Tag Archives: photography lessons

TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE/WEDDING TIME LINE ADVICE By creativefreedomphoto

  I am always asked these question and I am happy to help in fact, your photographer is the best and most valuable person to go to to help you plan the timeline. Photography IS 50% light,50% composition.
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  I am also asked how many hours of coverage should you need. Let me put it this way more coverage = more quality photographs, dont rush your photographer.
  How much coverage depends on a few things, is your wedding big with over 100 people, does it have several locations,or is it a small intimate wedding.
  Getting ready/So much happens during this time,try very hard to have the guys nearby you dont want to miss this part of your story,the contrast can often times be hilarious!
 Keep in mind if you have two locations for guys and girls the photographer will need allot more time to go to two location,driving time,finding parking,packing and unpacking equipment etc that takes allot of time and can take time away from what is most important,capturing your wedding day.When I have the guys and girls at the same location, I just go back and forth, if mot much is going on with the girls, I check out the guys. During this time is not only about “getting ready” doing hair putting on makeup and getting “the dress” on its about the details, have them ready when the photog comes in, your rings, an invitation, newspaper something with the date, wedding vows,your grandmas necklace,Have the flower there as well, whatever it is you want photographed. During this time if I am at one location the entire day (best option ) I will usually go into the reception room and photograph the set up,the venue itself the atmosphere is also very important. The set up for the ceremony and then back to the brides room to spend some quality one on one time for bridal portraits
 Have hair and makeup come to you ALWAYS!. Brides, DO NOT be the last to get ready,allow more time for everything than you think it will take.Get ready early, if you are last and its almost time for the ceremony, not only will I not have enough time for bridal portraits,you will feel nervous and rushed and it will show on your face, again I stress this do not rush your photographer! The ultimate time for me at the beginning of the story if everyone is at one location is about three hrs. It is a very important time with so much going on and so many wonderful photo opportunities also a good time for me to get to know family and friends of the couple.
 THE CEREMONY:
TIME- If outdoor wedding,two to three hours before the time of sunset. Two if you dont have a million groups shots and the ceremony is very quick,three if you have allot of group shots with a long ceremony.Group shots take more time than you think. Again allow more time for everything
 Most important leave the last half hour or more of light (The magic hour) the best lite of the day for just the two of you alone, I call it the “intimate session” plan a cocktail hr for this time your guests will be fine and it will be the only “alone “time you might have together all day. Out of this time comes the most beautiful portraits of my couples capturing their relationship and the love they have for each other, this is absoulutely my favorite time to photograph, DO NOT miss this time, do not rush your photographer or cut it short, I have had couples after we have disused this only give me five minutes, you will never get this time back!
Reception-
   Again will there be a huge party with dancing   bouquet toss,cake cutting sparkler send off/parting shot, do you want the entire reception covered,if not push up the most important moments to you. If so, remember photographer, D.J all of your vendors should be fed,treat people the way you would want them to treat you. While everyone is eating take care of your vendors.People dont look their best when they are eating!
  My full coverage (the time I need to tell the story is about eight hrs. You can always add more if your photographer is up to it.
  If it is a small intimate wedding on the beach with just the two of you and a few close family members, I have a minimum of two hrs and have it on an off day, most photographers are booked on the weekends or wont take a two hr wedding on a Saturday.
  I do hope I have helped and answered allot of your questions.Keep this in mind, I am an award winning international fine arts wedding photojournalist with a very unique style, I travel worldwide  http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/
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HERE COMES THE GROOM

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Everyone always gets so carried away with the bride,what about the groom’s?

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I always ask my couples to get ready at the same location.I like to go back and forth between the guys and gals to get both sides of the story.

The brides room is usually chaotic,a mess,full of emotion,makeup,hair spray,chocolate, and mimosas everywhere. The contrast when you put the two together is hilarious. The guys are just hanging out and having a good time with their buddies. The only stress they have is how to pin on the boutonniere ,.

