Photo Shoot Tips

This category includes shortcuts, money, and energy-saving photo shoot tips that will provide value to many different genres of photography.

You can’t learn these little intangibles in books or videos. These tips were learned the hard way – through experience. No matter your experience level, these tips promise to enlighten and inspire.

If you enjoy these breakdowns, follow me on Instagram at My posts are carousels with complete image breakdowns, including BTS images, lighting diagrams, and more.

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  • Calm in the middle of Chaos Cover

    Fashion Portraits with Movement

    There are so many visual tools that photographers have available to influence the viewer’s experience with a photograph. Things like using diagonal lines to guide the viewer’s eye to the point in the photograph that is most important. The idea of using foreground objects to frame and highlight your subject.…

  • Shoot Prep on TOGCHAT

    SHOOT PREP — How to Make Your NEXT Shoot Your BEST Shoot

    Episode #246 of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast - Recorded April 9, 2021

  • 3 Simple No Rules guidelines to improve your composition

    Practical Composition

    Episode #237 of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast - Recorded February 3rd, 2021

  • 9 Ideas to Make YOU More Creative and Your Photographs Unique

    9 Ideas To Make You More Creative and Your Photographs Unique

    Episode #227 of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast - Recorded November 25th, 2020

  • How To Improve Your Portrait Lighting With a Circle and Some String

    Episode #221 of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast - Recorded October 14th, 2020

  • Blinking in photographs

    My 5 Best Tips To Stop People From Blinking in Photographs

    Blinking in photographs is a problem that every photographer deals with and while it frustrates many, most photographers come up with little tricks to avoid the blinks, but even those tricks aren’t foolproof and usually don’t account for the real reason the blinks are happening in the first place. You’re…

  • The Stuck at Home Photography Challenge

    The Stuck at Home Photography Challenge

    Given the current world events – photography may be more important to you than ever. Let me take just a moment to offer my prayers and sympathies to those who have been directly affected and to offer my wishes and hopes that all of you will be smart and remain…

  • Cowboy at the Tanque Verde Ranch

    Shooting Cowboys and Cacti in the Arizona Desert

    What goes on inside my head during a shoot? A few people have asked me that question, so I thought I would share my experience while trying out the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III for the very first time. Recently, I posted a few shots on Facebook from a trip…

  • Joe Edelman presenting on-stage at PhotoPlus in NYC

    Create the Wow – Make Your Portraits EPIC

    PhotoPlus Expo 2019 is in the books and once again I had the honor of presenting for Olympus at the three day tradeshow in New York City. My talk was titled Create the WOW – Make your Portraits EPIC and it featured portrait photography and studio lighting techniques done with…

  • Diary of a Street Fashion Photo Walk

    Diary of a Street Fashion Photo Walk in New York

    I had the honor of leading a Street Fashion Photo Walk at this year’s PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. This was a two hour walk that was advertised as an opportunity for photographers to spend two hours with me on the Friday morning of PPE2018. The Photo Walk Description…

  • The Best Ways To Blow Hair For Glamour Portraits

    The Best Ways To Blow Hair For Glamour Portraits

    If you like working with models or photographing beautiful women, at some point you’re going to want to try a blowing hair shot. The problem as we all know is that hair often has a mind of its own, so adding wind is definitely a recipe for disaster – UNLESS…

  • Photo shoot with celebrity magician Matthew Furman

    Photo Shoot With Celebrity Magician Matthew Furman

    My tagline says I Shoot People and that’s exactly what keeps me motivated as a photographer. My camera is my ticket to meet and interact with people. People that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience. Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to photograph numerous magicians on…

  • Fashion Portraits with Cellophane

    Fashion Portraits With Cellophane

    I’m always on the lookout for things that I can drape around a model, or turn into an outfit, or place over a light source to change the color of the light, or even turn into a background. As a result, I make frequent trips to local fabric stores and…

