Christiana’s Story – How Photography Stole My Heart (and My Wallet ;)

My photography really started when I started having kids.  Before then, photography was just about catching snapshots of the usual - friends and places. More of a record keeper and not an art form. Once I had my girls though, I wanted to capture our story together as beautifully as I could! It started on Film When my oldest daughter, Gillian, was about 18 months, my father-in-law gifted me his SLR (film camera). I loved to take photos of Gillian and her friends and then our other daughter, Ruthie, once she was on the scene! It was an old camera that was all manual. The kind that you have to advance the film with your thumb, focus manually with the focus ring on the lens, and adjust your [...]

How do I get my husband to let me take family photos?

Here’s a scene that plays out frequently with my portrait clients – a family shows up to have their family portraits taken, the kids are fussy, the husband grumbly, and the wife running around trying to make everyone happy because she just wants ONE good photo of her family, dammit! You can picture it, right? Maybe it’s a scene out of your own family storybook. If you're reading this, and this is your family, I wanted to write a little something for those moms who wonder "how do I get my husband to let me take family photos?....without complaint?" Now, I don’t want to pick on husbands here. I’m sure there are exceptions to this where it’s the husband has organized a family photo and the wife is [...]

5 Reasons to Look at Photographs Daily

We see photos every day.  We actually see too many photos everyday.  So why on earth would more photos help you become a better photographer?  Here are five ways: 1)  It will improve your composition.  If you only look at your own pictures, you won’t be exposed to  different ways of seeing.  While its possible that you will try new things are your own, seeing new compositions and how other photographers approach a subject will help you to get outside of your comfort zone.  Don’t be afraid to copy a style but then put your own spin on it.  Besides, that way when you win that Pulitzer you can say, “I am heavily influenced by…”  and know what you’re talking about. 2) You’ll learn how to break [...]

The Camera is a Tool by Joe Hollins

I’ve been involved in image making of some form or another for the last 19 years.  When I tell people this the most common reaction is to begin to talk about cameras, as in what camera should I get, what’s the best camera out there today, how many mega pixels do I need, etc.  I used to try to answer the question straightforwardly in a way that would satisfy the inquisitor but then I realized that sometimes answering the wrong question is worse than bad advice.  So this is going to be my stock answer from now on.  It depends.  On what?  Ok.  Now we’re getting somewhere.  Not necessarily ranked in order of importance: 1) What size camera will you carry with you frequently?  One thing I forgot [...]

Masters of Photography as Muses by Joe Hollins

In the summer of 1930 a photographer named Edward Weston expanded on a theme of taking isolated pictures of shells, fruits, heads of lettuce, all manner of organic material and then began to focus on nothing but peppers.  I first saw Pepper No. 30 in a book at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver.  At that point, I really liked Ansel Adams and really didn’t appreciate many other photographers especially not those that focused on still-life.  But as soon as I saw this photo I knew that I had been missing something and whatever it was, had just found it.  The pepper itself is remarkable.  If you just happened upon it at Safeway you might even pick it up and study it yourself.  What Weston has done though [...]

The Advantage Photography Has Over Other Arts… and possibly my favorite thing about it – By Joe Hollins

When photography was invented, most of the art world held it to be a mechanical process or a craft useful for documenting the world, but certainly not art.  It took little training to be able to produce a photograph, but certainly not the thousands of hours required to learn to paint well or play the piano beautifully.  Even early photographers looked at their photos as chronicles of life but certainly not anything that they created as art.  As photography and photographers began to realize what is possible with the medium, more and more critics began to think of photography as art, despite the fact that anyone with a few hours of instruction could make a photograph.  Belatedly but thankfully, critics decided that the beauty of the medium should [...]