Category Archives: Photography

Food Photographers

Did You Know?
Apart from photography, food brands also use misleading nutrition labels on their products. For example, a product claiming to contain zero-trans fats may not be telling the complete truth. This is because, the FDA allows food items with up to 0.5 grams of trans fat to be labeled as trans-fat free.
Food products which are featured in advertisements almost always look completely different from the food that the brand is actually selling. The truth however, is that, these exceptionally presented culinary delights we see in photographs and TV commercials are not fit to be eaten, and would be absolutely disgusting to taste.

The art of food photography is extremely technical, usually taking the stylists hours to create the perfect shot. All photographers make use of external factors, such as the height, angle, colors, textures, lighting, food placement, props, and backgrounds, to make the food look appetizing, and serving it in a way which flaunts the best features of the dish. However, some go even further, using some really weird, yet creative food photography tricks, which stretches the limits to just how far manufacturers can go in order to bring in more buyers.
Cereal Advertisements
Real milk makes cereals such as cornflakes very soggy, really fast, which does not look appetizing in the least. One option photographers use is to substitute the milk with cream or yogurt, which is slower in making the cereal soggy. However, in some cases, white glue is also used, which is lovely to look at, but surely inedible.

Hot Food
If a brand is marketing hot food, the advertised food items have to look hot. No one likes cold meat. The best way to display that a food item is hot, is by showing lovely curls of steam billowing off the product. However, photo shoots are really long procedures, and keeping food perpetually hot is near impossible, without compromising on the appearance. So, to get around this problem, stylists soak small sponges, tampons, or cotton balls in water, microwave them till they get steamy, and skillfully hide them behind the food product, just before taking the picture.

Juicy, Meaty Steaks
Making a steak appear thick, juicy, and pink after cooking it properly is very difficult, as heat tends to dry out and shrink the product. So, if a brand is advertising a steak or hamburger, the meat is first carefully seared on the outside using a blowtorch. Following this, grill marks are added by using a branding iron, and to get a convincing finish, marmite, shoe polish, eyeliner, or wood varnish is applied to give the meat a nice succulent color.

Quick DIY Photo Booth

Photo booth are becoming very popular at parties. They can be seen at the wedding and birthday parties. Photo booth are unique and form great ideas at a party and a quite simple one to do. You can set up a photo booth within an hour if you have the right equipment. Having a photo booth will add up to the entertainment of the party, and also let the guests take away their photos with them as memories. You can set one up at home just for fun, or for a special occasion like Halloween. Setting up a photo booth at home, before going to the party venue will allow you to test it beforehand. So, without further ado here are tips on building your own photo booth

Simple Photo Booth
For a super basic photo booth, you will need just a laptop and a printer. But, make sure the laptop has an embedded camera in it which has a decent enough resolution to take passport size photographs. So, in a corner of the room, that is well-lit, keep a stool for people to sit while their picture is being shot. Then set up the laptop at a height which allows to take straight shot of the subject. Connect the laptop with a printer. And install a software which takes three or more photos in one go.
You can use Automator workflow for Mac interface or go with DSLR Remote Pro version for Windows. Once you have installed it, check by making somebody pose for you and then take the shot and print it. Set up the software to take three shots with one click. This was a simple way to set up a photo studio. If you want, you can keep a Shoji screen to make two sides of the wall, and the one side of the wall and the open side can be used to enter the photo booth. If you want you can invest in a professional light to lit the subject properly.
Photo Booth with Basic Equipment
The most basic equipment you need to set up a decent photo booth at home is a basic DSLR camera. These days they are available for real low prices, so you can consider investing in one. Also, you will need other photography equipment like light, umbrella, stands, etc. You will need a light, which can be flash from your DSLR or you can consider buying a special light. You will also need a good quality and sturdy stand to keep the light on. Invest in a tripod stand for your DSLR too.

