Spark Your Creativity with Lindsay Adler’s 10-Week Portrait Challenge

Spark Your Creativity with Lindsay Adler’s 10-Week Portrait Challenge

Join CreativeLive and Lindsay Adler for a 10-week long series of free photography challenges designed to bust you out of your comfort zone. You’ll try new techniques, pick up new skills, and expand your photographic creativity. Sign up for free, and get these challenges delivered right to your inbox once a week!

How the Creative Portrait Challenge works:

1. JOIN

2. SHARE

  • Upload your photos and tag it on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter using #creativephotochallenge.
  • Have questions or want to check in with fellow photographers? Join the Creative Photo Challenge Facebook group.

3. Winners

  • For the month of April and May we’ll be reviewing submissions via #creativephotochallenge and choosing the best representation of that week’s challenge.
  • Winning photos will be featured on CreativeLive social feeds and will win one free Lindsay Adler class.
  • At the end of the 10-week challenge one grand prize winner will be chosen based on participation, creativity, and execution and win a free year of CreativeLive’s Creator Pass and access to our entire 1,500 course catalog.

Step outside of your routine, see the possibilities and discover what you love to capture!

The post Spark Your Creativity with Lindsay Adler’s 10-Week Portrait Challenge appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

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How to Craft a Business Story that Will Resonate with Audiences

How to Craft a Business Story that Will Resonate with Audiences

Every business has an incredible story behind it. 

Maybe you were working a 9 to 5 day job you didn’t enjoy before you  thought of a brilliant idea for a toothpaste holder that is now the number one seller on Amazon. Or perhaps your parents were business owners and encouraged you to follow your dreams, so you began a local photography company that now boasts tons of clients.

Whatever the origin of your company is, it’s important to craft a business story for your clients and customers. But how exactly do you go about that? How do you craft a business story that is both cohesive and inspiring?

Don’t fret. Here are some top-notch tips for you from some of our CreativeLive experts.

Start with your bio

The heart of your business is you.

Today, customers are just as interested in who they’re purchasing from as the product they’re buying.  The first step is to craft a business story is to create an exciting and interesting bio for your website and marketing materials that explains who you are.


Connect with your clients and customers on a deeper level through stories. Save an extra 60% with code NOJOKE2019 now thru 4/30/2019.


According to CreativeLive teacher and business strategist Melissa Cassera, start by writing out a “grocery list” of what you’d like to include on your bio. This should include information about your career or personal life, your biggest wins or mistakes and your favorite books, TV shows and movies. You can relate your list to what you do. For example, a motivational speaker could write a list of the top seven most incredible places she has been invited to speak onstage as well as one thing she remembers from each experience.

Keep in mind that your bio doesn’t need to be your entire life story. It’s just a first impression, so make it brief and update it as needed. Cassera says your goal should be to “express yourself in a natural, conversational way… to tell a few choice pieces of your story… and to pique your reader’s interest so that (hopefully) he or she chooses to explore more of your work… and perhaps, someday soon-ish, [buys] something.”

Ditch the rags to riches story

Many business stories go like this: The founder of the company was broke, until she started this business, and now she is a wild success.

Your story is still continuing, and rags to riches is a cliché you need to drop, says Jamie Jensen, CreativeLive teacher and creator of Story School.

You should constantly be creating new stories to engage with your clients and customers, and not be so finite with your own story. “Try repositioning the idea of ‘the end’ as a new beginning as both the buyer and as a leader,” says Jensen. “From that point of view, the ‘Rags to Riches’ story is really just ‘So I made a lot of money once!’”

Write from the heroism perspective

Don’t try to leave out the rewarding or successful parts of your journey in an attempt to create a sappy narrative. Instead, focus on the inspirational aspects of your story.

It is wise to include your challenges and rough patches on your path to success, because that makes you relatable. But be tasteful. “By making things seem too perfect, clean, and simple, you ALSO make people skeptical,” says Jensen. “Don’t be afraid to include the rough parts of the journey too, but make sure you’re positioning them strategically along the story path.”


Save an extra 60% off all classes with code NOJOKE2019 now thru 4/30/2019 *good on one class only.


The post How to Craft a Business Story that Will Resonate with Audiences appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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Photoshop Tip: Use Layers to Create Super Realistic Shadows

Photoshop Tip: Use Layers to Create Super Realistic Shadows

create shadow in photoshop

A good drop shadow is hard to come by. There is no shortage of Photoshopped “shadows” on the web that are nothing more than a grayscale circle with a little Gaussian blur.

