Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Glamour Photography Tips and Ideas

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If you want to capture great glamour photography you'll first need to know how to properly pose a model.
In this post, we're going to share with you some glamour photography poses and tips that you can instantly use to spice up your shots.
Just remember that you're working with the human body, so you don't want the models to try poses that are hard to achieve and/or are uncomfortable because these won't seem natural.
In fact, a good pose shouldn't really look like the person is posing at all. It doesn't matter how beautiful the person may be, if the poses and angles aren't right the photos won't be flattering!
Be up-to-date
Unfortunately for some, we're not living in the Swinging Sixties anymore.
Poses that were common decades ago might not be in vogue in today's era. It's true that some things are cyclical, but you can usually spot an out-of-date hairstyle and outfit and the same can be said for glamour photography poses.
These can be ideal though if you're trying to create a retro or historical feel to the shoot, but if you're aiming for something more modern, think natural, provocative, and sensual.
Use props
Using props is usually a good idea as it will make it easier for the model to pose.
It's can be pretty hard for some models to try and pose without a prop in their hands or something to lean, sit, or climb on etc. This is especially true for beginners.
If you provide your model with a prop of any kind you can also see how they interact naturally with it.
Ideas for types of props you can use include a scarf, a rose with a long stem, flower petals, a sleek black walking cane, large necklaces, a fedora style hat, a chair, etc.
Accentuate the positives
While some people sure may look it, nobody's perfect though.
If your model happens to have any visible flaws you can always try to hide them with the poses you suggest. For example, if the glamour model is a little on the heavier side you should shoot that person at angles instead of straight on.
A straight on pose accentuates the broad shoulders, which you do not want to do. Having the person turn at an angle to the camera can instantly shed a few pounds!
Also, make sure the shoulder facing the camera is tilted slightly lower. That helps thin a person out visually as well.
Finally, never shoot from a low angle. Low angles will make the person look heavier. If possible, always shoot from a higher than eye level angle as this tends to make a person look leaner.
On the other side of the coin, if the model is quite thin you may want to do the opposite.
Having that person shift their weight to the foot furthest from the camera will make the image more interesting as the model won't appear to be flat footed.
If the model has obvious strong points you should emphasize them in the poses. With thinner models, mostly any type of angle goes, as you don't have to hide many physical flaws.
Show, don't tell
If you want to communicate properly with your model it's a lot better to show them exactly what you mean instead of telling them.
This will eliminate many wasted minutes, ore even hours!
Don't be afraid to show them how to pose by doing it yourself. They will pick up on this and then interpret the pose in their own unique style.
Also, don't take the shots from one position. Move around your model and shoot from different angles until you find the perfect shot.
Be complimentary
When the model poses exactly the way you're looking for and the image is perfect, show it to them to boost up their confidence and motivate them.
In a way it's similar to giving an athlete a pat on the back after coming up with a big play. You'll be amazed at how much this simple trick will work wonders for the rest of your shoot. A confident model always makes for a better photographed model!
Keeping it clean
If you're interested in tasteful nude photography you can try it in a non-suggestive way if you want to stay away from x-rated shots.
Just make sure that your model knows what they are getting themselves into beforehand. Ask them up front if they are comfortable with this type of photography. Some people are and some are not.

