Archive

Archive for June, 2011

10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

How do you take Portraits that have the ‘Wow’ factor?

Today and tomorrow I want to talk about taking Portraits that are a little out of the box. You see it’s all very well and good to have a portrait that follows all the rules – but it hit me as I was surfing on Flickr today that often the most striking portraits are those that break all the rules.

Note: this post is an extract from our Essential Portrait Photography Tips E-book – Grab Your Copy Today!

I want to look at some ways to break out of the mold and take striking portraits by breaking (or at least bending) the rules and adding a little randomness into your portrait photography. I’ll share ten of these tips today and a further ten tomorrow (update: you can see the 2nd part here).

1. Alter Your Perspective

Most portraits are taken with the camera at (or around) the eye level of the subject. While this is good common sense – completely changing the angle that you shoot from can give your portrait a real WOW factor.

 

portrait-high-perspective.jpgPhoto by striatic

 

 

 

Get up high and shoot down on your subject or get as close to the ground as you can and shoot up. Either way you’ll be seeing your subject from an angle that is bound to create interest.

 

portrait-low-perspective.jpgPhoto by TeeRish

 

2. Play with Eye Contact

It is amazing how much the direction of your subject’s eyes can impact an image. Most portraits have the subject looking down the lens – something that can create a real sense of connection between a subject and those viewing the image. But there are a couple of other things to try:

A. Looking off camera – have your subject focus their attention on something unseen and outside the field of view of your camera. This can create a feeling of candidness and also create a little intrigue and interest as the viewer of the shot wonders what they are looking at. This intrigue is particularly drawn about when the subject is showing some kind of emotion (ie ‘what’s making them laugh?’ or ‘what is making them look surprised?’). Just be aware that when you have a subject looking out of frame that you can also draw the eye of the viewer of the shot to the edge of the image also – taking them away from the point of interest in your shot – the subject.

 

portrait-off-camera.jpgPhoto by monicutza80

 

B. Looking within the frame – alternatively you could have your subject looking at something (or someone) within the frame. A child looking at a ball, a woman looking at her new baby, a man looking hungrily at a big plate of pasta…. When you give your subject something to look at that is inside the frame you create a second point of interest and a relationship between it and your primary subject. It also helps create ’story’ within the image.

 

 

portrait-eyes.jpgPhoto by paulbence

 

 

3. Break the Rules of Composition

There are a lot of ‘rules’ out there when it comes to composition and I’ve always had a love hate relationship with them. My theory is that while they are useful to know and employ that they are also useful to know so you can purposely break them – as this can lead to eye catching results.

The Rule of Thirds is one that can be effective to break – placing your subject either dead centre can sometimes create a powerful image – or even creative placement with your subject right on the edge of a shot can sometimes create interesting images.

 

 

Another ‘rule’ that we often talk about in portrait photography is to give your subject room to look into. This can work really well – but again, sometimes rules are made to be broken.

 

portrait-composition-rules.jpgPhoto by Bukutgirl

 

 

4. Experiment with Lighting

Another element of randomness that you can introduce to your portraits is the way that you light them. There are almost unlimited possibilities when it comes to using light in portraits.

Side-lighting can create mood, backlighting and silhouetting your subject to hide their features can be powerful.

 

portrait-lighting.jpgPhoto by Bukutgirl

 

Using techniques like slow synch flash can create an impressive wow factor.

Portrait-Slow-Sync-Flash Photo by diskomethod

5. Move Your Subject Out of their Comfort Zone

I was chatting with a photographer recently who told me about a corporate portrait shoot that he had done with a business man at his home. They’d taken a lot of head and shoulder shots, shots at his desk, shots in front of framed degrees and other ‘corporate’ type images. They had all turned out fairly standard – but there was nothing that really stood out from the crowd.

The photographer and the subject agreed that there were plenty of useable shots but they wanted to create something ’special’ and out of the box. The photographer suggested they try some ‘jumping’ shots. The subject was a little hesitant at first but stepped out into the uncomfortable zone and dressed in his suit and tie started jumping!

The shots were amazing, surprising and quite funny. The shoot culminated with the subject jumping in his pool for one last image!