I always ask my couples separately “What is the most important moment to you” 90% of brides will say “When he sees me coming down the isle”When I ask the guys the same question most will say,”the first time I see her coming down the isle as my bride”

I always make sure I get this shot,I am usually shooting behind the bride and her Dad focusing on the grooms reaction between the shoulders of the bride and her Dad/Mom or whoever is walking her down the Isle. I have a student/apprentice have another camera focused on the groom from another angle, I teach my student (this is usually their first lesson on capturing emotion) do not turn around keep you focus on the groom at all times, you will know when he see’s her and I want a series of shots. Its very rare that a groom will not show any emotion , the most beautiful shot to me is when the groom cries. Guys try so hard to hold in their feelings.It is   an amazing moment/

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PHOTOGRAPHY LESSON/VANTAGE POINT

by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

One of the most common mistakes an amateur/novice photographer makes is to take the majority of their photos standing up with the camera held near chest or eye level. Although this is the most comfortable/natural orientation it’s not the one that is going to yield impressive or unique photos. Everybody else is doing it and if you’re interested in taking photos that are going to impress an audience outside of friends and family it’s time to get down & dirty, climb, contort & twist your body all over the place

1) Look Up / Look Down

As mentioned previously, taking photos from chest or eye level is what 90% of other photographers are already doing. Start noticing what’s going on up & down. You might notice a man shaving nearby an overhead window or a cute dog scurrying about at ground level. Try taking photos of somebody climbing up steep steps from an overhead perspective. The next time you take a portrait of somebody have them sit down and look up towards the sky or ceiling before taking their shot from an above perspective. Try capturing architecture or a statue from a close-up perspective pointing your camera upwards to capture a distinct or select element.

2) Climb a Mountain, ladder, tree or just some steps

One of the easiest ways to change your perspective is to shoot from a higher vantage point. In other words, be prepared to get physical and do a little exercise climbing a mountain, ladder, tree, or just some steps When shooting above and looking down it’s almost as if you have a bird’s eye perspective of what is going on below. From a higher vantage point you can take great shots of parades, crowds, traffic or scenic valley views. The rewards of doing this are that ‘many’ other photographers are simply too lazy to ‘climb’ something. This is a tip that can’t be underestimated: putting in a bit of grunt work

ALL BRIDES ARE BEAUTIFUL!! by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

(  A lesson for future brides and for wedding photographers )

  I believe that being a woman has an advantage when it comes to wedding photography.Most brides do feel much more comfortable around women, especially during the “getting ready”  time. I also believe everyone is their most beautiful when they are happy!!

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  Dont skip the “getting ready” session with your photographer. A great wedding photographer is a great storyteller. To me the beginning of the story is so important,. all of the chaos the emotions and the alone time that I spend with the bride getting the bridal portraits.
   Also try to have the guys near by,you do not want to forget the other part of the story. Having several locations is not a good Idea your photographer will have less time with you,with the guys, and you will have less photos and might even miss out on allot of great moments. The best case scenario   is when you can have everything at one location for instance,rent a beautiful house   and have all vendors come to you ,it really does cut down on the stress level. .
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  I feel one of the most important part of being a great wedding photographer is getting to know your couples, if you can meet with them or have an engagement session do it! If not, often times my couples are from out of state or country, get to know each other through e mails and phone conversations. By the time the wedding day comes, my brides are so happy to see me,they are 100% comfortable and it shows through the lens! Being comfortable   with your wedding photographer also cuts down on the stress.
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  For brides and grooms, dont try to pose,let your emotions flow ,try to forget about the camera and just enjoy every moment.The photo below,”the grooms reaction” is usually the most important moment for both the bride and the groom.
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Environmental portraits lesson/www.creativefreedomphoto.com

As a Photojournalist for several newspapers, environmental portraits are a must.They tell a story. The photo below was the morning after hurricane George hit Key West.

hurricain george pxl

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just because wilma h

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Above a sign turned up side down,one of the weirdest things I have ever seen!