How to Protect Your Online Photography

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When it comes to protecting your online photography there are many ways to prevent people from copying or distributing your artwork.
Protecting Your Imagery
If you are like me you have probably uploaded your precious photography at one time or another to either your own website / blog, or to an online gallery such as 500px or Flickr. The benefit to showcasing your imagery is obvious, you want visitors to see your work, but you want your work to be secure and represented the way you want and importantly where you want.
Locating existing or previously uploaded photography being used without your permission.
Google Images
The first thing I recommend is to visit the mighty Google Images page. Where Google.com is unmatched for searching textual data, Google Images is the king of pixel based searching. Google Images utilizes a special algorithm to find imagery that is exactly your work and imagery that is visually similar. The interesting thing with Google Images is that you can drag and drop your photos directly onto the search bar. Of course if you want to be boring, you can always just use the camera icon.
TinEye
TinEye is another reverse image search engine. Very similar to Google Images but it offers many additional services including the ability to register your imagery. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist.
Additionally you can use it as a tool to locate higher resolution versions of imagery (which seems extremely hypocritical considering the nature of this article - but I digress). Either way it's tremendously useful for tracking down your online imagery.
Taking Steps to Protect Your Photography From Being Stolen
Watermarking is one of the most critical anti-plagiarism tools that you can deploy to combat the theft of your work. First off, it's free and it solves 2 issues at once. One being that it visibly demonstrates that you want your work protected and that it's not free or licensed for distribution. Secondly, it provides a level of self promotion back to your blog or online gallery which enhances the opportunity that your work will be credited or for that matter you get new clients / fans or stalkers.
Where there are many options for watermarking including visible and invisible the standard for most photographers is to add your name to the bottom or side of your image. I personally recommend that you add your website / blog or online gallery like 500px or Flickr to your watermark.
The option of visibly watermarking your image comes in 2 forms. One being my preferred method, a simple stamp at the bottom or along the side of your image. It's a tasteful way of claiming ownership without obstructing the image. This way the experience for the viewer is pristine and if done correctly it will not steal any attention from your artwork.
The second version is the full image watermark. This method is reserved for those that absolutely want to maintain full control of your imagery. Unfortunately, this technique also obscures the photo and in my opinion ruins the ability to appreciate the art. However, I have used this watermark technique for a client that knew their work would be stolen. You can often see type of watermarking being used in stock art photography. Of course if the person stealing the image really wants they can take the time to clone out most watermarks albeit it's never really done well.
Making a Legal Difference
If your watermark is removed by someone you have a case under the copyright law for infringement which can provide additional damages against the accused violator. You can reference - 17 USC § 1202 - Integrity of copyright management information
Metadata - The Good and the Bad
Many photographers are aware of the hidden data that is embedded into your digital files. One being EXIF which stands for "Exchangeable Image File Format" and is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras and now smart-phones, scanners and other systems. The other 2 forms of metadata that can be embedded are IPTC "International Press Telecommunications Council" and XMP "Extensible Metadata Platform".
What Makes Metadata Amazing
Let's talk about the good part of metadata. For one unless it's deliberately removed it's permanently attached to your image. In terms of this article, which is preventing photographic piracy, this is a digital blessing. Not only does it keep track of your cameras technical data, it also contains your copyright information.
Continuing on the plus side of meta data is the ability to add keywords to your photography. The value that this adds to your photography is often overlooked by most photographers. While the debate is out on if metadata is used by search engines I have found through my experiences that it enhances SEO. I will be covering this with an article in the future.
Adjusting the Copyright Info in Your Camera
Most DSLR camera's today will allow you to add some metadata directly into your photography via a menu in your camera settings. This ensures that every shot made with your camera is injected into the digital thread of your image. This is something that I HIGHLY recommend that you do.
Typically you can add several lines which include your copyright, name, and URL. While most photographers add this info when they are processing their imagery I prefer to have the data embedded to avoid forgetting to attach it later on.
Never Upload a Full Resolution Photo
If you are planning on uploading imagery to your blog or to your favorite social media site I recommend more than any other tip on this page to hold back from uploading the original resolution. For example if I shoot with my Canon 7D at full res 18 mega pixels I will only upload a 4 mega-pixel photo at the most to any social site or online gallery. I tend to keep my imagery at about 1200px on the longest side for most of my online portfolio work.
First off there have been many photographers who have had their work lately ripped off of social media only to be used overseas for stock art companies which sell the photos without paying you. Secondly, you can prove that the image is absolutely yours in the case that someone claims that they took the photo. Understandably, you can up-res photos to mimic a higher resolution but pixel peepers will be able to distinguish the fake.
Unless you're selling your imagery online for digital prints or canvas work I would stay away from larger imagery. It just opens the door for digital thieves to plunder your talent.
Ongoing Photographic Vigilance
Google Alerts
This is a gem of a tip. If you are serious about keeping track of your imagery then Google alerts may be one of the best hidden tools you can utilize. Google Alerts allows you to set up keyword triggers that sends you an email based upon the criteria that you enter. In essence it can monitor the Web for the exact content that you want.
This basically turns Google Alerts into your own personal spider bot. You can use it to enter your name, (I would use quotes to surround any specific term, for example I have one set for my name "Erik Sacino" - this weeds out getting false readings) Also, you can search for specific names of your images. You will want to make sure that you have a good nomenclature established to differentiate between your imagery and others. I have used in the past a special alphanumeric combo such as "dragon_one_solargravity_3s88z2g3q.jpg the chances of someone using "3s88z2g3q" is pretty rare and you should have no problem finding your work.
Give All of Your Photos a Unique Name
The interesting thing that I have found is that most digital thieves will not rename the photo. This works in your favor.
Additionally, I have discovered that when people steal your work they often rip the description directly from your image. This actually a good thing since you can digitally tattoo your own words.
My Example of a Unique Description Trigger
"This photo represents one of the most spectacular evenings I have ever photographed. The cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field that I was in, all these variables aligned for me this evening. I knew at the time that this combination would only happen a few times in my life."
In Google Alerts I have set up an alert to trigger on the phrase (notice the quotes) "cloud to sky ratio, the majestic colors, the open field". This unique combination of words is as unique as a special 56 digit alphanumeric when used.
In Conclusion
You can really make a difference in preventing your photography from being uncredited or even worse sold online without your knowledge with a few easy steps. Remember to watermark your imagery and to embed your copyright info into your metadata. Using a passive search tool like Google alerts will help assist you in your battle to guard your intellectual property.

