Saturday, December 27, 2014

Artistic Photography

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I started my "artistic" life when I was 5. My mother had beautiful antique books, and what did I do? I drew in them. I drew in or on anything I could. I had a need to create.

Growing up in the Pacific North West, I have such a beautiful place to call home and to inspire me. There have always been little things that I would take note of when hiking or camping, or just playing outside. I would take my grandmothers four wheeler out in the woods and stop and sit in some sunlight streaming through the trees. I believed in fairy's and all sorts of things you would normally see in a Harry Potter film, or Lord of the Rings. Nature was magical to me. I have to admit... it still is. So when I had a few days to spend down in Gold Beach during my winter break, I had the opportunity to take pictures of some things I find beautiful.

In case you were wondering, I edited these in photoshop using the same tools as I did in my youtube tutorial in my previous post!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Photoshop Editing Process - Creating Filters & Selective Color changes

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Since starting photography as a hobby turned career, I have been obsessed with learning trade-secrets of how photographers actually make their work look so amazing. I have an eye for composition (thanks to my 9th grade art teacher, Ms. Packard), but I didn't exactly know how important these items were to making great photographs: 

1) Camera with a great sensor is #1 (My camera isn't full frame, but it is a nice beginner camera with a pretty big CMOS sensor). You want a big sensor to capture more detail and information (light, contrast, sharpness, depth of field) to create awesome images.

2) Lenses are also #1 (Its like the chicken and the egg. A good sensor is useless without the right lenses, but you need a good sensor to capture all of the information your lenses bring into the camera). Dang! I recommend prime lenses. Talk to your local photography store about why. ;) 

3) Photoshop / Lightroom. They are both important because you typically can use both to achieve things that the other cannot. The unfortunate part is that it takes lots of time how to learn how to use photoshop (not so much lightroom once you get photoshop down). 

With all that said, I have been moving my way slowly through getting the right lenses, body, and software. Now I need to learn how to use the software in a way that will get me the results I want. I want the results that the lady at Paint The Moon gets. She is also from Oregon, and her stuff is amazing. Like, unrealistic, realistic. Beautiful. Gorgeous. I'm drooling thinking about her work. Not sold? Look below: 

Unbelievable, right? Amazing. 

Welp... I am a new photographer, on a limited teachers salary, and as much as I would LOVE buying all of her products, I can only do one at a time. But that got me thinking... couldn't I learn how to make the photoshop actions? After all, I do teach graphic design (mostly basic tools for those of you out there thinking, "wow, she really can't do this?"). So I took matters into my own hands and went to YOUTUBE! I learned how to use color overlays, color replacements, gradients, etc. It has been fun and I want to share what I recently worked on: 



Want to know how I did it? Watch the video: 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Little bits of me.

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I am normally a private person. Yes, I do have an online presence and use social media, but I definitely don't put my dirty laundry or problems out to air in the massive world of the internet.

Lately it has been difficult to decide what direction to take my design business and how to be open, yet not too open on my blog/website. Honestly, it is really difficult. You don't know if anyone is really reading or looking at all of your work online, and if they are, what do they think? I suppose that was one thing I had to get over if I really wanted to be successful and enjoy what I'm doing. No one wants to read fake blog posts or go to a website that has no soul or feeling to it.

Thinking about this has really helped me to figure out what to post about, what to write about, and really, what I want my business to be. I love love love graphic design and art, and I really love the photography that goes along with some of the graphic designs I've seen. I started photography in college with a 35 mm camera and a dark room. I honestly loved every minute of it.

The problem lately is deciding what do I want to do more? I am an entrepreneur at heart, but I also have a deep passion for art in all forms. Specifically illustration and photography.

So here I am... I've made it to the point that I know I want to continue on with photography. Yay me. The hard part is making time for other things like painting and drawing. (Well, Casi, why don't you take pictures of what you draw/paint?) Brilliant idea! And lucky you, you get to see the first of this journey... well it feels like the first even though I've been doing it on this blog for awhile. :) My main focus will be family photography because I just love working with the kids, and really capturing what no one else gets to see. Mostly, I love seeing their eyes light up when they see the final product. It really makes me feel good to make something that someone else treasures. <3

Two nights ago, I was scrolling through Etsy and saw a beautiful illustration of a girl with her hair in a loose bun. I fell in love and wanted to draw one for myself.

Essentially, I drew it with pencil and went in with my micronpen .03 and "shaded" it in. Hair is actually pretty hard to draw. Its essentially a lot of shading without worrying about blending in the hard lines. I'm my own worst critic and felt like I could have done better... but you know what, I got quite a few compliments and that is just fine. :) 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My second family session!

First of all, let me say that I am beyond excited to be a photographer. It's really odd to say that because I feel like I wear many hats and an official professional photographer didn't seem like one I'd have. I especially didn't think so when I became a teacher. What teacher has time for that? Isn't teaching your passion? How can you have two passions and professions? The truth is that I've been telling myself that for a long time and I finally realized... Well, why not?! If people like my product and they want me to make it for them, doesn't that qualify me? I think so. 

So with my second official session I wanted to share some things I've learned. 

1) Plan. Everything. 

Not only did I plan the area to shoot the session but I also walked around and planned where I wanted to take each shot. I definitely realized I needed to plan for other things like how cold the weather was, how exactly I'd do each pose with an even number and how to deal with sometimes stiff models! I planned the props I was going to use and I also grabbed extra batteries and sd cards. Go me! That saved my butt.

2. Really plan your poses and how to get clients to relax. 

I am still learning how to do this. Getting a natural look that's planned is hard to do, but getting the unexpected shots are best. This is why I'm going to have an activity involved of some kind in my next sessions. Cold poses aren't what I want to capture so I have to plan to create an environment that allows for natural and candid shots. 

3. Get good lenses (and make sure your sensor is good too).

I love my 50mm but cannot wait to get my 85 mm prime lens! That will do much more for me and I won't have to get in my subjects faces! The prime lenses have amazing bokeh and let in so much light that it brightens the portraits. My sensor is an aps-c, and is great at high ISO. However having a full frame would be awesome too. For now, I'm loving my Nikon D5100. :)

That's what I went away with after the session. My client is actually a good friend of mine and her family were good sports about being in the cold! Take a look at some of the shots. :)

I edited these in Photoshop but decided later to use Lightroom.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

My new business adventure

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I have always adored photography. It wasn't until recent that I realized how passionate I am about capturing those little moments that no one else sees. Those are the things that photography should capture. When I look at pictures that were candid, I realized that those are the once I cherish the most. As a photographer, I think those are the most worth-while parts of the job. When you edit and send back the pictures to the client and they are absolutely delighted to see those candid shots, that makes it so worth the time.

My best friend Anna has a very loving family and I asked her if I could practice on her to build my portfolio. The portraits turned out great, and I was pleasantly surprised that some of the shots that were not planned ended up being the best.

I'm building my website as of now, but the best way to keep current on my photography is to go to my facebook page:

On Instagram

© Pine & Honey. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.