Want to learn how to take AMAZING Portraits?

Portraits: Making the Shot is bursting at the seams with practical and down to earth portrait photography advice, tips and imagery. It has been created to do one thing, transform your dull and lifeless pictures of people into beautiful works of art.
  Learn more here:
  Digital Photography School's Quick Guide to Mastering Portraits.

The Cable Release: a Staple for Your Photography Bag

iStock_000017344850XSmall

Cable Release When you start packing your photography bag, do you have all the staples covered? Of course, you will have your camera, memory cards, a selection of lenses, a flash, and backup batteries. However, would this truly be all the staples that you need? You may be leaving one very important item out. Do [...]

Taking Perfect Winter Photography

iStock_000017403709XSmall

The winter is a great time to take breathtaking and unforgettable images. You can find that nature photography is abundant during the winter. Even fun images of your family and friends can be extra special during the winter. However, because of winter conditions, you will have to know how to take the best winter photography. [...]

Pricing Your Photography

Photographers Studio Setup

When you are trying to run a successful photography business, there is one area in which you will truly walk a tight rope. That area would be pricing your photography. You must find a balance between your cost, your profit and your customer expectations. If you overprice your images, then you will lose customers in [...]

Posing the Perfect Family

iStock_000016244239XSmall

Perhaps one of the most common types of images that you will take in your photo studio will be family portraits. People enjoy having family portraits taken on a regular basis in order to capture the family as the children grow up. In order to provide family portraits that your customers will love, you need [...]

Portfolios Always Matter

iStock_000006808061XSmall

When it comes to selling your photography, it all starts before the photo session begins. If you want to sell pictures, then you have to present yourself as a talented photographer. Just how can you do this? You need portfolios. You need to show your potential customers that you have ability, talent and an artistic [...]

Photographing the Newborn

iStock_000016312566XSmall

Those first few weeks of life are so precious and so fleeting. A newborn does not stay a newborn for very long, and before you know it, the child has grown into a toddler, and then a kid, then a teen and then an adult. This is why capturing those images of the newborn are [...]

Photographers Must Keep Up with the Trends

iStock_000009970740XSmall

Have you ever seen the work of a photographer that looked like it should have been taken two decades ago? (Or longer, think Olan Mills-style portraits from the 70s-80s) There are many photographers that make one fatal mistake for their business. They find backgrounds, settings, and poses that seem to work well and then they [...]

Nikon or Canon: Who Wins?

iStock_000017750732XSmall

Of course, there are many different types of cameras that you could choose to purchase, but it seems that there are two names that continue to come up as the big dogs on the block. Those two names would be Nikon and Canon. These two brands have been producing both professional and amateur cameras for [...]

Making Use of the Flash Diffuser

iStock_000000895454XSmall

When you take portrait photography on a regular basis, there are many things that you can do with lighting in order to make the images more pleasing and more beautiful. In order to create portraits that will be artistic and realistic, you need to make sure there is no harsh light on the subject and [...]

How to Color Correct an Image

colorcorrection

Any serious photographer needs to have professional photo retouching software. Even if you do not delve deep into the digital enhancements that you could include in photography, you will still need to have the software to perform basic after-processing corrections. Choosing the right software should be based on your budget, your computer knowledge and the [...]

How Lighting Can Make or Break an Image

Image appears flat due to harsh sunlight.

There are many things that are crucial to the perfect image. Of course, the right setting and the right posing is a must, but you can do everything right and still end up with subpar photography if the lighting is not right. Lighting is absolutely crucial to portrait photography, and it truly can make or [...]

Five Tips for Posing Men

iStock_000016461937XSmall

When it comes to posing, you cannot learn a set of basic poses and then expect them to work for every person that walks into your studio. Instead, you need to be able to adapt your posing for each type of customer you have, whether you are photographing a baby, a child, a senior, a [...]

