Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

March 17, 2016

Ultra Premium Lens Released. Tests on Smartphones Shown to Outperform DSLR’s

HDfx 360 today announced they have released a super-premium line of auxiliary smartphone lenses that bring professional image quality to today’s Smartphone Cameras.

Three ultra-high quality German designed Precision lenses – Fisheye, Macro, and Wide-Angle fit all phones and mobile devices.

lenses for Smartphone Cameras.

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February 1, 2016

LinkedIn Photo Bus Returns With Free Pictures for All Offer

Did you know that social media profiles with photos catch 14 times more attention than the ones without photos? This is what LinkedIn says, and in an effort to help their members look better online (and for corporate self-promotion, no doubt), last year LinkedIn sent a branded photo studio bus to 16 cities in the US offering free headshots.

In 2016, the LinkedIn photo-bus will be back on the road for the “Picture Opportunity Tour”. To check if their coming to your area, click here >

Picture_Opportunity_Tour

How this works? The process was fast but you needed to stand in line for quite some time when too many people showed up.

You take several photos with a professional portrait photographer, and then select the best one that will be uploaded to your LinkedIn profile on the spot. So, make sure you remember you login. And, no, they will not email you the shot.

In case you feel you picture needs some tweaking: make the skin less shiny, even out skin tones, fix the makeup, remove some sun burn and fly-away hair and such, just download the photo from LinkedIn and order photo retouching on PhotoHand.com website. There is no standing in line there.

August 8, 2013

Take good pictures of the ones you love while you still can!

It’s been estimated that every two minutes, we take more pictures than the whole of humanity in the 1800s. How many of them were worth taking and sharing is a question that will not be answered.
With such a turnover per capita, one might think our lives are being documented at every step and then when a dear one passes away there is somehow no good photo to keep. I know this from experience as I talk to people all the time who call to ask if anything can be done to fix the cherished image. more often than not it’s a phone camera shot that gets too blurry when enlarged. Take good pictures of the ones you love while you still can!

Family Photos

The Poetry of Steve McDonald

I lift them like kisses from the wall:
my daughter in a pumpkin costume;

my mother and her poodle, the one she loved
like the sister, soul mate, lover she never had;

my father, shoulders back, belly out,
a flat blue lake, a gray sky. And in the spaces

left behind—one for each memory
wrapped and packed away— thin, sharp nails.

One-by-one I extract them, gripping
and twisting needle-nosed pliers

to prevent the chip or flake of paint.
But I can’t avoid exposing the plaster

under its layers of years, the same way
the mortician who applies the makeup

to my father’s body cannot prevent
the incidental scraping of his ear,

revealing the cold gray flesh. My wife
at the funeral says His ear is blue.

Once the nails are out, I consider
the pencil marks made years earlier

to define the placement of each frame.
I use an eraser, the kind you knead

until it’s warm and soft, pliable
as an infant’s fist, while outside the window

a sparrow hops across the brick planter,
one of the wild birds my father always fed

when he could still rise on his own.
When I see his body lying in its coffin,

I bend across the torso, press my lips
to the stone-cold brow. I kiss him

the way I never kissed him in life,
stripped now of all defenses, naked

before me even in his gown of coat and tie.
And I do not wonder why I kiss him.

I know I have lifted the pictures from the walls.
I know the walls are white and I will fill

the holes with care—covering anything
that might reveal what has been damaged, or where.

family-photos-poem

April 7, 2013

Sears “Amazing Photography” Is No More

Sears-Portrait-Studio-closesCPI Corporation, the St. Louis-based operator of over 2,000 Sears Portrait Studios, PictureMe Studios in Walmart and Toys R Us portrait studios abruptly closed all studios nationwide.

Blaming the Digital trend as they do is just an excuse not to take the responsibility for having been stuck with an ailing business model in the face of the modernization of the Photography industry that rapidly evolves as consumers are taking charge.

While a whole host of specialized high-quality vendors were beginning to command this very personal Photography industry branch – Consumer Photography, CPI was still bundling services from “good enough” providers.