Maternity Portraits

Clothes to Wear for Photographs When Pregnant

Why do so many expectant mothers opt to click maternity photos? Simple, it is a way of capturing the beauty that a woman glows with only when she is carrying her child. For most women, it can be extremely confusing to decide what to wear when they are being photographed pregnant. Given below are some simple tips to help you pick out the right clothes.
While choosing the best clothes for your maternity photos, it is important that you pick out clothes that make you feel stylish and at the same time, are comfortable to wear. Wear those clothes that you would wear normally. If you are most comfortable in a pair of pants and a top, then choose to be photographed in these.
Most photographers suggest wearing solid colors instead of patterns and prints which tend to take away from the stomach. It is also advisable to wear darker and richer tones rather than bright colors. Clothes in shades of black and white tend to work classically. Cardigans also work well. You can choose to add a pop of color by wearing a scarf or a necklace in a bright tone. For pregnant women, v-necks, square necks, and long sleeved tops work very well. Even tight tank tops and clothes in thin fabrics can work wonders during a maternity photo shoot.
While picking out clothes for a maternity photo shoot, it may be a good idea to pick tops that fit tightly around the belly. Clothes that are loose will only camouflage your stomach which will defeat the purpose. For pants, choose stretch pants with a low waistline as you do not want it to bunch up during your photo shoot. Try to avoid wearing denims unless you are sure you will be comfortable in them.
If you are posing for the maternity photograph with your first child, then it may be a good idea to wear clothing that is slightly more flowing and playful. Opt to wear long dresses, skirts, etc. If you are posing with your partner, try to wear coordinated clothing, at least in terms of colors. This will make the photograph more pleasing to the eye.
If you are opting for more artistic shots, then think about showing off your baby belly in the photograph. Wear a loose fitting shirt with the buttons undone halfway through or a tight fitting cropped top.

A Portrait Photography

Contract for Portrait Photography

While drafting a photography contract, it is important to ensure that you do not overwhelm the clients with a long list of terms and conditions that need to be fulfilled. Try and restrict your contractual agreement to a one page back and front contract with basics about the client and studio details and terms and conditions. Ensure that the photography contract is easy to understand and does not confuse the client in any manner. Given below is a template for a photography contract and some important terms and conditions that are included in every contract.

Name of the Photographer or Photography Company

Address of the Photography Studio

Photography Contract Form

Date of Photo Session ________________
Location of Photo Session ______________

This portrait photography agreement is between the photographer’s name and the client’s name. The contact details of the client are given below.

Name of the Client: _________________
Telephone no: _________________
Email id: ___________________

Terms and Conditions as deemed important by the photographer and the client.

Signature of the Client: _________________
Name of the Client: ___________________________

Date of Agreement: ______________________________

Signature of the Photographer: ____________________________

Name of the Photographer: ________________________________

Terms of Conditions for Photography Contract

While every photography contract may have different terms and conditions listed, these are some of the main pointers that a photography contract may have.
If the subject of the photo shoot is a minor, then he or she needs to be accompanied by a parent or a guardian, or have letter of permission.
An advance needs to be paid for the photo session and the rest of the fees can be paid on receipt of photos.
Any additional proofs required or any re-edit required on the original proofs will be charged extra.
The photographer retains the rights to creatively play around with the style and composition of the photographs.
Once the photographer has supplied the client with the proofs and received full payment in lieu of his services, he is not to be held responsible for storing the images for the client.
The copyright for all the images clicked is retained by the photographer and cannot be reproduced without explicit permission from him.
If the client cancels the assignment, then he or she will be responsible for the fees and cost incurred in setting up the shoot.
If the photo shoot needs to be rescheduled for specific reasons, then the client needs to inform the photographer regarding the same at least 48 hours prior to shoot.
The client has read the schedule for payment of fees and will abide by the same.
The client permits the photographer to use any of the images for display on the photographer’s website or for publication and for promotional uses.
The photographer does not provide the client with any warranty for the digital media or the files that have been given to the client.

