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Over 100 tutorials to improve your photography via Click it Up a NotchWelcome! I am so excited that you are here and eager to learn more about photography! I want to share with you everything I have learned over the past couple of years and help you along your journey! Whether you just got your first DSLR or you have been shooting for years, we have something for everyone.

I am a huge advocate of shooting in manual mode. You will be amazed at how much your images improve once you take complete control over all your settings. Not sure you want to make the leap to manual mode? Be sure to read 5 reasons to shoot in manual mode. Manual mode may seem scary at first but I challenge you to put your camera on “M” for a week. You may surprise yourself.

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the unexpected everyday
how to shoot in manual mode
Like so many people, I had a fancy new camera but my photos weren’t turning out like some of my friends with the same fancy camera. What was I doing wrong? I wasn’t shooting in manual mode. With the help of a friend and hours of reading everything I could get my hands on, I tackled manual mode. If I can do it, you can do it too.

Where to begin

- How to shoot in manual mode: The basics


- Aperture

Shutter Speed

- Slow shutter speed to show movement


- ISO: Grain/Noise
- ISO: Don’t be afraid to raise it

Camera Settings

- Changing your focal point
- Metering mode: Basics
- Reading a histogram
- How to meter using the sky
- Interval timer vs wireless remote
- The Zone System: The basics

White balance

- Custom white balance
- How to use Kelvins for white balance
- How to nail white balance like a pro
- How to correct white balance in Lightroom
- How to warm up your image in ACR

Nailing Correct Focus

- How to take a sharp image
- Tips for achieving sharp focus
- Back button focus: Do you BBF?


Learning how to compose a shot to draw your viewer in is a quick way to take your photo from looking like a snap shot to something you want to frame on the wall.
- Rule of thirds
- Limb chopping and basic composition
- Shooting from different angles
- Fill the frame
- Leading lines
- Negative space


One of the best piece of advice I received was from Sarah Wilkerson in a workshop was “Find the light first and then find the subject”. The light in an image can make or break your image.
- How to create catchlights
- 6 steps to creating a haze effect in photos
- Window lighting
- 6 steps to creating a silhouette
- A tip for shooting in full sun
- Split lighting with easy with 5 steps
- Creating dramatic light in small spaces
- Shooting for black and white photographs
- Dramatic light: Start to finish
- Silhouette photos: 10 tips for capturing them
- Finding light in unexpected places


photography equipment
If you get several photographers together, they are bound to talk about photography gear. I myself am a lens junkie. Oh, I love lenses! There are so many out there to choose from and all the different gear can be quite confusing. Let us help you with that.


- Looking to buy a DSLR
- 5 tips for traveling with your photography gear
- Sensor cleaning: Is my sensor dirty?


- What lens to buys first?
- Comparing a 20mm, 35mm and 50mm on a crop sensor camera
- Understanding the writing on the lens
- What lens to buy next?
- Our favorite lenses
- Lens on crop vs full frame sensor
- Comparing different lenses
- 50mm 1.8 vs 50mm 1.4
- Camera lens rental: Your questions answered
- Wedding photography lenses: What you need to know


- 5 must-read photography books

Something to keep in mind when you are first starting out is not to compare your SOOC to edited images. Every photographer I know edits their images. It is part of learning about photography. Besides editing it is important to make sure that you have a system in place to keep your photos organized.


- Noise reduction video
- Creating rounded corners in Lightroom
- 236 Free collage templates for PS, PSE and Lightroom
- Adding vignetting in Lightroom
- Editing silhouette photo in Lightroom
- Lightroom Black and white conversion video
- Exporting Photos from Lightroom
- Sync button in Lightroom
- Organizing photos in Lightroom using stars, colors, and smart collections
- Cloning in Lightroom: How to remove distractions
- How to create you own preset in Lightroom
- Presets and Actions: Working smarter not harder
- Before and after: Underexposure video


- Photoshop editing: Creating negative space
- Photoshop tutorial: How to add blur
- RAW editing in ACR & Lightroom using the tone curve
- 236 Free collage templates for PS, PSE and Lightroom


photography rut
It is inevitable that at one point or another in your photography journey you will hit a rut. Finding ways to get out of your photography rut can be a challenge. I post creative exercises to help keep you from getting in a rut but there are several ways you can get out of one.
- 8 tips to get you photography juices flowing
- Get out of your photography rut in 10 steps
- One subject, many vantage points
- Photography bucket list
- Photography project ideas
- 30 day challenge: Photograph your kids
- 11 tips for completing a Project 365
- 7 photography project ideas
- Photography blues: 4 tips to kick the winter rut
- Personification: Creative exercise


photographing children
It’s the same old story, girl has baby, girl gets camera, girl wants to take better pictures of her kids. I know that is when I decided to tackle manual mode. I just wanted to capture better photos of my kids and still do.
- Details, details, details
- Newborn photography tips for on-location photographers
- The everyday: Photographing your own kids
- Capturing true character
- 6 tips for photographing your baby’s birth
- 10 tips for photographing your baby
- Toddler photography: 8 tips for capturing those early years
- Birth photography: 10 lessons learned
- 6 quick and easy tips to capture kids in the leaves
- 10 tips to photograph kids together
- Photographing children in less than 7 minutes


photography business tips
We did a whole series with secrets from the pros from start up costs to getting creative with your advertising.
- Creative advertising through giving back
- 3 tips to brand your business
- Start up cost
- Owner to hobbyist: 8 lessons learned
- 7 things customers look for in a photographer
- Facebook page: 7 ways to make it better
- How to add a personal touch using photos


video q & a
I recently started these video question and answers. If you have a question you would like me to answer please email me at with the subject line: Video Q & A. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
- Indoor sports photography tips
- Tips to take your camera out in public
- Tips to find a photography Mentor
- Getting past discouragement and intimidation

my favorites
Of course, I have some posts that I loved writing and sharing with you guys. If you learn anything from this site please learn to get in the photos with your kids. They don’t care what you are wearing, how much you weigh, or if you have make-up on. Just get in the photo.
- Self portraits: Get in front of the camera
- Think before you click
- Tips to for taking your own family portraits
- 21 lessons learned in my 2nd year of shooting in manual mode
- The secret to editing a month of photos in one week
- How to prepare a room for photos
- Street photography: 9 tips to follow