PHOTOJOJO
   
   
Dog Days of Summer: Tips for Shooting in the Midday Sun

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Whoever said “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen” probably wasn’t aware we would be making such a liberal interpretation of the saying.

Heat comes from sun. Summer sun is bright. Bright light is tricky to photograph.

It’s no secret that bright midday sun is one of the more challenging types of light to expose properly. We’re talking blown out highlights, harsh shadows, squinty subjects… oh my!

Don’t sweat it, friends. This guide will show you how to get the best shots in the midday sun.

We can wrangle those top-down rays with quick easy fixes to soften harsh light, resolving your bright light issues before you even have time to hashtag them.

How else are you going to document that tan you’ve been working on all summer?

Pro Tips for Midday Shooting

p.s. We’re hiring for an amazing opening at Photojojo. We’re looking to re-invent what/how/where we publish online, and we’re seeking one amazing somebody to lead the charge. Learn more and apply for our Editorial & Community Lead.

p.p.s. Tell friends!

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How to Photograph a Kiss without the Awkwardness

Is this real life or are you in a Taylor Swift music video? You’re in the middle of one of the best kisses of your life!

Amidst the fireworks, stars, and confetti, you catch a glimmer off a camera lens five inches from your face, followed by the sound of a shutter. Moment. Ruined.

Cameras might be notorious kiss-ruiners, but they don’t have to be! Our pal Haley Sheffield is a fantastic wedding photographer who’s a master at capturing kisses that look real, natural, and downright beautiful.

Haley’s tips will show you how to get your couple comfortable and how to direct them to get the best kissing photo possible. Most couples aren’t used to kissing in front of a camera, but they’ll be on-camera kissers in no time.

Now you can have the best kiss of your life and catch it on camera, too.

Tips for Snapping the Perfect Kiss

p.s. We’re looking to re-invent what/how/where we publish online, and we’re seeking one amazing Editorial & Community Lead to lead the charge.

p.p.s. We’re still on the hunt for an awesome sauce Buyer for the Photojojo Shop. Is it you? Go here.

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Pro-Tips for Shooting Better Instagram Videos

Extra vids for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

“Well that’s weird,” you thought. “My Instagram photos are moving.”

What you thought might be the coolest side effect of downing too much coffee turned out to be Instagram’s latest major app update — Instagram video!

Just when you were totally kicking butt on Vine, Instagram video showed up with its 15 filters, extra long video length and the fact that you get to share your videos with all your friends on Instagram.

Now is the time to put your cinematographic moves into high gear, which is why we’re here to bestow on you, dear readers, a heap of Instagram video pro-tips.

Learn how to edit your shots, get better sound, and make your friends say “ooooh” at the creative ways you’ll be playing with video, all in the confines of 15 seconds.

Now you can sip your coffee with ease ’cause all you need is a tap to focus.

Photojojo’s Guide to Instagram Video

p.s. We’re hiring for an amazing opening at Photojojo. We’re looking to re-invent what/how/where we publish online, and we’re seeking one amazing somebody to lead the charge. Learn more and apply for our Editorial & Community Lead.

p.p.s. Tell friends!

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Last Day to Update Your RSS Reader! RIP Google Reader

After today, Google Reader’s officially gone.

It’s a sadface situation (Google Reader was there for you day-in, day-out!), but you know what’s even more sadface?

Not being able to keep up with all of the best Photojojo stuff! Like our DIY projects, guides, photo inspiration, and new store goodies.

Good thing it’s an easy fix! All you have to do is switch to a new reader.

What other readers are out there?

Digg just made an awesome new reader.

Feedly‘s a good one, too.

Both will automatically switch your entire Google feed in one click.

How do I add Photojojo to my RSS feed?

To do it manually, log in to your reader. You’ll see an “add” or “+” button.

Simply click on that button. Then copy & paste this URL: http://www.photojojo.com/content/feed

If you’re using Feedly, just hit this button! follow us in feedly Now wait for confetti to fall from the ceiling.

Wait, what’s an RSS feed/reader?

It’s a way of staying informed with updates happening on Photojojo’s site (and other sites).

Just list which websites you want to keep an eye on, and your RSS reader will show you the most recent posts from those sites all in one place.

You can get fancy and categorize them, or keep it simple and have them in one steady scroll. Read more about RSS.


