Photographer Tips

12 Tips For Documenting Home Life

Documenting home life and capturing family moments is what inspired many of us to pick up a camera. But upon picking up a camera, we discovered just how challenging it is to capture those moments.

These 15 tips are ones that I’ve used over the years to capture my family moments. They will help you capture your moments more creatively, overcome lighting challenges, and use simpler camera settings.

The best part is, these tips work whether you’re using a DSLR or just your phone to take pictures.


It’s important to capture a good moment because the moment overshadows everything else in your photo. Surprisingly, people will often overlook bad lighting and sloppy composition in your photo simply because you captured a powerful moment.

The question is, how do you capture a moment well?

Remember that these tips apply to every photo you take, even if you’re using your phon.

1. Distinguish between two major types of moments

Probability concepts explained: probability distributions ...

  1. There are two types of moments; posed and candid.

With posed moments, you are in control of the details. You decide exactly what or who is in your photo, how they’re positioned, and how everything is interacting together.

When it comes to documenting home life, most of us prefer candid moments. Candid moments are spontaneous events that just happen naturally. By definition, you can’t force these moments to happen, you just see a great moment that happens spontaneously and you want to capture it. Of course, you can easily ruin the natural moments by stepping in and interrupting them.

But candid moments have a special problem, you don’t see them coming until it’s too late!

2. Learn to see the future

Online Photography Course - Photography Made Easy | Groupon

You’ll be able to capture better moments when you develop the technical skill of seeing the future. Don’t worry, it’s not as impossible as you think.

The key to seeing the future is spotting patterns. When you see a pattern repeating itself, you can reliably predict what is going to come next. Look for patterns as you document home life, and you’ll be ready to capture the moment before it happens.

3. Take your camera and go looking for moments

Moment - How to Make Your Video Footage Look Vintage

You know that when things go strangely quiet, something interesting is happening. So pick up your camera and go see what your kids are up to. If you don’t take your camera with you, by the time you go find it, the moment will have passed. It will be too late. When the house is quiet, pick up your camera, then go looking.

4. Include action and emotion

The 6 Types of Basic Emotions

One key to capturing better moments while documenting home life is to make sure that they include action or emotion. Again, if everything else goes wrong, the action or emotional element will make your photo stronger.

5. Bug’s eye view

Bug's Eye View by BenDiAnna on DeviantArt

This angle is wildly dramatic. Get really low, look straight up and see things tower above you. When you take all your pictures from the same angle, they are boring to look at. So make 1 out of 10 a bug’s eye view.

6. Low angle

Macam-Macam Angle Fotografi

Low angles take your photos to a new level by adding drama to your photo. Use it when photographing action moments like the child jumping across beds in the photo above.

7. Face-to-face

She's not ready to meet face-to-face | Mind Ur Business

This angle puts you eye to eye with your subject and makes your photo more captivating. This angle works especially well when combined with emotional moments.

8. High angle

High Angle View Of Adorable Little Boy Reaching Hands And Smiling ...

High angles are great for capturing the cuteness of little kids. Partly because a higher angle can make people look a little smaller. It’s a friendly angle.

9. Bird’s eye view

Hong Kong from the sky: a bird's-eye view of a concrete canopy ...

Our last angle is the bird’s eye view. You get right up there and look straight down. You don’t have to be high up in the air for this angle, just higher than your subject.

10. Avoid cluttered backgrounds

5 Easy Tools for Removing Background Clutter in Photoshop - YouTube

A cluttered background will weaken your photo. There are two ways to deal with a cluttered background in your photo. The first is to change your angle slightly to avoid distracting elements. The second is to actually clean up your house. Of course, maybe a messy background is part of documenting home life!

11. Use Frames

Using Frames in Photographs – Learn Photography

Look for objects that will frame your subject in an interesting way. Try shooting through cracks in doorways or window frames.

12. Use natural window light

Getting more Natural Light into your basement! | Window Well Experts

Windows are a great source of natural light. You can use them for portraits, silhouettes, and just generally good lighting. Try to capture moments close to a window.

Best Photography Wedding

Resources for Free Stock Photos in 2020

Resources for Free Stock Photos in 2020

10 Resources for Free Stock Photos | PicMonkey

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then having a good stock photo website on hand is crucial for any digital marketer.

That’s because stock photos are a great way to:

  • Boost engagement
  • Liven up a blog or social media post
  • Build your business’s brand

But marketers should be careful. not to infringe on anyone’s copyright Always respect the creative works and rights of others. If not, you risk serious consequences, such as big fines and even having your website taken down.

One great way to avoid this is to use a free stock photo site. Stock photo sites collect images from artists and photographers who have given permission for anyone to use them.

That’s why we put together this collection of free stock photo resources and websites that you can use to grow your brand.

resources for free stock photos

Every image site in the list below falls under Creative Commons. That means you can use them and don’t need to worry about getting sued.

1.   Unsplash

Dancing Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash


  1. Unsplash is a fantastic free stock photo resource that contains more than 850,000 high-resolution images. Each photo is sourced from the website’s talented community of photographers and media creators.
  2. Also, the images are arguably better than any paid stock photo service you’ll find. With businesses like Squarespace, Invision, and Medium leveraging their free stock photos, you will be in good company.