Do You Need Assistants for Wedding Photography?

iStock_000002252345XSmall

If you are a smalltime photographer, then chances are you do not currently make use of assistants. In regular portrait photography, this may not be a problem. Generally, you can handle sessions like seniors, engagements, family, and children on your own. However, there is one type of photography when you need to seriously consider making [...]

Dealing with Pets in Photography

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photography More and more often, people are choosing to include their pets in family sessions or choosing to have professional portraits made of the pet only. This means, if you want to keep up with the trends, then you need to prepare to delve into the world of pet photography. Of course, this comes along [...]

Easy Ways to Upsell a Photo Session

iStock_000015383425XSmall

Most of your customers will come into their sales session with a package or order in mind. If you do not handle that session properly, then those customers will buy exactly what they planned, no matter how large or small that order may be. However, if you want your business to be successful, then you [...]

Should You Be Offering Photo Gifts?

Just as with any other customer-driven business, your photo studio will be driven greatly by marketing. How you present yourself, the products that you offer, and how you cater to your customers will have a great effect on how well your business succeeds. This leads to the question of whether or not to offer an [...]

The Rule of Thirds

iStock_000009206154XSmall

If you have taken any photography class or you are trying to learn about digital photography, one of the first things you will learn about is the rule of thirds. This rule is integral to posing the perfect image. Once you learn how to use the rule of thirds, you will find that it can [...]

The S-Curve and How it Matters to Your Portraits

iStock_000015925722XSmall

Ask any photographer and they will tell you that one of the most important elements of a good portrait will be the s-curve. This posing method is used mainly on female portraiture but it is something that you should consider no matter who you are photographing. Just what is the s-curve? How do you implement [...]

Three Things that Make the Best Photographs

Children Watching a Parade in Barcelona

You can take a perfectly good picture. Then, you can take an amazing picture that goes above and beyond the standards. Of course, we all want to take the best pictures. In order to do this, you need to understand that there are three things that go into taking the best photograph. Once you understand [...]

Tips on Dealing with Wedding Photography Stress

iStock_000003408947XSmall

The wedding photographer is often considered a behind the scenes actor in the day. However, that photographer serves a very important role. The images captured will be treasured for a lifetime. They will appear in albums, as wall portraits and in mantel frames for many decades. There is a great deal of stress on the [...]

Tips on Taking Pictures of Children

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ask any portrait photographer and they will say the same thing. They will say that children’s photography is both the most delightful and the hardest images they have ever taken. It is true that taking pictures of little ones can be extremely rewarding. Kids grow up so quickly, and when you can provide parents with [...]

To Touch-Up or to Not: A Very Good Question

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is a debate going on in the professional photography world and there seem to be two very clear lines. That debate has to do with whether or not professional portraits should be digitally altered or touched up. It seems that all photographers have a very strong opinion in one way or another on the [...]

Five Tips for Posing Women

iStock_000017139040XSmall

In many situations, you will find that women can be easier to photograph just because they tend to be more at ease in their clothes and in front of the camera. Many men are extremely uncomfortable wearing the clothes they are expected to and they may feel self-conscious when someone is staring at them telling [...]

Photographing Christmas Lights

iStock_000014884571XSmall

When the Christmas season comes around, you will certainly have plenty of opportunities to take beautiful and fun pictures. Of course, Christmas lights will be something you will want to capture. The problem is, though, that these lights can be extremely difficult to photograph. After all, the only time that the lights will be on [...]

What is Aperture?

f/7.1

In today’s digital age, it is so easy to set the camera to the auto tab and then just start taking pictures. However, the difference between a decent photographer and a good photographer will be knowing what each individual setting on the camera means and how to use those settings to your advantage. For example, [...]

Why You Should Offer Clothing Suggestions and Guidelines

Men's clothes and accessories

When it comes to taking the best portraits, your job will be to offer the best poses, backgrounds and scenes. However, there are other elements that can cause the images to be not their best. For example, the clothing that your customers choose to wear will have a direct effect on the images. With the [...]