Learn Basic And Essential Requirements To Be A Model


A modeling career can be highly rewarding and offers fantastic monetary benefits within a very short period of time. However, if you start off on the wrong note then you are in trouble.
Consider examining all requirements needed to be a model - this is an absolute must. Once you have taken care of this step, modeling becomes a more of a delight, especially if you become well known in the fashion world.
Meeting Basic Requirements Give Models A Good Start
Behind the world of glamour and good looks, models work very hard. They have to maintain a healthy body and skin tone.
Exercise is necessary to sustain physical attributes and the perfect figure.
A healthy diet keeps the skin glowing.
Cover these basics well, and you are well on your way to getting a good first break.
Newcomers must have the required physical characteristics before entering the world of modeling, especially if they are female and are looking at walking the runway.
Height - A minimum height requirement of 5' 8" is necessary for high-profile assignments like fashion or runway modeling.
Slightly shorter stature may work for specific assignments, but body structure should highlight a good, well-proportioned figure.
Hair - Must not have split ends. Grow long hair, if needed.
Teeth - Maintain straight, white teeth, and keep flashing a smile.
Decide On Modeling Career Options With Limitations In Mind
It pays to do a bit of groundwork and identify exactly what is needed for a specific field within modeling.
You may have a beautiful face but may need touch-up to appear more photogenic.
Now is the time to identify the perfect look and then go for an audition. There is plenty of scope, so browse the Internet to gather valuable information on different aspects of modeling.
Here are several categories you could consider depending on your interests and physical attributes.
  • Runway
  • High Fashion
  • Beauty and Glamour
  • Body Parts Modeling
  • Teen Modeling
  • Plus Size Modeling
  • Catalogue
  • Commercial
  • Petite Modeling
Entry into modeling is possible only if you meet requisites defined for each category. Body parts modeling may allow you to model your hands, feet, and other body parts.
It is obvious specific requirements must be fulfilled. Similarly, modeling for leading fashion companies may expect you to have particular traits and skills such as having a dynamic stage persona or the ability to give an assortment of facial expressions.
Having The Right Attitude Helps
Professionalism is the key to success in modeling. There is no room for error in terms of preparation or maintaining good health.
Competition is stiff. If you are not available, there is always someone ready as a replacement. It does pay to be punctual, dressed for current fashion trends, and willing to work beyond normal working hours to complete an assignment.
The Travel Model
Travelling is often required. Some prefer to work locally. Assignments may then be limited to local brands.
For example, the best modeling gigs would come through agencies like Ford. Top recruiters require models to travel quickly and still look fresh for the assignment.
These are personality traits developed by working for some time in the field.
However, it is not difficult to fulfill all requirements to be a model, if you have the right attitude and fit the part.

What to Wear to Your Photo Shoot

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Your photo shoot is about you, whether it be for a wedding, your new born baby or just some family photos, so you need to feel comfortable in what you are wearing in order to feel comfortable in front of the camera. There are general guidelines for what is and is not a good idea with regards to some accessories or colours so bear those in mind when choosing what would make you feel your best.
Generally, it is not recommended to have props, clothing or patterns that detract from the subjects of the photograph as they must remain both the centre of the photo and focus of the viewer's eyes. This means that you should not wear bright colours that drastically contrast with the colour of the skin, such as orange, red or yellow. You want to bring out your most natural and beautiful natural tones without them being overpowered by a bright jumper. Also, avoid wearing large or bold patterns or logos on your clothing (if the photo shoot is not aimed at business advertising) as you want to remain the main focus of the image without their being distracting or overpowering features.
Depending on what you want to achieve from the photo shoot, you can wear an array of styles of colours. If you are having the shoot for a couple's portrait then you may want to keep the focus on your faces which means having a subtle one-tone clothing style, with added touches being different textures of materials, such as a silk scarf or heavily knitted jumper. This all depends on what you want to achieve and what you want the focus of your images to be. The same goes for accessories or jewellery, where simpler or streamlined and elegant is the most suitable for traditional portraits. You may also want to coordinate your clothing so that if you are doing a family portrait that you are wearing similar colours or clothing so to keep the focus on your faces rather than the differences in clothes. The colours don't need to be the same, but they should harmonise with each other so that they do not detract from the intended focal point of the photos.
It is always advisable if you want to look a little slimmer, to wear black clothing that is neither too tight nor too baggy; you don't want to look like you are wearing a banana skin or a tent. Also, if the photo shoot is not for modelling, then it is not advised for you to wear shorts or skirts that are too short as they limit movement and flexibility that could lead to rigid photos.
Apart from the clothing, it is advisable that you bring a hair brush, some hairspray, if you use it and some light powder to touch up any shiny parts of your face during the shoot. Please see our other article on How To Prepare For Your Photo Shoot for more information.
It is most important for you to be comfortable in your clothing but you must also feel confident and fabulous so that you can relax and make the most of your photo shoot.
Have a look and see what other people wore to their photo shoot.

