Backyard bird photography popularity has soared since the Corvid-19 lockdown, and as it turns out, backyard photography is a perfect topic for to discuss with your photography mentor. You do have a photography mentor, right?

Backyard Bird Photography – Success

Joe is a frequent client, and he was sharing images with me like this hummingbird at the feeder. He was banging out technically perfect shots, but they were not very exciting pics. With a few emails, texts and phone calls I gave Joe some advice via online mentoring.

Backyard-bird-photography-Virtual Photography Workshop Before Workshop

Backyard Bird Photography – Beginning Image

My comments to Joe about this hummingbird included these thoughts.

  • It is tack sharp and has a perfect background with great light.
  • The hummingbird pose is very nice.
  • There is catchlight in the eye.
  • The composition works well with the bird looking down and into the frame.
  • Major issue. I don’t like including the “hand of man” in my images.
  • My, nitpick issue was that it is cropped a little too tight for me.

After we talked about solutions, Joe came back with this new image. I think you will agree that this is much more natural and pleasing.

Back yard birds photography Better Image

Back yard birds photography Better Image


All of the good things from the first image are in this photo, too, good job.


My nitpicks are that it is a little bit too centered. It’s challenging to take that shot without the feeder, and while I can’t see it, I know it’s there. I told you it was a nitpick!


I suggested that Joe should add flowers to the feeder to give a natural appearance to the scene. In other words, give context to the image, so we know why a hummingbird is in the photograph.

Joe came back with this stunning image.

Backyard Bird Photography Virtual Photography Workshop

Backyard Bird Photography – Final Image

Joe did  a great job and it is a terrific backyard bird photography image. Well done! After a few days of mentoring his backyard images have gone from boring to publishable. I can mentor you too! If you would like to see what Joe’s hummingbird gallery looks like now, check out Joe Norton Photography!

Backyard Bird Photography Behind the Scene

Joe does have professional assistance with his flower choices from Jake!


Learn More

Go check out my photography mentoring page and learn more about how I can help you be a better photographer with some mentoring.

You can also check out this blog post for more insight about setting up your feeders for better bird photography.