  • Portrait Posing Tips to Hide a Double Chin

    Top 3 Tips and Advice To Hide a Double Chin in Photos

    How To Hide a Double Chin in Photos Table of ContentsIntroductionWhat’s the Big Deal With a Double Chin?How To Hide a Double Chin in Photos – The Tips1. The Turtle Stretch2. Shoot From Above3. MakeupChin TuckersLighting Techniques To Hide a Double Chin in PhotosDon’t Hide Behind Your CameraConclusion Introduction Turkey…

  • How To Save a Shoot When Your Idea Isn’t Working

    How To Save a Shoot When Your Idea Isn’t Working

    What do you do when you have a beautiful subject with amazing makeup in front of your camera and you want to produce a shot that is truly special and… it’s just not coming together? Maybe the lighting is boring, the camera angles are bland, and the sweat is starting…

  • Sci-Fi Inspired Four Light Fashion Portrait Tutorial

    Sci-Fi Inspired Four Light Fashion Portrait Tutorial

    What can we create with four strobes, some blue gels, a big fan, and a gorgeous model with incredible eyes? Two unique sci-fi fashion portraits. I’m going to show you how I did it and share with you why it’s important to emotionally LET GO of your work once you…

  • Self Portrait Tutorial

    Self Portrait Tutorial

    How I shot my self portrait for social media and my photography website The task: I got a new pair of glasses and that means it was time to update my profile photo for my website and social media. When shooting a portrait, ask yourself: WHO is the subject? Me!…

  • To pose or not to pose cover image

    To Pose a Model or Not To Pose? That Is the Question

    Before we get started, be warned: this is not a how to pose article. In fact, if you’ve read any of my articles on posing or heard me talk about the subject in one of my videos, you already know how I feel about most books and videos that teach…

  • Three light Beauty Lighting with No Light Modifiers

    Three light Portrait, Headshot and Beauty Lighting

    I want to show you some beauty lighting and a series of headshots done with three lights and a reflector – and NO modifiers on the lights. The modifier was the room that I shot in. In this series of headshots and beauty shots, I was working in my home…

  • Shooting tethered in the studio

    How To Shoot Tethered

    Do you prefer to shoot tethered? Do you even know what it means to shoot tethered? How do you decide if you should shoot tethered? It wasn’t that long ago that shooting tethered was reserved for photographers who had big budgets, assistants and super high end gear. Now pretty much…

  • 2 Light Lingerie Glamour Lighting Setup - A Studio Lighting Tutorial with Glamour Lighting

    2 Light Lingerie Glamour Lighting Setup

    I’m going to walk you through another one of my keep it super simple (KISS IT) glamour lighting arrangements that requires only two lights and a medium softbox. I also use the all-purpose box that I showed you in my DIY Home Studio blog article and showed you how to…

  • Halloween Inspired Three Light Beauty Portrait

    Halloween Inspired Three Light Beauty Portrait

    Today I have a Halloween-inspired three light beauty portrait tutorial for you guys, done with mixed light sources and with some cool orange gels for effect. This is a fun beauty shot that I did for Halloween a few years back. Like many of my shots, the real credit for…

  • Beauty Portrait with a Beauty Dish, 4 lights & Red Gels

    Beauty Portrait with a Beauty Dish, 4 lights & Red Gels

    Today I’m going to show you a beauty shot I did with four lights, some red gels and a beauty dish. I will also show you a few awesome variations that I got by working the shot. Watch the VIDEO… This is a beauty shot that I did with a…

  • Beauty Portrait Lighting Setup

    One Light & Reflector for Dramatic Portraits

    I have a really simple one light portrait lighting set-up that I use for beauty shots and dramatic portraits. I’ll walk you through it and show you how you can add more lights and gels to turn this simple arrangement into a bold and colorful set-up. Are you tired of…

  • How to shoot a fitness magazine cover shot

    How To Shoot a Fitness Magazine Cover Shot

    Have you ever thought about shooting a fitness magazine cover? You know, the ones with the white background, clean, crisp commercial lighting, three quarter length pose, really fit and sexy subject who looks really happy. . . sound familiar? You see these all the time when you’re in the checkout…