How to Take the Best Model Photos, Photography Tips and Tricks

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Be punctual and prepared

It's important that you're well prepared for the photo shoot. This means being on time and making sure that you have all of your equipment with you and that it's set up and ready to go. It's a good idea to speak with the model s few days prior to the shoot to let them know the type of shots you're looking for. This will enable them to also come prepared by practicing certain poses and expressions.
Speaking to the model ahead of time will also help he or she to be aware of the type of clothing to wear and if any types of accessories or jewelry are needed. In addition, they will be able to adjust their makeup and hair to fit in with the theme of the shoot. If you meet with the model before the job the odds are that you'll both be more relaxed when working together.
Setting the scene
It's always a good idea to find out what type of environment or setting the model prefers to work in. You can ask what type of lighting and music they're comfortable with and make sure they are allowed their privacy. Little things such as the temperature of the studio can also be discussed since you want the model to feel as comfortable as possible. Of course, on some occasions the theme of the photo shoot will dictate these things, but by asking, the model will realize that you're trying to make them feel at ease.
Communication is key
Most models appreciate it if you're specific in your instructions. If you're vague they may not know what it is you're looking for. One of the best ways to let the model know what you're trying to capture on camera is to actually show them examples from various websites or magazines. This way they can visually see what it is you're trying to achieve. Asking a model's opinion at the photo shoot is also beneficial since they may have some helpful tips or experience to share.
Explore different angles
if you just stand still while taking your shots, you're basically going to see that all of the images will be taken from the same angle and height. You should get a little creative and try out various height levels and angles by moving around. Try as many different angles as you like, including from below and above and don't be afraid to try something unconventional.
Believe in yourself
When holding a photo shoot with a model you need to be confident in your abilities. Always be professional and know what it is you're trying to achieve. If you're not confident in yourself then there's a good chance your model won't be confident in you either. Stay calm and take your time.

Monday, 18 March 2013

HDR - RAW or JPEG?

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Those of you who are not very familiar with photography terms might not have heard about this, but most of you surely have seen this type of photograph, without even noticing it. Apparently, there is an intense debate in the photographic community about this special and somewhat new domain. So, what is HDR photography and why should you know about this?
First of all, it stands for High Dynamic Range and many professional and amateur photographers alike have tried this technique. In the age of digital photography, there have been many advances in the field of photographic processes and techniques. High Dynamic Range is just one of these fields and it has its adepts, but also its contestants.
Basically, a normal photograph has some light areas and some dark or shade areas. The High Dynamic Range stands for an increased dynamic range between these two areas, created by several different methods. The easiest way is to take two or more photographs at different exposures, usually a normal exposure image, an underexposed image and an overexposed image.
These image can then be used and combined to create a high dynamic image, with an increased amount of details. This can be achieved by using a software program that has this function, resulting a visually appealing image. Although there are many ways of creating this type of photographs, this is usually the simplest one, as modern digital cameras have the function to create bracketed images.
There is also the question whether to shoot in RAW or JPEG when doing HDR photography. As most experts would teach and as common sense dictates, if you are serious about photography, then always shoot RAW. This gives photographers a greater control on the final image, as you can usually edit most characteristics of the photograph.
As High Dynamic Range photographs need a lot of editing to get the perfect result, RAW format is preferred by most photographers. This does not mean that if you shoot in JPEG you cannot get a high dynamic image, it just means that you usually get better results in RAW. Unless you are an expert professional photographer, or an amateur with no editing skills, then always shoot in RAW.
The problem with HDR photography is that not everyone appreciates it and there are photographers who consider this cheating and not respecting the rules of photography. By combining multiple images with different exposures, the resulting image has a deep dynamic range, seldom resulting in surreal photographs and sometimes the results are even unnatural.
This characteristic of high dynamic range photographs is mostly contested by some photographers. But this domain also has many fans and the field is surely appealing, especially in commercial photography, where there is a need for extremely attractive images.
Whatever the reason might be, if you are thinking about trying high dynamic photography, remember that this is just another form of photography and you still have to know everything about photography in order to get good results. Also, remember to always specify how you obtained the results.

Guide to Nikon Digital SLR and Compact Cameras

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Here's a simplified guide to Nikon digital SLR and Compact Cameras. When it comes to quality photography, photographers want a wide range of products and accessories so that they can choose something that suits their skills, and if required upgrade to something better, preferably from the same manufacturer so that the learning curve is easier.
About the Brand
Nikon is definitely a trusted brand in the eyes of most photographers. They have been around for several decades and have cameras suitable for both amateurs as well as professionals. They have launched several new models in recent times and believe in delivering good quality imaging techniques. It was somewhere around the nineties, when Nikon started producing top quality SLRs, that the brand took a upturn and their cameras started getting quickly latched up by photographers.
Competition Check
They definitely have good completion from the likes of Canon and Sony who also have a good range of products. The good thing about Nikon is that their cameras have better quality of image and better usability.
Generally speaking, Nikon cameras when compared to other brands, especially their DSLR cameras, provide several advanced features which the serious learners can make use of. If you aspire to be a professional someday, its always best to choose a camera that has enough advanced features that will let you shoot under varied conditions.
Various Models
In terms of the offerings, Nikon has the following series of cameras: Nikon D series (SLRs), Nikon L, P and S series compact cameras.
Professional photographers can choose from the D7000, D5000 or the more affordable D3200. Those looking for compact models can opt for the extremely popular COOLPIX series. These can be used in the auto-mode, which is pure shoot and click mode, and also provides lots of features if you want to apply specialized settings for your shoot. These pack a lot of power in a small package.
What to Choose?
It depends on what you want to shoot. Point & shoot cameras are compact, convenient, easier to carry and suitable for most social gatherings. However, it doesn't give you lots of manual control something that serious photographers want. So you need to keep that in mind.
If budget is a concern and you find the price of a new Nikon camera model prohibitive, you may also explore the possibility of going in for a used one, as camera nowadays are really robust and can last a long time, if proper care has been taken.

