Hire a Wedding Photographer

Check Their Portfolio

Another way to judge if a photographer has good skills is to ask them to show their past work. Actually, professional photographers have a portfolio for their clients. You can find this portfolio on their social media pages, blog or website.

Photography Style

Every photographer has their own style when it comes to photography. Therefore you may want to decide on the type of photography you want to get done. For example, if you want them to shoot realistic photos, make sure you ask them about it.

Again, you can take a look at the portfolio of the photographer to find out what type of photography they usually do.

Interviews

After you have considered the points given above, you may want to interview a few photographers to find out more about them. You may want to ask questions until you are satisfied. What you need to do is work with your photographer so that they can save your precious moments. Let them know if you have a specific set of shots that you want them to capture on your wedding day.

Answer your Photographer’s Questions

Just like you, your photographer may also have some questions to ask. Some of their questions will be about your event and budget. Make sure you give clear answers to their questions.

Consider their Experience

Inexperienced photographers are like fresh drivers that have no idea what they are going to do. The reason is that inexperienced drivers make a lot of costly mistakes. For your wedding photography, you should hire a photographer that will work without making a lot of mistakes. After all, you want all of your photos free of noise.

Refurbished Photo Printers

Photo printers are sent to printer companies for refurbishment. The companies refurbish each photo printer to its original condition. During the process of refurbishing, the manufacturers thoroughly check each and every part of the printer and replace all the parts which are below the tolerant standards, and then check for quality and performance. In most companies, refurbishment is done by highly trained professionals. All the top-notch companies have their own refurbishment departments, for providing total satisfaction to their customers. Canon, Epson, Hewlett Packard, Kodak, Lexmark, and Sony are some of the leading brands of photo printers.

A refurbished photo printer usually will cost half the price of a new photo printer. For example, the cost of a new HP DeskJet 3740 color inkjet printer is around $65 to $70, but a refurbished HP DeskJet 3740 color inkjet printer will cost less than $40. Most refurbished photo printers come with the company’s warranty. Depending on availability, refurbished photo printers can be purchased from any of the local merchandise store, authorized dealers, or through online stores.

Always buy refurbished photo printers which are renovated by the original manufacturers, and make sure you buy only from authorized dealers. Check for the warranty period while purchasing refurbished photo printers. If these aspects are taken into consideration, you can get a refurbished photo printer with the latest technology at a very moderate price.

Select Mats and Frames

Know what you are getting The biggest problem with most reasonably priced frames on the market is that they do not state whether or not the supplied mat is naturally acid-free, buffered PH, to control acid, or preservation quality, which is the top of the line. You will find more details and description of different types of mats in the Selecting a Mat for Your Photographs Article. Most people are on a budget when they shop for framing and matting materials, so simply tossing away a perfectly good mat may seem like a wrong thing to do. As always, there is a solution to every problem, and this one is no exception.

Consider purchasing your frames, and your mats for that matter from a reputable Art supplies dealer, instead of going to a typical housewares store, or a mega store, like Wal-Mart, Target, or Ikea. More often than not, Art supplies stores carry products that are much higher in quality, and the expert advise is often very helpful. In some cases larger Art supplies dealers carry products under their own brand. While most people think of these store branded mats and frames as bargain bin products, you will often find that you are getting quite a bit more for your money, in terms of quality and performance of the product when compared to products from some of the larger national brands. As an added bonus, the staff typically will have much more information about products branded under the company’s name. Do not be afraid of asking questions. Find out all that you can about the line of frames or mats, which you are considering to purchase. Ask the employees some basic questions about framing and matting, and if their answers are poor, or simply wrong, avoid purchasing from that store, unless you are already familiar with their product lines.

Ok, you cannot find any good quality frames around, and you do not want to purchase a complete frame and then discard the mat, so what should you do? Consider custom framing your works. While it may be a little more expensive than purchasing a ready-made frame, with a mat, it may still be worth it. Check with your local Art supplies store, and you may find that they also custom frame paintings, and photography. It is more likely that you will find specials and sales on custom framing, than on finished products. This is because there is much more profit in custom framing, since the framer is only purchasing unfinished and uncut lengths of material. It is much cheaper for the framer to cut and build the frame, and there are no packaging or shipping expenses. Shop around. Of course, with custom framing, you can mat your own photographs, and bring them matted. This way, you are controlling the quality of the protective mat, and the backing yourself. Shop around, you never know, you may find that custom framing is actually cheaper in your area, than finished frames.

Slow Down Before Shoot

By simply pointing and shooting you not only risk the possibility of camera shake and movement blur, but you also miss other opportunities to enhance your photographic creativity.

After all, what is the point of simply seeing and snapping a picture with your digital camera. Some models have “shutter lag” in any case, which will meant that the image you expected to capture is different to the one which ends up on the memory card. What is so wrong with thinking first before you shoot?

