Savage Photographer: Cheryl Woods
Cheryl Woods is an accomplished photographer, designer and branding consultant with a career spanning 20+ years. Her photographic work includes editorial, fashion, portraiture and product photography for major companies in the consumer products field including QVC and Hanover Direct. She received a B.F.A. in Photography from the University of the Arts and an M.F.A. in Media Design from Full Sail University. Cheryl's work has been exhibited at the Lowes Museum of Art in Coral Gables, FL, The New York Independent Film Festival and the Rosenwald Wolf Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Check out her website here!
Now the second biggest holiday next to Christmas, Halloween provides the ultimate in setting, props and atmosphere to capture unique and stunning images. And, it’s the perfect time to experiment with exposure times, shutter speeds and unusual compositions.
Whether you're creating a professional fashion shoot or capturing a family portrait, learning how to pose your subjects for the camera is one of the most important photographic tools you can have in your kit of photography knowledge. Before you begin, you’ll want to have some key equipment on hand to make posing your model effortless.
Photographing children can be joyful and challenging all at once. Their natural state is to be in constant movement, make silly faces or have short attention spans. It can be frustrating to get not only your own child to cooperate but gaining the trust of a client’s little one can be even more daunting. These tips will help you take some wonderful Spring portraits this season.
One of the most significant facets of photography is to bring to light the beauty in every day subjects. Macro photography in particular has the ability to make works of art of the smaller things in life. The subject matter in this area is endless — from insects and flowers to water droplets. You only need to look around the house for some interesting objects to shoot.
Professional product shots can make or break an ecommerce site. Poor images instill a lack of confidence in the company as a whole and can dramatically increase a site’s bounce rate.
Being a photographer is a passion, not just a career choice. The thought of "missing a shot" crosses every photographer’s mind yet how many times have you caught yourself unprepared? Not only could the shot you capture make a great addition to your site or blog, it could end up being one of those “must have” images by a stock or news agency that goes viral.
If you specialize in studio photography, now, during summer, is the perfect time to look around your studio to see what needs updating, organizing and cleaned.
Private collections, antique stores and auction houses offer a plethora of work for any photographer. The items you’ll encounter with antique and collectible photography will need considerable technical skill. Your ultimate goal is to create a factual presentation of the object since the buyer will most likely be a connoisseur of your subject.
Real estate agents know that well-shot photos will dramatically increase the ability to both connect with a buyer faster and attract a higher price for their listing. With the market on the up rise, you’ll want to be a part of this very profitable photography niche. With the right, equipment, techniques and a bit of practice, you’ll be shooting properties with ease.
Mastering the technical skills of photography are not the only components to creating memorable visual imagery. Developing your creative eye is probably the most important skill you’ll need. You’ll learn to see the world with your own unique voice and be able to see creative potential in any situation.
Taking the jump to having your own fully stocked studio starts with one important decision: to rent or to own your space.
Wedding photography is showcasing some exciting new and unique trends this season. If you specialize in this lucrative market, check out these 2015 trends.
Like any field, staying in close connection with your fellow professionals can benefit you on so many different levels. Don’t think of these photographers as competition, think of them as a resource to improve your skills, broaden your client base and add revenue to the bottom line of your studio.
If you've ever captured a backlit portrait by accident you know how alluring and ethereal these images can be. Learning to master this lighting technique in both indoor and outdoor settings can be a new creative tool for your next portrait session.
Trying to choose which type of light modifier to use for your next shoot really comes down to what effects you want to achieve, along with budget. Just like with lenses, there is no “one size fits all” solution to lighting. When it comes to working with your studio lights, you’ll need to select the right tool for your project.
Did you know that by the year 2017, 74% of all Internet traffic will be video? And, retention rates for visual information can reach 65% vs. 10% for text-based information. With statistics like these, perfecting your video production skills is a must to increase your studio's services offerings.
Looking for some inspiration, want to learn proper photographic techniques or perhaps you’re just striving to find your vision as a photographic artist? Here are some compelling reads, both classic and new, for 2015.
Backdrops are a great way to add variety and style to your sessions but sometimes having a cache of every color and type can also be pricey. Some ways to save on backdrops is to make your own. With a little brainstorming and some markers, tape or creative propping, you’ll be able to build one-of-a-kind backdrops using seamless paper.
Dreaming of becoming the next Mapplethorpe? Flowers themselves are works of art, however fashioning dramatic images such as his is not as easy as it looks. Here are some more useful tips to get you started.
If you are a photo hobbyist, you probably drool at ads of the latest high-end equipment. This equipment can be confusing and expensive. You can achieve professional looking images without all of the high-end gadgets. Five factors go into your images: equipment, studio set-up, lighting, styling and post-production. Here are some low-budget photography solutions for each of these areas.
