Welcome to ImprovePhotography.com.  I created this website because I absolutely love photography–both as a profession and as a hobby.

I’m grateful that photographers have enjoyed ImprovePhotography and joined the community here.  This site has become quite popular since I created it on February 17, 2011.  In fact, it has generated over 25 MILLION views!

Here’s how the site was created, and a little about me…

In 2009, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho and then began law school in Florida.  All day long during law school, I read cases where the litigants were willing to ruin one another’s lives for money, or I’d go to the courtroom when I worked at the prosecutor’s office and pour over the disgusting details of criminal prosecutions.  I found that the only things that helped me see the good things in life were (1) my wife and kids, and (2) going out at night to do landscape photography.


The first photo I ever got published.

I soon realized that photography was what made me HAPPY, so after graduating from law school and passing the bar, I gave up my career in law and chose to pursue photography full time.

I have been blessed to see so many people enjoy my photography.  My photos have been purchased by fine art buyers and businesses, and have been published by well known publishers such as Reader’s Digest, Nikon USA, Time, as well as other magazines and newspapers.

I love all different kinds of photography, but I still consider myself a landscape photographer.  There’s just nothing like waking up at 4AM to get in position for the morning light in the mountains.  At the same time, I do a lot with lighting and studio photography, and I enjoy that too.  Because I enjoy so many different types of photography, I haven’t pigeon-holed this website into just landscape or just portrait photography.  I write about it all!

There are HUNDREDS of photography articles on ImprovePhotography.com, and I don’t want you to miss out on my best bits if you’re new, so I wrote this list of “The Best of ImprovePhotography.com“.

I also teach online photography classes.  I started doing the classes in July 2011 and they became AMAZINGLY popular.  In our online classes, we give students one video lesson every day for a month, and we are COMPLETELY accessible to our students for questions.  We even give them our cell phone numbers, Skype usernames, and personal email addresses so they can get feedback on how they can improve, and get their questions answered.

One of the coolest things I get to do on Improve Photography is lead FREE photo workshops all around the world.  I don’t charge a dime (just pay your own travel expenses) and anyone is welcome to join.  To come on one of my free workshops, check the schedule here.

View My Portfolio

How to Keep Track of Jim

First of all, you GOTTA subscribe to the podcast.  The Improve Photography Podcast is a free 45-minute audio show that you can subscribe to on your smart phone or mp3 player, or listen to from a computer.  With the podcast, you can get your photography fix while commuting, driving, working, etc.  The podcast is the hub of everything we do here.

If you LIKE the Improve Photography Facebook Fan Page, you won’t miss a thing!  I’m on the Facebook group multiple times per day and read every single message posted on the wall from over 470,000 fans.

Also, I publish a free newsletter every Tuesday where I share one of my photos, and exactly how I made it.  I even share the unedited picture straight out of the camera to show what I did in post, and my camera settings.  You can sign up for that here.

I also spend a lot of time on Google+ these days.  Check out my Google+ profile here.

Oh, and I LOOVE Pinterest!  Follow my pins here.

If you’re a Twitter guy, check out my twitter stream here.

On A personal Note….

I live in Caldwell, Idaho, USA.  I have an AMAZINGLY supportive wife, Emily, and two children: Ruger (6 years old), and Cole (4 years).  I distinctly remember telling Emily one night during law school that I was considering not practicing as an attorney, but instead continuing my work as a professional photographer.  I think a lot of people wouldn’t have understood that, but as a testament to Emily’s character, she supported me 100% and has made it all possible.  What a woman!

Aside from my photography, I love flying my RC helicopter, sneaking in a game of airsoft on Saturday mornings, and playing with my kids. Every morning before coming in to the studio, I teach a morning Bible study class for the teenagers at my church.

Oh!  And I hold the world record for the longest distance ever traveled while shooting tiddlywinks!  No, I’m not kidding.  I went 11 miles and 2.5 inches.



  1. Melissa

    Discovered your site today thanks to a tweet from ClickinMom… I’m just coming up for air after spending HOURS on here. I’ll be back for more!! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS SITE EXISTED BEFORE TODAY?! Thanks for all this valuable info – it’s incredible!!

  2. Dominic

    move over Ken Rockwell there is a new guy in town, much better and informative. hasnt sold out to the big companies!!! one moment he says to pass up the Fuji X100 then does a 180.. Fuji and the rest have him in there pockets….

  3. Caryn Esplin

    Jim, this is amazing work and I love how you have set things up on your site. I can’t believe I have not heard about you until now. It looks like you could give Scott Kelby a run for his money, as the largest computer book author in the world? Anyway, anyone who is a graduate of the incredible Communication Dept. at BYU-Idaho, is a friend of mine.
    Caryn Esplin
    BYU-Idaho Visual Comm Chair, Comm Dept.

  4. Vish

    Jim, I too just stumbled on this site. This is fantastic. Please keep up the good work and trust that TONS of people will find this utterly invaluable. You’re doing a great job buddy!

  5. Louie

    Hi Jim
    Can you help me improve my photos. I have many questions if you can get back to me that would be great

  6. Ron

    Just found this today.
    I am getting back into photography and digital is great. It’s different from film but I think I like it better.
    This site makes it even greater and answers many questions us old guys have.

  7. Tom

    JIm, great site. I’ve been doing photography for many years, but still find a great deal of useful info here. Thank you.

