Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to Plan a Destination Wedding on a Budget



So I wrote a post about 'Why you should have a destination Wedding' & now I think it's time to talk about how to do it. Most times when we think about destination weddings the word, "expensive" comes to mind. But if you really think about all the ways to save & get down to it, it's totally possible to have one & keep your first born son. So tell him to stop hiding, its safe to come out from under the table.

I'll also note that for some, money isn't an issue, which is awesome & again make sure to send me an email & hire me for that fabulous Wedding you're planning. But even still there are your guests to consider. Make sure as you plan the Wedding that it is feasible for important people to attend.

There are so many beautiful locations & options when planning a destination Wedding. Start by making a list & narrowing down some places you've always want to go or maybe somewhere you've been that you loved & want to revisit.  The hardest & one of the most important things after deciding on a place is picking the date. When you have your Wedding can really impact your day. I have lots of Bride's who book in Aug & Sept I swear one of us is going to pass out from heat stroke every Wedding Im just waiting for it. Make sure you pay attention to what the weather like wherever it is you're wanting to go. For example...if it's monsoon season that might put a damper on your Wedding, pun intended. So without further ado get to planning & here's some

Tips for Guests:

1. Consider the time of year you plan your wedding  

Let's call it their 'fiscal calendar'. If you plan a Wedding just before Christmas or back to school shopping you might find a lot of people are unable to attend. Back to school shopping with multiple children can get expensive & Christmas is Christmas so you already know what's going on there. Try to pick a time of the year when people have more time & money to get away. Feb-May are usually the most inexpensive times to travel both because people have less expenses during these times but also because costs of travel are usually more affordable during the Spring.

2. Guests can't get time off or don't have the money

Give guests as much notice as possible so they have plenty of time to plan & make accommodations. I really don't know what would be appropriate here but someday when I have my Wedding in Mexico...I already know how some of my friend's are so I plan on giving everyone about a year & a month notice. That might be overkill but I feel like if they just took their yearly vacation when I tell them...they'll have a whole other year before my wedding, so they will have plenty of vacation time by then!

Tips for You:

1. If you're driving

Photo by Jose Villa
Download any of the hundreds of gas price apps to plan your stops. There's lots that will find the best gas prices & then plan your gas stops for you, which over a long drive can save you tons of money. Also make sure your car is getting the best gas mileage. There's some inexpensive things you can do to get better gas mileage like changing your filters out. Ask the hubster-to-be to get it done for you before you take off. Also whoever doesn't have the lead foot or dreams of Nascar should probably be the one to do most of the driving but that goes without saying right? Lastly, if you know you're going to be driving try to pick a time of year when gas prices aren't the same as gold. Summer would not be ideal for example since gas prices seem to double.

2. If your flying:

There's lots of little things you can do too. One is to start hoarding away frequent flyer or reward points towards your tickets. You can put a lot of your Wedding expenses on the card & then make sure whatever you spend you have the cash to pay it back off immediately! I used to be a credit counselor so I have to throw that in. Don't rack up credit card debt for your Wedding please. A $10,000 Wedding? I can only imagine what interest could end up like on that. But I regress....

So next is to do your homework. We all know about the trip comparison sites but most of us will only check one & then click the links from there & be done. Check out a few though before deciding. Bookingbuddy.com used to be one of the best ones for me everytime but lately I've found the best prices through Kayak.com.  I don't really understand how that all works but think of ot this way....they are a third party site generating leads for actual ticket sellers like Orbitz & Expedia. Then the actual airline has to get paid too! That's lots of hands grabbing money from that ticket sale. Last time I booked my flight to Vegas for example... I bought my ticket at the counter from the actual airline versus online & my ticket ended up about $100 less than my friend's just from that. This isn't the case with every airline but just try pricing it a few different ways to see what works.

Another huge saver on airline prices is where you take off & land from. Alot of people know this but I don't think realize how much of a difference it can make on the price. Pasco which is my closest airport is often much more expensive than flying out of Seattle or Portland which are 2 1/2 hours away. It's not always feasible to fly OUT of a major airport if you don't have someone to drop you off or somewhere to park your car but landing IS. Changing the airport you land in is much easier.  Mexico for example. I never fly into Manzanillo which doubles my ticket price & cost for a rental car when I get there. I always fly into Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta which are large cities & then consider it my pre-funk. I'll land there & stay a night or rent a car & drive to Barra which is only a couple hours away. If you aren't renting a car bus tickets are super cheap but the ride will be much longer.

