Tourists taking pictures in Washington D.C.

Memorial Day Weekend

It’s the start of summer, so it’s a perfect time to have a cook out.  The great weather, and the extra day off means there’s time for some fun-filled family activities and you definitely want to be able to join in.

Whether it’s the chance to grill out and get some pictures of the kids, shop the sales for a new digital camera or lens; there’s something for every photographer this Memorial Day weekend.

If you’re a professional studio portrait photographer, you know that portrait editing software can greatly speed up your editing time. No more taking hours in Photoshop; you can batch process your images, leaving you plenty of time to grill out, or just chill out this weekend.

If you want to find something to photograph this weekend, why not check out a parade or a wreath-laying in your town, or one nearby?  If you live close to or need somewhere to get away to, why not try a weekend break in Chicago to see the parade, or Washington DC to visit the variety of memorials and the parade, or Philadelphia for the history of American Independence?

The long weekend means you’ve got a bit more time to spend on your photo editing software, but you’ll get some great images for the family scrapbook.  The weather’s finally getting better, and with the longer evenings, there’s a later chance to catch the golden hour.

Capture some great memories this weekend, and have spare time to do some photo editing. Make your people look great with PortraitPro, and then why not try out some photo editing effects with Smart Photo Editor?

Check out our Pinterest boards for some photography ideas this weekend.

Tell us about your weekend on Facebook and Twitter.

Graduation Image Screenshot in PortraitPro

Graduation Class of 2015

It’s finally here. Graduation time is just around the corner, and whether your child is graduating high school or college, you’ll want to capture some memories that will last a lifetime.

For a time that is an important landmark in anyone’s life, you want to have the best images that you can.  You can hire a professional photographer to capture some images, and you can also take some yourself.

ProtraitPro 12 Studio has a batch processing dialog that speeds up the processing of multiple images, meaning that you’re free to take as many photos as you like and the editing won’t keep you busy until Labor Day!

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to use professional-standard photography software, and PortraitPro is affordable too. Your own images can have that professional-quality to them, with relatively small time and effort cost.

You don’t need to be highly skilled in Photoshop, even those with very basic computer skills can use PortraitPro. With its easy –to-use and intuitive interface, even grandparents will be able to take lots of photos and do their own photo editing.

If you’ve got a DSLR camera and you take images in RAW format, you can edit them in PortraitPro Studio.  PortraitPro Studio edition functions as a plugin to Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom, so if you use these in your photo editing process, then you can still benefit from the speed and ease of using PortraitPro as a plugin to your other photography software.

Download the PortraitPro Studio free trial today, and put your mind at rest that your images will be ones that will last a lifetime.

Photographer on mountainside

Making an income from selling photography – Microstock

There are far more places to make money than just keeping a travel blog, you can make money from many sources, such as offering images and articles to other websites, perhaps even some news outlets.

Microstock sites can offer a good source of income too. Each image might only make you a small revenue, but if you build up a good portfolio of images, then you may find that your images generate you a useful source of regular income.  One tip on making money from these sites would be to think about a particular type of customer, and what type of image they might like to use on their advertising. Make sure that you are submitting good quality, clear images.  Ensure that you make it clear how much editing has been done to your image.

If you’ve done a lot of work in Photoshop, then the image has cost you more in time and effort than just a quality image, unretouched, straight out of the camera. If you really want to produce great, natural-looking but retouched portrait images, then PortraitPro Studio can save you lots of time and effort.

If however, you’ve uploaded a great, completely unretouched image, then it’s also worth stating it, so the art buyer knows what they’re purchasing.

As a photographer, you probably never go far without your camera, but if you’re trying to sell your images, keep your eyes open and your camera ready, to be able to catch interesting and unusual things as they might happen. You never know when you might find yourself in the right place at the right time. Anything from wildlife to celebrity spotting can find its market and the right microstock site can help you make an income from your images.

There are a lot of different microstock sites around, so do your research and find one that best suits your needs and your style.   They don’t all require exclusivity, so it’s possible to use more than one site to ensure you get the best return for your work.

It’s also much better to make sure you get a model release as this increases the ways you can sell your work through microstock sites. If it’s not model released, you’ll have to market it as “Editorial Only”, and this can mean that you won’t make as much money from the sales as you would from model released materials.

