All posts by Instructor

Key Steps To Setting Up A Photo Studio For Your New Business

After months of thinking about it, you finally decided to turn your hobby into a new business – you want to set up a new photo studio. You have been taking photos of different sceneries and models, and your friends have started praising your work. They started commenting on how breathtaking your photos are and they think you should consider making this as an income-generating endeavor. And while you have a goal in mind, you still don’t know the first steps in setting up a photo studio for your new business. If this has been your dilemma, consider the tips below:

Creating A Photo StudioClear a space: This is probably one of the most basic things you should consider. If you’re a budding photographer, you should know that a photo studio requires space – you need a place for your model and equipment, right? If you’re eyeing to turn a large room in your house as a photo studio, for example, make sure you have a space allocated for the business.

Add light sources: And while the daylight is the best source of light for photos, expect that your clients won’t always visit you during these times. This is why you should ensure that you have adequate equipment which will give you light. You can have the option to purchase artificial lights for your photo studio or create your own lights.

Build beautiful backdrops: Sure, the room you’re using for the business has a colorful pink background but having the same backdrop in all of your pictures can never do good for your business. Instead, build beautiful backdrops so your clients can have a variety to choose from. You can use a cloth or curtain for this purpose. Think out of the box and be creative as possible for your backdrops!

Don’t forget the props: Your photo sessions will be more fun if your models have something to play with. This will make them more comfortable in doing poses which can result in better photos. Your photos will also have a “story” once the props are appropriate for the background and the model. These props might be considered as small details, but this can contribute a lot to how your pictures will look.

Aside from the tips presented in this article, you can also draw inspiration from photo studios who have been operating for years. A Miami photography studio like this one here, has all the facilities and equipment for clients’ different needs.

In Conclusion

Setting up a photo studio for your new business might seem tough. There’s so much to be done in order to keep the ball rolling. But you don’t have to feel all the stress in the process. As long as you know what you should and shouldn’t do, you can expect that your business will operate as soon as possible! Keep in mind the things presented in this article, and for sure, you’re a step closer to making that dream photo studio of yours come true.

Studio OwnerI am the owner and operator of the largest television & film studio in South Florida known as M3 Studios. It was all a dream and in 2003 I turned that dream to a reality and started with one film studio, the facility now has 7 Sound Stages, 3 CYC Walls, Green Screens, 6 editing bays, and over 122,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art studio space that include full-service production staff and equipment, editing suites, office/conference rooms you name it. Anything you need to complete a creative project. I love film and entertainment so much that I even stunt coordinate on the side for fun. If you would like to see more about the studio follow our instagram account @M3StudiosMiami it's always fun to see behind the scenes of movie magic.

How To Take Stunning Black and White Wedding Photos

Ah, weddings! Who doesn’t want to witness the solemnity of two individuals becoming one in the presence of their loved ones, right? We always say wedding photography is one of the most romantic professions in the world. Wedding photographers capture the sincerest times; they see the beauty of people and the event through their small screen and translate it into something tangible that imprisons the very moment.

Wedding photography, couple under arch in black and whiteOne style of photography that doesn’t grow old no matter the occasion and time is black and white photography. Especially in weddings, this type of photography can capture the emotions of the subjects and highlight the very essence of the event.

If you’re a wedding photographer who wants to try black and white or wants to improve their monochromatic style, read on below to learn essential tips in taking black and white wedding images.

Shoot in Raw

If your camera allows you to shoot in raw, do it. Shooting in raw gives you infinite control over the post-production of the images. If you shoot black and white, the photos might not be as good when you’re taking them and when reviewing them on your computer. With raw, you have the chance to process the photo and change it to a colored one if you think the black and white concept doesn’t go well with it.

If your camera doesn’t have the option to shoot in raw, shoot not in black and white but color using JPEG. While you can still produce reasonable results if you shoot straight in black in white, you’ll have more control of the photo if you shoot in color as you can always do your conversion to black and white later.