3. Be flexible with your dates when flying

Tues & Wed afternoon are usually the best times to shop for plane tickets. Prices are constantly fluctuating every week & day. Tues & Wed afternoon is when airlines typically discount tickets the most, maybe it's because people don't buy tickets as much during this time, I don't really know but I was told this by someone who worked for an airline & it does work. Flying red eye of course is another option we have all heard of  but also consider the day not just the time you fly. Flying mid week can save you lots of money too.  Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday are the best days to fly in & out of most places. Or head to your destination on the plane everyone just headed home in. The airline will want to fill those seats on the plane as it heads back so you can usually get tickets much cheaper. A great example of this is Vegas. Everyone fly's out Fri & comes back Sun.

Lastly on the airline tips is to sign up for email notices. AirfareWatchdog is one you can sign up with to get notices when prices drop & also a lot of the sites that compare prices will ask you if you want email notices when prices change for your destinations, say yes.

4. Book your wedding off season

It doesn't have to be off season for you but maybe it's the venues down time. Mexico is really slow in
Oct & Nov for example but it's a perfect time for your Wedding. It's getting cold most places here during that time & guests will be happy to get out of the states & enjoy some warm weather! If you're thinking of a Mountain Wedding book it at a Ski Resort during the summer. Since the winter season is their money making time they are more flexible in the summer with pricing & packages. Not all resorts stay open in the summer but many of them do for hikers & camping so check a few different places.

5. Get off the tourist trail 

Don't book a resort in Cancun or a cabin in Aspen & expect a deal. Find inspiring places that not many people know about. My best friend is getting married this coming summer on the coast. He found this tiny little town with the cutest church right on the beach. Since it's not a touristy town it was really easy to find good deals on beach houses to rent & negotiate pricing with the vendors. When we go we will literally take over the town I can't wait! How much more fun is that then getting lost in a big city?

Mexico has so many great little spots too, like Barra De Navidad, Jalisco where I grew up. It's a small town on the beach & it's tiny. You can rent a room there for $300 for a month if you wanted to & everything is super negotiable. It's also close to other large cities so you can go into the city for things to do with your guests if you wanted to.

6. Remember to pin & share if you liked the article. Email me about my special destination wedding rates! And comment if you have any tips or advice to add. 


Why You Should Have a Destination Wedding



Well lets start with the most obvious reason & that is that you're going to hire me someday to photograph your wedding & lets face it...we both would rather be on a beach somewhere! If that's not a good enough reason for you, it's ok because there's lot's more.  I'll start by admitting rather shamefully, that I have been engaged for 9 years. Yes. I know. Please don't tell you Catholic grandmother. It's not that I don't love my fiance with all my heart because I do. Id compare it to working at a Bakery & never wanting to see another pastry or being a Photographer like me who takes pictures of everyone else & doesn't have a single family photo up....it's despicable really, I know. So I've been shooting Weddings for a few years now & I guess I just got jaded at some point. I have seen $500 Weddings & I've seen $20,000 Weddings & it's the same thing almost always....there's something they wish they'd done different. Sometimes it's small things like cupcakes instead of a huge cake or the time of year etc sometimes they want to get rid of the groom...lol...that's a joke.

But on a serious note, I have seen so many times where people spend $30+ on a plate of food to feed people they invite to their weddings who can't even bother to watch them walk down the aisle or pay attention to the first dance. I have gotten pretty good at angling the camera to hide the fact that most people aren't paying attention in the pictures. You have the bride beaming & in love & the guests are facebooking on their phones or too involved in their cake to pay attention. It's not that they don't care, they came to your wedding & you have some sort of relationship or you wouldn't have invited them but here's what I'm saying...."why not save hundreds of dollars & have a more fun & meaningful wedding?"

A pastor once said to me that he has couples come in for a few meetings leading up to the wedding & he is always noting the same in couples....

