Category: Photography

Stock Photography Images from And and are two Web sites that offer stock photography images that are reasonably priced and accessible to freelance AC content writers. is better than, but neither one is better than, which I’ve discussed elsewhere. offers a few, usually fifteen, stock photograph images as free royalty-free images, but the quality is usually pretty ordinary. The link to the Free Photos is at the bottom of the page in the footer. The purchasable royalty-free images have a really nice range and versatility. What you can’t find elsewhere in a free royalty-free image, you can surely find at is an internationally based Web site with sites opened in Espana, France, UK, Deutschland, Italia, Portugal, and Brasil. Photographers who contribute to hail from even more places than that including, for example, the Russian Federation and Poland. This diversity adds tremendously to the range of subject matter. maintains a high standard of selection providing quality professional images for users to choose from. Aside from the fifteen or so free images, all of image use licenses are sold at a reasonable rate. Three image sizes of Medium (standard), Large, and XLarge are potentially available, some images may only be available in one or two of the sizes. The standard rates for use are $1, $2, and $3 dollars for the respective sizes. Purchases are made through Credits.

In order to make purchases at Fotolia you must be registered with the site and registration is free. Then you must purchase a Credit package starting at $10 equaling 10 Credits. This is not the best choice for Content Producers who write content, but if you simply must have an image to go with your article, then at $1 a standard image sized royalty-free image is a viable option. Purchases can be made through PayPal, which all Content Producers are used to using, or through credit card. If you dislike these methods, you may contact to make other arrangements.

Downloads of images from can be obtained one of three ways. You may download a JPEG file to your computer by Saving from a dialog box. You may save a Bitmap image through Rescue Download and Saving from a full screen view of the image. Or you may have it emailed to your Inbox. When I did this, it opened in my Adobe. is my least favorite source for stock photography images. They have a selection of about ten or so free royalty-free images. And they also sell their purchasable royalty-free images for $1, $2, or $3, equaling 1, 2, or 3 Credits. The Credit packages available from start at $20 and equal 20 Credits. They also offer Subscription packages, like, that start at $89 for 30 days. Subscription packages lower the cost of the images to “as low as $0.27”, with a total daily limit of 10 images downloaded.

The quality of stock photographs available at is good but not as consistently good as or I don’t very often find images that I wish to use. And I don’t want to pay $20 when I can get high quality free images elsewhere.

Both and have affiliate referral programs whereby a registered member can gain monetary rewards. Each participant agrees to put a Dreamstime “badge” on their Web site, placement of the badge will be confirmed within a few days. Individuals who click to through this badge will be identified and a percentage of their purchases is assigned to affiliate.

So, there are resources available to content writers for …

How to Launch a Photography Business Without Your Own Full Time Studio

So you've been considering making the leap from amateur and enthusiast to professional. You've got the gear you need to start, and your skills are up to snuff. You've thought about marketing and promotion.

There's just one thing that stands in your way: a studio.

If your intended photography business has anything to do with taking portraits of people, then you'll probably want a studio to call home. The problem is, this can cost you $1,000 to $2,000 or more per month after you consider rent and other costs.

That's a hefty financial commitment to make, and it presents a bit of a catch-22. If you don't have a successful photography business, how do you afford to the rent for a studio? And if you don't have a studio in which to shoot clients, how do you grow and develop a successful photography business?

While you could always take out a loan and gamble on your success, here are four other options that let you work with clients, build your brand, and grow your business before you commit to a full time studio of your own.

Partner With an Existing Photographer. You're not the only one struggling to pay the bills and fill up a shooting schedule with clients. Chances are, there's a photographer near you with a studio that isn't being used 24/7. The rent is already paid, and every hour that studio sits idle is a wasted resource.

So don't hesitate to reach out to other businesses and try to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. One of my old students interned with a local photographer for a few months, and he agreed to let her use the studio for her own work. She had to share some of the proceeds with the studio, but she had nowhere else to shoot and this allowed her to take a few clients on the side and start building her brand.

Rent a Space by the Hour. Instead of striking an agreement with a potential competitor, you may be able to find a studio space that you can simply rent by the hour. If you work near a major metro area, then you shouldn't have trouble finding a handful of places like this. Contact the owner, find out their hourly rates, and visit the facilities.