Keep a Low ISO

If you want to take stunning black and white wedding photos, keep your ISO as low as possible. While this technique is normal when taking colored photos, it’s particularly true with black and white photography. The rationale behind this is noise created by ISO can even be more visible in a black and white photo, so by lowering the ISO, you also take the noise out.

If the noise is what you’re after, you can always add it in the post-processing phase. Also, there are noise removal programs you can use during post-processing to reduce the noise of your images.

Mind Your Composition

This is no surprise for photographers. Alongside many other factors, composition is surely one to consider when taking photos. The general tips and techniques applicable when composing and framing subjects also works just as well in black and white photography.

The only major difference to note is you can’t use color to lead the eye to the subject. This means you need to be keen on spotting other elements such as textures, shapes, and tones and making them your points of interest. Pay attention to shadows and highlights, which are significant features of your frame.

Another way to compose your photo is to look for patterns. Patterns are a great feature in pictures because of their ordered repetition. Often in colored photos, our eyes get distracted by color and may not pay as much attention to patterns. Black and white makes patterns more compelling. Train your eyes to look for patterns such as people’s feet standing in line at a wedding party or cars in a parking lot.

Black and white wedding photography of coupleLook For Contrast

The most stunning black and white wedding photos feature a great contrast of black and white. Contrast in a picture that is created by a portion of nearly pure white and some almost black parts magnifies interest to the scene.

Capture Emotions

If you want to capture emotions of people such as the bride tearing up while walking down the aisle or the groom hugging the best man, black and white can be your best bet. While colored photos also offer the emotion of the subject, black and white goes the extra mile and accentuates the feeling and passion within an image.

Tweak The HSL Panel

During the phase of post-production, raw pictures will be converted and enhanced. When post-processing the image, you definitely need to tweak the HSL system in your Lightroom or Photoshop to get the most stunning version of the photo there is.

Conclusion

There you have the essential tips to take remarkable wedding photos in black in white. While it is important to follow the general principles of photography, it’s also crucial to discover and enhance your own style as a wedding photographer, just like Solaris which has established a unique presence in Houston’s field of photography.

Erika Bourdeaux

Erika B - wedding photographerErika Bourdeaux is a writer who regularly submits content to Solaris Studios. She always make sure she adds a creative spin to all of her pieces, and as a result her pieces remain entertaining and engaging. She spends her free time painting.

Power Tips For Taking Photos For Your Custom Bedding Designs

Photographing your products in the highest quality possible is of utter importance when you're in the e-commerce world. It’s because providing high-quality photos of your products does not only attract more customers, it also builds your credibility as a seller. Some e-commerce entrepreneurs take this for granted and that's where they get it wrong because it doesn't just help you present yourself well, but it also helps speak about the quality of your products and services, and when you sell custom bedding designs for a living, you should give it your best effort.

Here are some power tips for taking photos of your custom bedding designs to make sure you're only getting the best shots:

  1. Gather all the materials

When you're taking product photos, you don't really need the most expensive gear on the market because even professional product photographers improvise on their set for the most convincing shots using everyday household items. However, you’ll need the basics such as:

  • Tripod - to provide stability for your photos
  • Overhead Lights/ Desk lamps - to provide artificial lights
  • White background - to create focus on your background
  • Lightbox - this is recommended for smaller products
  • Light reflectors/white cardboard - whether you're working with artificial or natural lights, a light reflector comes in handy when it comes to properly distributing the light
  • DSLR - although mirrorless cameras are much of an option these days
  1. The light is your best friend

When you set up your makeshift studio, provide as many lights as you possibly can. Therefore, you must make sure you're working in a room wherein the windows are wide to let in as much natural as possible. For artificial lights, make sure they are well-distributed all over the product to feature as much of it as you can.

Take photos from different angles and by moving the lights from time to time. In this way, you'll end up with more choices during post-production.