Photo by Jose Villa
Meeting 1: (they just decided to get married at this point) couples are swooning, they can't stop staring into each other's eyes..."hey keep your hands away from eachother you in the house of god!"...that sort of thing you know....& then later they meet again & its Meeting 2: (4 months out) they are in love but seem a bit distracted, trying to figure out all the things that they need to still get done, things are a little stressful but we are excited. And then it's the final meeting before the meeting, let's call it Meeting 3: (1 month out)  they aren't sitting by each other, he asks how are things & the bride says "he isn't helping with anything, I feel like I'm doing everything & it's been so stressful trying to get everything finished before the wedding. He says she's crazy, the wedding is getting way more expensive than they'd planned.....yata yata

And the pastor tells me, "I'm not complaining.....Weddings are a beautiful way to celebrate your love but at some point couples get so wrapped up in the 'Wedding' that they forget it's a Wedding. It turns into a money eating machine & they are so worried about the guests & entertaining everyone it's forgotten that it's just really about you loving someone with all your heart & commiting to be with them.

I had to agree with him. And a part of that scares me away from planning my own wedding. I often joke with bride's when we are sitting down to talk that the main reason I haven't gotten married is I'm afraid it'll end up like the end of Carrie where I'm blocking the exit & commanding them to stay & dance. Im afraid Ill spend all this money in search of some perfect wedding & end up disappointed.


So that's why I say get away. Go somewhere far far away lol. If your friends & family can't afford to go far then don't. Have a mountain wedding & camp or rent out a few large cabins to split between everyone. Theres lots of great sites where you can rent large houses for the week or weekend & then split the cost. Try AirBnb for starters. For my Wedding I want to go to Mexico. I grew up there & there's the most beautiful hotel I always snuck into to swim & that's where it has to be I just feel it : ) Unfortunately it's like $200 a person to have a wedding there with music, cocktails & dinner.

So in noting how ridiculously expensive a Wedding can be, let's think about the biggest money saver of it all....you're basically having your Wedding & Honeymoon in one. Instead of spending $10,000 on a Wedding & then another $3000 to go on vacation you will already be somewhere amazing so you are basically cutting your expenses in half.

If the thought of being surrounded by people the whole time scares you try this. Plan the wedding so that guests are gone the last few days of your trip so you both have time alone. Also consider if there's anywhere close by you can escape too when you pick a destination for your Wedding.  In Mexico where I want to get married there's tons of beaches & cities close by we can always take off too & they are all under a two hour drive.


The second huge money saver will be on decor & venue. Local venues are often not the nicest unless you can afford to book the really nice places in your area. You'll usually pay a pretty penny just to book somewhere that's mediocre. By the time you get done spending money on decor to make it look nice, you have spent a few thousands dollars between the venue & decor. Why not go somewhere thats already beautiful & doesn't require tons of decor to make it look better?  Tropical places, the coast, the mountains...they are already stunning the way god made them so you won't have to do much to make it perfect.


The last reason doesn't involve money, it's about the experience. Bride's spend the whole day on a schedule. A tight one. Sometimes there's not time to hug & say hi to people. The dance is where they can finally start to relax & have a fun time, so it's really the most important part for guests to attend. Unfortunately, I've seen so many Wedding's where guests start leaving almost right after dinner. Maybe they have kids they have to get home to or work to do, who knows. But it sucks because I see Bride's get so disappointed. If you go somewhere for your Wedding then the people that attend are there & are all yours. They have taken the time off from work & life & their mind is in a place to have fun & be there to celebrate with you. So now that you're convinced & you sent me an email to book me for your Wedding Photography go ahead & check out this next post for Planning a Destination Wedding on a Budget.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Natural Light Maternity Shoot | Jessica

These days Photographers are making there way back to film shooting & natural light & its easy to see why. I have been learning lighting for a few years now & while I love using my lights to create some really beautiful depth in my images, natural light just can't be beat at times. When you want something soft & timeless you have to shoot natural light or be good enough with your  lighting you never know it was there. 

This first image almost reminds me of something I could have shot had I been alive in the 70's. Edgy & sensual & celebrating a woman's beauty in motherhood. She had a few other images she brought along of things she wanted to try too, so we did some pinup style ones as well. Its not something Id typically shoot but it was fun to push the boundaries & explore the possibilities. I think the few we got turned out awesome. 

The last images we shot, Jessicas son came along. This kid. He put up with a three hour long shoot & then didn't even need much direction when it came to posing. He was such a ham & would do so good in modeling. Some of those images are my favorites. It was so sweet seeing him snuggle with mom & be excited about his sister that's on the way. 
 




