Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bts with Kayla

 I had a very fun test shoot with Kayla and T Rob the other day. It was one of those shoots where I saw a video and got inspiration. This blog post was supposed to be a simple behind the scenes look, but it reminded me that I intended to do a few blog posts on staging.This shoot is a simple example of staging. I'm a firm believer of working through your circumstances. Especially when you're first starting. Regardless of the size of your budget staging allows you to shoot beyond your space. Any one who has been to my house knows how small my living room is. It's never stopped me from shooting, and I refuse to let it limit what I can shoot. A good portion of my portfolio was shot in my living room or around my house. It's an unspoken rule that anything in and around my house can and will be used as props. :)  I'm a beauty photographer, so I don't need a lot of real estate to shoot. My sets are generally not too elaborate and can be on a small scale. But with some creativity, some odds and ends from the craft store and determination you can transform any size space into what you need.   For this particular shoot, I started with four poster boards and some crayons. See below, my lovely American flag I made. According to my husband even though I was doing it with crayon I couldn't half-ass it, so even though it's cut off in the picture there are fifty doggone stars and 13 stripes. :)

Here is what I did with a little, well...a lot of help from photoshop to bring out the color of my flag.

Here are some behind the scenes pictures from our shoot as well as more final images. I'm obsessed with these images.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Behind the scenes: Maddie

Here is a behind the scenes look at my shoot from the other day. We had to reschedule from Friday due to the weather and I'm glad we did. It was nice and sunny out and the perfect lighting for the shots I had planned. It's been a while since I've done any behind the scenes video and I gotta say I'm a bit rusty. :) Vicki shot the footage for me and I edited. It took me forever to remember how to edit video, and I forgot how much fun it can be. I have to definitely get back to making videos from my shoots. It's a little rough, but all in all I still love it. :) Take a look at some of the behind the scene shots, as well as some portraits of Maddie I took before she went to hair. I added the video at the end.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A portrait session with Chasidy

I just wanted to share a cute portrait session I did on Sunday with you guys. Chasidy is an aspiring model so her session was loads of fun. I kept it simple for this shoot because of how back and forth the weather was, but still in love with the shots we got. I had a hard time choosing my favorites.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Time, time for some, time for some Actions

The title gave me a fit of giggles. It's a song by Redman that my husband used to sing all the time and he used to do this crazy dance that went along with it, but I digress. The purpose of today's post is Actions. In my case photoshop actions. In lightroom they are called presets. There are places aplenty to find them all over the web. Some are great, some not so much, the most important thing is to experiment. They are easy to use which to me, is the most important thing. There are so many complicated things about photography, it's nice once and a while to take editing your photos off that list. I find them most useful when I'm doing portraits and want to make sure that all the photos are the same, keeping a central mood or theme throughout the whole session. Great if you're selling packages, photo albums, that type of thing. Actions are easier than trying to remember what you did for each photo.

 I want to first show you how to go about finding and adding them to your computer. Forgive me if any steps are left out. I'm so used to doing it now, that I may skip something. So, as I said, you can find actions around the world wide web by simple Googling photoshop actions. Here are some of the places I found. Deviant Art   is a great website for all things art related. You can find a lot of Photoshop goodies, as well as some great artists. I mean some of the things these people can do with Photoshop remind me that I am still in the infantile stages of the program. Another great website for actions or rather the links to some great actions is PhotoTuts. They have wonderful Photoshop tutorials! I go to this website a lot. The link I gave you send you straight to an article they have on actions, including how to make them yourself. The best part about the above actions is that they are mostly free. MCP Actions  also has free actions that they offer as well as some great ones that you can pay for. I also found some beautiful actions from photographer KMiller as well as tutorials on her blog. :)

Alright, so you've found some cool actions that you love and can't wait to start using them. Once you download them, here is how you add them to your photoshop. Move your downloaded actions to the actions folder. The file path is below.

 Now, to load them in your actions tab.

 You can find the actions tab by going to window and clicking on it. I keep mine in the same section as my layers. It's easier to reach for me there.

 Click on the circled icon, go to load actions:

The window below should pop up. Choose the action/s you want to load. Rinse and repeat for every action you want to add to your tab. :)

Now on to using actions. Here is a picture I took of fellow photographer Brandi Anderson and her family a couple of years ago with no retouches done to the image.

Choose the action that you want to use and then press the play button circled at the bottom. Photoshop will carry out the action. Some actions will merge the layers automatically, and there are some actions that will show you all the layers used like in the picture on the right. This will allow you to adjust and tweak the layers to fit each picture if needed.
 Once you merge the layers together, this is the result of the action. A simple one minute edit to your photo.

 Side by side:

See, easy peesy. Takes you longer to load the actions than it does to use them. Below are some other examples of how I used actions.

 Now actions don't necessarily mean you have to change the color. Actions are really just short cuts for the things you do in photoshop often. For example, I have actions for brightening teeth, one for dodging and burning, one for skin smoothing etc. They cut time out of your editing and who doesn't need that.

 Feel free to email me or message me on my facebook with any questions or suggestions for blog posts you'd like to see in the future. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Behind the scenes of my latest shoot

Just recently did a magazine shoot with stylist Tamy Lugo (, model Darryl S and MUA Sherry Restifo. Here are some of the behind the scenes shots I took from our shoot.

As always I like to take black and white shots after the shoot. It gives me something to preview, especially in the case of fashion shoots I'm submitting, it can take weeks for anything to come out. :) Here are my favs from the black and whites. I decided to leave some in color because I absolutely loved the contrast of her hair and skin color.