We live in times of great speed and activity. Our cars go faster on the roads that are built to gets us there quicker. Time has to be filled, it seems, lest it is wasted. Everything has to be done now. Things can’t wait.

But, in photography, they can. Unless, that is, you are dealing with split-second occurrences which are unlikely to manifest themselves again.

By stopping and thinking, you can begin to create that image in your mind before you even consider pressing the shutter release. What are you trying to achieve? Who are the audience? What can YOU add to the image before you take the photo?

In this way you will begin to think of composition, angles of view, viewpoints, backgrounds, depth of field and shutter speeds.

Take Better Portrait Photos

  • Choose the right background: A portrait photo is all about the object’s face. The most important part of the photo is the face. Choosing the right background can make sure the viewer is focused on the face. Pick a neutral background that does not attract attention. For example a soft solid color background is better than a busy street background. Avoid having people or moving objects in the background.
  • Blur the background: In addition to choosing a neutral background you should further blur it. This will put even more emphasis on the object instead of its surroundings. Blurring the background is best achieved by taking a photo using a shallow depth of field. This can be accomplished by using a zoom lens and shooting from a short distance or with a wide aperture manual setting. If your camera does not allow you to blur the photo by setting a shallow depth of field (for example it is hard to achieve such a depth of field with simple pocket cameras) you can always blur the background later using photo processing software on your computer.
  • Focus on the eyes: The center of a good portrait should be the object’s eyes. Before taking the photo look at the object eyes and try to figure out what story they tell. Depending on what you would like to capture in the portrait guide the object to look straight to the camera or maybe sideways focusing on some object. Adding a smile is also recommended unless you specifically want a face that does not smile in order to send some message to the viewer.
  • Use natural lighting: Natural lighting is necessary in order to capture the full color range and warmth of the skin. It is best to take portrait photos outdoors during the day. When shooting outdoors position the object in a way that the sun light hits it from the side. Never take a photo with the sun behind the object – results in shading – or right in front of the object – results in over exposing the face and distorting its natural colors. If some shades appear on the face use a soft fill-in flash to get rid of them. If you have to shoot indoors and use artificial lighting always use indirect light sources such as bounce flash or lights that illuminate the room instead of directly shining on the object.
  • Take many photos and experiment: I can not over emphasize this. In the digital era the cost of taking another photo is zero. One of the best ways to shoot a great photo is simply by shooting many photos. In fact all professional photographers do that they keep on shooting more and more photos so don’t be shy about it. Experiment with different settings – lighting, object position, white balancing settings to get different color temperatures, exposures, depth of field and more. When you are done sit down and sort the photos until you choose the one that you like the best. It is common sense that the chances of finding that one great photo are much higher if you tried 500 photos than if you just shot a few.

Deadly Sins of Photoshop Composition

  • Feathered edges. When you make a selection, using the dancing ants around an area you wish to move, change, color or otherwise edit, you have to feather the edge by at least 2-3 pixels (depending on the resolution of your image), in order to avoid the jagged edges we so often see in photo montages. Feathering creates a soft edge that blends the area of the selection with the area it abuts. Feathering an edge by a high value is also a useful way to fade out a selection.
  • Correct Perspective. If you have one element in an image that has a different geometrical perspective that does not match the rest of the image the whole image will look odd. A viewer will generally not know what is specifically wrong with the image, they will just know that it looks odd and generally undesirable. This is generally seen in buildings or cars that have been composited in from other images and not had their perspective adjusted to match the greater image as a whole. This would happen if two images shot at different focal lengths were then combined. An image from a 28mm lens combined with an image from a 200mm lens will need perspective adjustment to look right.
  • Correct Depth of Field. Images that have one object or area in focus and then behind that an object out of focus, and then behind that another object in focus will look very odd and be completely unbelievable. Like perspective, combining images shot with differing depth of field will require you to adjust the focus of the elements to correct the Depth of Field. One draw back, while it is possible to soften objects to make them appear out of focus or have short depth of field, it is next to impossible to sharpen soft objects to make them appear to be in focus. Depth of Field problems are one of the most common mistakes made in Photoshop compositions.
  • Direction of Light. When montaging images it is important to combine images shot with the same lighting conditions. The play of light on an object creates a series of shadows that have a specific directional play depending on where the light source was in relation to the object. If you montage together two images with differing light sources the image will look unreal and undesirable.
  • Color cast. All images have a color cast otherwise know as WHITE BALANCE, this is the HUE of the white areas. Also know as the color temperature of an image. Be careful to adjust the color cast of montaged images so that the white areas look the same, doing otherwise will render your images unreal and undesirable.