  1. Place it in various settings

Since you’re selling custom bedding designs, you’re basically selling comfort as well. Show comfortability in your photo by placing it in different settings such as being a crucial part of a breakfast in bed or being used by a person comfortably sleeping. For this matter, you're not just selling a product—you’re selling an experience.

If you want custom-designed beddings, you can get your own from Vision Beddings. Good luck with your photographing!

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert is a writer contributing pieces to Vision Bedding. He understands the needs of informative and engaging pieces to keep readers interested. He loves a good cup of tea with a good book during his free time.

Scouting Quality Photo Locations

Quality Photo Locations Scout Sessions 101: Choosing The Best Location For Your Photo Shoot

Location scouting for photography - free photography course

You’re a budding photographer, and you want people to know your name. And you think that one way for you to achieve that goal is by choosing the besta locations for your photoshoot. You believe that this will have a significant role in the outcome of your photos and eventually, in your career. But since you’re still starting in the industry, you know that choosing the best locations is never easy. There are a lot of things to consider and the fear of the location being “not good enough” for your audience is always there. While that notion can be true, you don’t have to let it ruin your career. Yes, choosing a location for your photo shoot might be difficult, but there are more ways than one to solve the problem – and let this article show you how.

When you’re still a novice, chances are, you don’t have any idea on how to get the job done. All you have is a goal in mind but getting there is still difficult – and coming up with the best location for your photo shoot is not an exemption. To help you with that problem, you may consider the points below to help you come up with the best location for your photo shoot.

Choose A Meaningful Place

When you’re a photographer, it’s not always about convenience – and the same goes when you’re choosing a location. You can always choose a location which is accessible to you, but this isn’t always the best choice. For instance, if you live near a park with lush green trees, you can always choose this as your location as it will save you time and energy as you no longer have to think about going somewhere hard to reach. While this can look attractive, it might not be the best option for you.

You should keep in mind that every subject is unique and has its own personality. This is also what makes people interesting so you should use this as one of your basis for the location. If your subject is a music lover, consider using a jukebox store as the location. If he/she is a teacher or achiever in school, look for empty schools or universities for your photoshoot. Not only will you be able to tell a story but considering your subjects’ interest can also serve as an avenue for your audience to easily connect with your photos.

Choose A Quiet Place

One of the worst locations for a photo shoot is in the middle of crowded places like cities and public parks. You should stray away from these kinds of locations as you’ll have to wait for people to move out of frame, deal with questions from every passer-by and your subject might feel uncomfortable. Everyone involved in the photo shoot will be stressed because of the hordes of people around them.

Contrary to popular belief, looking for a quiet location isn’t as difficult as it seems. If you’re currently living in the city, you can consider getting off the beaten track and move a few hundred yards away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. If possible, you can also avoid cities altogether and head on to sandy beaches, or grassy fields. All of these locations might require you to travel for a few hours, but your pictures will be worth it. These locations can provide you with a great backdrop, and since these are usually deserted, you can have complete reign to move around and ask your subject to try out different angles and poses.

Think About Permits

However, not all of the locations you’re eyeing for can be used anytime. You should remember that certain locations are protected by copyright and need special permits before you can do your photo shoot. Regardless of the case, you should be able to get your permits in order before planning any further. While some are easy to acquire, some can be more demanding. But if you think that you found the perfect location, you should be willing to go through the processes of obtaining the permits. You wouldn’t want your subject to dress up and end up not being able to access the location, right?

Don’t Let The Location Distract You

A suitable location is vital to the success of your photos but keep in mind that it’s not the only thing that contributes to your output. When you’re already in the location, and you’ve started to take photos, have the time to look at your shots and determine if your eye is more drawn to the scenery than the subject because if it does, it means that you’re putting too much emphasis on the wrong thing.

For you to avoid doing that, open your lens’ aperture up wide. This is a simple and effective technique which puts the background in a blur while restricting it from being too distracting in the photos. Doing this can also create depth in the scene and draw the audience’s eyes to your subject.

