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Michelle VanTine
Miami, FL

Articles written by Michelle VanTine

Warning, Reading This Will Make You End Up in Texas: Imaging USA 2024

If I told you that you could watch Lindsay Adler create, grab a passing high five from Peter Hurley, test run the newest lenses, sit in on a spicy AI debate, and drink Kentucky bourbon in the evenings with your friends, would you tell me to snap out of my odd photographer fantasy dream? If you would, I would tell you that what I just described was my recent visit to Imaging USA. Whether your own dream would include the Nikon booth, chatting with photo legend Joe McNally, landscape tips with Annalise Kaylor, or software updates with Julieanne Kost, you could find it at this year’s conference. There are many sessions I wish I could have attended, but until I crack the code on cloning, here are the key points from the lectures I did manage to participate in.

Is This the Answer to All Your Color Issues? We Review Datacolor’s Spyder Checkr Photo

Color. Vivid green forests, melty brown chocolate, voluptuous red lips: color is the reason that compels so many of us to reach for our cameras. When I was approached about reviewing Datacolor's Spyder Checkr Photo, I was skeptical. Color is one of the most-often stated reasons clients approach me. Was this little device just another gimmick marketed to chroma junkies, or was it a tool that would fine tune my color-centric work? I gave it a try, and I’m here to share my findings with my fellow artists who love color as much as I do.

10 Essential Questions Every Photographer Should Ask Before Starting the New Year

Is your art good? Is it mediocre? Is it expected? Are you surprising yourself? Have you seen growth in your craft, or are you simply doing the same thing? Are you proud of your body of work in 2023? As artists, sometimes, we get so busy in art-making that we don’t take the time to evaluate our art. I’ve crafted these 10 questions as an evaluation tool for you to pause in the process of art-making and to congratulate yourself, correct yourself, and direct yourself.

Gear Confessions: 7 Photographers Share Their Best and Worst Purchases

Have you ever bought a piece of gear that promised to revolutionize your work or be the exact tool you needed just to find that it was a total dud? We all have those pieces sitting at the bottom of our gear closet that irk us every time they come in view. Alternately, we also all have pieces that have become our indispensable go-to’s that we can’t image shooting without. I asked five photographers to share their best and worst purchases. These juicy gear confessions are sure to land some pieces on your blacklist and others in your B&H cart.

SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CF Express: Investment Worthy? We Review.

I don’t hold back words for gear that has fancy specs but is not built to be a workhorse for high-volume photographers shooting under various conditions. With all the impressive technology attached to the SanDisk PRO-CINEMA CF Express card, I set out to see if it was not only as fast and high-powered as it touts but also if it was built with the durability that I expect when I’m investing in gear.

5 Tips for Creating Realistic Drop Shadows in Photoshop

Have you ever cut out an object in Photoshop, put it on a new background, added a “drop shadow” effect, and sat in front of your monitor thinking, “This just looks so Photoshopped”? I’m here to help! Here are five easy steps to creating realistic drop shadows in Photoshop.

Want to Become a Photoshop Rockstar in One Week for Free?

Have you fallen behind on keeping up with the tsunami of Photoshop updates and new capabilities? Or have you wanted to master this powerful tool, but you haven't been sure where to start? Well, put on your sweatpants, order in your favorite food, and thank your lucky stars, because next week, you can join Aaron Nace, Kristina Sherk, Ben Willmore and more live from your living room all week. And the best part? It's free. No, my editors did not miss this typo, it's true, and I'm here to tell you all about it.

Is It Time to Shift Your Focus From Your Skill to Your Soil?

As artists, we tend to channel our time and energy into becoming better at our craft. We learn more complex lighting setups, take advanced classes in retouching, buy the latest “must-have” gadgets, and try to bring it all together to improve our skills. We do it all because we have a fundamental belief that, “If I am the best, I will be the most successful”. Have you ever found yourself doing that, pouring months, and sometimes years into ameliorating your craft, but you still have not seen the corresponding financial or opportunity growth you expected?