The human eye has an amazing ability to spot subtle changes in what it considers normal. Stare at a picture of a pink banana, after a short while the banana will start to appear yellow, but you will still have the feeling that something is not right. This also applies equally to Color, Focus, Perspective and Light Direction. When creating montage images in Photoshop it is important to watch for mistakes in these areas as you will want to have your images look as real as possible and thus as desirable or aesthetically pleasing as possible. I have seen far too many images used in big advertising campaigns with blatant disregard for these basic principles. Done right Photoshop can create compelling compositions; done wrong and it just looks, well… wrong!

Nice Shot of Baby

First, let me advise you never to use a wide angle lens for a baby picture. The foreshortening of a 28mm focal length lens will be sure to (1) make the baby’s nose appear larger, (2) reduce the size of their ears to looking smaller and out of shape, and (3) probably cause an overexposure of the image due to the closeness of the flash to the subject. One the other hand, a short telephoto lens (100mm) will reproduce our angel’s features to a normal proportion, all of his (or her) different parts presented in the proper ratio. Even a small distortion of proportion has a definite (and detrimental) effect on the features.

While I’m not excluding taking pictures at night with a flash, I am recommending that you wait for daytime for that wonderful light coming from your window. Turn off the flash or cover it with two layers of white handkerchief. A setting of 200 ISO should be sufficient for a good exposure. The bottom pane is the one with the most photogenic light, so if you can, close off the upper part. Try raising the mattress in the crib so that you can see the baby without looking down. Soft light from the sky or light reflected off clouds produces a three dimensional rounded effect especially flattering to a baby’s face. If the room is furnished in dark colors, place a reflecting surface near the baby to fill in the shadow. Use a tripod or other support and shoot away.

Try different angles: a high angle looking down, a position on the opposite side of the crib (turn it around), or even through the bars. Avoid using the macro setting on a zoom lens, since this setting most often incorporates a wide angle focal length. Find the closest distance possible on your short telephoto lens (85mm – 120mm) and stand at that distance. A two diopter close-up attachment lens could halve this distance for super close-ups.

For twins, try to have one sit and one stand. The diagonals produced in the composition introduce a dynamic note to the picture. Important is to have all eyes pointing in the same direction. A squeeze toy helps.

Photoshop Pencil Portrait

There are some things that can be done in advance before the photograph is taken to help give a more pleasing result. For instance, having a white background helps to have a cleaner separation of the subject. Also, having the subject wear white (or some other light color) clothing is a big plus as it helps draw the viewer to the person’s face. Though these tips are helpful, they are not absolutely required.

Okay, let’s begin!

  • Open the image in Photoshop.
  • Create a copy of the background layer by pressing “Control J” on your keyboard. Now invert the new layer by pressing… “Control I”.
  • Convert image to “grayscale” by clicking (Image<mode<grayscale) and=”” chose=”” not=”” to=”” flatten=”” or=”” merge=”” the=”” image.<=”” p=””></mode<grayscale)>
  • Set layer mode to “color dodge”… this will make the layer look almost completely white.
  • Now bring out some of the pencil strokes by applying a Gaussian blur. For a 72dpi image, I use a 55 radius setting.
  • Now is the time to to use the brush ( B) on your keyboard and start painting the unwanted areas of your image white. Make sure you lower the opacity of your brush to around 20% or so, havernwhite selected as your foreground color, and are using a soft edge brush.
  • Now let’s add some subtle shadows to the face, chest and clothing. To do so, make sure that your foreground color is black by pressing ( D ) on your keyboard. Select your brush and lower the opacity of your brush (not layer) to 15%. Now start painting over all the areas, that you feel needs a shadow. Particularly, the face. There are really no rules here. Just bring out some shadows that you feel is right. This might take a little practice.
  • Now, let’s add some highlights to the hair. Select white as your foreground color and make sure that the opacity of your brush is 15%. Start brushing over the lighter areas of the hair to bring out some highlights. Notice that the changes are very subtle. You don’t want to over do it.rnrn9.Now it’s time to merge the layers and crop the image. Select… Image-Mode-RGB Color and select merge. Select ( C ) on your keyboard to bring up the crop tool to crop the image. You can also add a color tint if you like by pressing… ( Control U ) on your keyboard to bring up the Hue/Saturation window. Select colorize from the lower right window and play around with the sliders to get the color you want. That’s all there is to it.

Travel and Scenic Photography

First off, equipment. As much as the cheapo disposable camera beckons, get real. These cameras have fisheye lenses which I call “spam” lenses. They cram everything in, with equal blurriness and boringness. Good photos are sharp, unless you use blur for artistic effect. Sharp comes from an adjustable lens. It can be a fixed lens or a zoom, but it must focus specially for each picture. Fixed lenses are limiting for scenic pictures, where to frame the shot you may need to move long distances. Imagine using a fixed lens on the Washington Monument, when you’re half a block away! Zooms get my vote, even though they often don’t have as wide an aperture, which limits their capabilities in low light situations.