    What record do you hold in the Guinness Book?

  8. DeAnn

    my husband just finished the taking the bar and has been working now for a month. He has been in school 7 years and we have been married 7 years and were broke but man it’s nice to have him done. We didn’t know anything but a life built around school and it’s so nice to be done and get on with life. Good luck with everything! Your impressive going to law school and making time for this, I bet it helps keep you sane though.

  9. Mike

    I purchased on of your books and it pointed me to this web site. I hope I can get inspiration to take better photos and actually learn the different terminology.

  10. Evan

    Hi Jim,

    I bought two of your books online and thought they were both excellent.

    You have a lot of useful tips and I’m happy with both of the purchases.

  11. Robert (Bob)

    Jim – thanks for your site. I don’t know how I found it but I enjoy it! Someone mentioned Ken Rockwell in an earlier post and that made me have to write – I’m not a fan of his site at all. The two sites (this one and his) can’t compare. You have a far superior product! I am currently in Pakistan (US Gov’t employee) but just purchased a home near Boise in October 2011. My family is there now as I serve over here. I would love to have the opportunity to meet up with you someday. Thanks again for your wonderful website!

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  23. Alishia

    I found your facebook page and have been following (and learning a lot!). I love seeing your pictures and have a serious itch to get out and try some of my own. I am in Yakima, Washington and there isn’t much pretty around here. Thanks to you, I have been seeing a lot more that I have overlooked my whole life.
    Thank you and if you are ever in the area, I would love to pick your brain and learn more if possible!

  24. Chris Emerson

    Where do I find the link to Amazon on your site? I want to go thru your site so you can receive a percentage / support all of your efforts.

    Thanks and keep up the good work. I enjoy your online classes and podcasts…

    Chris Emerson
    Rhode Island

  25. MK

    Your website changed the way I approached photography. I have been photographing from September 4th 2013 – coming up to 3 months now. I stumbled across your site and podcast, subscribed and listened to all the current episodes and working my way through episodes from a year ago. I have learnt something from EVERY SINGLE ONE.

    By the way, I’m so glad you got rid of the announcer voice…

    I learn from other resources too but your resource remains consistent and something I look forward to every week. I recently installed Lightroom and took a crash course in photo editing to the point I am now making professional quality images. Friends and family blown away by the quality (and I have been told they’re secretly betting on when they think I’ll give up the dayjob).

    I am developing my own personal style to be that of a streetscapist to capitalise on where I live: London, specifically East London which some call the most culturally diverse region in the Western hemisphere with certain parts of the area encouraging street artists (and of course where Banksy did most of his work before he moved on to New York).

    Looking forward to continue learning on your site!

  26. Author
    Jim Harmer

    @Murray Sullivan – We have several links to our email right on the page for the presets package.

  27. le bris

    i really love your work
    congratulation ..
    one question I saw on obe of your websites a picture of a fun shirt you wear the black one with f/5.6 in white
    where do you find it
    regards. Bertrand

  28. David Johnston

    Jim, Thank you for what you do. Your encouragement helps me a lot when others say I can’t make it in photography! I know I can! Again, thanks for being a voice for the newcomers!

  29. Sunny

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  30. Bill

    Great website Jim! I’m enjoying all the articles, lots of good info and insight! I’m new to DSLR photography, and I’m wondering your “success rate”, meaning how many shots do you take and how many make the cut?

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  32. Marco Tinman

    I like your podcast. Your interview skills are really good. We get a lot of info and you ask questions that I would ask. I also heard your podcast about Elena Shumilova. There is also one more lady who is good at natural photography. Her name is Lisa Holloway. Her website is http://ljhollowayphotography.com/
    If would be great if you could interview her. And another person is called Meg Bitton.

  33. Steven Maerz

    Hey Jim,

    i listen to your podcast regularly as I drive my tractor trailer up and down I-81. I have recently discovered and acknowledged my love for photography as it is my happy place away from work. I’m hoping one day I will be able to make it full time as a photographer as you have.

    Thanks so much for your podcast, your upbeat attitude and your inspiration. One of these days I’ll make it to one of your workshops or travel get together shoots.

  34. Frank


    I have a question about the instructor feedback on the online courses. It says for example that instructor access for 30 days is Jan 7 – Feb 8? So if I purchase today, how does instructor access work. Is it just that I can buy anytime, but only get access during the dates listed, or will I have access to instructor access in a future month also? Thanks, Frank

  35. Nick

    Hi – love the podcast – you gave some advice a while back to someone asking about calibrating laptop screens, and I think you may have missed an important point –
    Some laptops, including all apple books, have ambient light sensors that adjust the screen dynamically based on the conditions to try to keep it looking good. This is usually good, but for photographers calibrating screens it makes it impossible. Turn these features off when you are calibrating!

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    1. Author
      Jim Harmer

      @James Lott – Yes, if you pick the premium review. With the other review levels we’ll match your portfolio to someone who has expertise dealing with your subject matter and skill level.

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  61. Bill Sotak

    I enjoyed reading the earlier written Improve Photography postings. I don’t care for the podcasts and I stopped getting them. Are there any transcripts of the podcasts? I’d much rather read them.

  62. Rachel Van Camp

    Trying to order your new video bundle but can’t figure out how to do it. The “order now” button doesn’t lead anywhere. Please advise.
    Rachel Van Camp

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