If you would like to submit photography or photo restoration tips to this blog, please email me at KevinRetouch@gmail.com.

We will gladly provide a link to your website or blog along with your contribution.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Portrait Photography Tips continued . . .

Simple garments with clean lines photograph best.

Turtle necks and V necks are flattering provided that neither is too exaggerated in style. Avoid wide or particularly deep V neck garments as well as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
Long sleeves are best for teens and adults, as bare limbs tend to call attention to themselves and overpower the face.
Women photographed in full length should usually wear longer skirts, pants, or dark stockings to keep the viewer's eye from being directed toward the lower extremities and away from the face.
If feet are to show in the portrait, make certain shoes and stockings are in keeping with the visual intent of the portrait. Don't be afraid to kick off those shoes and go bare footed.
Men should ususally wait at least a week after a haircut before being photographed. Women should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair in relation to the time it is styled.
About Posing
Photography is actually painting and creating with light, and the position and quality of that light is the difference between an uninteresting shot and great, memorable shot.

Additionally, the proper use of the basics, equipment, props, environment, and composition either adds or takes away from a photograph.

One of the first goals of any photographer should be to get the subjects as relaxed as possible, both before and during shooting session or snapshot, especially children. Even though your subjects are posed, the pose should never look obvious in the final portrait.

Expressions must be spontaneous even though they are in response to a grand design. A trained actor can certainly simulate genuine expressions of emotion, but the untrained subject cannot, therefore you must make it happen, and be ready to catch those fleeting rmoments. A good photographer knows how to create a situation and atmosphere that will evoke natural expressions.

Perhaps the most common and successful method is to craft what playwrights call business. When actors are on stage but have little or no dialogue, they must do something. If they were to stand like a statue, they would ruin the illusion of reality on which the play depends. So the scriptwriter creates some small actions or business to keep the actors occupied. This same illusion of reality in a still photograph can be maintained in the same way. By giving your subject something to do, it gives the photograph meaning, a reason for being, and it tells a story.

On the stage, business is created with the aid of stage props. In photography, the same concept holds true. Give your subject something to work with, and you will likely create a memorable photograph or portrait. A prop may be anything from a stuffed animal for a child or single sunflower for a young lady, providing it is in keeping with the character of your subject. An athlete senior would certainly look more natural holding a football than a bouquet of roses. Even when photographing extreme close-ups, it is good practice to provide the subject with something to engross their attention. Whether the prop shows or not, it serves the purpose of creating a natural and easy expressions.

Additional Posing Tips

Setup your camera and lighting before you introduce your subjects. 
Focus on your subjects eyes as they are the reflection of true emotion, not to mention windows to the soul.

Take command of every situation. Your subjects will surely be looking to you for instruction.

Look for natural and easy expressions.

If you position your subjects at a 45 degree angle, they'll thank you for it later, as this angle is the most flattering and slimming. Weight on the front foot will create a more slimming appearance as well.

Senior Portraits

What do you wear?

Well, variety is certainly the key. When choosing your clothing, be aware that the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in the outfits. Most seniors select some casual clothing for a more laid back look, as well as some dressy outfits for the more formal look. Usually sleeveless or very short sleeves are not recommended, however it doesn't hurt to toss in a few fun shots of seniors in tank tops or t shirt.


For a classic look that is sure to satisfy your parents, bring a well fitting suit or sport coat and tie. Medium to dark sweaters also photograph well. For casual and outdoor photos, comfort is the main rule, so consider jeans, long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, sweaters, and perhaps some shorts and sweatshirts.


Select the colors and outfits you feel and look best in. Dresses or formal, sweaters and lace for a more traditional look. Casual clothes include bright colors, skirts, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirts, cut off jeans, shorts. All White is good for the high key effect. Blonde or light hair looks great with white clothing and white backgrounds.


More often than not shoes will not show, but make sure that you have a couple of pair to go with some outfits just in case. Many prefer barefoot poses.


