This 243rd Independence Day holiday week saw a lot of fun times here on Photofocus. We start in a serious vein with a video from Vanelli by Skip Cohen on becoming a full-time photographer, Rich Harrington and Abba Shapiro along with our partner ViewBug offer a free video course on getting started lighting with studio strobes, then Erin Holmstead tells why she attended a hair and makeup convention. It wouldn’t be the Fourth without sparklers so Levi Sim shared tips for making portraits with them and Julie Powell explains what’s “in” in color for still life photography. Hope your holiday was as good as ours. Safe travels.

Practical advice: Deciding if you should be a full-time or part-time photographer - In this video, Skip Cohen gives practical advice on how to decide if you should be a full-time or part time photographer. 
Get started using studio strobes with a free Viewbug membership - I remember when I was just getting started with photography. I shot everything with natural light, or with an on-camera speedlight. Strobes honestly scared me,
Why did I go to a hair and makeup convention? - Yep, you heard me right — I went to a convention strictly dedicated to hair and makeup artists (HMUA), and I am not even close
Portrait Tips: Sparkler portraits - Photographing fireworks is one of the most fun things you can do on the Fourth of July — but it’s also a great way to
Color concepts in still life photography — what’s in? - In colors … In my part of the world (Australia) everywhere I go in stores, online, in magazines, etc., the IN color for home decorating