What exactly is an environmental portrait, how does it differ from a typical portrait?
An environmental portrait, also called a location portrait, uses a person’s surroundings to tell more about that person. Sometimes this environment is directly connected to who they are—it’s that person’s home, place of work or community. Other times the environment has little or no connection but helps create a mood that contributes to an understanding of that person.

Below an old Cuban man making hats out of psalm fronds in Key West Fl

“Thats What Fronds Are For”

Thats what fronds are for!!

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Why do I prefer environmental portraits?

  • they give context to the subject you’re photographing
  • they give points of interest to shots (something you need to watch as you don’t want to distract from your subject too much)
  • they help your subject relax
  • they often give the viewer of your shots real insight into the personality and lifestyle of your subject

Backgrounds

There should be some background detail, to add character to a picture, but not so much that it overpowers the presence of the person in the shot. The idea behind this method of photography is that the background subtly adds to the feel of the portrait yet does not become the main feature. If you find the background to be too distracting, try using a wider aperture to blur the background so you can still make out what’s there but the eye is immediately drawn to the person instead. You could also try cropping the shot when you’re back at your computer or simply move your subject to a place where the background isn’t so distracting. Remember, you want your location to relate to your subject and add interest to the shot without actually pulling attention away from your main point of focus.

One of my favorite photographs of my son in his teenage yrs

bella senior 5

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“The best asset that any photojournalist has is the ability to schmooze—the ability to relate to somebody else, the ability to talk to somebody else and to make them feel comfortable. If they’re comfortable with you, your pictures will clearly show it,” “You can’t be shy if you’re going to play photojournalist. You have to talk to people.”

An artist in his gallery in New Orleans

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REFLECTIONS in photography/http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

flower girls

Few things are more inspiring than reflection photography. Reflections are incredibly beautiful, and once you start looking for them, you’ll be surprised to discover that they are all around us.

Piano man

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Using reflections in photography can lead to some amazing effects and beautiful images. Using water, windows, mirrors or any sort of reflective surface can change an image into a work of art. The wonderful thing about using reflections when taking photos is that they can completely alter the image from something fairly straightforward to something richer or abstract or otherwise more artistic.

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Sometimes reflections can be annoying and certainly not artistic. But

creativity and good-quality photos depend on the photographer being able to see things differently, rather than seeing only one part of a larger whole.For a pristine reflection, you can’t beat something really flat. Calm water or glass are the old standbys. But, finding something with a little texture can add contrast and drama. A lumpy piece of metal might not be as flattering as a flat, shiny piece, but it might be more interesting. Also, you can mix rough textures with smooth in the same image to add even more drama. Shoot a reflection in a puddle, but try including some of the surrounding pavement to frame the reflected scene. You can also drop a small rock or into the water to create ripples and see how that changes the resulting image.

jazz ps

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Find a Reflective Surface

The first step in reflection photography is relatively straightforward – you must find a reflective surface. Once you train your eye for it, you’ll realize that reflective surfaces are literally all around us. Some of the most beautiful reflections are found on the surface of water. Any bodies of water including tiny puddles are perfect for reflection photography.

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Find a Unique Subject

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Once you’ve found a reflective surface, the next stop is to find an interesting subject for your photo. Of course, you should always include your subject in the reflection because that’s what the human eye will be paying attention to. If your subject is not found in the reflection, the viewer probably won’t even notice that there is a reflection.

Go Out there and see how many interesting reflections you can find!

232ee5

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FOR THE LOVE OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY ; part 2/creativefreedomphoto

