How to take the best portraits

portrait-slow-sync-flashportrait-high-perspective.jpg  For ongoing photographers  and newbies. we are always looking for ways to improve ourselves. Throughout this list is tips on how to create a well done portrait and different techniques that might be worth trying.



  1. Change your perspective: taking photos at the same angles all the time can get boring
  2. Eye contact: The change in eye contact and where your subject is looking can change the impression of the photo.
  3.  Break the composition rules: According to its good to know what composition is but breaking the rules can create awesome photos.
  4.  Lighting! Switch up the lighting to create cool effects
  5.  Move your Subject:  Sometime getting your subject out of their comfort zone can help with showing their personality through the photo.




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Steve McCurry



Steve McCurry is labeled as one of the top photographers in 2017. He is known for his photojournalism primarily. His most famous photo was taken in 1984 called Afghan girl.


McCurry attended Penn state starting out studying film but ended up getting a degree in theatre arts in 1974.  His most famous photo was really the lift off to his career in photography. He has received many rewards throughout his career such as  Honorary Fellowship in 2005 and 2006. The last award he received was in 2014 and it was the Photography Appreciation Award.

Most of his work can be found in online galleries such as


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Wave Photography Tips


Wave Photography can be difficult to achieve but with the right tools and techniques, beautiful photos can be made.


1. Invest in a good and sturdy tripod.

2. Use Graduated ND filter to balance the exposure between sky and foreground.

3. Put safety first. Waves are unpredictable.

4. Experiment and try different shutter speeds to find which works the best.

5. Always bring a cleaning cloth to clean sea spray off your lens and filter.

to achieve a good picture of a wave

According to there are many different techniques even for different weather conditions. Different photographers with experience in this field give their tips.

Giovanna says:

1. Perseverance is the key to success. Nothing is going to happen magically by itself.

2. Take your time and carefully watch what’s going on around you before tripping the shutter.

3. When photographing waves from a short distance one has to pay attention to the motion of the waves and predict where the spray is going.







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Spirit Photography

In honor of Halloween, today I will be exploring spirit photography and the best techniques to use in order to capture a spooky specter on camera.


According to Chris Black, an artist and photographer, the most important thing to do when attempting to photograph spirits, is to do everything you can to avoid a blurry picture or a picture with artifacts.

A stable platform is the first priority, even the slightest shake can alter a photo. A tripod is always your best bet for a stable photo, ghosts or not, but if you’re caught without one, it’s important to know how to hold a camera as stable as possible.

“First thing to do is to hold the camera properly, this involves placing the camera in the palm of your left hand and then gripping it with your right. pull your elbows into your body, lean forward and steady yourself,” said Black.


It is extremely important that you have a good understanding of your camera. Most of the spirit photography you’ll be doing will be in the dark, leading to longer exposure times and high ISOs. These two factors can cause a lot of digital artifacts if you aren’t careful, and the blurrier or grainier the photo is, the more people will call it fake.

“Once you understand even the basics you remove a large amount of artifacts mistakes and general image problems which everyone else mistakes for a spirit,” says Chris.


Finally, it is important to understand the types of digital artifacts, even taken under the best conditions, you still might end up with a few, and you need to know the difference between a real spirit and a camera/user error.

Lens flares are often mistaken as spirits, so is bokeh. The majority of “spirit orbs” caught on camera are just out of focus light. Lighting itself is the core of photography, so flash should be avoided at all cost for capturing spirits.

Chris Black said, “This leads light to bounce everywhere, you shoot a flash directly at glass then congratulate yourself on the awesome entity you captured! Where possible you should completely avoid using a flash when photographing spirit. It introduces so many uncontrollable factors and creates a multitude of artifacts.
Any form of made lighting can also create all sorts of strange effects in a camera too, halogen, led, fluorescent, incandescent, you must always account for the lighting around you.”

-B. Voges

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Low Light Solutions

By: Jacqueline Bayly

Photographers who are both experienced and not so experienced with a camera can say that they have run into a low lighting issue. Lighting is everything when it comes to a good photo, so below are some techniques to try to enhance your photo without the best natural or artificial lighting available.

  1. Silhouettes- A Silhouette  is when a the subject has the light source behind them completely which makes them appear to be blacked out. The best tip for this type of photography is to make sure that your subject creates an interesting shape. Image result for silhouette photography
  2. City Lights- When the sun begins to go down and there isn’t much natural lighting, the artificial lighting of city buildings begins to appear. This is a perfect time to capture night time photos because the sky is still blue but much darker which makes for a nice backdrop. Image result for city photography
  3. Light Painting- light painting is a long exposure technique that creates some very interesting results. For these types of photos you want the shutter speed to be slow so that it can adsorb all light that you paint. A way to do this for example is the make streaks of light all over your subject while the photo is taking. Image result for light painting photography
  4. Star Trails- this is another brilliant long exposure technique. To capture these images you must first find a very dark area with no light pollution. The clearer you can see the stars with your eyes, the clearer they will be in your photo. The shutter speed for these photos can be from 50 minutes to hours depending on the photo desired. Image result for star trails photography

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Long Exposure Highway Photos

By: Jacqueline Bayly

For those who have wondered about how photographers get those magical photos of lit up, busy cities with light streaks on the roads where cars should be, this is your lucky day.

Traffic streams in and out of downtown Atlanta on a recent, cloudy night. By Jonathon Phillips 

The most important equipment you can bring on a long exposure shoot like this is a tripod for stability. If you plan to shoot a large landscape, a wide angle lens would be best.

As far as settings go, you want the most clear and crisp image possible so the lowest ISO setting is suggested.  You also want the foreground as well as the background to be sharp, so an aperture like f/10 for example should work well. The shutter speed is most important since you want to capture moving light. The best way to create this image is to set your shutter speed to capture the photo for about 10 seconds.

By: Serge Ramelli

Now that you have an idea of how to take the photo, the hardest part is finding the perfect spot to capture both a busy road way and interesting city-scape or city surroundings.

More images by Jonathon Phillips:


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Joey L.


Joseph Lawrence is a Canadian born photographer that now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Joey has worked with National Geographic Channel, History Channel, the U.S. Army, Canon, and many other companies and organizations. Most of his work can be found in magazines and billboards all over the country.

killing kennedy.jpg

US_Army_Joey_L_Photographer_034 He has travelled all over to take some of these important shots. He took the photos for the Army in Alaska and Hawaii. The Army pays him to take pictures that they can use in their Ads. He also does some of his own personal projects. He has also travelled to other countries to work on projects for thier governments to take photos of their soldiers, village people, and war. abyssiniacf001803-lighter-web_screen 32b05e5ef2b8f5799edd0926f6d9e636--joey-lawrence-freedom-fighters

One of his own projects is his annual Halloween in Brooklyn that is a series of portraits that he takes of the people dressed up for halloween. 12_halloween_in_brooklyn

Joey is also a director and travelled to the holy lands of Varanasi and has worked on an ongoing series called the Holy Men. He also journeyed to Southern Ethiopia to write and direct a film called People of the Delta.

Not only has he worked for famous franchises, but he has also taken pictures of various famous celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Gabby Douglas, John Legend, Robert De Niro and many more.


-Lexi Harned

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