“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...
When I first started to shoot travel portraits, I was paralyzed at the thought of approaching complete strangers and taking their picture. I was convinced they’d start hurtling expletives my way the second I raised my camera. Better to hide in the bushes with a long lens and “paparazzi” the locals without them knowing. But shooting...
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 to cultivate a career in photography.
I reveled in capturing the...
How to plan for and engage kids in lively portrait sessions
Text & Photography By Shannon Sewell
Kids can be your cutest, most animated, uninhibited and fun subjects to photograph. They can also be the most distracted, emotionally charged, quick-moving and difficult. So, how do you plan for the latter while creating the former? Successful children’s photography relies heavily on being able to connect with the child you’re photographing.
How to make skin look great with subtle changes to the position and quality of the light source—whether that’s a strobe or sunlight or anything in between
By William Sawalich
There’s one thing all portrait subjects share in common: They want to look good. Young and old, men and women alike, everybody hates to see their wrinkles and blemishes on display. So learn how to light to minimize flaws and produce smooth, flattering skin tones.
IT ALL STARTS IN THE CAMERA
Whether you’re working with ambient light or strobes,...
Create striking images with these five essential qualities of monochrome
Text & Photography By Meredith Winn
Is black-and-white the purest form of photography? Some photographers believe so. The art of black-and-white photography removes all distractions so the strength of the composition shines through.
"Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones." Paul Cézanne was a painter, but the...
When you set out with the goal of making a black-and-white photo, you may be tempted simply to shoot in monochrome. Practically every digital camera provides this option, so why not simplify your postprocessing work by going grayscale from the start?
1 | You May Later Want A Color Version.
If you shoot in monochrome, that’s it. There’s no...
10 ways to capture the unique scenes of the season
Text & Photography By Tom Bol
I used to dread October 1 every year. Why? Because I was living in Alaska, and that date seemed to mark the beginning of another long, cold, snowy winter. Birds had left, leaves had fallen, and temperatures had plummeted. After a frantic pace of shooting during the long summers, I reluctantly settled into photography hibernation. The winter blues had...
Five photographers share their unique perspectives on the medium
By Tracey Clark
Black-and-white photography is totally distinct from color photography. There’s a poignancy to black-and-white images that’s palpable. Maybe it’s because, when color is stripped away, so, too, are distractions. Perhaps the lack of visual interference allows other elements to take center stage.
Light, shadow, texture, line and shape...
Add visual excitement by introducing moving elements
Text & Photography By Tom Bol
I love creating portraits. There’s just something about making that connection with my subject that sends chills up my spine. But sometimes I want more. How can I improve this portrait? What can I do to create more mood and feeling in the shot? How can I liven up a standard headshot? The answer to all these questions is simple: Add a dynamic element.
To emphasize the eyes in these portraits, Victor Valero uses precise lighting and postprocessing to deliver high-key glamour
By William Sawalich, Photography By Victor Valero
When Vancouver-based commercial photographer Victor Valero held a casting call for a shoot in Mexico, he encountered a model who inspired him to embark on a visual journey exploring the intensity of eyes. They have the ability to transform a photograph, as evidenced by these images that are a part of that ongoing series.
To start, Valero found two models...
As photographers, we’re storytellers. Even a single photograph can tell a story. A series of photographs can tell a more detailed story, however, revealing different chapters of one’s experience, if you will. That experience might be a photo safari to Africa, a photo tour of a national park, a photo trek to a nearby city and so on.