If it's going to cost you $40 an hour to rent the studio, then simply build that into the price of your portrait session. After all, when you rent your own studio you'll have to cover the cost of that rent, and this is a good way to ensure that you don't undersell yourself.

Work Outside, or On Location. This is probably the most common tactic, but it works. The great outdoors are, well, free! Scout a few parks in the area, and make a short list of nice shooting locations. There's a park down the road from my house with a gazebo, a large lake, and some scenic woodsy areas. I routinely see people there on the weekends with a photographer, either for portraits or as part of a wedding.

The only problem with this is that you're at the mercy of the weather. No one wants to have a portrait session outside in the rain, and I suspect few people want to pose outside in the wintry cold for an hour, either. It's hard to book things with absolute certainty when you don't know what the weather is going to be like.

Travel to the Client. There is another free alternative, though. Travel to the client's home. Assuming you have …

Best Lens For Photography

Regardless of the specific camera model you use, or only rely on third-party equipment, we hope that this article will provide you with the best information you need when choosing a lens.

Lenses are very important to your life as a photographer – they influence the way you portray a location or objects. The best lenses will also allow you to impart your own personal vision on images, and make the result suit your intentions. Read on for our reviews on the best lenses in the game.

Nikon AF-P DX VR – best for wide angle zooming

This has gained a positive reputation among many users in a short time, especially considering its low weight, fast focus, and very good optical performance.

Note: the AF-P lenses are only compatible with the latest DLSR models from Nikon.


  • Ultra-wide view, which even surpasses Kit Lens types
  • Focus distance (smallest) is 0.8 ft./0.22 m, regardless of zoom position
  • It has VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization to keep videos and photos sharp, even when handheld
  • Almost silent autofocus stepping motor

Compared to its predecessor, the range of view is less, coming in at 10 to 200mm. Even if you might be disappointed by the noticeable blurring when using it in close up shots, it will make up for this in its size and weight – as well as the shorter zoom-in focal point.


  • Very sharp photos
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Optical stabilization for better focus
  • Covers a very wide viewing angle
  • Affordable


  • Narrow aperture
  • Noticeable distortion in the barrel
  • Its corners tend to dim out
  • Experiences chromatic aberration


There are some big things that are going well for these lenses, such an optical stabilization, sharp optics, lightweight build, and ultra-wide viewing field. However, the distortion is quite heavy, and the widest angles suffer from weaknesses in edge sharpness – but it presents a budget-friendly choice, and will work for you in many circumstances.

Sigma 17-70mm DC Macro HSM Lens – best pick

Among the Sigma lineup of lenses, this is among the first that was released by the company, coming in the ‘Contemporary’ group of products.


  • HSM Lens of aperture f/2.8-4 DC
  • Zoom type of lens
  • Lens mounts in use are the Pentax KAF3, Nikon F, Canon EF-5, Minolta Alpha DR, and the Sigma SA Bayonet.
  • The smallest focusing distance is 8.6in/22cm regardless of zooming range
  • Filters of 72mm
  • Constructed from thermally stable composite material
  • Maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9
  • 7 diaphragm blades

The balance between the maximum aperture and zoom range uses a fine balance, and this makes it ideal for photographers who want a general purpose zoom of high quality, and also those looking for a camera that can handle everyday use.


  • The focus of the lenses is very sharp, regardless of focal length
  • The clarity and color are great
  • Its focus ring is smooth and wide (when you apply correct amounts of drag)
  • It remains retracted even while you move around with it
  • Works very well even without flash photography


  • Not very good at handling wide shots


This camera lens offers both fast zoom and an extended range zoom. These features allow it to be a useful upgrading option, especially if you have outgrown your kit zooms and are an SLR shooter.

Sigma 30mm (for Canon) F1.4 Art DC Lens – best single focal length lens

When using a prime lens, you will notice that it is simply a single focal length. Thanks to the removal of the zoom, it will allow the lenses to become sharper, lighter and smaller, while allowing more light …

Avoid Family Photo Faux Pas With These Photography Tips

As a family and wedding photographer, I have seen my fair share of disastrous family photos. After all, who can resist those tempting photo articles of the awkward family photos? However, as a professional, I give my clients the following tips to avoid those photo faux pas:

Don't try to be something you're not.