In their simplest form, shadows are obstructions of light produced by the object casting them and the light surrounding it – but their shape, color, and intensity is dependent upon a whole goody bag of variables. The distance between the object and the start of shadow and the direction and intensity of the light all impact how a shadow appears. Which means people wanting to replicate their dynamism in Photoshop have their work cut out for them.

Lucky for us, Aaron Nace of Phlearn fame has a Photoshop tip: “The real key to make them look realistic is many, many layers.”

Aaron demonstrated his process for producing realistic-shadows from scratch during his Retouching Product Photography class. Using a photo of ear buds against a white backdrop, Aaron taught how to mimic shape and convey distance using some very simple techniques.

To make your own shadows less flat and more believable, check out the complete tutorial below:

Harness the power of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom and take your creative potential to the next level. Get the entire Photoshop Week bundle for just $99.

The post Photoshop Tip: Use Layers to Create Super Realistic Shadows appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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18 DIY Tutus For Babies To Adults

18 DIY Tutus For Babies To Adults

A DIY tutu is one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look fancy. You can glam up everything from a superhero costume to your wedding dress, all with just a couple of seams and a billion yards of tulle!

Tulle, unfortunately, is not an eco-friendly fabric, but there are eco-friendly ways to source it. Instead of buying tulle new, ask around to see if someone in your community has a stash that you can bust, or thrift your way into your own stash–check out the housewares and the formals sections of thrift stores, because curtains and prom/bridesmaid dresses often have lots of tulle that you can repurpose.

And don’t forget all of the trash that you can upcycle. Gardeners can hook you up with their unused bird netting, or you can save up mesh produce bags and piece them together.

Another option is to skip the tulle altogether. Below, you’ll find tutorials that specifically use natural fabrics, or you can creatively substitute silk, cheesecloth, or other fun, natural fabrics for the tulle called for in other tutorials.

1. No-sew tied tutuThis is the easiest tutu to make, requiring just cutting and knot-tying. Take care not to tie the knots too tightly around the elastic, however, or you’ll pre-stretch it so that it no longer fits your desired waist measurement.

2. Tied tutu with a ribbon waistbandI like this alternate version of a tied tutu, which uses a ribbon waistband instead of the usual elastic. It’s simple to get a snug fit without measuring, and the bow adds a pretty embellishment.

3. Cotton tied tutuHere’s that natural fabric tutu that I was telling you about! Don’t be afraid to leave the edges raw; that little bit of raveling adds to the shabby chic look.

4. Ribbon tutuYou can use that same tied tutu technique with a variety of materials. Here, it’s a ribbon tutu, but there are so many other creative materials that it’s possible to use!

5. Lined tulle skirtConsider this lined tulle skirt the grown-up version of a tutu. It’s just as flowy, but not fluffy.

6. Tutu skirtHere’s another version of the lined tulle skirt. I love how sophisticated it looks!

7. Unlined tulle skirtThis skirt is similar to the previous two but is deliberately single-layered and unlined. It’s meant to be worn over a pencil skirt that you already own, but I think it could look really interesting over leggings, as well.

8. Cotton and tulle skirtIf you don’t already own something to wear an unlined tulle skirt over, you can sew a skirt and tulle overskirt all together as one piece.

9. How to cut and hem a tulle skirtIf you want to make any of those lined tulle skirts, you’ll likely want a finish that’s a little more sophisticated than just chopping off the bottom. Here’s how to neatly cut and hem a tulle skirt.

10. Filled tutuThese tutus are super fun, and look like they were a lot harder to make than they really are. The secret is folding the tulle in half and sewing the raw ends to the waistband; leave an opening, fill it with pompoms, faux flower petals, or felt confetti for a magical look!

11. Tulle circle skirtGoing to the extra effort to cut your tulle to make a circle skirt, rather than just gathering it, means that the waist will be more trim and therefore the fluff will look even fluffier!

12. Tutu with a covered waistbandCovering the waistband makes the tutu look more professional, but otherwise, the construction remains simple.

13. Boa tutuThis more adult version of the tutu can still be made from upcycled materials–only this time, you’re thrifting for boas, not prom dresses.