Photo Restoration

Today, almost everybody uses digital camera. However, there are some who still use film cameras. No matter what kind of camera one uses, it many times happens that the photo was not taken well. There will be problems associated with light, improper setting, lens flare, etc. These are problems which occur when shooting. Also, there are many problems associated with old photographs.They can have light issues, noise, lens flare problem, color problems or they can be very old, dusty and sometimes yellow. Some of these old photographs will be invaluable memory shots. So, what to do? How to repair and restore these photos. Use these tips and save your precious photos without having to discard them.

Tips to Restore Photos
First of all scan all the old photos you wish to restore. In case, the photos are digital, copy them to a particular folder on your system. These will be your photos you wish to restore.
If possible try to categorize the photos by the problems they have, for sub folder containing photos which are black and white and need to be converted to color, or photos which have a lot of noise, etc.
Now, it is time to use a powerful photo-editing software. The most popular one remains to be Adobe Photoshop. You can learn to use photoshop easily by following tutorials provided with the software. However, if you don’t have the budget for Photoshop then use some free software available online. Some good free software are Picasa, Picnik and GIMP. But, let me inform you that these software don’t have all the necessary tools to completely restore the photos. So, best is to use Photoshop.
Now, open the photo in the software and adjust the light setting in it. Change its brightness and contrast, so that it looks better. Make the lighting pleasing to the idea and so that the details can be seen. Also, remember always to keep brightness more than contrast.
After this color correct the photos. Change the saturation, color, hue, etc. of the photo. Again the goal should be a pleasing looking photo.
In case, the photo is black and white and you want to convert it to color, then you will need to collect some data regarding the color of the environment and subject present in the photo, if you are not able to acquire the data then use your own imagination. To do this you will need to select large areas of the photos using lasso tool and then fill them with color, and adjust with the shade and transparency of the color. For smaller areas simply use a paintbrush. To do a great job, try to work on higher zoom rates so you can cover pixel to pixel.

Free Photo Editing Software

Today photo editing is no longer something that is restricted to professionals and advanced users alone. The popularity of the ‘display pic’ and ‘cover photo’ has seen even thirteen-year olds become great photo editors. If you too want to join the ranks of these budding artists, or simply want to have fun adding cool effects to your images, then the list of free image editing software given below should be of great help to you.

GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation program is a popular open-source image editor, often dubbed as the ‘free Photoshop’. It helps the user with image authoring, retouching, and composition. It works on various operating systems, and is available in many languages as well. It is uses plug-ins and extensions to enhance images, and the advanced scripting interface allows for even the most complex procedures to be scripted without much of a fuss.

No surprises here – Google’s Picasa makes it to this list without moving a muscle. This software, just like all the Google applications, is extremely easy and convenient for users. Picasa allows the users to edit and manage all their photos with effective tools that include cropping, special effects, brightness adjustments, and many more interesting features. The best part about using Picasa is that after editing your photographs you can instantly create an online album and share them.

Windows Live Photo Gallery
The latest version of Windows Live Photo Gallery comes with face recognition and geo-tagging tools. It has some great tools for retouching images, and is extremely easy to use. Along with the basic tools, the software now has advanced editing tools. Its wonderful features, easy navigation, and the fact that it is free, makes it one of the most popular image editing software around.

Though it may take a bit longer to completely understand the navigation of this software, it is still one of the best photo editing software available. With its unique circular tool menu, you can easily click on options that you want and quickly fix up your images. It also lets you edit and create GIFs.

Paint.NET is a great free software for photo editing. It is funded by the donations received on their website. Unlimited undo is one very pertinent features of this software. Although meant for first timers, this software can be utilized to its full capacity by more experienced ones. Also if you plan to print your photographs on matte or waterproof paper, then this is the software for you!