Monday, November 4, 2013

Why Your Colors Change When Editing In Photoshop from Lightroom

It all began once upon a time in a far-away office. There was a tired photographer trying to get through piles of photo editing when the Lightroom gods decided to throw a big branch in the only road out of town, her is her story........

It began as any normal day. She sat down & was editing in Lightroom. Lightroom, the friendly sidekick to anyone wanting a quicker edit. It does almost anything you ask it to. But unfortunately it isn't perfect. Should you need to perfect something with a brush or do a little shaping here & there it cannot. That's when you must ask Photoshop, its mentor & big brother. So you right click the image after editing in Lightroom to take it to Photoshop's house & you get to Photoshop & you edit. When you get back to Lightroom you notice your picture looks sad. The colors look darkened & flat, with large color shifts. What happened? Here's the original photo:


The image below is the way it was sending the image back to Lightroom after editing in Photoshop. You can see it's yellow & icky. It didn't make it back from the journey unharmed.  


So I did what any human being with fingers & an internet connection would do when they have an unanswered question & I went to google's mega mansion up on the hill to get some damn answers. Many people suggested the color profiles didn't match up between the two places so I changed the color profile settings in both programs to RGB & still had the same problem. Being there is always 1000 answers & factors to consider for one question, I put together this checklist for you in case you are having the same problem as I did. What fixed it for me was switching to ProPhoto & 16 bit in both but there are several things that could be causing this so in case yours is that or something here's what to do:

1.  When your in Lightroom & right click the image, select edit in & then edit in Photoshop. It will pop up a window asking either two ways & the way to answer is either "Render using Lightroom" or 'Edit a copy with Lightroom Adjustments". If this option window doesn't show up you have previoously clicked "do not show again" sometime in the past & here's how to get it back....The Lightroom Queen "Resetting Your Preferences"

2.  Make sure the your color profiles are set up as Prophoto & 16 bit in both Lightroom & Photoshop. To do this go into Preferences in Lightroom (on a mac click Lightroom at the top of your screen & you'll see preferences & on a PC I believe you click File). In the preferences window  in Lightroom click where it says External Editing & make sure color space is ProPhoto & bit depth is 16 bits. In Photoshop you go to Edit & then click Color settings. 

3.  Note that if you use Lightrooms radial gradients or brushes to lighten areas of the picture before editing in Photoshop that when you bring it back the brush or radial edits will have to be re-applied. It doesn't save this part of your edit for some reason. If you know how to change this let me know maybe Im missing something.

4.  Make sure you have the latest camera raw plugin. Click this link to go to adobes site. Scroll down & click Proceed to download.

Hopefully this helps you guys! I know how frustrating some of the weird idiosyncrasies with these programs can be (like if you accidentally hit the caps lock button on your keyboard while in Photoshop the brush outline will disappear!) & how long I will spend sometimes trying to figure it out so hopefully this will save you a some time. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Business Tools Successful People Already Use

There's always a new gadget or program or trending app & most of them come & go but these are keepers. Some of these have proven themselves in the industry & some are newcomers but all of them will help you be more time efficient & productive. I have to credit Dawn Alderman, seriously one of the most talented & inspiring woman I've ever met for sharing some of these must haves with me & the rest I ended up finding out of necessity. Also I will admit while these are great for any business owner, they are particularly tasty for us photographers. So without further ado...the programs that have me doing a happy dance are:

4Sync: Introduce your computers to one another

You've heard of Dropbox. If you live under a rock, its a super simple to use cloud storage service. If you work between multiple computers at home or want to share files on a home & office computer with each other but are tired of emailing yourself the files then this is your savior. Dropbox is the most advertised provider of this sort of service & it's great minus but has some bigger flaws. One being how secure your files are once you add them to your dropbox. If you're uploading bank statements or other private files, Dropbox is not the most secure. 4Sync isn't a bank vault either but it is notably more secure. The second huge advantage is space. Dropbox only has about 3gb of free storage & after that it's $99 a year or $10 a month for more storage. It only took me about 2 weeks to run out of space using dropbox. 4sync offers 15gb of free space, thats way more than Dropbox....and then after that they are still a little cheaper if you want to upgrade to the 100gb a year. Lastly, and maybe I'm just not smart enough to figure it out but I'd delete a file from Dropbox that I didn't need on there & it would add the file back only seconds later. These are files I didn't want to delete off my computer but I didn't need them in Dropbox. I haven't had this happen so far with 4sync. 