Equipments That You Would Need For Night Life Photography

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Clicking photographs in dull/low/ almost no light is not everyone's cup of tea. For amateur photographers, this is perhaps the most difficult form of photography. To get impressive ad amazing outcomes for night life photography, you need some specialized digital camera equipments that will help you capture the scene appropriately. Although most of the cameras have an automatic night mode that will reduce your efforts, experts recommend you to manually play with the settings such as setting the exposure, the f-number, and the ISO speed. Irrespective of your camera settings, there are a few digital camera accessories that you must use to capture stunning low light photographs.
Tripod:
In night life photography, a tripod is basically used to hold the camera in a particular position in order to stabilize it during the long exposure duration. The time may range from several seconds to few minutes. This is because, during night, there has always been a light deficiency and longer exposure will help you capture more light.
Attaining stability during long exposure is very difficult manually and therefore, make sure you carry this equipment with you. If you don't have a tripod, you may mount the camera on a wall, a table, etc. but these objects won't be as effective as a specialized tripod. You can always play with height, angle, and orientation along with eliminating the risk of getting blurred images.
Battery grip:
This equipment not only provides better grip over your camera but also increases its power. It provides extra battery power for long exposure shots that are required during night life photography. It helps in taking shots even after your original battery becomes down. Moreover, it is very useful in cold weather conditions, as more energy is required by the camera during such severe weather. It's better to use a battery grip in order to extend your shooting time and avoid missing any important photo opportunity due to battery issues.
Shutter release:
For better shots, you must restrict unwanted camera movements. Chances of camera movements are higher during night as you would be using long exposures. Therefore, you must use shutter release, as it cuts off any physical contact between you and your camera during opening or closing of the shutter thereby helping you to avoid the chances of camera shakes that might have caused due to shaky hands or improper pressing of shutter release button.
Fast Lenses:
Since there will be very less light, you must use a fast lens with an aperture setting around f/2.8. The faster the lens, the better will be the results. The choice of lens should be based on the camera you have and the situation that you will be photographing.
Light Meter:
Light meters provide correct exposure and are very useful for creative and professional photographers. It is also known as exposure meter. This equipment will inform you about the intensity of light during your night life shots so that you can fine tune your camera and its settings.
Getting clear and fascinating images during night life photography requires utmost practice and concentration along with above mentioned equipments.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

7 Key Pointers on Photo Submission to a Promotional Modeling Agency

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Type of Photos: First off, be prepared with one headshot and one full-length body shot. A good body shot doesn't necessarily mean you need to be in your bikini or underwear. One that accurately portrays your body type without cutting anything off will work. Last but not least, your photos do not need to be professionally done but pictures of when you look your best. In accordance with the pictures you submit, you will need to look your best when working for the agency or client you are promoting.


Personality: Make sure your photos showcase your personality. Promotional events require brand ambassadors to be upbeat and outgoing. As you can imagine, having pictures that represent a great personality will boost your odds of earning an interview and your odds of booking work.

Background: Make sure the background is not distracting. Pictures taken in your bedroom or other rooms in your house are fine, just so long as there is not massive clutter. A solid and/or natural background is ideal.
Accurate Representation: Send photos that represent what you actually look like in real life. Keep edits and filters to a bare minimum. If your picture has been edited to the point where it doesn't even look like you, coming to an interview will be a waste of our time and yours. Strange filters, lighting, and dated pictures also fall into information distortion. Send in photos that are current- taken in the last year.
Strange Angles: Please do not send in "mirror pics". Clients can request to see pictures of the models they would like to have at their promotional event. We cannot provide them with "mirror pics" or other strange angles. The agency shouldn't have to crane their necks in order to see a normal portrayal of a model.
Taste/Classiness: Do not EVER send nude or overly sexualized photos. This is not what we are looking for, nor is it the kind of modeling you will ever do with our agency. Any pictures displaying your crazy party side will be frowned upon as well. Again, keep in mind your submission photos are used to represent you when booking work.
Make-up and Outfit: Natural make-up is best. If submitting a photo with more dramatic nighttime make-up, make sure to send in a natural look as well. In regards to your attire, keep it simple.

