Macro Photography 101: Equipment and Techniques


Macro photography can be a powerful tool for creating spectacular photos. It can be quite challenging to find the right equipment or the appropriate techniques for the kind of subject you want to shoot. That is why we have compiled a complete guide which will give you the basic tips to get you started on it.

Macro Photography 101

What is Macro Photography?

The definition of macro photography might seem counterintuitive since it refers to taking photos of really small things – be they small objects or creatures, or detailed parts of bigger things. It can be both challenging and gratifying to try this style of photography.

Ratios are important in order to understand the basics of macro photography, even though for digital cameras they do not matter as much as they used to. The closer you get to the object, the smaller the ratio gets.

Equipment: Macro Lenses

The first thing you should have is any type of DSLR camera; your iPhone won’t help you. With that in mind, the next thing on your list should be a macro lens. You can find great macro lenses from Canon and Nikon, which are specially made for focusing at a short distance.


Macro Photography 101: Equipment and Techniques

A filter works similarly to a magnifying glass. This is one of the reasons for which getting a filter might not help out much in terms of quality. You can find filters that come in packs, with a different magnifying power for each of them. You can also stack filters together to increase the power of your camera, but this will decrease the quality of the photo.

Extension Tubes

The great thing about extension tubes is that you can start a DIY project to obtain them. Any tube you have around the house could serve as the basis for a macro tube, and you can find many online tutorials for beginners, which will get you started.

If you are not the DIY type, then you can also buy macro extension tubes for a reasonable amount of money. These tubes also come in packs and can be stacked to shoot from a closer range. Unlike filters, extension tubes do not lead to a poorer quality of your photos.


Tripods can help improve macro photography because they keep your camera really still. No matter how good you are with your hands, nothing beats a tripod. Even the tiniest move can majorly impact your end result, so a tripod will make sure you get a super shot with the minimum of effort.

Macro Rails

Macro rails are a good product to have around if you also need to move your camera around when taking macro shots. A rail will help you move your camera back and forth, left and right, with the use of a simple knob.

General Advice for Macro Techniques

Macro Photography 101: Equipment

The best advice you can get is that you should always try to move the object closer to your camera and not the camera closer to the subject. Moving the camera will change your frame considerably, even if you don’t have a wide one.

Choosing your subject

Choosing a subject for your shot is the first thing you will consider. Obviously, a landscape shot is out of the questions, but interesting subjects include food, flowers, eyes, or pages of books. The more still your subject is, the better. An eye might seem still, but don’t forget it is attached to a person who will find it quite painful not to blink.


Lighting can be very important when trying out macro photography. You don’t have to go to any extreme length to get the appropriate lighting, just make sure you are not shooting on a super sunny day. Flash is also not recommended unless you use a ring in order to take your photo. A ring flash can also be useful when taking indoor photos in a studio.

Focus Stacking

A general technique you can use when you have a shallow field depth is focus stacking. How can you do this? By combining several images taken in a sequence. If you can only focus on certain areas at a time, then the best thing to do is to combine multiple shots of the same subject to obtain a beautiful image. For this you will need the appropriate software which will combine all the shots, but you can easily find several free options online. You can also use this technique if you want to do without all the fancy equipment or accessories needed to obtain macro images.

Techniques Depending on Your Subject

Macro shooting techniques can vary greatly depending on the subject you are shooting. You can get as creative as you want in order to get a cool shot from an original angle, but you should bear in mind that different subjects require different approaches. We have compiled a list containing a few examples of techniques you can use for your macros. Who knows? Maybe you can also get some new ideas for perfect nature shots.


An insect can be a challenging thing to shoot since they can move quite a lot and, depending on the type of insect you are trying to photograph, they can also move rather quickly. Just think of how a spider moves! Avoid a fast mode of approaching the subject and take care you don’t cover them up with your shadow.

Plants and Flowers

A flower offers a beautiful spectacle inside a gallery, but make sure that when you are shooting it outside there is very little wind. Petals can be very gentle and even the slightest breeze will change their appearance. If the wind is a bit more rough than it should, try shooting sturdier plants that are unshakable.

In case you are up for a challenge, you can even try underwater macro photography. Just make sure you have the appropriate settings and setup. An online forum or a tutorial can get you a long way. Black and white macro shots can also be used for more abstract themes.

There’s nothing left to define, we have covered everything you need to know about macro photography. You can now start your amazing journey into the world of Lilliputians!

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

Light and Shadow: Two Powerful Photography Tools

Quality photography relies heavily on light. The very meaning of the word “photography” underlines the importance of finding the perfect lighting balance, as it stems from two Greek words: “phos” (meaning light) and “graphis” (which translates into drawing). But despite the fact that most photographers would argue endlessly over the fact that lighting is everything, there is exquisite creative potential in the lack of this highly praised element.

Though often overlooked, shadows can only exist in the presence of light. Oxymoronic, I know, but light would be nothing were it not for the shadows it casts. Learning how to manipulate shadows and seamlessly incorporate them into your composition is an essential element of any photographer’s skillset.

A photograph of a bicycle casting a shadow on the wall

With that in mind, grab your camera, at least one subject and let’s get started!

The Importance of Shadows

We have to stop thinking of shadows as mere dark masses bordering the light. For without shadows, there would be nothing to draw attention to the light we speak so highly of. When correctly using shadows, photographers discover unique opportunities. Before getting down and dirty with techniques you are not familiar with, make sure to visit the exhibitions of experienced photographers and draw inspiration from there.

Creating context and adding drama to a composition is one of the main uses of shadows. Viewers are naturally drawn to areas in your picture where high tonal contrasts exist and such contrasts are impossible without shadows. As such, light by itself could never be able to create the subtle nuances that shadows make possible.

Beautiful composition of the sun shining through the branches of a tree. The branches cast shadows on the snow.

This exquisite photograph, for instance, perfectly uses the juxtaposition shadows and sepia tones to add warmth to an otherwise chilly winter day.

Apart from creating contrast, shadows also allow photographers to focus a viewer’s attention to what is most important in the composition. On the one hand, shadows can be manipulated to remove irrelevant details from portions of the photograph that aren’t as important as others.

Shadow photography portrait showcasing a beautiful model whose face is contoured by cones of shadow.

This photographs creates a striking contrast between the model’s eyes and the rest of her features, which are hidden in cones of shadows falling at different angles.