 ODesk & Fiverr: Hire someone for a one something on any budget

There is never enough time in the day for starters & then there's those things we aren't particularly great at that we have to do for our business anyways because its important. Maybe its social media upkeep like writing blog posts or tweeting. Maybe something more intense like writing a report or doing accounting. Welllllll. Meet your new assistant. Here you can outsource & hire anyone for almost any task. You do need to take a second to set up the project you're needing to fill a position for and then screen applicants but after that you are set. Odesk is typically a little more spendy & for more mainstream requests. Fiverr is my favorite though because it has more oddball things people can do for you like write your college report or tell your boyfriend you don't want to be with them to more normal things like I needed some coding fixed on my blog....its was a one time fix nothing I want to hire a web person for & it cost me $5 to be fix it & be done.



Pass: Beauty & say goodbye to the Beast

No more Dvd's. No more flash drives. Stop emailing huge image files or uploading & sharing from ugly & painfully slow sites like Photobucket. This is beautiful & simple. Upload your pictures & see them displayed beautifully in a collage thats easy to view & reminiscent of flicker & pinterest. Add an email address of who you want to have a link to the album (your clients email for example) & it will share the album with them when its done uploading. They can click one button & download all the images easily to their computer or click on individual photos to download them one at a time. Theres also simple to use social media buttons so they can quickly share images to facebook, pinterest & other sites as well as email friends & family the link. Its a great way for wedding guests to see the pictures you took of them at the wedding without bugging the bride groom or for non-photographers its a great way to share company photos.  



BackBlaze: You won't have to commit suicide when your files disappear

Some businesses may not have a ton of important files that they can never lose. Maybe a babysitter? A circus clown or a shoe shiner for example. The rest of us should probably not risk it. Its that easy thing to skip because we are all Superman & nothing is ever going to happen to us just like none of need insurance because we have never gotten into a car accident. But, call me OCD, I like having this little extra fuzzy blanket of warm security. I already backup all my files onto an external hard drive but having seen a Dental Office up the street go down in flames at 2 in the morning only a week ago it got me to thinking about how my drives would be a neat pile of ashes in that case too. I've looked into Carbonite, Mozy & the other main backup companies & this kept coming up as the best balance between ease of use, price, amount of space you get to backup & customization of how it backs up your files & what. If you decide to research to see which you prefer the main difference to check after pricing vs space is how you get your files back & what it will cost. Backblaze is not the best in this sense. They are for some and aren't for others. In my case where I have Tb's upon Terabytes of files it would be pretty dang expensive to get those mailed back to me & an ungodly amount of time to get them back for free by downloading them from their site. So do consider that when choosing a provider. 





Mad Mimi: Creative & simple email marketing for any level of intelligence

If you need to grow your business & your already doing the whole social media thing & want to try the next best avenue this is it. Super affordable & easy to use you can set up unique campaigns that are times out & sent to new emails you input or create one time campaigns to mass send.  This is great for photographers in the sense that I can take a new clients email, input it and it will send them schedules emails like how to prepare for the shoot & a shoot reminder. real estate agents can use it to send campaigns like tips for finding the perfect home a week after meeting & schedule another one for three weeks out that asks how the search is going etc etc. You get it. Its amazing. You can add you logo and give them customized emails that aren't boring & have external links back to your sites & social media.



Blogstomp: Stomp it out & move on with your day.

If you're smart enough to blog (because you realize how great it is to get your business in search results) then you'll appreciate this tool. Especially for Photographers but really anyone that adds images to their posts & want it to look nice & possibly consistent. As a Photographer we often load our images into collage templates in Photoshop which is a total pain in the ass & time waster but we want our stuff to look nice so we do it. Well this will automatically put your images into a collage, a one, two or any number of image collage depending on how many you select. Then you can upload them right from the program into a blog post, write the post then & there & publish it & be done. Awesome. It will also tweet the images or upload them to Facebook. Even Sweeter.



Basecamp: Mi desk es tu desk

If you have to share a calender or documents or collaborate with anyone on anything check this out. Super simple & easy to use. Allows you to share & work on projects with a number of people online.




Thursday, May 23, 2013

Playlist: Youngblood Hawk & Pacific Air

Sometimes I do promo modeling gigs on the side because it pays well, I get cool free stuff & I meet some awesome people. So when I heard Sperry was hosting a summer concert series at a bunch of Northwest college's & WSU was on the list of stops...I was super down to go & luckily got booked for the gig. It was a drive to get there but I figured Id make into a paid road trip of sorts & maybe get some awesome shots afterwards of the bands. 

