Author Archives: Kevin

tample cambodia photography

8 Breathtaking Photography Locations to Capture

Great photographers can find exciting photo opportunities virtually anywhere. When inspiration starts to run low, traveling to some of the world’s most exhilarating photography locations can take your craft to a whole new level.

Not sure where to start? Check out this list of awe-inspiring photography locations.

The Top 8 Worldwide Photography Locations

Whether the subject of choice is nature’s raw beauty, amazing architecture, popular tourist areas, or remote locations, there’s a photography location to meet every photographer’s needs. Here are eight of the best travel destinations for photography enthusiasts to visit.

1. Kenya, Africa

Kenya, Africa is one of the world’s most popular locations for both professional and amateur photographers. Here you can observe exotic animals in their natural habitat, capture the magic of Mount Kilimanjaro, and interact with the vibrant Massai community.

2. Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

(above) This ancient Buddhist temple, built in 1186, is engulfed in jungle vines. The Ta Prohm Temple is shrouded in mystery and exudes an other-worldly energy and aura. Join the thousands of photographers who have attempted to capture the essence of this experience for decades.

3. Dubai

dubai ceiling

The city of Dubai offers photographers the chance to explore the stark contrast of an explosion of humanity, thriving in the middle of a desert. Grab a great shot of the imposing downtown architecture from the top floor of a hotel or office building. Don’t take a chance at missing the gorgeous sun sett behind the Burj Al Arab, your trip will be incomplete without it.

4. Great Barrier Reef

Advances in technology have opened up the world of underwater photos to even the most casual photographer. Travel below sea level to photograph thousands of species of fish, sharks, whales, and other sea creatures. Don’t forget to take some aerial shots to capture the astonishing scale and natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Havana, Cuba

cuba photography

The colorful buildings, classic cars, and friendly locals in Havana make this city a photographer’s dream. Visit the streets of Old Havana, check out the pier, and be sure not to miss the El Gran Teatro de Havana.

PRO TIP: If you happen to come across a magical moment when you aren’t completely prepared, don’t dismay. You can still take a great photo with your camera phone. Make sure you’ve set up the camera grid ahead of time so your pictures come out as perfectly as possible every time.

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6. Borneo

This remote island is home to many endangered species including clouded leopards and orangutans. Explore the diverse rainforests and photograph these majestic animals before they go extinct.

PRO TIP: To give your photos a professional look, don’t forget to adjust your camera’s aperture settings. This allows you to take artistic license by blurring backgrounds adding depth of focus.

7. Hawaii (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) 

Capture the rarely-observed active lava flows in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Catch the locals in action as they surf and kiteboard, and photograph the area’s stunning tropical foliage and waterfalls.

PRO TIP: One of the most important pieces of advice for travel photographers is to look beyond the obvious. Some of the most interesting photography locations are well off the beaten path. Talk to the locals after you’ve arrived or plan ahead with personal travel recommendations from an excellent concierge.

8. Paris (Catacombs / Pere Lachaise)

moulin rouge paris

Beyond the obvious landmarks like the Eifel Tower and the Louvre, Paris is a treasure-trove of photographic opportunities. Expand your horizons by taking your camera deep into the catacombs, by the moulin rouge at night, or spending the day exploring the Pere Lachaise cemetery.


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social media photography

5 Ways Social Media Inspires Professional Photography

Did you know that we’re now uploading a staggering 1.8 billion photos to social media sites every day?

But how is the world of professional photography influenced by these user-created images? We’re here to tell you.

From reducing the need for fancy equipment to increasing authenticity, social media has had a huge impact on the kinds of photographs valued by the world’s biggest brands.

Keep reading to find out exactly how social media is changing and inspiring the landscape of photography.

smartphone photo filters

1. Being Innovative Is More Important

With so many images being shared all the time, taking a bog-standard snap just doesn’t cut it anymore.

To have any chance of standing out online, photographs need to be highly creative and unique.

This could mean anything from using an unusual piece of equipment, experimenting with composition, applying a unique filter, or choosing a rare location.

Photographs now have to make people stop scrolling and take notice, and that’s a big challenge.

2. Authentic Images Are Valued Highly

With the rise of social media, the popularity of staged, ‘perfect’ looking stock photos has quickly lost momentum – a trend some have called the death of the stock photo.

