Friday, December 31, 2010

Snowfall & Laughter

I am always amazed at how resilient children are to snow, unaffected by the cold and energized by the thrill of the unfamiliar. As an adult I look at this beautiful white fluff and think "WOW! I am NOT going out in that!" But children see it and are automatically drawn to it and can not help but want to play and explore. That is the beauty of childhood innocence; untainted by memories of slipping on ice and freezing your tush off while shoveling the drive and walkway. It is hard to NOT be drawn to the giddy laughter and playful cavorting of a child enjoying the first snowfalls of the season. Capturing these moments of awe for a family to enjoy is a gift onto itself. I feel so blessed to have been able to freeze these moments of joy and wonderment for the Riggs family.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A New Look

We've revamped our blog. What do you think? Do you like the old or new better? Is there something you would have liked to have seen done differently?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Actions and Edits

This week I have been learning about Actions for Photoshop. Actions are an easy and time saving way to edit your photos with the click of a button. Some actions I have created myself and others I have downloaded. It's amazing the different ways a single photo can look!

Here are a list of some sites I have been able to download and learn more about actions from:
Downloading some of these actions have been a great way to teach me more about using Photoshop and editing. By following along with the steps shown in the actions, I have been able to try out different things and tweak the actions to my preferences.

Here are some of the different edits I've done by using actions:

I am really excited to play around with Actions some more and to create an action that I'll want to use for most pictures; something that will enhance my work rather than completely alter it. In the meantime, I'll just keep learning and passing on to you what I can.

Happy snaps to you all!

It's A Giveaway!!!!!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE giveaways! Even though I've not won one yet, the possibility is exciting. This weeks giveaway is for a really cool camera bag from MCP Actions. There are two choices, the GLEE bag or the IT bag. Both of which are amazingly cool! If you'd like a chance to win one of these, check out the link listed below. Good luck!

MCP Actions: Photoshop Actions & Online Training Classes

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Maxwell's

Just wanted to share some of the portraits I did for the Maxwell family. They sure were great to work with and the kids were so fun! Enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Legends of the Fall

I love autumn! The trees changing colors, apples in season, pumpkins and giddy children dressed in costumes. This poem reminds me of all the things I love about the fall.

September by John Updike

The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

Dreary Days and Bedtime Yearnings

Life in a high desert often brings clear sunny days and cheery dispositions. However, this week has been filled with overcast days, rain and a heavy case of the snoozies. When I am in bed, I do not want to get out of it and put off starting the day for as long as possible ... which is not long with 2 toddlers in the house! Since I am unable to loaf around in bed all day, I thought a picture would ease my yearnings ... it's only made them worse! So for all of you out there who are able to sleep in on a cold and dreary day, enjoy it and all moments alike.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crave Photography Giveaway

I was reading one of the blogs I follow, The Maternal Lens, and learned about this AMAZING photographer in Utah. She goes by the name of Crave Photography and her work is totally reflective of the name, because I am absolutely craving to see more of her stuff! Right now she is doing a giveaway for mentoring. Here's a list of things she will be teaching:

*several ways to get sharp sparkly eyes
*how to get creamy skin tones
*several different methods for adding yummy light to photographs
*several different ways for adding deep rich shadows
*bold vivid colors
*vintage looks
*ultra sharp photos
*adding artificial lens flares/haze
*working with textures
*Q&A where you can ask Andee any questions about photography, business, photo shoots, lighting, camera, lenses, posing, etc...

What a great giveaway! Here's to hoping I win!

Moving, Edits, Programs and Lomo Photography, OH MY!

There are all kinds of different ways and styles to edit digital photography and several different programs to do it in. When I first started shooting with my DSLR, I would edit my work in Photoshop Elements 2.0. There was no rhyme or reason for choosing this program, it just happened to come with an Epson scanner we had purchased and was "free". I would do basic edits, like enhancing color or converting a color image to black and white. And then I discovered the world of vignettes! I was so excited about this "new" technique. Now mind you, vignetting is not new, but it was new to me at the time and I couldn't believe the difference it made in my work. In fact, I'm still amazed at how something so simple can completely change the look of an image.

