Sunday, February 7, 2016

Michigan Fine Art Photography

 Point Aux Barques Lighthouse on Lake Huron
To purchase any of my
Michigan Winter Fine Art Photographs
I feel very blessed to live in Michigan because I think
Michigan is the PRETTIEST state in America!
As a photographer, I travel all over Michigan to capture its
ravishing beauty in all seasons.  I especially love the many
stunning lighthouses so reminiscent of Michigan.
I turn my photos into fine art, meaning they look like paintings
so you can grace your walls with Michigan splendor!
To learn how to edit your photos in Photoshop to look like paintings,
watch my video tutorial
Introducing my Michigan Winter Collection
Point Aux Barques Lighthouse on Lake Huron
Harbor Beach Lighthouse at Harbor Beach on Lake Huron

                             I trudged almost a mile over frozen Lake Huron to photograph the
Harbor Beach Lighthouse which was surrounded by rare blue ice
during the brutal winter of 2014!
My first time seeing blue ice in Michigan!  I was GIDDY!

Harbor Beach Lighthouse
One of my favorite lighthouses because I love the red, white and blue combo!

Grand Haven Lighthouse in Grand Haven on Lake Michigan
For the first time in decades, the frigid winter of 2014 allowed me
to walk on icy Lake Michigan to photograph the lighthouse!
What a rare pleasure!
17 degrees and snowing like crazy, but I was SO HAPPY!

Grand Haven Lighthouse

Holland Harbor Lighthouse in Holland on Lake Michigan

I LOVE Michigan winters!
Lone Winter Tree by Lake Huron
Stroll along Ludington Beach by Lake Michigan

Ludington Beach by Lake Michigan

Ludington Beach by Lake Michigan

Little Sable Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan

Michigan's Tall Pines

Michigan's Tall Pine Forest

Michigan Log Cabin among the Pines

Snowy Road through the Michigan Pines

Michigan Beach Grass along Lake Michigan

Michigan Beach Grass by a Lake Michigan Inlet
I LOVE to explore along Michigan's west coast!

Pentwater Pier by Lake Michigan

Michigan Winter Landscape

Michigan Winter Landcape

Icy Pentwater Pier by Lake Michigan

Pentwater Pier by Lake Michigan

Icy Lake Michigan by Pentwater Pier

Icy waters of Lake Michigan by Pentwater Pier
The soft blue-green hues create a peaceful, serene artwork
ready for you to hang in a living room, bedroom, dining room,
cottage, cabin...anywhere you want a taste of Michigan's winter!
You can purchase my fine art as wall art on canvas, framed, on metal, greeting cards,
phone cases, tote bags, T-shirts, pillows, bedspreads...even shower curtains!
I will continue to add to my Michigan Fine Art Photography Collection.
If you would like to
commission a certain Michigan scene in fine art photography,
contact me through a comment below.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Composites

I LOVE winter portraits!  Any color against white snow is gorgeous.
But, hauling around colorful furniture...much less finding and buying it,
was always a pain.
Now, you can find wonderful 3D furniture and much more on a new website called
The 3D feature allows you to change the angle of the furniture or
object to go with your photo.
I LOVE red against snow, and drooled over this red velvet bench!
I would love to own this bench, but now I don't need to
buy it, store it or haul it around!
Notice how I changed the angle of the bench right in PixelSquid
to go with the sitting angle of my subjects. 
PixelSquid has all kinds of useful objects you can add to a composite.
Look at this fun snowman that I plunked into my own snowy background!
I went wild in this next photo adding all the fun objects like the
coffee cup, tea pot, side table and vase of flowers. 
PixelSquid is different from other stock photos because you can turn
each object 360 degrees to get the exact angle you need for your composite!
If you have Photoshop CC2014 or higher, you can download
the free PixelSquid Photoshop plugin.  The plugin allows you to
rotate the object right in Photoshop.
If you don't have those versions,  you can still angle the photo
in PixelSquid then download the png or psd. 
The couch here, is not from PixelSquid.  I got it on Pixabay to match the pale blue barn.
My favorite find is this sleigh!!  Imagine what you can do with
this at Christmas.    I especially like that all the PixelSquid
images come with the drop shadow underneath!
The shadow is extremely helpful and saves a ton of time
doing composite work.
If you don't live in a Winter climate, you can purchase any of my
Winter snow backgrounds in my Etsy Shop.  Most come with a snow overlay.

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Home Studio

This Christmas, I challenged myself to shoot all Christmas portraits in my studio.
I much prefer to shoot with natural light indoors or outside,
but I am grateful to have a studio space right in my basement
for when it's too cold outside for children.
My studio is a hodge-podge of lights and props I have collected.
We are fortunate to have ten foot ceilings in our basement.
We painted the brick-textured walls white, but I wanted a smooth
white background.   I tacked white photographic paper from the rafter above.
You can purchase a roll of this paper online.  I've seen it on Amazon.
A photographer in our town was retiring, so I bought ALL his lights.
They are older...but I use those blue lights for backlighting.
I do not like strobe lights!  I need to see exactly where the light
is falling and for me, the FLASH startles children and adults.
I bought the wonderful soft box lights from my photo pal Lucy
and LOVE them!  I can lower or raise the intensity.
They also have a built-in fan to keep them cool as continuous lights get hot fast!
You can find used lighting equipment on Ebay and it's worth considering if you are on a budget.
That white carpet used to be in our dining room before we remodeled with wood floors,
so you can see my studio is very make-shift.
Here are a few behind-the-scene shots snapped by my niece
as I photographed her beautiful daughter Fiona in the studio.
I pay close attention to all the details like getting that hat on just right.
I always wear WHITE when I shoot portraits
because whatever color I wear, reflects in the subjects eyes!
See the woman standing behind me? That's Fiona's grandma
(My husband's sister.)  You can see where Fi gets her lovely curls!
Next to the studio is my stash of thrift store finds! 
I have lots of tutus, and basic fluffy clothes that I use over and over.
Many times I will go to the thrift store and buy clothing
for a specific shoot.  I then return it to the thrift store.  I am
constantly weeding out!
Here's the same area from the other direction.
I keep my studio extremely organized.
I need to be able to find specific clothing and props immediately!
After a shoot, I always return props and clothing to their place
before I edit.
Behind my row of clothing, I stash my props like baskets,
containers for babies, little beds...etc.
I get bored with my props and return them to the thrift store
where I find new props!
Here is my beloved collection of cake stands that I made myself
and fake cakes that I use for birthday shoots.
In the boxes, are various ceramic pieces I bought for pennies and use for my still-lifes.
Once I'm bored with them, I return them to the thrift store.
You can also see my hat collection.
So you can see, you don't have to spend a ton of money
on studio space.  If you have an extra room in your house or basement space,
you can set up a little studio very cheaply.
Just paint the walls white.
That way you can add your own backgrounds in editing.
Plus white walls and ceilings bounce a ton of light!
I never use those awful cloth hanging backgrounds from the 80s.
You don't need all my props and clothing...
I just like to style my portraits.
Hope this helps you to create a make-shift studio!