September 2020

How to: Portrait Shoot for Beginners in Photography

Portrait photography is a captivating art form, and it can be very tricky to master. Whether you’re an expert or novice photographer, taking great portraits is an art that comes with experience. Many novice photographers think it’s as simple as pointing and shooting, but the truth is that some planning is necessary to take a great portrait.

For example: Are you getting a portrait shoot? Or are you taking the role of a photographer? Either way, there are some things you should know about a portrait shoot. If you are preparing for a portrait shoot with a client, it’s important to make sure you know how to prepare and what to do when the time comes.

Helpful tips for Beginners

Portrait photography is a powerful communication tool since it allows you to capture your subject’s personality while also conveying a sense of their environment. While everyone has their own style, there are some things that every photographer should know before preparing for a portrait shoot.

Here are some tips to help you in your shoot:

What’s your preferred method? – Photographers preparing for a portrait shoot are of two minds: Should I shoot photos of my subject in their environment, or should I bring them to an unfamiliar location that will help the shoot stand out? While the first option offers the benefit of allowing for more relaxed shoots and a better chance of capturing natural expressions, it also means you’ll have to deal with any background distractions and props that may be in the way. The second method will give a more polished, professional look but does have its drawbacks: your subject will need to adjust to unfamiliar settings, your shoot will have a limited time window, and you’ll have to ensure you can shoot with the desired background.

Make your subject or client comfortable – If you’re a photographer who wants to create great shots of a client, you have to know how to help your clients feel comfortable and at ease. The best way to do this is to do a pre-shoot consultation, where you can talk to your client about their expectations for the shoot and show them a few examples of your previous work. It is important to review what the client will wear, what the setting will look like, and what the end product for the shoot will be.

Select the ideal shoot location – To be relaxed and comfortable, you should choose a location that you know well and that suits the client. If you are shooting outdoors, you should choose a place where there are few distractions and where you and the client will feel comfortable having the shoot.

Prepare some props – To make for a great portrait, you want to make sure your subject feels comfortable in the moment. While friendly chat, or telling a joke, can help to put your subject at ease. Bringing in props can also help. Props can set the tone of your photos and help your subject to feel more relaxed and open.

Be comfortable with your camera – You should know how it works, all the features, how to use it, and you should be comfortable with the settings. A portrait session is a lot different from a wedding shoot or a fashion shoot. As a photographer, your goal is to inspire your subject to relax in front of the camera and forget about everything else except for one’s self. If you are the model, then you need to know how to pose in a photo. You will look better if you know how to pose.

Pay attention to the smaller details – One of the important aspects of a portrait is to capture the environment your subject is in. This could also pertain to other things such as the background and lighting.

Check the weather – If you plan to shoot outdoors, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast first since cloudy skies and wind are not ideal for portraits.

Portrait photography is a highly enjoyable creative activity. But it’s not just about manipulating the camera’s settings and adding filters until your subject looks good. You should also prepare yourself to carry out the shoot to the photographer’s satisfaction. Learn to focus on the subject and handle the camera well.


A Few of the Best Ways to Listen to Music

Listening to music has the potential to make people feel a wide range of emotions. Moreover, hearing a particular song can bring back memories, calm nerves, and even energize your mind and body.

Although traditionally, people have listened to music using a record player or a radio, nowadays there are lots of different ways to enjoy all your favorite songs and albums. With music websites, apps, and streaming platforms soaring in popularity, there has never been more choice when it comes to finding a way of listening to music that works for you.

So, let us discover 4 brilliant ways that you can enjoy music.



Spotify is one of the most popular digital streaming services in the world. It can be accessed for free by signing up with an email address or by linking to a Facebook account, or alternatively, you can sign up to Spotify Premium which is a monthly ad-free subscription.


Spotify is home to a huge range of pre-made playlists to suit your mood. So, whether you want to listen to the latest chart singles, a favorite album, or you need some calming background noise while you study, there are plenty of unique opportunities to experience the music you love.



If you prefer to enjoy music in a visual format, then YouTube is perfect for you. Almost every music video ever made can be found on YouTube so whether you are interested in checking out the latest videos from the biggest pop stars, or if you want to watch any of the most iconic music videos of all time, YouTube has it all.


