Cat Thrasher on Rembrandt Light and Consistency in Style

While visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, I was blown away by how closely Rembrandt’s portraits resembled black and white film. The exhibit, Late Rembrant, featured portrait after portrait in the same, lit-from-the-side, north-light style. The man was truly talented at seeing light.

Watch the video to hear a few knee-jerk first impressions on Rembrandt, north light, and his consistency in style.

- Cat Thrasher



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It’s a Little Bellows Film Photography Photo Contest!

In honor of our 3rd birthday we are having a
Film Photography Photo Contest!


Did you know that Little Bellows is turning three years old on May 1st!  It’s true!  And to celebrate, we’re having a Photo Contest!

The image competition will run from April 16th until midnight (P.S.T) on May 1st.

Sandra Coan film photographyThere will be only one winner per category and winners will receive

  • a coveted Little Bellows Award Winning Image button to share on social media and on their website
  • a “Film Photographers Spotlight” interview with Joyce Kang to be featured on the Little Bellows blog

All entries will be scored on a common rubric based on composition, originality and technical merits.



The categories are as follows:



Babies and Toddlers

Kids and Teens



To enter

  • submit up to three images per category
  • size images to 600 pixels wide across the top of the photo (images not properly sized will be disqualified)
  • name images as follows: artistname_category_imagename.jpg (example: sandracoan_newborn_cutiepants.jpg)
  • submit to and use Photo Contest in the subject line. Please note, we will not view images sent as zip files, blog links or by Dropbox.




Winners will be announced on Monday, May 18th at 9:00 am (E.S.T)

Christina Mallet film photography

And make sure you sign up for our Newsletter List so that you’ll be first to know when the winners are announced!


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Christina Mallet on Instragram: These Photos Make Me Think This…

Hello and welcome to today, Instagram Wednesday!

You’ll notice a theme in this week’s images, namely boys (plus one flower).

As a boy mom, I look at these chaps and I’m reminded of when my boy was wee and didn’t talk back.

Be sure to check out the featured photographers and congrats to them!






Future CEOs of America.

This is the greatest boy images I’ve ever seen, seriously.

I would hang this in my house and I don’t even these lads or their parents.

This photo could be a stock photo for so many topics–I can think of a ton of advertising key words for this image.





This a great photo for demonstrating the amazing colors you can get with film, even in the whites and highlights.

The light is beautiful and the color of his skin is so fresh.

I’n not a painter but if I was, I would want to paint this image.


This is a great moody portrait.

I love the rich colors of his eyes, lips, his rosy cheeks and his shirt.

It’s also just a really beautiful painterly sort of portrait.



How could I not show you this image?

It’s hysterically funny and has some seriously raw scream power.

I think the pineapple behind is funny too, because actually the story here is about a spider, but not knowing that you might think he’s selling pineapples.



Another I would hang huge.

Grass and flowers and a lot of things in nature are just amazing in black and white, because it helps you really see the beauty of the shapes and anatomy of things.



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Olivia Gatti - Love them all, but that first one! Wow!

Film Favorites in Color Film: Fuji 400H by Joyce Kang

Ah!  My apologies fans!  This is one day late because I couldn’t get my acts together to write a blog post this past weekend.  I spent most of it in the ER with my 7 year old who was suffering from asthma resulted from the horrible seasonal allergy, which is also one of the most beautiful time in Texas.  The oak trees are covering almost everything in a thin yellow blanket.  Thankfully, Sandra was able to step in and write up a Monday day blog while I recuperate from the weekend shenanigans.


I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited that Little Bellows started calling for specific film stock themes on Little Bellow Facebook Page.  This means that I now have so many filmy eye candies to look through and to admire.  Recently, we had a call out for Fuji 400h film.  Are you kidding?   I was in heaven!  I have always loved this film stock but haven’t been able to shoot it much.  You all inspired me so much with your gorgeous film shares.  Now, I can’t wait to get back into shooting this film!  If you want to learn about shooting film or how to get started, Little Bellows has a film forum group for you!  We are a friendly bunch and would love to meet each of our fans.  So, make sure you come and say hello:)

Now, let’s check out who made it to my favorite color film: Fuji 400H list this month:


xx Joyce

400h Amy Bethune Photography

Amy Bethune Photography

400h Carly Bingham Photography

Carly Bingham Photography

400H Carrie Geddie Photography

Carrie Geddie Photography

400h Heather Chang Photography

Heather Chang Photography

400h Jen Golay Photography

Daily Life Photography

400h Lana Bell Photography

Lana Bell Photography

400h Lori Allen Photography

Lori Allen Photography

400h Meghan Boyer Photography

Meghan Boyer Photography

400h simply splendid

Simply Splendid

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Sandra Coan on Newsletters and List Building

Ok… quick question.  How many Facebook followers do you have?  What about Instagram?  Twitter?

If you are like most photographers, you know those numbers.  And you should.  Social media is hugely important when running a business.

But now let me ask you this, what’s the size of your newsletter list?  Crickets…. ?  Not sure?  Do you even know what I’m talking about?

If not then you need to pay attention.  Your list, not the size or your social media following, is the most valuable thing you’ve got going for you when running your own business.

Here’s why…

You may have 1,000 followers on Facebook, but Facebook controls who sees your photos, posts and updates, not you and not your clients.

In 2012, the average organic reach on Facebook was about 16% (according to Facebook).   Now that average is much less (around  5%), unless you choose to “boost” a post.   And the rules are changing all the time.

Your list, however, is completely controlled by you.

If you have 1,000 people on your list, then you can send an email to each and everyone of those people, and they can choose to read it or not, not the social media overlords!

The industry average open rate for newsletters (according to Mail Chimp) is 17.8%  But if you send good content that you know your people want to see, you can raise that rate considerably!   The average open rate on my newsletter list for example is 52%.

Much better numbers!

The moral of the story is, if you want the most bang for your marketing buck, grow your list!  And in the video below, I’m going to tell you how!

As promised, here is a list of possible newsletter topics:

  • updates on sales and special events
  • how to prepare for a maternity, newborn or family session
  • a link to your Pinterest style board with outfit ideas
  • a list of the best locations for family photos in your town
  • a monthly or bi-monthy digest of your favorite images
  • updates on special projects or personal work
  • a simple “thank you for being my client” (this is nice around the Holidays)
  • a reminder to book before the busy season starts
  • Holiday dead lines

Now, using this list as inspirations, make your own list, and start a regular correspondence with your clients!  They want to hear from you!!




sandra coan film photography

 Photo by Sandra Coan Photography.

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Kim Blossom - Such great business sharing, thank you!