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My camera used to be an overpriced paperweight until I met Dave.

Above: Image by Gina Milicia A few years ago I decided to invest in a fancy coffee machine. You know the ones that grind the coffee for you, give you the option of making short black, long black, decaf, latte, macchiato or whatever type of coffee all the cool kids are drinking. Dave, the salesman at the place where beautiful shiny things get sold, did an amazing job selling and upsizing this gorgeous machine. Then he proceeded to give me a demo: “It’s easy,” he said. “Here’s what you need to do…”  At this point I did what I always do when someone is giving me simple instructions or directions – I tune out, smile politely, nod approval now and then and assure them I understand the “simple” 79 steps needed to make “the best coffee ever!” “Boiler pressure needs to be… and the burr grinder… something about pumps, tamper...

Quote

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – Don McCullin  Above: Image by Gina Milicia

Here are my 5 essentials when giving directions in a portrait shoot

Above: Image by Gina Milicia, A farmer, photographed in Sicily for www.sicilianfoodtours.com 1. Be Authentic Always ensure the words you are speaking are yours. Just because you once heard a photographer say a certain phrase that always worked, doesn’t mean it will work for you, particularly if the style, language and tone isn’t similar to yours. The most important thing to remember is to be sincere and authentic in everything you say. Don’t say, “OMG, you look amazing in that dress” if you don’t believe it. There will be something in your tone or body language that will give the lie away and your model will lose trust in you. Try looking for something that you truly believe. It may be that you love the colour of their eyes, the way they laugh or their shoes. 2. Lower your voice, speak clearly and confidently Okay, this is harder than it sounds. I...

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it that makes a big difference in your portrait shots

Above: Image by Gina Milicia The energy you bring to a shoot is going to have a huge impact on the person you are photographing so it’s really important that you check your mood, body language and tone during a portrait shoot. It’s not what you say that matters. It’s how you say it and here’s why. Have you ever been served in a cafe by a waiter who would rather be at home watching Game of Thrones? Or a shop assistant who has memorised the shop assistants’ generic greetings but just forgot to care about what she was saying along the way? The waiter is polite, gets the coffee order correct and even smiles at the appropriate times. As far as serving coffee 101 goes, this guy has totally nailed it. The problem here, and it’s nothing he said or did, is that the energy or care factor isn’t there....

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Love this quote about the difference between confidence and arrogance. “Arrogance is all about trying to prove yourself. Confidence is about improving yourself.” – Sean Stephenson Above: Image by Gina Milicia

How to add texture and shine to hair using the selective adjustment brush in Lightroom

Here’s a really quick and easy way to improve the appearance and texture of hair in a portrait using the selective adjustment brush.

Keep this accessory in your back pocket every time you head out on a shoot

Above: Image by Gina Milicia “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford There is one accessory I believe every photographer must possess to guarantee they nail the shot. You won’t find this on Amazon, B&H or most camera stores, and second hand versions are useless. This accessory must be acquired new and like great hiking boots, you need to break it in. A word of caution – with all good things – too much can be dangerous. It’s a delicate balancing act but when you get it right, this accessory will make you unstoppable. So what is this amazing accessory? Is it a lens, camera, light modifier, tripod? Nope, none of the above. The accessory that I speak of is confidence. When you have confidence in your abilities to get the job done, life as a photographer becomes so much easier, and it shows....

Love this quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce

“To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce

Understanding JPEG compression

Have you ever noticed banding or streaks in your images, especially in areas where there are plain backgrounds like blue skies or plain coloured walls? This banding is caused by too much jpeg compression and can easily be avoided. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how the amount of jpeg compression you choose to export your images will influence how your images appear in print, and on the interwebs.

Have you ever felt intimidated to share your work?

Above: Image by Gina Milicia, Cartagena, Colombia shot on iPhone 6 and processed in Lightroom Have you ever felt intimidated to share your work because you thought everyone else in your photography group, online community or class was better than you?  Are you frustrated by the fact that you are not grasping photography concepts or your work isn’t developing as fast as everyone else seems to be? “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When I was seven, my dad bought me a bike. It was the most beautiful bike I’d ever seen. It was powder blue with a white seat and white grips on the handlebars. I rode that bike everywhere. On the weekends I’d clean and polish the chrome and grease the chain. Riding that bike was my happy place, then one day one of my best friends got a bike for his birthday. His bike was a beautiful red...
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About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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