As the world of News has changed towards Breaking News and using social media more and more, it becomes even more important to use social media accounts as a means of being contacted.  For instance if you post images of a news event, and they’re seen by a news outlet, they may contact you to ask permission to use your images.

When trying to make money from your photography, it’s worth keeping an open mind on the methods that might find you paid work.  When you’re travelling away from home, it’s important to earn enough to keep you safe and fed, so having that open minded approach can help.

PortraitPro is affordable and easy to use; it’s an essential part of your photography tools kit, but it won’t break the budget.  Try it for free today.

 

Philadelphia Skyline taken from the Art Museum

Making an income from selling photography – Keep a travel photography blog

There are many, many travel photography blogs out there. It’s a really competitive environment, because it is such a sought-after, idealized job.

Who wouldn’t want a job where they can combine the things they love, travel and photography, and earn enough to keep themselves safe and well, whilst working for themselves, with no big corporation or news outlet to please?

But it’s not as easy as it sounds. You’ve got to have a number of things in place; you can’t just drop one job and expect to make a living from travel photography straight away. Either you’ve been doing it part time for a while, or you have a healthy savings account to keep you going for the first difficult few months, or longer.

Here are 9 things to bear in mind:

  • Only practice will make you a better photographer. As Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Keep traveling and keep taking photographs.
  • You need to really get to know an area to take interesting photos of it. When you stop taking the obvious photo, the tourist postcard shot, then you know you’ve really got it.
  • Getting to know people and finding out the traditions that they have in that area can give a true sense of the place. Go to a small café and order the special on the menu. Traveling is about eating the same as the people that live there, not trying to find what you like from back home. It’s about discovering in the back streets of Barcelona that most restaurants are closed at lunchtime for siesta, and then stumbling on the one busy little place in the Barri Gòtic with the menu in Catalan.
  • Have several ideas of what you might do with your images to make you some income. Be open-minded about your sources, and keep having new ideas.
  • Become a good writer too. If you can write clearly and succinctly about the things you’ve photographed, you get to tell the story yourself, instead of allowing someone else to do it for you. Just as taking more photographs will make you a better photographer, the more you write, the better you will become.
  • Learn how to promote yourself on social media. Contacts are made through Twitter, and Facebook, and LinkedIn. It gives both parties a chance to consider each other’s work before they contact each other, and sometimes a partnership can work without ever needing to meet in person.
  • Don’t be afraid to do a bit of everything. If you’ve learned how to use social media and design your own website, then why not use your skills to help other businesses or freelancers?
  • Don’t forget that your home town is distant and exotic to other people. If you need to take a break from traveling and return home, don’t despair, keep looking for the adventure nearer to home. It’s the place you know the best, and there’s always someone out there who wants to visit.
  • Keep learning new things. Wherever you are, whether on the road, or taking time out, there’s always something new to learn. Why not learn some new photography software skills and try out PortraitPro today. If there are people in your images, it’s the fastest way to enhance their look. For all your other travel images, whether it’s street photography, or beautiful landscapes, Smart Photo Editor can give you some fantastic creative effects. Finding a new way to edit your images can give you an edge over all the other people who do the same things that you want to do.
Philly Skyline taken from Art Museum, using a Smart Photo Editor effect

Philadelphia Skyline taken from Art Museum, using a Smart Photo Editor effect

Download your free trial today, and take PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor on the road with you.

 

Mime with Van Gogh style editing

Making an income from selling photography –Street Photography

There’s a whole host of ways to make money from your photography; it doesn’t have to be your portrait studio work that makes you money.

If you’re keen on photographing people then street photography could be one way to learn more about portrait photography; to get a chance to learn about other cultures and places and perhaps venture into a different area of interest.

Perhaps you might find a way to sell your street images, but be sure you get a model release for any images containing people. You also need to check out the local rules and laws on street photography.  Some countries and regions are stricter on privacy, and you should always respect the privacy of individuals. If someone doesn’t seem to want their photo taken, then don’t do it. Some communities, like the Amish, don’t like to be photographed. Be respectful of their wishes and don’t take an image of a person who wouldn’t want to be photographed.