Try to have your haircut or perm at least one week before the session to let it fill in a little. Don't try a radically different haircut style and don't cut your hair until after you have seen your previews.

Additional Senior Tips

Props are great, so consider using your favorite hat, musical instrument, pet, sunglasses, letter jacket, car, uniform, sports activity like ski out fits and ski's, or ANYTHING else you feel will enhance the portrait and reveal your character.

Express yourself. The point of a senior photo is to capture your youth and personality, so think fun, and grand. Take a boyfriend or girlfriend to join you in some pictures! Have a horse? Use it.

Do not let skin blemishes dampen your spirits. Photos are easier now than ever to retouch.

General Tips and Suggestions

Basic Positioning Tips
Position torso and head facing different directions.
Masculine pose, try tilting the top of the head toward far shoulder.
Feminine pose, tilt the top of head toward near shoulder.

Please Note, Women can easily pull off either of these two poses.

Shooting Groups of People

As a rule, the image should express a tone that all in the group are unified,
either touching each other physically, or visually overlapping.

Clothing Choices

Everyone should have the same toned clothing, either warm or cold.

Brightly clothed individuals should be placed in the middle.

Posing Tips

Make men a little taller than women.

Stagger head heights.

Pose groups one person at a time, in relation to each other.

Pose men to the right of the frame, women to the left.

Open Poses are defined as images with physical or visual space between

Closed Poses are defined as images where individuals overlap each other,
with no visual space between them. Note, Mixing Open and Closed Poses
works well for large groups.

Posing Couples

Front to Front Pose, fronts of both people facing, or touching the other.

Fronts facing forward, fronts of both people facing forward, possibly at an
angle, one front to the other's back.

Avoid space between heads to create intimacy.

Use lots of negative space around couples in the frame.

Suggestions for Lighting

Match the mood of image to lighting.

High key often relates a happy emotion

Low key often relates a dramatic emotion 

Kevin Winkler

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Photography Tips for Beginners

As a new photographer, these are some of the ideas that have helped get me going.

1. Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away.

It’s possible to get very nice photos with an inexpensive point and shoot. See these examples on Flickr. The more photos you take, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to upgrade.

2. Consider a tripod.

On the other hand, an inexpensive tripod is worth getting, especially if you have shaky hands like mine. When I got a tripod, my satisfaction with my shots skyrocketed. For even more stability, use your camera’s timer function with a tripod (read our introduction to tripods).

3. Keep your camera with you all the time.

Photo ops often come when you least expect it. If you can keep your equipment relatively simple – just a small camera bag and a tripod – you might be able to take advantage of some of those unexpected opportunities. Or, if your phone has a camera, use it to take “notes” on scenes you’d like to return to with your regular camera.

4. Make a list of shots you’d like to get.

For those times you can’t carry your camera around, keep a small notebook to jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph. Make sure to note any important details, like the lighting, so you can come back at the same time of day or when the weather’s right. If you don’t want to carry a notebook, send yourself an email using your cell phone with Jott.com.

5. Don’t overlook mundane subjects for photography.

You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard, but try looking at familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find some unexpected wildflowers in your yard. Often a simple subject makes the best shot.

6. Enjoy the learning process.

The best part of having a hobby like photography is never running out of things to learn. Inspiration is all around you. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.

7. Take advantage of free resources to learn.

Browse through Flickr or websites like the Digital Photography School Forum for inspiration and tips. Also, your local library probably has a wealth of books on all types of photography. If you’re interested in learning about post-processing, give free software like the GIMP a try.

8. Experiment with your camera’s settings.

Your point and shoot may be more flexible and powerful than you know. Read the manual for help deciphering all those little symbols. As you explore, try shooting your subjects with multiple settings to learn what effects you like. When you’re looking at your photos on a computer, you can check the EXIF data (usually in the file’s properties) to recall the settings you used.

9. Learn the basic rules.

The amount of information about photography online can be overwhelming. Start with a few articles on composition. Be open to what more experienced photographers have to say about technique. You have to know the rules before you can break them.

