Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/american/public_html/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/american/public_html/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/american/public_html/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/american/public_html/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/american/public_html/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/american/public_html/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197
AmericanPhotoJournalist - Capturing Photos of A Lifetime

Best Photo Editing Software

Being a photojournalist is more than just snapping away with the camera and handing out the pictures. With the advances in digital cameras and editing software, a large element of the job is using the best software to either polish the pictures or add special effects.

“GIMP-Windows-7″ by TrebleSeven – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

It may be the girl with the curly hair who hasn’t used the best shampoo for curly hair so her hair looks dull and needs some shine. It may be that the family dog always has red eye when you photograph it. Or the wedding pictures have been requested in sepia tones to look like their grandparents. Whatever the reason, photo editing is important and so too is the software you use.  To get more information on shampoo for curly hair, see http://www.shampoosplash.com/best-shampoo-for-curly-hair/

Big names

Adobe Photoshop is probably one of the biggest name in photo editing software and has held the position for a number of years. They also have a range of products, and correspondingly prices, to suit every need. For example, the Elements 12 is ideal for someone starting into photo journalism as it often can be bought for less than $100, is very user friendly but has loads of great features. Simple things like correcting pet red eye, a range of brushes to work in different effects and you can even move elements around in a picture, so the kids who wouldn’t stand together are magically in a group.

Corel PaintShop Pro X6 is another big name software that gets high results in reviews and is almost half the price of the Abode software. It is especially adept at handling and editing large images without slowing down the rest of the computer and has all the tools such as red eye removal, resize and rotate as well as layer masks, adjustment layers and selective colour processing. There are also some really handy tutorial videos in the Discovery Centre.

Free software

If you are a try before you buy type or don’t want to spend a lot of money on editing software then there are some great free download programmes that can do an excellent job.

PhotoScape not only does editing but also lets you create a slideshow of pictures, a great way to display them easily to a client, capture screen shots and combine and split images. The toolbar is fully customisable so you can have the features there that you want and has a great range of basic and advanced tools. The only downside is because it is free; you get adverts for other software.

Paint.NET is a Microsoft programme that was originally created as a college undergraduate design project to replace Microsoft Paint. It goes further than Paint too, with special effects, layers and other tools more in line with Photoshop than just resizing images in the original Paint application. It supports Windows 8 though isn’t updated as often as would be nice.

Serif Photo Plus has a free starter edition to get the feeling of what you would get if you paid for the full package. It has all the basic tools but the more advanced stuff is saved for when you part with cash. If you want a quick clean-up of your pictures and some basic editing, it does the job admirably.

A Guide for Sunless Tanners

Not everyone has the luxury of having naturally brown skin. Sometimes you just need a quick fix when it comes to a tan. Life comes at you quickly, and sometimes a spur of the moment event can come around the corner requiring you to tan up quickly. However, going to the tanning booth or laying out can be not only costly on your money and time, but also can be unhealthy, exposing you to UV radiation. Sunless tanners allow you to get a great bronze look easily and sunburn free. In this guide we’ll explain how to choose the best sunless tanner for you, and how to use it.

There are two important kinds of sunless tanners. Once you understand the two varieties and know which you will require, all you need to do is find which product in that category works for you.

Gradual self-tanning formulas will darken your skin just a shade, allowing for you to achieve the precise skin tone you are looking for. These are best to use when you have time, or as a weekly ritual.

On the flip side, instant tanning formulas will give your skin a much darker tone with just one application. This makes them ideal for use when you need to achieve a deep bronze tone on a very short notice, such as for an upcoming wedding or similar event. Be warned however: a hasty application can lead to a bad-looking unnatural tan. Most products will explain on the packaging what their indented use is for, and any specific application instructions. They will also identify how dark the formula is. Keep in mind there are many different methods of application. Some are sprays, while some are lotions. Experiment with different products to learn what your favorite style is.

When using the tanner you choose, there are a few steps that must be followed for the tanner to produce a good looking and natural tan. First, it’s important to shave any areas of the body that you will be applying the tanner to. Any remaining hair on in the area can affect the tanner negatively, adding blotches to the otherwise even tone. Second, it’s always a good plan to exfoliate your skin, so that the tanner is being applied to fresh skin. This will allow the tanner to last longer, as opposed to application on dead skin, which will wear off much quicker. Make sure you dry off any areas you will be applying the tanner to, as the mixture of water and tanner can lead to a very messy appearance. And finally, remember to wear gloves as you work with the product. When you naturally tan your palms do not tan to the same degree as the rest of your body. Therefore, bronze palms are a dead giveaway that you are using a sunless tanner, and just flat out don’t look good. Latex gloves can be found and purchased easily most anywhere, and are perfect for wearing while applying your product.