14. BustleHere’s another adult version of a tutu, this one using all tulle instead of boas.

15. tulle bowIf you’ve got a little extra tulle leftover, here’s a nice embellishment that you can make. Add it to the tutu, or glue it to a hair clip.

16. Tulle headbandHere’s another accessory that would look super cute with a tutu–a tulle headband!

17. Tutu chandelierIf it holds still long enough, put a tutu on it!

18. Tutu Easter basketWicker baskets are a dime a dozen (literally!) at many thrift stores; add a tutu, and you can turn a boring, thrifted wicker basket into an adorable fancy Easter basket.

Do you know of a terrific tutu tutorial that I haven’t mentioned? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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The content for this post was sourced from www.craftingagreenworld.com

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Spark Your Creativity with Lindsay Alder’s 10-Week Portrait Challenge

Spark Your Creativity with Lindsay Alder’s 10-Week Portrait Challenge

Join CreativeLive and Lindsay Adler for a 10-week long series of free photography challenges designed to bust you out of your comfort zone. You’ll try new techniques, pick up new skills, and expand your photographic creativity. Sign up for free, and get these challenges delivered right to your inbox once a week!

How the Creative Portrait Challenge works:

1. JOIN

2. SHARE

  • Upload your photos and tag it on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter using #creativephotochallenge.
  • Have questions or want to check in with fellow photographers? Join the Creative Photo Challenge Facebook group.

3. Winners

  • For the month of April and May we’ll be reviewing submissions via #creativephotochallenge and choosing the best representation of that week’s challenge.
  • Winning photos will be featured on CreativeLive social feeds and will win one free Lindsay Adler class.
  • At the end of the 10-week challenge one grand prize winner will be chosen based on participation, creativity, and execution and win a free year of CreativeLive’s Creator Pass and access to our entire 1,500 course catalog.

Step outside of your routine, see the possibilities and discover what you love to capture!

The post Spark Your Creativity with Lindsay Alder’s 10-Week Portrait Challenge appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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Choosing The Best DSLR Camera For Beginners

Choosing The Best DSLR Camera For Beginners

Perhaps you clicked on this headline eager for the answer that’s been plaguing you since you decided to step up your point-and-shoot camera for a DSLR camera. What camera should I buy? What’s the best beginner DSLR camera?

And we could comb through all the options and shine a light on one particular model, then you’d go out and buy that camera and get started and, more than likely, do just fine. But there’s a problem with that. First, the best beginning DSLR camera for a beginning portrait photographer isn’t the best camera for the beginning sports photographer. Cameras aren’t a one-size-fits-all deal.

But there’s another issue too—learning how to choose a camera is a great first step to learning about photography and how to become a photographer. Great cameras don’t take great pictures any more than a great paintbrush painted the Mona Lisa—you need creativity, and you also need to know how to use that camera. And the best way to learn how to use your camera? Start by learning how to choose a camera. Don’t worry, those tech specs aren’t as daunting as they seem. For a more detailed breakdown, be sure to check out the full free course on choosing your first DSLR camera.


Ready to use your new DSLR Camera? Sign up today to learn the basics of photography with John Greengo. Learn more.


Brand: Nikon Vs. Canon Vs. The Little Guy

Should you buy a Nikon or a Canon? Or perhaps a camera from a smaller brand, like Pentax or Sony? What features make a camera the best entry-level DSLR?

Brand is a bit more important when buying a DSLR compared to a compact camera because once you start acquiring lenses and accessories, it becomes rather expensive to switch. But that doesn’t mean one brand is better than the other. Nikon makes great DSLRs. Canon makes great DSLRs. Pentax makes great DSLRs. And so does Sony. Sure, one year it seems like one brand is beating out the competition with every camera they release—but the next year, it will likely be the other way around.

Brand matters, but probably not in the way you think. Choose a camera based on its features, not its brand. Then, before you buy, explore the different lenses and accessories that are available. If you want to learn how to take wildlife pictures, for example, make sure the camera you choose has a compatible telephoto lens. That’s where Nikon and Canon are great, because they’re so popular and well-established, that there are plenty of lenses, flashes and other accessories to choose from to add on to the camera body. That doesn’t mean you should stay away from smaller brands though; Pentax also makes some great cameras with features like weather sealing that are tougher to find at a similar price point from the bigger manufacturers.

Which is the best DSLR for beginners?

