Kickstart your creativity

Has your creative muse gone on holiday and left you all alone?

Or are you wanting to clarify the type of photographer you’d like to become but don’t know where to start?

If you answered yes to either question then kickstart your creativity and shift into high gear with a fun class.

 

Inspiration has to find you working

One of the best things you might do for yourself is to take two back-to-back classes.

Often an immersive learning experience leads to faster breakthroughs plus sustainable growth.

Case in point: student Merrill Safferman took two consecutive classes with me.

We first worked together in Beautiful Black & White, which Merrill said, “clarified so many things that I was trying to achieve with my images.”

The next month we continued our work together in Finding Beauty to keep the momentum going, and WOW, did that investment pay off!

Check out some of Merrill’s images below from that second month and shown with permission. AMAZING, right?

Inspiration usually strikes when you’re already working, so kick off the blues and reignite your creative spark.

Like Merrill and many others who have taken back-to-back classes with me, you might even discover a whole other side of your photography that you didn’t know existed!

 

Images: Merrill Safferman

Images: Merrill Safferman

Images: Merrill Safferman

 

“I would like to thank you for not only two fantastic classes but also for helping me find my photographic style. To come to this level in my photography has so much meaning for me personally, and I can’t thank you enough.” — Merrill Safferman

 

What Bryan says about instructor Brit Hammer

In a previous newsletter Bryan wrote this:

“I rarely speak out with this level of enthusiasm for any of our instructors because ALL of our instructors are equally great in teaching their individual craft, so why have I chosen to call attention to one of our instructors Brit Hammer? Simply because of Brit’s ability to transform each of her students’ vision from good to great consistently, time and time again; in part because of her insightful lessons, but I can say unequivocally that Brit’s greatest strength is her in-depth and disarming critique style of each student’s weekly assignments.

This is the most often comment I receive from BPSOP students: ‘Brit’s critiques were the greatest value in this course. The assignments were great, BUT the critiques were by far the most valuable!’

If you have yet to take a class from Brit, consider [this] the best opportunity to grow your photography in ways you have perhaps never imagined!” — Bryan F Peterson

 


 

SIGN UP FOR A FUN CLASS WITH BRIT HAMMER

Finding Beauty

Beautiful Black & White

Authentic Photo Stories

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

** No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses **

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BRIT

Brit Hammer is an international award-winning photographer, bestselling author, and a celebrated artist whose work is aptly described as fresh and optimistic.

Brit’s students love her intuitive eye, patience, enthusiasm and holistic nurturing because the results are unbelievably incredible and inspiring student growth.

Visit Brit’s website at brithammer.com

Learn more about creative development and one-on-one mentoring with Brit

Follow Brit on Instagram

 

“There are great photographers and great teachers, but it is rare to find a great photographer who’s also a wonderful instructor; Brit embodies that rare combination.” — Tennessee Rick Elliot

Why Not Try Something Different – Perhaps a Four-Season Photo Project?

Looking for something that will motivate you to get out shooting?  Why not try a Four-Season project?  Simply pick a location close enough and accessible throughout the year so that you will be able to get to it at some point during the peak of each season.  Pick a location that will highlight the changes in each season…. gardens and parks make good subjects; city skylines perhaps not so much.   Many landscape subjects will work well, but here again there should be a significant difference in the landscape from one season the next.   The rest is easy:  find a location that works, set up your tripod and shoot.  The framing doesn’t have to be exact, but the closer each image is to the other three the better and more impactful will be your series.  These can be shot handheld, as was the case with the four images above, but a tripod will make it easier to reproduce the framing from one image to the next.  I exported a copy of the first image (winter in my case) to my phone and used it as an aid to find the same (more-or-less) position and framing each time I returned to this park near my home.

As a photo project, this will require a greater commitment than most, but the results are worth it.  Aside providing motivation to get out and shoot, the results of a well-executed four-season project will look great printed large and hung in your office, studio, or home.

They are also in constant demand at stock agencies and greeting card companies…   try searching “four seasons” on the Getty Images website.

Now is a great time to start a four-season project.  Winter is about to breath it’s last gasp, so start now and you won’t have long to wait for your spring image.

-BPSOP Instructor – Mark English

Mark Teaches:

After the Click: Refining Your Vision in Lightroom & Camera Raw

The Art of Printing & Selling Your Art

What stories will you tell with your images?

In Authentic Photo Stories we create a series of images that tell a story — real stories that embrace a subject and show the beauty of what’s happening, no matter what that is.

In this post we look at student work.

Meet student Darlene Woodward

Darlene took part in Authentic Photo Stories and photographed her husky mix, Kota.

What follows are three of her photo stories from the class.

But first…

 

Meet doggie Kota…and fall in love with her!

Now here’s Darlene telling the story:

I have a soft spot for rescues. Kota is a rescue who has taught me patience, love, compassion, and the meaning of pure joy.

When I came across her photo browsing through Petfinder, she instantly stole my heart.