Although numerous, top professional photographers use complicated, studio-based lighting set-ups, many photographers choose to keep it stripped down. If you are one of those minimalist shooters that want to be able to travel light yet create professional looking, high-quality images, here are some products and techniques that will allow you to build the ultimate probable photo studio.
This is that time of the year…for creating the most amazing holiday portraits that is. Whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah, everyone reaches for his or her cameras attempting to capture the magic. Here’s a list (to check twice!) to make those holiday portraits perfect.
Photo reflectors are the perfect tools for shaping photographic light. There are hundreds of reflectors to choose from in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Each one creates a different aesthetic effect.
If you're looking for avenues that will gain more exposure for your work, photo contests can offer a wide range of opportunities in all genres.
Whether they’re Instagam addicts, iPhone aficionados or working professionals, the photographer on your gift list will most likely be the most fun person to shop for this year. There are thousands of unique and useful gadgets to choose from just in time for your holiday shopping.
Ditch the selfies, because the era of the professional social media headshot is here! In our physically disconnected world, where so many of our connections are made online, it’s more important than ever for people to sense your authenticity and your personality.
Low light photography can be used to create some amazingly unique images. By practicing and remembering some key techniques, you’ll be able to master capturing scenes in complex lighting situations such as low light.
The top favorite time of year to snap some fantastic pics is certainly Fall. It’s not just about the foliage — there’s also the soft golden light and the ambiance of the season. So grab your camera and get ready for some fun Fall photography projects!
If you dream of having unbridled creative freedom, shooting musicians can be the best gig you’ll ever get. If a musical artist has poor publicity photos, it makes them look second-rate. Images that convey an artist’s style and personality have the ability to engage fans beyond their music.
Offering a superb show of foliage including bright displays of gold, scarlet, and orange, Fall is one of the best shooting times all year. If you’re a Fall Fanatic like myself you’ll appreciate these tips your next fall shooting session.
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful photography business. One of the more noble endeavors to increase you photo business is cause marketing. Sponsoring a non-profit event that benefits a charity is a great way to raise funds for a worthwhile organization while you donate your skills as a photographer.
One of the hottest portrait ideas in the photography fields, The Cake Smash shot, can also prove to be one of your studios biggest moneymakers. If for some recent you haven’t heard of this phenom, it involves a tiny child, a big cake and the freedom for them to make a complete mess as they please!
When you've created a truly amazing image that’s worthy of hanging or selling, you’ll want to make sure your presentation of the piece is both professional and archival.
The best pet photos capture the natural personality and beauty of the animal itself. Here’s 5 ideas help you get the most out of photographing these creatures.
If you’re making the transition from photography enthusiast to professional, you've probably thought about setting up your own home studio. Before you make the leap and open your home to clients, be sure you have a set-up that will deliver professional results.
Although the height of pin up photography peaked in the 1930’s and 40’s, there is a new resurgence in this highly stylized type of photography. You can achieve the iconic photo styling of these famous images with a variety of fun backgrounds and lighting techniques.
Nowhere is the gender gap more blatant than in the modeling world. If you want to delve into the portraiture or fashion photography business, knowing the best practices in how to hire and direct these two genders is a must. Here are a few pointers to help you navigate the sexes.
If you’re a sports photographer, knowing the history and culture of your sport is essential. And, when it comes to surfing, having the inside know how and lingo of the sport is more essential than in any other. If you master the art of becoming one of “them”, you’ll gain access to the best vantage points, surf spots and more.
Once considered the lowest form of photography, artful wedding images have become de rigueur. How can you get a piece of this lucrative market? And more importantly, how do you make yourself stand out in this overly crowded marketplace? Here’s some tips on standing out in this booming field.
The art of spontaneous photography is just as important as being able to capture a beautifully composed portrait. The best candid photos should be simple and unposed as well as provide honest, sincere and memorable shots.
Food photography can be extremely creative - from the textures and colors of the food to the plating and composition of the photo. Equipment is expensive, and for most it is not necessarily practical. Many photographers have been able to capture images that emphasize the creative nature of the food with out having to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment.
Truly visionary artists in any medium sealed their place in art history by creating their own path once they got the rules down. Knowing how and when to break them to create your own visual style and propel your photographic art to a new level is what you’ll need to discover for yourself. First, let’s do a brief overview of the basics of composition.
Whether you’re traveling to build your location portfolio or simply taking a trip with family this summer, you’ll want to work on your travel photography technique. Your goal is to create envy-worthy images that you can post with pride to your site, blog and social media profiles. And, don’t forget to think “stock photography” and shoot images that you could sell upon your return.