While this might all sound a little ’silly’ the shots ended up being featured in a magazine spread about the subject. It was the series of out of the box images that convinced the magazine he was someone that they’d want to feature.

 

portrait-comfort-zone.jpgImage by TeeRish

 

 

6. Shoot Candidly

Sometimes posed shots can look somewhat…. posed. Some people don’t look good in a posed environment and so switching to a candid type approach can work.

Photograph your subject at work, with family or doing something that they love. This will put them more at ease and you can end up getting some special shots with them reacting naturally to the situation that they are in. You might even want to grab a longer zoom lens to take you out of their immediate zone and get really paparazzi with them.

I find that this can particularly work when photographing children.

 

portrait-candid.jpgPhoto by phitar

 

 

7. Introduce a Prop

Add a prop of some kind into your shots and you create another point of interest that can enhance your shot.

Yes you might run the risk of taking too much focus away from your main subject but you could also really add a sense of story and place to the image that takes it in a new direction and gives the person you’re photographing an extra layer of depth that they wouldn’t have had without the prop.

 

portrait-prop.jpgPhoto by Mrs. Maze

 

 

8. Focus Upon One Body Part – Get Close Up

Get a lens with a long focal length attached to your camera – or get right in close so that you can just photograph a part of your subject. Photographing a person’s hands, eyes, mouth or even just their lower body… can leave a lot to the imagination of the viewer of an image.

Sometimes it’s what is left out of an image that says more than what is included.

 

portrait-close up.jpgPhoto by Bukutgirl

 

 

9. Obscure Part of your Subject

A variation on the idea of zooming in on one part of the body is to obscure parts of your portrait subject’s face or body. You can do this with clothing, objects, their hands or just by framing part of them out of the image.

Doing this means that you leave a little to the imagination of the image’s viewer but also focus their attention on parts of your subject that you want them to be focused upon.

 

portrait-obscure.jpgPhoto by BigBlonde

 

 

10. Take a Series of Shots

Switch your camera into ‘burst’ or ‘continuous shooting’ mode and fire off more than one shot at a time.

In doing this you create a series of images that could be presented together instead of just one static image.

This technique can work very well when you’re photographing children – or really any active subject that is changing their position or pose in quick succession.

 

portrait-continuous shooting.jpg

Read more: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/10-ways-to-take-stunning-portraits#ixzz1PSmTPunJ

Advertisements
Categories: Photographing

How to Take a Good Photo

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

How to Take a Good Photo?

http://www.secondpicture.com/tutorials/photography/how_to_take_good_photo.html

Technically flawless photo with working compositionPicture 1. A successful photo is technically flawless and it has working composition. Also the right moment can be crucial for example when photographing a sunset.

12.06.2007 Category: Photography
When I started photography I often pondered one question: how to take a good photo? I researched the subject quite a bit and came to the following conclusion. I think that successful photographs usually have from two to four similar factors which are in order of importance:

I think that the first two factors are almost the requirements for a successful photo but factors three and four are necessarily not . It’s often enough if a photo is technically good and the composition works. Of course the right moment and an interesting subject also play very important roles. On the other hand, sometimes bad technical quality can be forgiven for example because of a great composition and an exceptionally interesting subject.

The list above is my opinion and I am sure it’s not perfect. The matter can of course be observed also from other perspectives such as based on purpose of use.

Good Composition

I think that the most important factor in a successful photo is image composition. A good composition can turn a boring subject into a very interesting photo. On the other hand, a spectacular subject can lead to a boring photo in a failed composition.

High Technical Quality

High technical quality in a photo is very important. Automatism of camera doesn’t always guarantee a technically flawless photo. There is lot to learn in this area. Technical success requires a good knowledge about equipment and a lot of experience about different shooting conditions.

The Right Moment

Taking the photo exactly at the right moment is challenging but when successful it can bring enormous amount of interest into the photo. The right moment can mean for example a certain happening or ideal weather conditions.

An Interesting Subject

An interesting subject helps to create a successful photo. An interesting subject can be for example a different or a rare subject. It’s important to find a interesting subject, but in my opinion not as important as the first two factors. A peculiar point of view or composition can turn a boring subject into an interesting photo.