Sensor size and design for the best beginning DSLR camera

When you take a digital photograph with a digital camera, light enters through the lens, then hits the sensor—it’s that sensor that records the image. Sensors come in all different sizes. The sensor in your smartphone’s camera is very small, while a DSLR camera sensor is much larger. Larger sensors are better for a number of different reasons. First, images captured on a larger sensor have a higher resolution, because a larger sensor equals a larger photo and better image quality. Bigger sensors also handle low lighting scenarios better. Even when the amount of light coming into the camera doesn’t change, a larger surface area allows the camera to collect more light. Larger sensors also make it easier to get soft, out-of-focus backgrounds.

When it comes to DSLR cameras, there are two options for sensor sizes. APS-C is the smaller type and the option that’s typically best for entry-level DSLR photographers. An APS-C sensor is usually plenty for new photographers to work with, and they’re often found on cameras that are easy to use and much more affordable.

A full frame or 35mm sensor is a bit larger—these cameras are usually considered professional DSLRs. They offer more resolution, but also a much higher price tag. If your camera budget exceeds $1,500, they could be an option, but a full frame camera is likely overkill for most beginners. So why mention it at all? Most lenses are sold for either full frame or APS-C sensors, so this is another scenario where changing later on may require updating your lenses too.

While sensor size is important, sensor design is too. Backlit sensors are designed with most of the gear and the circuitry at the back, so it’s easier for the light to reach the sensor. Sensors that are backlit perform better in low lighting than sensors that are not.

Many manufacturers are now also eliminating what’s called the optical low pass filter or sometimes the anti-aliasing filter. This filter helps prevent distortion in patterns called moire—the most common example is a shirt with fine stripes that start to bend and whirl together when photographed. Sensor technology is allowing some of this distortion elimination to be done without the use of that filter. Why is that important? The filter is one more thing between the sensor and the light. Cameras without the optical low pass filter tend to have more detail and richer colors. Many camera manufacturers are doing away with the filter entirely, like in most of Nikon’s newer DSLRs. Canon’s approach has been to make two different models of the same camera, one with the filter, and one without. That enhanced detail is a big help, though if you would like to do a lot of fashion photography or product photography for a clothing boutique, that extra moire prevention may be the better option.

Megapixels: Are they really important for an entry-level DSLR?

Too many people buy cameras on megapixels alone—and that’s a horrible way to decide on a new camera. But, that doesn’t mean that they’re not important. Megapixels determine how much resolution your camera has. The number of pixels along one side multiplied by the number of pixels on the other side gets you a megapixel count. Cameras with more megapixels produce higher resolution images, so you can print bigger photos or crop without ruining the photo.

Megapixels are not as important as sensor size in determining image quality. That 42 megapixel smartphone still isn’t going to beat out a DSLR, even if the DSLR only has 16 megapixels. But, since we’re looking at DSLRs for beginners, let’s assume all the sensors are APS-C size. Then, the camera with more megapixels will have the higher resolution. Keep in mind that a higher resolution doesn’t necessarily mean better images. Cameras with high megapixel counts are more prone to noise at high ISOs, although many modern cameras have high megapixels with excellent noise reduction.

One more thing to consider—more megapixels means bigger image files. That’s certainly not a deal breaker, after all bigger files are more flexible in post-processing. But, keep in mind that you’ll want bigger SD cards for high megapixel cameras, and also a pretty large hard drive to store them on too.

Best beginning DSLR camera

Shooting speed: How fast can you snap?

How fast can you take a photo? Choosing a camera with good speed is essential for sports photographers, but speed is good for any photographer who’s interested in continuous shooting. If you’re a parent taking pictures of your kids, speed is essential for capturing the action. If you’re a budding portrait photographer, speed will help you capture the best expressions.

A camera’s speed is a bit harder to measure on paper, however. A good indication of a camera’s overall speed is the burst speed, or the number of photos it can take per second (or fps) if you continue to hold the shutter release.

There’s a lot of gear that has to be moved every time a DSLR camera takes a picture—like the mirror mechanism that even the best mirrorless cameras don’t have, for example. And there’s also those big images to consider—it takes some time for a camera to process digital images, especially ones with a higher megapixel count. Because of all this, most DSLR camera’s have burst speeds around 5 fps—they can take five images in one second. A 10 fps burst speed is an excellent speed for a DSLR camera.

The more photos a camera can take in one second, the more likely you are to capture the shot at the perfect moment. But, burst speed is also a good indicator of how fast the camera operates in general.


