10 Premium Photoshop Actions Used by Pros

Premium photoshop actions can be real lifesavers for photographers that need to edit and process a great number of photos. They might not come for free, but they can make your life a lot easier if you are a beginner at photography editing, since they will ensure that your photos look professional with a minimum of effort.

Whether you are enhancing wedding photos, adding an Instagram vibe to your collage, or making sure newborn portraits have the appropriate lighting, there’s no way you will regret buying a premium package. Make sure you buy them from trusted websites and forget about getting them off a torrent. A lot of hard work has went into creating these Photoshop features. Here are our top 10 premium Photoshop Actions.

1. Flare Lights Photoshop Action

Photoshop Actions for nature photos

If what your photos need is a warm vintage glow, then you should use Flare Lights Photoshop Action. This premium feature will turn you into a DeviantArt professional with only a few clicks.

2. Comicbook iT

10 Premium Photoshop Actions

Those that are trying to give a comic book or cartoon effect to their photos should look no further than the ComicBook iT Photoshop Action set. One click is all it takes to turn you into the next Andy Warhol. You can choose from 4 different rendering styles, from colorful to black and white ones.

3. Portrait V2.0

Photoshop Actions

This Photoshop Action covers everything from skin, to eye, teeth, or lips retouches that will turn your subject into a work of art. Buy it in order to create some of the best portraits ever made, all blemish-free. You can correct for bloodshot eyes, give a luscious aspect to those auburn locks, or whiten those teeth.

4. Free Faux HDR Actions

Photoshop Actions for sunsets

This is a set of 13 Actions which will give that HDR-effect to your photos. Each of these actions can be powerful tools since they also add a sharpening effect to your works. In case you are not happy with the results, you can revert to the original photo.

5. Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions for newborn photos

All Greater than Gatsby Photoshop Actions are useful tools for professional photographers and novices alike. Their packages are compatible with both PC and Mac. Regardless of your Adobe Photoshop version, be it a CS3, a CS5,  or CS6 one, Greater than Gatsby will show you how it’s done. All their Action Sets come with detailed tutorials on how to download, install, export, or create cool effects.

Their Newborn Essentials package is hard to top in terms of usability and variety. You can paint away jaundice, red splotches or purple toes, so that those newborns look as clean as a whistle. This package also comes with an entire batch of amazing elements from which you can choose your favorite light vignette or enhancement.

6. Florabella Action Sets

Photoshop Actions for close ups

Florabella Action Sets are great for those that are looking to create dreamy portraits and remind you of a pure atmosphere. You can use each element in the package to edit your selected images. You can even make new photos look like old ones by adding a matte vintage effect. If you are planning to shoot weddings, Florabella Action Sets will take your clients to the moon and back when they see the end result.

7. Watercolor & Pencil Photoshop Action

10 Premium Photoshop Actions for Photographers

Whether you’re interested in a pencil or watercolor effect, this action set will help you set a new record in terms of the artistic qualities of your works. You can edit as many frames as you want using this Action, so that you create that perfect fusion of colors. They even offer help installing it.

8. MCP Actions

Photoshop Actions for portraits

Newborn Necessities Actions, Fusion Actions or their season-themed Actions, all are totally worth the investment. MCP will help you save time and gain more money by being more productive than ever. Over 50 Action packs are stored in their shop, where you can buy each one of them.

9. Look Filter Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions for Photographers

If you want to hang out with the pros, then you have to get the Look Filter Photoshop Actions. They even offer free trials in case you might want to try their products first. You can bet you will feel privileged if you get your hands on one of their limited edition sets. Offering a wide range of new sets, Look Filter makes sure you don’t repeat yourself when editing those photos. You can choose from The Dark Knight Rises (inspired by old Hollywood movies), The Holy Helmut (dedicated to Helmut Newton), or The Lith Process (inspired by Lith Prints).