Categories: Photographing

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs – Part 4

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs – Part 4

 

A few of the most popular posts on this blog are the 3 collections of inspirational, minimal web designs (see part 1part 2, and part 3). So why stop there? These 25 sites are also clean and attractive.

If you appreciate websites with a minimalist design style, you’ll love our new gallery site Minimal Exhibit.

Jaboh

Jaboh

Jason Santa Maria

Jason Santa Maria

Erwin Bauer

Erwin Bauer

Mayo

Mayo

Surfstation

Surf Station

Studio Gamboo

Gamboo

Kyan

Kyan

Wevio

Wevio

devwp

devwp

Koleo

Koleo

Big S Web Design

Big S Web Design

Unieq

Unieq

Small Climb

Small Climb

Theme Magazine

Theme Magazine

Victoria Star Promotion

Victoria Star Promotion

The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned

Seek and Hit

Seek and Hit

Jordan Moore Design

Jordan Moore Design

Corporate Risk Watch

Corporate Risk Watch

Being Wicked

Being Wicked

Buuhouse Interactive

Buuhouse Interactive

This is Tim

This is Tim

Site Creative Web Design

Site Creative Web Design

Eduardo de La Rocque

Eduardo de La Rocque

Pixelumbrella

Pixel Umbrella

Categories: Website Design

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs: Part 3

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs: Part 3

 

Original WP Themes | ThemeFuse

Two of the more popular posts from the archives are the inspirational galleries of minimalistic designs part 1 and part 2 (Update – Part 4 has also now been published). Over the past few months I’ve continued to come across excellent designs that show that a beautiful design doesn’t have to be busy. Here is another collection of 25 inspirational designs.

For more inspirational design galleries, see:

If you appreciate websites with a minimalist design style, you’ll love our new gallery site Minimal Exhibit.

Concentric Studio

Concentric Studios

DS.Emotion

DS.Emotion

Winnie Lim

Winnie Lim

RIKCAT

RIKCAT

Kyle Sollenberger Design

Kyle Sollenberger

David Sutoyo

David Sutoyo

Vitor Lourenco

Vitor

Pixish

Pixish

Poccuo

Poccuo

International Orange

International Orange

Brad Young Photography

Brad Young Photography

Jeff Croft

Jeff Croft

The DECK

The DECK

Hot Meteor

Hot Meteor

Six Apart

Six Apart

Nathan Carnes

Nathan Carnes

dConstruct 2008

dConstruct 2008

Opdyne Design

Opdyne

Matt Bango

Matt Bango

Vesess

Vesess

Artworking

Artworking

Design Intellection

Design Intellection

Vitec

Vitec

Pixelhaven

Pixelhaven

Jamie Gregory

Jamie Gregory

Categories: Website Design

25 Beautiful, Minimalistic Website Designs – Part 2

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

25 Beautiful, Minimalistic Website Designs – Part 2

 

A few months ago I published a gallery of 25 Beautiful, Minimalistic Website Designs. I received more feedback on that post than almost any other, so I decided to follow up with another 25 minimalistic websites.

If you appreciate websites with a minimalist design style, you’ll love our new gallery site Minimal Exhibit.

CSS Globe

Recently redesigned, this community site for web designers uses a simple, effect design.

CSS Globe screen shot

Finch

This graphic designer features an uncluttered layout and a nice color combination.

Finch screen shot

Maqina

A visual communications and brand identity studio.

Maqina screen shot

Darren Alawi

A nice minimalistic design on a black background.

Darren Alawi screen shot

Brijit

The home of articles with 100 or less words also prefers simplicity in its design.

Brijit screen shot

CRCBUS

A minimalistic design on a blue background.

CRCBUS screen shot

Brynn Shepherd

Online portfolio of a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brynn Shepherd screen shot

Chama Inc.

A Portuguese web design firm that uses very little color in its minimalistic design.

Chama Inc screen shot

SayHej!

Another dark minimalistic design.

SayHej! screen shot

FL2

A high-end interactive agency, FL2 uses a simple website to promote its work.

FL2 screen shot

Oranges

Story writer Edward Pistachio’s website has a minimalistic magazine-style design.

