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WPPI 2018 and Adorama $500 Giveaway!

February 15, 2018

Join me (and about 12,000 photographers) at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas for the upcoming WPPI Conference + Expo Feb 24-28, 2018. This link will get you a FREE WPPI Expo pass, w/live talks & demos & 15% off classes + photo walks.

ALSO! Win the opportunity to receive a $500 Gift Card to my favorite photography superstore, Adorama! All you have to do to enter to win is simply leave a comment here. With all the stress and anxiety out in the world today, share how photography, filmmaking, or your artful pursuits make a positive difference in your life.

Your comment could be as short as a few words or as long as you’d like. At the end of this week, we will choose one lucky winner to receive a $500 gift card to Adorama to spend as you like to help expand on that creative joy of yours!

Adorama will also be at the WPPI Convention & Expo, too, since it’s a major industry event for photographers and filmmakers specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding and portrait photography and filmmaking. Check in with them for some serious show specials. 

Child Portrait by Tamara Lackey

Start To Finish: How To Master An Entire Portrait Session! Preparing for, Shooting, and Delivering a Photography Session That Sells

My platform class at the WPPI Conference is on Wednesday morning, February 28th, from 8:30-10am. In this brand new program, I’ll boil down a good deal of what I’ve compiled from 15 years of shooting (and consistently selling) portrait sessions. I’ll take you through every stage of a typical photography session, from start to finish, using behind-the-scenes videos and on-the-job illustrations. I’ll also share what to definitely know—and what to completely ignore— when it comes to maximizing the experience for you and your client!

Thank you to Adorama, Nations Photo Lab, Imagely and Nikon for sponsoring this program!

(You can also check out The Portrait Shoot Playbook, my completely downloadable start-t0-finish, 250+ page book that steps through everything you need to know to prepare for, shooting and deliver a portrait session! AND if you want more hands-on instruction, my next 3-day Portrait Photographer’s workshop is May 19th-21th. You can see more about it here.)


 WPPI Fun Run benefiting Beautiful TogetherI will be at multiple places through the WPPI Conference this year! On Monday, February 26th, from 1pm – 3pm, I will be at the Nations Photo Lab booth, helping to spread the love with fun giveaways and conducting some pretty fun on-the-spot interviews with those at the expo. Come on by to check it all out!

On Tuesday the 27th, at 7am, I will be hosting – and running! – the WPPI Conference Fun Run to benefit Beautiful Together (You can register here). All proceeds will go towards Beautiful Together’s orphan care work, supporting children waiting for families.





Also on Wednesday, from 12:30 PST/3:30pm EST, I will be speaking at the beautiful Nikon Theater booth, giving a presentation on How to Photograph (and Sell) the Work You Love. A subject – and life experience – very near and dear to my heart!

You can also watch this talk anywhere in the world, via their LiveStream! Just tune in here.

WPPI 2018 Nikon Stage Speakers

And, finally, be sure to check out the always-entertaining WPPI Awards Show on Wednesday evening from 6-9pm, as I co-host the program along with my good friend and fellow Nikon Ambassador Jerry Ghionis for the third year in a row!










And after the show, the WPPI Conference is done!

BUT you can win your Adorama $500 gift card before it even begins – just leave a comment below. We will pick a winner before the end of the week : )


reDefine Show with Erik Valind: How to Succeed in Commercial Photography

January 30, 2018

Join Tamara on the reDefine Show as she speaks with commercial photographer Erik Valind about how he achieved success in commercial photography.

Erik started out pursuing a business degree and doing photography on the side to get a good basis for business. He photographed all different types of things including his friends surfing and subjects he was very familiar with, which gave him an edge to know when the best shots were about to happen. After photographing a wide variety of subjects and events, he began to narrow down his favorite type of photography, which was commercial photography with an active fitness component.









Erik talks about how photographing what you love will shine through with the work you do. And being familiar with and having an understanding of your subject will help the flow of the shoot and produce better photographs.

In the interview, Erik also goes over how his sales training helped him understand the value of persistence in reaching out to potential clients. Posting your work everywhere and being persistent with reaching out to companies and clients is the key to getting your work seen and being remembered by clients for future projects.

Check out Part 1 of the interview for more details on how Erik Valind found his photography niche and started building his business-

In Part 2 of Tamara Lackey’s interview with Erik Valind, he gives a detailed example of a full-service commercial photography project. He describes how he created a full digital image library for Etsy Studio, including stop motion video.