10. Totally Rad Photoshop Actions

Premium Photoshop Actions for Photographers

As the name suggests, these Photoshop Actions are totally rad. Not only are they rad, but they are also legendary (or so their website claims), with many photographers choosing their products. You can use them to adjust color, saturation, brightness and contrast, or to add that little extra something that your work needs. You can try their stuff for free and you can choose from the TRA1 – The Original Mix or TRA2 – The Revenge, which feature a plethora of elements to add to your photo and help you finish that project faster.

Extra Mention – Free Online Actions

You can also find many free Photoshop Action sets on the world wide web, in case you are not willing to pay. The CoffeeShop won’t give you coffee, but you might find amazing downloads that will only leave you to worry about finding the appropriate file format for exporting your work. The same can be said about The Pioneer Woman. Polaroid frames are quite popular among hipsters, so there is no need for you to invest money in Photoshop Actions that can mimic photos taken on film. You can find many of them online with a simple google search. 

These were our top 10 choices for premium Photoshop Actions. You can shop for them online and you might even find some of them on sale. Now you are ready to create a Tumblr blog and start uploading your creations.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Best Online Photography Schools to Get You Started

Whether you are an amateur photographer or a more seasoned one, an online photography training course is exactly what you need to refine your skills and knowledge in this form of art. Learning photography anytime, anywhere and in your own available time is perhaps the greatest benefit offered by an online photography school. Maybe you want to develop your Photoshop skills, your portrait photography knowledge, and abilities, or you just want, to become an expert in travel photography. No matter what your passion is, some of the best online photography schools out there offer detailed courses and even one-on-one training. Today we will look at some of the best online photography schools and see their major advantages.

online photography schools

The New York Institute of Photography

One of the most prestigious accredited online photography schools, the New York Institute of Photography offers nine online photography courses that address both the amateur photographer and even the professionals. All the online courses are prepared by pro and awarded photographers, and the school itself is licensed by the New York State. Let’s take a look at this online photography school and its great offer.

Online Photography Courses:

  • Beginner Photography Course: this course introduces the amateur photographer into the digital world, teaching them the basics of this art;
  • Professional Photography Course: it is specialized in landscape, nature, travel, journalism, weddings, portraits, studio photography and still life;
  • Photoshop for Photographers: prepared by Adobe certified experts, the course offers introductive and advanced teachings in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements;
  • Video Making Course: it is dedicated to advanced photographers who want to step up their game and become pros at using the video cameras as well;
  • Wedding Photography Course: it teaches the participants the professional techniques of wedding photography;
  • Portrait Photography Course: it teaches the participants the fine-tuned techniques of capturing individuals, groups of people, children and pets;
  • Travel Photography Course: one of the most appreciated courses, this one trains the participants in learning the language of travel photography, including landscape, nature, still life but also photojournalism and documentary;
  • Marketing for Photographers: dedicated to pros, this course teaches photographers to find their business niche, sell their products and brand themselves successfully.

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art offers an accredited Photography online course that allows the students to obtain an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor, and Master Degree in Fine Arts in Photography. One of the greatest advantages of following this online photography school is that it provides the participants not only with the best photography courses but also with recommendations for their future. In other words, it teaches its graduates what to do with their degrees after finishing the courses. The Academy of Art University focuses on three main and important fields of photography:

  • Documentary
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Advertising / Photo Illustration

Future-oriented, the experts teaching at this online photography school emphasize on the graduates’ ability to find the best working niches and start a successful career.

The Icon Photography School

Combining theory with practice, this is one of those online photography schools offering a wide variety of courses for the beginners and the advanced photographers. Combining theory with practice, this school doesn’t emphasize on deadlines, but it does indeed emphasize on quality. The courses are prepared by some of the most appreciated pro photographers and they have an element of novelty which is important to be highlighted: the courses teach more than just skills, they teach the participants to immerse in the world and see it with different eyes, sense it, feel it and understand it from a unique point of view.

