February 2nd, 2014

Posing for Romantic Couples Portraits

Your friend just got engaged, your parents are celebrating a big anniversary, or your sister is looking for a special gift for her beau on Valentine’s Day? Grab your camera because romantic portraits are a great way to improve your skills (and to create a special image for people close to you).

To start off: Fill the frame with faces

Image-1-Fur-hatsZooming in for a close-up is the perfect start to a couple’s photo shoot for one important reason: this is your chance to look at the light and how it hits their faces. Look for bright spots, hard shadows, and flattering angles. Note that too much light can be as much of a problem as too little, casting hard shadows and making people squint. You may want to shoot in a shady area, or later in the day, so the light is gentler.

February 1st, 2014

Romantic portraits with backlighting

Don’t shoot into the sun!

It seems like it’s a golden rule of photography, and for good reason. The camera’s light meter looks at the amount of light in all parts of the frame, and chooses the best average exposure. If you have a person surrounded by a very bright area, the person will be underexposed if you keep your camera on ‘Auto’.

Backlighting can be a beautiful effect, however, especially with portraits. The bright light from behind gives a romantic glow around your subject, and if you can get your exposure right, this technique produces lovely portraits.

ScarfImage 1: This backlit portrait has a beautiful edging of light, while the face is still properly exposed. The effect is light and romantic, and extremely flattering.

October 7th, 2013

The Family Christmas Photo: Simplify the ridiculous

By Angela Ford, photo blogger

Taking a family Christmas photo is a ridiculous process, at least in the Ford household. We have four children, including a teenager and twin preschoolers, and getting them all clean, happy, and looking in the right direction is an exercise in the absurd.

To help guide you through the chaos, I have assembled a few ideas so you can plan ahead and end up with a photo you want to share with everyone you know.

Plan your outfits

Wardrobe is a headache, plain and simple. On any given day, no one in my family coordinates with the others. Half the children have food, paint, or unidentified substances on their shirts, the other half don’t match, and my hair is standing on end.

The simple go-to idea is to find matching outfits for everyone. By matching outfits, I would dissuade you from choosing from the genre of Rudolph sweaters with blinking noses. Complicated patterns will detract from the faces, and set up your children for much embarrassment later in life.

Stay simple

Family-Image-1-OrnamentsA simple, classic look is the white T and jeans combination. This is an affordable way to get matching outfits, and it gives a nice uniform look that accentuates the faces.

Image 1: Simple white T shirts and jeans give a uniform look to the image, while festive gold ornaments capture the spirit of the holiday.

October 7th, 2013

Adding Christmas to your card


Premade borders for the most wonderful cards of the year

Once the thanksgiving turkey dinner is eaten and the table is cleaned up, there should be only one thing on your mind: Christmas!

I kid. You will need a bit of a breather before you hang the tinsel. But before we get too far into October, it’s a good idea to plan out your Christmas cards. It takes time to take a photo, create your card, print them, write them, address them, and mail them in time for the holidays.

After picking the right image (take a look here for tips on taking great family Christmas photo ), choosing the right frame for your Christmas card is your biggest decision. It’s like buying a pair of jeans—you won’t know what fits until you try a bunch of different styles on.


October 7th, 2013

Create The Perfect Card

By Angela Ford, photo blogger

Shopping for cards can be a frustrating experience. The image, the words, the look must be just right to truly communicate the sentiment. I spend a long, long time looking for the perfect card, and by the time I realize the third one was the best, I am on the seventeenth card and I can’t remember what #3 looked like.

Making your own photographic greeting card is about the same cost as a nice greeting card, but it is tailor made by you. Choose a personal photo and say exactly what you want and your card will deliver precisely the right message.

To get your creative juices flowing, I created some sample cards using Home Edition. (You can download this free software here).

Anniversary card

Greeting Image 1 Wedding

September 16th, 2013

The Vertical Landscape

You have hiked for hours to a lookout point, and you emerge through the trees. Before you is a sweeping landscape of trees, valleys, and gorgeous sky. You reach for your camera, and you turn it on its side for a vertical shot.


August 26th, 2013

Telling a story with environmental portraits


By Angela Ford, photo blogger

When I was growing up, family portraits were done in a studio, excessively posed, and often terribly unflattering. There is a portrait of my sisters and me that was taken after I got an unfortunate perm, and it is prominently on display in the entrance of my parents’ home. If I were a braver woman, I would share it with you. READ MORE

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