At the production point, the photographer on duty could be bad at handling kids or didn’t know how to pose pregnant women. The backdrops and props were outdated.

At post production, there were problems with cropping for framing, forget about editing out stretch marks, fixing awkward smile, or skin retouching.

Printing took weeks and months instead of the promised 72 hours.

This is why consumers chose to beat feet the hell out of Sears Portrait.  They had options. There are plenty of specialized photographers to choose from and who will come to you to take pictures in your natural environment.

Then you can submit your photos online (professional or amateur) to companies like PhotoHand.com to get professional grade photo editing for the price of a Starbucks coffee.

As for online printers, there are gazillions to choose from offering everything – from plain prints to photo books to photo blankets and photo cake tops. Even professional grade printers like NationsPhotoLab are beginning to serve amateurs.

Lesson learned: Don’t mess with empowered consumers!


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January 17, 2012

Cropping Photos to Improve the Visual Effect

Cropping is a useful tool for photo improvement. Though it sounds like an easy trick, cropping is more art than science and you need an eye for it. Still there are some general guidelines that can help you improve the visual effect of your photos.

Focus in!

Crop to bring the attention to the main object or person. In a portrait, the person’s eyes are the focal point. If the person is looking sideways, make sure to allow ‘space’ for her to look into or include enough of the object so the viewer knows what the the person is looking at. Otherwise the viewer will wonder what is missing.

Cropping also lets you remove the parts of the picture that didn’t turn well, let’s say because of awkward posing like in the example below.

Don’t amputate!

Cropping off people’s limbs at joints makes them look like amputees. Despite a very popular concern, it’s okay to crop part of the head if it’s a close portrait, as it will bring more attention to the eyes.  Cutting between the joints is alright as long as it’s still possible for the mind’s eye to fill in the blanks to complete a person’s torso or limb.

An example of bad cropping where the hand cut off at the wrist appears detached. The only way to fix this effect is to re-crop the photo to a close portrait.

Combine tilting with cropping!

In some situations tilting can save the day when you realize the only photo that you like is still bad.

Remove distractions!

Remove the view-spoilers, parts of unidentifiable objects and things that distracts from the story the image is telling.

Someone's back was a view-spoiler in otherwise a nice portrait. The photo allowed for easy cropping that brought the new balance to the composition by seemingly adding to the empty space in the direction of the person' glance.

Watch the ‘negative space’!

This is the space around the central object. Cropping too tightly will make the photo look awkward.

Cropping Contextual Images

The images surrounding the person or the object in the center of attention serve as the context and create the picture story and establish the mood. It becomes a critical compositional component that need to be cropped to have a balanced visual effect. To reach the optimal result, it is recommended to follow the Rule of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds: Divide the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically. The points where those lines intersect are good starting points to place the main subject. Essentially the primary subject is slightly off center.

In the original photo the person is put squarely in the middle and the background is cropped too tight leaving no breathing space above and below the figure. By cropping right below the hand (not to lose the gesture) and reducing the space on the left we re-balance the composition to bring it it in line with the Rule-of-Thirds.

You might find it impossible to follow all these rules as they start to clash when your photo has more than one problem. You would need to compromise or send it to us at PhotoHand and we’ll apply more advanced techniques to perfect your mementos.

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You might also want to read:
Cropping Photos to Match Printing Standards
Other Point-and-Click Tips

February 9, 2011

Boudoir Photo – A Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

Valentine’s Day is the busiest day of the year for boudoir photographers as women are looking to drop the tired clichés in favor of an original and sexy gift.

What is boudoir photography?
It is sensual and tasteful photography that portrays a woman in the best light possible – fun and sexy pictures.

What it is not are R-rated or X-rated photos taken by some creep claiming to be an artist. Nudity and porn are certainly not boudoir photography.

Though the origins of boudoir photography date back to the early 20th century and trace their roots to the pin-up girls of WWII France, it was only in the last couple of years that this photography genre has entered the mainstream.