Ready to use your new DSLR Camera? Sign up today to learn the basics of photography with John Greengo. Learn more.


How much speed do you need? DSLRs with 10 fps burst speeds are excellent for capturing sports, as well as anything that moves quickly, like wildlife or little kids. A faster burst speed will increase your chances of capturing the perfect moment, but you can certainly still shoot little league games and other sports with 5 fps if there’s not enough room in the budget for a faster camera.

One more speed to consider—the maximum shutter speed. The shutter speed determines how long the camera’s shutter stays open to capture the picture. Budget DSLRs typically have a 1/4000 shutter speed—that’s plenty fast enough to freeze action and works for most types of photography. More advanced models will hit speeds of 1/8000 or even 1/16,000. Keep in mind though, that a shutter speed that fast requires a lot of light. Those top shutter speeds come in handy when shooting outside on a bright day with a wide aperture camera setting without overexposing the shot.

Learn more about how this all works with the best-selling Fundamentals of Photography course.

best beginning dslr camera

Prices for an entry-level DSLR camera

Buying a camera isn’t about finding the best one on the market—it’s about finding the best one for your style and your budget. There are several DSLRs on the market that cost the same as a small car and are packed full of the top features, but there are also several for just a few hundred dollars that do a pretty good job and have a feature set that’s ideal for beginners.

Entry-level DSLRs are available for as little as $300 for an older model, though $500-$1,000 is a bit more realistic. The price heads up from there as you add features, like faster speeds and more megapixels.

You can also save a bit by buying a DSLR that’s not the current model. Older DSLRs are still great cameras and sometimes you can pick up an older mid-level DSLR for the same price as a newer entry-level DSLR and get more features. Be careful though to compare features carefully, newer cameras often get a boost in image quality as technology improves. There’s usually not much difference in models that are a year old, but more than two years old and there’s often a noticeable difference in image quality.

Kit lens or camera body only?

Once you decide on a DSLR, you have one more choice to make—buy the kit, or camera body only? Most beginners buy a DSLR camera with a kit lens. Kit lenses are great because they often cover the most common zoom range, usually 18mm to 55mm. They’re inexpensive and a good way to get started in photography.

Kit lenses are often a bit limited, however. Most kit lenses have a maximum aperture of around f/3.6. What does the aperture do, you ask? Aperture determines how wide the opening in the lens is. A wider aperture, like f/1.8 is better for taking photos in limited light or getting a softer, out-of-focus background. Upgrading to a f/1.8 or f/2.8 lens often makes a big difference in image quality, however, it is significantly more expensive than opting for the kit lens.


Ready to use your new DSLR Camera? Sign up today to learn the basics of photography with John Greengo. Learn more.


Choosing the Best Beginning DSLR Camera: 2019 Recommendations

Choosing a DSLR for beginners is about picking a camera that suits your style. If you take pictures of sports or other action, for example, you’ll want to place a higher priority on speed. If you photograph landscapes or other still scenes, resolution from the sensor size and megapixel count is more important. Before you choose a DSLR camera, you should understand sensor size, megapixels, speed and price. If you’re nervous about learning photography, look at pictures of the camera and choose a model with fewer buttons and dials so using the camera doesn’t seem so overwhelming.  Understanding these features to choose the camera that’s right for you is important, but here are some of the best DSLR cameras for beginners on the market right now:

Nikon D3400

The Nikon D3400 is great for getting into photography and is the cheapest model Nikon makes. It also works with the SnapBridge app to establish a connection with your smart device via Bluetooth

-Sensor: 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor

-Megapixels: 24.2

-Speed: 1/4000 shutter speed

-Price: $450

Nikon D3300

The Nikon D3300 is great for getting into photography without a huge price tag. It’s the cheapest camera Nikon makes, but is a good starter point since it’s simple to use.

-Sensor: APS-C, no optical low pass filter

-Megapixels: 24.2

-Speed: 5 fps, 1/4000 maximum shutter speed

-Price: $446 with 18-55mm kit lens

Want to learn how to use this camera? Good news, we have a fantastic Fast Start course for this specific camera model.

Pentax K-S3

DSLRs from smaller manufacturers shouldn’t be overlooked. The Pentax K-S2 has an excellent price, along with features that are hard to find on entry-level models, like weather-sealing and wi-fi.