Kota’s challenges as a rescue with a difficult start in life inspired me to learn as much as possible about animals. So I became a dog trainer to positively reinforce our bond, after several other dog trainers were convinced she was a hopeless case and could only be trained through harsh punishment methods.

We’ve been together for 9 years!

Images: Darlene Woodward

“A House Is Not A Home Without A Dog” tells us everything. There is a little picture of Kota in the background, offering a glimpse of her.

The owl is Kota’s absolute favorite toy. She took it out of a bag that was on its way to the shelter as a donation. The owl is the only toy she plays with out of a huge basket! Whenever I say “get the owl” she runs and grabs it. She is super smart!

Kota loves to lay on the bed and just look out the window. I always wonder what she’s thinking…

 

Images: Darlene Woodward

Kota loves social distancing — she’s a dog that needs space.

People are always drawn to her, but she’s very selective about who can be a part of her circle of trust. She is fearful of dogs and anxious around children after some bad experiences.

Even though she needs her space, Kota loves going for walks with my husband.

Images: Darlene Woodward

Kota’s owl showed up in the backyard all dirty!

Two of my favorite features of Kota are her “snow nose” (with the pink strip) and fluffy tail. In these images she’s got her tail flailing high, which in dog language means she’s confident and enjoying play at that moment!

 

Here’s what Darlene had to say about Authentic Photo Stories

Pet photography is my niche, and I was in a bit of a creative rut.

I wanted to expand photographing pets into a more storytelling and lifestyle approach, so I was thrilled to come across Brit’s class Authentic Photo StoriesNot only is Brit an amazing photographer, she’s a wonderful teacher, too.

She has helped me to see things in a new way and definitely sparked my creative side. I never would have thought to photograph my dog’s torn stuffed owl toy in the middle of the floor, yet it tells a heartwarming story.

Brit’s class critiques were invaluable — positive, in-depth, and honest — and I looked forward to her feedback each week.

Now I pick up the camera and think to myself, “How would Brit see this?” So many things in our day-to-day life tell a story I never imagined.

Thank you for a challenging and inspiring class!

— Darlene Woodward, Pant the Town Photography

 


 

SIGN UP FOR A FUN CLASS WITH BRIT HAMMER

Finding Beauty

Beautiful Black & White

Authentic Photo Stories

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

** No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses **

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BRIT

Brit Hammer is an international award-winning photographer, bestselling author, and a celebrated artist whose work is aptly described as fresh and optimistic.

Brit’s students love her intuitive eye, patience, enthusiasm and holistic nurturing because the results are unbelievably incredible and inspiring student growth.

Visit Brit’s website at brithammer.com

Learn more about creative development and one-on-one mentoring with Brit

Follow Brit on Instagram

 

“There are great photographers and great teachers, but it is rare to find a great photographer who’s also a wonderful instructor; Brit embodies that rare combination.” — Tennessee Rick Elliot

 

Photo Ops: Window Light

When I was starting my career almost fifty-four years ago, there wasn’t a lot of money for equipment, especially lighting equipment. That is if I even knew what to do with said equipment if I had the money to buy it. I relied on my training in Art to get me through any lighting scenarios. What I mean is that I used available light to paint and that often meant using window light. As a result, when I grew up I was confident enough to use the same available window light for just about any kind of job that walked in the door of my first photo studio.

In fact, in the early days, I had a small space that was the bottom floor in an old house. My lighting set-up was a large window in the front of the house the faced North. I lit everything there from portraits to still lifes. At the time, I didn’t realize that it was the best possible way to light people and by the way, during the last few years, it has made a huge comeback.

In my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshop I conduct around the planet, I always suggest available window light and at the same time stressing to avoid fill flash like it was the plague. Even on a gloomy day, there’s going to be enough light coming in from the outside to create a quality portrait. In the winter months, I tell the students that don’t think there’s anything to shoot until the thaw, to shoot indoors using the light from a window. Even when I could afford to take lighting with me on assignments, I would still look for available light from a window first since I was always tried to create it with my strobes and softboxes.

As is the nature of window light, side lighting is going to be the easiest way to light people. I prefer this light since it adds depth to the subject’s face. What I mean by “adding depth” is to make one side lighter than the other, and use a small white reflector to bounce a little light back on the dark side. This falls under one of the basic elements of visual design I teach in my classes called Form. Form refers to the three dimensional quality of an object and has but two dimensions: height and width. To create the third dimension, namely Depth, you have to side light the object; otherwise, it will appear flat with no sense of shape and volume.

Look for rooms with multiple windows that will offer different kinds of lighting. one of my favorite ways to light a person ( as in the above photo) is to have them side lit with a window just out of the frame, and have windows in the background you can blow out. Ok, here’s a good time to tell you that whenever someone tells you that “clipping the highlights” is not recommended, don’t walk away from them…RUN LIKE THE WIND because that person is going to have you take average, predictable photos; who wants that?

Take a look at this slideshow where the only source of light is a window somewhere usually out of the frame…but not always.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

The Use of Gestalt in Photography

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