Say goodbye to models with pearly white teeth set against bright, white backgrounds, and say hello to pictures of real people in imperfect locations.

Brands have realized that posed, unrealistic images provoke little emotional response, and now favor candid images which look as though they were taken using a smartphone.

3. High-End Gear Isn’t Everything

Having the best camera was once a huge part of being a professional photographer, but that’s no longer the case.

Combine the increased accessibility of high-end equipment with the desire for authentic images, and you might find that a smartphone snap is more likely to sell than an uncreative image taken on the best SLR.

Professional photography is now more accessible than ever, but it’s also way more competitive.

4. Photographers Can Inspire Each Other Online

Connecting with other photographers is now as easy as tapping on a touchscreen, and finding inspiration has never been easier.

Photographers can check out rival snaps to get inspiration on everything from composition to locations, models to filters.

Sites like Pinterest are full of boards specifically created to help provide inspiration, and new trends can gain traction quickly.

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5. First-Person Shots Are More Popular

Modern photography is all about capturing a moment and feeling like you’re right there in the picture.

It’s no surprise, then, that first-person shots are becoming more and more popular.

These catapult viewers into the driving seat, creating a feeling of immersion that other photos just can’t achieve.

Has Social Media Been Good for Professional Photography?

The answer here is a resounding ‘yes’.

The proliferation of images on social media has increased creativity and innovation, lowered the entry barrier for new photographers, and helped create greater immersion for viewers.

Check out our blog for loads of handy smartphone photography tips.

how to turn on iphone camera grid

iPhone: Why You Should Use the Camera Grid (Turn It On Now!)

Why you should turn on your iPhone’s camera grid, and how: Want to take professional-looking photos with your iPhone? Wondering how to take your snaps to the next level?

There’s one cool iPhone camera feature that you’ve probably been missing, and it’s called the, “camera grid.”

It’s surprisingly simple and requires no extra downloads. Scroll down to learn more about the iPhone camera’s hidden secret and how to use it.

iPhone Photography

Gone are the days when we all carried digital cameras around with us. Smartphones are now starting to dominate the photography world.

In 2016, 48% of all photos uploaded to Flikr were taken on a smartphone. Of those photos, 47% were taken on an Apple device. And for good reason.

iPhones are known for having fantastic cameras. As well as an ever-increasing number of megapixels with each model, there are numerous features that make them a rival of DSLRs.

One of those is the camera grid.

What Is the iPhone Camera Grid?

iphone camera grid enable

The camera grid is a feature which divides the frame of your photos using four lines which run horizontally and vertically along the screen.

When activated, it shows 9 squares overlayed across the screen. It looks like an empty tic tac toe grid, but there’s much more to it than that.

Placing objects in your photos at the points where those lines intersect can make them much more visually striking.


How to Turn on the Camera Grid: (settings)

iphone settings camera grid

In order to start playing with the camera grid, you need to know how to use it. Here’s how to activate it.

Enabling the camera grid:

  • Open Settings
  • Select Photos & Camera
  • Select Grid and turn it on
  • Open the Camera app and you’ll see the grid.

*If you’re using a version of iOS earlier than iOS7:

  • Open Camera app
  • Select Options
  • Find Grid and turn it ON.

Benefits of the iPhone Camera Grid

The iPhone camera grid can add a lot to your photos. Here are the top reasons why you should be using it.

It’s Based on a Technique Used by Professionals

The entire premise of the camera grid is the rule of thirds.

It’s a technique commonly known amongst professional photographers, which has been used in art since the 18th Century.

To most photographers and artists, the rule of thirds is second nature. To untrained iPhone photography enthusiasts, it’s not so obvious. That’s where the camera grid comes in handy.

With the camera grid, anyone can take photos like a pro.

The rule of thirds is the concept of dividing your shot with a 3 x 3 square grid and matching the subjects up to the lines on that grid.

As a result, you end up with much more captivating photos. Add in a great iPhone filter, and you are set. It’s really that easy.

camera grid settings on iphone

It Makes Your Photos Level

The camera grid enables you to make your photos level by matching objects up with the straight lines on your screen.

You can avoid wonky, uneven photos and line things up perfectly. This means there’s no need to rotate or angle the photos when editing.