    I am known as a wedding photojournalist, but my true love is street  photography . I have allot to say about this subject I will most likely have several blogs on the topic of street photography.
7fwsrs st musician new orleans
     . Whenever I am sent on a destination wedding to places like New Orleans (one of my favorite places)  I try to at least have a day for myself where I can explore and shoot for my soul.Of course being a “people photographer,New Orleans is magical to me, .I stopped using a zoom lens, on purpose  It has forced me to be up close and personal, to talk and get to know my subjects, most times this is more rewarding to me.. there are still moments where I see a shot and take it very candidly,getting up close would loose the feeling  .There are no rules here, it depends on the subject.Sometimes standing from a distance and just allowing     life to happen, Or,,finding a great spot with just the right light and composition and just waiting for a subject to walk into it. other times
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meeting an artist , musician or character
on the street  and talking while I am photographing him./her,getting to listen and enjoy their stories.Below I ventured into “musicians village in the upper 9th ward in New Orleans and met this wonderful musician named David who invited us into his home and just loved to tell us his stories . Musicians village is a magical place

The village, a development of Habitat for Humanity, was started after Hurricane Katrina on a vacant piece of land once occupied by a school, with the notion of creating a new, affordable neighborhood that would welcome home New Orleans musicians and others displaced by Katrina.

With support from homegrown musical celebrities like Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, the village has blossomed into a neighborhood of 72 new homes and spurred the renovation of previously existing homes along its perimeters. I am dreaming of an “artist village right next door,I would move in a heartbeat”!

 

David from the ninth ward_JMP7382
“The best asset that any photojournalist has is the ability to schmooze—the ability to relate to somebody else, the ability to talk to somebody else and to make them feel comfortable. If they’re comfortable with you, your pictures will clearly show it,” “You can’t be shy if you’re going to play photojournalist. You have to talk to people.”

Explain yourself. Be polite, smile and say sorry if somebody is offended you took a photograph of them. Offer to e-mail the photograph. It takes practice being comfortable in this style of photography, but the results are very true to life and worth it.

Although I love photographing people,street photography doesn’t have to have people in it,sometimes its the details, I found this tile a child wrote and stuck it on a fence in Greenwich village after 9/11

 

And always remember this,
“A mime is a terrible thing to waste”
"A Mime Is A Terrible Thing To Waist"

Improve your photography/rules of composition 2/by creativefreedomphoto

Portrait of Ivya Bat Man

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Unlike technical aspects of photography, artistic aspects cannot really be easily defined and applied to every photo. Probably the most important element of any photograph is its composition. The composition is what makes or breaks your photograph and yet not every composition rule will work well with every photo

FILLING THE FRAME

There’s an old adage in photography that says if you want to improve your photographs 100 percent, move closer. It’s true. The one sure way to keep from including too much extraneous information in a photograph is to fill the frame with your subject and nothing but your subject. Filling the frame from edge to edge leaves little doubt about what your intended target was. There are two ways to get closer: Use a telephoto lens or put some more wear on your walking shoes.

Fill the frame encourages you, as a photographer, to really spend some time thinking about your subject and how best to feature that subject in your photograph. How can you bring forward the details or the patterns or the most critical element(s) of your subject? How does the background add to or take away from the story that you are trying to tell?
 footloose and Fancy FreeGROWTH B SIOS

Background

This is one of those rules that almost all beginning photographers break. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our subject that we don’t pay any attention to what’s going on behind them. If the background is busy and doesn’t add anything to your composition, try using a wider aperture so those distracting elements will become a non-descript blur. Or you can just try changing your angle.

Not all backgrounds need to be excluded, of course. Just make sure you pay attention to them and ask yourself whether they will contribute to or detract from your final image. Your answer will let you know whether you should get rid of them or include them. In the photo of the young just married couple walking on the beach, I included the old couple leaving the beach in the background for a reason,it does make the photograph more interesting. In the photograph of the little girl blowing bubbles, I used a swimming pool to isolate the background.