Photographers can also use shadows to highlight the model’s qualities: from the striking innocence of a child’s face to the subtle sensuality of a female model, everything lies in correct positioning and the artist’s unique view.

two shadow portraits of an innocent child and a sensual woman, both highlighted by correct shadow placement

Another exquisite use of shadow allows photographers to reveal texture. Such images are obtained when the illuminating body (in most cases the sun) is found at a low angle to the horizon, so as to cast shadows across the terrain. Such compositions allow for the textures of certain objects to be emphasized.

use of shadow photography to highlight sand texture

Correctly Including Shadows in Your Composition

Photographing shadows isn’t the easiest task, especially since most settings will cause the targeted shadows to come out too light. Capturing shadows involves a series of tweaks which may contradict a camera’s essential purpose (which is to expose the film to enough light to make the detail visible).

So when you’ve set your mind on shadow photography, be sure to:

  • Switch from automatic to manual mode. Not a beginner photographer’s best friend, manual mode allows you to set the aperture time, ISO value and shutter speed. As such, you are in full control of what your camera is capturing. Beginners may copy the values from these settings from those used by your automatic mode. Tweak and alter each individual setting to identify precisely what you need.
  • Use the exposure lockdown feature when available. DSLR cameras often include an exposure lock feature in their settings menu. Experiment with this feature to include that part of your scene which doesn’t lie in the shadow and use the automatic exposure calculators to obtain exposed highlights contrasting with deep shadows.
  • Consider exposure value compensation. Digital cameras allow photographers to quickly assess their work and if your composition seems to be too bright, slight exposure value tweaks may correct the issue. Lower exposure values to deepen shadows or increase it if your composition is too dark.
  • Bracketing helps. An alternative is to bracket your image by taking successive shots at different exposures. Although high-range cameras (and several mid-range ones) include BKT buttons which have this feature build in, you can achieve the same results with lower-range cameras by simply using manual mode and taking different shots at alternating exposure value compensations.

Tips and Tricks for Shadow Photography

Now that we’ve gotten the technical aspects out of the way, let’s discuss some tips to help you with your creative process. Shadows are excellent starting points especially when you lack a muse.

With that in mind, please remember that a shadow is not the same thing as a silhouette. While silhouettes represent the outline or the dark shape of a specific object or being against a lighter background, shadows represent the shapes or areas formed when objects come between the illuminating body and a surface.

Most photographers find their inspiration looking up or around, so paying attention to the sidewalk or the ground will be a new experience, especially if you haven’t worked with shadows before. But, though unsurprising, you’re only going to find shadows on the ground or against walls. Start actively searching for shadows and seeking inspiration in places yet undiscovered.

stunning contrast between the shadows cast by the building's columns and the girl dancing between them

The human eye enjoys symmetry and shadow patterns create unique compositions which are particularly appealing. Combining shadows and patterns can yield sublime results, so shift angles and experiment with positions to see whether you can capture interesting patterns.

Monochrome and black-and-white compositions are also a good option especially when the shadow you’re photographing is the center-piece of your composition. By removing the colors which would otherwise compete with your viewer’s perception, you’re setting yourself up for great results. Strong, graphical shapes fare best in monochrome, especially when captured from unexpected angles.

Numerous artists have played with shadow compositions. Denis Buchel, for instance, recently won an award for his divine composition focusing on Istanbul’s dim sunset light and the long, converging shadows cast by the people and trees it encountered.

stunning photograph of a hot Istanbul day with converging shadows

Shadow photography is a subtle art and requires a trained hand. It will take time to learn precisely how to incorporate the various elements, shapes and textures to obtain the perfect picture, so give yourself the time to get there. And allow yourself to experiment (even when the experiments don’t produce the results you’d expect). It’s all part of the learning process!

Photo credits: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7

Pet Photography Tips & Tricks

As fun as it may look like, pet photography can be a tough nut to crack. Apart from having the appropriate equipment and skill, it takes a bit more of patience and genuine care for your models. Don’t worry! We are here to provide you with special tips and ideas on how to create the best pet photo shooting atmosphere. Dealing with the technical side of the story is equally important, so make sure you stop our useful camera settings and tricks. Let’s get started!

Pet Photography Tips for a Relaxed Photo Shooting

Pets are like little kids. They need careful attention and a nice, clean environment. What we recommend is choose a location they like, either indoor or outdoor and photograph them in familiar environment. The context of your photo shooting is as important as your model. As long as you make sure your pet feels comfortable, you can achieve great results.

Treat to Trick!

One of the best tricks for a successful pet photo shooting is to treat your pet. Think of the rewards he enjoys the most and you cannot possibly go wrong with it. Not only that your dog will love you (if it’s a cat it will love you for a minute, maybe), but you will also take some great shots. You can use their favorite food or toys as props as well.

Have Some Fun!

Now that you have created a relaxed atmosphere you can have some fun! Whether you have a lazy cat, a playful dog or a noisy parrot, be creative and experiment with different props and accessories.

Here are some funny must-have pet photography props:

  • A Washing Machine (be careful with that!)

pet photography using a washing machine as a prop

  • A Small Boat (who would have thought boats are for cats?)

pet photography using a small boat as a prop

  • Books and Glasses (for a smart, hipsterish look)

pet photography using books and glasses as props

  • A Fashionable Scarf and Flowers (why not?)

fashionable scarf for pet photography

  • A Crown (of course!)

crown for pet photography

Technical Pet Photography Tips

Shoot in Natural Light

Shooting in natural light is essential for all photography niches. When it comes to photographing your pet, all you can ask for is a nice, bright yet diffused morning light. If you choose to shoot indoors, try to photograph your model as close to the window as possible.

I wouldn’t recommend to use the flash only if it is absolutely necessary. It can be very annoying for your pet and the results can be disastrous.

Best Lenses for Pet Photography

Wide angle lenses should be your first choice when photographing your pet. Don’t be surprised if by using wider angle lenses you will capture pet photographs with a twist. Play with different angles and perspectives for more imaginative shots. Either you photograph them from their eye level, from the above or from below, these kind of lenses will provide your pictures with a broader perspective and some interesting effects.

Close-up Portraits

The eyes of your pet can say more than thousands words (if only they could speak!). That is why some of the best pet photographs you can take are close-up portraits.