   2. Gratisography

beautiful, bench, cold and holiday - image #260099 on

  1. Gratisography is one of the most interesting of the free stock photo sites due to the quirky style of photographer Ryan McGuire who captures everything from people making goofy faces to airborne cats.
  2. All of the photos are high-resolution and royalty-free—ready for your use wherever you please. The photos are organized by categories—animals, nature, objects, people, urban, and whimsical. And new ones are added every week, which McGuire shares on twitter and. Facebook

      3. IM Free

beautiful, bench, cold and holiday - image #260099 on

  1. IM Free is a “curated collection of free web design resources, all for commercial use.” The royalty-free stock photos are organized by categories such as technology, education, and nature.
  2. But stock photos aren’t the only things you’ll find on the site. There’s also free templates, icons, button makers, and more.

      4. Pixabay

Discover and download free videos - Pixabay

  1. Pixabay offers nearly half a million free images and videos for both personal and commercial use. All images on the site are royalty-free and covered under Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, which means they can be modified and used commercially online and in print.

     5.   Pexels

1000+ Beautiful Background Photos Pexels · Free Stock Photos

  1. Pexels is another fantastic website offering hundreds of thousands of free stock photos drawing from a community of photographers and digital creatives. The website also aggregates photos from other websites such as Gratisography, LIttle Visuals, and Pixabay to get you the most high-quality photos out there.

     6. Burst by Shopify

7 Free High Quality Stock Image websites. - The Digital Studios

  1. In an effort to combat the issue of diversity and inclusion within media and marketing, Shopify held internal photo shoots to create high quality images of a diverse group of ethnicities and genders in the workplace. That collection is now open and free for personal and commercial use on a new stock photo site called Burst.
  2. Fun fact: Hootsuite made a special collection of stock photos in collaboration with Burst, too.

    7. Picjumbo

Free download: Royalty free stock images from Picjumbo ...

  1. With more than 5 million downloads since it launched in 2013, Picjumbo is a popular free resource for social media images. Users can click through the different categories of over 2,000 free high resolution photos, or download a pack that includes all images and three Photoshop mockups (in exchange for a donation of $15 or more.)

     8. Morguefile

Morguefile Wedding photos 101.jpg

  1. Created in 1996, Morguefile is easily one of the oldest free stock photo sites on this list. While the images are free to use, the website asks that photo owners are credited. It’s a great resource for free social media images that can be used as backgrounds for text-based graphics.

       9. Reshot

Free stock photo of Party time - Reshot

  1. Reshot boasts the “largest catalog of high-quality free stock photos that you won’t find anywhere else.” They source their photos from a community of very talented photographers whom they have partnered with to give you the very best image assets for any web needs.
  2. You can even download curated theme photo packs such as “Active Lifestyle” and “Everyday Technology.”

10. Stockvault

Most Downloaded Photos -

Stockvault hosts over 35,000 royalty-free images, graphics, and designs from photographers, designers, and students around the world. As long as you stay on the “Free Stock Photos” rather than the “Premium Stock Photos” tab, you have access to a huge library of photos to use on social media.






Best Photography Websites 2020

Photography websites are the place to go for all kinds of help. Whether you’re starting out, or you’re a seasoned photographer already, you will need advice and tips.

To make your life easier, we’ve put together this list of top 30 photography websites. Some will offer you news across all photographic fields. Others will give you tutorials on how to create an image with a specife style.

Whatever interests you or you need more help with, these photography websites are the place to go.

  • Dave Morrow Photography


If you’re looking for the best photography websites to help with your landscape photography – look no further. Dave Morrow Photography has everything you need to take the shots you want.

He has also made it easy for you. Head on over to the site and go to the ‘Start Here’ section. He is a guy you can trust, as he spends 3/4 of each year in the wild, capturing unbelievable shots.

To follow his dream of being a photographer, he quit his day job at a high-paying corporate position. Now he receives so much more job satisfaction helping others with his videos and image help.

From the basics to the more complicated themes , read his site and get ready to start learning.

  1. Scott Kelby

Reaction to "50 Brides Reveal What Their Photographers Could Have ...

Scott Kelby is a name that most of us have heard before. He is a Floridian and runs one of the biggest online educational communities.

He also has a few books under his belt. Namely “The Digital Photography Book, Part 1” which became the best selling book in history on photography. He has won awards for other works and seen them translated in many languages.

On top of this, his moniker is the original ‘Photoshop Guy’. You can guess why!

If you’re looking for all sorts of photography help, this is it. From reviews to insights, tutorials, and all kinds of help you can possibly imagine.

  1. The Fashion Camera 

Behind The Scenes - Wedding • The Fashion Camera

Are you an aspiring fashion photographer ? Want to capture lookbooks ,steet  fashion or even high-end fashion studio portraits

You’ll be glad for the help. No doubt you are aware of how difficult the fashion industry is to break into. You definitely don’t want your images to let you down.

Here you’ll find behind-the-scenes help when it comes to fashion photography . Liselotte Fleur is the creator and boy, does she have a lot to tell you. Over the past 12 years, she has gained valuable experience that she wants to pass on.

When it comes to fashion photography, this is the person you want to learn from.

  • Feature Shoot

Southern Utah Bride feature shoot - Utah Wedding PhotographerUtah ...