Women took to it as a way to celebrate themselves and capture their essence at a particular time of their life.

Now some photographers provide group packages which makes the service more affordable for women and creates a fun and supportive atmosphere where you cheer each other up.

What makes for a good boudoir photo?
Sensual yet comfortable posing is essential – looks don’t matter as much as how you are feeling. You must feel beautiful, confident and sexy. Above all, the boudoir photo shoot should boost your self-esteem, not break it.

The lighting should be used in the most flattering way.

Discreet retouching – no cellulite, blemishes, rashes or any other skin imperfections, no wrinkles, no double chins. Your photo should be poetry celebrating you, not prose.

These rules will make your boudoir portrait a perfect Valentine’s gift for your significant other.

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December 12, 2010

Photo Retouching: Feel Beautiful Because You Are

Looking good is not important, it’s everything! At least it must be to two thirds of women, as the Hewlett Packard survey showed, who are “deeply embarrassed” by many of their photos. The same research shows that if you are a man under 35, you are probably happy with every photo of yourself, including the ones that should appear embarrassing.

Why women hate their photos? Because we want our photos to present us the way we’d like to be and they usually don’t. We want our true self to be captured in a flattering light, from a favorable angle and preferably by a genius from Photography. This doesn’t happen often and this is why we delete our photos before anyone had a chance to see them and plead with our friends to remove our photos from their Facebook galleries. Even those women who are majorly satisfied with their reflection in the mirror can and do develop photophobia.

Professional models are never happy with their photos till they have been edited. PhotoHand artists know this because we work with models.

Your photo might be far from perfect, but with the help of the photoshop retouching service, you can make any picture perfect and outstanding.

Suppose someone snapped a decent photo of you that you decided to use a your professional photo (a.k.a. “executive portrait”) on your marketing materials. With a little help from Photoshop, your casual amateur photo will be turned into a “studio portrait”.

Another lucky shot doctored with the glamorizing effects will give your image a touch of Hollywood turning it into a photo gift to your loved ones.

Boudoir photography is a growing trend. Brides are looking for something unique and sexy to give their husbands as a wedding gift. But ladies in their 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s are wanting boudoir photo shoots even more. When asked about their motivations, the general response is that they are still feeling young at heart and want to capture themselves in some beautiful sensual images.
Needless to say, boudoir photography always needs a hand from photo retouchers. We also recommend applying various art effect like soft focus, Rembrandt-like light and shade contrast, Hollywood affects, etc. Then your photo will be poetry. Plus, that the experience of having a make-over and photo session can give women a feeling of liberation and empowerment. Now beauty salons started hosting boudoir photo sessions for groups of women.


From 1991, when pregnant Demi Moore appeared nude on the cover of Vanity Fair, pregnancy stopped being something to be hidden, but something to be celebrated in all its glory. Maternity photos are always a challenge but with skillful retouching they become a celebrated memento in moving forward. We at PhotoHand are noticing a growing trend of sending our pregnancy announcement photo cards just like it is with baby arrival cards.

Wedding photos have been family treasures since the beginning of photography. They must be perfect, especially the bride’s gala portrait shot before the wedding. All the tiny photo flaws must be fixed. But what if you don’t even have that portrait. Well, it can be created in all its splendor.

A less than perfect photos shouldn’t bring you down. First, not everybody is a model – it’s natural to get uncomfortable in front of the camera. And that hair gets out of control because there is no stylist around to assist you. And the makeup artist is not on hand to fix the smudges. Remember, all these annoying flaws can be easily fixed after the image capture.

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December 23, 2009

Happy holidays from all of us at PhotoHand.com as we collectively boycott the recession and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!

Seasons Greetings from All of us at PhotoHand.com

December 23, 2008

Merry Holidays and Happy New Year!

The team of PhotoHand wishes each and all of our readers merry holidays and happy 2009!

PhotoHand - Custom Designed Holiday Cards

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November 29, 2008

Holiday Special From PhotoHand

PhotoHand Professional Photo Retouching and Photo Design

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