There are plenty of other people and places where you can take photographs without offending anyone, and people usually don’t mind you taking photographs of their buildings, it’s usually recognizable images of real people that they don’t want to be taken.

You may often find that people are very happy to have their photo taken, but all you need to do is ask. A smile and a nod is all it takes.

If a street performer allows you to take their photo, then they usually expect a payment, and can be quite insistent on their payment if they realize that you’ve taken one without paying them. This is after all how they make their living.

If you do get permission from the street performer to take their photo, then portrait editing software would also work on their painted faces, and would perhaps help to make them even more flawless than the costume on its own.

These images would also benefit from some additional effects, such as the watercolor effects in Smart Photo Editor, making them very artistic and interesting portraits.

Whether it’s just your annual vacation, or you’re trying to travel on a more regular basis to earn a living from your photography, then it’s probably worth investing in some industry standard photography software, at a very affordable price.

Get Smart Photo Editor here and PortraitPro here.

Prom Class of 2015

Portrait Photographs for Prom, Class of 2015

If you’re a professional portrait photographer, it’s one of the high points of your busy schedule. It’s a major event in any teenager’s calendar, and you want to be able to make it special for them.

High school students spend a lot of time and effort on making their Prom a special occasion. They want the best photography that will give them the best reminder of a memorable evening.

Tips for making your prom photography a success:

  • Consider offering photo booth style photography; it’s not all about the formal portrait, and sometimes an amusing photo is more evocative of good memories.
  • Be highly organized and professional. Make sure you have all your equipment, extension leads, stationery, payment equipment, computer equipment that you might need. You can’t rely on the school or venue having anything that you might need, including a power outlet just where you need it.

The one thing that you don’t need to worry about is your portrait editing, and with PortraitPro you can reduce the time spent in editing, so that you can return the images to your clients in double quick time!

PortraitPro 12 now has relighting technology, allowing you a more natural photo touch up.

You can give them great portrait editing, creating flawless images that look more natural, simply by creating presets that suit your editing style.

Every teenager wants to have great prom photos, you can give them their best looks, and send them their images quickly.

Give them a sneak peak at what they’re going to get by using the Facebook integration within PortraitPro to whet their appetites for their images.

Try PortraitPro today, and see for yourself how much time you can save.

Girl with umbrella in the rain

Portrait Photos in the rain

It’s often very rainy in April. A variety of weather will make our photographs more interesting, but it’s important to learn how to get the best from the environment, and also to remember that we should always have a backup plan.

Here are some ideas for taking interesting portraits in the rain:

  • Use Umbrellas. Clear umbrellas are great to keep the rain off your subject, let any light through and keep them a little happier in the damp. – There’s nothing more miserable than getting soaked to the skin. A black umbrella makes a good plain background for the head and shoulders.
  • Have a backup location that has a porch or an awning or an overhanging roof, so your people can be sheltered from the rain, but you can still capture the rain in the back ground.
  • Rain is more visible when there’s a light behind it. Find a location with a light behind the rain, or find a way to put your own in the background, and use a faster shutter speed. The faster the shutter speed, the more you’re going to see the raindrops. You may need to slightly increase your ISO, but you’ll still get great quality images. If you want them a little blurry, you won’t need it quite as fast.
  • Look for reflections in the puddles that form, or the shine on the wet sidewalk. They can make great features, and can create an interesting symmetry to your images which makes them more interesting.
  • Look for how people react to the rain. Kids love it; they don’t care about getting wet. Its great fun to splash in the puddles, with rain boots and appropriate clothing of course!
  • If it’s an engagement shoot or wedding day, you don’t want the couple to get thoroughly drenched, they won’t be happy; but if you can convince them that a little bit of an adventure will give their images a memorable quality, then you’ll get the chance to experiment a little and get some great portrait photos.Wedding couple in the rain
  • Be sure to exercise caution when photographing in any extreme weather conditions. Don’t forget that an umbrella can conduct lightning, and be sure to check the weather report for tornadoes and other extreme weather.
  • Take care of your camera equipment. You can get a wide variety of items to protect your equipment, and if you plan on shooting in the rain regularly, or you live in a climate where it rains regularly, then a rain sleeve is a good investment. A plastic bag is also useful and cheap way to keep your equipment dry.