Do you love those beautifully posed magazine photos of the perfect family wearing all white on the beach? You know, the ones with the mother's hair beautifully blowing in the wind and the father playfully lifting up his kids? I'll tell you right now, those photos are one in a million. Most real families have tears, stains and bad hair days. Find a photographer willing to work with who you really are, not who you want to be.

Don't try to be too matchy matchy.

If your family doesn't always match their outfits perfectly, why would you want a fake family portrait that shows you as something you're not? I always advise my clients to wear something the feels comfortable and goes well with the other outfits in the photo. Try to avoid heavy patterns or shirts with words on them, but the days of matching your outfits perfectly are over.

Work with your realistic schedule.

If you have young kids, your photo shoot should work around their schedule. Pick a time when they are well rested, fed and have a lot of energy. Additionally, find a photographer who is patient when your little one needs a snack or even a quick break.

Find a background that makes sense for your family.

A great family portrait is classic and timeless. Therefore, you want a background that makes sense for your family long-term. Try to avoid seasonal or holiday shots, such as a photo in front of your fire place if it's covered with holiday decorations or an outdoor winter photo with everyone bundled up in hats and gloves if you want to hang it up year round.

Consider the behind the scenes shot.

Some of the best photos are the candid photos your photographer captures when you're not posing. Ask to see all of the proofs, not just the ones your photographer thinks look perfect. You may be surprised how much you love the pictures that aren't posed and instead show your true family's interaction.…

Quiz: What’s Your Personal Wedding Photography Style?

Quiz: What’s Your Personal Wedding Photography Style?

The experiences, outlook, views, and style of your photographer can drastically change the look and feel of your photographs.

How do you find a photographer who understands your style and your needs? Well, first YOU need to understand your style. Hiring the right photography specialist for your wedding will ensure you are happy with the style, look, and feel of your photos for years to come.

Take this fun quiz to find out your Style!

1) The images that interest you the most can be found:
A. In the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery
B. Time Magazine, Newsweek, etc
C. Rolling Stone magazine. Or that ‘Zine your friend makes.
D. Vogue magazine
E. Martha Stewart magazine

2) Your house is decorated:
A. American classic color pallet with beautiful furniture and window dressings
B. Simple and functional like an IKEA catalog
C. Eclectically with unique artifacts from your travels, unusual colors
D. Ultra modern with bold colors and artwork
E. With crafts and things that you made

3) Your favorite book is:
A. A 19th century love story novel
B. Anything sci-fi, technical or related to your hobbies
C. Non-fiction stories of true adventurers, biographies of artists, or fantasy novels
D. Anything put out on a coffee table
E. Your 2020 scrapbook

4) Your ultimate vacation would involve:
A. Touring the historic churches of Europe
B. Theme parks or tours that take you “Behind the Scenes” of something
C. Anywhere with culture and foods you’ve never tried before
D. Shopping shopping shopping in N.Y.C. or L.A.
E. Staying at a bed and breakfast

5) Your favorite memories are of:
A. Spending time with your family
B. Remembering moments when you felt alive
C. Traveling
D. Being the center of attention
E. The cute things he’s done for you

6) You remember things by:
A. Pen on paper lists
B. Writing in a journal
C. Taking something away that reminds you
D. Telling Siri
E. Chalkboard lists

7) Your favorite shoes are:
A. Black pumps
B. Chuck Taylors
C. Waterproof sandals
D. The latest Jimmy Choos
E. Mary Janes

8) You can’t stand:
A. Disorganization
B. Things out of context
C. Things that lack history
D. Last year’s styles
E. Store-bought gifts

9) Your wedding invitations:
A. Calligraphy text with RSVP cards
B. Sent via Evite
C. Involve a treasure map and scavenger hunt
D. Delivered in Hermès leather envelopes
E. Glued the glitter on yourself

10) When you look at your wedding photos in 10 years’ time, your biggest fear is that:
A. You’ll think you looked ugly in your portraits
B. You won’t remember all the special moments
C. Your photos will be boring and unoriginal
D. Your photo album isn’t impressive
E. You let someone else put your album together


If you answered mostly:
“A”s – The test of time, please: You have a more traditional style and your wedding photography should reflect that. Choose a classic, traditional photographer that focuses on artwork, posing, and composition. You will look your best when a photographer pays attention to every detail such as your fingers, hair, dress laying just the right place, etc.

