New Release: The Winter Wonderland Workflow Action Collection! 11-11-2019

How to Extend your Image Background for Composites

One of the questions I get asked the most when it comes to photography and composites is: How can I extend my image background? 

Often, you'll pick the perfect photo you want to use for a composite, only to realize your stock image won't fit. 

Of course, if you already know that you want to add a stock image to a photo for a composite, then the easiest thing to do is leave enough room in the image to place your stock. 

But if you didn't plan to accommodate the stock, then you're going to have to work a little magic, and I'm here to help you with that part. 

I'm going to use my "Baby, It's Cold Outside" image as an example. 

To start off, I suggest shooting with your lowest F-stop so you can get all the compression in the background. This will not only make it easier to extend the background, but it'll also help you out if you plan to cut your subject out of the background. 

Before you begin, you can roughly measure how much you need to extend your...

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3 Ways to Capture the Attention of Potential Photography Clients

As a photographer, generating new leads can be quite difficult. Even the most skilled photographers can sometimes have a hard time closing potential clients. This can be discouraging, but there are various marketing tactics that you can use to turn potential photography clients into real customers.

With that said, here are 3 ways to capture the attention of potential photography clients so they can’t resist booking with you.


1. Remarketing using Google and Facebook

Marketing isn't a one-time effort, rather, it's something that needs to be done continuously to truly master and take effect. Google and Facebook are both great platforms that will help you to effectively reach potential clients.

Google is the world's most popular search engine, which is why it is one of the best options when it comes to marketing. This is because people are constantly searching for photo services on Google. Therefore, this naturally presents an ideal platform for you to run ads for your...

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4 Reasons Why Photographers Should Have Personal Projects

compositing photography Oct 09, 2017

Although I have a busy schedule between shooting client sessions, conducting workshops, and mentoring photographers from around the world, I will always have at least 3 personal projects in the works at any given time.

For me, personal projects are one of the most beneficial things an artist and professional can have, not only for themselves but for their business as well.

Here are a few examples of my personal projects in my portfolio:

Why are personal projects so important and beneficial?

1. Purge

As artists, we always have ideas floating around in our heads, and if you are anything like me, it will drive you nuts until you see it come to fruition. Whether your final product exactly matches your vision or not, it feels amazing to get it all out and be proactive with your visions.

2. Freedom

Personal projects allow you freedom….freedom to fail, freedom to succeed, freedom to learn something new and freedom to experiment. The last thing we want as professionals, is to...

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Tara Lesher New Release: Introducing the Film Actions Pack!

photography photoshop Oct 02, 2017

This month I'm excited to be releasing my Film Actions pack: an action pack designed to make your photos appear sharper and more vibrant to create a high-fashion look.

I've been working hard preparing these actions for you, and today I wanted to highlight some of the features and looks you can achieve with them. 

First, I'd like to share what comes with the actions. The Film Action pack includes: 

  • 5 Film Actions for Global Edit 
  • 2 Film Grains 
  • 5 Light Leak Actions
  • Sharpening and Resize Action 

The Film Actions pack will allow you to create several different looks depending on the action you select:

-Film Action 1 - This action will give your image a bright and airy film look. It achieves this look by desaturating greens and yellow.   

-Film Action 2 - Use Film Action 2 to get a darker and more contrasted look. 

-Film Action 3 - If you want to warm up your image and add more contrast, you can use Film Action 3. 

-Film Action 4 - Give...

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Angels, Mermaids, & Ballerinas: What do these 3 things have in common?

This past weekend, on August 5th and 6th, I held my very first compositing workshop. I can't even explain the feeling of excitement and nervousness I felt leading up to the big day. I could hardly sleep! 

Thankfully, my background as a teacher helped prepare me to conduct the in-person workshop, and I'm happy to report: it was phenomenal! I'd like to share a few of the highlights with you here so those of you that couldn't make it can get a behind the scenes glimpse of what it was like to attend. 

We kicked off the Workshop with a meet and greet dinner in charming downtown Manassas. This gave everyone a great opportunity to network and get to know each other before the busy workshop began. Afterward we took a nice stroll and snapped or first group photo. 