-Sensor: APS-C, no optical low pass filter

-Megapixels: 20

-Speed: 5.5 fps, 1/6000 maximum shutter speed

-Price: $529 with 18-50mm kit lens

Canon Rebel EOS T6i

The Canon EOS T6i is an affordable DSLR that still includes features like wi-fi and a tilting touchscreen. 

Sensor: APS-C, with optical low pass filter

-Megapixels: 24.2

-Speed: 5 fps, 1/4000 maximum shutter speed

-Price: $949 with 18-135mm kit lens

Want to learn how to use this camera? Good news, we have a fantastic Fast Start course for this specific camera model.

Nikon D5500

The Nikon D5500 is the D5300’s big brother, with a tilting LCD screen, wi-fi and a better autofocus system, but similar specs where it really counts in image quality and speed.

-Sensor: APS-C, no optical low pass filter

-Megapixels: 24.2

-Speed: 5 fps, 1/4000 maximum shutter speed

-Price: $746 body-only, $846 with 18-55mm kit lens

Want to learn how to use this camera? Good news, we have a fantastic Fast Start course for this specific camera model.

Canon EOS 7D Mark II 

Canon’s EOS 7D Mark II is the fastest APS-C DSLR camera currently on the market with a 10 fps burst speed. It’s pricer than most entry-level models, but that speed may be well worth the extra expense for sports and other action.

-Sensor: APS-C, with optical low pass filter

-Megapixels: 20.2

-Speed: 10 fps, 1/8000 maximum shutter speed

-Price: $1,499 body-only, $1,459 with 18-135mm kit lens

Want to learn how to use this camera? Good news, we have a fantastic Fast Start course for this specific camera model.

Learning How to Use Your New Camera

Whichever entry-level camera you buy, one thing remains constant: you will only be able to use it to take quality pictures if you take the time to understand the camera’s buttons, features, and menus (everything from its battery life to the electronic viewfinder or built-in wi-fi and low light).

If you have a DSLR camera, but don’t know how everything works on it yet, chances are CreativeLive has a Fast Start course on it. These short video guides are so much better than trying to read the manual and manual controls.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all best DSLR camera for beginners. But, there’s a handful of excellent options on the market that are well-suited for inexperienced photographers, some faster or with more features. And by learning how to choose a camera, you’ll have a good start to learning just how to use that camera with this popular photography for beginners course.


Ready to use your new DSLR Camera? Sign up today to learn the basics of photography with John Greengo. Learn more.


The post Choosing The Best DSLR Camera For Beginners appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

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Sue Bryce Blogging Tips: Blog Like It’s A Wedding

Sue Bryce Blogging Tips: Blog Like It’s A Wedding

photography blogging advice

For photographers looking to grow and retain an online audience, a blog and the right blogging tips are absolutely essential. Not only is blogging a great tool for boosting the SEO of a site that could otherwise be too static to rank highly on Google search, it’s also a great way to develop a rapport with potential clients long before and after you actually may work with them. This is especially true for photographers who specialize in a kind of photography that centers around life’s monuments, like newborn, wedding, or senior photography; even before a customer is ever engaged or pregnant, showing up in their Facebook feed with a fresh new post is a great way to ensure that when the time does come, they’ll want you and only you.

But what to blog about is an ongoing issue for many photographers who will be the first to admit that they aren’t writers by trade. That’s why we got some blogging tips from pro wedding photographer Sue Bryce.

Her approach to blogging? Think of it like preparations for a wedding. “I always do old, new, borrowed, blue,” she explains. Here’s what that means:

Old

For a post about something old, you have your pick of topics. This could be a story about your first camera, or the relative merits of film vs. digital. Or, it could be a throwback post, says Sue.

“We take something old that’s from our past, we repost an image we took 20 years ago, we talk about an old style of photography…we talk about something old that’s relative to my industry,” she says. When you’re hunting for ideas, it’s a good idea to look back in time.

blogging advice for photographers

New

Or, you can look back to just a few days ago. For your new posts, share “something from a shoot we’ve just done,” or a recent experience. Talk about a new piece of equipment you’ve just added, or a new person you’ve just met.

Borrowed

This can also have a wide range of meaning, but mostly, Sue says, “something borrowed is inspiration. It’s a featured post, where you feature somebody else in a post.” Look to other photographers that you admire, then write about what it is that you like about their work.