Camera Tips - Cleaning Your Lenses

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Photography is definitely a question of education, experience and talent, but the photographic equipment is also equally important, as photographers need the best tools to express their vision. Many people know that you have to take care and maintain the photo equipment, but not so many know why you have to do it and how to do it correctly.
One of the most important tasks is to keep the lenses in perfect condition and cleaning your lenses should always be on top of your list. There are a number of reasons behind this and also there are special ways to do it.
First of all, contrary to popular belief, the photo lenses are not completely shielded from all external damaging factors. While the best lenses are sealed in the interior, the exterior can collect dust, fingerprints and a whole lot of other things during use, as well as during storage.
With time, if left unattended, the lenses can deteriorate and this translates to reduced quality of the photographs, as well as a shorter lifespan. If you have been photographing for some time, you surely noticed some specks of dust or dirt that show up on an image right when you prepare to edit it. While sometimes these can be easily edited out, they can sometimes ruin entire image sets. The best professional photographers know that clean lenses mean better photos.
Here are a few tips and advice about cleaning your lenses. The best tip is to learn to do it first and this can be done in various ways, both by reading articles like this one, as well as asking experienced photographers, looking at video tutorials or going to specialized shops that can show you. The second best tip is to always use dedicated cleaning products.
It is not recommended to use stuff that you usually use to clean your glasses or laptop screen and you should never use something improvised by yourself. You could end up making more damage to the lens than cleaning it. There are special products available and they are usually pretty cheap. Just search online or ask your local digital camera vendor.
Besides using the right equipment, cleaning your lenses should also be done the right way. Make sure you follow some simple steps and you should be alright. Try to be as gentle as possible, without pressing too hard and wipe the dust or smudges away. Never clean your lenses when they are dry, so use the solution usually included in all cleaning kits. Also, try to do it periodically, depending on how frequent you use them.
It is important to do this every time you return from a photographic trip in nature or very dusty/dirty environments. Also, if you have to photograph an important event, clean your lenses before the event and each time you notice they get dirty. As a general rule, try to clean them every one or two weeks. These are just the most basic tips about why it is important to clean your photo lenses and how to do it correctly.

Let's Turn That Hobby Into A Career - Photography!

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Do you have an eye for a good picture when others are struggling to see anything worth snapping? Are you always in demand for your friends' weddings, because they know your quality skills are free? Maybe it is time to step up your expectations and start to think about hard cash for your magic. If you ever thought about whether or not you could make it as a photographer, read on and see what you think.
Be Proud To Be a Photographer
Tell everybody you know that you are a photographer, don't be shy and declare your new career to all and sundry. The longer you masquerade as a student who takes the odd picture, the less serious people will take you. Offer your services but do not sell yourself cheap.
Start a Business Up!
The sooner you take yourself serious, the sooner others will follow suit. Get yourself licensed and legal, and think about a business bank account as well. Get some cards made up and hand them out, especially at weddings and parties. Go onto social networking pages and tell everybody that you have arrived.
Get Clued Up!
If you want to be a professional photographer you will need to ensure that you know all there is to know about the business. This means that you will have to start reading a lot of books about the subject in hand. It is not enough just to be a decent picture taker; you need to be able to understand all of the financial and planning aspects as well. You will need to be able to deal with the following features of running a business:
• Accounts and Finances - Will you need a loan or can you start off with your savings first?
• Stock and supplies - Do you have a quality camera or will you need an upgrade? Plus you will need a decent PC and good photo editing software.
• Publicity - Can you build your own website or will you need to pay someone to do this for you?
• Premises - Is it best to run your operation from your home or can you afford to rent a small shop front in the local shopping mall?
• Specialize - Will you just do weddings and family portraits or have you a more exciting workload in mind?
Talent and Ideas
You could have the best business brain on the planet but you still need to have that magic touch when it comes to photos. Get ready to take photos of absolutely everything you see. Never miss out on a photo opportunity now matter how daft the topic may be. And when you start to build a nice portfolio, be prepared to send your collection to everybody that appreciates nice photos. Enter competitions and start bugging major magazines with your fantastic skill set.
Apprenticeship?
The other option to going it alone is to look for a trainee job with your local newspaper. It may not be the most exciting job out there, but it is a foot in the door and you never know who will be looking at your photos next!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Do You Need a Photographic Assistant? - 3 Ways to Get an Assistant Without Paying an Extra Dime