Check out more about his Etsy Studio commercial photography project and more ways to learn from Erik Valind in Part 2 below!


reDefine Show Interview with Photographer Brian Matiash

January 26, 2018

On this episode of reDefine Show, I interview my friend, photographer Brian Matiash – educator, image maker and industry influencer – and he shares how he saved his creative soul by leaving corporate marketing.

Gaining experience from his time at Google, Sony, and Wacom, where part of his role was to study creatives and social media, Brian shares some intriguing observations in the interview. After working for other companies for years, and being nervous to leave as they provided a sort of safety net, he decided to go off on his own to reach his full creative potential. In order to do so, he and his wife had to make some tough decisions around finances, including what moving from the lovely Portland, Oregon to a place with a lower cost of living – like Nebraska – might mean for them while growing their businesses. 







Brian also has some amazing advice for all images makers on how to separate yourself from the creative pack. He believes that telling your story about an image – what it took to get the image, what were the challenges and what were the exciting parts – will set you apart from the pack. In his words, “differentiation is success”. Interestingly, he would much rather be remembered by his stories about his images than by the images alone.

For more detail and to learn the things Brian Matiash suggests new photographers skip over – namely refining your focus on photography subjects and style, and focusing on intent – check out the full interview now, live on Adorama TV!



The 2018 Photo Summit

January 15, 2018

The 2018 Photo Summit is a completely free digital event that you can watch from your computer or phone, with 35+ successful photographers showing exactly how they built their businesses.

Whether you’re just starting out or already have a thriving business, there’s a ton to watch and learn. Each day, you can watch 5-6 talks – 100% Free – that will equip you with a variety of specific and proven ways to improve your photography and attract more clients (regardless of whether you do wedding, portrait, wildlife, or even underwater photography).

I will go over the 6 types of personalities and how to deal with each as well as my go-to lighting setups. Other photographers include Jerry Ghionis, Zach & Jody Gray, Vanessa Joy, Matthew Jordan-Smith, Pye Jirsa, and so many others. The lineup is amazing! 

The event will run January 20th-26th. Make sure you register for free today, as the event starts soon!

Here are just a few things you’ll learn during this event…


  • Why Your Current Pricing is Sabotaging Your Business
  • Instagram – Best 2018 Strategies for Photographers
  • Lightroom Tips That Will Make Any Photograph 300% Better
  • Social Media – Get Great Results Without Wasting Your Time
  • Capturing the Authentic Moment for People and Places
  • Making Money from Stock Photography – at Home or While Traveling
  • Awards – How to Quickly Win Awards for Prestige and Social Proof
  • SEO – What You MUST Be Doing in 2018 and Beyond (it’s not blogging)
  • Lighting Essentials for Every Situation – From Wildlife to Headshots
  • Building a Successful Brand that Attracts Clients You’ve Never Met
  • Ranking #1 in Google for Terms that Actually Make You Money
Brilliant Posing Tips – From Babies to Brides
  • Words and Phrases to Quickly Turn Potential Clients into Real Clients
How to Get Clients to Pay More Without Selling
When to Buy Used Equipment – Better & Cheaper
  • Networking – Spend Less Time and Connect With Better Leads
  • Turning Clients Into Raving Fans Who Refer Other Clients
Finding Your “Voice” and Getting Featured in International Magazines

Make sure you register today, as the event starts very soon, on January 20th, and lasts for just 7 days.


CES in Las Vegas

January 8, 2018

I’m excited to speak at the giant 2018 CES Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week for Nikon! I’m fortunate to be sharing the stage with a number of amazing presenters – including NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly (author of Endurance, A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery).

I’ll be speaking a couple of times on art & activism, photography AND I’ll doing a live shoot on stage. At no time will I be floating in space, though. Although, since this huge show is in Vegas, I don’t actually know that for sure yet. All talks will be live streamed, beginning January 9th, so check out this link for more info: http://www.nikonevents.com/us/live

My first talk, Beautiful Together: The Power of Photography to Affect Real Change, will be Tuesday, January 9th at 4:15pm PST/7:15pm EST. My second talk, The Joy, Magic, and Challenges of Photographing Children, will be Wednesday, January 10th at 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST. I hope you can join us live! And don’t miss Captain Scott Kelly’s keynote, A Year in Space, on Tuesday, January 9th at 12:30pm PST/3:30pm EST.

