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How to Make Up the Face for a Great Portrait Picture

Great photographers are able to highlight the beauty in just about anything, but when it comes to portraits, a little help never hurts. You don’t need to be a professional make up artist to steer your clients in the right direction for putting their best face forward when taking their portrait.

Start With a Clean Face – Your cameras flash loves to bring out the shine, especially on oily skin. Advise your clients to deep clean their face before showing up for their photo session. Also advise them to stay away from exfoliates for a few days before, as these could cause red spots on the skin. Instead, tell them to wash their face with a konjac sponge. The konjac sponge is just as effective at creating a crisp and clean look, but without the abrasive side effects that exfoliating leaves. Mud masks are another treatment worth considering.

Apply a Primer – A primer helps to even out the skin so that the foundation can be applied in one even layer. Look for one that has light reflecting particlestranslation like Set Pre-foundation primer. This product makes sure that the flash from the camera gives the face a soft glow, rather than showing off every little imperfection.

Invest in HD Foundation – Developed specifically for people who spend a lot of time in front of a camera, HD foundation hides everything no matter how bright the lights are. It comes in a bunch of different shades and actually looks invisible when applied.

Choose a Matching Concealer – If your client needs some extra help in problem areas to cover up blemishes, tell them to use a match concealer that takes on the natural skin tone. If concealer is too light when applied it will create halos around the eyes in a photo, and if too dark they will end up with circles.

Use a Blush and a Bronzer – Your client may find that to be overkill, but this is a special event, and they need to be prepared. If they only use one, the end result on film is a face that appears flat. Advise them to apply bronzer to cheekbones and around the outside of the face, and blush to the apples of the cheeks. This will give your subjects face texture in the portrait.


False Eyelashes Don’t Look Fake on Film – Eyes really pop when the subject has long lashes framing their eyes. Your client’s may cringe at first, but have some photos of the same person with and without falsies so that they can see for themselves what a difference it will make.

Whiten the Teeth – A quick tooth whitening solution can make a big difference in the smile of a portrait shot. If there is no time for all that, have your client apply a lip gloss that has a hint of blue. This will give the appearance of perfectly white teeth.

With these tips given to your portrait picture client, they will be amazed with how well they come off on film. This is the best way to ensure that they are completely thrilled with the end result.

Of Beards and Men: A Collection of Portraits Depicting Various Men and Their Facial Hair

Photographer Joseph D.R.  OLeary believes that beards should be appreciated as an art form. Not just any art form, but fine art. For that reason he has started building a collection of portraits of incredible beards and the amazing men who wear them for a new photo series that he has named “Of Beards and Men.”

OLeary’s project began in February of 2012, yet without a definitive direction. As he continued to find beards to photograph the idea began to take shape. Much like a beard style starts to take shape under the guidance of a beard trimmer. He not only wanted to photograph beards, he wanted to capture the essence of the bearded man, their personalities and varying passions. Thus, his project idea was born.

Over 130 men and their beards were photographed over a period of 18 months. Using an array of poses and unique props, the subjects personality shines through in each one, and not from just their choice in beard balm.

A bald man with a grizzly adams beard is set off in athletic clothing and various sports equipment, depicting an athletic guy who can spend his whole day on the ball field. With another subject you are drawn back in time to the alchemist, with his carefully trimmed facial hair, piercing look, and array of mysterious liquids meant to help cure any ailment.

Throughout the entire collection you find men from all walks of life, some serious while others are playful, all making sure that their beards are standing front and center in the portrait. There is even your throwback to the lumberjack, complete with his pick axe, long bushy beard, flannel shirt and look that says he has worked hard for a long time to help put bread on his table.


With the help of a fundraising campaign, OLeary was able to turn his passion into a 212 page coffee table book that can be found for sale on This is a unique collection of pictures and over two years of hard work, yet the final product is one that the photographic artist should be proud of. It is not every day that a photographer can take an idea such as this one and find a way to bring into the mainstream.

Aspiring photographers should take notice of Joseph D.R. Leary and his idea that turned into a work of fine art. There is no reason why you can’t take any passion you might have and turn it into something amazing for the entire world to enjoy.


7 Tips For Sports Photography – Even for the Quick Moving Recurve Bow

It’s thrilling to capture the action of a sporting event, but not always to easy to achieve. Successful sports photographers have been working at their skill for years, practicing to ensure that every shot is an action one.