To begin with, I wasn’t sure what Feature Shoot was. Was it a magazine? Was it an educational photography blog? It is actually both!

What they do is almost written on the tin – they feature those who make the grade. Either from well-established photographers or those who are just starting.

If you have great quality images, your work could feature well here. A great source of inspiration and help across the board.

  • Into The Night Photography

Why I Love My 20mm Lens to Shoot Weddings | Photography, Night ...

As the title of this photography website suggests, it is a place of photographic education on the night sky.

Royce Blair is the man behind this helpful page. He provides useful advice and tips on how to capture all that sits above you.

Straight shots of The milk way ? Including a foreground in your captures? This is the place to come for everything you need.

  • Fiona kelly Photography

B.LOVED Edit Supplier Spotlight: Fiona Kelly Photography – By ...

If it’s weddinh photography  you are looking for, you’re in the right place. Fiona Kelly is the one that gets us through the backdoor to give us all the help we need.

Let’s be honest, unless you are a seasoned high-end event photography , wedding shoots are daunting. So much focus and pressure are placed on the ceremony and celebration.

Luckily, we have someone guiding us and has done so for the last five years. She shares with us everything that she picked up along the way. Not just on how to shoot the bride and groom, but also Group photos made Easy .

The benefit is that her website looks great, and it is very easy to navigate.

Photographer Tips

Four Essential Beginner Photographer Tips

If you are new to photography the possibilities can seem endless and the options almost overwhelming. Buttons, dials, apertures, shutters, flashes…where do you even start? Of course, it’s always good to learn basics like the exposure triangle, but there are some simple beginner photographer tips that will immediately elevate your picture-taking prowess.

  1. Nikon D7100, 50mm, f/5.6, 1/250 second, ISO 100, +10 close-up filter

Nikon D5600 w/ 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens Kit |

  1. Look for the light
  2. The first of the beginner photographer tips is tho look for the light.
  3. Does your camera have a flash? Great!
  4. Does it turn on all the time? Not so great.

This is usually a sign that your camera thinks your picture is too dark, so it tries to add a bit of light to fix things. From that perspective, the flash makes a lot of sense, but often it can end up ruining what might otherwise be a perfectly good photo. Instead of a pleasing, well-lit image, you end up with red eyes, harsh shadows, and bright spots of light reflecting off windows.

I shot this in a well-lit room with a lot of windows letting in the sunlight.

  1. Nikon D750, 50mm, f/5.6, 1/90 second, ISO 6400.

Nikon D750 DSLR Camera with 24-120mm Lens 1549 B&H Photo Video

Instead of relying on the flash, look for the light that’s already available and reposition yourself accordingly. If you are indoors, put your subject in front of you and put your back to a window. If you are outdoors, look at where the sun is. Move yourself and your subject so that the light is behind you, not behind the person or object you are shooting. Better yet, re-compose your shot so your subject is in the shade and evenly lit.


  1. Nikon D7100, 50mm, f/2.8, 1/750 second, ISO 100.

Jual Nikon D7100 Body only

In the picture above, the light was so bright that my kids were entirely shrouded in shadow, Creating a sihouette.

The only way to save the photo was to make it black-and-white in Lightroom! I could have also waited until the light was more overcast to get a more even exposure. Or I could have intentionally used the pop-up flash as a fill flash to add a touch of light to the two shadowy subjects.

This technique works for casual snapshots, formal portratis, or pretty much any style of photography.

To get this group photo of three generations of women in a park, I had to get a little creative with light and positioning. I found a spot that was in the shade of a tree, so all their faces were well lit. You can see a swath of light going across the foreground that would have wreaked havoc on the photo if everyone was two steps forward.

Looking for the light is one of those beginner photography tips that sound constraining, but with practice, it will become second nature. You will automatically find yourself thinking about light and shadow and how to  create the best composition without resorting to that pop-up flash. It’s also one of the most impactful things you can do to differentiate your photos and make people think twice when considering you as more than just an amateur.

Use Continuous Autofocus

Using continuous auto focus ALL the time - YouTube

Modern DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are outstanding when it comes to autofocus – certainly much more than their counterparts from a few years ago.

Modern focusing systems can track people, objects, and animals with ease. The latest mirrorless cameras can even lock focus on a single eye and reacquire in an instant if the person turns their head or another object momentarily blocks your view.

Action shots are almost impossible without rock-solid autofocus. Almost any camera you get is probably going to be up to the task as long as you’ve the right lens.

There’s one mistake that a lot of beginner photographers make that can really hold back your action shots or even just everyday photos of people or pets. They use single-shot autofocus instead of continuous autofocus.

When you half-press the shutter button you probably here a sound to let you know that your shot is in focus. It might be a quick beep-beep along with a little dot or square lighting up to indicate that your picture will be  tack shap. Continue pressing your finger and you’ll get just what you expect: a crystal clear image in bright, vivid color.

photography business wedding phtograpy

Professional Wedding Photography

How to Get Started in Professional Wedding Photography

Grow Your Wedding Photography Business - The 17 Step Guide

There is of course much to consider beyond taking pictures. How will you build up a portfolio to show clients? How will you win clients? How will you present your portfolio? What packages will you offer? What equipment do you need? How much post- processing will be involved? How much can you charge and how can you maximise profits? Importantly, can you make a living from professional wedding photography?