When capturing portraits, whether it’s for engagements, weddings or just for fun, it’s important to make sure that everyone looks their best. Portrait editing software can give your portraits just that little bit of enhancement that will turn a really good portrait in to a great one; that they will want to keep for years to come.

Check out PortraitPro now.

Girl on Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Family Portraits 2015

You may or may not have had a Spring Break or a vacation this year, but don’t worry, it’s almost Easter break.

There’s still time to get your Easter family portraits sorted. Whether it’s booking a family portraits session with a professional studio, or just scheduling a time when all the family can get together, to create something for the family album, there’s plenty of time to take some photos and to do some portrait editing too.

Spring is in the air, and a portrait shoot with the little ones on an Egg Hunt or dressed in a cute outfit seems like the perfect start to a cheerful spring.

Why not organize your own Easter Egg roll and get some great images of the kids having a good time?

PortraitPro Studio Max 12 has full batch processing, allowing you to process hundreds of images at once and saving you time on image editing, allowing you even more time to spend with the kids this holiday weekend. Follow our boards on Pinterest for more inspiration.

 

Boy with Bunny and Egg

Boy with Easter bunny and Egg

 

Baby photo with PortraitPro

Tips on photographing new born babies

It’s the first day of Spring and there should be an improvement in the weather coming. It’s been a long winter, but it’s time to celebrate new beginnings. What better way to start off Spring than to think about photographing newborns.

If it’s a lifestyle shoot, capturing some great images of the baby in their first home environment, with their parents, siblings and pets is a great idea.

Here are some tips on improving your new born images.

  • Keep the area warm, and the baby well fed, so that your subject is as comfortable as possible. A happy baby is a sleepy baby, and a sleepy baby is much easier to photograph.
  • Stay calm no matter what happens. If the photographer becomes distressed, then the parents and the baby will be more likely to be distressed.
  • Keep your images simple. A tiny new born baby is so small and innocent it doesn’t need complicated set ups to be interesting.
  • You can get some great props that will help you create unique images, but the best ones are the simplest. Check out some of the ones we like on our Pinterest board.
  • Take close up shots of the tiny details. It’s great to get a bit of perspective, and to show just how tiny this little person is, you could get a close up of a tiny hand on top of a parent’s.
  • Keep a number of different blankets and pillows for sleeping babies.
  • Have some soothing music or soothing sounds in the background, which can help the baby to sleep and therefore be more pliable to an attractive position.

Babies don’t need much photo retouching, but just a little portrait editing can help clean up baby acne, cradle cap and other minor rashes that babies may have for just a few days or weeks, but it’s not something that you’d really want to remember.

The beauty of PortraitPro is that you can turn down all your sliders, use just the skin smoothing tools,  use the touch up  and restore brushes to  get the skin just exactly how you want it.

You can also use the software to just brighten the eyes a tiny amount, and keep everything else exactly as you saw it in the camera.

See how easy it is, get a free trial now.

Spring Wedding

Spring Wedding Packages

We might be hoping for a hint of Spring in the air, but the truth is, it’s still pretty chilly.

One way to get better weather would be to head to Las Vegas, to WPPI, and check out PortraitPro on the B+H stand (920).

But if you can’t get there this week, then perhaps it’s time to start thinking about your spring wedding and engagement clients.

Their wedding day may be the most memorable day in people’s lives, and they will want their best memories preserved for years to come. It’s worth putting some effort into providing them with the best quality albums, prints, and canvas options that you can, for a reasonable price.

People always want to look their best on special occasions, and along with the actual wedding day, the engagement shoot is also a really important part of the whole wedding process. These are the images that may be used in their engagement announcements, Save the Dates, etc.

You can certainly offer them the best quality, portrait retouching that you can, for the very lowest cost to them and to you.

PortraitPro is affordable to purchase for you, but will save you so much time, that you don’t have to charge the earth for your time spent in editing.

You can give your clients an even more affordable package, and ensure that they can purchase the images that they want.

See how easy it is for you to save time and effort now.