If you want to your sports photograph to look good enough for a magazine cover, then follow these 7 tips:

  1. Make sure you have a zoom range of at least 200 mm. This will allow you to isolate players and objects on the field, and give the appearance that you were running alongside them when the photo was taken.
  2. Only use a semi manual mode as opposed to the full automatic or sports mode that many cameras are equipped with. While this gives you multiple shots, it does not allow for changes in distance from the subject. In order to properly depict the excitement of a sporting event you must maintain some level of control over how you are taking your pictures.
  3. You have to use a shutter speed of at least 1/500th of second if you want the camera to capture the quick movements that take place in sports. When you are careful about your shutter speed you can even capture something as quick moving as an arrow as it first leaves the cradle of a recurve bow.
  4. Always adjust your ISO to meet the circumstance. An ISO of 400 is great for a little league game on a sunny day, but you will need to adjust to 800 or more if at a night or indoor game.
  5. Make sure that you at the very least have a basic understanding of the sport you are shooting. This will help you in anticipating movements and being prepared when the money shot makes its appearance.
  6. Get into the right position. Sports shots are boring when they are all from above or at the same height of the subjects. Try and get down on the field and put yourself at a lower position to the action. This will help in adding a unique feel to your photos that will get them noticed.
  7. Take thousands of shots if you have to. By using burst mode you can repeatedly take pictures of an important moment in the sporting event you are shooting. This is a great technique to try if you want to capture the journey of an arrow from recurve bow target. You can actually pan its path as you hold on the shutter to create a series of shots in flight.
Image #: 25019302    epa03920129 YEARENDER 2013 MAY  New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (R) takes a shot against the Indiana Pacers in the final second of the second quarter of their NBA Eastern Conference Semifinal game at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, USA, 16 May 2013.  EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT /LANDOV
Image #: 25019302 epa03920129 YEARENDER 2013 MAY New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (R) takes a shot against the Indiana Pacers in the final second of the second quarter of their NBA Eastern Conference Semifinal game at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, USA, 16 May 2013. EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT /LANDOV

The most important thing to remember is that out of the thousands of sports shots you will take, only a handful will actually be good enough to be published, if any. Take your time to practice, and before you know it, you’ll be shooting sports like a pro.

How Real Photographers Master the Art of the Self Portrait

Ever since a camera became standard on a cell phone, the idea of the self portrait has taken on an entirely new meaning. The selfie has officially lowered the standard for an exceptional self portrait. True photographers however are trying very hard to put some dignity back into the selfie with truly creative methods.

Liu Bolin from Beijing China – More than just a skilled photographer, Liu Bolin is a political activist, using self portraits to relay important messages. In his “Hiding in the City” series, he is craftily painted as a part of intriguing graffiti, literally hiding himself in plain sight. The idea is to showcase how in a large metropolitan area it is almost too easy to lose your own sense of identity. The ability to “disappear” into the background is brilliantly displayed in this compelling series of self portraits.

Sara Lando from Italy – A fashion photographer, Sara Lando has begun to take series of self portraits as a type of therapy. Instead of going for glamour shots, she aims for pictures that reveal her inner self. As a result, she has also been able to change her approach to photographing others for the better.

Quantrell Colbert from Atlanta – Quantrell Colbert is a highly recognized celebrity photographer who has learned that using mirrors as his background open his possibilities for creating dynamic self portraits. He does not seek out the backgrounds, but rather is drawn to clicking his camera at himself when he sees a reflection that is truly inspiring.

Zev Hoover from Massachusetts – The 14 year old Zev Hoover has gained national attention with his “littlefolk” self portraits. These photos eerily highlight the sense of isolation a teenager feels by placing a miniature version of Zev in the midst of larger than life settings.


Adriano Alarcon from Sao PaoloAdriano Alarcon made the ultimate sacrifice for the intriguing selfie by growing a beard for four months and then using a beard trimmer to shave off only half of it. He then filled in the void with a number of different items before making the selfie shot. The fillers included a range of toys, popcorn, chocolate and even bugs. Not only did he create an enlightening series of selfies, he now can add valuable insight into beard trimming tips.