As a side note: If you want to be part of the next workshop's group photo, sign up for the November Workshop here

 

Compositing Workshop Day 1: Photography & Photoshop Concepts and 2 Model Shoots

I...

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6 specific ways photographers can target clients using Facebook ads

facebook ads photography Jul 19, 2017

Facebook now has more than 1.5 Billion active users per month. With so many people voluntarily adding their likes, interests, and personal information to their Facebook profile, businesses and marketers are left with a sea of opportunity to target their ideal clients and customers with Facebook ads, based on user-provided data.

Whether you think this is creepy or cool– it’s happening. And if you own your own business, it would be foolish NOT use this information to your benefit. Photographers running their own business are no exception.

As you can imagine, you can use Facebook ads to target users based on their location, gender, age, and interests, which is in itself quite useful– but Facebook ad targeting goes so much further than that.

The following are 6 specific ways photographers can target clients for their business using Facebook ads.

1. Find people with an upcoming anniversary

Since many Facebook users have a tendency to add important dates, like their...

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6 Things You Need To Know About SEO for your Photography Website

business photography Jul 05, 2017

"The best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google search."

—Anonymous

In today's world, consumers have more choices than ever before. Shopping is no longer about the business that is down the street and around the corner. The store your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother went to is no longer relevant for that fact alone. Nowadays it's all about Google ranking. If Google thinks a business is good enough to be featured as a top result, then they are good enough to trust with your money.

Getting a top-ranking position on Google has become a major challenge for new and small businesses to overcome. And it can be especially true for the image section of Google search. Photographers in particular face an uphill battle when it comes to moving their business website to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). SERPs display a list of both organic and paid search results.  

The following are a few SEO tips that will help your photography...

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The Top 3 Reasons Why Your Images Aren’t Sharp Enough and How to Fix Them

One of the most frustrating moments in a photographer's career is when you think you got a perfect shot, only to see that the image you captured is blurry. Moment ruined! 

There are a few reasons why your images are coming out shaky and out of focus. I'm going to cover the top 3 causes of fuzzy images and what you can do to fix them. 

Camera Blur

Cause

If you find that your images contain a camera blur, you can most likely blame it on an improper grip on your camera that’s keeping you from holding it steady. Also, tapping the shutter rather than pressing it down firmly will cause a vibration that results in blurriness.

Fix

A monopod or tripod will greatly benefit photographers with naturally shaky hands, especially when working under low light conditions. If you prefer the freedom of shooting without one of these helpers, practice your camera grip. I personally find that inhaling when focusing and exhaling while pressing the shutter greatly improves any camera blur...

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Launching your Photography Website

Are you a photographer who is having trouble getting new clients?

 If so, do you have your own website?

 Now, that doesn’t mean a Facebook page. A Facebook page is great for getting yourself out there and engaging on social media, but it doesn’t reach your entire potential online audience.

Why? You may ask.

Because potential clients and followers want to be able to visit a professional website to learn more about your brand.

You see, many people in your Facebook audience aren’t ready to book your photography services yet. They may ‘like’ your photos and posts, but will still want to know more about you before they are ready to pay to hire you.

If you think having your contact information on your Facebook page is enough to convince clients to book with you, you’re leaving behind a large portion of your audience. This is where a professional website comes in.

Your website should be an extension of your social media accounts, and vice...

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How to: 3 Methods to Dodge and Burn

photography photoshop Jun 12, 2017

How to 3 methods to Dodge and Burn from Tara Lesher on Vimeo.

One of my favorite processes in editing is dodge and burn. I get asked so often, “How did you get that illustrated look?” “How did you make your subject pop like that?” and “How did you make that image look like a painting?”

The answer is always...layers and layers of dodge and burn.

Dodge and burn are used to lighten and darken specific areas of an image and are based in the darkroom technique to regulate exposure on those specific areas. It is often used to both emphasize and de-emphasize features of the artist’s images.

Dodging is intended to lighten specific areas, while the intent of burning is to darken specific areas. 

 

There are so many ways to dodge and burn your image within photoshop. These days, I use the dodge and burn layer that I have built into my Ultimate Compositing Workflow action, but a few of my other favorite techniques are:

1. The dodge and burn...

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