Practically speaking, an SLR is the absolute best. They are lightweight, and can be used with top quality lenses. Film SLRs tend to be less expensive, but have the limitations of film, meaning you have to get it developed and so forth. Digital SLRs are VERY expensive, so for the budget conscious either go with a film SLR or a high quality basic digital camera. With digital, resolution is also a critical factor, so look at the specs before you buy.

OK, we’ve got the camera, emotions are running high, and that’s great, but not too great! Sometimes I find a spot that is so wonderful, I start shooting like a madman, only to be disappointed by the pictures. What happened? Emotions. When you experience a place, there are sounds, aromas and breezes as well as the visuals of the spot. Needless to say, you can’t photograph all of these elements, only the visual. When overwhelmed by the spectacle of a scenic hotspot, we are often overwhelmed by all of these elements.

So what to do? Look through your camera. The viewfinder does not lie (usually). Try to see what you are looking at as the finished picture. Most people perfunctorily take pictures, hoping that somehow the shot will come out great. If you wonder how the pictures came out when you are on the way to the drug store to get them, you’re doing something wrong. At the moment you click the pic, you should know exactly what you will get. (Of course with digital, that’s not a trick!).

Now, I was a tad dishonest in saying that you can’t capture all of the elements of a scene. You can hint at them. For starters, motion. Yes, even in a still picture, there is motion. Something happened before, during and after your picture. In a mountain vista scene, you may find something that hints at motion, whether it be a branch of a tree that has been swaying in the breeze, or a river flowing through the valley below. These add a sense of motion.

Then there’s the “rule of thirds.” When you place the main object of the picture smack-dab in the middle, it is static and boring. Place it one third of the way from either side, and you IMPLY motion. Put the horizon in a landscape photo a third of the way up or down, not across the middle.

Remember, when a person looks at a picture, their eyes move. You want to frame your photo to help that movement. If you can find some lines in the scene, such as a skyline, cloud formation, path through the forest, etcetera, use it interestingly, and with the rule of thirds to draw your viewer’s eyes into the picture.

Avoid “summit syndrome.” You get to the top of Mount Washington and shoot the majestic vista. Great. The pictures come out … boring! How? No PERSPECTIVE. Big vistas will be flat unless you have an object in the foreground, such as a rock or a tree, to give them perspective. Then the eye really grasps how big this scene is. People enjoying the view is a real winner, because the viewer may identify with their emotions, giving the image real impact.

Cheese! Yes, you do have to take the family photos. It’s obligatory. But when you do, make sure that they show the LOCATION of the photo. Otherwise, you might as well do it on your driveway. Frame the scene in context, with landmarks as part of the picture. Find a way to tell as story in the picture, such as little Sara climbing up the rocks by the waterfall.

Finally, any element in the picture that hints at more senses than just the visual will make it remarkable. Actor headshots for example, tell a story about the subject. You can almost hear them saying their next lines. If you photograph a garden, the viewer may experience the aroma of the flowers. A tourist street with an accordion player on the corner may have your amazed friends whistling “Dixie.”

Nude Art Photography

The aesthetic value of nude photography and its boundary to erotic photography can only be determined with difficulty and inter-subjectively and is also affected by its numerous overlaps with pornography. In consequence, nude photography and erotic photography always find themselves branded in multiple ways, and labelled as works of artistic freedom, aesthetics, kitsch, junk or provocation. The boundaries of nude photography, erotic photography and pornography are so undefined and continuously changing that they are always determined and defined by the subjective moral view of the individual and the generally accepted cultural confines of “customs and tradition”.

Whether the picture itself is art or junk always lies in the eye of the beholder. One (subjective) definition of the worth of a nude photograph is: “A nude photo is then good, when the Model shows it around at the coffee table at her grandmother’s birthday party and receives positive feedback.” (Günter Rinnhofer) Other definitions have been by far more controversial. For Horst Werner this art form has always been about provocation and evoking of emotions. He prefers disgust, shock and aversion (as evoked for example by his photographs of nudes at a cemetery or of disabled people) to indifference, which in his opinion, is often the only reaction generated by other, more conventional art styles. Additionally, it is nowadays no longer such a taboo to depict the primary sex features of a human being. However, in contrast to pornography, nude photography does not actively pursue to excite the audience, although this does not exclude that it is consumed with this intention and effect.

Tasteful nude photography is often regarded as high skilled photography as besides technical knowledge and the ability to manipulate light the nude photographer also needs strong communication skills and the ability to build a positive relationship with his model. A modelling contract between photographer and model often includes additional remuneration to the model besides payment and publication rights.