by Michael Abela

Do you find yourself in awkward situations where you cannot handle all your photographic gear, use reflectors effectively or direct a model properly? Do you constantly feel the need of an extra pair of hands during your outdoor photo shoots? I can assure you that you are not the only photographer to find yourself in this type of situation. Maybe it is high time you consider a photographic assistant.
You like the idea, but on the other hand you do not want to add to your expenses. I could not agree more with you. What if I told you that it can be easily done without adding extra costs? What I want to share with you are some hints how to go about in getting those extra pair of helping hands, without paying an extra dime.
A Model's Acquaintance
As a general rule if the model is over 18 years of age i.e. an adult, the model can come unaccompanied. On the other hand, it is a normal practice, that a model brings with her an acquaintance. This can be a sister, brother or simply a friend. A model might find it encouraging having a friend to support her. But there is more in it for you. While shooting, you can ask politely this person to hold for you a reflector, a flash or any photographic equipment. In return, the person would appreciate being involved in taking an active role during the photo shoot. It would make the person feel that he is part of the team rather than just a spectator.
A Student
Another way of having someone to assist you is by getting over a student. Novice students in photography would welcome your invitation without hesitation. It would be a way to expand their knowledge and know how in their respective field. The advantage of having a student to assist you is that most probably he is already familiar with photographic gadgets and photo shoots.
A quick phone call to one of your local photographic societies would be more than helpful in passing you names of students that are interested to work with you. This is a win-win situation both for you and the student.
A Makeup Artist or Hair Stylist
The chances are that a model would ask for a makeup artist and a hair stylist. I always advocate that makeup and hair should be done by professional artists for a photo shoot. There are occasions that a model would do her makeup and hair but usually it is not the case. Most of the time a makeup artist is present throughout the whole photo shoot, in order to assist the model in doing any touch ups needed. Due to the nature of an outdoor photo shoot, the model is more exposed to natural elements, such as sun and wind. A makeup artist on site is vital in most circumstances.
So what is in it for you as a photographer? Again, you have a pair of extra hands that can come handy in assisting you while you are doing the actual shooting. A positive thing in having a professional makeup artist around is that they know how to offer that little extra help, when needed, without much fuss. All this is attributed to their vast experience working with other photographers.
Do you want to acquire a handful of posing secrets so that you too can master the art of posing and directing a model? If yes, I invite you to follow my site at http://michaelabela.weebly.com in order to manage to move from one style to another with ease like a pro.
That's not all! Find tips and guides on how to start your online photographic business to turn your photos into money. Register for FREE in order to sell photos instantly!

Make Your Model Shine Like a Top Model by Cleverly Directed Light

by Michael Abela

Lighting is one of the principal elements in portraiture. In order to produce quality photos it is essential that one understands the very basics. An important aspect that one has to keep in mind is the direction of light.

I would like to differentiate the types of light that a photographer can work with when shooting portraits. As a novice usually one can work with two principal types of light. On the contrary, as one gets more experienced it comes as second nature to introduce more types of light for various effects.
The Modelling Light
This is the main light that will illuminate the features of the model. Photos produced by this light are high in contrast and very dramatic. Usually this type of light is set at a 45 degrees angle from the line of camera to model.
If you are working with a natural source such as sunlight or moonlight, a side window can be your main light. Ideally you pose your model at an angle to the window. To avoid direct strong sunlight make use of a white translucent curtain so that the harsh glow is diffused nicely.
The Fill-In Light
To compliment the modelling light a second type of illumination is needed. The fill-in light main use is to lighten up the harsh shadows created by the modelling light. This usually has half the power of the main source. Commonly it can be achieved either by moving the light away from the model or reducing its power by half. Most of the time this type of light is set close to the camera.
Again, if you are using a side window as your source, your fill-in is light reflected from practically any type of reflective surface, as long as luminance is bounced back effectively. This way you light up the dark shadows on your model's face.
Effects Lights
There are three basic types which one can work with:
Background Light
This light in the background defines the shape of the model being photographed. Also it brings out details in the backdrop being used.
Top Light
The main use of the top light is to highlight the hair giving it body and shape.
Back Light
In order to obtain a rim-light on the face, head and shoulders normally a backlight is placed behind the model. This must not be confused with the background light, where its main purpose it to light the backdrop.
This is also possible when you have sunlight behind your model. Using this kind of back light wisely the results can be amazing.
Understanding more the directions of light and applying them to your work, by experimenting and try out new ideas, you can easily produce more creative photographic work.
Next time you are posing and directing models make sure that you also direct light intelligently to your advantage.
Do you want to acquire a handful of posing secrets so that you too can master the art of posing and directing a model? If yes, take action and follow my site at http://michaelabela.weebly.com in order to manage to move from one style to another with ease like a pro.
That's not all! Find tips and guides on how to start your online photographic business to turn your photos into money. You can opt to register for FREE in order to start selling photos instantly!

Understanding the Basic Elements in a Photographic Background for a Perfect Photo Shoot

by Michael Abela

You had everything planned. The model is putting on her last accessories and her makeup looks great. Reflectors are properly set and your photographic gear is in optimal working condition. All is set and ready, still something is not right.