It is actually easier to get started in portrait photographer compared with wedding photography – you can start with family and friends who are usually willing subjects.

It is harder to build a wedding photography portfolio with no experience, but it can be done. There might be a wedding in the family, where you could ask for a short time with the bride and groom to photograph them. It can be a problem if they have hired a photographer who may not appreciate the competition. Alternatively you could hire a model and a wedding dress, hire a local wedding venue or church. Portfolio workshops could be a good option if you are in a hurry, although might be expensive and you have less control. Working as a second shooter at a wedding could be a good option.

Running a successful wedding photography business

How To Start A Successful Wedding Photography Business

involved around 20% photography and 80% marketing. You will need to consider how to win clients otherwise you have no business. We have found the best way to advertise your services is to have a website where you display your online portfolio. A targeted online advertising campaign can generate several phone and Email enquiries. Other forms of advertising (adverts on cars, in magazines) may not be so successful. Wedding fayres can be good, particularly if they are at local venues where you hope to find work. Be careful to only show your very best work and it must be very well presented. You will have an initial conversation with the bride or groom. Remember the main purpose is only to book a meeting with the couple.

Your pricing structure depends on your target market. It is best to avoid the ‘budget photographer’ label, it can be very difficult to shake off as you gain experience.

Remember to factor in all the hours that will be spent preparing for the wedding, the post-production work (which could be several days for one wedding), the cost of equipment, insurance and transport. You need to have an idea of what the serious competition is charging. If you are just starting, you will need to be reasonably priced compared to them. You can put your prices up as you gain experience. My advice would be not to work for free just to gain experience! You will be valued more highly by paying customers who appreciate good photography. An effective pricing strategy would be to offer at least 3 levels of service. Your lowest priced package should be above the ‘budget photoographers’ in your area. Clients should clearly see what they will be getting, both the hours of photography and the format of presentation. In many cases, clients opt for the middle package when presented with a choice of 3 levels!


The booking meeting, start with the highest level package

GH Universal Hotel - Vendor Venue di Bandung | Bridestory

Show only stunning and creative shots of brides, bride & groom together and reportage style shots. Don’t show group shots, they are often much less inspiring and will not win many clients!


Decisions are made based on you and whether they like you. Believe it or not, they are not analysing your photography so much as your behaviour! They have most likely already seen some of your work on your website. Be relaxed, confident, friendly and business like. Your posture will win the assignment! You don’t need to start planning the wedding at this stage. Later, you will have a pre-wedding meeting, where the wedding photography will be planned in detail. It is usual to take a deposit of around 20% to secure the booking and the remainder needs to be paid before the wedding (don’t wait until after, you will struggle to get it!)

In many ways, your choice of equipment is much less important than the marketing considerations already discussed. Photographers have their own view on what equipment they need and will be determined by style.

In general, you will need professional grade equipment, with spares of everything! Be prepared for equipment failures.

As you progress, you will develop your own unique style and preferred ways of working. How much posing do you like to do? Do you prefer to be a fly on the wall and record a documentary style. I have always felt more secure with an element of intervention and posing, but keeping this to a minimum and working quickly is likely to produce more natural results. Gone are the days of long sessions talking formal groups, although some group shots are recommended. A group shot can be turned into a reportage shot quite easily, for example, by asking the subjects to look at each other and smile!

I would recommend attending a training course to develop technique and working knowledge of the method of wedding photography. Professional Wedding Photography is a big responsibility, but also hugely rewarding for the right people. So why not give it a go?

Why Wedding Photography is SO Important. Don't Regret it.

Photo Critique

How To Deliver A Useful Photo Critique

Much has been written on DPS about receiving feedback and examining your own photos to help improve. Today I want to give you some pointers on providing a critique to others (when asked for) so the conversation between you and the photographer is time well spent.

At its base, a critique is an examination of a piece of work, be it writing or art or potato chips, and a reasoned response to what is examined. I’ll be talking mostly about ‘soft’ critiques in this post as they are the ones that examine content in a less mathematical way. Not that math doesn’t apply to photos, but examining a photo is more subjective than objective.


1. Make Sure The Photographer WANTS A Critique

What You Have Constantly Wondered About Photography

Most importantly, ensure the person receiving the critique actually desires a critique. While your intentions may be pure and the information you have may benefit the recipient, if most people aren’t open to the idea of hearing about their work, they won’t hear a thing you say. And it may backfire. Before launching into, “There are some things about this image I want to comment on…” start out with something as simple as, “Would you like an honest critique of your image?” If the answer is, “No thanks,” then move along and don’t’ say a word. If someone is not open to receiving, they won’t. (I know it sounds obvious, but it is often overlooked.)


2. Be Honest

How to promote constructive honesty (especially towards you)

This is hard for many of us. Some of us are being desensitized to the “Nice work!” we see on Facebook and Google+ and think all the world need be rosy. This is not the case. But (as long as point #1 is followed) we need to make sure we are honest from the start. If you just want to tear someone’s art apart, say so (that is not at the heart of a critique, by the way). If you want to help them improve, say that too. If you just want to spout your opinion, ditto. Hearing yourself talk or trying to gain more exposure on certain sites by ‘joining in on the conversation’ has its place, but just be honest about why you are speaking.