“B”s – Just the facts, ma’am: Documentary photojournalism is more your style. Your ideal photographer should spend most of their time documenting the important, humorous, emotional moments of your wedding (and should spend very little time posing you or setting up situations for photos to occur). You do your thing and they take photos. Simple.

“C”s – Intrinsically artistic: You prefer a more eclectic, artistic style of photography. Experimental techniques, a …

A Few Questions for Hannah Wilson and Darla Dear Photography

Hannah Wilson chose a pseudonym when she launched an Etsy site for her fine art photography – Darla Dear.

In the time since Wilson began testing the waters of the commercial art world, she has developed her ideas on running an online shop, sharing her ideas and her art via Etsy, and recently starting a blog exploring her ideas on photography and fashion.

I'm an editor of a small arts journal in the Antelope Valley in the southern reaches of the Mojave Desert and we had a chance to publish some of Wilson's Darla Dear photography in 2019. Hearing that she had started up a blog, I tracked her down to ask her about her projects and to try to get some insight into her views on art in general.

Who are your favorite artists?

I had to think a long time about this question. My favorite artists aren't necessarily ones whose bodies of work I admire the most, but whose work caused me to think of art in a new way. When you realize the ability art has to change your perception of the world, you don't forget that.

With that said, my number one "favorite" artist is abstract-expressionist Mark Rothko, especially for his painting titled No. 14. In an art history book or online, the painting looks quite dull and boring. In person, however, it emits this heavy, vibrating anxiety that you can't really describe with words. I had never fully understood the power of art to move viewers emotionally until I stood in front of that massive canvas. The fact that Rothko was able to create something so powerful out of simple fields of discordant color is mind-boggling to me!

You can see the painting yourself in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

What would you like to achieve with your blog?

I started my blog with the intention of increasing exposure to my Etsy shop, after realizing that those who are most successful utilize multiple social networking sites, and network in their communities like crazy. My photography is not going to get anywhere just sitting, buried in the immense pool of artists that is Etsy.

However, after really getting into the blogging routine, I can see that blogging is so much more than business promotion. Blogging provides motivation to be more creative, to enjoy and document everyday life, and to establish friendships with bloggers around the world!

I would love to become popular enough to accept sponsors and receive a small extra income from that, but more important than that is creating a blog with quality content that people like me want to look at and be inspired by.…

Invisible Evidence: Building a Case for Spirit Photography

What is spirit photography?

In his 1960 work The Encyclopaedia of Occultism, Lewis Spence describes spirit photography as "The production of photographs on which alleged spirit-forms are visible. When the plate is developed there appears, in addition to the likeness of the sitter, a shape resembling more or less distinctly the human form, which at the moment of exposure was imperceptible to normal vision."(pg. 379) Obviously, Spence was speaking of spirit photography in the 1800s, when an early camera called a "Daguerreotype" used tin plates bathed in various chemicals to produce still images of a posed subject. The progression of photographic technology since the 1800s has demanded that we broaden this definition to incorporate more modern methods of capturing ghost images, including the use of infrared films, stop-motion cameras, and digital video. Generally speaking, spirit photography is the attempt to capture on a photographic medium those things that cannot be observed with the naked eye, such as ghosts, spirits, and so on. It has only been in recent years that spirit photography has gained some credibility in the scientific community as a prospective tool for serious paranormal investigation.

Spirit Photography: A Brief History

Though alleged photographs of ghosts and spirits had been taken before the 1860s, it was an American photographer and engraver, William H. Mumler of Boston, who brought spirit photography to the public ("Occultism and Photography", Cheroux, Oxford Photography Encyclopedia). In 1862, Mumler offered to photograph clients in the company of one or more "ghosts". Though the ghosts would be invisible at the time the picture was taken, they would appear later during the development process. One of Mumler's most famous photographs was a portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of assassinated president Abraham Lincoln. The alleged spirit of Abraham Lincoln can clearly be seen over the subject's shoulder (illus. 1). The popularity of the Spiritualism movement in America was largely to blame for Mumler's success, though he was suspected of forgery and fraud. Mumler resurfaced in New York in 1869, and in 1872 authorities attempted to prosecute him. Although many of his photographs were exposed as hoaxes, Mumler was acquitted of fraud due to a lack of evidence.