Whether you want them to be dramatic or hilarious, pet portraits are very expressive and eye-catching. You know what the best thing is with close-up pet portraits? There are no props needed.

Here’s what you should do in order to get sharp close-up photos of your pet

  • Use manual focus on your camera and make sure you highlight their eyes.
  • Focus on your model while creating a blurry effect for the background. Set a wide aperture (f/2.8 should do the job), get close to your pet and shoot!

Outdoor Pet Photography Tips

  • Photograph Your Pet in Motion

Want to capture your pet enjoying some time outdoors? Choose a fine, sunny day, set your digital camera to shutter speed priority mode and to continuous focus and see how it goes.

  • Freeze the Moment!

Pets can be very playful which makes pet photography even more challenging. That is why a good DSLR and some patience are priceless. Set your camera on shutter speed mode, or if you feel confident enough operate in manual mode by setting a fast shutter speed and adjusting the aperture accordingly. All you need to do is anticipate a great moment for your shot and capture some joy!

Image Sources: Pinterest

Inspirational Portrait Photographers You Should Follow Today

What does it take to be one of the greatest portrait photographers in the world? Skill? Talent? Inspiration? Courage? These are all features you are about to discover at our favorite portrait photographers. Some of the professionals featuring our list are world-famous, some are well-known in smaller circles, some tell cultural stories, others more personal ones. But they all have something in common: a unique, thought-provoking and sometimes truly mind-blowing perspective both on the art of portraiture and life.

Our list of portrait photographers you should definitely know about is open to other entries as well. There are, of course, many more portrait photographers worthy of praise and admiration. That is why we cheerfully encourage our readers and followers to reach out to us with any thoughts, ideas or suggestions. Feel free to add names and stories to our lists of inspiring photographers from around the world. Write your own list and send it to us to be published!

Portrait Photographer: Adrian Blachut

Location:  Warsaw, Poland

Bio: Adrian Blachut is a Polish fine art portrait photographer who started his career in photography in 2007 after graduating economics and logistics. He is currently based in Warsaw, the capital of Poland, working as a commercial photographer and videomaker. His series of black & white portraits entitled ‘Faces’ is focused on what eyes say about people. You should definitely take a look at these expressive, intense photographs created in a classical artistic fashion.

Adrian Blachut portrait photographer

‘Faces’ Project © Adrian Blachut

Website: Adrian Blachut Photography, Facebook Official Page


Portrait Photographer: Lee Jeffries

Location:  Manchester, United Kingdom.

Bio: Seeing the street portraits signed by Lee Jeffries you would say he has studied photography for his entire life, but he did not. Lee Jeffries is an accountant currently living in Manchester. He became a self-taught and self-funded photographer about 7 years ago. The subjects of his portraiture are homeless people from various corners of the world. He started his photographic project entitled LOST ANGELS with the photograph of a woman praying in Rome, but his first street portrait was the one of a homeless girl on the streets of London.

This brilliant portrait photographer’s work is seen not simply as photojournalism or street photography, but as powerful spiritual iconography. What makes these black & white images of homeless people stand out is the photographer’s use of lights and shadows, as well as the powerful emotions behind the shots. His portraiture work is so emotionally charged that he even declared that: “When I’m talking to these people, I can’t then leave that emotion, so when I get back to my computer so emotionally involved, sometimes I will start to cry when processing the image”.

His work has been featured in top lists of street and portrait photography across the web and praised in major publications such as Time, the Independent, Guardian and Huffington Post.

New York by Lee Jeffries portrait photographer

New York © Lee Jeffries

Watch more of his images in this video.

Website: Lee Jeffries Portrait Photography on, Lee Jeffries Photography Facebook Page.

Portrait Photographer: Cato Lein

Location:  Stockholm, Sweden.

Bio: Born in Båtsfjord, Norway, Cato Lein is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. He is one of the most prominent and acclaimed Swedish portrait photographers, having worked for many publishing houses and magazines in Scandinavia. However, his photographic projects took his around the world. He is now working on a project in Poland. He has also exhibited portraits of Polish and foreign writers and translators in the past.

Cato Lein’s portrait photography is highly original, intense, and even provocative. His passion for powerful black & white imagery is his trademark. As concerns the way he approaches the art of portraiture, he says that:

“I often do two takes, one for the client and for myself. With my own, I test the limits of the possible – see how far I can go. This shot shows the person portrayed in a new way, never negatively but not flatteringly either. That’s what lots of my pictures are like: I’ve pushed the look in a direction that ends up surprising the models. Mostly, they like what I do and respect my artistic freedom.”

Norman Manea by Cato Lein portrait photographer

Norman Manea © Cato Lein

Website: Cato Lein Photography on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr.


Portrait Photographer: Jimmy Nelson

Location: Amsterdam,  Netherlands and Ibiza.

Bio: Jimmy Nelson is a British photojournalist and photographer who traveled the world to document and photograph some of the most fantastic tribes left on the planet today. His vibrant and intriguing portraits of indigenous people taken in more than 44 countries around the globe have conquered our attention and admiration. Find out more about his stories and journey in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia and the South Pacific from his speech at TEDx Amsterdam.

before they pass away photo by jimmy nelson portrait photographer

‘Before They Pass Away’ Project © Jimmy Nelson

Website: Jimmy Nelson Photography.


Portrait Photographer: Nina Mašic-Lizdek

Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bio: Nina Mašic is a 24-year-old photographer and retoucher currently based in Sarajevo. She sees photography as a means of exploring and experiencing life with more intensity. Her images reveal different aspects of the world around us in pure beauty.

photo by nina masic portrait photographer

Photograph by Nina Masic

Website: Nina Mašic Photography, Page, Facebook Page, Instagram.


Portrait Photographer: Maja Topcagic

Location:  Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bio: Maja Topcagic is the second portrait photographer born in Bosnia and Herzegovina featuring our list. She is currently working as a computer science teacher in Bihac, but also freelancing for Trevillion Images,, Art+Commerce/Vogue Italia, and WIN New York.

She began her journey as a photographer at the age of 19 and since then she has invested energy both in hes passion for mathematics and photographic art. ‘Math and art are soulmates, and using these very natural things for a human being we can describe our world and our mind’, she says. It is better to let her images speak for themselves. Let’s take a look at one of  her beautiful, dreamy portrait.

blossom by maya toccagic portrait photographer

Blossom © Maja Topcagic

Website: Maja Topcagic Portfolio, 500px Page.