Just as I was beginning to delve into the world of digital photography and editing, we moved. Some of you may be thinking, "Moving? What does that have to do with photography and edits?" Let me tell you, it changed EVERYTHING for me. I
assume that moving for most is probably something that is kept locally (within a 200 mile radius of where you grew up), at least that is how it has been for a majority of people I know. For my husband and I, we tend to have the outlook of, "If you're going to do it, do it right". So we uprooted our comfortable lives in Ohio, said goodbye to friends and family, and relocated to Washington. Now, there were reasons for the move, it's not like we just left on a whim, but those reasons do not really pertain to this story. So how does a cross-country move effect one's photography? Instead of focusing on my work, I was preoccupied with things like housing, unpacking, socializing and learning the lay of the land. Photography had become a distant memory and my camera had become a magnet for dust. Sad, I know. Then one day, my laptop took a dump and I found I needed a new one. My hubby and I started talking about the different ones to choose from, which ones had the best ratings and what I would be using it for. It was then that photography came to the forefront of my thoughts. It was time to start shooting again and start honing my skills that I had started to develop.

With my camera back in action, old laptop dead (thank goodness all my previous images were backed up on an external hard drive), a great new laptop with
no editing software on it and my Photoshop Elements 2.0 disc buried in one of many unpacked boxes (not too mention it was way outdated), it was time to find some new software. My husband suggested I try out Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2. I have to admit, I was concerned about using this program. All notes I had written down were for Photoshop and did not apply to Paint Shop Pro. To make matters worse, all research I did to learn how to use this program turned up instructions for Photoshop. Obviously the preferred software for photographers is Photoshop, but I had Paint Shop Pro and had to do with what I had. I'm not going to lie, I did not put forth a ton of effort to learn how to use this program and took the laissez faire approach by only using basic edit techniques. Looking back, I really wish I wouldn't had been a bum about it. I really wasted an opportunity to learn how to use a good product. But now I have a new product to learn and plan on focusing on a new technique every week to optimize my work.

The new software I am now using is Photoshop CS. I abs
olutely love it! What I love the most, is that now I can start learning some of the cool techniques I ran across during my research for using Paint Shop Pro. One of those was Lomo Style Photography, a method for making digital photos look like they were taken from an old Russian LOMO LC-A camera.. I love the dramatic effects this style creates and have been wanting to try it out on a few stock art images I have. Here are my first two attempts at this style:
Original /Lomo Style

Original/Lomo Style
I'm very happy with the results and can't wait to try it on some more images.
I can't wait to learn all the different techniques that Photoshop has to offer. My plan is to learn a new technique weekly and apply it to my work. The prospects are exciting.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hello Portraits! It's Been a While...

Tomorrow is my first photo session, involving people, in long time. I'm kind of nervous but also very excited. In preparation for tomorrow, i went scouting for new shooting locations Friday. I found a few really cool spots. On of which was on the property of a winery. There are a row of trees on one side and on the other side of the trees is a hay field with old style irrigation. I'm so excited about this location. It has TONS of potential. However, I'm not using it for tomorrow. I'm going to be selfish and do my family's portraits there first. For tomorrow, I'm taking my clients to a residential neighborhood that's out in the country. There is a railroad track that runs near it and also a lot of tall green grasses. I think it'll be a great site! And, if time permits, I'll take them to another site near by. This one has a wooden corral style fence with tons of cool tumbleweed, sagebrush and other desert plants behind it. I just happened upon it while driving around and was highly amazed that this fabulous setting was next to the road! Hopefully tomorrow blesses me with good natural lighting, creative mental imagery, and knowledge to work my camera and settings.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

For Sale

Since I had mentioned that I was undertaking Real Estate photography, I thought I'd share a few pictures of some of the homes I have done. Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Been A While

It has been a while since I have posted anything. But this does not mean I have not been busy. So what have I been doing, you may be asking yourself. Well, I have been branching out to a different type of photography and clientel...Real Estate! It is fun and interesting and stress free! I do not have to worry about all faces looking at me, coordinating poses or major editting. All I have to do is make sure the house looks great. Do not think that I am not doing portraits anymore; after all, they are my first love! But in the meantime, real estate has become a great way to branch out and keep me behind the camera.

As I said, I am still doing portraits and was more than eager to do group shots of some adorable girls recently. We had a fantastic time and I was so impressed with how well they all did as a group. I hope they enjoy their pictures as much as I do.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beautiful Days

The weather in Washington has been fantastic for the past few weeks, and this weekend has been no exception. My family and I went out to enjoy the day together and were greeted by the most amazing clouds and fantastic sky! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!