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these are always fun to do (: 

* got most of this off of wikihow (: *

O1 ; Lighting is very important. It literally makes the picture. For good lighting, raise the blinds on a window and pull the curtain back [if you have one], that should give you enough lighting.

O2 ; Use a Plain one colored wall for a background. It does'nt matter what color, as long as it's plain and simple. If your going to do a outside Photo shoot, make sure there's enough lighting. Its best to take pictures on a sunny day, making sure to keep the sun behind you. Set the Camera for the amount of light and begin to take pictures. Outside is also good because it can supply the lighting, props and wind for your shoot .

O3 ; Set up a proper pose. If you're sitting down, be sure to put all your weight on one thigh [the one that's on the side of the picture], then sit up straight/tall and smile. If you're standing, stand up straight and tall, put your chin down. Extend your chin ever so slightly to avoid a double-chin. Models smile with their eyes, make a little smile and just let it show naturally.

O4 ; Props of course are optional. If you are doing a 'beach themed photo shoot, use a surf board, beach ball or something that has to do with the beach. Most of the time you do not need props for outdoor photo-shoots. Its all up to you. Experiment and find out what works best for you and your model.

O5 ; Edit your photos with picture editing software for professional appearance. Download a picture editing software. 'GIMP is really easy and its free to download and use for personal use. If you are doing a outdoor photo shoot, fix the brightness, then slightly blur the background. For regular photo against a plain background fix the lighting, or fix any blemishes if you need to!

O6 ; Gathering materials : It's always better, but not vital, to have a camera that has manual mode so you can manipulate the shutter speed, aperture etc. to achieve the desired result. However, keep in mind that it is the photographer and not the camera that takes the pictures, and a good result can also be achieved with a normal point-and-shoot. Also, a tripod can prove useful when shooting with slower shutter speeds.

O7 ; Plan : Try and visualize what kind of photo you want. Blindly taking pictures of a model at home will rarely produce good results. Try and think of a theme, and use your creativity to find the appropriate clothes and make up to fit that theme.

O8 ; Put together some sort of background, now that you have a general idea of how you want the photo to be. The model is probably going to be the main focus, so don't overdo it. If you just want a plain background, it's not always a good idea to just find a plain wall, as they are usually too reflective and don't provide a flattering picture. A cheap and easy way to get a nice, soft background is to buy a few meters of white fleece from a fabric store and hanging it up a on a wall, and then have the model pose about a meter away from it. If your camera has the ability, make sure to choose a large aperture so you can't tell that it is fleece in the actual # Direct the model and tell him or her what you want them to do, and make them feel comfortable. There is nothing worse than an awkward, stiff model, so be patient and try not to expect them to do all the work.

O9 ; Try different settings on your camera, different angles, different everything, and once you think you've taken enough pictures, take some more. It is vital to take as many pictures as you can, because it's much more likely you can get a great shot.

1O ; Get your photos post-processed. In this day and age, almost all professional photos are post-processed. If you're serious about photography, get a program like Adobe Photoshop and learn a bit about basic image editing. Trying to get rid of imperfections is not the priority here, just try and get the right color balance, levels, etc. There are great tutorials all over the web that can help you with this step..

LiTTLE TiPS (: 

*For more artistic shots, try unique surroundings (like an antique couch), different angles (get on the floor and shoot upwards or take a picture from above), different looks (put the model in unconventional clothing), or different shooting techniques.

*Picnik.com is a great website for editing your picture and making them more creative.

*The worst thing you can do is over-think everything. Let your own unhindered creativity guide the process.

*Lighting can really make-or-break a photo. Try not to use too harsh flash or too low light. Try (temporarily) draping a white cloth over a lamp pointed at the subject if you need extra lighting, or turn your flash upwards instead of pointing straight onwards.

*If you get a model, whether it be a paid model or, more realistically, a friend, try not to fiddle too much with the equipment when he or she gets there. Have everything set up and ready to go; it's just more professional.

hope this helps! ♥ xoxo, justinee @justine-renae
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