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Learn

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If you have ever played an MMORPG, then you know that there are important lessons it teaches. You get better with experience. There are very few who start off at the top. This is ultimately true in portrait photography. Sometimes people think they can just shoot portraits without sitting for one. They are afraid of being in front of the camera and are either uncomfortable with themselves or with the process. Portrait photography can be its own world in photography. If the photographer can’t make the subject comfortable, it will show in the final image. To truly make your subject comfortable, you as a photographer have to be comfortable. The best way to do this is to get comfortable with yourself.

So we’re going to start out by saying this: do not take selfies. Take self-portraits. If you are not really comfortable with yourself, you are probably taking selfies. However, making self-portraits can teach you a lot.

We have many posts on portrait photography that you can check out. But here are a couple of short and quick tips for you.

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Use Social Media to Enhance Your Photography

We, as photographers, have been using social media for a while now. Some of us use it for work, and some of us use it to chat. Social media, however, is a great tool to enhance our photography. With it, we can get ideas, meet mentors and find answers to problems. Through it, we can see trends form it styles develop. For photographers, social media is important.It’s a level playing field and anybody can use it. Here are some ways social media can enhance your photography.

 

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Image Via WikiMedia Original photographer unknown

Jimi Hendrix Image Via WikiMedia Original photographer unknown

I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix with my dad. He is by far one the best guitar players of all time. His guitar playing revolutionized music. In a way it can also revolutionize your photography. Jimi Hendrix’s life and legacy can teach you a lot in how to deal with your photography, if you look at it the right way. He was a unique individual who did things his own way. However, he also learned from many of those who came before him. I’ve studied Jimi Hendrix quite a bit and it dawned on me that this is a great way to learn photography.

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Once you acknowledge, “Yeah, my photos do suck,” and you have not put down the camera, there are some things you can do to get better. They are not difficult but will require discipline and dedication. Improvement, in anything, comes with time and effort. We have talked about why your photos suck.  It’s not about gear, it’s not about filling your SD card or photoshopping your images to death, it’s about you.

Here are some tips to get better.

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Help your subjects look their best

Help your subjects look their best

The most common question I get at the beginning of a shoot from non-professional models, especially females is “Can you make me look skinnier/prettier/younger?” They’re generally saying it in jest and are thus surprised when I answer in all seriousness “Yes, I can. It will still be you, just the best you.” How do I do that without changing what the person actually looks like? Well here are a few tricks to do just that.

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Mixed lighting photo unedited

Mixed lighting photo unedited

As a follow-up to my post on coping with mixed lighting while shooting, here is a way you can save an image where you didn’t get it right in-camera. There are many different ways of doing this that take varying amounts of time, this is just one way to do it and a pretty quick one.We’ll use this image as our test:

You can see that the majority of the image is quite yellow from the incandescent lighting at the event, but there are blue reflections in the platter from the flash as well. There are other issues but for the tutorial let’s just focus on those two obvious problems.

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