Graphic for blog post - How to Learn Photography copy

How to Learn Photography

This is a different kind of article on how to go about learning photography. It is about where to begin. It presents a strategy for learning photography that may seem counter-intuitive. There are what seems a million tutorials on different types of photography including what to learn, choosing gear, and opinions on best techniques, but I can’t say I as often see posts on how to proceed. It’s the kind of subject that can leave you feeling overwhelmed easily – especially in the beginning when everything is new and when the more you learn the more you realize you know nothing. Although this is also true for other subjects, it seems especially true for photography, since the latter encompasses not only what happens behind and in front of the camera before you press a button, but what happens after – what you do with the image you just created. Heck, Photoshop alone can be overwhelming...

Natural Light Portraits, Janice D Nelson Photography

When Not All Portrait Photography Is Alike

No, this isn’t a blog post about one photographer being better than another or why you need to look for a photographer with specific training or portfolio. It is about understanding different types of portrait photography, so that you can best choose a photographer. Since this is not a subject many ...

Chicago Skyline from Navy Pier, Janice D Nelson Photography

Finding the Best Portrait Photographer in Your Zipcode

Recently I searched on-line for the “best” portrait photographers by zip code, at least according to the Internet, in order to find who my nearest competition was, who was rating “best” photographers on-line and what criteria was used, and what I might to do to increase marketshare. I searched for a list of best photographers by zip code and clicked links leading to a couple well known review sites. I did this in several areas, and I looked at recommendations from two photography sites that train and promote photographers. Since portrait specialties can vary, I thought I might be able to identify gaps in my imagery or offerings. Did I display enough of a contemporary look in my portfolio? Did I need to show more ¾ length portraits? Did I need more headshots vs. portraits? Did I need more images with different color backgrounds? Did I need to add environmental portraits, and so on. My initial assumption was that searching for a list of “best” by zip code would lead to a display of excellent images. Unfortunately, for the most part - with the exception of the specialty sites that train photographers - it did not. While I did learn a few things about ...

JaniceDNelson-Commercial Modeling Portraits Advertising Photography

The Value of Great Photography

I see it a lot from many sources, most typically social media posts that query connections: “Does anyone know anyone good with a camera who isn’t too expensive?” I see these queries for Wedding Photographers, Portrait Photographers, Event Photographers, Real Estate Photographers, ... heck, practically all types of photography. I see these requests in on-line ads from people querying absolute strangers. These posts and ads typically look for a trained worker - one who isn’t going to cost a lot of money - someone safe to work with, and one who will respond to an important event in a reliable and professional manner with skills, equipment, and experience sufficient to produce beautiful, insightful, and long-lasting memories. Each time I see these queries, I can’t help but wonder...

The Bean, Cloudgate, Millennium Park, Chicago Illinois

The Bean

I visited Chicago’s happy place yesterday, Cloud Gate in Millennium Park and captured this image. Many cities likely have such places – those where everyone who congregates wears a smile. Yet some places seem to only produce half a smile for visitors. Sometimes people arrive in good spirits. Others start out the day grouchy, when the chosen … Continue reading The Bean

Chicago Botanic Gardens

Chicago Botanic Gardens; Glenview IL

I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens recently for the first time. I had heard descriptive superlatives for years from those who regularly make the trip. Still I was surprised. The grounds contain unabashed, unbridled beauty – filled with unique flowers and horticultural greenery. I should have brought my macro lens, but opted for the versatile 24-105mm and left the tripod in the car...

Limited Edition, Black and White Fine Art Print: "Before She Sleeps," Chicago, Illinois, Millennium Park

Before She Sleeps

August is a beautiful time of year. It’s still Summer and sunsets can, at times, display glorious colors throughout the house. Some days a beam streaks from the West and highlights the entire floor, from the back to the front. I love this time of year because of the silent array of sunset colors it brings. It’s palpable. The...