Online Photography Courses:

  • The Gold Package: this 14-course module teaches the participant to re-discover his/her world, manipulate reality through the use of the camera, create dramatic effects, make advanced compositions and even create their portfolio for future employment opportunities.
  • The Silver Package: based on 14 modules, this course teaches participants to find inspiration from photography masters, manipulate reality, use specific color techniques, discover their style and create advanced compositions.
  • The Bronze Package: organized in 14 modules, this course introduces the participant to the world of photography and the discovery of the world through the camera lens; it also teaches participants different photography styles and basic photography compositions.

Bryan Peterson School of Photography

One of the most prestigious photography schools online, Bryan Peterson School of Photography uses some of the best instructors in the country. They are specialized in different types of photography (from advertising to creative portraits and beyond), thus offering their students a very wide area of expertise. The courses address everybody, from beginners to pros, allowing them to either set the foundation for a future career in photography or develop on their hobby.

Online Photography Courses:

  • Understanding Exposure
  • The Art of Seeing
  • Mastering Nikon Flash Photography
  • Mastering Canon Flash Photography
  • Capturing the Face
  • iPhone Photography
  • Posing and Directing
  • Photoshop Elements Essentials
  • Travel Photography I and II
  • Food Photography Au Naturel
  • Intro to Lighting with Strobes
  • Photography Magic
  • Pet Photography
  • Street Photography
  • Capturing the Beauty of Flowers
  • Lensbaby Magic
  • Stretching Your Frame of Mind
  • Creating Compelling Compositions
  • Fine Art Nature Photography
  • The Use of Gestalt in Photography
  • Photoshop Layers Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Food Photography
  • Lightroom for Everyone
  • Wedding Photography

The online courses of this online photography school last 4 or 6 weeks. At the end of the course, the participant may opt for another one, thus strengthening his skills and increasing his chances to become a professional photographer in a chosen area.

The Photography Institute

Dedicated mostly to beginners, this is one of the best online photography schools for those who want to test the waters and get the best introduction to the world of photography. Prepared by professional freelance expert photographers, the courses include interactive assessments and permanent mentorship. The main goal of the online course is to transform the amateur photographer into a pro who can make a living from freelance photography. The Photography Institute focuses on all aspects of photography, ranging from the use of the camera to selling high-quality photos to newspapers and websites.

There are plenty of other online photography schools, and if you are interested in taking such online courses, we recommend you to carefully analyze each and every one of them, depending on your skill level, passion, or interests.

For further info, take a look at our selection of top photography schools in the US. If you have any questions or suggestions, drop us a line in the comment section below. Cheers!

Is Photography School for Professional Wedding Photographers a Must?

photography-school-for-professional-wedding-photographersGoing to photography school for wedding photographers is a personal choice, determined by numerous factors, such as a desire to learn, but also time and financial constraints. The general outlook on this topic can seem divisive: some extoll its advantages and believe attending such courses is mandatory for those who truly wish to call themselves professionals; others, on the other hand, fail to see the perks of it and regard it as a general waste. So, which one is it? Read on, for our version of the pros and cons, and don’t forget to tell us your own opinion in the comment section.

Yes, it is!

You get all the information you need

The main way in which photography school for professional wedding photographers can help is by providing  with the time, space, and structure to accumulate all the essential information you need, on the art of taking pictures. After all, you’ll be dedicating several hours a day, 5 days a week, for at least a few weeks, to this purpose alone. When’s the last time you were able to take some time off for learning, as a pro photog?

You’ll get the degree to show for it

Now, you don’t absolutely need to go to photography school for professional wedding photographers in order to land gigs and develop a lucrative business. However, if you do, chances are that such credentials are going to make you look more dedicated in the eyes of your (potential) clients.

You get to connect and socialize

‘School is not for making friends!’ Well, that might be true for business school, but photography school for wedding photographers is a great opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded professionals. Not only will you get to exchange views with people who have the same interests as you, but you can also strike up lucrative partnerships, or business opportunities. And this social aspect is vital to the success of any photography business.

No, it’s not!