Orphan Prevention Care Center Update

January 3, 2018

I’d love to share the latest updates from our Beautiful Together Orphan Prevention Care Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where we are working to keep impoverished families together by protecting children & empowering women through education, vocational training, and community support.

Four months into program kickoff: As their children are now being well cared for, the women in our program are attending this vocational training center three times a week and will be doing so for 11 months. At the end of this vocational program, they’ll receive certification, recognized by the government. This will help them to get a job at a restaurant, hotel, expat community, guest home, etc. Prior to this, these same women had few other options available to them other than begging on the streets, with their children, or doing (literally) backbreaking work, like carrying heavy bundles of sticks on their back for miles every day, which many do for years and years (a painfully common sight in Ethiopia – see more here: http://voicesofafrica.co.za/fuelwood-carriers-addis-ababa)

For the first few weeks, this program focuses on personal hygiene, helping these women to see the need to care for themselves and to present themselves well. Then they begin to learn about handling food and how the different kitchen items and tools are used. Next they begin the hands-on portion of learning how to prepare food. These images were taken the first time they learned to prepare a meal, starting with a fresh salad. Thank you to Rocio, Meserat and Matthew for shooting these for our program updates.


If you are not familiar with this program that we kicked off two months ago, you can read more about exactly what we are doing with this project: https://www.beautifultogether.org/project/orphan-care-center

Through our Beautiful Together Gallery Exhibit (graciously hosted by Adorama and supported by Nations Photo Lab), we raised enough to fund startup costs AND the first six months of this program. We will continue to raise more funds to keep going for the rest of the year, while we also work to enable this program to become self-sustainable over time.

Part of funds will come from the 10% of our Coco Bean Coffee Shop & Cafe proceeds, part will come from sales from my new book The Portrait Shoot Playbook, some from 50% of Lush Albums sales and more from my Kid and Family Posing Playbooks. The rest we hope to receive through donations: https://www.beautifultogether.org/project/orphan-care-center

Thank you to all of you who care about this work.

A Comprehensive Photography Guide: The Portrait Shoot Playbook

December 15, 2017

From Start To Finish: The Portrait Shoot Playbook

Love portrait photography, but don’t know where to start when it comes to shooting a portrait session? 

Or have you already been shooting photography sessions but feel like you could use some clear guidelines to follow, so you don’t miss a thing?

Want to improve your exposure, focus, lighting, posing, interaction style and the authenticity of expression in your portraits – while also spending less time editing, so you can spend more time shooting? 

If so, this fully downloadable book is your comprehensive Start To Finish guide! And with gifts of at least $95+ in credit towards photo printing, software, lighting, music and more, this guide pays for itself!

Tamara steps you through every aspect of a portrait photography session in this 250+ page book, packed with information, examples and illustrative photography! Topics include:

  • An overview on gear and accessory choices
  • What to do to prepare for the shoot
  • Exposure
  • Focusing & Metering
  • Lighting & Lighting Tools
  • Expression & Interaction
  • Detailed walkthrough of a photography shoot
  • Posing groups & individuals
  • Composition & Details
  • Art & Activism
  • Digital Workflow
  • Post-Processing & Retouching
  • Consultative Sales
  • Best practices for delivering your final shoot to your client


This extremely comprehensive manual is rich with information, examples, inspiration, and illustrative photography. There are a lot of little things that can make a big difference in how well a photography shoot can go, how much impact the images can have on your subjects, and how effectively your portraits can be delivered. 

Tamara Lackey How To Shoot A Photography Session Nikon AmbassadorThe cost of this detailed guide, which is downloadable and can be used while on a photo shoot for reference, is $99. However, we have some wonderful support from some of the best companies in the photography industry:

Nations Photos Lab, has offered a $25 gift card to all book purchasers. That $25 credit can be used towards any of their offerings, including prints and cards. Use that amount in addition to the promo codes we share on our website, and you can get some amazing products for a very low to no cost.

Animoto, our favorite slideshow builder, is offering 20% off of Animoto Pro for new clients (about a $50 discount).

ON1, an all-in-one editing platform with ON1 Photo RAW 2018, is offering $20 off for all purchases

Fundy, the only all-in-one design suite perfect for designing albums and wall art  layouts is offering$50 off of the Pro Suite and Fundy Album Suite 

Westcott, creator of innovative lighting options, is offering an awesome 10% off your entire order

In addition, Triple Scoop Music is holding a monthly drawing between now and March for a total of four $600 music licensing packages!