How a Wide Angle Lens Can Ruin a Perfect Photo

Tree distortion from wide angle lens.

One of the most common lenses used in the photography world would most likely be the wide angle lens. This lens can be quite versatile in that it takes beautiful portraits and it can provide a wide shooting area for scenery images. While the wide angle lens may be the first lens that you reach [...]

Consider Holiday Portraits for Your Studio

iStock_000014256891XSmall

There are many ways that you can boost business to your photography studio. One that you must consider, if you have not already, would be holiday portraits. Customers love the idea of the holiday portrait because it provides them with images that they can share with family during the season, and it gives them a [...]

Composition Matters

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When it comes to taking the most amazing pictures, the one thing that will matter a great deal will be composition. You could set up the camera properly. You could have the perfect exposure for the image. All of the settings could be right, but if you do not compose the frame right, your picture [...]

Choosing a Hot Shoe Flash

On photo camera flash device

Of course, if you take only studio portraits, then you will have all the lighting that you need for perfect images. However, if you are like most photographers, then you know that outside portraiture is more popular than ever. In order to get better outdoor images or images on location, then you will need a [...]

Beware the Blow Out

Example of blow out on hair and arm.

Have you ever looked at a portrait and the image was so light or white that you can barely see the features of the subject? This is a common problem that can afflict both professional and amateur photographers alike, and it is commonly called the blow out. This simply means that the features of the [...]

Are Lens Filters Really All That?

DCF 1.0

When you start looking at camera accessories, you will find that you could get quickly overwhelmed with all of the options that you could choose. Photography accessories are not necessarily readily affordable either. This leaves you wondering which accessories you should choose to invest in and which you should not. Consider lens filters. You may [...]

12 Tips for the Best Wedding Photography

iStock_000009416979XSmall

Shooting weddings can certainly be a combination of exciting and stressful. You are getting the chance to capture one of the most important days in a couple’s life. That can be so exciting. However, you will be taking once in a lifetime images. If they are not perfect, then you could have disappointed customers, and [...]

12 Tips for Properly Managing Your Photography Business

iStock_000015438374XSmall

When you start a photography business, you have so many things that you will need to take care of. Of course, you need to provide the best possible photography in order to keep customers satisfied. You will also need to market your business well so that you can appeal to potential customers. Then, there is [...]

9 Tips for Better Outdoor Portraits

iStock_000013800853XSmall

The trends in portrait photography today are certainly moving in one direction, and that direction would be out of the studio. Of course, there are plenty of people who still prefer classic studio photography, but the large majority of customers will want images outdoors. Outdoor photography has certainly taken on popularity in senior and wedding [...]

6 Ways to Market Your Photography Business

iStock_000009663903XSmall

In any type of customer driven business, marketing is a must. If you want to be successful, you have to get your name out there and you need to make sure potential customers know whom you are and what you can offer them. Without proper marketing, your business will never be very successful. This is [...]

6 Tips for Great Travel Photography

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When you travel, one of the things that you will want to do is capture each moment with amazing photography. Of course, when you are traveling, it can be much harder to take the time and set the camera to capture the picture. Often, travel photography can feel more rushed and you may be disappointed [...]

6 Photography Mistakes to Avoid

iStock_000016960494XSmall

As a professional photographer, one of the best things that you can do is learn from other professionals. You will get fresh ideas, posing options and new background thoughts by looking at the work of other photographers. In addition, you can also learn the mistakes to avoid. If you learn from the mistakes that other [...]

5 Tips for Amazing Black and White Photography

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are certain trends that seem to come and go in the world of photography. Then, there are the trends that are not trendy at all. Instead, they are photography methods that are always popular and always essential for the professional photographer to know. This second category is where black and white photography would fall. [...]

5 Posing Mistakes You May be Making

When it comes to portrait photographing, posing is always key. You need to make sure you choose poses that are fun, unique, and full of personality and all around flattering. Have you ever looked at a portrait and felt like something just looked wrong even though you could not put your finger on what it [...]