Mehhh......imagine that horrible, you got it wrong buzzer sound there. I ended up working for not a very fun human being is the only way to describe it & it was freeezzzingg! It was ok when the sun was out but as soon as it hid behind a cloud I swear the temperature was polar. There was lots of free things to hand out & everyone seemed to have a good time otherwise. I ran the photo booth once they realized I was a Photographer. We had summer type props & it was fun getting people to do weird poses for pictures, including Pacific Air who stopped by. 

And while Im on the topic of Pacific Air....yes. They did not disappoint. The lead singer has the sexiest smooth voice you'll ever hear that reminds me of the Elvis days & his guitar player from San Diego was nice on the eyes too. If you get the chance to see them live do it. I've got some definite new favorites from them for my summer playlist. 

Youngblood Hawk was there too! They were like an Indie Brady Brunch only less people & more awesome. The lead singer had great energy & I ended up next to his mom who was in the crowd & she was so cool. I asked her if it was surreal hearing her son on the radio because that would seem so crazy to me (I have an 8 year old...I know I have a while to go but can you imagine?) & she said yes it was pretty crazy. She said she encouraged their musical talent & she has another son who is also a singer which was interesting to know. I want to be that sort of mom. Yes, I want my son to be successful & not live with me until he's 40, but I want him to find happiness & I hope I can always remember to encourage his creativity! So far he wants to be a scientist so but maybe he can be a drummer scientist why not.

Here's some of my favorite songs from the bands, check them out & if you have some cool music on replay share it in the comments, I love finding new music! 














Friday, March 1, 2013

Sexy Swimsuits For Summer


Stumbled upon the cutest swimsuits Ive ever seen & thought Id share. I was taking a much needed work break from the editing which usually leads to Pintrest. Whenever I go on there I get stuck on the first page of new pins & after an hour of endless scrolling down the page I forget why I was on there in the first place. So, one fine day while pinning...I came across a strappy little number, clicked & here we are. Since summers right around the corner & these skimpy suits leave little to imagination...I thought it might be that little kick in the a** we all need to stay with our gym routine...I've been slacking. I did some hail marys for the number of oreo cookies I consumed late last night. Check the suits out & move your keyboard so you don't drool on it & make it short out. You can find all the swimsuits below by clicking here.


              





  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Playlist: Lana Del Rey

I spend a lot of time at my computer because of my Photography & while at said computer I often will listen to music....makes editing a lot more interesting. But I'll get in these moods when Im editing where I'll listen to a song over & over again & then Ill listen to it some more until I seriously never want to hear the song again. My husband used to get irritated before I got the studio because he was an innocent bystander & would have to listen to these songs along with me while in the other room....I did eventually get headphones to save our marriage for when Im editing at home but ya......

So since I listen to stuff a thousand times & then get over it I'm constantly looking for next song that's going to get me through all my editing. Recently Alex Beadon, another awesome Photographer shared a song from Lana Del Rey with me & it's awesome. The music video seriously has me in love & I've decided that every music video needs some Tigers & an American Flag to be complete.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

What to Wear to Your Photoshoot: Client Styling


Ok so I made a decision today that Im going to spread out a bit in terms of content on my blog.  I cant just post pictures all the time or write about Photography, I love all things related to Music, Fashion & Food too! I also have a confession to make that Im terrible about keeping to a schedule so my posts will continue to be sporadic as I work that out but thanks for hanging in there!

There's so much going on in my life right now that's outside of my Photography  & a lot of it is fun stuff that I want to share with you guys.  I recently became Vegan for example, so cooking & trying new foods has been a big part of my days. No more cheese for this gal for a while. Its been really hard but Im going to give it my all & it has led me to find really interesting new recipes & ideas about how foods can be made. I've never eaten so much Kale & Quinoa in my life but Im glad, I never knew how tasty they were either because I was maybe eating a little too much BBQ Chicken & other tasty things to notice! You can check out all the delicious discoveries Ive made by visiting my Pinterest board here. If you are trying to lose weight & want to give up meat & cheese then watch Earthlings & you can meet me on the other side. but be warned you'll need tissue.