Altogether this $99 book actually **GIVES** money to those that purchase it.

So to recap, the Portrait Shoot Playbook is normally $99. But after you debit:

-$25 Nations Photo Lab credit
-$20 ON1 credit
-$50 off of the Fundy Pro Suite and Fundy Album Suite
-10% off your entire Westcott order
-20% off Animoto Pro (approx $50 credit) 
= money in your pocket! (Amount varies based on your Westcott order total but with a $300 order you’d get $76 back, with a $1000 order, $146 back, etc.!)

Tamara Lackey, Posing, Lighting How To Photography Shoot, Metering, Playbook

Photography is amazing, but there is also quite a bit to it. This Start To Finish Portrait Shoot Playbook is designed to lay everything out as clearly, and as effectively, as possible. Get yours here! There’s a also a bundle option with The Family Posing Playbook and The Posing Playbook For Kids to round out your knowledge with even more posing ideas for your shoots. Check out the bundle here.

And, as always, 10% of all sales of The Portrait Shoot Playbook will also go towards Beautiful Together, our non-profit 501(c) organization in support of children waiting for families and those living in extreme poverty. Our current focus is on continuing to build out our Orphan Prevention Care Center. Only months into this new project, we are seeing some heartening results from this program already. Thank you for helping us to support it through this purchase!

Get your Portrait Shoot Playbook here!

Consider Donating to Children Waiting for Families This Holiday Season

December 14, 2017

With the holidays here, many of us turn our thoughts to giving to those less fortunate.  We’d love for you to consider joining us in donating to Beautiful Together.  Most people think of family when they think of the holidays.  But for children waiting for families, the holidays are a little different. 

Beautiful Together works hard to make children waiting for families have a better life.  From improving living conditions in orphanages to feeding funds and disaster relief to building safe showers for homeless youth, Beautiful Together has completed many projects and has many great ongoing projects as well. For example, multiple projects to renovate the bathrooms, light up and fix donated learning tools in the classrooms, and safeguard the play area of an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were completed to greatly improve the lives of the children living there. In Korah, one of the poorest places in Ethiopia, Beautiful Together set up a feeding kitchen for the orphan children there. And when the village had a massive landslide from the trash dump they live off of, a Disaster Relief Center was set up to help those who lost their homes and families. To read more about Beautiful Together’s many other incredibly meaningful projects in Africa and the US, check out their projects page.

In the spirit of the holidays, Beautiful Together’s current major project is to fund continuing the Orphan Prevention Care Center, which works to keep families together. The pervasive, extreme poverty in Ethiopia is at the epicenter of far too many painful experiences: hunger, homelessness, social ostracism, illness, and even death. It is also a major factor behind the reality that millions of children are orphans in Ethiopia. Far too many parents simply cannot afford to house, clothe and feed their children. And since they cannot ensure that they will be healthy, safe, and happy – something every parent wants for the child they love – they make the heartbreaking choice to send their babies to stay with others, or to live in an orphanage – or even to try to survive the harsh conditions on the streets.

Earlier this year, Beautiful Together established an Orphan Prevention Care Center for a specific community of impoverished mothers and babies who are currently at risk for a similar fate. The Care Center not only established a day care program but also provided comprehensive and radically life-changing benefits for mothers as well. To learn more and donate to the cause, please check out the Beautiful Together project page.

We hope you’ll consider Beautiful Together when making your holiday donations this year.  100% of all donations go directly to supporting the projects as it is a 100% volunteer organization. So every penny counts!

Tamara Lackey Playbook Bundle Now Available

November 27, 2017

Playbook Bundle!

If you want a fully comprehensive set of guides with multiple examples of the What, Why, and How of children and family portrait sessions, the bundle of all three Playbooks is a fantastic. Learn what to prepare for, what to keep in mind while shooting, and how to deliver, as well as get a breakdown of multiple posing ideas for all children and family groupings!

