The August Photo Challenge

August is our last month to live summer to its fullest potential! So, in the spirit of sharpening our photography skills and taking some time to have fun every day, we’ve decided to create a month-long photo challenge.


The rules are simple: for the month of August, use our daily prompts (listed below) to share one photo per day on Twitter or Instagram. Just be sure to caption the post with that day’s prompt, and use the hashtag #SMPphotochallenge so we can all see what we’re sharing.


Depending on the prompt, you may decide to share a scanned photo from your collection, or take a new photo that day. To make August even more memorable, challenge your friends and family to join in – it’s a great way to stay connected and practice photography.


 

The August Photo Challenge Daily Prompts


photo challenge


 

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4 Tips for Wow-Worthy Travel Photos

travel photosNow that summer has unofficially started, we’re dreaming of vacation. Exciting trips are one of life’s sweetest pleasures, and an album chock full of great pictures will make those memories last a lifetime. But if you think you need to invest in fancy photography equipment or a new camera to get incredible travel photos, think again. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the latest gear, the camera on your smartphone is perfect for traveling.

 

So, whether your summer plans include camping, weekend getaways, a serious trip abroad, or all three, we want to help you capture the experience with great pictures. Check out the tips below for suggestions on how to take the best travel photos!

 

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How to Take the Ultimate Instagram Food Photo

instagram food photoThere are many reasons to love Instagram, and for us, finding food inspiration is at the top of the list. But taking an amazing food photo isn’t as easy as it looks. Whether you’re sharing your latest recipe creation or trying to spread the word on a new restaurant in town, posting a gorgeous image is essential.

 

If you want to know exactly how to take like-worthy Instagram food photos, keep reading. These food photography tips are sure to get your posts more love. 



Lighting is everything

 

There’s nothing appetizing about a dark, grainy food pic. To set the stage for the best shot, find a source of natural light by setting up by a window or taking things outdoors. If the day is too bright, place a sheer curtain over the window, or find some shade to diffuse the light.

 

Whenever possible, steer clear of artificial light. Try to take food pics during daylight hours and avoid using the flash at all costs. 

 

Get thoughtful about set up

 

After lighting, the composition is the next important factor in capturing a mouth-watering image. Play around with utensil placement, the dish’s ingredients, or anything else you want to include in the shot. You can also add flowers and pretty linens in the frame to bring food photos to life. Don’t be afraid to get messy either— take a bite of the cookie, leave a forkful of pasta on a plate and leave that sprinkling of crumbs on the plate. These small, messy details can sometimes take your food photo to the next level.

 

Ask for help

 

Turn your dining companions into your partners in crime. Have them hold or display their drinks while you take the shot for added movement.

 

Don’t have enough light? Ask friends to use their iPhone light to illuminate the dish so you can turn your flash off.

 

Use a camera instead of your iPhone

 

If you’re serious about elevating your food photography, you may want to think about using a camera instead of your iPhone for Instagram. Most professional food bloggers fill their feed with images taken with a digital camera. The manual settings give you more control over lighting. Plus, you’ll end up with a high-res image.

 

But keep in mind, you’ll need to upload the photo to your computer and email it to yourself in order to post on Instagram.   

 

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Surprising Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Print Photos

print photosIf you’re like most people, you have a lifetime worth of photos stored in your home. While you may be in the process of digitizing print photos taken before the Digital Age, it’s still essential to preserve your photos.


While you may think you’re doing everything to ensure analog pictures last for generations to come, you may be surprised to learn about the following three factors that can damage your favorite shots.


Underestimating the effect of indirect light


Most of us are aware that direct sunlight contributes to a photograph fading over time, but indirect light can be a factor as well. Even a bright lamp can cause similar negative effects. To preserve the vibrancy of your photos, keep framed shots under UV blocking glass. While this may add to the cost of framing, you’ll be glad you made the investment. If the photo is special enough to be framed, it’s worth preserving. And of course, always make a digital copy of framed photos.


Like to keep snapshots on the fridge? Keep in mind these will fade and curl fast. And remember, if you need help restoring an old photo that’s showing signs of damage, we can help!


Storing precious memories in the basement or attic


The ideal environment for extending the life of your photos is one that’s dark, cool and dry. While attics and basements may be the perfect place to store old clothing or toys, it’s not good for photographs. Depending on where you live, basements can get too humid and are subject to flooding, while attics get hot in the summer if they don’t have climate control.


Instead, store your keepsakes on a bookshelf in your home. When it comes to print photos, the cooler and dryer, the better.


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4 Common Photo Scanning Problems and How to Prevent Them

photo scanning problemsIf you’re one of the millions of Americans who still have boxes of print photos in your attic or basement, then chances are you’ll be looking for ways to preserve them in the near future. But before you get started, let’s take a minute to make sure you don’t encounter any photo scanning problems at the outset.


Since this is our specialty, we pulled together a list of the most common photo scanning problems we hear about from our customers. This list will help you prevent encountering any issues along the way.


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