In conclusion

Photography is beautiful and an exciting hobby. When you get to take pictures of people or places, you’re creating memories which can last for years. But before your photos can do that, you should be able to a photo scout and choose the best location. And coming up with one can be tricky. But you should not worry because as long you follow the tips presented in this article, you’re a step closer to choosing the best location for your next photoshoot!

Steve McIntyre

Steve McIntyre is a writer contributing works to Photoshoot Locations UK from time to time. He extends a particular care for his readers that is clearly seen in the things he writes. He makes sure topics he discusses aren't only properly explained, but entertaining as well. As a photography enthusiast, he's currently trying to tackle street photography with his film camera.

Shooting in Black and White: Rediscovering the Monochrome Magic

Black and white photography can be intimidating for beginning photographers. However, you don’t have to be a veteran photographer to start shooting in black and white photography. Here are some ways that you can add black and white photography to your portfolio.

Why it’s Magical

Best Photo Lessons black and white photographyShooting black and white photographs can be an extremely effective way to convey emotions and to bring attention to details.  Black and white photographs can be a way to create an intimate and timeless frame due to its nostalgic nature. Black and white photography as explained by Guru Shots can create a magical and timeless image that can be extremely powerful in event photography, portraits, landscapes, and wildlife photography.

Due to this magical effect, it is important that you plan on when to use black and white. You should not just shoot color photography and hope that one of your photos may look good in black and white while you’re editing in post. Your photos will be far more effective if you plan on using black and white while you’re composing the shot.

While you are setting up the shot, it’s important to imagine the scene in front of you without the colors. Instead of looking at how the colors interact with each other in the photo, you need to look at how the hues and tones work together in the photos, as exhibited here with beautiful, tone-perfect images.

If you’re unsure about how a photo may look or are having trouble imagining it, a good trick to use is to put on a pair of sunglasses. This will help you see the potential tones and block out some of the distracting colors that you may be seeing through your lens.

How to compose the best black and white photo

The most interesting black and white photos can be taken when the contrast between highlights and shadows is extreme. While you can look for these specific times of day and light scenarios, there are specific cameras offering features that bring out the best in your monochrome work. However, that’s not the only way that you can create contrast in your photos. Contrast can be found in colors (light and dark) and with lines (architectural and otherwise).

However, in order to create dramatic contrasts in your black and white photos, knowing how to work with and create shadows is a must. This could create a space for dramatic storytelling.

If you want to use shadows to create a dramatic effect, it’s important to be shooting in a location where shadows are readily available or can be made. This can also greatly depend on the time of day. If you’re looking for the most dramatic shadows, noon is a great time to shoot for that is when the sun is the most high in the sky. If you want softer, but maybe more angled lighting/shadows, shoot during early morning hours or sunset hours.

If you’re not able to shoot during those times of day or if you don’t have a location with light, then you can always create your own shadows. You can do this in a studio space or in any location if you have an external flash or man-made light source.

If you have found the perfect light and the perfect scene, but there are no shadows in the frame, you can also create your own shadows. These methods can create unique looks and further your storytelling:

  • Use hands to create shadows. Use your own hands or the model’s hands to create shadows over wanted areas. For example, you can create interesting lines over a model’s face, using just fingers (theirs or someone’s off-frame)
  • Use a piece of lace or fabric. Place a piece of fabric strategically over your light source to create an intricate shadow pattern over your subject.
  • Some other common objects that can create dramatic shadows include: window blinds, fences, glasses, forks, whisks, etc.

What not to do in black and white photography

The most important thing to remember when shooting in black and white photography happens in post. When you’re editing detail in black and white photos, you want to be careful not to overdo it. You want it to look natural and don’t want the texture to be too extreme.