3. Realize Your View Of The World Is Incomplete

Museum of Incomplete

Most people jump right over this concept. We all have egos that enjoy thinking they have the accumulated knowledge of the world, or at least some specific subset. But the truth is, no one does and we, as a society, are learning new things about the world around us all the time. So it is with art. Any art revolution was confronted with detractors; people who thought it was rubbish, based solely on person, past experiences. Knowing you don’t know everything will help lead to an open discussion rather than a one sided, “You did all this wrong,” point of view.


4. Educate Yourself

5 Tips to Educate Yourself and Advance Your Career - Toggl Blog

Before getting started, in hand with knowing you don’t know everything, learn a little about the subject being critiqued; both the subject of the photo and the subject of photography. There’s no need to take college level courses to learn some art history and different photographic techniques. Often this education can come from the photographer by asking simple questions about why they shot what they did and what they were attempting to portray (some will tell you to not ask these types of questions as it may alter your critique, but I find it can be helpful in guiding the conversation).


5. Examine And Highlight

Experts and NGOs highlight free expression concerns as UN prepares ...

Examine the body of work, set it down, walk away, and come back. I have found this process helpful personally to shake my thoughts up and then let them settle. If time is not available, by all means, jump right in. Look to what works and doesn’t work in the image. Look for technical merit (and here our very own Christina Dickson gives some examples of: Exposure, Focus and Composition in her post on portrait critiques) and look to more subjective areas such as story telling and emotional impact. Highlight what works and what doesn’t work. And most importantly; why.

The ‘Why’ is at the heart of the critique. It will help the photographer more than anything. “Her hair is all wrong,” is not a good critique, even though it might be accurate. “Her hair is bothering me. See if you you darken the tone to lessen its impact in the shot, or remove some of the stray strands to cause less distraction,” is a far better statement that gets out the bad with leading the photographer in a direction to improve. And that is at the heart of the critique, wanting to help the other improve. Anything less is simply complaining or touting one’s own mastery of the art, neither of which really help anyone (except the reviewer’s own ego).


6. Delivering The Critique

belenpena on Twitter: "@qwazix delivering a strong and thoughtful ...

Lastly, deliver the critique when the photographer is ready and in a way that works for them. Listing a long diatribe as a comment on a Google+ picture might not always be the best forum, especially if the critique was unwanted. But emailing the person privately and first asking them if they wish for an honest critique is a good first step. Follow this up by another email with the critique if they are amiable to receiving. That way they can read it when they are ready, instead of having it crammed down their throat when they are tired and hungry and working a long day. Delivery is just as important sometimes as what is being said.

These days, across the miles, most critiques are given in email and it’s a great medium as people in France can comment on a Vietnamese artist’s work with never leaving home. it also allows a slower conversation which is often preceded with carefully thought out comments, rather than calling someone at 2am, a little drunk, to tell them why their sunrise picture, “sucked”. I’ll pretend this never happened to me. And I hope it never happens to you. Email helps bring a bit of reason into a conversation. It should not be shunned over an actual in-person meeting if location isn’t a problem, as body language can tell you a lot about what a person is thinking.


If you’re looking for specifics to include in that critique, I have enjoyed this poat over at pixiq to be helpful. It dives a bit deeper into the area of what to include and rather than recreate it here, I suggest you pop on over and take a look.

Do you have any tips on the actual delivery of a critique that you find useful?

Great Photographers

The World’s Great Photographers, Many Stuck Inside, Have Snapped

Stephen Shore, Catherine Opie, Todd Hido and others have turned to Instagram to cure ‘corona claustrophobia’ or show how life has changed. They talk about their quarantine pics.

Here’s the good news:

Love taking pictures? Here's some good news for you - The Economic ...

You now have a sharper camera in your pocket than professional photographers could dream of 30 years ago. Here’s the bad news: You can only shoot from your apartment.

With museums and galleries largely shuttered around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, Instagram has filled up these last weeks with “quarantine content”: snapshots of cramped apartments, pets surprised by their owners’ sudden ubiquity, uncannily deserted street scenes and cautious supermarket shoppers in beekeeping suits. But sprinkled among Instagram’s more than 1 billion users, you’ll also find some of the world’s greatest fine art photographers — some shooting on iPhones or Android handsets, some relying on digital cameras and uploading manually. Against the mandatory confinement imposed from Argentina to Zimbabwe, these photographers have taken to the platform with newfound vigor, plunging their imagery into the swim of the social feed.

“I returned to Shanghai from Berlin, and was quarantined at home,” said Liu Shuwei, an audacious young Chinese photographer best known for his portraits and nudes, who turned to Instagram during his weekslong confinement in February. Day after day, he shot the historical architecture and blossoming trees outside the window of his apartment in Shanghai’s former French Concession neighborhood — a relief, Mr. Liu said, from being “angry and disappointed most of the time.”

On Instagram (as well as Weibo and other local platforms), Chinese photographers offered the first view of what is now a global condition. The brilliant video artist Cao Fei, who lives between Beijing and Singapore, has intermixed shots of hand sanitizer and social-distancing propaganda with pristine photographs of her children, a balm amid corona claustrophobia.