  • How to Plan a Portrait or Headshot Shoot

    How To Plan a Portrait or Headshot Shoot

    Today’s assignment: a headshot sitting, a good old-fashioned business headshot. This isn’t going to be one of those crazy beauty shots with all kinds of makeup and stuff blowing around. This is for marketing purposes for a young woman who’s setting up a practice as a therapist. So let’s get…

  • 7 Most Important Things To Know About Working With a Makeup Artist

    7 Most Important Things To Know About Working With a Makeup Artist

    I have had new photographers tell me they are intimidated by the thought of working with a makeup artist. They don’t know how to find one, they don’t know how much to pay them, they don’t know how to communicate with them. And, in all honesty, working with a makeup…

  • How To Find the “Good Side” of a Person’s Face for a Portrait

    Best Way To Find the Good Side of a Person’s Face

    My left side is my good side… no wait – it’s my right side… oh come on – with a face like this – there is no bad side :-) Keep reading and I will explain how to find the good side of a person’s face – to make your…

  • 6 Reasons to Work with a Makeup Artist

    6 Best Reasons to Work with a Makeup Artist

    For better portraits, headshots and beauty images, work with a makeup artist! Do you think this young woman would prefer to look like this? Or this? That’s what I thought. So until next time, keep learning, keep… Huh, ohhh you expected me to make a long and passionate speech about…

  • Body Painting – The Mermaid Model Project

    The Mermaid Model Project is a body painting and digital scenery shot that was conceived and executed by Philadelphia based makeup artist Morgan Chalfant. ( Body Painting Concept We made the decision early in our discussions that we didn’t want a Disney styled mermaid.  We wanted a look that was…

  • Wide Angle Pink Clamshell Beauty Shot

    Wide Angle Pink Clamshell Beauty Shot

    This beauty shot is from the “oldie but goodie” category for me. A follower on Facebook asked me for the details on the image since I recently posted it as a Timeline Cover – so here is the scoop. . . I like to challenge my creative process by trying…

  • How To Shoot a Hair Flip and Make It Look Awesome!

    Hair flips are just cool! But it’s not as simple as just telling a model to flip her hair As you will see in the hair flip video, as the photographer you need to be the models eyes since she has no idea how the head flip looks and whether…

  • How NOT to Shoot a Self-Portrait

    How Not To Shoot a Self-portrait

    Radio DJ’s often say that they have a face made for Radio. Hence the reason they aren’t on Television. (Unless your name is Ryan Seacrest) There is a reason I work behind the camera, I simply hate having my picture taken.  Probably because I am never happy with what I…

  • Monopod Aerials - A Cool and Easy Trick

    Monopod Aerials – A Cool and Easy Trick

    A monopod is not just a one legged camera stand With a little bit of creative thinking, they can be the solution to many difficult camera shots. In this case I am going to show a technique for creating elevated camera angles that I call Monopod Aerials. Using a monopod…

  • What exactly is a beauty shot?

    What Exactly Is a Beauty Shot?

    A Beauty portrait is a close-up portrait, usually a crop from the bust up or closer. It can range from little to no makeup all the way to dramatic creative makeup with lots of fu-fu surrounding the model. This is a Beauty portrait… …and this is a beauty portrait One…

  • Capture stunning portraits in bright sunlight.

    How To Shoot a Portrait With Amazing Lighting in Bright Sunlight

    Shoot a portrait in bright sunlight? Are you kidding me? Harsh light? Heavy shadows? Squinting subjects?… OMG that sounds like a recipe for disaster. Well, it can be a disaster unless you are willing to break some rules and be a little creative. Let’s take a look at how we…

  • Exposure Do’s and Dont’s for Fine Art Nude Images

    Exposure Do’s and Don’ts for Fine Art Nude Images

    Exposing the Fine Art Nude The metering systems in today’s cameras are micro-computers that are capable of making amazing calculations in real-time. No matter how good we would like to think this technology is, the simple fact is that a light meter makes its calculations based upon its sensitivity to…

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