As Henri Cartier Bresson defined it – the decisive moment in documentary photography gives you no second changes.
If you love shooting at the beach, you know all too well about dealing with elements such as wind and sand along with high contrast scenes. These parameters can wreak havoc on your images and equipment. To avoid or compensate for these conditions follow these simple rules for success.
If you want to take your images to the next level, mastering the skill of using multiple lights to create professional quality images is a must. When most photographers set up their first studio, they typically use two studio lights. But once you understand the three key areas of lights and how you can use them together, you can easily eliminate such shadows and do a whole lot more.
Self-portraits (or selfies if you will) are all the rage. Why not start creating ones that will create a buzz and make your photography go viral? Using seamless paper for your background will give your image a dynamic presence, help eliminate any background distractions and make yourself the focal point of the shot.
Fashion photography can be both fun and tricky since there are many factors to consider. Lighting set-ups, angles, propping and model poses are all extremely important aspects that need to be thought out before hand. Having an idea for the shoot is the first step, but being able to execute your idea is everything.
Muslin backgrounds are easy to transport, lightweight, and fold up nicely whether you want to store them or take them with you on a job. They look extremely professional and hang or drape perfectly creating interesting soft shapes in the background of your photographs. They come in many different styles, which can make deciding on the one that is best for your project a tough choice.
Shutter priority is used when you need the extremes of the shutter speed range. Situations such as freeze action, to stop an object’s motion, or when you need to use a slow shutter speed for longer exposures such as night shots. Shutter speed is also crucial to techniques such as panning when the camera is moved to create a motion effect.
Part of the struggle of wedding photography is finding the right background, however there are several options to choose from. Here you will find a few tips to help you discover what background works best for the day.
Traveling with your photo equipment can be stressful but if you take some preventative steps before you leave you can set your mind at ease.
Editorial photography has always been a much sought-after and glamorized aspect of the photographic industry. The reality of breaking into and selling your editorial work requires finding and keeping editorial clients, marketing expertise and good people skills.
Photographing kids is one of the more unpredictable aspects of being a portrait photographer. First and foremost, tricks that work for capturing amazing adult portraits doesn't work on kids. You’ll need an arsenal of patience, some creative propping and even a touch of psychology to get the best images.
If you're already in the wedding photography business, offering the addition of photo booth services is a great way to add some additional revenue. Photo booths also give you a chance to be more flexible with creative shots and the ability to capture some fun candids.
Just like doctors and lawyers, photographers love to use colorful and often cryptic terminology in their profession. Let’s demystify some of the most unusual photographic terms.
Making the leap from being a commercial photographer to a fine art photographer requires not only realigning your creativity but mastering a bit of branding and marketing as well. If you've been longing to have your creative images accepted to gallery shows here are some steps to take to make the transition.
New Year’s Eve has often been called amateur night, however when it comes to capturing the big event, you better have some chops when it comes to your photographic skills. From mixed lighting and fireworks to party host expectations, you’ll need to have the following techniques down pat.
Glass is one the trickiest surfaces to photograph since it is both translucent and reflective. Getting good looking reflections is the key to producing an image that will make your product look amazing. Here are a few basic set-ups that should get you started on your way to taking professional looking shots.
If you specialize in portraiture, many of your regular (or hopefully new clients) are pressed for time entertaining and shopping. Offering mini portrait sessions are a fantastic way to keep them engaged with your studio and generate additional holiday income.
Getting your self organized before a portrait shoot is essential. Start by putting together a checklist for you and your clients. The clearer the communication is up front, the more satisfied your clients will be.
Striking images of starlets such as Jean Harlow and Hollywood royalty like Clark Gable are all thanks to the photography genius of photographers like George Hurrell. The classic portrait style is still very much in demand to this day. If you’ve been trying to figure out how he create these stunning images look no further. Here’s a breakdown on how to achieve this classic portrait style.
Whether you’re a practicing professional or an avid amateur photographer, the quality of your image output and color accuracy is extremely important. Properly calibrating your monitor will ensure that your colors and black levels are true, and that you are creating the optimum results for editing and viewing images.
Next to children, pets are one of the most popular subjects to photograph. Although it may seem like a fun way to earn your living, mastering the skills needed to become a truly great pet photographer requires a combination of creativity, patience and rapid fire shooting.
As most photographers know, jewelry is probably the most difficult subject to photograph because it reflects in many cases up to 99% of the light it receives. Whether you are just looking to sell some flea market finds on E-Bay or you are starting your own hand-crafted jewelry business on Etsy, you’ll need to learn the art of jewelry photography.