A feature of shooting in black and white is that it brings out details automatically, and they are more noticeable. While this is usually a positive, it can be a negative when it comes to close-up portraits. You don’t want the skin on someone’s face to look rubbery or fake. To avoid this, be cautious with detail and luminance while you’re editing your photos.

Lastly, avoid using black and white photography as a way to try to make photos redeemable. Some people tend to use a black and white filter on photos that didn’t turn out like they wanted them to in color. You may think that a black and white photo will hide your mistakes, but in reality, it usually only highlights those imperfections more.

Reviewing Tips & Tricks

  • Plan on using black and white in your photography before you shoot, not after.
  • Use a pair of sunglasses while composing your shot to help imagine what the tones and hues may look like in black bestphotolessons.com and white.
  • Shoot at noon for the most dramatic shadows.
  • Use or make shadows in order to create high contrast photos.
  • Don’t be afraid to create your own shadows.
  • Don’t use black and white photography to “save” your bad photos.

Key Tips On Taking The Best Basic Portrait Shots While Holidaying

You’ve browsed through your Facebook profile and stumbled upon your album from your last trip to Hawaii. There were a lot of pictures, but while you were navigating through all of these, you’ve noticed three things. One, most of them are selfies which means that you never got the chance to highlight the majestic tourist spots; two, your pictures are a blur; and three, you don’t have any pictures of the locals living there. You don’t even know why you’ve uploaded all of these in the first place - they aren’t good enough! And now that you have an upcoming holiday trip next month, you want to make sure that your portrait shots will turn out better. You promise yourself that your pictures this time will be worth bragging about.

You don’t have to worry because even if you have the most basic camera (or even a smartphone) and some basic photography skills, you can still take the best portrait shots. Here’s how:

Plan ahead: Since you know where you’re going, it follows that you should know what to prepare for. Research the most famous tourist spots (and not so famous) in your destination. If you’re planning to visit any establishments like museums or churches, call them ahead of time and inquire if tourists are allowed to bring their cameras inside and if they’re open during your preferred time and date. Create a schedule of when are you planning to visit these locations and stick to it. You want to capture the best portraits while travelling without stressing-out, and this is the way to do it.

Employ a local guide: If you want new ways to travel, employing a local guide can help you. These people basically know every area in your destination like the back of their hands so you won’t have any problems on your trip with them by your side. They can also introduce you to new locations which are not too “touristy” and shots taken here can be an excellent addition to your gallery! You’ll be the envy of your friends once you show them pictures like these!

Always ask permission: You want to take portraits of the locals in your new travel destination, right? Before you do, make sure that you ask permission. You don’t want the locals to be distracted by your camera’s flash. You also wouldn’t want to ruin cultures or observances that they have. Before taking their pictures, tell them your intentions and try to build a connection with them. Make them feel at ease with you as this will be obvious in your photos. You’ll not only have fantastic portrait shots, but you’ll also gain friends.

Book a hotel room with a view: Aside from taking pictures of the locals, you would also want to bask in the new scenery you’re facing. Sure, it might have the same tall buildings like in your hometown, but the entire view will be different, and you want to capture a portrait of that. Booking a hotel room with a view will also allow you to take the city’s breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. You’ll be able to capture scenery in a different angle. Every cent is worth it once you end up in a hotel room like this.

Highlight the background: There are always tourist spots wherever you go. It may be an old church, a huge statue, or a beautiful lake. But whatever it might be, take the time to visit some of these (much better if you can visit all!) and use these locations as your background. Make sure that your photographer stays away a few feet from you to ensure that the background becomes the highlight and you as the subject, is just an accessory. When there are buildings that are too high, tell your photographer to try out new angles to capture them. You’ll never know when you’ll be coming back here so go out there and enjoy every side trip.