Tamara Lackey, Posing, Lighting How To Photography Shoot, Metering, Playbook

What’s included:

From Start To Finish: The Portrait Shoot Playbook by Tamara Lackey
This downloadable book consists of over 250 pages of comprehensive information, beautifully illustrative photographs and detailed descriptions of everything you need to know when it comes to shooting a portrait session.
Retail $99

The Family Posing Playbook
The Family Posing Playbook is a digital e-book contains a wealth of posing ideas, each with detailed before & after images – as well as all technical settings, metering choices, lighting configurations, brief description of shoot and a quick reference guidem with easy bullet points to reference while posing and photographing children and families. 
Retail $69

The Posing Playbook…For Kids Who Don’t Do Posing
The Posing Playbook for Kids contains a wealth of posing ideas – each final shot comes with detailed before & after images, as well as all technical settings, metering choices, lighting configurations (and many descriptions of why all these choices were made), brief descriptions of shoots and, even more helpful, easy bullet points to reference when actually photographing children and families.
Retail $69

The Bundle

All three Playbooks would normally retail at $237, but when purchased at the same time, the bundle deal is $199!  You can buy the bundle of all three books via this link.

AND, as always, 10% of all proceeds from these books go towards our orphan care work with Beautiful Together.
Which we love.

The Portrait Shoot Playbook, How To Shoot A Photography Session

November 7, 2017

From Start To Finish: The Portrait Shoot Playbook
How to Shoot A Photography Session

I am so very happy to share that I will soon be releasing my new book, From Start To Finish: The Portrait Shoot Playbook, How To Prepare For, Shoot, And Deliver A Photography Session. It is available for pre-sale now, and we also have some pretty fantastic add-on gifts, as well.

One of the most common questions I get in my 3-day portrait workshops is, basically, some form of this: “Okay, sooo what are all the things I need to know when it comes to shooting a photography session?” My answer is a long one, with a good amount of detail. Yes, I can break down the preparation part and the inspiration part and the gear selection and the process flow part and all the things you need to consider when on a portrait shoot, which is a lot – and then all the aspects to cover when delivering the image. But I also finish by saying,  “And that’s only some of it. I could write an entire book on this!” And so I did.

This manual on how to shoot a photography session is comprehensive. Because photography is amazing and running a photography business can be incredibly fulfilling. But there are also a lot of little things that can make a big difference on not only how well a portrait shoot can go, but also in how much value and impact the images can garner afterwards. Sometimes just following a manual of sorts can help you pull it all together. This Portrait Shoot Playbook covers pretty much everything you need to know when it comes to how to prepare for a photography session, how to shoot a photography session, and how to deliver a photography session, and I step through each part clearly and as succinctly as possible. Because, although there really is a lot to shooting a session well and effectively, when it’s all laid out as clearly as possible, step-by-step, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to process it all and to master it.

The cost of this entire, detailed guide, which is downloadable and can be used while on a photo shoot for reference, is $89. For this pre-sale time, however, there are a couple great offers. First, we are running a pre-sale price of $79, but we are only running that price until the book has been released, which will be after Thanksgiving. In addition, I have also had some wonderful support from my favorite print lab, Nations Photos Lab, and they have offered a $25 gift card to all book purchasers. That $25 credit can be used towards any of their prints, canvas pieces, gallery blocks, holiday and year-round card selections, metal prints, albums, holiday gift options and more. Use that amount in addition to the promo codes we share on our website, and you can get some amazing products for a very low to no cost. 

In addition, Imagely, my favorite source for WordPress themes and plugins including the amazing NextGen gallery, will be offering a $25 gift card for all pre-order sales! This can be used for the first year of your annual subscription to any of the products at Imagely.com.

AND, On1, my go-to for all of my editing with On1 Photo RAW 2018, is offering $20 off for all purchases, as well as Westcott, my go-to for constant lights and the Ice Light, who are offering 10% off your entire order. These are one time use ongoing offers, even after the pre-sale!

We also got a fun offer from Adorama – a $25 gift card to the first 10 purchasers of this book. This went quickly, of course – but, altogether this $99 book GIVES money those that purchase it for the pre-sale price now.

So to recap, the Portrait Shoot Playbook is normally $99.

-$20 Pre-sale price

-$25 Nations Photo Lab credit

-$20 On1 credit

-10% off your entire Westcott order

-$25 Imagely credit (pre-sale only)

= money in your pocket (the amount varies depending on the total of your Westcott order)!!

I think anyone getting into portrait photography, or wanting to take their photography shoots to the next level, will find this guide to be exceptionally valuable. I know that I certainly would have loved to have gotten my hands on it when I first started out.

As I always do with our products, services and offerings, 10% of all sales of The Portrait Shoot Playbook will also go towards Beautiful Together, our non-profit 501(c) organization in support of children waiting for families and those living in extreme poverty.