10. Take photos regularly.

Try to photograph something every day. If you can’t do that, make sure you take time to practice regularly, so you don’t forget what you’ve learned. An excellent way to motivate yourself is by doing the weekly assignments in the DPS Forum.

11. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

If you’re using a digital camera, the cost of errors is free. Go crazy – you might end up with something you like. You’ll certainly learn a lot in the process.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to find a photographer


First we'll start with wedding photography.

There are many important factors that must be considered when selecting a photographer for your wedding.

Be sure to . . .

1) Compare and interview photographers.

One of the most important factors when making your decision should be whether the photographer is a member of PPA ( Professional Photographers of America) or some other professional organization. Most organizations require their members to operate thier businesses according to a certain set of standards, and if a prospective photographer is not a member of one of those organizations, chances are there's a reason. Don't be afraid to ask.

2) It's important that a prospective photographer is able to show you more than one COMPLETE wedding and not just a few of the best photographs taken from a variety of weddings.

The above fact is VERY important and may be hard to come by, but you should NOT settle for anything less! Just about anyone can snap hundreds if not thousands of pictures during a day long event like a wedding and be fairly certain that a small percentage of those photographs will be good. But that's not good enough. Ask your prospective photographer to see ALL of the photos from more than one wedding, not just a selection of his best work, which is what some photographers will attempt to provide. If you look at ALL of the images from 4 or 5 different weddings and you are impressed by what you see, then you can be certain that he or she is a professional wedding photographer and not just a part timer that got lucky on a few shots here and there. This is the true test of an exceptional professional photographer! You’ll be spending a lot of money on your wedding photography, so make sure you KNOW what you’re buying!

3) Make sure you feel comfortable with your photographer. 

It's not enough to just like your photographer or his or her work, it's important that you really click with him or her and feel good about the person you have chosen to capture your most intimate moments, afterall you and your guests will be dealing with him throughout your entire wedding day and for months beyond! In addition, if the photographer makes you feel uncomfortable, you will be less likely to feel comfortable posing for photographs, which defeats the purpose of hiring a photographer in the first place.

4) If possible, try to avoid photography studios that contract their work out to other photographers. In other words, make certain that the delightful, talented photographer you spoke to prior to the big day will be the photographer who is actually photographing your big day.

At A Glance: Important Questions to Ask.

5) If I hire you to photograph my wedding day, can you guarantee me that you will be the photographer photographing my wedding?

6) If yes, do you have a back up plan in the event you are unable to photograph my wedding?

7) Do you offer retouching?

8) If so, do you charge extra for that service?

9) Do you do all the retouching in house?

10) Is there an additional fee for special finishes such as black and white and sepia?

11) Do you offer special services, such as handcoloring?

12) Do you offer packages?

13) What is included in your packages? 

14) Are you willing to arrive early to photograph us (bride and groom) before the ceremony, if we decide to do that?

15) Do you arrive early to get the getting dressed shots?

16) Do your packages include one or two photographers?

17) Do you charge extra for a second photographer?

18) Do you work with an assistant?

19) Do you have backup equipment, in the event something fails or breaks?

20) Are you a film based studio? Digital? Or both?

21) If you are a digital studio, do you provide online proofing of my wedding day images? 

22) Do you provide a CD of my wedding day images?

23) How do you present and deliver the proofs? (very important for out of town brides)

24) Do you charge an additional fee if the wedding service and reception are in two different locations?

25) Do you charge extra if we want to go to a third location for pictures?  

26) Do you charge a travel fee?

27) Do you offer only traditional albums or do you offer a variety of options to choose from, like Storybook albums and coffee table style books?

28) Do you design the special albums yourself?

29) Do you work with a videographer?

30) How many photos do you take during a typical wedding?

31) Do you sell the negatives?

32) Do you offer parent albums?

33) Do your packages include photographing the rehearsal dinner?

