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Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter) Paperback – February 27, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0321803535 ISBN-10: 0321803531 Edition: 1st

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Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter) + Picture Perfect Posing: Practicing the Art of Posing for Photographers and Models (Voices That Matter) + Direction & Quality of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography Anywhere
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Product Details

  • Series: Voices That Matter
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: New Riders; 1st edition (February 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321803531
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321803535
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roberto Valenzuela is a Beverly Hills-based photographer, specializing in wedding photography. He has been recognized as one of the world's top wedding photographers by Junebug Weddings, and has won over 50 international print competition accolades from the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) association. He is an active speaker and teacher at photography conferences across the country. Learn more at robertovalenzuelaphotography.com.

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Customer Reviews

I can only say positive things about this book.
Roberto's Valenzuela's 'Picture Perfect Practice' is a very nicely written and inspirational book that gives the reader solid advice on taking better people pictures.
Alan Shi
This is an awesome book, very informative, lots of great techniques, easy to follow, many great examples.
Norma A. Dominguez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 155 people found the following review helpful By Hubert Kirchgaessner on March 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is different. It approaches photography from the artistic side, not the technical side. You occasionally hear comments like "shooting with a small aperture" or "with an off-camera flash", but this is about as technical as it gets. Valenzuela does not discuss camera menus, gear choice, or lighting ratios. If you don't know what these terms mean, you'll need to look elsewhere (these are important things to know, no doubt). That being said, there are literally hundreds of information sources (many of them free) where you get that sort of technical information.

Valenzuela's book rather approaches the topics from a creative/artistic point of view: it teaches you how to recognize geometry in the scenes you are shooting; how to reduce the background clutter by finding "simple" structures that are effective compositional elements; why a picture needs "balance" and how you can use elements you find in the scene to achieve balance; which expressions and messages you send by taking silhouettes; which emotions do you evoke by which method of posing; how do you effectively pose a subject; etc. The book addresses the "why", as in "what's the message you are providing with this method?"; "why would you want to choose this approach?", at least as much as the "how".

And this book does that in an ingenious way: very short chapters, dedicated to one simple concept (shadow, silhoettes, balance, geometry, etc.). You can read each chapter in 5-15 minutes. The chapters are illustrated by pictures that are both excellent, and "approachable". Meaning: while many of the pictures are by all means fantastic, they are not so out-of-this-world artistically mind blowing that you look at them and feel "never in a million years will I be capable of producing something like that".
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful By J. Kelley on April 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I almost didn't create a review for this product because I wanted to keep it as my own little best kept secret but it's just too good not to share. (If nothing else let this be my feeble way of thanking the author for creating it!)

My husband and I have this longstanding theory that no artist is every really going to share all of his/her secrets with you in a book, a workshop or otherwise, and based on every book and workshop I've ever taken I've found this theory to be alive and well. They give you just enough information to *think* you're going to learn a ton but you're left feeling like there was something missing--SOMETHING they just didn't share that would make all the puzzle pieces fit.
Then in comes Roberto Valenzuela and Picture Perfect Practice. He covers so many aspects of good photography it will literally take me years to master all that he has provided for devouring. That's not to say the concepts he shares are difficult per se, it's simply that there are so many things he covers, that to practice them to a point of mastery is no easy task. The book is organized well, by topic, and he provides key tips for practicing. He's really opened my eyes to the notion that photographers see the world differently. Not just during a session but every day. Every object is transformed by the photographers eye and this is percicely what he helps you to develop: your eye.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. I have paid thousands of dollars for workshops that have contained a third of what I've found in this book for under $30. With this workbook and dedicated practice to the craft, I defy you not to become the photographer you are destined to be. Keep on clickin!
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By M. Carswell on November 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read more books than I can keep track of, trying to grasp photography as an art form. While I love photography, I am not a natural at it and have to work for every shot I get. I've pursued book after book to no avail. . . until this one. Within the first chapter I was already having "aha!" moments.

1. It is presented as exactly what I was looking for----"art"---rather than technical jargon. I got what he was saying because it made practical sense, without algorithms and camera jargon to try to understand in order to create pretty shots that grab the heart.

2. It's broken into a chart in the beginning that can be taken to any shoot (pull out the page, copy it down to a small card size, and laminate it) to remind of every concept in the book. From framing to finding the best at the location you're at even when it seems dismal to unique composition.

3. Each chapter has small bite-sized sections with assignments after each section (which hones in on each square in the chart given at the beginning). The assignments seemed too easy at first (find all the main shapes in your surroundings and take pictures of them) but they truly do build up from the foundation on, to add to a newbie photographer's knowledge and skill building.

If you can only buy one book in your pursuit of becoming a photographer that takes beautiful photos that tell stories to their observers, this is THE book you'll want to buy. Unless, of course, you want technical jargon. In that case, any other book on the Amazon list that came up on search, will do.

PS---as far as the reviews that this is a misleading book because it turns out it's about wedding photography, the author states at the outset he is a wedding photographer so those are the photos he uses to teach his concepts.
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