Photojournalism And Celebrities

Photojournalism came about as a distinct type of photography in the 1920s and early 1930s when it was a photo that was topical and rapid, taken in a spontaneous manner as opposed to a posed, formal shot. The developments came about with the invention of small, hand held camera by names such as Ermanox and Leica that allowed photographers to catch quick pictures when people weren’t expecting it.


Leica-II-Camera-1932 cropped.jpg
Leica-II-Camera-1932 cropped” by Rama; edited by user JaybearFile:Leica-II-p1030003.jpg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

As the 20th century moved on, publicity became something of an obsession and so too did celebrities. This meant everyone from film stars and musicians to artists and scientists. Even Albert Einstein shaped his public image and photojournalism was the chosen route. It allowed people to portray whatever image they wishes to – the untouchable icon or the ordinary person being two of the extremes.
Access to private moments and personal places became another avenue to advertise themselves and ‘day in the life’ pieces were one method. The down side of this could be said to be the surveillance-like shots such as those taken of media mogul William Randolph Hearst during a dinner that later led to the phenomena of paparazzi as well as the modern Reality TV.


Those in the political arena came to recognise the importance of photojournalism and the benefits of preparing themselves for the camera. In 1931, Erich Salomon published a series of pictures taken from a hidden camera in political conferences, diplomatic receptions and even in court cases in his Famous Contemporaries in Unguarded Moments.
Politicians soon learned to prepare themselves for the potential of a photo at any moment and could be a source of self-promotion, such as when Churchill was re-elected or of embarrassment.

Photo stories

The idea of a photo story, or a photo journal as it is known today, came about when rolled photographic film was developed allowing a series of shots to be taken quickly. This allowed a narrative character to come into the pieces and later became the magazine layouts featuring a series of photos around a theme that we are now familiar with.
By the 1950s, these photo stories had become an expressive medium of its own and photographers used colour and semi-abstract images to tell a story with very little captioning needed. However, with the advent of TV news and the decline in magazines in the 1970s, the greatest times of photojournalism came to pass.

Modern rebirth

With the growth of both the internet and digital camera, the world of photojournalism is open to anyone. While this can be hard on the professional and lead to questionable quality in some areas, it means that the importance of photographing the world has become renewed.
Whether it is a special family occasion, a new pet, a new cheap designer handbag or a night out, photojournalism on a small scale still survives. Many of these pictures make their way onto social media and can be seen by a surprisingly large number of people, so the original aim of the snapshot of a person in a casual location is still at the heart of this modern picture.

This History Of Photo Journalism

Here’s an excellent video depicting the history of photo journalist, enjoy.


Benefits of a Photo Journal

In the modern world filled with digital camera, smartphones with high pixel cameras and apps that can sort it all out for you, one of the new trends are photo journals.  To the amateur photographer, these are a series of pictures of a trip or an event that highlight the things they have seen.  But for the professional, they can present the opportunity to give a whole new service to the customer.

Create a journal of your workMulti-purpose

Image the scenario; you are photo journaling a bride in the lead-up to her wedding day.  She is having her dress custom-made by a professional seamstress so you attend a few visits and record the progress of the dress.  While you are there, you take pictures of the seamstress herself at her best sewing machine, which she can purchase separately to add to her own website to showcase her work.  That way you are providing two services in one shoot.

Similarly with the hotel that the wedding party is holding the reception.  They have just modernised a section of the building so after you have taken a few test shots in preparation for the day, you can photograph the new work for them to add to brochures, and the internet of course.

The key with all of these ideas is basic; make sure your original client doesn’t mind you incorporating these off-shots, maybe give them a little discount off the final bill to sweeten the deal.  In addition, make sure that the extra pictures you take for the other businesses credit you as the photographer and let you use their pictures in your portfolio.  That way, you get real live credits out in the world and you can show the different types of work you can do.


New technologies can make a photographers life more difficult simply by making photography easier for the rest of the world.  So what you need to do is offer something that is a little outside what a person can do themselves.  Add this to the inherit quality you offer as a trained professional and this can be the key to a successful business.

There are so many photo sharing websites across the internet that it is easy to start building an online portfolio that gets you noticed.  Let people use your pictures for a variety of reasons, as long as they credit you appropriately.  And don’t forget to get yourself a website!  There are plenty of free website building platforms available that allow you to completely customise what the visitor will see.


People sometimes think the life span of a photographer may be reducing due to the advances of affordable technology.  But if a photographer moves with the times and introduces new concepts to the public, which are away from what they can do themselves, then there is still plenty of scope for the modern photographer.  Plus there will always be people who want that perfect shot of the newly married couple or of the children together in their first picture.  You just need to keep moving with the times.

