Shooting Back

In the absence of facial expressions, context and gesture make the portrait
By Tracey Clark Of Shutter Sisters
When striving to capture truly expressive portraits, focusing on facial expressions may seem like the most effective approach, and it certainly can be. But there are a number of other ways to shoot evocative, emotional images totally void of any facial expressions. As a matter of fact, you don't need…

Milestones And New Beginnings

Use important moments in life to exercise your documentary skills
Text & Photography By Alessandra Cave
Milestones are those important moments in life that mark the passage of time. While these occasions can be very personal, some of them are universal, such as birth, a child's first steps and first words, the first day of school, the first kiss, graduation, first job, marriage, first child and…

Background Tricks

Five ways to better portrait backdrops
By Wes Pitts
"Watch your background!" is one of the first lessons to learn as a photographer, and it's an essential tip for portraiture. Clean and simple is generally best; cluttered backgrounds distract from your subject. That doesn't mean your portrait backgrounds need to be stark and uninteresting. With enough lens blur—achieved in-camera…

Simply Realistic Retouching

The key to easy and effective skin retouching is minimizing the bad without obliterating the good
Text & Photography By William Sawalich
I have a theory about skin retouching: The only thing worse than an unretouched portrait is an overly retouched portrait. My goal is always to improve the subject's skin without creating an image that looks fake. That's the biggest challenge ultimately. Anybody can make skin pretty with diffusion and blur,…

Shutter Basics

Understanding how a shutter works can make a big difference in pictures and video—especially when working with fast subjects or mixing ambient light with flash
By William Sawalich
Do you know what kind of shutter your camera has? It’s probably one of two different styles: the focal plane shutter or the leaf shutter. More than likely it’s a focal plane shutter, because that’s the standard in most DSLRs. Just because it’s the standard, though, doesn’t mean it’s the…

A Parent’s Perspective

Capture authentic family portraits by finding the beauty in easily missed moments
Text & Photography By Tracey Clark
I began my career as a portrait photographer before my career as a parent, but even then, children were always my favorite subject. To me, everything about children is poetic, and using my camera to frame each lilting and lyrical detail is what ignited my interest and fueled my passion…
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