Portrait Photographer: Lisa Kristine

Location:  San Francisco, California.

Bio: Lisa Kristine is a highly appreciated humanitarian photographer. Part of her praised work showcases aspects of modern day human enslavement. She has also gained international recognition for capturing portraits of indigenous people from over 100 countries in six continents. ‘Few artists know how to capture the diversity and dignity of indigenous people. Lisa Kristine’s portraits exquisitely convey their silenced messages’, says Cosette Thompson, from Amnesty International. Lisa has explored the world in search of people, places and stories, creating unforgettable and meaningful images.

freedom, ghana by Lisa Kristine portrait photographer

Freedom, Ghana © Lisa Kristine

Website: Lisa Kristine Photography.


Portrait Photographer: Annie Leibovitz

Location: New York City, NY.

Bio: We have already featured Annie Leibovitz in our top fashion photographers list, as well as in out 10 famous photographers you should know about, but it is simply impossible not to mention her again as one of the most talented American portrait photographers today.

Meryl Streep photo by Annie Leibovitz portrait photographer

Meryl Streep © Annie Leibovitz

Website: Annie Leibovitz Photography on Tumblr.


Portrait Photographer: Joe McNally

Location: Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Bio: Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed American photographer, author and instructor, listed by American Photo as one of the 100 Most Important People in Photography. He has worked as a photojournalist for 30 years now and shot cover stories for Time, Newsweek, New York, Fortune, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, LIFE and many more. He is the author of the first all-digital coverage of the history of the National Geographic, called ‘The Future of Flying’.

One of his noteworthy projects we want to bring into view is ‘Faces of Ground Zero’, created soon after the 9/11 tragedy, which is a collection of monumental, life-sized portraits of the heroes of September 11, 2001. As the official page of this projects reads, the photographs show ‘McNally’s brilliance as a photographer and his humanity in capturing everyday people in these historic moments’.

face of ground zero by joe mcnally portrait photographer

‘Faces of Ground Zero’ Project © Joe McNally

Website: Joe McNally Portfolio, Faces of Ground Zero Project.


Portrait Photographer: Katarina Smuraga

Location:  St. Petersburg, Russia.

Bio: Born in Vitebsk, Belarus, Katarina Smuraga is currently based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The images she creates are genuine and vivid, disturbing, yet refreshing. Katarina’s photos portray sensitive subjects and have an incredible emotional power.

photo by Katarina Smuraga portrait photography

Photograph by Katarina Smuraga

Website: Katarina Smuraga Photography on Flickr.

Image Sources: photographs featured in this article belong to the portrait photographers listed above and are protected by copyright. 

Brief Intro to Real Estate Photography

Real estate photography or also known as architectural photography is an important part of the commercial photography niche. Those operating in the real estate photography business are aware of how challenging and attractive this job is. If you have just began or consider beginning to work in the field, here are some useful tips and information to help you keep up with clients’ demands.

What is Real Estate Photography?

To put it simple, real estate photography reduces to images showcasing properties for sale. This doesn’t mean that this type of photography is less creative than others. It is true that real estate photography limits your artistic freedom and it is driven by marketing purposes more than any other niche. What is the advantage than of pursuing a career in this sector?

Is real estate photography profitable? As in the US today, real estate is one of the most competitive industries, we can clearly say that yes, now is a good time to start a business in this area. Even if you love performing in other areas as a freelance photographer, real estate photography can be a great opportunity not only to earn some extra cash, but also to improve and diversify your skills.

Basic Equipment Needed

What you need to get started is a digital camera, lenses, tripod, and a computer which will allow you managing the post-processing phase.

  • Camera and Lenses

Real estate photography is a competitive area for professionals like you. That is why a good DSLR is your best bet. Choose one with high ISO performance for indoors shooting, and the possibility of using off-camera flash.

As regards the type of lenses you should use, wide angle lenses and tilt-shift lenses are a must for this type of photography.

While wide angle lenses are meant to help you shoot narrow spaces like bathrooms, tilt-shift lenses increase the depth of filed and enable sharper, high quality images taken outdoors. Tilt-shits lenses are required when shooting wider spaces, mainly correcting converging verticals.

The only thing you need to be super careful with is not to distort images by getting too enthusiastic with the use of lenses.

  • Tripod

Tripods are the key to a professional outcome, among others. We advise you to choose a sturdy duty one used for studio purposes. If you are at the start of your career and wonder what type of tripod would fit your needs best, check our post on top considerations when buying one.

  • Photo Editing Software


Not all images will turn out the way you or the client want. That is why a good knowledge of either Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop can save your life.

The Importance and Specificity of Lighting

It is never enough to emphasise the importance of lighting in photography. Needless to say that natural light sources are desirable in comparison to artificial lighting techniques. Let’s have a look at what you need to keep in mind depending on whether you shoot outdoors or indoors.

  • Exterior Real Estate Photography


Once you have been contracted for a real estate photo job, first thing to do is check the weather forecast. Also, planning is really important prior to the photo shooting. Ensure you are there early in the morning, take the equipment you need and get ready to spend a few hours working. Leave some time for post-processing too.

While on the scene, avoid shooting in the sun and search the angles that enable a broader perspective over the property. If there’s a yard, patio or garden, take advantage and capture a wider area.

exterior real estate photography

Great exterior images also benefit from an overcast sky. Don’t forget to take it into account.

  • Interior Real Estate Photography

First thing to consider is profiting from window light. Apart from that, you will need to work with interior light sources and even turn to supplemental light for dark corners.

interior real estate photography

Using flash is common for real estate photography as the time of shooting is too short for mastering sophisticated lighting techniques. In this case, be careful with the exposure of the image. Using a flash requires adjusting camera settings, like ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  We have already discussed about ISO settings in low light conditions. Have a look at our post on ISO and learn more about how to capture high quality interior images.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Post-Processing in Real Estate Photography

Editing tools such as post-processing software are essential in improving images of the property you were assigned to shoot.

The main advantage of post-processing real estate photos is pricing. Special editing will result in some extra cash for you as edited photos are charged more as compared to unprocessed ones.

However, real estate agencies demand accurate images. The key to a successful real estate photo editing process is thus making properties look amazing without distorting reality.

Real Estate Photo Format and Aspect Ratio

If you are new to real estate photography, inform about the marketing media format and aspect ratio preferred by real estate clients and use your equipment and tools accordingly.