By this time, the practice of spirit photography had spread to England. Two popular spiritualist mediums, Mr. Samuel Guppy and his wife, Agnes Guppy-Volkert, had been attempting to duplicate Mumler's procedures on their own without success. At length, they called in a professional photographer, Frederick Hudson, for assistance. Hudson was successful in producing spirit photographs, and the ease of his success attracted the attention of noted skeptics and scientists including Trail Taylor, the editor of the British Journal of Photography ("Spirit Photography", online Occultism and Parapsychology Encyclopedia, Hudson reportedly allowed skeptics to view and document his entire photographing and developing processes, but no fraud could be determined. Other spirit photographers soon followed, including Edouard Jean Buguet of France, who appeared in London in 1874 and was ultimately tried and convicted of fraud by the French government. In spite of these setbacks, spirit photography continued to be popular, especially in the years immediately following the first world war. Fraud was rampant, attracting the attention of famous celebrities including former supporter P. T. Barnum and the illusionist Harry Houdini, who began a well-publicized personal crusade against fraud in spirit photography in the 1920s. He published the results of his investigations in the book A Magician Among the Spirits in 1924 (John Mulholland, "Houdini, Harry", World Book Encyclopedia, 1966).

Spirit Photography and the American Spiritualism Movement

Noting the impact of American spiritualism on the history of spirit …

Western Massachusetts Photographer: Jennifer Rose Photography

My story is simple. After the birth of my twin daughters, I began to realize that each moment is truly precious. Just like snowflakes, no two moments are alike. I want to capture my children's laughter, tears, silly moments, and awkward stages. I cannot allow for their memories to be forgotten from one year to the next. Photography gives us the gift to journey back to a moment and to reflect on our feelings, emotions, and life experiences. Children's portraiture allows for us to revisit the meaning of innocence and true beauty.

I have been mentored by a professional documentary wedding photographer as well as various contemporary children's portraiture artists. In addition, I have taken courses offered by Matthew Lee Kees to develop my photography skills. I am constantly learning more and more about photography through exploration and experience. The artwork presented by Western Massachusetts Photographer Robert Charles (Robert Charles Photography) has been a true inspiration to me.

As a mother and educator, I am gentle with children and strive to have them feel relaxed in my presence. Allowing the children to come to my portrait session to dance in their mismatched polka-dotted outfits or to dig their new dump trucks into Earth's soil is what this all about. The beauty of each child will be captured by their very essence. The artwork will hold true to each child's spirit and individuality.

Located in Western Massachusetts, I am enjoying the opportunity to meet and photograph many people in Berkshire County, Franklin County, Hampshire County, and Hampden County. The beauty that surrounds us here in Western Massachusetts is devine.

You are like a rose.
Such a beautiful creation.

Your Life is Beautiful.
It Must be Remembered.…

Photography: Photo Red Eye Removal & Reduction Tips

Red eye is a common problem experienced by photographers when taking photos of other people. It causes the subject(s) of the photo to appear as if they have red eyes, and is caused by using a direct flash. Here are some tips on how to prevent or remove it:


Avoid Using A Flash: If possible, try to provide sufficient lighting by turning on ceiling lights, moving into a brighter area, opening curtains, or other methods which eliminate the need to use a flash. If your camera automatically fires the flash for all photographs, try removing its battery before taking the photo. It may be impossible not to use the flash with some disposables. Using black & white film will also prevent this problem.

Different Camera: If you frequently take photos of people, it may be worthwhile to invest in a camera with "red eye reduction", especially if your current camera has a built-in flash. This probably won't prevent red eye in every situation, but it will help. Some cameras with a red eye reduction feature are available for less than $20, such as the Minolta AF101R, Polaroid 252 BV, and Olympus Trip XB40 AF. Avoid using color disposables, as they tend to be more prone to creating a red eye effect.