Asheville growth bubbles

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COLOR

Most people don’t conside rhow color can effect a photograph/make it POP.Know your complimentary colors! Colors that compliment each other, the opposite colors on a color wheel,remember the saying “Opposites attract”Blue and orange,yellow and purple,yellow and blue etc…

VANTAGE POINT

One of the most common mistakes an amateur/novice photographer makes is to take the majority of their photos standing up with the camera held near chest or eye level. Although this is the most comfortable/natural orientation it’s not the one that is going to yield impressive or unique photos. Everybody else is doing it and if you’re interested in taking photos that are going to impress an audience outside of friends and family it’s time to get down & dirty, climb, contort & twist your body all over the place

DSC_0064 1 a flower girl jj

http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

1) Look Up / Look Down

As mentioned previously, taking photos from chest or eye level is what 90% of other photographers are already doing. Start noticing what’s going on up & down. You might notice a man shaving nearby an overhead window or a cute dog scurrying about at ground level. Try taking photos of somebody climbing up steep steps from an overhead perspective. The next time you take a portrait of somebody have them sit down and look up towards the sky or ceiling before taking their shot from an above perspective. Try capturing architecture or a statue from a close-up perspective pointing your camera upwards to capture a distinct or select element.

2) Climb a Mountain, ladder, tree or just some steps

One of the easiest ways to change your perspective is to shoot from a higher vantage point. In other words, be prepared to get physical and do a little exercise climbing a mountain, ladder, tree, or just some steps When shooting above and looking down it’s almost as if you have a bird’s eye perspective of what is going on below. From a higher vantage point you can take great shots of parades, crowds, traffic or scenic valley views. The rewards of doing this are that ‘many’ other photographers are simply too lazy to ‘climb’ something. This is a tip that can’t be underestimated: putting in a bit of grunt work

…To show accomplishment, a child holding a trophy for instance,get down low and shoot up at your subject.

IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY! Rules of composition In Photography /byhttp://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

There are no fixed rules in photography, but there are guidelines which can often help you to enhance the impact of your photos.

It may sound clichéd, but the only rule in photography is that there are no rules. However, there are are number of established composition guidelines which can be applied in almost any situation, to enhance the impact of a scene.

These guidelines will help you take more compelling photographs, lending them a natural balance, drawing attention to the important parts of the scene, or leading the viewer’s eye through the image.

Once you are familiar with these composition tips, you’ll be surprised at just how universal most of them are. You’ll spot them everywhere, and you’ll find it easy to see why some photos “work” while others feel like simple snapshots.

RULE OF THIRDS

Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments by 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.

Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo. Some cameras even offer an option to superimpose a rule of thirds grid over the LCD screen, making it even easier to use.

afws22

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LEADING LINES

When we look at a photo our eye is naturally drawn along lines. By thinking about how you place lines in your composition, you can affect the way we view the image, pulling us into the picture, towards the subject, or on a journey “through” the scene. There are many different types of line – straight, diagonal, curvy, zigzag, radial etc – and each can be used to enhance our photo’s composition.

bella wedding 10

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SYMMETRY AND PATTERNS

We are surrounded by symmetry and patterns, both natural and man-made., They can make for very eye-catching compositions, particularly in situations where they are not expected. Another great way to use them is to break the symmetry or pattern in some way, introducing tension and a focal point to the scene.

 golden reflections

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SYMMETRY refers to a line that splits an object in half and, if both sides of the object are an exact mirror image of each other, then this object is said to be symmetrical. The line that splits a symmetrical object is called the line of symmetry. Symmetry is a powerful tool that lets you automatically create harmony and a sense of aesthetically pleasing balance and proportion in a photograph. You probably remember learning about symmetry in geometry class, but I rarely see photographers apply it in their work. That’s too bad, because symmetry is a powerful photographic tool. Symmetry is all around us and has always been associated with beauty, so why not use it? Depending on how you are holding the camera and how much of a scene you choose to show, you can strengthen or weaken the symmetric properties of an object or scene. there are many types of symmetries

Photographers look for symmetry and shoot it on purpose but sometimes even they create symmetry unconsciously as well. Symmetry soothes the eyes and mind of the viewer. Symmetry requires an eye-catching point of interest and a powerful composition. Without these two elements, it cannot hold the viewer’s attention for long. Achieving symmetry in an unexpected scene can make very appealing photography subjects.

FRAMING

The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.