Normally, each real estate agency decides on what photo dimensions and format are required for their websites. As a tip, try to get familiar with MLS sites and requirements in your area. These sites usually process and send images to regional and national real estate sites.

If you found this post useful or have any questions and suggestions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Image Sources: 1,2

Photography Contests You Must Enter in 2015

Whether you are an amateur or a professional, participating in photography contests is a great chance to gain both popularity and valuable experience. Check out our list of photographic competitions in 2015, send them your best shots and win some amazing prizes.


National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is an annual competition gathering best travel photos from around the world. If you have amazing travel experiences to share, this is the right competition for you. Visit Traveler Photo Contest Official Page to have a look at the latest entries and learn more about how to submit your artwork. Give it a shot!

Photo by Anders Anderson for National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2015

Photo by Anders Anderson

Closing Date: June 30, 2015

Entry Conditions:


  • The 27th annual edition of National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest is now open for photographers who have reached the age of majority in their states and who do not reside in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria.
  • In order to submit your image, you need to complete a form and pay an entry fee of $15.
  • The number of entries per person is unlimited.
  • All digital images are required to be 20 MB or smaller and at least 1,600 pixels wide (for horizontal images) or 1,600 pixels tall (for vertical images).
  • Format: JPEG/ JPG.



  • Travel Portraits
  • Outdoor Scenes
  • Sense of Place
  • Spontaneous Moments


Official Prizes


  • 1st PRIZE

First place winner gets an eight-day National Geographic Photo Expedition in Costa Rica and the Panama Canal with airfare for two.

  • 2nd PRIZE

First runner-up wins a six-day National Geographic Photo Expedition: Winter Wildlife in Yellowstone for two.

  • 3rd PRIZE

Second runner up gets a six-day cruise from Schooner American Eagle and Heritage for two.

They also have 7 MERIT PRIZES consisting of:

  • A $200 gift certificate to B&H Photo
  • National Geographic Masters of Photography course on DVD

All winners will receive a subscription to Traveler magazine.

Submit your best shots now to win one of these generous prizes.

World Palm Portraits Photography Competition 2015


If you think you can increase awareness on the attributes of palm oil through the power and beauty of pictorial compositions, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) created World Palm Portraits Photography Competition especially for you. ‘Discover Nature’s Gift’ and share your results to win prizes worth $12,000.

Closing Date: June 30, 2015.

Entry Conditions


  • The third edition of World Palm Portraits Photography Competition is open to all photographers around the world, professional or amateurs.
  • You must be 18 years of age or above.
  • You are required to use a digital camera capable of at least 8 megapixels. Photos taken with a smartphone camera or PDA are not eligible.
  • You can enter one or all categories of the competition.
  • Image minimum size: 3 MB (minimum resolution of 300 dpi).
  • Format: only JPG/JPEG formatted photos.
  • You may submit up to 20 images.

As regards Copyright terms, by entering the competition you agree to grant MPOC and to its partners full ownership of your photos. Your images may be used to promote the contest or other contests within Malaysia and internationally. The terms do not exclude other purposes as well. By entering the contest, you warrant that you are the owner of the images and these have not been used for commercial purposes before.



  • Nature & Wildlife
  • People & Portraits
  • Black & White
  • Fine Art & Photo Manipulation

Official Prizes


The prizes for EACH category are:

  • 1st PRIZE: $2,000
  • 2nd PRIZE: $1,000

For more information about the competition and how you can submit your work, please access


The Eros Magazine – Fine Art Nudes Photo Contest


The TZIPAC team announces the launch of an online digital magazine designed to celebrate and showcase the art behind nude photography. The magazine will also display other forms of art media, including traditional photography medium, painting and digital animation.

Closing Date: 30 Jun 2015

Entry Conditions:

  • Fine Art Nudes Photo Contest is open to all photographers worldwide.
  • Submitting your artwork is cost-free.
  • Photos are required to be 8 bit, 1500 pixels on the longest side, 72 dpi.
  • Image maximum size: 500 KB.
  • Format: JPG/ JPEG only.
  • Color space: RGB or sRGB.
  • You may submit up to 5 images.
  • Ensure there are no identifying borders, marks or logos on your photos.

Concerning copyright, you must warrant that you are the author of the artworks you submit and that you own all the rights to use the images.


Categories: OPEN

The competition judges are looking for unique skills and artistic perspectives on nude photography.


Official Prizes:

  • 1st PRIZE

The winner of the Grand Prize will receive a 20 page feature in first issue of The Eros Magazine and will be showcased in The Eros Magazine Winners Online Gallery.

  • 2nd PRIZE

The first runner up will receive a 10 page feature in The Eros Magazine – Issue 1, and will be showcased in their Winners Online Gallery.

  • 3rd PRIZE

The second runner up will also receive a 10 page feature in The Eros Magazine – Issue 1 and will be showcased in their Winners Online Gallery.

All finalists will be displayed in the first issue of The Eros Magazine and showcased in their Winners Online Gallery. Make sure you check your email as you will be notified in case you are one of the photographers featured in online winner’s galleries.

For more information on how to submit your work, please check their contest page.

National Park Photo Contest 2015


If you are a nature photography aficionado, enter National Park Photo Contest with your best landscape or wildlife picture to win a Tamron camera lens or accessory and be featured in a 2016 National Park Journal.


Closing Date: 31 Aug 2015


Entry Conditions:

  • The competition is opened to all residents of the US and the entry is free of charge.
  • There is a limit of 5 entries per person.
  • You can help the judges decide on the best shots by voting your favorites online.

Regarding Copyright, by entering the competition your photos become the property of the Sponsor and they have full rights to use your images for various purposes, including marketing and promotion.


Official Prizes:

  • 1st Prize – valued at $1069

One grand prize winner receives a Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD (for Canon, Nikon and Sony Full-Frame and APS-C DSLR cameras).

  • 2nd PRIZE – valued at $629

First runner up will receive a Tamron 16-300mm Di II VC PZD Macro (for Canon, Nikon and Sony APS-C DSLR cameras).


  • 3rd PRIZE – valued at $449

Second runner up will receive a Tamron 10-24mm Di II (for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony APS-C DSLR cameras).

  • 15 Honorable Mention Prizes valued at $38,50 each

15 mention winners will receive a Leatherman multi tool from Tamron.