Choosing a professional wedding photographer

Selecting a Style
The first point we will discuss is the style of photography. There are many different styles that photographers use, and the one you want for your wedding depends upon your taste. The two most popular styles used in wedding photography are photojournalistic and portrait. The two most common styles of pictures used are posed and casual.
The photographer who specializes in portrait style should be able to take both posed and casual shots. Generally, a photographer who uses this style will take more posed than casual pictures because couples usually prefer this style. It is fine if you are such a couple, but you may run into problems if you want more casual pictures later. One way to find out what style a photographer uses is by going through his portfolio.
A photographer who uses a photojournalistic approach usually takes shots that are not planned, and because of this the pictures appear casual. Often the photographer using this style has some experience in journalism. The shots taken are often spontaneous.
There is a third type of photographer as well. Whether it is a friend or relative, this person is a hobbyist photographer who will offer to photograph the wedding for free, or very low cost. Your pictures may not be top of the line but it remains an option if you don’t want to spend on a professional photographer.

Film – A return to Black and White?
Color is the most popular choice in wedding photography, but black & white is slowly gaining popularity. Black & white film will give you a more artistic-looking album. It also lasts longer than a color film. Color is the more versatile of the two. Color pictures will give you a more accurate portrayal of your wedding day. They can be made into black & white prints, but won’t last as long as the black & white pictures. Photographers who use the photojournalistic style are more apt to use black & white film. The choice is usually made according to the to-be-married couple’s tastes.
Another consideration is the speed of the film. Most photographers will already have a standard that they use in certain situations. The couple don’t need to worry about the film speed. When using a hobbyist photographer, a discussion about film speed may occur. Since most hobbyist photographers use a 35mm camera, the focus will generally be on 100, 200, or 400 speed film. 100 speed is best in strong sunlight and is the least grainiest of the three. 200 speed is the middle ground, and is often used for partial sun or partial shade. 400 speed works well in low light. 400 speed is most commonly used for wedding photography because it can be used for both indoor and outdoor shots.

Wedding Photography Contract

Planning a wedding can be a nightmare and one of the many important things that any planner needs to arrange for is a photographer who can ensure that the festivities are captured for all eternity. It is a good idea to have a photographer who is well-versed and experienced in professional wedding photography, to click your wedding snaps. Once you decide on the photographer, it is always wise to sign a wedding photography contract with him. In this article, we’ll give you a template that will enable you to understand how these contracts are framed.

A simple contract like the one given below can help you understand the integral clauses that should be included in a photography contract. Wedding photo contracts ensure that there is no scope for misunderstanding between the client and the photographer later on.

Wedding Photography Contract Example

Given above is a standard contract which is followed by most photographers. This document may be subject to change depending on the terms and conditions that are finalized between the client and the photographer. This sample contract will help you get an idea as to how you can draft such a contract.
Terms and Conditions
The photographer is responsible for providing photographic services at the wedding and products after the wedding, referred to as coverage. The client wants to engage the services of the photographer for coverage of the wedding.
The photographer will be the sole photographer at the wedding. Friends and family though can click photographs for personal purposes.
The photographer retains the copyright to the images clicked at the wedding, including the copyright of negatives, electronically produced images and any reproductions.
The client needs to ensure that the guests at the wedding do not interfere with the job that he is trying to do.
In case for some reasons, the photographer is unable to be present at the wedding, then it is his responsibility to find an equally qualified replacement for the job and inform the client about the situation as early as possible.
Other Specifications
As per this agreement, the client will pay the photographer a sum total of USD 1400. A deposit of USD 500 will be paid by the client and the balance of USD 900 as decided will be paid on the receipt of photographs by the client along with the negatives and digital prints of the photographs.

If you are a photographer who is looking for a free contract template, then you can download the template given in this article. Before you draft the wedding photography contract, ensure that you discuss with the bride and the groom the wedding photography poses that they would definitely like to have and include this list as an appendix with your agreement. Also get a schedule for the wedding from the wedding planner if possible in order to ensure that you do not miss out any of the important ceremonies. As a wedding photographer, you will be expected to capture the best moments of the wedding which reflects the happiness of the bride and the groom and helps them relive these moments in the coming years.