The camera grid Improves Your Landscape Photos

The camera grid is especially useful for landscape shots, as it shows you where to frame the horizon in order to get the most interesting picture.

Putting the horizon right in the center of the photo is just plain boring. Anyone can do that.

You can match up objects of interest in the foreground to the lines, making sure they complement your shot and draw the eye into the scene.

The area of the photo that is most interesting to you should take up two-thirds the frame. The grid makes it incredibly easy to place it that way.

It’s Easier to Frame Your Subjects

When we take out our phones to snap a photo, we usually put the subject right in the center and think nothing of it.

The subject is the entire focus of the photo, so, therefore, should be in the middle, right?

According to professional photographers, that’s not the case. Not only is that method bland and unimaginative, it’s not even the best way to display a subject.

Using the camera grid to match the subject up with lines on different sides of the screen actually draws more attention to them in more subtle, artistic ways. That way, you get the most out of your pictures.

When shooting portrait photos, align the subject’s eyes with the grid; they’re usually the most important part of the shot.

It Improves Photo Composition

iphone camera grid how to use

Activating the grid highlights different areas of your photos to show the exact composition of the frame.

It forces you to focus on the entire frame rather than just the subject alone.

By placing points of interest along the lines of the grid, you create a much more balanced photo and avoid using a lot of negative space.

This results in a picture which is much richer in composition.

It Will Get Your More Likes

300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day.

With so many photos on social media, you want to make sure yours are getting their share of attention.

The camera grid is a sure-fire way to do that. If you start using it, you’ll already be a step ahead of many others.


Get Creative with It

Use the camera grid to your advantage, but don’t get too sucked into it. It’s there to help you, not to dictate you.

The rule of thirds is a general guide and doesn’t need to be strictly followed. Subjects don’t need to match up with the grid precisely; placing them relatively near them could still do the trick.

If you feel it doesn’t complement your picture, throw caution to the wind and do it your own way.

What to Do with Your New Photos

With this newfound technique, you’re sure to be snapping some beautiful photos. Why not get them printed so you can admire your work?

  • Snapfish: Click here for discount coupons for Snapfish, a printing service which can turn your photos into prints, calendars, wedding invitations, notebooks and more. We also have their latest shipping times.
  • Walgreens Photo: A hugely popular way to print your 4×6 and 4×4 digital photos. Coupons here
  • Shutterfly – Probably the best place to print photos online – coupons here ,

Now, get out there and give it a try!

event photography wedding

4 Event Photography Tips for Taking Guests’ Photos

As a creative, event photography may not be the inspiration you’re looking for to get the creative juices flowing.

But, what creative doesn’t love a challenge right? Despite this type of photography being a little on the mundane side, there are plenty of perks to taking on a job of this kind.

Events generally run on a schedule, this means that you will know that to expect when it comes to setting up your shot list. Once you have filled your quota of pre-requisite shots for the event, this leaves more time for creativity!

In order to nail your shot list and move onto the creative stuff, here are a few event photography tips to get you started.

What to Expect From an Event Photography Gig

As a photographer, you will need to know what kind of event you are shooting. Along with this, you may need do a little research into what the event could entail.

Common events which require photography include:

  • Corporate events
  • Fundraisers
  • Conferences
  • Special occasion events i.e. milestone birthdays, anniversaries
  • Volunteer days
  • Field outings
  • Concerts / performances

Very often it will be a company marketing co-ordinator who will set-up the photography gig.

In essence, they are looking at you to photograph the success and smooth running of the event. Your event photography shots should include:

  • The lay-out and set-up of function rooms, promotional signage and items.
  • Both posed and candid shots of guests, especially VIPs and executives.
  • Both wide angle and close-up shots of event speakers.
  • Engaged and enthusiast looking guests.
  • Shots which portray the event was a success and well-attended.

It’s important to remember that every event varies, while the types of people attending each event, also varies.

This in itself can make for a challenge. That’s why a little research and a few event photography tips can help.

Essential Event Photography Tips

canon event photo lens

1. Do Some Research

Do a reconnaissance of the venue and become familiar with areas with the best angles for your shots.

Study the lighting of a venue, including set-up lighting and natural lighting. Maximize the use of good, natural lighting while you can.

