How to Build a Glamour Photography Portfolio

Joe Farace Photography

Guest Post by Joe Farace

Joe Farace Photography

There’s in one inescapable reality of glamour photography: You need a portfolio to attract models but you also you need models to build that portfolio.  Just as you will determine a potential model’s talent by reviewing her portfolio, she will want to evaluate your talent by reviewing yours. Once you begin shooting glamour photographs, you should also start assembling a portfolio containing your best images.

A portfolio is important because it will show potential clients or models your photographic style and level of technical competence. It also demonstrates the type of photographs you enjoy making and gives people a chance to assess your ability to communicate through those images. If a model is interested in working with you and is shown a dozen beautiful images that are neatly and professionally presented, she is going to be excited about posing for you.

The most important factor to keep in mind when preparing your portfolio is that quality is more important than quantity. You don’t need to show stacks of tear sheets or dozens of fantastic images. Most beginning glamour photographers won’t be able to do that anyway and showing a dozen well-composed and nicely lit photographs is better than displaying fifty images of lesser quality. Later, when you are more experienced and successful, you may be choose to use a combination of tear sheets and prints in your portfolio.

Visit Joe’s Blog “Saving the world, One Pixel at a Time” ( for daily tips on digital photography.

Top 5 Poker Photo Tips

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Guest Post By Arthur Crowson

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Taking photos of people playing cards — while they try to remain absolutely emotionless in a controlled environment — sounds like a relatively easy photography gig. At PokerListings we’ve been photographing poker tournaments around the world for nearly 10 years now and we’ve taken hundreds of thousands of photos.  Some of our photos are great. Some are good. Many are bad. Very, very bad.

But we have picked up a few tricks along the way and thought we could offer some tips for anyone just getting into poker photography (or any type of low-light, indoor portrait photography).  Here are five of our top tips for producing quality photos from poker tournaments:

1. Lighting is Everything

Low-light performance is probably the single most important factor for poker photographers. Why? Most poker rooms just aren’t very well lit. You also can’t use a flash during a poker tournament so you can’t rely on fill-flash or strobes (although you can use them for winner shots after the tournament is finished). That means you’re going to have to crank the ISO up on your camera and use a lens with an aperture of f/2.8 or less.


2. How to Set Your Camera for Poker Photos

  • ISO: There’s a good chance you’ll have to crank this for good shots in most poker rooms. Most modern SLRs can do over 1,000 ISO with no problems.
  • Aperture:  You want to set your aperture as wide as possible for two reasons. First, you want to let the most light in. Second, you want to get a nice background blur going to make it more dynamic. We’re talking f/2.8 or lower. The only exception here would be group shots or pictures of the entire room.
  • Shutter Speed: Unless you’re trying to capture cards in the air, you don’t have to worry about this one too much. Most players are quite still and you’ll be more concerned with maximum light.


3. How to Take Photos in a Poker Room

Let’s just assume you have media credentials because if you don’t you’re not getting past the rail and it’ll be hard to get close enough to the action to shoot it. Poker rooms are vastly different around the world. Some are well lit and offer interesting backgrounds. Others have horrible lighting and look like basements (mostly because they are basements). If the tournament has a “TV” table (a feature table being recorded to be shown later), by all means take advantage of it. You’re all but guaranteed some good shots thanks to professional-grade lighting and dramatic backgrounds.


4. Equipment

A decent camera is important for poker photography but you won’t have to go quite as high-end as you’d think. Instead of a really expensive body a better investment is probably a fast prime lens like the Canon 50mm f/1.8, also known as the “nifty fifty.” A lot of kit lenses won’t work well unless you’re taking shots of the entire room. You’re probably going to need an aperture value of f/2.8 or lower. A cheap body with an expensive lens will probably get you better results than an expensive body with a cheap lens.

5. Miscellaneous Suggestions

Finally here are some quick, miscellaneous tips for photographing poker:

  1. Never use a flash during the tournament.
  2. Seriously, don’t use a flash.
  3. In general don’t take pictures of people eating or in other unflattering situations.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings.
  5. Knocking over chips is a cardinal sin.
  6. Watch out for waiters.
  7. Try to limit your shutter noise when directly behind a player.
  8. Be warned: It can be challenging photographing players early in a tournament. Pros are simply more interested in their iPads or coffee at that point. Short-handed games such as 6-Max, 4-Max or Heads-Up are much easier to photograph because there’s more space.
  9. When possible shoot in towards the middle of the poker room. It’s tough to take good shots of players sitting right next to the wall.
  10. Lastly, here’s a cheap DSLR set-up that will get you started in poker photography:
  • Camera: Canon T5i (body only) Also known as EOS 700D in Europe
  • Price: $749
  • Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
  • Price: $121
  • Total Cost: $870

Do You Need a Tripod for Macro Photography?

Joe Farace Photography

Guest Post by Joe Farace

Yes but you need it for everything else too!

Joe Farace Photography

In this time of high-tech image stabilized and vibration reduction lenses as well as anti-shake capabilities built into cameras from Sony, Olympus, and Pentax, you might wonder if you even need a tripod? I think so and let me tell you why:

When you want to work at the smallest possible aperture to increase depth-of-field, especially for those macro shots, you’ll need a tripod to hold the camera stead for those resulting long shutter speeds.

For portraits a tripod can be a three-legged assistant that holds your camera while you walk up to talk with a portrait subject and touch up their pose. While making portraits, some photographers prefer to have the camera on a tripod so the subject can look at them instead of seeing a face that’s blocked by a camera.

A tripod is important for maintaining precise registration for “before and after shots,” construction progress photographs, and panoramic images, no matter if they’re virtual reality or conventional. Infrared photography, whether film or digital, often requires filters that are seemingly opaque and have filter factors approaching infinity and produce long shutter speeds that even the best anti-shake or image stabilization technologies can’t handle.

But most importantly, a tripod slows you down and forces you to concentrate on the photograph’s composition, making sure you take the time to look in the image in the viewfinder’s four corners to see any unwanted surprises lurk there.  A tripod enforces a deliberate approach to making photographs rather than spraying images rapid fire, it makes you take the time to think and that is the most important aspect of making any photograph.

Tripods come in many sizes from tiny tabletop models to heavy-duty camera stands for studio use. Because of the availability of so many types, sizes, construction materials, styles, and even colors, there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution and, like eating potato chips, you can’t have just one. That’s why most of us end up with a collection of camera supports with different tripods used for different kind of tasks.

Visit Joe’s Blog “Saving the world, One Pixel at a Time” ( for daily tips on digital photography.