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Opt for Simplicity

The concept of less is more lends itself effectively to just about everything, and photography is no exception. Overly complicated or complex photographic composition has the same problem as compound complicated sentences in writing, which make it difficult for the audience to understand and appreciate the idea that is trying to be conveyed. Simple in this context doesn’t mean simplistic, but rather lacking unnecessary elements that confuse or are redundant. In photography creating uncluttered, but distinct compositions simplify yet enhance the delivery of the idea. The mind’s eye of the viewer can do all the heavy lifting.

Photography Rules of Composition:
Simplify

Here is the first of the photography rules of composition you need to have in your toolbox: simplify! You want to break the rules? Well, you need to master them first, so read on!

Simplify

simplicity INNOCENCE PX

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You’ve probably heard of the KISS principle. “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” It teaches us to strive for design simplicity, and avoid unnecessary complexity. In photography composition, that means that we don’t want to include any elements in our picture space that distract from our main message.

It’s very tempting sometimes, when we come upon a great scene, to try to includeeverything in the picture. That is a mistake. It ends up being a jumble of elements that make for “information overload” for the viewer. It’s up to you to figure out what attracted you to the scene in the first place, and simplify the image to emphasize that factor.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR PICTURE TAKING!

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Capturing emotion in Photography by http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

we often find that the most beautiful photographs are often the ones capturing the strongest emotion. After all, human emotion is something we all experience every day of our lives.

a for thumt n re size-001

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Unless you’re a wedding photographer, where emotions are running high, and therefore are all over people’s faces, it’s not so easy to capture emotion. When they see a camera, people tend to freeze like deer in the headlights or they over react with big, cheesy grins or scrunched faces. This makes capturing raw emotion a bit tricky for any photographer. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, you just have to have some tricks up your lens hood. -Capturing emotion in photos is no easy task! It can be especially tricky when people know they are being photographed we all want something more from a photo… genuine emotion. As the photographer, it’s your job to help people feel relaxed and comfortable!a1-003http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

When you’re shooting street shots or candids, capturing genuine emotion isn’t too difficult because you’re recording moments as they happen and your subjects are often unaware of or unconcerned with the camera’s presence.It takes a little effort — mostly in the form of simply being a thoughtful photographer — but getting your subjects to display some unfiltered emotion is certainly an attainable goal and one with a huge payoff. The following tips apply whether your portraits are formal or spur of the moment, for pay or for fun.,

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Talk,Talk,Talk…is particularly important if the person you’re shooting is a stranger. Talking helps you, the photographer, get a feel for your subject’s personality and helps your subject forget about the camera. You can put them at ease by asking questions about themselves; don’t be intrusive or overly personal with your questions, but do express a real interest in their responses.

http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/A PXL

It’s actually quite likely that some of the best photo ops are when they think you’ve put the camera down. The in-between moments are when your subject becomes authentic again. If you can sneak in a few photos during this time, you’ll be golden. When you pull this off will be spontaneous. If there is more than one person that you’re photographing, that spontaneity will be more likely to occur as they engage in conversation or an activity while you’re changing out your lenses. Stay on your toes and be ready for the unexpected!-

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Pulling emotion from people takes tack that comes more naturally to some than others. It helps to visualize a shoot before going into it. Imagine how and where you’re going to position them, the gear and equipment you’ll use, and how the actual images might look when done. Going into the shoot with a vision of how it would unfold will help you relax, which helps your client relax.fi1http://www.creativefreedomphoto.com/

saying ‘photography is done with the mind and heart’ continues to perfectly define the dividing line between an aficionado of the craft, and an artist.
The fascination with equipment and lenses is understandable; the same goes for passion for watches or cars, but all the best equipment or the best range of lenses in the world won’t do much to transform you into a great photographer.

When people argue over the grain of the photograph, or the lens that you really must use for this or that, they are losing sight of what is actually important: the content of the image, and the way in which the photographer sees his or her own reality. The first and essential thing needed to be able to argue above a photograph is to know what is actually being made. And in order to get something worth discussing, all we need is a camera and a lens, not the best camera and twelve lenses.