Picked up a camera to just have some fun and do your thing and now finding that it’s the center of your life? It may be time to transition from amateur to professional. Although advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to take professional looking photos, making the leap into an intensely competitive market, with limited resources, is going to be harder than you think.
Because of the cost factor of seamless paper, many photographers do not take the time to care for their seamless paper thinking of it more as a disposable studio item. Dirt, dents and tears are the norm in many studios but it doesn't have to be that way. Given the proper treatment, seamless paper can be used for up to several years.
Believe it or not it’s been nearly 22 years since Annie Leibovitz shocked the world with her groundbreaking nude maternity portrait of Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. (Some stores even resorted to covering it in a brown wrapper!) Now a beautiful maternity portrait seems almost de rigueur during one’s pregnancy.
Joan Jett didn't give a damn about her reputation, but unless you're a teenage rock star, you should probably give a damn about yours. As Oscar Wilde famously said: “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." So how do you start the conversation? Basically, everything you do or say is public relations.
Photography backdrops vary in style, size, shape and color. Understanding the basics of each type of background can seem quite intimidating. Of all the choices, the beauty of a canvas backdrop cannot be matched. From their unique coloring and patterns to their long life and versatile usage, they’re great for the amateur or pro photographer.
Endless phone calls, piles of comp cards and a photo shoot fast approaching can send any photographer into a panic. Securing excellent talent for a shoot may seem like an insurmountable task, however, like anything in life, having a well-thought out plan can make even the most daunting task doable.
Besides your day-to-day shooting, why not have your website bringing in income while you work or sleep? There are many choices to add a little extra cash to your bottom line each month.
Creating an additional residual income that requires little effort to maintain is just one of the many benefits of expanding your photography services into stock photography. The market is wide open from publishers of magazines, books and calendars to advertising agencies and greeting-card companies to name just a few.
Having skills in a variety of lighting techniques for your photo backdrop can give you some wonderful options for creating beautiful imagery for either products or portraits. By brushing up on your exposure and composition know-how along with practicing prior to your actual shoot date you’ll quickly be able to build a portfolio showing off your creative depth.
Prop styling is a fun and creative way to add that extra panache to your images. Clients will appreciate a professionally styled shot that utilizes props to illustrate their products’ features and gets customers motivated to buy. If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional stylist, spend some time learning the nuances of prop styling.
An explosion in America’s obsession with gastronomic delights is evident in the millions of Instagram shots and Facebook posts that abound each day surrounding food. Food blogs are now approaching the 17,000 mark. The field is ripe for more artful portrayals of food than ever before. Take advantage of this explosion of taste buds by honing your skills in food styling.
Shooting fashion can be one of the most fun and creatively satisfying types of photography you can pursue. With a little know how and prep-time on the front-end, you can produce a high-end fashion shoot worthy of any glossy fashion magazine.
It’s quite easy to assume that studio lighting is too complicated or too expensive for anyone but the true professionals, but this really is not the case. With some basic photo lighting equipment and a spare room you can capture beautiful images. Not only are you no longer at the mercy of the weather and time of day, but you also have the option of controlling light to suit your wishes.
It’s the biggest buzzword around – branding. But what does it really encompass and how can you translate building a brand image to your photo studio?
For the photographer looking for durability and cost-savings, vinyl backdrops are the way to go. Although vinyl backdrops can withstand the test of a busy, hi-volume studio, storing and caring for them is still needed.
Once only the realm of big-budget Hollywood productions such as ET, green screen (or chroma key) technology is now available to all. Any business or budding filmmaker can create amazing corporate videos or digital shorts. But how do you decide which color to use? It’s a snap once you master a few basics.
Seamless paper: everybody’s got it and everyone has an opinion about it. We scanned the internet to curate what your peers are saying about this staple of every studio.
Now more than ever independent studios must compete with high-volume, mega studios such as RR Donnelley, True Action and chain portrait studios such as Kiddie Kandids. The good news is you can compete on price and volume if you learn how to set up your studio to maximize output.
An amazing portfolio can be your entrée into better quality and higher-paying assignments. Along with great work, presentation is the key. Here are some ideas on how to rework, rev-up and rejuvenate to build a truly awesome portfolio.
Why does color evoke such a strong opinion? Color is an integral part of our visual language. We react to color subconsciously and form strong emotional responses before we even realize it.
You're passionate about your photography hobby and it's now overtaking every waking minute. "I'm turning professional!" you proclaim to your friends and family. "I'll get paid to do what I love." First, be sure you understand that it is a business and with that comes with the typical issues any business faces. Find out whether you've got the chops to be an entrepreneur.