In Tehran, the young photographer Tahmineh Monzavi has been shooting the inauspicious beginning of spring from her window, sheltering in place as Iran endures one of the worst outbreaks of Covid-19 anywhere. “I took this photo on Nowruz, the first day of our new year,” Ms. Monzavi said of one recent Instagram post. “The mood was not like the past years. Tehran was a dead city.” But Instagram has offered a respite from the solitude; she has also posted touching long-distance portraits of her parents, waving from the safety of their own apartment windows.

The global outpouring of digital imagery includes the renowned Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi (@rinkokawauchi), who posted interior views filled with an almost rapturous light, in defiance of confinement. In South Africa, now on lockdown, the sharp young photographer Lindokhule Sobekwa (@lindokuhle.sobekwa) has turned to the sky: a dark cloud, a bleak portent, redeemed by a flock of migrating birds.

Here in the United States, five art photographers — some vigorous users of Instagram, others recent adopters — directly address the effects of the crisis on their lives, often in spectral images. We asked them to describe the role of the social photograph in their work, and the tension between the isolation of quarantine and the global reach of Instagram. These conversations have been edited and condensed.

Catherine Opie

Photographer Catherine Opie's Guide to Taking a Portrait - Artsy

I’ve always been one of the worst Instagrammers of all the photographers out there. I’m a formal photographer and it’s always been hard to figure out how to actually use that platform in an interesting way. It’s very rare that I post, but now I’m posting because I feel like that’s the way that I can be connected to a larger community.

I want to ride my bike around and just take photographs of L.A., which I imagine I’ll probably do on my phone and post. I started walking every day in the neighborhood because I’m a swimmer but the pools got closed down. So now I’m walking and finding all these weird little sculptural moments, like abandoned dishwashers or lamps with palm fronds falling on them.

In this isolation I’m also opening up Instagram more to actually look at photographs. I suppose it’s because I’m away from my studio and library, where I sit with a lot of books around me. Instagram is my new book because my house doesn’t hold my library.

The hilarious thing is that I spent the ’90s making “American Cities” [her series], where I would have to get up early Sunday mornings to find a landscape emptied out. All those years that I wanted to take images of empty cities, empty freeways — and now I have the perfect opportunity to actually do that, but I have no desire to, because it means something different now.

Stephen Shore

Uncommon Places: Photographs by Stephen Shore, Limited Edition ...

As the situation in my life changes, some of the work I do changes. I see two threads running through my Instagram feed. One is just, I go out and take pictures. The other is a more diaristic approach.

Some of the pictures I posted recently, the one of the glove a

Some of the pictures I posted recently, the one of the glove and the one of the hand sanitizer, are absolutely direct references to the current situation with coronavirus. But then, using the hashtag #ArtInTheTimeOfCovid, I posted pictures that I could easily have taken a year ago. One I might have taken 45 years ago.

Best Photography

2020 Websites Best Photography

1. Expert Vagabond

Expert Vagabond • Adventure Travel & Photography Blog

Calling all travel photographers out there! This is the site you need. From holiday snaps to more thoughtful, environmental portraits, Expert Vagabond has all the best content for traipsing with your camera.

Need to know how to make money with travel photography? That’s fine. Need to know what gear you should take with you? Great. It’s all here.

Matthew Karsten provides a great amount of help, and his website is well put together. “Start Here” is the go-to place if it’s your first time at the site.

You can search by Destination, Travel Tips, or even how to live nomadically as a photographer.


2. Cambridge in Colour

panoramic of a series of bridges over the River Cam at Cambridge ...

Cambridge in Color has such a nice ring to it, even if it does sound a little professor-esque. The website is simple, and some might say even dated. This means the content must be good, as all efforts must be poured into it.

Founded in 2005, this photography website has gained many photographers who share their tips and tricks. Unlike other photography blogs, this page tells you exactly what you need to take into account to get the shot.

Whatever you need to know, this should be your first port of call. Be it information on lenses, gear choices, or external devices, they have it all.


3. Behind the Shutter

Behind the Shutter - Free Photography Training and Education ...

Behind the Shutter is an aptly named blog. It is aimed at all the different kinds of people behind the camera, either enthusiasts or professionals. Everyone can get something from this great photography website.

Perhaps it is elevating your photography with better lighting. Or getting tones right for timeless images. Either way, you’ll find something here that will help you take better images.

You can also find business tips on how to be successful and make money from your photography. No matter what types of photography you want to pursue.

It’s not hard to lose a whole afternoon to this easy-to-navigate website. At least you’ll learn a lot.


4. Peter McKinnon

Download Peter Mckinnon Lightroom Presets of 2020 for Free | Peter ...

We all know Peter McKinnon. He has been the face of photography for the last few years, and with good reason too. He is a photographer and video-maker and prefers to hand over his tips by video.

His videos aren’t poorly done with scratchy sound. They all have grade-A quality, which helps to show prospective photographers his advice in the best light. They are a joy to watch.

He covers smartphone photography, lens and gear reviews, and how to get the shots you want. He is definitely worth a watch, and you’ll get a lot out of the content he puts across.


5. BJP (British Journal of Photography)

British Journal of Photography by British Journal of Photography ...