Blue

“Blue is from the heart,” she says. “It’s when I write something personal.” Your personal content shouldn’t be the bulk of your blog — remember, your SEO keywords are probably more about photography than they are about your tastes in music or your emotions — but it’s great to pepper in every now and then.

Rotate through these ideas to keep your blog full of interesting, relevant content that’s surprisingly and delightful for your followers and readers. Include a mix, as Sue says, of advice and position opinions, as well as self-promotion and insight into who you are, both as a photographer as a person. Then, just remember: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.


Want to learn more from Sue Bryce? Tune in now for a free stream of her course 28 Days of Wedding Photography

The post Sue Bryce Blogging Tips: Blog Like It’s A Wedding appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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Brooke Shaden on Lighting: It Doesn’t Have to Be Fancy to Look Good

Brooke Shaden on Lighting: It Doesn’t Have to Be Fancy to Look Good

Who needs diffusion cloth when you have a bare bulb and a piece of paper? Brooke Shaden doesn’t.

Brooke is known for her down-to-earth teaching style and her other-worldly imagery. In Fine Art Compositing she needed to create a light source that mimicked the light on the background she planned to drop her model in and she opted to go basic – very basic.

Believable composites are achieved by matching light levels and angles – in the Fine Art class, Brooke demonstrated that you could create the perfect lighting setup for a composite with very inexpensive gear.

“We’re not working with anything fancy here,” Brooke explained as she asked a student to hold up a cheap Ikea lamp up to counterbalance the window light she was using to light the model’s face.


Want more Brooke? Learn more about her online workshop Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide.


 When the bare bulb made the light source too obvious, Brooke surveyed the room for a low-tech diffusion option. Brooke accepted two sheets of notebook paper from the woman in the front row. With a little experimenting Brooke got the separation from the background she was looking for not from notebook paper but by using a single tissue – yes the Kleenex kind – and the bare bulb.

“If I were home I would just get a pillowcase or something.”

Once the separation issue was solved she turned to another low-tech solution to cure the drop-off she was getting from the window light: another cheap lamp. Some window light, two lamps with bare bulbs, and a tissue was all she needed to get the effect she was after. Now that is low-tech lighting.

If you want to watch Brooke in action, you can check out the video below or go to the course page for your complete guide to compositing with tips on using fancy and not-so-fancy gear.


Want more Brooke? Learn more about her online workshop Fine Art Photography: The Complete Guide.


The post Brooke Shaden on Lighting: It Doesn’t Have to Be Fancy to Look Good appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

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7 Awesome Ways Illustrator is Being Used Today

7 Awesome Ways Illustrator is Being Used Today

Who uses Adobe Illustrator? The better question might be—who doesn’t? Utilized across a vast array of industries, this vector-based graphics software has something for everyone who has a role in the wide world of design. From a company logo to a highway billboard to a birthday card—it was all probably first designed in Illustrator.

But being the versatile app that it is, here’s how designers across many industries are working with Illustrator in 7 very different and fascinating ways:

3D printed objects

It’s an exciting time as 3D printers for home use continue to expand their capabilities and drop in price. Crafters, entrepreneurs and creators of all kinds are using Illustrator to design their visions before printing them out to use as a prototype or to sell on Etsy.

Video Game Development

Some of the most complex video games out there today were first formed in Illustrator. If you’ve ever played Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, then you’ve seen the work of Japanese video game developer Square Enix. This global video game giant just so happens to use Illustrator for much of its design work.


Create Graphics, Drawings And Logos Quickly And At The Highest Professional Standard. Learn more.


Wearable Devices

With the advent of the IoT (Internet of Things) and connected gadgets like wearable devices, there’s been a need for increasingly smaller screens. Thinking outside the usual mobile or tablet box, many user interface (UI) designers are working in Illustrator to push the UI into diminutive dimensions while maintaining an emphasis on simplicity and productivity.

Package Design

Every time you buy something from Amazon or from your grocery store, it probably comes in some sort of packaging. But that package doesn’t design itself. From a basic pizza delivery box to an elegant light bulb case, this design is the result of a professional package designer who is most likely using Illustrator.

Emojis

Someday, you might be reading articles written only in emojis. 😀 To feed the world’s insatiable hunger for emojis, Illustrator is being used by emoji enthusiasts and professional designers alike to developing new emojis and refresh old ones.