3 Poses that Always Work for Seniors

iStock_000017291948XSmall

High school senior photography is a happening business. If you want to take your portrait photography business to the next level, then you need to start offering senior sessions. However, seniors are unique. Their trends, likes and dislikes seem to change on a whim and you need to keep up with those trends. In addition, [...]

17 Tips for Better Portrait Photography

iStock_000005654093XSmall

No matter how successful you have been as a portrait photographer thus far, there is always room for improvement. In fact, the moment you stop learning and improving your photography skills will be the moment that your business starts to struggle. Your customers will be expecting you to keep up with the trends, offer better [...]

5 Tips to a Stellar Photography Website

iStock_000016644190XSmall

In today’s digital age, you must keep up with the times for your photography business to thrive. Of course, if you are not ready, then you do not have to delve into the world of social networking and online marketing just yet, but one thing that you must do is have a photography business website [...]

Understanding White Balance

The image of sliced apples on the left has incorrect white balance, while the image on the right has correct white balance.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you take a picture indoors and it just does not look right in color? People take pictures every single day with white balance that is off and they never even realize that their picture could look better. However, if you compare the image to the actual real life situation, [...]

Conclusion to Beginner’s Photography Guide

TJLake1-copy

A digital camera can be an amazing tool in order to capture pictures. The thing about life is that so many moments happen only once. You may be able to keep them in your memory, but unfortunately, memories fade. If you captured those moments with a really great picture, they will never fade from your [...]

Question: How Do I Use Flash Compensation?

flashcomp

Many digital cameras come equipped with flash compensation settings, and they do so for very good reason. The flash on your camera cannot exactly be controlled as to how much light is being emitted. Unless you have a hot shoe flash, you cannot even control the direction of the light. Because of this, the flash [...]

Question: Can I Really Take Pictures at Night?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nighttime photography is most likely the trickiest thing you will ever try to do with your camera. The problem with nighttime photography is that your camera has to do so many things to get the picture and it leaves the door open to so many things going wrong. However, there are just some times when [...]

Question: How Can I Make the Background Blurry?

Frog with Blurred Background - f/4.5, ISO 200, 1/125s

This goes back to the lesson about f/stop and depth of field. In order to keep the subject of your picture in focus and to get the background out of focus, then you need a shallow depth of field. Basically, that means your camera is not reaching very far to choose what to focus on [...]

Question: Why is my picture washed out?

Example of washed out (or overexposed) image

You have set the shutter speed or the aperture wrong. The aperture is too wide or the shutter speed is too slow. Basically, what is happening is that so much light is getting to the image sensor in your camera that the camera cannot decipher the details of the subject. If you are using auto [...]

Accessories You May Want to Use

iStock_000017846554XSmall

Once you delve into the world of digital photography, you will find that there are numerous accessories you can buy for your camera. Not all accessories are a must, and you may find no use whatsoever for many of them. However, there are some digital camera accessories that prove to be extremely useful to anyone [...]

Caring for Your Camera

iStock_000013049669XSmall

A digital camera is not cheap. Of course, you know that already! In order to make sure you are always ready to take pictures, you will need to take care of that digital camera and always keep it in the best condition. Caring for your camera means keeping it clean and undamaged. Here are some [...]

Using Camera Scene Settings

Macro Shot of Dragonfly

We have already talked about those scene settings to some extent, but let’s take a moment to go back and revisit them a little more. After all, digital scene settings can be extremely useful. One thing to remember is that digital scene settings can be versatile too. Sometimes, you will find them useful in situations [...]

Posing for Portraits

Child's Portrait

Of course, many of your pictures will be just candid everyday shots. Those pictures are the ones that you will treasure since they will capture you and your loved ones living life, being yourself and just having fun. However, there are times when you may want to take more of a posed portrait. It could [...]