The British Journal of Photography has been an establishment in the UK for all photographers to follow. Their monthly magazine was the go-to place for me when I was studying photography. (And it still is today.)

Founded in 1854, it still manages to stay ahead of the times. The website provides inspiration through bodies of work from all types of photographers.

They have student and professional awards. Their site is perfect for finding new and inspiring photographers. You can even apply and be the name that others look at.


6. Petapixel

Wedding Photog: This is Why Guests Should Put Phones Away

Petapixel is the news forecasting service of all things photographic. They let you know about reviews and what cameras are good for specific fields. The part I like the most, are the articles on what happens to photographers in the field.

We all like to know about the next court battle between a photographer with principles, and a corporation who used unlicensed images. It helps us know where to turn to if we were in that position.

These articles are well written, from a slew of writers and disciplines. They look at all areas that you may find interesting. It is a great source to dip into for tutorial videos, as well as continually edited situational stories.


Phone Photography 101: How to Take Good Pictures With Your Mobile Device

Before the days of smartphones — if you can remember such a time — taking a great photo was a labor-intensive process. You’d have buy a fancy camera and editing software for your desktop computer, and invest some serious time and energy into learning how to use them.

But, thanks to our mobile devices and the editing apps that come with them, we can now take high-quality photos and edit them without too many bells and whistles — all from the same device that we use to make calls.

Brands are catching on, too — the kinds of visuals remain important to marketing. But make no mistake: Taking a great photo on your smartphone is not as simple as pointing and shooting. There are plenty of bad smartphone photos out there — I’m sure you’ve seen at least a few.

What’s the secret to taking great pictures with your smartphone, then? As it turns out, there are a few of them. Check out these tips below to improve your smartphone photography game. (And once you have the photo-taking part down, check out some of the best photo editing apps for mobile.)


How to Take Good Photos With Your Phone: Tips & Tricks

1. Use gridlines to balance your shot.

rule of thirds | Wedding, Wedding photography, Professional ...1804 × 1200

One of the easiest and best ways to improve your mobile photos is to turn on the camera’s gridlines. That superimposes a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone’s camera that are based on the “rule of thirds” — a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you have nine parts in total.

According to this theory, if you place points of interest in these intersections or along the lines, your photo will be more balanced, level, and allow viewers to interact with it more naturally.

To switch the grid on …

  • iPhone: Go to “Settings,” choose “Photos & Camera,” and switch “Grid” on.
  • Samsung Galaxy: Launch the camera app, go to “Settings,” scroll down and switch the “grid lines” option to “on.”

2. Set your camera’s focus.

How to Set Camera Focus For Sharper Group Photography467 × 700

Today’s phone cameras automatically focus on the foreground of your frame, but not every picture you take on your phone has an obvious subject. To adjust where you want your camera lens to focus, open your camera app and tap the screen where you want to sharpen the view.

If you’re taking a photo of something in motion, for example, it can be difficult for your camera to follow this subject and refocus as needed. Tap the screen to correct your phone camera’s focus just before snapping the picture to ensure the moving subject has as much focus as possible. A square or circular icon should then appear on your camera screen, shifting the focus of your shot to all of the content inside that icon.

3. Focus on one subject.

another technique of photography is framing this is when another ...539 × 720

Many of the best photos include just one, interesting subject. So when taking a picture of one, spend some extra time setting up the shot. Some professional photographers say that the subject shouldn’t fill the entire frame, and that two-thirds of the photo should be negative space – that helps the subject stand out even more.

But be sure you tap the screen of your smartphone to focus the camera on your subject — that’ll help to ensure that it’s focused and the lighting is optimized.

Pro Tip: Once you’ve taken your photo, you can use filters and apps to make the subject even more vivid, or to crop it to frame the subject correctly. The brightness, contrast, and saturation of the photo can also be adjusted accordingly — all from your phone.

4. Embrace negative space.

how-to-embrace-negative-space-in-your-photography - Fotovalley2028 × 850

“Negative space” simply refers to the areas around and between the subjects of an image –and it can take a photo from “good” to “great.”

When you include a lot of empty space in a photo, your subject will stand out more and evoke a stronger reaction from your viewer. And what does negative space looks like? It’s often a large expanse of open sky, water, an empty field, or a large wall, as in the examples below.

5. Find different perspectives.

An Autumn Wedding in the English Countryside: Betsy + Patrick ...500 × 654

Taking photos from a unique, unexpected angle can make them more memorable — it tends to create an illusion of depth or height with the subjects. It also makes the image stand out, since most mobile photos are taken either straight -on or from a bird’s eye view.

Try taking a photo directly upward and playing with the sky as negative space, like in the first photo below. Or, you can try taking it at a slight downward angle.

Pro Tip: If you take a photo and find the perspective is a little askew or tilted, use the SKRWT photo editing app to make the lines look clean and square.

6. Play with reflections.

Self-Taught Photographer Finds Unique Way To Shoot Weddings ...880 × 1254

There’s something so idyllic about seeing the sky reflected in a body of water. There’s a reason why we love seeing that — our eyes are drawn to reflections. So look for opportunities to play with them in photos.

There are plenty of out-of-the-box places to find reflections — puddles, larger bodies of water, mirrors, sunglasses, drinking glasses, and metallic surfaces are just a few.

