The weekly newsletter on the art of photography from
Monday, December 20, 2010
Featured Gallery
Welcome Note
This Week's Tip
Updates From BetterPhoto
Q&A 1: How Long to Keep ...
Q&A 1: Christmas Tree ...

"This is a lighting class full of information on basic lighting methods. The instructor provided a ton of additional information besides the regular class lessons. ... This class will take you to a new level in making your images better." -Brenda Bentley on An Introduction to Photographic Lighting with John Siskin, who also wrote the excellent new book: Understanding and Controlling Strobe Lighting (just published by Amherst Media and available at, etc.)


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Photographing at Twilight: Capture Color and Light!
Dedicated outdoor photographers consider the sun dropping below the horizon as the beginning, not the end, of the evening's light-and-color performance. Check out Deborah Sandidge's twilight photography tips at

Featured Gallery
Ribbons of Sweetness
© - Kathy L. Clark

Welcome to the 504th issue of SnapShot!

We would like to wish you all a terrific holiday season. And, for everyone who celebrates it, Merry Christmas! ... While all of us at BetterPhoto are involved in holiday preparations, we also are looking forward to an awesome 2011. In fact, the new school year kicks off on January 5th with our Winter session of both 8-week and 4-week courses. ... In this issue of SnapShot, be sure to check out the Photo Tip (twilight photography) and the Featured Blog (moving your camera for creative abstracts). ... That's it for now. Enjoy the week, and keep your camera handy for recording those holiday memories!   Kerry Drager   Newsletter Editor    Where is Jim Miotke? Follow BetterPhoto's founder and president on Twitter - BetterPhotoJim

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Updates From BetterPhoto

By intentionally moving your camera while shooting static subjects, you can create one-of-a-kind painterly images of blurred color, light and design. Read instructor Douglas Steakley's photography tips at Team BetterPhoto. BetterPhoto has a "frequent flier" program for courses! For every five online photo classes you take, you receive a 50% discount on your next course. If you've been hitting a wall lately, then we have some great ways to get inspired! For example, for BetterPhoto's daily dose of visual inspiration, check out our free Photo of the Day newsletter at the subscription page. In addition, view the past contest winners of our monthly contest.

Photo Q&A

1: How Long to Keep Client Photos
Studio photographers: How long do you keep clients' photos? I have 3 years worth of clients' photos on my computer and backup. I would like to start deleting, or at least moving old photos off this computer to somewhere else. Any recommendations? I have time machine backup to an external drive, but if I delete the photos from my computer, I assume they will eventually delete off the hard drive as the backup is already full and is starting to delete old backups. Should I back up these files on another drive just to keep? Or should I just keep clients' photos for a set amount of time and then get rid of them? Any advice on what you do for clients would be great (BTW, I'm a portrait photographer, and my clients are families, etc., not businesses).
- Tara R. Swartzendruber
I don't have any idea what everybody does about this, but I think I'd put it in the contract, whatever you decide is the limit for keeping them. That should help to handle any future questions.
- Carolyn Fletcher
Hi Tara,
I keep all of my original raw images saved, and then I create a separate folder of images that are sized/cropped for posting up for clients in a private gallery with their own password. I usually remove them after a couple of years (unless I have recent purchases) but I will always keep that folder of images in case a request comes in later for them.
my .02,
- Carlton Ward
Carolyn, that's a great piece of advice. Thanks.
Carlton, How do you keep your files for backup?
- Tara R. Swartzendruber
Hi Tara,
I keep files on disc or film going back at least 30 years. If a client needs something more than year old I charge to get the file for them. I keep raw files, and files I have done considerable work on. I do not keep proof quality JPEG files. After all, it is my work - why wouldn't I want to keep it?
- John H. Siskin

See John Siskin's Basic BetterPholio™:

Take an Online PhotoCourse™ with John Siskin:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
Hi Tara,
I burn a DVD of my raw images and keep them at a friend's house (in case of catastrophic fire, etc.), and I have a DVD book of his images as well. I also burn them to 2 separate hard drives.
I could also use an online storage, but I am still a bit skeptical about them and the time and space required for uploading would be cumbersome.
My primary setup at home is working off of 2 active hard drives and once a drive gets full, I turn it off and set it on a shelf and turn on its replacement. (It's recommended to not fill a hard drive over about 90% of its capacity).
I did just have a drive go bad, so I will replace it and transfer everything from the good drive (about 750GB worth of data/images) onto it and will probably do this twice so I can retire the other drive to the "shelf".
The internal drive on my 24" IMAC just failed so I will be replacing this, too, with a faster and larger 1TB drive.
I am grateful the drives are much cheaper these days and I use "Firewire" which makes the transfers & downloads much faster :)
Hope this helps.
- Carlton Ward
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:
1: Christmas Tree Lights

How do I bring out the Christmas tree lights and keep people in the photograph from being one big blur? I know using a flash is out of the question and keeping the camera rock steady doesn't seem to help either.
- Laura Kalcheff

A flash for the people, and slow down the shutter speed so the lights will show. Tell the people to hold steady.

- Gregory La Grange
Read this Q&A at

Answer this question:

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