Did you ever find yourself in such situation? I bet you did. It is quite amazing how many photographers tend to give little importance to the background available at hand. I am referring in particular to outdoor scenic backgrounds. But, what are those elements that play an important part in a perfect background?
Colour Harmony and Contrasts
Recently, I was going through a number of photos from a photo shoot done during summer time. I could not stop noticing the impact that particular backgrounds had when matched with specific clothing items.
By this I am not referring to colours harmonizing together or contrasting with each other, but rather the vibe, energy and character portrait.
It is important that when picking clothing attires and backgrounds we see beyond the obvious visual impact. Think about the mood and feeling that you want to transmit to your viewers.
Fluid versus Constant Backgrounds
Shooting outdoor is quite challenging in itself. Shooting outdoor with a flowing background is a quest.
I remember during my early days doing a shoot on this particular beach. The background was simple, open crystal clear blue waters matched with a cloudless sky. I could not ask for more. But what was meant to be a straight forward shoot, turned out to be a rather challenging one.
Half way through our photo shoot a numerous amount of sailing boats glided over the water materialized out of nowhere. The composition of the whole set up was changing constantly. The backdrop was too crowded with elements. To make things worse, the background light was adjusting according to the height and width of those brilliant white sails. At that point we decided to have a break and watch the sailing boats pass by.
Later on I learned that the local sailing club was celebrating its 50th anniversary. As a side note, always know about local activities taking place on the day.
Protecting Your Gear
Though this might be obvious for many, for some of you is not. Working in different outdoor environments, particularly locations with harsh environmental conditions can be stressful to your photographic gear.
It is imperative that you take the necessary precautions in order to maintain you gear in good condition. You might need a specific gear for unique photo shoots. If you are not sure on how to handle these challenging environments I suggest you leave these types of background settings out of your repertory. No matter how badly you yearn for such set ups, I suggest you avoid them at this stage. Such challenging places can be windy coastal areas, excessive desert heat or thick foggy mornings.
The importance of being in control of your background, whenever possible, is extremely vital. In taking all these aspects into account, you are paving your way in the right direction to produce outstanding work. Harmonizing your model with your natural, wisely selected background is a winning ticket for fantastic results.
Do you want to acquire a handful of posing secrets so that you too can master the art of posing and directing a model? If yes, I invite you to follow my site at http://michaelabela.weebly.com in order to manage to move from one style to another with ease like a pro.
Furthermore, you will find indispensable tips and guides on how to start you online photographic business in order to turn your photos into money. Make the most of your photographic work by taking advantage of free material available on site.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Adding Character to Your Photo Shoots With Water Themes

You might have mastered light, composition and a handsome amount of photo techniques, yet, when you look at your final product you feel that there is still something missing. As if something is not right. This tends to happen when we tend to overlook the very basic elements that give character to a photograph.

What are these basics that give a photograph these characteristics? They can be summed up in words like: movement, joy, spirit and soul. These simple rudiments produce dynamics, energy and vibrancy. They give an identity together with depth; they simply put the whole choreographed set piece on fire.
In managing to transmit these feelings one has to find the proper medium. One particular versatile medium that I have successfully worked with is water. It has a character of itself interchanging in an array of dimensions, styles and shapes. But, how do we incorporate these properties in our photo shoots? Hereunder I would like to share with you some set ups that I am sure would jumpstart your locomotive brain in motion.
Fountains
Do you remember the classical film shoot in La Dolce Vita where model and singer Christa Paffgen strides in knee high water in the Trevi Fountain in Rome? If you have not seen it, I suggest you do. It is inspiring as it manages to capture all the above mentioned fundamentals in one single shoot.
Start by trying to mimic this master set piece and along the way be creative and create your own style. A word of caution, always get the necessary permits if you intend to use public fountains. It is always wise to have in place these legal aspects issues so that your photo shoot runs smoothly.
You can always avoid these hassles if a family member or a friend has a garden with a big fountain and is willing to cooperate. A couple of prints would be much appreciated by the fountain owner as a way to show your gratitude.
Water Games
Again, this might be easier for you if you have access to a private pool. This can be rented from a private owner or as mentioned before from someone that is eager to share his pool for your photo shoot.
In such a photo shoot you can revel in works related to movement. This can be from simple swimming styles such as butterfly style, back and forward strokes to more challenging actions such as diving and board jumping.
If you are working with more that one model than one can indulge in sports games such as tag-of-war, wrestling, water pistol shooting or aerobic workouts with noodles. It is guaranteed that laughter, amusement and hilarious moments would electrify you photo shoot with liveliness and power.
Water Parks
These kinds of amusement places offer a multitude of different levels from which a photographer can shoot his model. One moment you can be shooting from the top of a high water slide and next you will be shooting from an underwater tunnel. Working with the right models, with the right attitude one can produce awesome photo shoots in these kind of set ups.
Moreover, restrooms, changing rooms and many more facilities are easily available in these kinds of parks. One can talk to the management and set up a menu for lunch specifically for your models. In so doing, plans for the rest of the day can be discussed while everyone is being refreshed.
In order to make sure that such photo shoots run smoothly it is vital to plan ahead. These kinds of events require careful planning where each and every detail is meticulously taken care of.
Last but not least, it is important to note that working in these kind of set ups one needs the proper equipment. Needless to say, water, especially sea water is no friend to photographic equipment. It is imperative that you make sure that your gear is protected and taken care of during and after the photo shoot.
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