7. Use leading lines.

How to Use Leading Lines for Better Photos700 × 1050

In some photos, there’s a line that draws the viewer’s eye toward a certain part of the frame. Those are called leading lines. They can be straight or circulinear — think staircases, building facades, train tracks, roads, or even a path through the woods.

Leading lines are great for creating a sense of depth in an image, and can make your photo look purposefully designed — even if you just happened to come upon a really cool shape by accident.



Wedding Photography

10 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers – Wedding Photography

1. Learn how to Use Diffused Light

How to Diffuse Light in 4 Easy Ways

The ability to bounce a flash or to diffuse it is key. You’ll find that in many churches that light is very low. If you’re allowed to use a flash (and some churches don’t allow it) think about whether bouncing the flash will work (remember if you bounce off a colored surface it will add a colored cast to the picture) or whether you might want to buy a flash diffuser to soften the light. If you can’t use a flash you’ll need to either use a fast lens at wide apertures and/or bump up the ISO. A lens with image stabilization might also help. Learn more about Using Flash Diffusers and Reflectors.

2. Shoot in RAW

Is shooting in RAW is as important as everyone says it is? Video ...

I know that many readers feel that they don’t have the time for shooting in RAW (due to extra processing) but a wedding is one time that it can be particularly useful as it gives so much more flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them. Weddings can present photographers with tricky lighting which result in the need to manipulate exposure and white balance after the fact – RAW will help with this considerably.

3. Display Your Shots at the Reception

Shot Glasses (With images) | Wedding party favors, Wedding gift ...

One of the great things about digital photography is the immediacy of it as a medium. One of the fun things I’ve seen more and more photographers doing recently is taking a computer to the reception, uploading shots taken earlier in the day and letting them rotate as a slideshow during the evening. This adds a fun element to the night.

4. Consider Your Backgrounds

Wallpaper Android Games Backgrounds 59+ Best Ideas #wallpaper ...

One of the challenges of weddings is that there are often people going everywhere – including the backgrounds of your shots. Particularly with the formal shots scope out the area where they’ll be taken ahead of time looking for good backgrounds. Ideally you’ll be wanting uncluttered areas and shaded spots out of direct sunlight where there’s unlikely to be a wandering great aunt wander into the back of the shot. Read more on getting backgrounds right.

5. Don’t Discard Your ‘Mistakes’

6 Major Wedding Photography Mistakes and How to Avoid them ...

The temptation with digital is to check images as you go and to delete those that don’t work immediately. The problem with this is that you might just be getting rid of some of the more interesting and useable images. Keep in mind that images can be cropped or manipulated later to give you some more arty/abstract looking shots that can add real interest to the end album.

6. Change Your Perspective

7 Benefits About A First Look That May Change Your Perspective ...

Get a little creative with your shots. While the majority of the images in the end album will probably be fairly ‘normal’ or formal poses – make sure you mix things up a little by taking shots from down low, up high, at wide angles etc.

7. Wedding Group Shots

A quick guide to group shots - Douglas Wedding Photography

One thing that I’ve done at every wedding that I’ve photographed is attempt to photograph everyone who is in attendance in the one shot. The way I’ve done this is to arrange for a place that I can get up high above everyone straight after the ceremony. This might mean getting tall ladder, using a balcony or even climbing on a roof. The beauty of getting up high is that you get everyone’s face in it and can fit a lot of people in the one shot. The key is to be able to get everyone to the place you want them to stand quickly and to be ready to get the shot without having everyone stand around for too long. I found the best way to get everyone to the spot is to get the bride and groom there and to have a couple of helpers to herd everyone in that direction. Read more on how to take Group Photos.

8. Fill Flash

How to Use an On-Camera Speedlight as Fill Flash for Portraits ...

When shooting outside after a ceremony or during the posed shots you’ll probably want to keep your flash attached to give a little fill in flash. I tend to dial it back a little (a stop or two) so that shots are not blown out – but particularly in backlit or midday shooting conditions where there can be a lot of shadow, fill in flash is a must. Read more about using Fill Flash.

9. Continuous Shooting Mode

Tips Fotografi Wedding - DIYKamera

Having the ability to shoot a lot of images fast is very handy on a wedding day so switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and use it. Sometimes it’s the shot you take a second after the formal or posed shot when everyone is relaxing that really captures the moment!

10. Expect the Unexpected

Expect The Unexpected At This Charmingly Eclectic English Wedding ...

One more piece of advice that someone gave me on my own wedding day. ‘Things will Go Wrong – But They Can be the Best Parts of the Day’. In every wedding that I’ve participated in something tends to go wrong with the day. The best man can’t find the ring, the rain pours down just as the ceremony ends, the groom forgets to do up his fly, the flower girl decides to sit down in the middle of the aisle or the bride can’t remember her vows….

These moments can feel a little panicky at the time – but it’s these moments that can actually make a day and give the bride and groom memories. Attempt to capture them and you could end up with some fun images that sum up the day really well.

I still remember the first wedding I photographed where the bride and grooms car crashed into a Tram on the way to the park where we were going to take photos. The bride was in tears, the groom stressed out – but after we’d all calmed down people began to see some of the funny side of the moment and we even took a couple of shots before driving on to the park. They were among everyone’s favorites.