NYIP offers three distance education multi-media courses for photographers looking to improve their skills while working from home at their own pace.

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Katie Osgood Loves Engagement Shoots

When my friend Lara Kahn recently married her fiance Craig Heller, she gushed to me about her wedding photographer Katie Osgood. She and Katie planned an engagement shoot on the day that New York state allowed same-sex couples to marry. They headed to their favorite marguerita joint, where Lara's engagement ring "appeared" in one of their signature slushy beverages. Then they took to the streets with their rainbow balloons, picked up a friendly pink flamingo along the way, schmoozed with cops on the street beat, locked lips in front of cheering crowds, and wound up in a secluded rooftop for more photos and a romantic evening. Engagement photo shoots are becoming more popular with couples. The best shoots collectively tell a story and document an adventure like the one Lara and Craig experienced on a day that was filled with historic wedding enthusiasm. 


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Photographs Are Not Created with Mouse Clicks

Despite all of the amazing advancements we've recently seen in photography, I usually find myself more impressed and inspired by images created by photographers of the past. W. Eugene Smith, Ernst Haas, and Walker Evans to name a few.  They weren't paid by the mouse click, but rather for capturing a real moment in time.  They didn't use HDR or prepackaged "actions" to create a certain look. There was no anti-shake built into the camera body, and flash sync speeds were around 1/60. Yet, to these photographers and the countless others who went before, the limitations of their gear only worked to sharpen their senses. They weren't bogged down or distracted by all this technology and as a result, connected with their subject in a way that's visible in their work.

As we move into an increasingly digital world, I am seeing an increase in blogs and websites with comprehensive lists detailing every last piece of equipment in their bag.  While it's nice to see that Canon and Nikon's marketing efforts are working, the resulting portfolios are rarely as impressive.  The photos may be technically sound but the photographer's personal touch is overshadowed by the technology used to create it. Somewhere behind all the layers of post production, there are images which wouldn't really stand up on their own.

Today with every tool at our disposal, I believe there is a real danger in simply relying on technology instead of mastering our craft.  Take Neil Leifer's photo of Muhammed Ali for example.  It was captured in 1965 and I've yet to see a more powerful boxing image even with today's fastest motor drives.  His timing was impeccable and the exposure did not need to be rescued in Photoshop. Technology should not replace photographic knowledge.

Be honest, if you were to cover up your camera's LCD screen with tape, could you still use manual exposure properly?  If not, then your photographic muscles need flexing. I say this not to discourage, but rather to fire you up for the journey.  As Leonardo Da Vinci said "Those who are in love with practice without knowledge are like the sailor who gets into a ship without rudder or compass and who never can be certain whether he is going."  Now the question is, where do you go from here?



Photo Marketing 101: Ask the Experts

Welcome back to Photo Marketing 101, our semi-weekly blog series on marketing yourself as a photographer. In our last post, I laid out a couple of ideas of marketing ideas for when you’re ready to start spending money.

This week is a little different. Instead of telling you what to do, I want you to tell me what to do. More specifically, I want you to feel free to ask me anything about marketing. And I will do my best to provide a clear answer.

We call this our Photo Marketing Q & A. It’s time for you – the readers – to steer the conversation.

To get started, just ask a question by using the comments below. Or you can Tweet your question to us, but make sure you use the hashtag #PhotoMarketing101.

Who’s first?


Challenges of Photographing Young Children

Photo: Studio M / Michael Spengler Photography

I almost titled this post "It's Not Easy to Shoot Little Kids," but I didn't want to offend anyone's delicate sensibilities. "Shoot" as in "photography," of course - and it certainly isn't every photographer's cup of tea to evoke the best work from bored, irritable, nervous, and infinitely unpredictable youngsters. To successfully photograph a group of children, as in this video of a catalog shoot showing the professional work of California photographer Michael Spengler, you have to be as entertaining as Sesame Street, as nurturing as Super Mom, and as patient as Mother Theresa. It's a master class as we watch Michael on location, playing Pied Piper to evoke the most playful spirit in his young models. 



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Your Fireworks Photos

Just before the 4th of July, we asked our NYIP Facebook Fans to help us amass the greatest collection of fireworks photos ever. They came through in a big way, sharing the photos that they took on and around the fourth with us all month.

We chose the best of the best and included them in a slideshow below. We hope you enjoy!

And you can visit for tips and tricks on how to capture amazing photographs of Fireworks.