Winners will be selected by the end of September 2015.

For additional information on how to submit your work, you can visit the contest official website.


Good luck!

Top 10 Fashion Photographers

Both intriguing and gutty, fashion photographers have challenged the concept of beauty over generations and continue to redefine visual art in the fashion industry. Here at Virtual Photography Studio we want to bring into the open the work of successful professional photographers from various niches and places around the globe. After starting with a top selection of travel photographers, here are 10 fashion photographers worth knowing about.

Name: Alessio Bolzoni

Location: Paris, France

Bio: Born in Crema, in 1979, Alessio Bolzoni is an Italian fashion and editorial photographer whose work has been featured in Marie Claire, Office Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar UK, Elle US, Grey Magazine, Numero, Lurve magazine and many more.

Alessio Bolzoni fashion photographer

His photography captures a sense of drama and movement as street art and cinematography are his sources of inspiration. Bolzoni is definitely one of the avant-garde fashion photographer of these days, mixing high style with simplicity. The result – an unusual elegance.

Website: Alessio Bolzoni Photography

Name: Alessandro Dal Buoni

Location: London, UK

Bio: Italian born, Alessandro Dal Buoni is a fashion photographer based in London. He shoots for multiple magazines. To mention just a few: L’Officiel Hommes China, GQ Japan, Amica, L’Officiel Hommes Germany, AnOther Man, Hunter, D Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Mixte Hommes, Rolling Stone, V and V Man. Dal Buoni works with clients like Dior, Yohji Yamamoto, Roberta Furlanetto, KRISVANASSCHE, among others.

Alessandro dal Buoni Photography

© Alessandro dal Buoni Photography

His style is extremely versatile, but as a trademark there’s a sense of purity and grace in everything he captures.  He acknowledges Frantisek Drtikol, George Platt Lynes and Robert Mapplethorpe as the photographers who inspire him the most.

Website: Alessandro Dal Buoni Photography


Name: Sebastian Kim

Location: New York City, NY

Bio: Born in Vietnam and raised in three very different corners of the world – Iran, France and Southern California – Sebastian Kim is a renowned fashion and editorial photographer. He immersed in the world of fashion photography as an assistant of Richard Avedon and Steven Meisel.

Sebastian Kim fasgion photographer

Kim has collaborated with many famous publications such as Harper’s Bazaar UK, Vogue, Numero, and The New York Times. His fame grew tremendously after having worked with top fashion designers like Calvin Klein, John Galliano, Nina Ricci and Alexander Wang.

Kim’s shooting style is described as sexy and glamorous, yet tasteful.

Website: Sebastian Kim Photography


Name: Andrea Klarin

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Bio: Born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, Andrea is a fashion photographer, currently on the crest of the wave. Based in Brussels, he travels the world to work for clients like Vogue, Gloss, Flaunt, Harper’s Bazaar, Wallpaper, Madame Figaro and TANK magazines, as well as advertising clients such as Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Guerlain, Swarowski, Lanvin, L’Oreal, Nike, Longchamps and Canon.

Andrea Klarin, fashion photographer, and Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol and Andrea Klarin

With an obsession for perfection, his photographs are meant to redefine beauty by capturing a contemporary mood based on light, shapes, shadows and textures.

Website: Andrea Klarin Photography



Name: Steven Klein

Location: New York City, NY

Bio: Steven Klein is an acclaimed American photographer. His passion for photography began at the age of 10. Although he studied painting, he started building his career in photography as soon as he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Brad Pitt Photo Taken by Steven Klein, fashion photographer, for Interview Magazine

Brad Pitt by Steven Klein for Interview Magazine

Highly provocative and subversive, his photographic style brought him to the attention of major brands in the fashion world. Klein has shot for clients like Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, contributed regularly to magazines like Vogue, i-D, Numéro, W and Arena. He is mostly known for his editorials with Madonna and Brad Pitt.

Klein has also created vibrant images of iconic music artists, such as Britney Spears, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. His photographs are eclectic, sexual and inspiring.

Website:Steven Klein Studio


Name: Nick Knight


Bio: Born in London, United Kingdom, Nick Knight is one of most imaginative and influential photographers in the fashion industry. Over the years he has worked for leading designers including Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Lancôme, Levi Strauss and Yves Saint Laurent. Nick Knight also shot for high-profile brands like Audi and Mercedes Benz, challenging not only the conventions of fashion media, but also the conventional notion of a fashion photographer.

Famous fashion photographer Nick Knight

Among his prestigious clients, it is worth mentioning British Vogue, Paris Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Another Man and I-D magazines.

Apart from photography, he is also a renowned filmmaker. He shot videos for artists like Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Gwen Stefani, Massive Attack and Bjork. His style is thought to be experimental, and progressive, or, in another words, at the edge of the avant-garde. He continues to create visionary content on his own fashion website

Website: Nick Knight Photography


Name: Annie Leibovitz

Location: New York City, NY

Bio: Annie Leibovitz is one of the most famous female American photographers of all times. Born in Connecticut, she is a third-generation American with family roots in Romania and Estonia. While studying painting at the San Francisco Institute, she discovered photography and started working for the Rolling Stones magazine. In 1973 she became the magazine’s chief photographer, shooting no less than 142 covers in ten years, including the iconic embrace of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Lennon was shot dead five hours after the photo shooting, making Leibovitz’s photograph a memorable moment in the history of visual art.

Annie Leibovitz American fashion photographer

She then collaborated with Vanity Fair, shooting the pregnant Demi Moore, Lady Gaga, President Barack Obama, and more recently, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Leibovitz’s portraits are dramatic, provocative and highly influential.

Website: Annie Leibovitz Photography


Name: Mert & Marcus

Location: London, UK

Bio: Mert & Marcus is the name of two fashion photographers working together, both born in 1971 and influenced by the renowned fashion photographer Guy Bourdin. Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are some of the leading photographers in fashion today.

They worked for top publications like Vogue, W Magazine, Pop Magazine, Numero. High-profile brands like Louis Vuitton, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Fendi, Kenzo, and Miu Miu are just some of their major clients.

Mert & Marcus fashion photographers

Mert & Marcus are known for a creative and innovative use of digital technology. But what keeps them ahead of the game is their exuberant and sophisticated photography. Their style is highly aesthetic, unconventional and, sometimes, hyperreal.

