Sofie {Senior Portraits}

Fall is the perfect time for getting out and shooting some images. Even better when you have a beautiful Senior step in front of your camera at a gorgeous location.
The light was amazing. The colors were phenomenal. She is stunning.
That all makes for a perfect day!
All those colors are real. That tree had so much orange on it that it was just unreal.

One of the really cool things about this location is the white sand. It made it look like we were shooting in snow with vibrant Fall colors!

Love all the Autumn colors in this one!
She is such a beautiful young woman. And oh so photogenic!

This dress has some amazing embroidery on it. And the red shoes with the Fall colors was spectacular!
I love it when my clients introduce me to new places. This day was absolutely amazing! She was so much fun to have in front of my camera and I just love, love, love all the resulting images from this shoot!
Thanks Sofie and Christy for a wonderful day and for introducing me to your family spot!


It’s My Birthday… {And there are freebies for YOU!}

Today is my birthday and to celebrate I am giving you a gift.
You can download my Light Leaks Texture Set 1 HERE or HERE.
You can use it to add light and color to images like this………
You can also download The Shades of Grey Texture Collection HERE or HERE.
You can use it to create images like this….or you can just overlay it to add more dimension to your images!
Now in my best Oprah voice I want to yell “But there’s more….”

You can download the Vintage Lace Texture Collection HERE or HERE.
Just adding one texture I changed this to look more dramatic!
There you go! Lots of goodies! Enjoy them!

And if you feel like purchasing any of my other textures just head over HERE (and there might be another free set or two for you there).

If you need some tutorials, head over HERE (there might be some free overlays here too!)
If you want to be really nice you can pop over to my Facebook page and 
say Thank you or Happy Birthday!  
(And maybe even like the page while you are there!)

Eleventh Hour

When people think of iconic posters that they remember, most people will think of the Farrah Fawcett poster of her in the red bathing suit. That’s usually the first one people think of. Well, not me. I was a HUGE Van Halen fan growing up and when I got my Women and Children First album (not cassette tape or CD…yes, album) there was a poster of David Lee Roth inside. It instantly went up on my wall and stayed there until I moved out. 

(I wish I knew where it was now…I would totally find a spot to hang it in my house!)
For some time now I have been wanting to create my own modern female version of that amazing Helmut Newton image. I finally did and am completely loving what I ended up with.
This is called “Eleventh Hour”.


“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.” 

(C. JoyBell C.) 

Motion Blur {A PS Tutorial}

Not too long ago images that looked like this started popping up in my newsfeed….I thought they were so cool and were probably oh so difficult to do too.

Well, they are very cool, but achieving the look is much easier than you think! Much, much easier!

First we open our image in PS.

We are going to use this image of some trees in Forest Park on a snowy day.

First thing, Duplicate your layer (Ctrl + J on a PC or Command + J if you are on a Mac). We are going to apply our blur to the layer so that we can mask it off and not mess up our original photo!
Go up to Filter> Blur> Motion Blur
A box will pop up that looks like this…..
We are going to change those original settings.
I basically changed them until I thought the blur was enough. Not too over the top though.
You will want to click the little icon at the bottom of your layer palette to add your layer mask. If you have a white layer mask, you need to make sure your foreground is set to black and that you are using a soft brush to mask it off. 
So, with your soft brush set to black, you will begin masking off the parts you don’t want so blurred. Use a soft brush set to about 9% opacity or so to start. (If you make a mistake, just switch your foreground color and go over it to cover it back up!)
Now once you get it to where you want it to be, you are going to need to crop it. You need to crop it because as you can see from applying the original blur that the edges of it are not fully blurred and don’t look quite right. Once you crop that out, you get rid of that issue. Flatten your image and get ready to crop.
So, this is now what the image looks like.
But I want to make it black and white and then add a tone to it.
You can convert your image to black and white however you normally do it. Some people have a favorite black and white action and that is fine. Your choice.
I added a gradient map (black and white) and then bumped up the contrast a bit. If you like how it looks, flatten your image.
Now, I am going to add the tone to it….
Go down to the bottom of your layer palette and click the adjustment layer icon (circle that is half dark/half light). When that pops up, click on Solid Color.
That will pop up the new layer. Click on the color that is there on the left and change it. I changed mine to color 454F71.
I ended up adjusting it to Soft Light, 48% opacity once I tweaked it to my liking.
Now you just flatten and save your image….and you are done!
A little before and after…..
Now your turn…..go try it!