, since it allows you to create visually interesting images with no more than a single click.

Got other tips on how to photograph food at weddings? Let us know in the comment section below!

5 Ways to Deal with Bad Wedding Photos

It’s another one of those photographers’ nightmares that everyone has to deal with, sooner or later in their career. It usually tends to happen to beginner wedding photographers: you shoot the wedding, spend tons of time editing the pictures, then, one day, you get the dreaded call. The client hates your work. They are disappointed with it. They may even ask for their money back. What do you do? How do you deal with bad wedding photos? Here are 5 tips from actual wedding photographers, with enough experience in their portfolios to be speaking with the best of intentions.

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1. Don’t dwell

This is the most important step in learning how to deal with bad wedding photos, unless you want to end up too scared to ever pick up a camera again. The past is in the past and you can’t reshoot a wedding. You can analyze what went wrong, enlist the aid of a very skilled photo editor and try to do as much damage control as possible. However, at the end of the day, all you can do is learn from your mistakes (as everyone does) and move forward.

2. Analyze & acknowledge

Perhaps the conditions in which you shot the wedding were harsh. Perhaps you lack the experience to handle the weather, the light, the temper tantrums thrown by the wedding party, or anything else. Maybe your compositions are bad. Try to pinpoint the causes, in order to deal with bad wedding photos. Understand what went wrong, but make sure to be as objective and detached as possible. It’s actually a good idea to sit down with said ruined set and a trusted fellow photographer and ask for their opinion. A second call could be what you need, in order to prevent you from doubting your professional abilities altogether.

3. Pay up… or not

Sometimes, when you are forced to deal with bad wedding photos, you must simply understand that some clients are out to get their money back. Nothing you say or do will feel like compensation enough for them, before you pay up. You can comply to any other request they make, edit and re-edit the photos until you turn blue in the face – they want their money back and that’s final. At this point, your options are those listed in the contract you signed with them. If the client has just cause to ask for their money back, both legally and ethically, there is little you can do but pay up. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself be bullied away from your money.

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4. Get a second shooter, be a second shooter

The best way to learn wedding photography is by being a second shooter. Wedding photography pros recommend second shooting weddings for at least a year, before you attempt to go it on your own, as the main wedding photographer. Similarly, if you’re starting out as a main wedding photographer, it’s almost mandatory to enlist the aid of a second shooter you can trust. At the end of the day, they can make a world of difference, in terms of client satisfaction.

5. Trust your instinct

Lastly, the main takeaway, when you have to deal with bad wedding photos, is that you should always trust your gut when it comes to taking on a gig. If you feel you lack the experience and/or are worried the responsibility is too much for you to handle, find a gracious way to say no. You should never let a client pressure you into a booking, because chances are at the end of the day no one’s going to walk away happy – not you, nor the client.

Why Photographing An Animal Will Make You a Star

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Animals are the most genuine models a photographer could ever dream of. You know when you have problems relaxing and someone just comes out of the blue whispering: Just be. Nothing more. It’s that easy. Well it seems that animals are the absolute masters of presence or gurus of our perceived present. They can always do that, no matter the circumstances. However, trust me on this one: if you get to be in control of photographing an animal, you’ll become a true star! You’ll become widely appreciated, just like you’ve always dreamed of. No one will ever doubt your talents again. Because this is no piece of cake.

Let’s walk through the reasons why this is a praiseworthy deed. First of all, despite this obvious communication barrier, animals are better than humans. Why is that?

1.     Animals Are No Hypocrites

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They are always themselves. Despite the fact that this actually means that they are never in the mood for photos, once you get the chance to immortalize something, it cannot be anything but genuine. Animals express their feelings and their moods without restraints. They don’t strive to be cute, they just are. They don’t strive to be fearful, they just are. What you see is what you get – no games played, no half measures, no fake smiles.

2.     Animals Don’t Care About Appearance

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Not caring about how you look today means no useless obstacles, no secondary thoughts, no brakes, just sheer freedom and excitement. So go for it! Immortalize the instant, cease the moment and send emails to employers afterwards. That’s why everybody is so impressed by cute photos with furry creatures. They are authentic!

3.     Animals Don’t Care About What Others Think

Why Photographing An Animal Will Make You a Star5

Caring about exterior opinions usually refers to humans, not their animal friends. Parasite thoughts kill both freedom and creativity. And non-human models seem to have guessed that somehow, because no second thoughts interfere once they decide to start posing like there’s no tomorrow. They are relaxed, they are focused on what matters when magic happens – their own state of consciousness, and they simply mind their own business after all. And how fascinating that is!

4.     Animals Are Giving And Sincere

Why Photographing An Animal Will Make You a Star6

It goes without saying that there’s a special connection between humans and their animal models. Well at least with some of them. When it comes to the less friendly species, one should just hide in the bushes and hunt the moment. That’s the only way. Therefore I’d strongly advise you to start by immortalizing the species that live among humans, just to get used to the vibe. What I’m trying to convince you of is the fact that you should start your training in this way.

Unfortunately people are wearing masks all the time. In other words, whenever you photograph them they are likely to be wearing at least three. If you want to get an honest vibe, start with your pet. For instance, let’s take a photograph showing a man and a dog. The dog in the first place, and not the man, would always draw one’s attention. It’s a simple fact of life. Animals can just exist, can just relax, and can just enjoy a moment, a meal or a sip of water without any further complications. For us humans things are always so abstract, so multi-layered, so blurry, so bring, so old, so confusing. That’s why photos of the animal kingdom are so successful; because they are authentic, and powerful, and they can say so many things using a totally different language than ours. So take your camera, make a simple plan or just start chasing your dog. Photographing an animal will make you a star! Just get off the right foot and trust me on this one, will you?