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!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekly Fixations - January 15, 2010

Metering Modes explained at Digital Photography School.

This post is a great example of paying attention to detail in your marketing materials. Love it!

I am really not much of a baby person, but the child in these photos is so cute and the photography is wonderful.

More scrumptious looking appetizers from the Pioneer Woman.

12 collections of photos from around the world in 2009.

A tip on using Twitter hashtags.

I found this article on getting to know your subject better, and not only is it a great practice, the story and the image that go with it are lovely as well.

A couple of very lovely weddings from Style Me Pretty. I love the color palettes that are muted but so diverse.

21 Most popular photography posts n Digital Photography School in 2009.

I always love reading Jasmine Star's blog and I particularily like a comment in this post. She says, " remind me of how happiness feels. It feels like a strong wind. It feels like dark chocolate ice cream. It feels like the palm of JD's hand. It feels beautiful. " I love that. She is so poetic sometimes.

Check out this site if you are a bargain hunter... pre-owned wedding dresses.

Look at this great new take on the wedding album! It is an album that features a built-in lcd screen that shows videos.

When I first saw this wedding on Style Me Pretty it made me think of quiet life in an English garden and then...wait a minute, is that a peacock? It is! Check it out here, here, and here.

Another inspiration to Reality here, here, and here.

The details on these cakes are increbidle.

Love the attention to detail on this packaging from Piperlime.

This wedding has such great color! It makes me wish for summer... sigh.

This is a lovely wedding from Christian Oth Studio.

Check out the photos at the bottom of this post and then go check out Braedon's blog.

These DIY glass bead necklaces are adorable.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

May I present...

It's my 17" Macbook Pro!

Obviously I am excited about the new Macbook, but I decided to see how Lily the demon cat felt about it.

At first she was way too cool to hang out with the new baby...

But eventually even Lily had to warm up to it's lightning speed processor

and the bright shiny screen.

But of course she has to do some showing off too. Why can't the dogs love the camera even half as much as the cat does? *sigh*

So, I am aware that there was very little (okay, no) photography related content in this post. Now that you are all happy from seeing my adorable cat and my super cool new computer (which is so great!) let me remind you that Valentine's Day is just around the corner and a boudoir session would be the perfect gift for your special someone...Contact me to book your session today!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Picture Monday - Beth and Richard

Happy (late) Picture Monday! Here are the rest of the photos from Beth and Richard's wedding back in December. The ceremony and reception were both held at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church and it was a small, but lovely event. I met Beth at the photo walk that I hosted back in July and she is such an amazing, inspiring individual. I am so blessed to have been able to spend her wedding day with her and Richard and I could not be happier for the two of them. Beth is one of those perfect examples of just how far a positive attitude can get you in life. Best wishes to you both for many years to come!