Photography school for wedding photographers disregards business

Sure, it’s great to learn about all the theoretical aspects of photography, understand some history of this art, and hone your technical skills. But what about the business aspect of this trade? Most serious photography courses nowadays do offer business courses, too, but they’re largely theoretical and no match from actual, hands-on experience in running a business. The best way to learn this skill is by going out and doing it.

It’s a waste of your time, really

And since we’re on the topic of running a business – ain’t nobody got time for school, as the popular refrain goes. Think about it: instead of learning a bunch of theory you’ll never use, you could be spending that time actually starting and running a business.

… Not to mention a waste of your money

A lot of the most influential professional photographers out there started out as self-taught amateurs. In the day and age of information, online photography resources, and the Internet, there’s really no need to shell out thousands of dollars for something you could be teaching yourself, for an infinitesimal fraction of those costs.

It doesn’t help with actually succeeding as a photographer

This is perhaps the most contentious moot point, between those who believe photography school for professional wedding photographers is important and those who don’t. At the end of your courses, you will have expended precious time and money, but without actually making any headway with developing your business. A business requires far more than technical, artistic, and even theoretical business knowledge. There’s marketing and branding, shooting and editing, business acquisition and shoot pricing – and, of course, learning. Photography is not the kind of field in which a one-time course will take care of your education. You need to keep learning and developing for the rest of your career.

Photographer’s Best Friend: Google Reverse Image Search

It’s all diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks when it comes to image usage and propagation online: while some photographers are happy to have their work featured on Tumblr, Facebook, various blogs, and media outlets, others are less than excited about it. Today’s post is for those who fall in the latter category, rather than the former. It’s here to teach you how to use Google reverse image search, in order to find your pictures all over the web. Perhaps you’re not happy with not being credited, or maybe your image is used in a context you don’t want to be associated with. Whatever your reasons may be, here’s the way to find those pictures and prevent further occurrences from happening.

How to start the Google reverse image search

Image search is a service provided by search engine giant Google, in order to help others find specific photos online; conversely, the Google reverse image search is what you do when you have the image already, but want to know who else has it and has been using it. There are two ways to start your Google reverse image search: one is by uploading your photo into the Google images search bar, and the other is by copying the photo’s original URL (say, off your own blog or website) and pasting into the search bar. As far as the first option goes, you can also simply drag and drop the image into the search bar, if you find this easier.

The Google reverse image search results


Photo via Photo Shelter

The results that Google reverse image search delivers look much like a collage of visually similar pictures. Note that they may not all be precise and exact matches of your photo. However, chances are you will come across websites that have been using the photo without your explicit authorization. Another great feature that Google delivers at this point is a brief text-based description of your photo and the context in which it’s being used. Perhaps yours is not so much a case of being offended by ‘photo theft’, but maybe the website owner or blogger that’s featuring your work has misspelled your name or attributed the image to someone else by mistake. This feature will allow you to identify such errors and contact the people in question, to ask them to amend the issue. You can also use the advanced image search page to find your work online. Google can help you specify various words your photo might be used in context with. It will let you whittle down the results by image size, aspect ratio, colors, type, usage rights, and many other filters.

More Google reverse image search tips & tricks

–          Search for as many different variants of the same photo, even if the differences between them and the original picture are subtle – especially if you’ve uploaded more than one version of the same photo online. Some might be cropped differently or uploaded in other color schemes.

–          You might find your work online edited by third parties: cropped, rotated, in black and white, etc.. Try searching for differently Photoshopped variants of your own work by creating these variations yourself.

–          Don’t disregard smaller sizes of your image. Perhaps someone has resized an initially large photo and is using it as such. Google has a harder time spotting visually similar images in smaller sizes, because, the smaller the photo, the less data it has to work with. Resize the photos yourself and look for them like this.

In terms of what you decide to do with the results, the choice is entirely up to you. It all has to do with the way you license your work and whether or not the people using the pictures are making money off your back – case in which you might even decide to prosecute for copyright infringement.

The Future Of Online Photography – Monitize Your Images With Stipple

As a photographer, your images are your livelihood. Every time you put an image up on a site, the first thing that crosses your mind is “how much money will I be losing by putting this image up?”

