Photography. I don’t know of anything that has so many people across the world so deeply enthralled. Creating imagery is a beautiful way to express ideas, emotions, themes, and more. With the advent of digital photography and iphoneography, the power to create is in everyone’s hands. With access to knowledge and the ability to continuously learn, the sky is the limit with making images. But, photography practice is imperative.

Why do we get stuck in our creative ruts and lose momentum? How do we break out of the predictable style we’ve come to rely on and continue to practice so that we grow as artists? How do we continue to develop our skills as photographers and as artists in a medium we’ve been using for years? The simple, short answer is: we must practice the art of practicing! Growing as a photographer is a continuous process and being able to deal with the wrong equipment at the right time, embrace not having a vision, and try new workflows to open up the creative flood gates and prepare for future creative opportunities.

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It’s that time of the year—messages of season’s greetings fill up our boxes and feeds with photos of family portraits and everything red and green. Are you tired of the same ole’ holiday photos and looking for a new approach? If so, here are some useful tips on capturing joyful and festive images that stand apart from everyone else’s.

1. Use Christmas lights as a backdrop.

All you’ll need is a white sheet or wall, Christmas lights and any other add-ins that you deem of use, depending on how creative you want to get. For a studio setup, portrait photographer Lizvette Wreath recommends using painting canvases as reflectors, a big aperture such as f/1.8 and natural lighting. See her DIY photography project below that has gone viral on Pinterest:

5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Photos Stand Out(courtesy of Lizvette Wreath Photography)

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