Self Portrait Composites in Quarantine

I’m not a patient, nurturing person by nature, so being at home with a 2.5-year-old and a 5-month-old is literally taking up 120% of my effort, patience, and mental capacity. I couldn’t help but feel like the moment I’d put one toy away, another one had exploded all over the floor. How is this happening?! She’s only one kid! My head was spinning from her boundless energy and short attention span. So that’s where the idea for this image was born. Composites don’t have to be hard and daunting, and you don’t need to be a Photoshop guru to create them either. If you keep a few important concepts in mind, you’ll be shocked at how easy it is. In this article I’ll walk you through the step by step process for creating this image.

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Filming Your Kids

In this day and age of iPhones and uber-camera-equipped Android devices, do we really need to consider anything else to film our children? It’s a valid question. Phone cameras are getting better with every iteration. Some can even rival DSLR and mirrorless image quality in outdoor, daylight conditions. I would say, however, that if filming your kids is a project that you really want to inject with your full arsenal of photography and videography skills, a phone will be limiting.

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One Window, Multiple Shots

The versatility you can achieve with just one window is amazing. I’ve often heard the excuse, “I don’t have a beautiful space or home to shoot in.” At one point in my life, while my family was in the middle of building a home, we lived in a tiny, old, drafty apartment. It was far from picture perfect, but in the right light none of that mattered.

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Tips for Working With Children (and Parents)

Photographing newborns is one thing, but photographing children requires a whole lot of knowledge about child development, bribery, and cognitive behavior. I have been photographing children since I became an aunt 26 years ago. I remember when I first started observing my nieces and nephews, I was in love with their every move. I could quietly photograph them and it seemed so easy. I wasn’t their “parent” or their “paid photographer”—just Aunt Ana with a camera.

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Tips for a Successful Sleepy Newborn Session

Whether you specialize in baby photography or you just book the occasional newborn client, you’ve probably experienced one of the most frustrating parts of the job: newborns who don’t want to sleep. It probably doesn’t sound like an issue at first. So what? Just pose them awake! Except that awake newborns don’t always equal content newborns, and it’s a lot harder than it seems to pose a wiggly, arm-flailing, cross-eyed, screaming baby. We’ve had our share of super-alert newborns. We’re going to share how we approach those sessions without getting frustrated and still get the variety needed to fill a gallery in 3 hours or less. 

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3 Tips That Will Take You From a Beginner to a Maternity Master

Maternity photography intimidates many. Feeling foreign in the approach, whether it is in the posing, sales structure, or client interactions, is enough to prevent people from taking hold of the huge advantages that offering maternity services could provide. And really, for most wedding shooters, family photographers, or even seasoned high school senior photographers, maternity is not that far of a leap. And even if you are just starting out brand new as a portrait photographer, there is no need to be overwhelmed or scared to shoot maternity. I am going to lay out 3 key elements for you to follow that will take you from a beginner maternity photographer to a master in no time.

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Is Professional Photography Dead?

Here is the reality: as I write this almost 30 million Americans are unemployed. Will they get their jobs back? Time will tell, but I'm sure we can agree that 30 million people will not go back to work immediately. Some businesses will never recover. There will be long-term unemployment. That news alone is concerning to any business owner. If your customers are unemployed, how will they afford your products or services? Fair question. So, that leads us right back to the headline. Is professional photography dead?

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How to Get Your Photography Published in a Magazine

Magazine publishers will have you know that print as a medium is changing: there are more localized and niche magazines than ever. If you are paying close attention to your market, you'll see that while the industry has changed to accommodate the growth of online journalism and other publications, it isn't gone! Don't give up on the possibility of being published, but also don't discount highly-popular blogs, online magazines, and other publications. They vary in their reach and shelf life, but there’s no reason to ignore the power of print.

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8 Tips to Create Fairytale Styled Child Portraits That Sell

Because I loved the magic and storytelling of child portraits, I decided to focus on that genre as a specialty. I began to focus on creating a story within my images, and I quickly realized that the more I focused on building that story by supplying the wardrobe, building a set, and focusing on a theme, the more interest I received for my sessions. This was a win-win for me! I was able to create what I wanted to for my creative soul, all the while having parents pay top dollar for it.

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What I’ve Learned in My Nearly 35-Year Career

At the start of my journey, I stumbled and made mistakes as we all do… but those mistakes were all part of a steep learning curve. For the first 10 years of my career, I exclusively did private portrait commissions. That experience was invaluable in that it taught me how to deal with children of all ages. It’s difficult at the best of times to connect with a child who considers you a stranger, and to draw out the uniqueness in each child within a very limited time puts huge extra pressure on that connection.

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