Movie Magic: How First-Time Filmmakers Reached the Silver Screen

In 2011, my wife and I took a big risk. We emptied our savings to fund the film project. We’d just experienced a loss in our lives, and we needed to step back from taking pretty wedding pictures for a while. Instead, we turned our cameras toward kids fighting to survive in one of the world’s most violent slums. The result was our low-budget documentary Lost Boys of Paradise, which raised money for the nonprofit Engadi Ministries, with which we still work. So the risk paid off, right? But not how you might think. Things change. Today, after five years writing for Shutter (now a premier photo industry publication), our tiny 2011 video project has led to something bigger than I could have imagined. Our professional life has come full circle—almost miraculously so. Because now you are part of this story, too.

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7 Ways to Stretch Your Creative Muscle

That feeling of world-weariness, or ennui, that I discussed in a previous article can get to all of us from time to time. It can feel as if you are no longer making progress or your work is no longer exciting. That might mean it is time to feed the artistic side of your brain and take a break from your typical work. It’s time to stretch your creativity to keep yourself fresh and excited about what you do.

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Why Clients Choose Cheap Photographers

People who are willing to work for cheap are taking away jobs from the rest of us, goes the common wisdom. By offering their services for very little, they are hindering professional photographers from booking jobs. But are they really? The short answer is no, cheap photographers aren’t cheapening the field. They aren’t taking your job. Why? Because they don’t know how to do your job.

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5 Truths About Top-Performing Photography Businesses

While it seems that good photography is the biggest factor behind any successful studio, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you have to produce consistently good imagery and offer a great customer experience, but that is just part of the equation. This month, I provide you with five truths to help you build a brand that outperforms your competitors.

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How to Find Photography Inspiration

Just like writers or painters, photographers can run into creative blocks and get stuck in a rut. These creative ruts can last days or even weeks, and in extreme cases of creative drought can also lead to loss of interest in photography altogether. But even if you are always busy with photography, new sources of inspiration can energize and invigorate your spirit and take your work in a new and unexpected direction.

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How to Recognize & Prevent Photography Burnout

One of the hardest things to do as a small business owner, especially artists, is to recognize when you’re approaching burnout. The signs are always obvious when we talk about them, but they’re not when they’re happening. I can’t figure out what’s wrong but I know when I’m off my game. Here are some strategies to think about.

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Cinematic Rules for Wedding Photographers

Although it’s been common in Facebook photography groups to bash the video team at a wedding, we can learn quite a bit from their craft and apply it to our own. My husband, Rich, is a cinematographer, and through working with him, I have learned ideas and techniques that have improved the way I photograph a wedding and the way I deliver wedding albums as well. When we are photographing a wedding, we want to begin with the end in mind: a beautifully designed album. We want that album to have symmetry and balance, proper proportions and beautiful leading lines. This is how we use cinematic rules for our photography.

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How to Photograph for Candid Black & White Images

My favorite part of photography is capturing moments. As a second shooter for a primary photographer who knows how to pose and who pays very close attention to details, I can hide in the corner and capture candid moments as they unfold. Candid photos work so well in black and white, especially when laid out in a wedding album. Here are some of my tips to help you get the best candid images throughout a wedding day that look beautiful in black and white.

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