Photography, CGI, and AI: Can You Tell the Difference? An Interview With Steve Hansen

Which image in the banner is a photograph, and which is computer generated? Can you even tell anymore? With the addition of computer generated imagery (CGI) and artificial intelligence, the process of creating images has provided commercial photographers more tools than ever. I sat down with award-winning food photographer Steve Hansen to discuss this topic and to delve into the question: "Is it enough to just be a photographer these days?"

B&H’s Bild Expo: Who Will Be There and What You Will Learn

B&H is turning 50, and they are celebrating with their Bild Expo September 6 and 7th at the Javits Center, in Manhattan. It is a free event where you can take advantage of a lineup of industry giants spanning across genres. Whether you're in need of renewed inspiration, valuable business advice, or acquiring new skills, you can expect an abundance of the most experienced voices at the expo.

Hey Canon, Why Are Your Cameras Falling Apart?

Judging by my title, you'll be shocked to know that I have always been a Canon loyalist. From learning with the Canon A-1 inherited from my grandmother in 1999, to the latest mirrorless models, I have been a devoted customer and an advocate of the brand for over two decades. That is, until the Canon EOS R5. The Canon R5 is where my bond to the brand was systematically dismantled as the hardware itself did.

We Review the Genaray Bright Beast LED Panel

LED light panels, once used predominantly by videographers, have now become an indispensable tool for photographers. Whether you are a seasoned professional or an aspiring enthusiast, finding the perfect lighting setup can make all the difference in capturing high-quality images.

Printing Your Images: Make More Through An Online Client Photo Gallery Without Being Sale-sy

When was the last time you fulfilled a print order? When I think of print sales, I envision awkwardly contrived meetings where proofs have been held hostage and finally revealed as leverage, using the client's emotions to maximize profits. I know in-person sales is an effective strategy, and photographers bankroll this method frequently. However, for the majority of photographers who don't want to take that approach, providing an online client photo gallery and a few simple suggestions can help you maximize your profits without the pressure of in-person-sales tactics.

Fstoppers Reviews the CRM Platform Bloom IO

If you've been running your photography business for any amount of time, you have quickly discovered that being successful requires you to spend an inordinate amount of time doing things that have nothing to do with a camera. Things you probably loathe. Suddenly, you find yourself needing to acquire skills in accounting, web development, project management, copywriting, contract writing, and countless other fields. A newcomer has entered the CRM space: Bloom IO, and they are on a mission to alleviate many of these burdens, allowing you to focus on what you truly enjoy.

How to Become a Commercial Photographer

Have you ever walked by a beauty image on the shelf at ULTA or scrolled by a brilliant shot on Instagram and thought: “I want to make images like that”? Or perhaps you are a photographer who saw a picture and thought: “I could have shot that better!” You have the skills, but you don’t know how to break into the commercial market. In this article, I’ll share about how to break into the market and disclose tips and tricks to succeed in the commercial photography space.

The One Reason You Should Not Give Up Photography

The time has finally come. Leading to this moment, you sat in the hot sun for hours, waiting for the grazing of the bird’s toe on the water, creating mesmerizing concentric circles, and boom: you got it!

AI Photography: A Fed-up Tim Tadder Sets the Record Straight

Tim Tadder is widely revered as a bold and visionary photography icon. With numerous accolades to his name and a client list ranging from Amazon to Nike, he is recognized as a leader in advertising photography and beyond. Since late January, though, he has turned into a highly controversial artist in the industry with his work in AI. I sat down to chat with him about the polarizing pieces he has been creating.

Samyang's New 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Lens Is Creating Buzz

We would be hard-pressed to find a photographer who wasn't familiar with mega-brands Tamron and Sigma offering lower-priced lenses to rival the designs put out by the giants: Canon, Nikon, Sony, and more. This week, there has been buzz in the nerdy sublayers of photography sites about a new lens coming out: the Samyang 35-150mm f/2-2.8. Let's dive into this.

Mark Mann As You've Never Seen Him Before

We all know Mark Mann from the close-up, soul-bearing portraits of what feels like every celebrity, public figure, and president in current times. Prolific seems a fitting word that should be permanently grafted to any discussion of the artist’s work. Today, however, we are getting to know Mark Mann in a way that you never have.