O.rang.es screen shot

Janic Design

Web and graphic designer with a dark minimalistic site.

Janic screen shot

Gedankenberg

A minimalistic design that uses only a few different colors.

Gendankenberg screen shot

Achtentachtig

A simply-stated website of a student designer.

AchtentachtigAchtentachtig screen shot

Headcase Barbers

Another site with a dark background.

Headcase Barbers screen shot

Jon Tan

UK web designer with a nice, simplistic website.

Jon Tan screen shot

Superawesome

Another web design firm.

Superawesome screen shot

Mark Wieman

Seattle-based interactive producer.

Mark Wieman screen shot

Cameron i/o

A very basic layout with an interesting background effect at the top of the page.

Cameron i/o screen shot

The Design Canopy

A more colorful minimalistic approach.

Design Canopy screen shot

Monoroot

A dark background for this designer.

Monoroot screen shot

Huge

This site uses a few different random backgrounds including the one shown below.

Huge Inc screen shot

Sitening

Nashville-based web design and search marketing company.

Sitening screen shot

Postmachina

Minimalistic design that uses black, white, and gray.

Postmachina screen shot

Josh Minnich

Portfolio site for freelance web designer/developer.

Josh Minnich screen shot

Categories: Website Design

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs (Part 1)

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

25 Beautiful Minimalistic Website Designs

Thank you for visiting the Vandelay Design Blog! Inspirational mini-galleries like this one are a regular feature of our blog, so if you would like to receive more inspiration from us, please consider subscribing to our feed by RSS or by email.

It seems that everyone has a different opinion of what qualifies as a minimalistic design. Here are 25 websites that make use of very little unnecessary design elements but still manage to pull off a beautiful appearance. When it comes to design, if you feel that less is more, I’m sure you will find inspiration from these sites.

If you’re looking to learn more about design websites, please see our post Learn Web Design for plenty of resources to help your educational pursuit.

For more design inspiration, see:

If you appreciate websites with a minimalist design style, you’ll love our new gallery site Minimal Exhibit.

Rainfall Daffinson
A design firm whose website uses a minimalistic approach to show its work.

Rainfall Daffinson

John Merrells
The blog of entrepreneur John Merrells uses a simple layout with a distinct header image.

John Merrells

SEO Design Studio
A UK SEO Design company that makes a nice use of a few colors.

SEO Design Studio

Ben Hulse Design
The portfolio of a designer and photographer.

Ben Hulse Design

Amy Levy Public Relations
Los Angeles based PR consultant with a very simple and attractive layout.

Amy Levy PR

 

Jan Reichle
A director and cinematographer with black and white homepage.

Jan Reichle

Brand Spanking New
A three-columned blog whose simple layout allows the content to stand out.

Brand Spanking New

SMO Blog
A nice minimalistic WordPress blog with an attractive color scheme on white background.

SMO Blog

Frieze Magazine
A European magazine of art and culture, Frieze uses several photographs to complement a simple, but beautiful, design.

Frieze Magazine

Mitch Bryson
A portfolio of a UK designer.

Mitch Bryson

simpleModus
Another design company that uses a simple design.

simpleModus

Daniel Scrivner
The portfolio of a web and print designer.

Daniel Scrivner

 

Indie Labs
The home of a two-man team of web developers.

Indie Labs

Jeff Croft
The blog of an accomplished web and graphic designer.

Jeff Croft

Kind Company
Web and print design company that focuses on simple, usable designs.

Kind Company

Vitec
The portfolio of a freelance web designer.

Vitec

Rikcat Industries
A portfolio that uses a black and white look.

Rikcat Industries

The Morning News
A different kind of news site that doesn’t include a lot of the extra design elements found on most news sites.

The Morning News

Cracked Shell
A California-based designer with a very nice portfolio site.

Crakced Shell

WordPress
The home of leading blogging and CMS provider.

WordPress

Mark Boulton Design
A small design studio that focuses on simple designs.

Mark Boulton Design

AIGA/NY
The New York Chapter of a professional association for design.

AIGA/NY

Jonno Riekwel
The minimalistic portfolio of designer Jonno Riekwel.