Different Flash: If your camera accepts external flash units, considering buying a "bounce flash" ; a type of flash which provides indirect lighting by "bouncing" the flash off the ceiling, reducing the chance of red eye as compared to direct flash units. If there is no ceiling, you can adjust the bounce flash to point directly ahead as your regular flash does. You can probably find one of these at a local camera shop or on, where some units can be purchased for under $25, such as the Rokinon 2000, Vivitar 273, or Weston W-18. Bounce flashes tend to have more settings than regular direct flash units, so you may want to find one which includes the instruction manual. They are also generally somewhat larger and may require one or two more batteries than your current flash does.

Special Processing: Some more expensive photo processing services can help remove red eye and other unwanted effects when your photographs are initially developed. For example, the website of Kodak's Perfect Touch processing service indicates that it "detects and reduces red eye", along with reducing "washed-out" areas and other problems. The Rite Aid pharmacy chain offers (as of 03/16/07) Perfect Touch processing for $9.99, including 24-to-27 35mm 4" prints and a Kodak Picture CD.


Red Eye Removal Pens: A type of pen specially-designed for removing red eye from photo prints can be purchased for about $3-5. They are available from a number of different brand names, including Fiskars, Creative Memories, and Pioneer. These pens usually have a warning not to use them on Polaroid instant photos. "Pet eye" pens are also available for removing a similar effect which sometimes occurs when photographing animals with a flash.

Software: Some types of computer imagery software, such as Adobe Photoshop, are capable of red eye reduction from digital photos or photos you have on CD. The latest version (CS2) of Photoshop has a price of $649 (or $169 for an upgrade) on Adobe's website, and its system requirements include 320MB of RAM/memory, a recent version of Windows or Mac OS X, and a high display resolution. A free photo retouching program called GIMP is available for some versions of Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix, which can be downloaded online. If you don't want to …

What lenses can be adapted to Nikon?

Buying a lens for your camera isn’t a very easy task to accomplish. You need to ensure that you choose the right lens that will work with your camera. The easiest way to know what lenses can be adapted to Nikon is to check the indicators on lens mount at the front of your camera.

Nikon lenses are known for their dependability, excellent quality, and durability, but they come with a steep price tag so you might consider using a cheaper lens from another company to use on the front of your SLR camera. Such lenses are readily available and you can install them directly on a Nikon body without using an adapter ring. You can interchange different Nikon lenses, but a particular lens may not be necessarily compatible with the rest of the Nikon bodies.

Different kinds of lenses that can adapt to Nikon

The new Nikon lens may be too expensive if you’re just beginning, but you can get some more affordable Nikon lenses that you can choose from. These lenses are under a few categories which can help you to choose the kind lens you need.

Macro lens

These lenses bring objects very much closer to you and have a better optical focus that gives you crystal clear close-ups. Regular lenses focus quite close, but not enough to fill the frame. Some lenses claim to have a macro lens that only have a maximum magnification ratio of 0.2x-0.5x which isn’t good for this type of lens. A macro lens should give you 1.0x magnification which means he object will practically fill up your entire camera frame. You can use an FX macro lens with a DX format body since the 1.5x crop factor will not be a problem so you will have a lens that can work with a full-frame camera when you decide to upgrade.

Kit lenses

They’re better quality lenses with a longer zoom range or a wider constant aperture. They’re a good all-round lens designed to be affordable and compact. When you pair these kit lens with the FX and DX format DSLR bodies, you get pretty good image quality, performance, and you save a lot when you buy the camera with a compatible lens as a package. However, these lens has limitations in maximum aperture, zoom range, and overall quality, and since you’re going to be using this lens almost every day for your photography, it would be a good idea to get a better one.

Other standard zooms may have a constant and faster aperture of f/2.8 for faster shutter speeds even in poor light and better background separation. You can also opt for a standard zoom that has a longer focal range that will be able to handle different shooting situations. You should get a lens that matches your camera’s sensor size, so if you have a DX format or the full-frame Nikon, you should get a DX or an FX standard zooms respectively. However, don’t use a FX standard full-frame zoom on a DX format Nikon because the lens focal length will be longer and your angle of view won’t be wide enough.

Telephoto zoom

These are an obvious choice for most people who are interested in taking wildlife and sports photography or when you can’t get close enough to your object. If you have a kit lens and a Nikon DSLR, you can add a telephoto zoom which is the best Nikon lens if you’re just a beginner. To get quality telephotos, it’s best to have a full-frame lens even if your camera is a Nikon DSLR with a …