As you can see from the above, it's very important to ask lots of questions when selecting your wedding photographer, as it will help you avoid any unwanted surprises on your special day! 

Kevin Winkler

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Most Important Photography Tip

There are many composition tips recommended by photographers, books, courses, workshops, blogs, etc. Everyone talks about them and they are certainly important and basic to create images that are not boring and that have a WOW factor. We also mention them in our blog and in our Photo-Tip-of-the-Day simply because they are important and secondly because the more you hear about them you will eventually learn how to apply them.

Composition rules are basic guides that tell you how an image will go from dull to exciting. Rules are also meant to be broken, but you have to learn why and when to do so. Some of the composition rules are even difficult to understand, you need a scientific mind to do so and I will not go into those. For me photography is an art so why complicate it even more.

Photographers already have to deal with color, light, contrast, detail, depth-of-field, modes and many other technicalities. At the end of the day you might be able to learn and apply all the tips and techniques but your images might still not be the ones that win photo contests, that get published, that get exhibit or that simply make you sigh.

The most important tip that hardly anyone talks about is ‘Train Your Eye’. The eye of a photographer is his or her most important tool. Train your eyes to see light and you are on your way to creating awesome images. Train your eyes to differentiate 2D from 3D and your pictures will suddenly have volume. Teach them what is contrast and they will identify detail. You will create amazing images as long as your eyes make decisions on what to include in your photograph and what to eliminate, the choice of angles and light.

First tip to training your eyes – look at a scene, close your eyes and open them again. Does the scene cause the same effect as when you first saw it, in other words, did you sigh after re-opening your eyes. If you did maybe you have a great shot in hand. Go for walks and practice framing in your mind different scenes, open and close your eyes. When you are able to look at a scene and continue to be amazed you will have trained your eyes to actually see great shots.

Our eyes see the world in 3-D, photos are a piece of paper in 2-D. What sometimes feels like an excellent shot when printed it turns out to be a photo without interest. Train your eye, go for walks, frame your scene and then close one of your eyes. If the composition looses spark and now looks chaotic, then you do not have a good image, if you still sigh, see detail and perspective then you have a great shot.
Now squint with the open eye, suddenly contrast and detail will seem more obvious and things will pop out. If they do, you still have a great shot if they don’t then you are missing shadows and details. The more you exercise your eyes the more you will train them to see a great image.

Cameras have certain advantages and certain disadvantages compared to your eyes. Use them. Cameras can focus and see details that your naked eye will not see, so train your eyes by closing and squinting. Your camera will frame your subject and block the rest, your eyes won’t, train them to do so. Your camera only sees with one eye and your camera cannot read the balance between highlights and shadows. Train your eyes to see changes and different light angles. Walk again early morning and late afternoon and see how light goes through the leafs of the trees, how it reflects on water and on windows, move around, go up, go down and train your eye to see how light changes as you move around.

Train your eye to frame as your camera does. Take another walk but know with a frame made out of carton and pick your scenes. Soon your eye will be trained as your camera to see what the frame allows you too and block the rest. Practice a lot using this simple and cheap tool. Your frame can be a small 1″ x 1/5″ cut on a 5 x 7 photo paper or as large as a 4″ x 6″ on an 8 x 10 photo paper, as long as you can see your composition and block the rest.

Train your eyes to see color. Walk around pick a color and focus on it. Walk some more and you will see that color popping out. Continue walking and focus on a different color, suddenly you will now see this other color. Practice makes perfect.

Train your eye and capture amazing breathtaking images.

Each ‘Photography Project’ is a new challenge for The Duenitas Digital World, which we meet with great motivation and enthusiasm! We are technically proficient under any conditions and work in an unobtrusive respectful way. The Duenitas Digital World is flexible and reacts well to unplanned happenings; capturing the perfect image as we go.

The Duenitas Digital World is based in Miami, Florida and covers South Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. We specialize in the following Photography Topics: Weddings, Resort, Real Estate, Product, Family & Event and Commercial Photography.