Sunday, July 18, 2010

Picture Monday - Kevin and Marcie

Good morning everyone! I hope that you all had a great weekend. I did find one reason over the weekend why I am glad that I never completely shut down my blogger account - wordpress wants you to pay $60 a year to upload videos to your blog and blogger does it for free. So, this post is coming to you courtesy of my old blog. If you want to subscribe via RSS or email please be sure to follow the wordpress blog and not the blogger one though as I will probably only use this to post videos from here on out. So, now that we have that cleared up enjoy the slideshow from Marcie and Kevin's recent wedding. Congratulations you two!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oops. One more thing overlooked.

I guess that when I migrated my blog over to wordpress I forgot to mention it over here at Blogger. Sorry Blogger. You have been good to me, but I've found someone new. Goodbye.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Weekly Fixations - February 5, 2010

Unleashing the power of analytics

Presets vs. Actions - and some links to free stuff

This invitation is so cute.

Color personality test here.

Some DIY for your Friday. First, make your own rapid strap. Then, a link to make your own flash diffuser. Disclaimer: while this may be fine for a hobbyist I would never dream of showing up on a job with bubblewrap strapped to my flash unit. Maybe that's just me though.

Nice quick and easy photoshop tutorial for making layouts using textures.

If you are interested in type face at all check out the Basic Rules of Type.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Making Money vs. Crafting Quality

Somehow when my TV was getting set up (probably because my husband decided that we didn't need the tech guy to come set up our system and that we could do it ourselves) when I turn the television off, it turns off everything. Surround sound, cable box, the works. Which in itself would have been fine - saving energy! Until I realized that I have to let my cable box reboot every time I turn on the TV before I can watch anything.
I don't take a long time to get ready in the mornings (because I hate mornings) so by the time the cable box turns itself on I am practically ready to leave. And then last night was the final straw.
You may know that last night was the season premiere of Lost. My husband hates this show. He also had to wake up early today so I turned off the TV half way through the show so that we could go to bed, fully assured that my show would be recorded. It was not! Now this TV issue is a problem. This has absolutely nothing to do with what I wanted to talk about today but I just had to rant a bit. If you are a tech savvy person and you can fix my V please help. I will cook you dinner or you can have my eternal gratitude. And, I promise not to make enchiladas.
Anyway, I was browsing through my reader yesterday when I ran across this clip of Saul Bass on the Red Door LA blog (link here). The video is very short, but I think that he says some very important things. Now, I am paraphrasing a bit here but the things that he said that really struck me were first, "I want everything that comes out of my studio to be beautiful." and second, "We (as designers) need to realize that not everyone else cares."
Two very important and diverse points. How can we apply this to our photography? First, we need to make the commitment to make everything that comes out of our studio the absolute best it can be. Not for the money, but because we refuse to accept anything less from ourselves. Next, and far more difficult, we have to make potential clients care.
How do we make our clients care? I have no brilliant ideas here. I just try to be passionate about what I do and care about people. I feel like people are more likely to care about you and what you care about if you care about them. I don't like "selling" to people like a cheesy used car salesman, but I do believe in providing services.
If anyway has an answer to the question of making people care, please share in the comments and have a great day!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Picture Monday - Katie and Rob

I hope that everyone managed to stay warm and safe over the weekend! Hopefully all of you "snow" people have gotten your fill now and we can go ahead and move on to Spring. Speaking of Spring and new beginnings today I have some images from a recent maternity shoot with my lovely friend Katie. Hope you like!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Weekly Fixations - January 29, 2010

Brand Camp Marketing Week:
The Secret (I am implementing this idea ASAP)

Naming Lightroom Presets

Pantone bridesmaid dresses. Awesome.

These balsa wood flowers are amazing. Seriously.

FREE download: Social Media for photographers

You know what a sucker I am for good branding.

Building you own publicity machine AND a free template.

This wedding is just pretty, and what great flowers. I mean seriously, who doesn't like pretty things?

Printable wedding day details on Inspired Bride.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Deciding Moment

I was reading a blog recently where a prominent photographer was asked to share the moment when he fell in love with photography and he could trace it back to one precise shoot when he was a teenager. I do not think that my evolution into being a photographer was as finite as that.

Photography was always something that I liked, but until quite recently that was all that it was. A little over a year ago it finally occurred to me that photography could be my job.

