Resources

The resources page has been added to provide a single reference page for photography products, equipment, lighting, and other gear that has been used and through experience recommended by Still In Motion Portraits.  These products will be referenced in the website and/or blog postings including digital cameras, lenses, tripods, stands, lighting equipment, bags, accessories, photo editing software, printing services, photography books, etc.  I suggest that you reference this page often as new products are reviewed and utilized to help you improve your photography skills and create amazing photographs!  Additionally, in order to help those of you who are interested in launching your own business, online business, or passive income niche blogs, I will include a list of online business tools that have and are currently being used by Still In Motion Portraits.com.  Sharing these tools is one of the ways I want to contribute to your success whether you seek direct assistance with photography services, you are seeking education and tips to improve your own photography or aspire to become an entrepreneur!

Affiliate Disclosure:  Please be advised that some of the links below are affiliate links that will direct you to products for purchase AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.  Should you decide to purchase any of the products using the links provided, I will earn a small commission from the affiliate.  This small commission is paid by the affiliate and is NOT an additional fee added to your purchase.  Please remember that I do not recommend any products solely upon the basis of earning a commission.  Any products referred by me using affiliate links are suggested products based upon my personal research and experience with these companies.  I utilize the products for the success of my own business and hope that you will do the same.  I am very grateful to anyone using the affiliate links provided!  It is my hope that through my experience and recommendations, these products will help you achieve your desired results while helping you to save time sifting through the many products available on the market.  There are many innovative and useful products available to help you create professional and creative images.  Please send me a note to share your experiences with these products and any others that are working for you!

RECOMMENDED PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS

My passion for photography has been fueled by an ever growing ‘wish list’ for gear to help me create stunning images.  Like me, you may find yourself checking YouTube equipment reviews to help you improve your photography which results in a growing wish list!  I have learned over time to slow my purchases and focus on fully learning the capabilities of existing gear I own before moving on to new equipment.  Not only will you save money but you will also minimize the frustration of trying to learn too many things at once!  That being said, there is a list of core gear that I feel you will want to consider.  I have compiled a list of this gear below that I hope you will find useful.  Don’t break the bank and buy it all at once.  Instead, add to your equipment slowly.  This list includes gear many products that I carry in my camera bags.  My purchase decisions like yours are based upon quality, value, features, functions, reviews and personal experience with the equipment.  I encourage you to purchase the products listed below using the affiliate links provided.  I trust that these products will help you improve your photography and hope that you will share your experiences with me!  By clicking on the links provided, you can see images of the products, learn about their features and read independent reviews by others.

CAMERAS

  • Nikon D7000   This is the digital camera that I currently use.  My decision to use a Nikon DSLR is based upon personal reasons only.  Nikon, Canon, Fuji and other manufacturers make some GREAT products as well!  I encourage you to do your research and purchase a camera to suit your needs based upon your budget and the features you desire.  There are a variety of reasons why I like the Nikon D7000 that include the 16 megapixel sensor, 39 point autofocus points, dual SD memory card slots (One for RAW Files and the other for Basic JPEG to transmit to my iPad using the Eye-Fi SD card), 1080p HD video (24 fps) with full-time autofocus during video capture.

LENSES

  • Nikon 18-105mm (OR Nikon 18-200mm):  This was the kit lens that came with my Nikon D7000.  It’s a good general use starter lens with a wide range for daily shooting in a variety of situations.
  • Nikon 50mm, f/1.4G Prime AF-S Nikkor LensThis works well as a portrait lens with quick focusing and great depth of field to emphasize your subject by creating a nice out of focus background.  The fixed focal length will challenge your ability and make you work for the shot.  The depth of field set to 1.4 and 2.8 takes practice to insure you don’t minimize the area of focus.
  • Some other great lenses that you may want to rent instead of buying are listed below.  They are available online and shipped to your doorstep from sites such as BorrowLenses.com and available locally for rent in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area at Tempe Camera (www.tempecamera.com):
  • Nikon 85mm, f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor Lens (A Great Portrait Lens) or a GREAT ALTERNATIVE is the Nikon 85mm, f/1.8G AF-S Nikkor Lens
  • Nikon 70-200mm, f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens (A fast high quality zoom lens that makes another great Portrait Lens)
  • Nikon 14-24mm, f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens (A great wide angle lens for shooting real estate interiors and landscapes)

LIGHTING

TRIPODS

PHOTOGRAPHY ACCESSORIES

POST PROCESSING SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE

  • Adobe Creative Cloud (Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CSS).  (I consider these ESSENTIAL products for Post Processing!)
  • Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch Small Tablet (Excellent tool for Post Production Editing and for making Video Tutorials)

PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS

  • Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera, 3rd Edition by Bryan Peterson, published by Amphoto Books, 2010:  This is on my must read list and is a book that you should read over and over again!  Bryan provides a simple to understand explanation of the Photographic Triangle (aperture, shutter speed  and ISO) working together to create a correct exposure.  He builds upon this knowledge with a brilliant explanation and use of creative correct exposure that relies on the correct f-stop (aperture) or the shutter speed that will produce more creative results.  He explores methods to produce creative Images with discussions about aperture choice (Storytelling, Isolation or Who Cares? Compositions), depth of field (Area of Sharpness), shutter speed, the use of light, and a basic use of flash.  Bryan will help you move from the auto setting on your camera to use of the manual setting that will help you development the confidence and experience to produce phenomenal images!
  • Understanding Flash Photography:  How to Shoot Great Photographs Using Electronic Flash by Bryan Peterson, published by Amphoto Books, 2011:  Bryan will help take the mystery and fears out of using off-camera flash.  Are you looking for a way to set yourself apart from the average photographers out there?  Off-camera flash is one of the techniques that will definitely do it!  Bryan will open your eyes to the amazing possibilities of controlling the light with electronic flash (Speedlights) to produce amazing photographs!  What’s even more amazing is that you can produce these GREAT photos with an inexpensive flash.  Check out my gear recommendations above to get you started.
  • Picture Perfect Practice:  A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs by Roberto Valenzuela, published by New Riders, 1st Edition, 2012:  Roberto is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer.  This book will help you with composition elements and posing that will take your photography to a whole new level.  His techniques and the book are based on his three chart system (Location, Posing, and Execution) to help you create stunning and natural looking images.  The posing techniques will provide an excellent foundation for creating stunning portraits when combined with the location techniques including framing, balance, parallel lines, symmetry, color, depth, shadows, reflections and silhouettes.  This book is another one that I highly recommend you read!
  • Sketching Light:  An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash by Joe McNally, 2012:  Joe is a Master of Lighting.  He provides an in depth discussion about each of the images illustrated including examples and use of a variety of lighting diffusers.  This will open your eyes to the possibilities but I would suggest that you gain a basic understanding of flash photography before moving on to this book.

ONLINE BUSINESS AND WEBSITE TOOLS

BLOGGING

  • WordPress:  This is the most popular blog publishing & website platform being used today.  It is free, has many add-on features to make it customizable and plenty of online resources and support.
  • Woo Themes or Theme Forest:  Great resources for premium WordPress “Responsive” Themes.
  • “How to Start a Blog That Matters”  by Corbett Barr of ThinkTraffic.net

HOSTING

  • Site5 (www.Site5.com):  This is the hosting company I use for my website / blog.  It is inexpensive and offered simple and easy support to install WordPress.  I was operational in a matter of minutes!
  • Bluehost (www.bluehost.com):  This is a popular site used by many successful bloggers and websites.  It is also reasonably priced, easy to use, and offers quick WordPress installation and excellent customer service.

PODCAST EQUIPMENT

PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION & SHOPPING CARTS

  • PayPal.com:  PayPal is the online payment I use for my business.
  • E-Junkie:  They offer a shopping cart that works well for selling Electronic “eBooks”.  It’s compatible with Paypal Standard, Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, Authorize.net, and other popular sites.  I have not personally used them but plan on it upon the completion and release of my first eBook in the near future.

KEYWORD RESEARCH & SEO RANKING

  • Market Samurai and Long Tail Pro are two tools that are being used by successful online websites and blogs.  I have not personally used either one of them to date but I am considering them for future use.

EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS & MARKETING

  • aWeber:  I am presently in the process of incorporating this email subscription and marketing tool into my website in order to build my email list and newsletter.  They provide email opt-in service and email marketing / broadcasting.

WEBSITE TRAFFIC TESTING

  • Google Analytics:  Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool.  This will provide you with website traffic data that can help you track your visitor activity and other great statistics.

OUTSOURCING

  • Elance.com (www.elance.com):  Freelancers for hire.
  • Odesk (www.odesk.com):  Freelancers for hire such as programmers and web designers from abroad.
  • 99Designs (www.99designs.com:  Online resource for Logo design that utilizes a contest format.
  • SpeechPad (www.speechpad.com):  Transcription service for podcasts and videos.

VIDEO PRODUCTION (Screen Captures)

  • ScreenFlow (for Mac users) or Camtasia (for PC) for screen captures
  • SplashEO (Intro and Outro Graphics) for your videos and tutorials.

ONLINE BUSINESS RESOURCE / BUILDING AN ONLINE BUSINESS / GENERATING PASSIVE INCOME

  • Pat Flynn from at www.smartpassiveincome.com is THE SOURCE (resource) for anyone interested in building and running a successful Online Business that generates passive income.  He openly shares the tools and techniques he utilizes to ‘Be Everywhere‘ through a strategy that incorporates, a website, blog, podcast and YouTube videos to share his content.  He openly shares his tools and techniques through his ‘transparent‘ philosophy and posts a monthly income/expense summary of his business activity.  Prepare to spend hours (as I do) devouring his content and remember to TAKE ACTION…TODAY!

BUSINESS BOOKS (Small Business, Passive Income, Marketing, Blogging, Monetizing Your Website)

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