Shutter Release Matters

iStock_000017344850XSmall

When you are truly trying to take your pictures to the next level, you have to start thinking about shutter release. This does not matter as much if you are using a very high shutter speed, but if you are using a slow shutter speed, you could very easily end up with a blurry image. [...]

Framing the Image

Composed using the rule of thirds

No matter if you are taking a picture at a family birthday party or you are shooting an image of the beach on vacation, it is always important that you keep framing in mind. It may be easiest to just hold up the camera and click, and you may get decent pictures by doing this, [...]

Learning How to Use Bracketing

HDR Image Combining the 3 Exposures with Slight Sharpening in Photoshop

Bracketing is an advanced tool that can be quite useful in getting the perfect portrait. Many people use this method when they are taking pictures of landscapes or scenery that they plan on turning into a large wall portrait because they want to make sure that the image is perfect. Bracketing is also useful in [...]

The Histogram and How to Use It

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is a chance you have run across the histogram on accident. However, there was a good chance you have no idea what it is. It looks like some type of graph that shows up on your camera screen with white and black lights. What is this graph and how can it help you? In [...]

A Little More about Priority Modes

Scenes may also be selected from the camera menu

Let’s talk about those priority modes a little more because they can be quite useful if you know what to do with them. Your camera may not have these modes, but it may have scene modes on that knob on top of it, so we will discuss both of these right now. When you look [...]

Everything about Shutter Speed

jumper1

The second way that you can control the exposure on your images will be the shutter speed. Digital shutter speed is almost exactly what it sounds like. This control will affect just how fast the shutter on your camera opens and closes whenever it snaps a picture. If you have an SLR camera, you will [...]

Understanding Aperture

Wide Aperture - f/3.5

Now that you have a good idea of how exposure can affect your pictures, you need to get more in depth details on how to control that exposure. As mentioned before, there are two settings that will affect the exposure of your image. These two things will be aperture and shutter speed. Let’s talk about [...]

What is ISO?

iso21

One of the settings that you may notice on your camera is ISO. This is a relatively new control that is used on digital cameras. On old film cameras, the ISO would equate to the film speed. Do you remember how you would need to buy a higher speed film to take more detailed, richer [...]

The Basics of Exposure

exposure1

Let’s start with digital image exposure. This is a simple thing and it has to do with how light is allowed onto the photo sensor that will create your digital image. If the right amount of light is allowed in, then the image will look deep and rich in color. If too much light is [...]

Introduction to the Beginner’s Photography Guide

iStock_000014071097XSmall

Congratulations on getting your new digital camera! You are about to embark in a world of photography that is new and exciting. However, if you do not know how to use that camera, you can certainly find yourself frustrated with trying to use it and your pictures may not all turn out as well as [...]

Image Review and In Camera Editing

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The final of the basics that we will discuss in this lesson will be in camera review and basic photo editing. As mentioned, all cameras are different. You may have different photo editing controls, but here you will find some details on the basics that most cameras allow. To start with, learn how to review [...]

A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Photography

Introduction to the Beginner’s Photography Guide Lesson One: Understanding Your Digital Camera When you first purchase your new digital camera, you may be wondering what all of those different controls you see are. Then, when you turn it on, even more options, controls and selections will show up on the screen. They can leave you [...]

The Flash

iStock_000002573309Small

The next thing you will need to understand is the digital flash. Your camera will most likely be equipped with an onboard flash that you can easily learn to use. There are more advanced flash controls on many cameras, and we will discuss them in depth later. For now, let’s just talk about flash basics. [...]

Manual or Auto Camera Focus

focus

Focusing your image will be the most important step in taking a picture. All of the other things will be extraneous and it will not matter how much you composed your shot or chose the right shutter speed. If your image is not in focus, your image will be ruined. To start with, you will [...]

The Controls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, not all cameras are the same. There is no way to tell you exactly where each control is on your digital camera, but instead, you can get a basic idea of what to look for and what to do with the control once you have found it. When you read about these controls, [...]