That is not all though. On YouTube, you can also find lyric videos, exclusive interviews with artists, and live performances from television and concerts. Again, YouTube can be accessed for free, while premium, ad-free, paid subscriptions in the form of YouTube Premium are also available to suit your needs.


Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are totally changing the ways that people can access music. Put simply, smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest are a type of speaker and voice command device with integrated virtual assistants that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation.


You can ask a smart speaker to play a specific song by an artist, or you can ask for some recommendations. Accordingly, smart speakers can be used as a personal DJ and can help you to match music to your mood. Most smart speakers are also fully compatible with other music services and so can be easily connected to a Spotify account for example.



SiriusXM is a commercial-free satellite radio platform that features over 150 channels. In short, if you like to enjoy music interspersed with talk-radio, then SiriusXM is a brilliant option. Moreover, SiriusXM offers plenty of specific music channels to suit your taste with everything from 80s pop to 90s grunge and classic soul and Motown included.


It is also important to note that satellite radio uses a digital radio signal. This means that you will get high quality audio no matter where you might be. Additionally, being able to listen to your favorite songs and programs without any static or repetitive adverts is hugely beneficial if you are tired of traditional radio.

Ultimately, if you are a music enthusiast, then finding the best way to listen to your favorite songs and albums can seem overwhelming at first. There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy music out there, and there is no reason why you cannot try out a few different listening methods until you find the ones that suit you best.

What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy music? Do you like listening to the radio? Or do you prefer to curate your own bespoke playlists filled with albums and songs that mean something to you? Get in touch and let us know your thoughts.

3 Ways to Display Your Photographs

Despite modern technology, many of us will still want a printed version of the pictures that we have taken. This can be achieved from them having been professionally produced for us or from us printing the photographs out for ourselves. This article will explore the many ways in which the final photograph, or image, is displayed.



The different types of photograph album available vary in terms of the number of photographs that they are required to hold and in how they hold them. The factors in your choice are likely to be dependent on how many photographs you regularly take and how easily you want to remove them from the album.

Plastic pockets to hold photographs are a popular solution because the photographs are not only easily removable, but orders can be more easily changed within an album. You may later, for instance, decide to switch from a chronological to a thematic approach.

The disadvantage of having albums with a sticky backing, which would be an alternative, is that the backing may lose its stickiness over time. Where the backings are not sticky, photo corners can be used. These are now translucent, as opposed to when they were black and hid the corners of the photographs.

With family history research, that is genealogy, and the archiving of the information becoming popular, there are now many storage solutions on the market for storing all kinds of documents, including photographs and birth certificates. Acid free coatings are promoted to protect documents. Keeping your photographs away from the light will be recommended to stop them fading.



Photograph frames, although termed that, do not always have frames. There are also types available that consist only of a Perspex sheet and a wooden backing board. They are useful if you want to show the whole photograph. Conversely, mounts can be used to show only a portion of a photograph. Historically, we know that picture frames date to AD 50-70 because a wooden frame and portrait was found inside an Egyptian tomb. It had been well preserved. Hand-carved wood frames would appear in the 12th and 13th centuries and be as we know them today.



An instant way to share photographs is online. That is, over a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram. As an extension to this, videos of moving images can also be instantly shared. Often captured spontaneously, they represent a realistic snapshot of social history. How permanent of a record digital images represent will depend on how long digital mediums are likely to last in relation to their paper equivalent. In terms of this, we can say currently that digital photos remain the same as when they were saved, accepting the fact that they can become corrupted on this media. One of the advantages of digital photographs is that they do not take up as much space as their paper equivalent. In addition, the photographer has the advantage of being able to improve the images that they have taken using image manipulation software. No longer does the photographer have to consider everything before the image is taken, instead they can become creative afterwards. This would suggest, therefore, that the most important thing to consider with photography is that everything you want to capture is contained within your photograph, as everything that is not may prove the most difficult, if not impossible, to add later.


So, a few ways to display photographs are considered above. In considering them, we must take a moment to think about all the photographs our relatives took in the past that would otherwise have been moments lost forever. It can be annoying, though, when no date has been written on the back of a black and white photograph. In the future, this will surely not be an issue because files will record the dates that the pictures were saved, which will be the same, or close to, the dates that they were taken. Long term, if one medium become obsolete, then photographic images can always be transferred to the latest one, like video cassettes have been transferred onto DVDs.