And while the online world does truly have its benefits and can help you expand your marketing potential from a few miles around your studio to literally all over the world, it does take away your potential profits. Why should someone buy your images if they can see them and share them everywhere?

Once your image is up, people can link, modify and share it just about anywhere. And every time your image “moves” to a new place, you lose the potential of connecting with the viewer.

Because your value is in your photography, it makes sense to be able to “watermark” your images so that people know it’s you and have a way to come back to your information again and again. But “old” watermarks are just that … old. And if you put them in the wrong place, they are easy to crop out and ignore.

Which is why photo tagging is growing in popularity. And a new site may have enormous potential for future photographers.

Imagine creating a fine art studio in which you photograph and sell landscape images online. With Stipple, you can place a low resolution file online and connect it to a variety of other things online that showcase who you are. Take a look at one photographer, Lars Van DeGoor, recently did with his image:

The image as it will appear on sites as it is shared


The image displaying a link to video

The image with his information


The image with a link to his image for sale


Now if that image is shared via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, his “ads” go with it. Meaning he always has the potential of showcasing his talent and selling his artwork.

From a photography standpoint, this is huge. It’s also leveragable for your potential clients and customers. Imagine creating images exclusively for online sales; photos that make it easy for people to shop right from the photo itself. Your customers are no longer paying you just for your images, but also for your knowledge of bringing sales into the company itself.

The CEO of Stipple, Rey Flemings, has said that people mouse over a photo with a dot 46 percent of the time. That means almost 1 in 2 people are intrigued enough by a dot on a photo to want to take some type of action. And users that actually touch the dot will click on it 12.5 percent of the time. That’s huge – and will definitely grow as people grow accustomed to finding out instantly what they want when they want it.

If you are a commercial photographer who shoots regularly for a clothing designer, you can create images specifically designed for clickable images. Not only can you sell your customer on your images, but also on your knowledge of how to make the images more sellable online. Double your knowledge, double your profits.

Is this one way to move your photography business into the future? Definitely.

Are you using it today in a profitable way? I’d love to hear from you.

Jumpstarting Your Photography Business – You Gotta Try This Resource

Today I spent some time going through some of most well received information on VirtualPhotographyStudio on sales and bringing in new clients. With well over 1200 posts helping you sell and market your photography, there are many different posts that have attracted attention, and its always fun to go back through information that can have a huge impact on your business.

Instead of putting it together as just a post, I thought I would give you another option.

Head over to my Virtual Photography Studio – Jumpstarting Your Photography Business Magazine.  There you can easily read through everything in magazine format, clicking over to read more detail as you wish.

Now that you’ve viewed content in magazine format, what did you think?

See the possibilities for your own business?

By creating a variety of posts on one subject matter, you can create multiple magazines and send them to your customers for more detail.

How about one on creating the perfect outdoor portrait?

Or one on senior portraiture?

Or describing a Trash The Dress sitting in detail?

Whatever you specialize in, you can create detailed magazines – all for free.

The process is easy. If you have the content in place on your blog [you do, don’t you?], then its as easy as dropping in your URLs to your select posts and managing them with a click of your mouse. Zeen’s editing panel makes it easy to bring in content, edit and move it around, add titles and cover photos, preview and publish. You can have something made in minutes.

Just one more cool and innovative way to spread the word about your business.

Cutting Your Costs: 11 Cheap Tools To Grow Your Photography Business

One of the most common questions people ask me is:

“I’m trying to grow a photography business on a very small shoestring budget. What should I do?”

As a small business owner, “shoestring” automatically becomes a word commonly used in your vocabulary. Times are tight and when you have a very limited budget, you attempt to do whatever you can at the lowest cost possible.

With a photography business, it takes more than a camera and a computer to run it. You need many different things to make it both functional and profitable. So if “fast” “easy” and “cheap” are now permanently ingrained in your vocabulary, take a look at some of these tools and tricks for running a business on a budget. You may find some new ideas that are perfect for you to move forward with this year.

