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I’ve been frequently asked to help take pictures (with a cell phone) simply because I’m a “photographer” and therefore MUST make “better” pictures than those coming from an “average joe.”  Probably not always true, but I feel that there are some elements to know that could help everyone take better pictures… even with a phone. […]

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This week’s podcast features two diverse subjects who both have interesting perspectives on the photo industry.  First up Rich Harrington catches up with portrait photographer Peter Hurley who’s well-known for his approach to head shots.  Melissa Niu then speaks with Ed Greenberg about the rights of photographers. It turns out that both our guests will […]

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Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 Micro VR lens, F/3, 1.60s, ISO 800.

Nikon D800, 105mm f/2.8 Micro VR lens, F/3, 1.60s, ISO 800. The lens you choose to make a picture strongly affects how the subject will look. When people jokingly ask if you’re using the “skinny lens”, they’re not far from the mark. If you want to make flattering portrais of people, zoom in. Zoom in […]

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Editor: Don’t miss Howard Pinsky and Bryan O’Neil Hughes in our Photoshop Hangout this Friday! Yellow teeth are one of the few things that can’t be covered up with makeup. If your models are suffering from dark, yellow teeth, both Lightroom and Photoshop contain many tools to help you solve this issue. This video will […]

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I truly believe that the demand for composited images has only begun to emerge in our industry.  From a purely conceptual standpoint,  composites offer our clients the unprecedented ability to create images that would be too costly or just plain impossible to create any other way. Compositing allows (you) the creator/artist and your clients (the […]

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image by monkeybusinessimages

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.  A day that many come together with friends and family.  Around the world, we are entering into times of holiday, reflection, and get togethers. This is a great time to bring your camera to functions.  Shooting candid portraits helps preserve memories for all who come.  You might not […]

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Photo by Scott Bourne – Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons - Blue Cast Removed

The first half of my career I spent way more time photographing people than I did wildlife. At the end of my career those two subjects switched places and I spent way more time photographing wildlife. What’s interesting is that I did virtually nothing different when I switched to wildlife. I still used telephoto lenses […]

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Portrait photographers like David Ziser and Clay Blackmore taught me very early in my career that great portraits are almost always short lit, and that made me happy. Knowing that a simple technique could give me a leg up in making great portraits was music to my ears. Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand what that […]

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At Skip’s Summer School last week in Chicago we had hands-on shoots for all students. In one class, I saw an opportunity to make a couple of teaching shots with this lesson in mind. Watch those eyes. In a portrait, the eyes are arguably the most important thing in the photo. If the eyes are […]

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NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE: The Photofocus Podcast Feed HAS CHANGED! Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Download episode here… PLEASE BE PATIENT – OUR SERVERS SEE LARGE LOADS ON PUBLISHING DAYS. THE DOWNLOADS MAY GO SLOWLY BUT THEY WILL FINISH.  Host Rich Harrington and co-host Scott Bourne interview Tamara Lackey about her photography and business philosophies. Portrait […]

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Guest Post and Photo by Tamara Lackey – Follow Tamara on Twitter - twitter.com/tamaralackey One of the more difficult things for a portrait photographer to do is start the shoot with a resistant subject. You can light them stunningly well, pose them beautifully, and place them against the most perfect backdrop ever – but if your […]

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Make sure you don’t miss a single Photofocus post – point your feed reader to the free Photofocus RSS Feed here and subscribe. Short and sweet. If you’re a beginner, this will help your portraits improve dramatically. If you’re an old hand this will serve as a reminder for how to make portraits that sing. […]

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Post & Photo by Joe Farace – Follow Joe on Twitter Communication is the most important aspect of portraiture. It starts with initial client contact and then moves onto communication during the session. To make the best possible image, you need to start before they arrive. Here’s a few simple tips that will make your […]

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Post & Photo by Joe Farace – Follow Joe on Twitter Low-key lighting is a style of lighting that creates a chiaroscuro (strong contrast between light and dark) effect by accentuating the contours of an object by throwing areas into shadow and usually only requires one light, maybe the sun, that sometimes can be supplemented […]

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Guest Post & Photo by Joe Farace – Follow Joe on Twitter The best way to improve your photography is practice. Shoot each week so you get to the point where you don’t have to think about how to operate your camera…You just use it to create images. If you’ve discovered that when working in […]

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Guest Post and Images by Stacy Pearsall – Follow Stacy on Twitter I love little babies, but photographing them can be challenging. As you know, I love a challenge. My solution starts with my camera and lighting equipment. I use a Nikon D3s and 24-70mm Nikkor lens. I’m usually right over the baby, so I […]

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Guest Post and Images by Stacy Pearsall – Follow Stacy on Twitter EDITOR’S NOTE: I will be teaching a workshop with Stacy on location in South Carolina. She’s simply one of the best photographers I’ve ever seen. She’s an amazing human and a great teacher. If you can make the workshop, you should come – […]

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Portraits still make up the lion’s share of all photography done on this planet. Taking a picture of a person is as time-honored as the meat and bread sandwich. Making portraits outside can offer some unique challenges and opportunities. Here are five tips aimed at beginners that will improve your outdoor portraiture. 1. Try to […]

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If you look at most photographs of children that are made by amateurs, you’ll notice that most are made looking down on – or shooting down on the child. This perspective isn’t flattering for most kids, and distorts the world view of children. Shooting down on something takes away its power. If you want to […]

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It is possible to shoot portraits in harsh mid-day sunlight – as long as you have a way to make shade that is. The portrait of Tim, a cowboy modeling for us during our Palouse workshop, was made in harsh mid-day sunlight. In order to get the sweet light you see on his face, we […]

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Editor’s NOTE: I’m very lucky to be associated with the very best people in the photography industry. That gives me access to the top talent pool. And when it comes to children’s photography, it’s tough to beat Tamara Lackey. She’s a regular speaker on the wedding and portrait circuit, a trainer and an extremely talented […]

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