Sunday, June 28, 2015

Adding Pretty New Skies

One of the fastest and prettiest ways to add a pop of WOW
to your photos is to switch out the sky!

When photographing portraits, I am always setting exposure
for the face, so often...especially with backlighting,
the sky will be blown out and look white.

I keep a folder of beautiful sky photos and simply
place them into the white sky.

If the sky isn't totally white, I actually paint it white
so the clouds from the sky overlay are bright white.

This original sunset photo has a lovely dark blue sky,
but you can add more pizzazz with a new sky!

Be on the look out for beautiful evening skies and sunsets
and keep the photos in your sky folder.

I pretty much replace all my skies in portraits!

You can add drama, or just dreamy color with a new sky.

To learn how to add a new sky and blend it correctly with your photo
Watch my Video Tutorial.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Daisy Portraits

June is such a happy month when we finally have
sunshine and DAISIES...what I consider the sunniest flower!

They only last a few weeks, so I have been busy capturing the
simplicity of daisies.

I found a hand-smocked yellow dress at the thrift store
and KNEW it would go with a daisy shoot.
But it photographed almost white.

So, I painted in some yellow on the dress in this next shot.
Watch my video tutorial to see how to do this,
and how to control your yellows in Photoshop and PSE. 

Simple clothes seem to go with this simple flower.

I make head wreaths from thrift store flowers.  You can
also make one from fresh daisies!
We added a few fresh daisies in this head wreath.

Running shots really show the field of daisies.

Shoot with as wide an aperture as you can to make the
daisies blur in the background and foreground.  I used f2.8
For two people this close together, I narrowed to f.3.5

We have a wonderful walking path near my house
and that's where I shoot all my wildflower portraits.
Every week seems to add a new variety.

In editing, play around with color saturation...
I like both bright
and subtle color.

I hope you can find some daisies growing near you
and take advantage of the sunny June flowers!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rainy Day Photos

Don't let a summer rain get in the way of
practicing your photography!
To prepare for a rainy day, buy yourself a rain cover for
your camera.
I have this one that I got for only $15 on this link.
If it's raining hard, set out a dish on your back patio.
I used the top of my grill because it is a delightful RED!
Use a FAST shutter...200 or above to capture the drops as they
hit the water.
Also use a deep depth of field..try an aperture of f8
to keep things in focus.

The one strange thing about's very hard to photograph
it falling!   It was raining hard when I took this next photo.
But you can barely see the streaks in the dark green tree area.
So, I added some fun, whimsical rain in Photoshop.
I show you how in my video tutorial.
You can download my rain brush for free CLICK HERE
This technique works well when it's cloudy and gloomy,
but you prefer to shoot when it's not raining.
I even added some SPLASHES...
I got the splash brushes by midnightstouch, from Deviant Art.
CLICK HERE  to download the splash brushes for free!
So, if it rains this summer and your kids are bored...
photograph them in the rain!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Pretty Floral Chair

Morning is my favorite time of day and I especially
love shooting still-life photos with a low morning sun streaming
gorgeous light into the scene.
This week, I awoke to a beautiful sunny morning,
and decided to haul my favorite floral chair to a field
and photograph it in full morning glory.
The chair is so pretty in the photo, you would never know it was
a musty old chair I found at the thrift store!
When my eyes landed on this beauty from across the thrift store,
I KNEW it was MINE!
My heart pummeled as I hurried over to the chair,
worried somebody would snatch it up before I could reach it.
Not to worry....NOBODY was noticing this lovely treasure.
If you could see this in's not so lovely.
It's actually made from vinyl!  I think it's from circa 1959
and likely hid in somebody's basement for years.
I had to wipe away dirt and cobwebs from my
$15 thrift store treasure.
But, I KNEW it would photograph beautifully
and it DOES!
It's perfect for little girl shoots!


Photography is very forgiving of a less-than-perfect
paint job, outfit or old chair.

So, keep your eyes alert to photo props at the
thrift store.
Forgive a few imperfections....
in a may be PERFECT!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Senior Portraits Beyond the Ordinary

Senior portrait season has begun and if you are
a professional photographer shooting senior sessions or
if you just want to create unique photos of someone,
this is the blog post for you.
Of course,  I take the typical
photos from various distances and angles.


But, with seniors...I always try to capture their
interests, talents or activities in a few portraits.
This is where I go beyond the ordinary!
I really tap my own creativity to
 capture my seniors in a special way a beautiful photo!
I always ask the senior these important questions:
What is your passion?
What do you LOVE to do?
What talent to you want to capture in a photo?
Allie was on the swim we borrowed my
neighbor's pool for this next portrait.
I actually saw this pose in a vision and I saw her
curled hair floating in the water.
When she got into the pool, I had her slowly
lower her body into the water, and sure enough,
her hair floated as I saw in the vision!
Abbie plays the saxophone.  I had her come back another day in the morning
to capture this photo in a field of Queen Anne's Lace.
Nick wanted his vintage yellow car in some photos:
I love to try out different perspectives!
Chris wanted his SUV.  I really push my creativity to
think of poses that are NOT ORDINARY!

Emilee wanted to wear her prom dress:
Yes, I took the typical photos of Christian, BUT...

I also waited for sunset to capture this special
portrait of him playing his beloved soccer.
I was lying flat on my back for this photo.

I did the same thing for Alyssa who is on the pom pom squad:

Silhouette shots look great in senior collages!
I actually went to the baseball stadium for this shot of
catcher Hunter:
We also shot on several farms for Sarah...
And, another Sarah:
Jenna was on the track I created a progression composite.
Watch my video tutorial to learn how to do this in Photoshop and PSE.
 I challenge you to think up a different, creative
portrait for your senior...
then share it with ME on Facebook!