Google Voice

A virtual phone center to run your business from anywhere in the world. Google Voice offers a wide array of services. Start by choosing your area code, then use the system to help you with everything from budgeting your time by setting up “do not call” hours, to sending multiple SMS messages at a time. Read my review to learn even more.


Gliffy is an easy to use processing system for graphics, diagrams and flow carts. With easy to use formatting, you can create dynamic presentations for your website or presentations. [Read more…]

How To Handle The Unglamorous Part of a Photography Business

The models. The lights. The action. The creativity. The people. The images! The fun part of photography is getting into the action and creating the images.

But when the day is done, you still have to do the other, not-so-glamorous parts of running a photography business. The daily tasks that make your business a business.

One of my least favorite tasks has always been accounting. So I’ve purchased systems like Peachtree and Quickbooks, and plod along doing only what’s truly necessary to keep my business in line. I’ve also done a ton of research over the last couple of years because I wanted to move away from software applications that reside on your computer, and move to a web based application that I can take and access anywhere.

A few days ago I was emailed an introduction to Wave Accounting. Intrigued, I started doing a little research, watched their video and looked through their screen shots, and decided to give them a try.

The best part of Wave Accounting is it’s Internet based, and it’s free. Yep, they won’t give you something for free at the lowest level, then charge you an arm and a leg down the road when you move up to the next level. It’s free from beginning to end. They make their money on the offers they make to you through your dashboard – business items like phone services and office products. If you choose to take advantage of any of the offers, Wave makes money from the supplier.

What makes Wave so powerful is its automation features. When you sign up for Wave, you can link your accounting system to your banks and credit cards. This means you don’t have to double enter many of your daily tasks – they are done for you. The dashboard system gives you an instant view of where you stand today, and you can quickly move from place to place seeing the things that matter most to you. Like who you owe – and who owes you.

While I’m still getting used to the system myself, I received another email today from a Wave Communications Assistant, Kathleen. One of Wave’s target markets is photographers – which means they have special features just for us photographers.

They’ve made June photographers month, and will be offering a variety of specials exclusively for photographers during the month of June. Things like

  • Photographer of the week profiles
  • Guest bloggers
  • A photo contest
  • Tips and FAQs about running a photography business

Which means now is the perfect time for you to give Wave a try.

To get started, head over to their Photographer’s Survey – it’ll take just a couple of minutes (I did it myself) and you’ll let them know what issues you would like highlighted during the month of June.

Then click the Sign Up Now button. You’ll have access to the backend system in just a couple of minutes, and you can start using a great tool that may just make accounting a little more bearable.

Adjust and Modify Multiple Light Sources Within Your Digital Images

Have you ever shot an image with several light sources, and wish you had a way to easily adjust each light source differently? While you can do a lot with Photoshop, wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy way to adjust without having he work involved with Photoshop?

Now there is a way. Check out this video that shows how Oloneo PhotoEngine modifies light sources within a digital image file.

Oloneo PhotoEngine is currently in beta, and is a free download for you to try out. Oloneo PhotoEngine

Add a Little Style To Your Photography Blog With Animoto

Tired of just adding photo after photo to your blog? Looking for a way to add a little style?  Show your clients what you’ve got, and put together a dynamic presentation.

With some old photos I used to publish my first book, I created this video in about 2 minutes:

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

They make it super easy to add photos, text, even video if you have it. You can rotate things and move them quickly until you have it just the way you want. Then pick out music and create. It really is that easy.

While the one I created above is a great 30 second demo, you have to leave the Animoto logo icon on the player, taking away from your look. Animoto thought of photographers, and offers a program where you can have your own branded player, linked back to your site, for less than $250 a year.

Use a quick slideshow to showcase each of your clients. Start up your own YouTube channel, and fill it up with client work. It also adds another level of protection as your images are embedded, and can’t be copied directly. Plus you build your presence on another social site. Don’t stop with YouTube. There are plenty of other video sites as well.