Jonno Riekwel

None-Design Media
A portfolio site that uses a black background.

None-Design

Wan Zafran
A personal site that uses minimal amounts of color.

Wan Zafran

EDIT: Also see the follow ups to this collection:

Categories: Website Design

How to create a nice website to attract more clients for your business

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

My Best 31 Ways to Attract More Clients to Your Business, Even If You’re Starting Out

DECEMBER 13, 2009 CATEGORIES: INTERNET MARKETING TIPS BY JOYCE OLADIPO 2 COMMENTS

It wasn’t really easy when I first  started my business a few years ago. I remembered trying to get clients was a difficult task. I actually thought that people will just find what I was doing interesting and start working with me. Most of the clients I managed to work with just have me do little jobs that doesn’t  mean anything and that was it. It was quite difficult for me to add value to what I offer, so I wasn’t making a lot of money.

Now I have client working with me for a year and these clients see results because of our continuous effort to improve things in their business.

Today’s post is about getting client even if you are just starting out … these strategies work and it a most for any small business owners.

Whether you’re just starting out or ‘ve been working on it for years, here are some of my FAVORITE ways to getting clients…

  1. Have the likability factor. Be likable and do likable things
  2. Work with a lot of people for free who will in return refer you lot’s of business. I remember working with 30 clients for free. I created a bootcamp for them where I teach them marketing strategies to help them grow their businesses. It lasted only 10 weeks. They had to refer every month to remain in the program.
  3. Make it a habit to ask for referrals on a consistent basis and reward and recognize clients who refer.
  4. Get your site to the top of the Google Local Business Listings and get lots of positive reviews
  5. Get clients from Facebook Ads targeting your audience as deep as possible and making your ads as relevant as possible
  6. Becoming a master at closing sales so you can convert as many prospect as possible into client.
  7. Start using direct mail
  8. Start your own informative blog. Post articles and send prospects to it on a regular basis and build a good relationship with them by giving them tons of fun, free, killer content
  9. Have a good direct response style website that will actually convert your visitors into appointments… like these: My Website: Be A Wealthy Entrepreneur
  10. Have a good phone script
  11. Read this post here, and if you’ve already read it, read it.
  12. Start doing some Public speaking
  13. Master the act of  networking with the right people
  14. Contact old inactive clients on a regular basis
  15. Put people on long term program so they can get better results and become your raving fan
  16. Hire a coach who’s done what you wanna do ( someone who is a master at getting clients)
  17. Visualize people literally willing to pay you your worth
  18. Take massive action (only like 5% of people do, that’s why most small business owners are broke and only a small percent
  19. Focus on giving results and value
  20. Help one business owner less successful than you become at least as successful as you are
  21. Email your clients all kinds of cool and positive messages (another great way to get more referrals)
  22. Send your clients gift when they’ve reached a certain goal
  23. Work on things that will get you more clients… most small business owners spend their time on things that just keeps them busy, so get into the habit of doing things EVERY DAY that will bring in new business ( like the things on this list) …By Automating and delegating as much as possible you can spend your time on things that will really drive your business forward
  24. Survey your market so you can sell them what they want and not what you *think* they want
  25. Do something OUTRAGEOUS to get local media attention
  26. Become a local expert in local magazines and publications
  27. Get publicity by being the featured expert on local news channels
  28. Get results for as many of your clients as possible ( here’s what’s funny… this is important… but not as important as a lot of others things on this list believe it or not… at least not when it
  29. Do whatever is necessary to get new clients (keep it win/win)… walk through fears, break through your comfort zone barriers, put in extra hours ( especially at first) and invest in yourself and in your business
  30. Build a massive “opt-in” email list of people who want to hear what you have to say… give them as much awesome content as you can
  31. Have clear and defined goals of how many people you want to help and in what ways you’re gonna help them how many clients you’re gonna get, how much money you’re gonna make, how you’re gonna get there, when you’re gonna get there, and then just do it… NO EXCUSES…?

LET ME ASK YOU THIS:

Have you seen that strategy that you start working on right away. Please let me know what you’ve noted will work for your business.

Categories: Business Tips