Don’t forget to do a little research on what the event is about and who the big players are. You will need to know who is important to photograph!

2. Have a Game Plan

This includes always arriving early so you can scout out the space and plan your shots.

Before you begin shooting, have a plan for when things go a little off schedule. Think of ideas on how to fill time or make-up time!

Even if you are just photographing the event, you are still an event attendee.

If you are part of a VIP guestlist, such as the Montezuma guestlist, you’ll want to look the part. Make sure you dress appropriately for each event and always act professionally.

3. Bring the Right Gear

One of our most important event photography tips? Do your job properly by using the correct gear!

If you are photographing an event, make sure to bring the right lenses such as:

  • A mid-range zoom lens, with a wide aperture
  • A lens designed for low-light photography
  • A wide-angle lens appropriate for large group shots

When using a flash, avoid your camera’s build-in flash. Stick to using external stand flashes for a more flattering effect.

4. Mix Up Your Shots

A good way to look like an amateur photographer is to only take shots from one perspective!

Remember to mix things up by using multiple angles. Ensure you capture wide, medium and tight shots for all events.

Wide shots are ideal for large groups of people or capturing the lay-out of an event.

Medium shots allow you to capture the action of an event, and tight shots capture finer details.

Become a Master of Event Photography

Is event photography the most exciting part of being a professional photographer? The honest answer is no.

But with enough research and preparation, you can make room for a little creativity!

Check out our blog for top tips on photography hacks, ideal for any occasion!

photography tips camera

5 Photography Hacks Perfect for a Special Occasion

Most of us associate professional photographers with expensive, bulky cameras and a process where the professional controls every single nut and bolt of their photography gear. With the simple photography hacks they use, however, it’s just not that way.

Unlike many photography enthusiasts that make a big deal over every detail and talk a lot of jargon, most professional photographers take the KISS approach (keep it simple, stupid!).

Professional photographers pursue simplicity. In fact, they even follow rules that the photography enthusiasts would consider amateurish.

Find that hard to believe? Well, it’s true.

Here are 5 incredibly simple photography hacks to use at your next special function. They’ll help you capture everything perfectly while keeping it as simple as possible.

Let’s have a look.

1. Shoot Your Images in JPEG. Yes, Really.

Talk to a photography enthusiast and they’ll tell you that shooting images in JPEG should be illegal. They believe that the only way to shoot photos is in the RAW.

That’s simply not the case.

RAW is a digital negative that’s used to process images using photo processing applications such as Lightroom and Photoshop.

The files are also incredibly large.

Fewer and fewer professional photographers are shooting RAW files these days. Instead, they’re shooting in JPEG, which is a compressed version of the image.

Do you really want to spend the money for terabytes of storage for all of your RAW files? Not to mention, do you want to spend hours upon hours to process all your RAW files once the shoot is done?

Instead, shoot in JPEG. Take a look at the image after it’s shot. If you like it, keep it. If not, hit delete.

It really can be that simple.

Doesn’t it make sense to spend more time shooting and getting the best possible images in JPEG format, rather than going through flawed RAW images and spending hours fixing them in Photoshop?

The answer seems simple.

KISS! (keep it simple…)

black white camera mode

2. Using Camera Modes is One of the Easiest Photography Hacks

Almost every camera you buy comes with a bunch of funky modes like B&W or Sepia.

Most people think that these are for amateurs and new photographers.

That isn’t the case. Professional photographers are more than happy to use them when it makes sense.

Most pros use features like miniature mode or some of the various other features that cameras offer.

They even use the grid.

After all, if you’re shooting a wedding and the bride wants several black and white photos for the album, why not do the shooting in black and white?

The different modes are fun to use and save a ton of time otherwise spent on digital editing in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Don’t be afraid to use them. They’re there for a reason!

3. Don’t Stress About Technology or Shooting Conditions

Obviously, almost all professional photographers have expensive gear. They carry around big, heavy cameras and pricy lenses and accessories they may need for a job.

But here’s the kicker: when push comes to shove, all of this ends up being irrelevant.

If, on a given day, they don’t have direct access to their Rs 4 lakh camera and have to use an RS 30,000 they’ll do it without worry.