Fashion

Did you know that Nike shoes, Victoria’s Secret lingerie and Ralph Lauren shirts are designed in Illustrator? If the world of fashion is where you envision yourself, whether you want to launch your own fashion line or design for the hottest in haute couture, it’s time to get working on your Illustrator skills!

Motion Graphics

The demand for motion graphics is on the rise, as more companies big and small turn to this medium as a way to liven up their online presence and to create more emotionally engaging branding and advertising. Motion designers tend to use Illustrator as the first step in the process before importing files into After Effects.


Create Graphics, Drawings And Logos Quickly And At The Highest Professional Standard. Learn more.


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How To Sew a Nine-Patch Quilt for an American Girl Doll

How To Sew a Nine-Patch Quilt for an American Girl Doll

A nine-patch quilt is the easiest type of quilt to sew, although I might be biased since as a child I first learned how to sew by back-stitching, under my grandmother’s supervision, nine-patch quilt blocks of my very own.

A nine-patch quilt block is made from nine pieces in two different fabrics. The pieces are all square and are sewn together in alternating fabrics in three rows of three. This pattern works well with both a dedicated color scheme and layout or a seemingly random mishmash of color and contrast, which is another reason why it’s such a favorite with sewers of all ages and levels–and their recipients!

Just as the nine-patch quilt is the easiest type of quilt to sew, I find a doll quilt to be the easiest size of quilt to make. There’s nothing like a tiny quilt to give one instant gratification! An American Girl doll quilt, in particular, is a great size to start with–at just 12″ x 18″, you can make the whole thing in a single afternoon.

Here’s what you’ll need!

Supplies

  • Fabric and cutting supplies
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Double-fold bias tape
  • 12″ x 18″ fleece piece

Directions

1. Measure and cut the fabric pieces

The most important thing that you can do to make a beautiful quilt is to cut the pieces completely accurately. Each piece in this quilt is a perfect square, 2.5″ x 2.5″. Each nine-patch quilt block uses two different fabrics and a total of nine pieces–four of one fabric and five of the other. You will need six total nine-patch quilt blocks for this quilt.

The nine-patch quilt lends itself to an easy hack if you’d like to make two at a time–for two children, say, or two dolls. All you have to do is cut nine of each fabric piece, and then you’ll easily have two complementary, but NOT identical, nine-patch quilt blocks in the making:

2. Piece each nine-patch quilt block

Have your iron at hand, because you always want to iron every seam flat. To sew a complete nine-patch quilt block, first sew the three separate rows of three pieces–

–ironing each seam flat as you go, and then sew the three rows together to complete the block:

Repeat for each additional nine-patch quilt block until you have six completed blocks.

3. Piece the quilt

Arrange and rearrange all of the nine-patch quilt blocks until you’re happy with the look of the quilt as a whole.

Use exactly the same method to piece the full quilt as you did to piece the individual blocks. First piece the quilt blocks together into rows, then piece the rows together until the quilt is complete.

4. Back the quilt with fleece

Because this is a doll quilt you get to skip some of the more fiddly steps involved in making a full-sized quilt. You don’t have to sandwich batting between the front and back of your quilt, unless you really, really, really want to, and you won’t actually have to quilt or tie this quilt–unless you really, really, really want to!

A neat trick to give a doll quilt a thicker, fluffier feel without bothering with batting is to back it with fleece, instead. If you simply must have three layers to your quilt, you can always use a double layer of fleece, but I promise that the quilt top plus one layer of fleece gives this doll quilt an authentic heft and feel.

5. Bind the quilt

Binding a full-sized quilt can also be time-consuming, so you’re lucking out again with this doll-sized quilt. I use a lot of different methods to bind quilts (one of my all-time favorites is back-to-front blanket binding), but my go-to method for a quick-and-easy doll quilt is to use double-fold bias tape. Bias tape can be store-bought (although you should look for bias tape made from natural fabrics, not polyester–blech!) or handmade nearly as easily, and 10mm double-fold bias tape is absolutely perfect for this project.

Your completed nine-patch quilt is the perfect size and scale for an American Girl doll to snuggle up under. Size up the quilt blocks to 4.5″ to make a matching quilt for that doll’s favorite person, or size the blocks down to 1.5″ to make a Barbie doll-sized quilt.

P.S. Inspired to make even more quilts? Check out my other quilt tutorials!

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The content for this post was sourced from www.craftingagreenworld.com

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