   
   
How to Make a Mini Light Studio Using School Supplies

When school’s out, most kids are thinkin’ “Oh man, summer’s here!”

Us? We’re thinkin’ “What are we gonna do with all these binders???”

Staring at binders all summer long is no fun, so our buddies Chris Rutter and Jeff Meyer (of Digital Camera World) showed us how to turn them into a sweet light tent — perfect for casting beautifully diffused light onto your photo subjects.

That means your photos won’t have harsh shadows from the sun, and your camera will catch all of your subject’s details.

Everyone has a binder or two at home, so you can start this project today!

Plus, this portable light tent gives you great lighting on flowers, insects, and other small stuff without having to pluck them out of the ground.

Throw it in your bag, and you’ve got a mini studio wherever you go this summer.

How to Turn Binders into a Light Tent

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The Best Tips & Tools for Freelance Photographers

[Today's guide comes from awesome photographer and Photojojo pal, Helena Price!]

Being a photographer is regarded as one of the coolest jobs on the planet.

That said, there’s a lot that goes into running a successful photography biz. Making good photos is just the beginning.

This year, I made the jump from my office job to becoming a full-time freelance photo-taker, and I’ve been lucky enough to do some really fun photo work for brands that I love (including Photojojo!).

These jobs don’t just fall into your lap. There’s an endless amount of helpful tools and resources out there for freelance photographers – you’ve just gotta go out there and find them.

After spending hours digging through the interwebs, asking freelance friends and compiling everything I’ve learned, I’ve put together this great beginners’ list of things to read/use/do if you’re making the jump into freelance photography.

Great Tips & Tools for Freelance Photogs

p.s. WE ARE HIRING AN EVANGELIST/BIZ DEV HERO. Creative deal-maker types, APPLY HERE.

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Three Tricks for Faking Depth of Field in Your Photos

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

There was a time when you’d want to stare at a photo for hours but couldn’t quite put your finger on why.

Then you taught yourself a little bit about photography and realized it was a photo’s dreamy depth of field that reeled you in — razor sharp details with a background that slowly fades to a wonderfully creamy blur.

To get really fantastic depth of field, photographers invest in pricey lenses. The good news is there are ways to create the illusion of depth of field without forking over the moola.

We’ll show you three totally accessible tools that’ll help you get a similar effect and will be fun to experiment with, too!

How to Fake Depth of Field

p.s. WE ARE HIRING A WEB DEVELOPER. If you love photography and San Francisco and codes, APPLY HERE.

p.p.s. WE ARE ALSO HIRING AN EVANGELIST/BIZ DEV HERO. Creative deal-maker types, APPLY HERE.

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7 Photo Projects to Start on January 1st
Photo credit: Melina Souza

As soon as the ball drops and you’re done kissing your sweetheart, you are probably already wondering: What in the world am I gonna do in 2013?

How about starting one of these seven photo projects with the New Year? Project 365 is a classic choice, but you might want to peruse these twists on that classic long term photo project as well.

Find something just right for you this year, no matter what sort of commitment you’re looking for. Take a peek at these ideas and select the perfect one to help your creative juices flow like champagne on New Year’s Eve.

7 Project Ideas to Start off the New Year

p.s. We’re re-posting our most favorited Tweets of the year! Follow us on Twitter to see what our best photography projects, stories, and tips of 2012 were.

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New Years Flash Guide: 7 Simple Tips for Great Flash Photos

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

New Years means three things: dancing, champagne, and lots of photos to record the blurry memories.

If it weren’t for your trusty flash, those photos would turn out just as blurry!

Have no fear fellow party monsters because we’ve put together a guide to flash photography guaranteed to keep your photos sharp as a tack and shiny as a disco ball.

Check out these 7 simple tips, and by midnight we’ll have you ready to kiss blurry goodbye.

7 Simple Tips for Great Flash Photos

p.s. We’re having our first ever sale today in the shop! Hurry on over before we change our minds ;)

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Baking with Cameras, A Guide to Photography in the Kitchen!

Your camera’s just as badass as you are in the kitchen.

With your sleeves rolled up, you can both take on a little batter, and you can both definitely take on some cocoa dusted Belgian chocolate anything.

With this mid-holiday season insanity, there’s nothing that sounds better than taking a little break from it all with your camera in one hand and a spatula in the other (okay, maybe not at the same time).