Fashion photographers create those piquant images

The first images that come to our mind when someone mentions fashion photography are sensuous models and a lot of glitz and glamor. Well, these definitely are some aspects of this profession, but if we dig a bit more to know about what fashion photographers do for a living, you will realize that in spite of all the hype, it still is like any other job – lot of hard work and responsibility. From directing the models to getting their equipment right for the shoot, a fashion photographer is involved in almost every aspect of the shoot.

Fashion photography is mainly concerned with the clothing and accessories. It is the responsibility of a fashion photographer to highlight these in a photo and make it visually appealing. Once they take up an assignment, it is their responsibility to deliver on the requirements of the client. The points mentioned below will summarize the job of a fashion photographer.
Before taking an assignment, a fashion photographer meets with the client to understand their requirements. It is important to have a clarity on how the client wants to project his brand.
The fashion photographer holds consultations with the designers so that a working concept of the photo shoot is created.
A fashion photographer understands the intricacies of various designs and fabrics, so that he can plan the shoot accordingly.
Fashion photographers shortlist a few models and then select the ones they think are perfect for the shoot.
They work in cooperation with hairstylists, makeup artists to ensure that everything is in order and as per the plan.
The fashion photographers provide valuable inputs to the art director and the client on deciding the appropriate location for the shoot. However, it is important to remember that a fashion photographer may not always get the desired location as there can be budgetary constraints on the part of the client.
During the shoot, the fashion photographer has to shoot the model in different poses. It is the responsibility of the fashion photographer to extract the best from the model and this requires him to work on the model’s posture, look, ability to emote etc.
After the shoot, the fashion photographer selects a photo/photos and starts working on it with the help of available software. The aim is to hide the flaws if any, and highlight the features of the model.
After a satisfactory image is created, the fashion photographer gets in touch with the client or his representative to show the final product. If need arises, the fashion photographer needs to rework on the image as per the client’s requirements.

Photography Lighting

Types of Lighting in Photography
Outdoor Lighting
The way the light falls on a subject and the way you to use it, will decide the color, quality and the texture of the photograph. In a photo studio these factors can be controlled. However, when you are shooting outdoors neither the source of the light, nor the subject can be controlled. Hence you need to know exactly how to exploit the natural light resource. The natural light sources such as sunlight keeps changing by the hour. It also changes as per the seasons and the weather conditions. Constant changes in outdoor lighting can bring about changes in the tones, colors, shades, shapes and forms of your subject. Remember that the direction of the light changes with movement of the clouds too. Strong and direct outdoor sunlight produces sharp shadows and well-defined photographs. However, if the sunlight is diffused by mist, pollution or haze then it may produce weaker shadows and diffused highlights. Thus, to get the perfect shots, one needs to study the outdoor lighting for a day or two.

Side Lighting
Changes in lighting produce some very interesting effects. Side lighting is a natural lighting effect which highlights only one side of your subject. It creates a natural shading effect on your subjects, drawing attention to the most visible parts and adding a tinge of intrigue to parts which fade into the darkness. So get this effect, watch the movement of the sun and its effect on the subject. You can either change the angle of your camera or wait for the sun to move. As light predominantly falls on one side of the subject, it creates sharper shadows or diffused effect on the opposite side. Playing with side lighting gets easier and you can master the art of using outdoor lighting to your advantage.
Backlight is one of the basic light effects that a photographer needs to understand. When the light source comes directly on the camera, such that it illuminates the subject’s back, the source is known as a backlight. Outdoor shoots use backlight to capture some of the best silhouettes. You may require a reflector or fill-in flash to make the silhouette stand out. Avoid exposing the camera lens of the direct source of light to prevent lens flare.
Existing Light
Existing light is the type of light which is naturally available. For instance, lights from tables, floors, and ceiling lights, neon signs, windows, skylights, candles, fireplaces, auto mobile headlights, moonlight and twilight are considered as existing sources of light. Photographs taken in such kind of lighting look absolutely natural. Existing lighting allows a photographer to take some of the candid shots wherein the subject can be captured at its best. The pictures taken in this kind of lighting are pleasing to the eye as well, as it provides a soft texture of candid photography.