So since summers right around the corner & Ive been shopping & getting my closet ready for summer, I decided to do a post on summer fashion trends I keep seeing a lot of that are great ideas for styling your shoots or dressing clients! Im obsessed with Nasty Gal & not because I want to wear it everyday but because Im amazed at the stuff they come up with & I love seeing so many things from the 90's....best years ever! So needless to say most of this stuff is from there, you can go there by clicking here.

Here's some things you'll need for yourself & some points to hit when dressing clients:


1.   Shirt with a collar & details (keep it buttoned up all the way when you wear it & tuck it in)
2.   Pants/leggings/shorts with a crazy pattern & a bold colored top (or vice versa)
3.   Leggings that rock: crazy pattern, studded, faux leather, tribal, sheer panel or ponte stripes
4.   Sheer shirt 
5.   Leather & Lace outfit (lace corset with a leather skirt looks amazing)
6.   Denim & Chiffon (denim vest or jacket over a chiffon dress or top)
7.   Cutup levi shorts (bleached & ripped up) 
8.   A high low dress/skirt/top 
9.   Large gold jewelry 
10. Neon Colors (highlighter yellow is my fave)
11. Boots: Lace up military-style-faux-leather boots with shorts or leggings
12. Peplum shirt/dress/skirt
13. Corsets & bra tops for under sheer shirts
14. High heels: thick heels like back in the 90's or cutout wedges

And now in even plainer English:

1.  Have something that's Chiffon, Lace, Leather & denim
2.  Wear outfits with juxtaposition (opposites attract)
3.  Tuck it in & leave it buttoned up. You should look like your headed to Catholic school. 
4.  Find details on everything you buy...cutouts, studs anything that gives it edge 
5.  See through shirt & dresses with cropped/bandeau tops or embellished bras
6.  Gold is in, throw your silver in the cupboard with the Thanksgiving spoons. 
7.  High waisted & crop tops
8.  Maxi dresses & skirts









Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Make Your Pictures Sunny & Dreamy


Presets are such a huge time saver. If you don't know what they are just imagine if you swept your house once & you could press record on the broom & the next time you needed to sweep you could push play & it would do it again on its own. Presets do this same chore for editing. If you have a ton of pictures that you are wanting to edit the same or your trying to build a more consistent look for your branding, then these little suckers are lifesavers.  Now to clarify, Presets are the same idea as Actions but Actions are for Photoshop & Presets are for Lightroom.

I used to edit everything in Photoshop because I didn't really understand Lightroom yet & I also couldn't find any presets I liked but I had lots of Actions I really liked in Photoshop. BUT, while Photoshop is amazing & really gives you tons of control, I cannot tell you how much happier you will be working from Lightroom. It saves so much time! Let me say that again because I want you to know, IT SAVES YOU SO MUCH TIME! My god, you can have a life again! If you are editing Weddings in Photoshop for example, because those are the worst in terms of how long they can take....don't jump, there's hope, it's Lightroom.

So I made this golden colored preset (seen below) because I wanted to be able to make pictures feel dreamy & sunny & sometimes when your out shooting the weather is the exact opposite of that. You can find it here along with some other pretty presets.  If you want to do it yourself I recommend playing with the RGB curves versus just your white balance which is what most people do & then they end up with a yellow picture not a sunny one.

So if you didn't know about Presets, now you do but before you run off & get excited & buy a bunch of new ones then wonder why they look bad here's some advice based on doing just that myself & learning some lessons:

1. It's best to use presets on Raw Images. Clicking a preset onto a Jpeg will look not as great, don't ask questions it's just the truth.

2. Don't buy a Preset that looks great on objects & expect it to look good on humans. There's a lot of presets that show flowers or tea as an example of what the preset looks like but make sure they show it on humans because this is where I see most Presets go wrong. Purple midtones may look great on a flower but make a human an oompa loompa.

3. Don't take a terd & cover it in glitter & expect it to look good. Too harsh? Sorry, I just love analogies every once in a while. But seriously, start with a good image. Presets & Actions aren't miracles people. Mascara doesn't make an unattractive person attractive, it just enhances what they already have...same concept here.

I have some tutorials on my Youtube channel for using Presets if you have more questions & I can also show you how to use my Presets on your images to get the most out of them if you need help. I also make Presets & Actions for Photographers looking for something custom based off a look they seen in another picture so get in touch if you are wanting something custom for your brand. 


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