Here’s a little roundup on tips for shooting in the kitchen, camera gadgets for better photos, and an extra-special section down ‘low on edible photographs and cameras. Yep, you heard us.

Photos and cameras you can eat. Go. read. now. ↓

1. Tips for Taking Better Food Photos:

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Your two main perpetrators are 1) not having enough light and 2) having the wrong white balance.

To combat the the low light issue:

  • Shoot with a wide aperture
  • Raise ISO to capture more light
  • If your shutter speed < 1/60, use a tripod or flash.
  • Direct flash is too harsh for food (makes too many shadows & makes food glisten in potentially unappetizing ways), so you might try a flash bounce or a diffuser.

To combat the white balance issue, try these white balance settings:

  • In natural light, go with a daylight setting.
  • If it’s especially cloudy or shady with a blue cast, use a cloudy or shady setting.
  • If you have lamps on inside, set your white balance to Tungsten to offset the orange shade.
  • Or set a custom white balance using a grey card or something like a white balance lens cap.

Onward! Here are a few guides full of really handy tips for shooting in the kitchen and hey, even at the table.

2. Gadgets for Better Food Photos:

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There might be a couple reasons why you have a camera in the kitchen. Y’know, besides proving to everyone that you look really good in an apron.

It might be to document the process (maybe you have a blog!) or you’re simply a foodie that appreciates what goes into making something that looks as good as it tastes.

These gadgets are not only the extra hand you’ll need if you’re playing with flour, kneading dough, or whisking eggs, but they’ll help you get better shots, too!

  • A camera holder. Something like this Camera Capture Clip lets you wear your DSLR on your belt, keeping your camera safely out of the way.
  • Shutter triggers. The iOShutter lets you set off your DSLR’s shutter via sound, motion triggers & more. Helpful for when your hands are full.
  • A tripod. To prevent motion blur, so your photos are nice and sharp.
  • A phone stand. When you’re not using as a tripod, you can use it as a stand for reading recipes on your phone. Also check out the Tiltpod.
  • A level. Saves you time from having to go back and edit.
  • A mini camera crew. The Swivl is a phone stand that follows your every move via a remote sensor. Shoot vids of yourself or set up a video-chat.
  • A flash bounce or diffuser. Direct flash is too harsh. With the right amount of diffusion, you can take flash photos that don’t even look like they were shot with flash.
  • A grey card or white balance lens cap. Set a custom white balance to measure the temperature of the light that you’re shooting in. It’ll make your shots look more like they were shot in natural lighting.

3. Blogs & Photographers That’ll Inspire You:

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You’ll love these guys if you don’t already.

4. Camera Geek Wares for Your Kitchen:

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Your kitchen’s the one room in your house that’s missing that photo geekery you’re so well-known for! There’s a chance you didn’t know some of this stuff even existed.

A kitchen timer that looks like a lens and camera bag that you can use as a lunch cooler? Totes.

The f/60 Lens Kitchen Timer — A timer that looks like a lens.

Camera Cookie Cutters — For true photo geeks. Rangefinder, TLR & SLR shapes!

Ceramic Lens Mugs — For the classy coffee drinker. Ceramic with fine lens detailing.

Lens Shot Glasses — That bread pudding could do with a little shot of a brandy, and so could you.

The Egg Carton Film Case — This thing is made to keep your 35mm rolls of film fresh in the fridge. Just make sure your roomie doesn’t try to make a scramble with ‘em.

Canon & Nikon Lens Mugs — These come in telephoto and zoom, and that’s all you need to know.

The Camera Cooler Bag — This is a camera bag that can double as a cooler bag!

5. Photos & Cameras You Can Actually Eat!:

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Yes, finally! Here are all the delicious photos and cameras that will happily digest in your tummy.

Gingerbread cameras — Our DIY tutorial for making TLRs and even a Mamiya from cookie dough!

Instagram chocolate — Cocoagraph will turn your phone photos into chocolate.

Photo cupcakes — Printable icing sheets means you can print a photo onto icing and eat your own face.

Camera cookies — Cookies that look like cameras. Glass free!

Photo lollipops — Same idea as the cupcakes. Lick.

Photo credits: 1. Joanna Karenina, 2. The iPhone SLR Mount, 3. Smitten Kitchen


   

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