So, You Want To Be A Professional Photographer?

Advances in technology have made our lives better in a myriad of ways. We now have things like artificial hearts to help people with bad tickers, replay machines to help sports make close calls, and digital cameras to help people take their own family photos. Gone are the days when you’d buy a disposable camera, take pictures, drop it off at the one-hour photo, and come back after lunch to collect your pictures. Today we see them instantly, and because of that we have a whole new crop of photography businesses. While technology has made it easier to be a photographer, it’s also made the competition fierce. If you’re thinking of becoming a professional photographer, here are three things to keep in mind.

disposable camera technology

Courtesy of Thomas Anderson

I’m sure you run into it every day: you log onto your Facebook, and see family photos a friend has posted with her and her family in matching colored shirts, leaning up against an old barn holding hands. That’s cute, but it’s not very unique. If a customer requests such a thing, by all means do it, but that’s an idea anyone can come up with. If you want to stand out from the crowd and have people take notice, be creative. Be different. Be the photographer everyone wants because they want something completely unique.

I have a friend who quit her day job to become a photographer full-time and she has so much business that she has to turn people away. The main reason is because of her creativity. Her photos aren’t like other photographer’s photos, they’re unique and simple at the same time. For example, she had a recently engaged couple kissing where they first met. People love her because she’s different, and because she caters to her customer.


People don’t want to pay for something they could do themselves. Buying a $100 camera from Wal-Mart is probably not going to do the trick for you, but you also don’t want to go broke buying equipment – and believe me you absolutely can. Take a look on eBay and Amazon to see if there are any used professional cameras for sale. Remember, this business is pretty cut throat, so people are starting and stopping all of the time. Read reviews on Amazon, shop around on eBay and Craigslist, and take your time. Having a camera that takes great looking photos can be the difference between a career and a hobby.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

It’s the dream of a lot of people to set up appointments for photo shoots and take pictures of babies, and puppies, and pregnant bellies all day, but be practical about it. It’s a hard industry to get into and make a living, and it takes a while to build up a client base. Do it on the evenings and weekends to start. Built up your client base until you cannot possibly fit any more appointments into your free time. Then and only then consider quitting your day job. Start a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest account and add and follow people. Run contests for free sessions for whoever shares your page with the most people, or refers someone. Building up your client base until it’s bursting at the seams before even thinking about quitting your day job, and even then consider it very, very carefully.

Glenn McDuffie: A Man We All Knew

Glen McDuffie VJ Day

Courtesy of William Waterway Marks

You’ve ended up on this site because you’re interested in photography, and if you’re interested in photography you know Glenn McDuffie.  The name Glenn McDuffie may not sound familiar, but he is a man every American has seen at some point in their life. If you are a baby boomer, or part of the greatest generation, you know him well. If you were born in the mid 60’s on and are part of generation X or Y, you’ve at least seen him on the news or in magazines, but may not know the story behind his iconic act of impulse.

V-J Day

McDuffie was an 18 year old soldier on August 14th, 1945 when news spread that Japan had surrendered – also known as V-J Day, or Victory Over Japan Day – and effectively ended World War II. McDuffie was on his way to visit his girlfriend and was changing trains near Times Square when the news spread. He joined in the celebration in the streets when a nurse saw him coming towards her. She looked at him and smiled while holding her arms out, and that was all it took. Without saying a word to each other, McDuffie grabbed and kissed her in front of a Life magazine photographer named Alfred Eisenstaedt. Eisenstaedt has been quoted as saying that the only reason he noticed the kiss is because he glanced behind him and saw the white nurse’s outfit. It was a spur of the moment act that has stood still in time ever since.


There have been many men who’ve came forward to claim that they were the man in the picture, but McDuffie always insisted to his family that he was the man. Residing in Texas, he went to the Houston Police Department for help verifying he was the man. Louis Gibson – a Houston PD forensic artist who’s in the Guinness Book Of World Records for helping police catch more criminals than any other forensic artist in the world – was able to identify McDuffie as the soldier by having him pose while holding a pillow for 100 pictures in the same pose as the photo.

In Due Time

McDuffie finally got his recognition in due time at the ripe old age of 80, and he became an instant celebrity in the process. He visited air shows, gun shows, parties, fund raisers, etc, and charged $10 for a picture with him kissing women on the cheek. The kisses did him well, he was bringing in $200 an hour at some of the events he attended. He was also given first class upgrades on flights, free rooms at hotels, and received attention from women everywhere he went. A lot of WWII era ladies made sure to get a picture with the man they dreamed about in their younger years.

McDuffie passed away on March 9th, 2014 in a nursing home in Dallas at the age of 86, but his photo will last a lifetime.