Website: Mert & Marcus Photography



Name: Paolo Roversi

Location: Paris, France

Bio: Italian-born fashion photographer, Paolo Roversi is now based in Paris. His love for photography came early, in 1964, while on vacation with his family in Spain. After returning back home, he set up a darkroom and began developing his own black and white work. Years later, he started working as a reporter until he was discovered by the British photographer Lawrence Sackmann.

Paolo Roversi Italian fashion photographer

After nine month of apprenticeship with Sackmann, Roversi started working on his own as a fashion photographer, shooting for Elle, Depeche Mode and Marie Claire. He has created ads for Armani, Dior, Romeo Gigli, Yohji Yamamoto and a many others.

His photographs are acclaimed for a sense of grace, purity and femininity due to Paolo’s technique, which he says to be ‘more subtraction than addition’.

Website: Paolo Roversi Photography



Name: Mario Sorrenti

Location: New York, NY

Bio: New York City based photographer, Mario Sorrenti was born in Naples in 1971. He is best known for his nude photography featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, as well as for the iconic shooting of Kate Moss for the Calvin Klein Obsession perfume campaign. Sorrenti is active in the music industry as well, having shot Shakira, Maxwell, and Drake. He also directed John Mayer’s video for ‘Daughters’ in 2003.

Mario Sorrenti fashion photographer

Among his clients from the world of fashion, he has collaborated with notorious publications and fashion houses like Vanity Fair, Another Man, Lancôme, Paco Rabanne, and Benetton. Currently, he exclusively works for the Art Partner agency and continues to surprise his audience with a provocative, always impressive vision on what fashion photography is.

Website: Mario Sorrenti Photography


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

Brighten Your Wedding Photography: Editing Tips

Now that you have enjoyed your photo shooting with the happy couple and are left with gigabytes of photos to edit, you probably think of the insane workflow required to deliver your final result. All you need is a great, easy-to-follow plan, which involves great time management and creativity. We have already taken care of the first aspect and we will share with you the 10 efficient steps to a victorious editing process.  

Step 1: Photography is Storytelling

If you imagine editing photos is a ‘post-production’ process, you are wrong, my friend. Before getting started you should have already discussed with the couple the touch and mood they want to add to their wedding album or, in other words, to their story. Wedding photography is above all a story you tell by means of images. Why not check out our tips for visual storytelling first?

warm touch to wedding photography

The story line you wish to create will totally influence and ease your approach to the final result. Here are two options to bring up at your initial meeting with the turtle doves:

  • Do you remember that antique, sepia touch so popular years ago? Some clients still prefer the retro, vintage style and are interested in traditional posing.
  • If your clients are looking for a more contemporary style, be bold and suggest a Pop Art approach to their story.

Step 2: Download Photos and Select the Best Shots

Importing photos from camera into computer is not only necessary for the editing process, but also easy, especially if you follow our tips. Be clever and consider your needs first. We recommend you to choose a software that both downloads and helps you edit your photographs. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is our top choice.

Selecting shots is one of the best skills a photographer can have as it will save more time than you imagine. Lightroom allows you, for instance, to rate your already imported photos. Once you added a start rating you can use the filter settings to access your favorites. Try to select the photos you want to keep and not the ones you wish to delete! It is essential to keep a positive attitude.

Step 3: Always Store the Originals Safely

In our article on best ways to import photos we have discussed the importance of storing your originals on an external drive. This is desirable especially if you tend to save edited photos over the originals. If you decide to use Lightroom, it will allow you to select an alternative import location.

Step 4: Basic Editing Tips

Whether you use Lightroom or Photoshop to edit and retouch your material, there are some basic options to consider. As we like Lightroom (you have already figured that out), here are some editing steps to follow:

  • Warm the Photos by Adjusting the White Balance

For a bright but detailed result, try to reduce background highlights and increase shadows.

  • Smooth Out the Noise

Noise reduction is another aspect to consider as you will probably shoot outdoors as well and won’t always use a tripod. Lightroom allows you to easily adjust Luminance, Detail and Contrast. Keep the luminance slider between 40 and 50 and lower the contrast.

Lightroom Noise Reduction

  • The Key to Sharp Images

Sharpening is another essential step of the editing process. Try to focus on the main characters, but do not insist on unnaturally sharpen their skin tones and faces. What you can do is boost the Masking slider a bit and keep the Detail slider to around 10 as to avoid noise.

  • Make Them Glow

Of course there are many settings to play with, but try to stick to the essentials. Be careful with details and work out the exposure and clarity so as to brighten the photographs. Let the sun shine in all photos.

Step 5: The Bride is Your Priority

Bridal portrait

Yes, the couple is important, but if you want your wedding photography to be successful you have to fulfill the bride’s expectations. Bridal portraiture should be one of your main treats, but don’t miss the big picture! Weddings are perfect occasions to capture emotions and general excitement. That’s why candid photography is another must for the photo album.

Step 6: Add Brightness to Your Clients’ Wedding Photography

Weddings are cheerful occasions. Regardless of the theme and style of the story, make sure you catch the glow of happiness on everybody’s faces. Keep in mind that:

  • Foreground elements are important too. Brighten or darken the background according to the mood you want to set to the scenes.
  • Warm and glowing effects are a must!
  • Bright eyes speak joy and happiness.

Step 8: Retouching

Do not panic, not all photos need to be retouched. Choose the ones that will be gathered in the photo album and retouch especially portraits. The trick is to make them look realistically amazing. Focus on whitening teeth, reducing bags or dark circles under eyes, and adding light to the eyes.

Step 9: Export Your Photos

Now that the editing process is almost finished, you will need to export your edited material in JPEG format and name the files according to your inspiration.

Step 10: Share Your Story

The final step is gather the main scenes and characters and create an amazing photo album. This is where your creative skills take part into the story. Make it memorable and let the images speak for themselves.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

5 Essential Tips for Indian Wedding Photography

More and more spectacular and complex, Indian wedding photography has become over the years a niche in itself. You might be surprised by the popularity of this wedding theme as not only native-Indians want to add something eye-catching to their once-in-a-lifetime event. Many people all over the world choose the Indian style for their wedding. Wonder why? Well, who has watched at least one Bollywood movie, could see how sophisticated and luxurious everything is.

