Education

5 Ways to Improve Your Engagement Photography

5 Ways to Improve Your Engagement Photography

If you're a wedding photographer, chances are couples are also asking if you do engagement photos. The answer to this should be “absolutely!” So you’d better get good at them quick, because well-executed engagement sessions will lead to more work. But before you think about weddings, spend some time and find your style shooting couples. Here are five simple ways to improve your engagement photography.

Pre-Edit Your Photos For Better Final Results

Pre-Edit Your Photos For Better Final Results

We are all guilty, or have been guilty, of slamming out edits right after a shoot, only to realize we don't like what we've done when we see it the next morning. As any artist can attest to, the morning after can be a sobering, if not disquieting, time for you when you recognize that your hasty post work is simply no good. Can you avoid this blunder? Yep, with a self-imposed doctrine of pre-editing your most important of project images instead of knocking out flawed or misguided finals in haste.

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 2: Preparing Your Image for Retouching Using Lightroom and Camera Raw

Dramatic Beauty Tutorial Part 2: Preparing Your Image for Retouching Using Lightroom and Camera Raw

In Part 1 of our Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial, we looked at the lighting setup, gear breakdown, and shooting of our dramatic beauty shoot. In Part 2 of the tutorial we will now look at two different ways of exporting and preparing your image for retouching. The first method involves creating versions in Lightroom and exporting directly to Photoshop. The other method utilizes Adobe Camera Raw and the ability to make variations within Photoshop. I will also discuss the overall goal of our pre-edit stage.

Bokeh and Portraits: Why I Just Don't Care

Bokeh and Portraits: Why I Just Don't Care

Pull up almost any lens review these days and one of the primary attributes people are judging is the oh-so-important bokeh. Purchases are made and lenses are brought back all because of the how a lens does or doesn't measure up in the bokeh department. Well I’m here to tell you, at least for portraiture, it’s just plain overrated.

Photographer Keeps Bees to Document First 21 Days of Their Lives

Photographer Keeps Bees to Document First 21 Days of Their Lives

Photographer Anand Varma was always curious about the natural world and when he was a teenager he discovered that picking up a camera could help him explore it. By combining his two passions (biology and photography) Anand gets up close and personal, exposing some of the wonders nature has to offer. Anand latest work is facinating. By keeping bees in his backyard he was able to capture the first 21 days of a bee's life.

Sound Advice Tour Review - Probably One Of The Best Workshops I’ll Attend This Year

Sound Advice Tour Review - Probably One Of The Best Workshops I’ll Attend This Year

The Sound Advice Workshop by MZed is one of those workshops that, until you go and attend it, you don’t realize just how important it is. The Sound Advice Tour does something I don’t know that anyone else is doing – offers up a wonderful, engaging in depth way to take from beginner to advanced audio practitioner and set you up to manage all your audio needs in a way that is informative, fun and rewarding

Revered Australian Photographer Peter Coulson Teaching in the United States for the First Time

Revered Australian Photographer Peter Coulson Teaching in the United States for the First Time

If you're not familiar with Peter Coulson's fashion and editorial work, you have clearly been living under the proverbial rock or simply don't follow portraiture. Coulson has quickly become one of the most respected and successful fashion photographers from down under, and has been fielding an endless stream of requests to visit America. Namely, to teach his voodoo studio mastery to the masses. Thankfully, this June in Chicago and New York, Coulson is doing exactly that.

Why I Love My 20mm Lens to Shoot Weddings

Why I Love My 20mm Lens to Shoot Weddings

When starting out in wedding photography, one of the most common questions that gets asked is, “What lens is a must have for my first wedding?” The most popular answers to this question are all over the map. They range from 50mm to 85mm to 70-200mm and so on. What you likely never see on the list is something like a 20mm lens, but for me, I will always have one of these lenses in my bag.

Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial Part 1: Complete Lighting Setup and Gear List

Dramatic Beauty Portrait Tutorial Part 1: Complete Lighting Setup and Gear List

This is Part 1 in what will be an 8 part series for a dramatic beauty portrait. In the series of tutorials, we will go through everything from the gear used, to the lighting setups, and all the way through the complete retouching process. In Part 1, I will breakdown my gear list used for the shoot and I will thoroughly go through my lighting setup. In this video tutorial not only will you see the gear and setup, but also a behind the scenes look as me and my team go through hair, makeup, and shooting. The complete series of videos will be available here on Fstoppers and on my YouTube Channel.

Stop Looking at Other Photographers' Work

Stop Looking at Other Photographers' Work

We all get lost in the Internet from time to time, and some of us way too much. We see a great photo online, or perhaps read an interview with a successful photographer, and then Google them and spend time pouring through their portfolio and blog. “How did they do it?" "I wonder what type of lighting that is?" "Where did they take that?" Half an hour and a cup of coffee later we close our laptop relatively depressed and completely diverted from our own path as unique and creative individuals. We start to scroll through our Lightroom catalogs in search of an amazing image we may have forgotten about that competes with what we just saw, or look at our measly social media following and wonder what we did (or are doing) wrong.

Shame and Art: How to Stay Sane in Your Second Job While Trying to Make It as a Photographer

Shame and Art: How to Stay Sane in Your Second Job While Trying to Make It as a Photographer

I am a bartender. After 15 years of slinging drinks it’s still hard to come out and admit that shooting isn't what I do full time. The path I've taken has been a twisted, gnarled, winding thing fraught with frustration and surprise. I've been shooting for 11 years and I never expected to still be behind a bar. But, such is life! I’m here to talk about dealing with that gut-wrenching feeling that comes along with any artist who hasn’t quite made it: shame.

Five Common Mistakes That Make Retouched Skin Look Unnatural

Five Common Mistakes That Make Retouched Skin Look Unnatural

Retouching skin is about detail and patience. It can be a real time consuming and can require a high level of precision to keep the natural aspect of an image. Each of us has a different style of editing and our tastes differ. However when giving retouching lessons many photographers ask me about skin texture and how to keep it looking as natural as possible.

This is not a simple answer as it is mostly a combination of elements. In this article I have combined the five things I see most photographers do wrong or too much when looking for a believable skin texture and look.

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