I went to school for Interior Design and Architecture. What I really liked about design was the mixture of creative and technical. I liked how you could use technology to create art.

Unless you are incredibly independently wealthy and have been living under a rock you probably noticed that there has been a recession going on the past few years. Building trades don't do well in recessions. It became obvious to me that what I was doing in Interior Design was not working for me and I needed to come up with a plan B. That plan B was either go back to school and get my Architecture degree or become a photographer professionally. I decided to start researching what it would take to run my own business and become a photographer.

I read everything that I could get my hands on both in print and on the Internet. I joined Twitter and Facebook. I starting shooting and I practiced. Then I practiced some more. I never really felt like there was a moment that "made" me a photographer. Maybe it was booking my first client who was a complete stranger. Or my first blog comment that was not from my friends. I do remember the first wedding image that made me feel like maybe I could be alright at this. It was an image from my best friends wedding of her and her husband kissing. Technically speaking, the shot was not stellar. I had blown highlights everywhere and I was just shooting what the "official" photographer had set up, but when I downloaded it the after I got home I thought it was pretty darn good thankyouverymuch.

Did you have a "moment" when you knew that photography was for you? A specific image that made you feel like you'd really made it? I'd love to hear your stories!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Picture Monday - JC and Laura

I am trying out something new with this video feature. Let me know what you guys think. Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekly Fixations - January 22, 2010

First off, I have complete ADD when it comes to watching videos on the Internet. I am on my computer a lot so if I am going to spend 10 minutes watching something it had better be good. This video of Jessica Claire's wedding shot by Elysium and featured on Style Me Pretty is all that and more. Just a few things about it that make it worth your time, the effects in the video are so like the photoshop effects that would be used on the actual photographs. That alone is worth it. Second, I love all of the details that they managed to focus on. In the video she has two different head pieces and two dresses. How great is that? Last, if you are still reading you are obviously intrigued so just go watch it already.

4 ways to format images for the internet.

Very cute printable vintage Valentine's Day cards.

I love how these shadow boxes make both the pictures of the bride and her mother look like they belong together. This would be a great display in your home.

If you have ever been terrified of having to fly with your camera gear this article proposes an interesting solution - fly with a weapon.

DIY Valentine's Day brownie bags!
What are you doing to move your business forward?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another look at Photoshop actions

Hello and Happy Wednesday! Today I wanted to talk a few minutes about Photoshop actions. If you have used photoshop actions then you already know how great they are. Actions are sets of pre-recorded steps in photoshop that produces a non-destructive effect for your images. They can also do things like batch process, resize, etc. that are great time savers for your workflow. A great book to read on the subject (among other subjects) is Kevin Kubuta's Digital Photography Boot Camp. This book really helped me start to understand how actions can help make your workflow more efficient and it sets you up with how to make some basic actions of your own.

So, now that you are at least a little acquainted with actions I wanted to talk about a major road block a lot of photographers have when starting to use actions. Many people feel like they need to apply an action and use it as is. This is so not the case! Actions are made to be endlessly adjustable to your taste because of all the layers and masks they use. Let's look at an example.

Here is one of my images from a recent wedding after basic correction. It is a nice image but I feel like it could use a little something extra. Next, I apply the Vintage action from the Pioneer Woman's action sets (which you can download for FREE here and they are absolutely AMAZING, especially since she puts them out there for everyone to use.)

Hmm...that was really not what I had in mind for this photo. I guess that I will just go back in History and take it off and try something else, right? Not so fast! Watch what happens when I take the opacity down to 50%.

Oh, wow. That's very pretty. Let's take it a step further and start layering actions. Yep, I just went there and it is not nearly as scary as it seems. For the next image I added "slight lighten" from Pioneer Woman (which I use ALL the time) and then layered on Totally Rad Actions "Technicolor Dream World" at 50%, and TRA "Cross-Processed #1" at 10%.

This is the final product. Go ahead and try out some mix-and-match of your own and let me see how it comes out!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Picture Monday - Dancing with the Sandhill's Stars

In case you missed the photos in the Pilot last Wednesday, or as a supplement to those photos, or if you just weren't able to make the Dancing with the Sandhill's Stars event and were wondering what happened, here are some more images from the event. Enjoy!