For pros, the big expensive stuff are tools. If they’re not available they’ll pick another tool that’ll get the job done.

They know how to be creative and work around the limitations.

In addition, true pros don’t stress about lack of proper lighting, rain or other situations that aren’t perfect for photography.

They know that limitations will always exist. Not all conditions are going to be the best for a photo shoot.

In these situations, it all comes down to the eye. Creatively work around whatever limitations exist. Find scenes that are unique, and start shooting.

digital camera iso speed

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Crank Up the ISO

This is one of the more important photography hacks.

Most hobbyist photographers have a love/hate relationship with ISO. You know, the function that increases or decreases the sensitivity to light, but also runs the risk of bringing “noise” into the photos.

The truth is, the love/hate relationship ends with hobbyists. Professional photographers use it all the time and crack it up whenever required.

Let’s take the following as an example:

A lot of photographers think that shooting in 1600 ISO is going to add unwanted noise. They cringe at the mere thought.

Many have been taught not to go above 400 or 800 ISO because a higher ISO will add unwanted noise to the photo.

Then, when the images come out dark or underexposed they try to fix them in Photoshop. As soon as they begin to increase the exposure or brightness in Photoshop, guess what happens?

More noise is added!

So in fact, the final photos end up with more noise than if they were shot at 1600 ISO to begin with.

Before your next special occasion photo shoot, play around with shooting at 1600 when it makes sense. You’ll be surprised by the result.

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5. Don’t Use Manual Mode

For photography enthusiasts, leaving manual mode is a big no-no. However, pros like Curtis Wallis Wedding Photographer know what they’re doing.

Rather than fiddling with controls, pros want to focus on capturing the best moments. When trying to catch a tiger leaping into the air, do you really want to be fiddling with the aperture?

You’ll miss the moment.

There are three highly important parameters when controlling an image: aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

At any moment in a shoot, a photographer should only be controlling one of these. Let the camera take care of the rest with its pre-defined settings.

When you let the camera do some of the work, you can keep on eye on the action and find the best photos.

Let the camera do the mundane work for you, while you scope out the memorable shots that’ll get you hired again and again.

Enjoy These Photography Hacks

Remember that there’s a big difference between a photography enthusiast and a professional photographer.

The next time you head out on a job, remember these hacks and start using them like a pro.

You’ll save time and end up with better results.

Follow us on Facebook for more great photography tips and tricks. We’ll see you there!

DIY: How to Make a Gallery Wall + 9 Design Ideas From Shutterfly

Designing and creating a gallery wall with your own photos: It’s really easy to create a beautiful gallery wall in your house to showcase your favorite photos.

No need to hire an interior designer; just design and print your enlargements or canvas prints from a top site like Shutterfly or Snapfish. In fact, you can do it from your phone or iPad. Just check out the video and photos below for inspiration, and use a coupon for 50% off + free shipping at Shutterfly!new  You can also find an incredible 85% off coupon for Easy Canvas Prints here!

How to Make a Gallery Wall of Your Photos (Shutterfly Video)


Here are some of my favorite photo gallery walls from the video:

Sample Framed Photo Gallery Wall (different size frames)

gallery wall sample idea

mismatched sized photos together on gallery wall

DIY Gallery Wall: Frames of Different Sizes (black and white photos)

gallery wall sample idea

gallery wall – various sized framed pictures

Gallery Wall: 6 Framed Pictures Same Size:

gallery wall sample idea

DIY gallery wall framed photos

DIY Gallery Wall: Shutterfly Canvas Prints

gallery wall sample idea

Shutterfly Unframed (wrapped) canvas gallery wall: DIY

gallery wall sample idea

unframed canvas gallery wall idea

DIY gallery wall idea (framed, different sizes)

gallery wall sample idea

DIY gallery wall framed prints various sizes

Shutterfly prints framed to make a gallery wall at home (various size frames)

gallery wall sample idea

Shutterfly photo prints framed to make a gallery wall sample idea

As you can see, making a gallery out of your photos is a snap!

*Be sure to use one of our coupon codes for Shutterfly, get free delivery from Snapfish, or 50% off 4×6 – 8×10 prints at Walgreens Photo this week!

*Need to know shipping times? Snapfish shipping timesShutterfly shipping times and prices / Vistaprint shipping times