While most of these photographic artists are putting a lot of thought and work into their selfies, the typical bathroom dweller should be taking notes. If you want a selfie that is beautiful enough to be displayed as a profile pic, at the very least you should choose a better location.

Reasons To Be A Photographer

"Large format camera lens" by User:Joanjoc - Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Large format camera lens” by User:JoanjocImage Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

There are a lot of people out there who are not sure if they want to get into photography. I was one of those people once, and I am very glad that I was able to find reasons to convince myself to get started. Now, I have come up with my own reasons why someone should become a photographer. If you are unsure if you want to venture into this new hobby, take a look at the list below and see if any of these things sound enticing to you.

1. Always Something New To Learn – Photography is not something you learn once and then you know it all. There are always new techniques and other things that you can learn to improve your craft. One of the best things about photography is that you can talk with other photographers and share what you know with one another. You can also simply just try out new things and see what happens, learning along the way.

2. Be Creative – We all have a desire to do something creative and to create something. Taken pictures allows us to do both of these. Only you can take the pictures that you want to see, and having a camera at the ready allows you to do that. You can capture what you find beautiful or interesting and share it with the world like only you can. Much like writing or creating music, photography allows you to share your inner self with the world.

3. A Community – When you become a photographer, you are joining a community of people who have made the same decision as you. They are all eager to share their insights and their work with you to make you feel welcome among the group. You can find people who are into photography all over the place, or on the internet. You can talk with them about what they like to capture, what kind of equipment they like to use, and how they got into photography. In turn these people will ask you the same thing, and you can develop relationships with photographers all over the world.

4. Get’s You Out Of The House – If you want to be a good photographer, you have to leave your home. After a while you are going to run out of things in your home to photograph, so you are going to have to start adventuring. Luckily this is when the best pictures happen. There is so much to see all over the world, and the best way to remember it all is with a picture you took yourself. Go out and find some interesting things, take a picture, then come back home and share them with your friends and family.

5. Affordable – Once you make the initial purchase of a camera, maintaining a photography hobby is not that expensive. You may need to pay for additional equipment if you want to take certain kinds of photos, or pay to have some pictures developed, but that’s about it. As long as you take care of your camera, you won’t have to spend a large amount of money until you want to buy another model. So start saving up for a camera now, and then you don’t have to worry much about money after that.

Why Photography Matters

"Photographer" by Nicolás García - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
Photographer” by Nicolás García – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

If you are unacquainted with photography, you may be thinking, why should I care? What is the point of photography? These are valid questions. To the uninitiated, photography can seem pointless. I am here to tell you otherwise, and lay out exactly why Photography matters.

1. Our Photographs Remind Us Of What We Value – If you wake in the middle of the night, and your home is on fire, chances are you are not going to grab your flatscreen TV or some jewelry on the way out. You are going to go and grab some photo albums, or the flash drive that has all of your photos on it. This is because we treasure these pictures, and want to be able to look at them to remind us of the past. We may place a high monetary value on other items in our house, but when it comes down to it, sentimental value is much more important.

2. Photographs Are Our Legacy – As a kid, one of the worst days is picture day at school. You have to get all dressed up, then feel uncomfortable as someone behind a large camera takes your picture. You may not have realized it at the time, but that picture is probably going to outlast you. Pictures have a way of hanging around, especially in a digital era. When you are long gone, pictures of you will remain behind. They will serve as part of your legacy, so that people can see what you looked like and what you did.

3. Photographs Let Us Communicate – There is an old saying that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Instead of just telling people about the amazing trip you went on, showing them a picture is much more effective. It allows you to show them exactly what you saw, and to share in the experience with them. You can also look back on these photos when your memories start to fade, and instantly remember what your trip was like.

4. Photography Is An Art – Most of us feel the need to do something creative at least once in a while. Being a photographer allows us to do that. If we see a beautiful landscape, or an interesting building, we can take out our cameras and snap a picture. What you take a picture of says a lot about what you find interesting and beautiful, and will inform your art. The desire to create something is in all of us, and taking pictures is a great way to do it.

5. Photography Can Move Us – Sometimes words simply won’t do something justice. Pictures can have a way of moving us, making us feel something we wouldn’t have otherwise. They can make us feel joy, pain, sadness or laughter. These emotions can be brought back up each time someone looks at a picture. While words certainly have a way of doing this themselves, there is something about the simplicity of a photo that makes it even more powerful.