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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


   
   
5 Ways to Turn Your Photos Into Gifts

Photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3; Pictured: Instabook

Maybe it’s your mom that’s always asking for prints to hang up in the family room. Or your high school friends who want copies of all the great photos you shot at your last party.

The point? Peeps want your pix!

The best gift you could give your family and friends has been right under your nose this whole time. Here are a few ideas for giving your photos in gifty ways.

1. USBs – Tiny & Reusable

This one’s perfect if you’re sharing lots of photos. If you don’t have photos to share from a particular get together, pile together photos of the two of you. Ahhh, memories! It’ll hit ‘em right in the heart.

We recommend something a step up from a plain USB drive, like the USB Film Roll or the Camera USB Drive. They’ll appreciate the thought, and they can reuse it!

2. Mailable Photos

Snail mail is the best. You totally get that rush when you find a letter with your name on it. You can give your friend 2x that rush by not only mailing them something, but making it a photo they’ll love, too.

You can always slap a stamp on a print, but to go the extra mile (it’s the holidays, afterall!), try something like Mailable Frames or Polaroid Postcards.

3. A Camera with Your Photos on It

This one gets brownie points because it’ll give them a chance to take their own photos! You can go two routes with this one: digital or film.

Since you can’t just plop any photo onto a film camera, you’ll need to get a little craftier. You can shoot a roll that spells out a message or photograph places you’ve been together.

We like the Ultra Wide & Slim 35mm camera for this because it’s affordable and super lightweight.

Digital’s a goodie, too, because you can fill up a memory card with photos of the two of you and put it in the camera for your friend to find.

These three mini digital cameras are affordable options if you’re not looking to get your friend a DSLR or a point-and-shoot: the Classic Mini Digital Camera, the Nanoblock Camera (rad for Lego lovers), and the Zumi Triple Plus.

4. Prints, Delivered in an Album or Photo Box

We love the idea of curating a small gallery of your favorite photos as a gift. Instead of simply handing them over, place your bundle of prints in a photo box or album.

The box itself doesn’t have to be exclusively for photos. You can hand pick one or break out your DIY chops. You could even place the photos inside a rad camera case.

5. Hang-Ready Prints

You can have your prints made at a local lab or through an app like PostalPix, Prinstagram, Hipstamatic’s PrintLab along with others.

If you print your own at home or have some prints made and want to frame them, go for something fun and simple like the Woodnetic Frames or the Instant Photo Picture Frames.


   
   
Our Most-Fun-Ever Holiday Photo Ideas 2012!

Last year, we showed you how to one-up those mall elves in the holiday photo game.

This year, we’ll show you how to spin circles around them. Pretty soon those guys are going to be asking *you* for photo tips (and who knows, maybe Santa will hire you as his new photog).

We’re sharing a slew of photo ideas that your family will actually have fun doing! Even the most stoic of teens will crack a smile.

From creative backgrounds to great group photos that take less than 5 minutes to all the holiday lights fun you can imagine, you’re bound to find an idea that’s both creative and a blast.

Those mall elves might have speedy printers, but you have JoJo on your side.

10 Fun & Original Holiday Photo Ideas

p.s. The Super Fantastic Photojojo Lookbook is here. Share with your pals for $5 off any order, TODAY ONLY!

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10 DIY Photo Filters on the Cheap

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

Back before Snapseed and Instagram, photographers used lens filters to add snazzy effects to their snapshots.

But filters can cost you a pretty penny, and you’re quite happy keeping your pennies, thankyouverymuch.

Well, we’ve got you covered because we’ve rounded up 10 DIY photo filters that won’t cost you.

In fact, most of these things are probably just lying around the house!

So follow along with our roundup as we accentuate the analogue and re-imagine the digital.

10 DIY Photo Filters to Try!

p.s. Our pals at Mosaic make some seriously beautiful photobooks you can create right from your iPhone! Take a look-see here.

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How to Prevent Photo Horror Stories — 6 Scary Photo Scenarios & How to Get Through Them

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

As photographers, we plan and plan for big shoots.

But, we all have those days. The ones where that black cat that crossed our path, or we accidentally walked under a ladder.

Despite our best efforts, things can go wrong from time to time.

We’ll show you how to ward off those photoshoot nightmares. Our tips will prevent scary photo scenarios like garlic chases vampires away!

How to Prevent Photo Horror Stories

p.s. Take a peek at our Pinterest today for a chance to win a set of Tattly Temporary Camera Tattoos!

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Phoneography Guide: How to Shoot a Wedding on Your Phone!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

The Big Day. You’re outfitted, rehearsed and have a belly full of butterflies.

This isn’t your wedding day. It’s the day you’re shooting one with your phone!

So what apps are you going to use and what lenses will help you along the way? And OMG whataboutbatterylife.

Photojojo’s very own *pro* photographer Kim Thomas will tell you just what you need to shoot a wedding with your phone!

She recently shot one here in San Francisco for the lovely couple pictured, Jonathan & Brandi.

It’s a big day. Not just for them, but for you and your phoneography chops, too.

Kim’s Wedding Phoneography Guide

p.s. Way cool opportunity here! Kenneth Cole is featuring Instagrammers on its Collection Site. Enter your photos for a shot with this week’s theme “iconic”.

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3 At-Your-Fingertips Lighting Solutions for Any Camera

Light is everything.

Without it, we’d walk into walls, and worst of all, photos would be non-existant! Blasphemy, we know.

Here are three tips to eke out extra lighting in dire photo situations. You can use these tips whether you’re shooting film, CF card, or camera phone!

Problem: Too shadowy.
Solution: Grab anything white (paper, cardboard, foam etc) & position it parallel to your subject’s shadowy side. It will pick up light from the opposite side and bounce it onto your subject.

Problem: Not enough light.
Solution: Use your phone’s glowy LCD to your advantage by pulling up a blank white screen (an empty browser does a good job) and holding it in front of your subject. Also try a flashlight app (Android).

Problem: You want color flash!
Solution: Grab a piece of clear tape or cellophane, color it with a marker and stick it over your flash. It’s especially fun for parties or if you’re stuck in Pleasantville.

3 Easy Lighting Solutions

p.s. Photojojo will be in Germany next week for Photokina! Get in touch if you’re in Cologne & Berlin. Who knows, maybe we’ll go on a photo walk!


   
   
What’s in Photojojo’s Camera Bag

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2, 3

We have to admit, here at Photojojo, we love our job.

Our favorite part of our job? Sharing all the cool stuff we find with YOU!

That’s why we’re spilling our secrets and letting you in on the inside scoop.

Check out this article to meet the Photojojo team and find out what our favorite gadgets are.

Take a Look Inside Photojojo’s Camera Bag

p.s. Our mates at 4by6.com have a special dealio for you guys! Pick up a free pack of cards from your Instagram snaps and enter to win $500 in Photojojo and 4by6 dollaroos!

p.p.s. Now hiring: World’s Best Web Designer. Learn more.

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