Whether they are made traditionally or according to a more contemporary fashion, Indian weddings will charm you. If you are to add an Indian wedding for the first time to your portofolio as a photographer, get ready to break the conventional. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the experience and push some boundaries.

indian wedding photography tips / holding hands

1. Do your Homework

Before planning your day, make sure you do a bit of research in relation to what you can expect from an Indian wedding. Did you know that there are many great award-winning Indian photographers specialized in wedding photography willing to travel the world for their clients? You can check their profile and learn more about the ‘industry’. Here is a useful list that will take you through a variety of styles and skills.

You should know that common Indian wedding photography requirements used to be quite old-fashioned. What was expected from the photographer was that he simply take snaps of all the guests, which, honestly, can be exhausting and less satisfying than anything.

indian wedding photography tips / wedding ceremony

Now, young Indian couples are more open. This means that you, as a creative professional photographer, can add depth and a sense of story to the wedding photographic album. Get your homework done first, and then be as imaginative as possible in accordance to their wishes.

2. Find the Ideal Photographic Technique

Indian weddings are very colorful. If you are a black-and-white-photography pro, you might want to think again! I have never heard of Indian brides wishing to go all black and white for their wedding photography. For this type of weddings, bridal portraiture and candid photography are the ideal photographic techniques to take into consideration.

indian wedding photography 2

Indian Bride Portrait

Be bold and transform the bride’s portraits into art.

Candid photos are the best choice for Indian weddings if you know how to capture special moments. Timing is really essential! It is all about capturing the emotions that the bride, the groom and the families feel and express during the event. These ‘paparazzi style’ shots require skill, special equipment and versatility.

For everything to look as natural as possible, you have to be everywhere and try to interact with everybody at the ceremony and party. Candid photography is of a special kind in terms of techniques as well. In order to get the most of it, you have to try not to use the flash, for instance, and always mix the perspective.

3. Get in touch with the couple and with the wedding planner

indian wedding photography / couple hugging

Try to get in touch as much as you can with the bride and the groom, and even with the family, but especially with the wedding planner if there is any. It is important to get familiar with how things generally work and also acknowledge their particular needs. It will be a lot easier for you as well to know them better. Their organization might seem to you a bit hectic as there may be events planned during several days and will need you to be there and capture every significant moment.

Depending on the budget, Indian weddings have teams of people hired to make everything run smoothly. Some Indian families even hire an astrologer to decide on the auspicious moment for performing the marriage ceremony. Speaking of which, ceremonies can take a long time. The average Indian wedding ceremony lasts around two hours, but some of them even have pre-wedding arrangements, so it might take three to four hours until the party starts.

4. Find the Perfect Venue for the Photo Album

You might wonder why you need to find a venue when there is already one the couple has paid for. If you wish to make the wedding photo album a memoir it takes more than comprising fine snaps from the ceremony. Be creative. Make something new and exciting. If you master nature photography, for instance, you can plan in advance a mini-photo session outdoors after the ceremony or even on a different day.

indian wedding photography / photo album example

For more inspiration you can have a look at South Asian bride magazines or check the photos of this fabulous Indian wedding in Chicago. Try to include the city as a character into the story if the couple agrees. Be it Houston, Dallas or New Jersey, there are some surprising venues to discover and artistically explore.

If the wedding is more traditional in style you can choose a temple. These may be the perfect locations for an after-wedding photo shooting session. One of the most impressive places for Indian wedding photography is Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta. ‘Mandir’ is a place of worship and spirituality for the Hindu, but it is also a social and cultural space where people can gather and hold different activities.

5. Keep Calm and Enjoy Every Moment!

A lot of unexpected things can happen during an Indian wedding. First, they are known to be not very punctual. So, don’t stress out if you get there on time and start your work after a few hours. Have a glass of something and enjoy the experience.

indian wedding photography / choosing the venue

Second, there’s the food. Do you fancy Indian cuisine? What you should know is that during Indian weddings, dinner might be served around midnight as they are accustomed to eat very late. However, if the couple is not that traditional, everything can run according to common wedding planning.

Even if you are a beginner don’t miss an ultimate Indian wedding experience. The secret ingredient that will make you stand out of the crowd is your mood and attitude, not your experience. Let the magic fill your soul and your photography.  Enjoy every moment and bring life and color to every snap.

We hope that these Indian photography tips will help you further expand your  portfolio.

Picture source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Traditions You May Want to Include in Your Southern Style Wedding!

If you are a proud Southern girl who is soon to become a bride, then you may want to include some of the charming Southern wedding traditions that have existed since the civil war in your own big day. Choosing a beautiful venue that really reflects Southern charm and style is the first thing to do, for example the Boondocks Event Center in North Carolina – a stunning old livery building now used to host events, weddings and other functions. Then you can incorporate all the great traditions you want into your event!

Ensure Sunshine on Your Wedding Day by ‘Burying the Bourbon’

This is a strange wedding tradition that according to Southern folklore will stop it from raining on your wedding day (not really a major risk in some Southern cities at certain times of year, but it is still a fun thing to do!). Exactly a month before the date of the wedding, someone from the wedding party is to go to the place where the bride and groom will marry, and bury a bottle of bourbon (it doesn’t matter what size – use a miniature if you want!) in the ground. It must be buried upside down (for some reason) and be unopened. Of course, after the wedding is over, you may want to dig it back up and drink it (or even on the wedding day if the magic doesn’t work and it rains!).

Give Your Man a Groom’s Cake

Another cute Southern tradition is for the bride to give her groom a special cake that is designed to reflect his personality or his hobbies and interests. This can be something you make yourself, or buy. It doesn’t have to be wedding themed, so in many ways can be more like a birthday cake in that it is just supposed to be a fun gift that suits him! This is a really nice touch because so much wedding stuff focuses on the bride, it is nice to have a tradition that gives the groom a little attention!

Bridal Portraits

Of course, in the modern day we would never dream of a wedding where no photos of the bride were taken, but in the past, not all weddings had such technology, so painted portraits were often the only way to keep a picture of the bride in her wedding finery for posterity. Many families would hang these in their homes. It is still traditional for some Southern brides to sit for a portrait, which while you may not want to have on your walls in 2015, still makes a beautiful memento of the big day, and is so much more interesting than posed photographic portraits!

These are just some of the interesting Southern wedding traditions you may like to consider using to add color to your Southern wedding. Of course, if you don’t even live in the South anymore and are having your wedding elsewhere, it is also a fun way to show your roots!