Don’t bring too much gear: You don’t need to bring all the equipment like you’re going to a photoshoot whenever you take portrait photos while travelling. Aside from being too heavy to carry, it’ll take you too much time to set-up everything. As much as possible, you want to be ready to capture candid moments and bringing all of this equipment just won’t do the trick. Instead, use something that’s lightweight and produces good quality photos. Look for devices which can be water-proof too, to ensure that you can still take those portrait shots anywhere, even at the beach.

There are a lot of ways on how you can shoot that best portrait photos while travelling. Even the best Chicago portrait photographer knows that it’ll take some time for you to get the hang of this, but it will be worth it later on. For sure, you’ll have photos that can earn hundreds of likes on your Facebook account and they’ll be raved about by your friends for days. Your photos will be so good that they’ll make them wish they were with you during your trip!

Michael Schacht is a portrait photographer and photography educator based in Chicago Illinois. As owner/operator of 312 Elements Headshot Photography located in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, Michael overseas the day to day operations and has had the opportunity to photograph thousands of corporate professionals over the last decade. Through his direction, attention to detail, and people skills, he's helped these clients to craft a narrative around their personal brand. It's his belief that the headshot is the modern dad business card and that a better headshot is essential for a better career.   Michael, his wife Meghan and his two daughters reside in Tinley Park Illinois where he is a community leader and active participant in the local business sector. Michael studied business at Ball State university and photography with world renown headshot photographer, Peter Hurley. It was Hurley that trained Michael in the art of human expression. Michael is now a Headshot Crew certified Mentor and active member of the Headshot Crew community where he was named one of the top 20 headshot photographers in the world.

Adding ‘meaning’ to your images

Here's a great idea to help you flex your creative muscles for photography.
 
Artistic photography and meaningTo really push the artistic side of your photography - choose a random word from the dictionary, a book on your coffee table, or from a 'word of the day page' (ie http://www.wordthink.com/). Really study that word and what it means.
 
Then go for a walk with your camera. When something catches your eye, spend a few moments thinking about that word - and then take some pictures of whatever has caught your eye.
 
The two may be totally unrelated things - but then that's what art often is, taking an object, scene, colour etc and adding meaning beyond the literal.
 
The more you do this, the more you should be able to add a different kind of depth to your photography.
 
Most of all, have fun with the idea.

Artistic photography and meaning - using shadows and linesAnd as another way to use this idea - when you do randomly find something to photograph - before hitting the shutter take a moment to think about what that 'something' means to you, what is it that caught your eye. The clearer you have that in mind, the clearer your photograph of it will probably be.

Manual mode – do I need it?

Assuming you have or are interested in a camera with manual capability - have you wondered WHY you might want to go to manual mode instead of letting the camera decide?

Here's the real deal - automatic modes work great with fairly even light coming from slightly behind you and the tones you're photographing are either middle tones or there's a good distribution of tones.

Tones being white to black and all the levels of grey and colours in between those extremes.

Expsoure in steam in fog - program vs manual modeWhere auto or program modes start to fail is when you have a mostly white scene - like a white puppy on snow, or being out in fog, which makes a camera think it needs to make the pictures darker and thus white becomes grey. Auto and program modes also have difficulty when the light comes from behind or beside the subject - imagine your child in a white shirt standing in a doorway and the sun is coming from the side (which would be a cool and dramatic picture - what part do you WANT to be exposed right? Do you expose for the bright part of the face or do you expose for the shadow side letting the bright side go completely white?

depth of field - shallow focus - manual modeThe other aspect is how much do you want to be in focus? Do you want shallow focus so that just your partner's face is in focus or do you want to have everything in focus? Auto and program modes default to more of the 'everything in focus.'

In the end - are you TAKING  a picture, ore are you CREATING a picture? If you want to get really creative you want to create each picture - make it look the way you envision it. That skill takes time and practice - and taking lots of pictures, and doing it in manual so that you have control over each aspect of the image.

However if what you're doing is documenting your life and not worrying about being 'artsy' - then program mode is fine and will do a great job.

As in all of photography - the purpose of the photos determines the methods being used.