Archive for ‘Photography’

August 16, 2012

New Blog Announcement + A New Brand

It’s going to be so hard to say good-bye to this blog when my new one goes live in JUST FOUR DAYS!  All the embarrassing posts I’ve written in the beginning of this journey.  All the posts I’ve deleted when going back to read them.  And all the posts that showed my weaknesses.  Since March 2010 I’ve shared my childhood memories, my first job memories, and marriage memories.

I’ve went through several different image borders and ways of watermarking the pictures, and finally, just recently, realized that the best kind of watermark is one that you incorporate at the time of taking a picture.  One that can’t possibly be photoshoped out because everyone will already know who took the image just by looking at the way the subjects are shot, the angle, or capturing part of nature in each individual shot.  Whatever it is that best describes me, I want THAT to be my watermark.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly what that is, but until then, I’ve already stopped watermarking each of my pictures.  I really have no idea what the fuss is all about when photographers post pictures on FaceBook and make such a big deal about their clients cropping out their watermark to make the image their profile pic.  Really?  Do the clients tell you (the photographer) not to crop their faces out when posting pictures of them?  Anyways…

Looking back at my posts I’m overcome by so many different emotions and thoughts all at once.  Embarrassment is still on the top of that list.  I just can’t help but feel like such a child when I blogged more than half of those posts.  But seeing how I was only a child, (at the time of starting this blog I was 17) and observing how I’ve grown with every year as a person, as photographer and as writer, I’m proud to share my achievements as well as nullifications.  It’s been a long, two and a half year, journey as well as a rewarding and enlightening experience.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Concluding, I really won’t miss this blog after all.  Because a new blog is a new beginning…  A new brand.

June 20, 2012

Lexington VMI Wedding : Mallory + Andrew

The first time I saw Mallory was when I walked into the room full of girls, wedding attire, and champagne to celebrate her big day. I didn’t know who Mallory was until I shook her hand for the first time the morning of her wedding day but I noticed something about her the instant I spotted the girl with the green robe and the veil.  She was the girl getting married and she was one happy happy girl.

I noticed how her face would light up every time Andrew’s name was mentioned and how her eyes would slightly squint with an ecstatic smile every time someone talked about their love.  Besides her name the only thing I knew about this happy happy girl, was that she was excited beyond words to marry the man of her dreams…  And that made me one happy happy girl.

On a slightly different note…  In the earlier posts about being a back-up photographer for the very first time, I mentioned how it gave me time to focus on my style of photography and think about myself as a person first.  I loved having that opportunity.  So in the below pictures, hopefully you’ll be able to notice a “pattern” in my images and style of shooting that I was aiming for.  If you figure it out, let me know if I’ve succeeded :)


Happy Happy Wednesday!

June 14, 2012

Lauren Rogers Photography : First time as back-up photographer

It started on a quite, gloomy, and rainy weekday.  I was sitting behind my laptop at work and had a contrastive thought…  Something clicked in my head and an idea began to form.  Without second thought I contacted an amazing photographer that lived about 15 minutes South of me and suggested I back-up for her any wedding event she needed a back up for.  Lauren, was so sweet about the whole thing and we ended up meeting that same week over some deliciously made coffee.

Last Saturday was the very first wedding that I have ever been an official back-up photographer for and Lauren made it quite a pleasant one.  It was a completely different experience for me.  Nothing like I’ve ever expected it to be like.  Because mainly I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But I learned quickly what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be.  I somehow learned how to stay out of sight and capture only candid shots of people interacting, sharing a quiet moment to themselves, and everything in between the day.  It really wasn’t something I was ever taught, but somehow you get drawn into it so quickly and you find out just how hard it is to snap out of it.

Overall it was a wonderful and an educational experience that taught me a whole lot more about myself and who I was as a photographer than being a lead photographer ever would.  When you’re not busy posing people, worrying about getting the important shots, and having to deal with contracts, you have enough time for yourself to start thinking about your branding.  And that’s when you get into the most interesting parts of your business. ;), thanks so SO much for such an amazing opportunity!

Happy Thursday!

June 12, 2012

Backyard kids + 50mm 1.2L Review

I’m getting back in the mood of blogging.  It’s been awhile I know, but it’s just not the same when you force it.  It’s somehow so much more special when it’s from the bottom of the heart.  I do admit I miss it a whole lot, so I’m glad to be back internet!

So this past week, I had the distinct pleasure of using a 50mm 1.2L.  My most honest thoughts…  I LOVED IT!  It’s absolutely incredible what this lens does.  Some people are not exactly fans of the bokeh that you get when shooting with this lens at 1.2, but I on the other hand love the way you can choose what you want to bring most of the attention on.  In portraiture, I always focus on the eyes and that really makes them stand out, so it’s perfect for what I look for in a photograph.  I know some people don’t believe that with a better/more expensive lens you get better colors, but I assure you it’s true.  Really!

The only flaw of this lens when shooting wide open is it’s a little hard getting the exact thing in focus.  It’s not impossible, but it is harder than with a 1.4 or 1.8.  But the good thing is, is the more you practice the easier it gets.  Though it’s definitely not a lens for beginner/amateur photographers as it is hard to use and produce the pictures you want, I recommend it anyway.

Did you notice how the flaw of this lens is not the price?  I believe it’s worth every dime. :)

Happy Tuesday!

March 27, 2012

Testing, testing… One, two.

When I was a kid, I always thought I was going to be some sort of a singer… Are you wondering whether or not I can sing? I can’t and I couldn’t even back then. Although I do sing my heart out when no one can hear me ;). For some reason I just “knew” that that is what I’ll be doing as my career. “Testing, testing… One, two.”

As much fun as it would be to do that, I don’t think anyone will want to work with a “singer” who can’t sing. So here I am today, as just me and get to pretend I can sing in the shower.

What I’m actually testing is my new gadget. Vitaliy surprised me yesterday with the new iPad3!! And I am now testing to see if I can blog easily on it or not… So far it’s pretty sweet and the keyboard is catching up with my speedy typing, ha ha. So if you’re a blogger and wondering if you should get one of these pups, I say definitely!

A screenshot of my dashboard and a shot taken with the 5mp camera to see if posting pictures works well on this WordPress app. What do you think?



March 26, 2012

Totally Rad Photoshop Actions

The post that I did about Lightroom Presets HERE, awhile ago, didn’t include any Photoshop Actions.  I said I’d do it later and finally got around to it.  I apologize for the “same” photos, unfortunately I have no new RAW files to work with.   You’re photos will look much nicer, crisper, and fresh if you apply them on a RAW file, keep that in mind when you’re working on your pictures.  The actions are by Totally Rad.  I applied them through Photoshop CS5.  Actions and Presets are not the same thing.  

These were put together just for fun and to show you what you can do with actions.  They are very customizable and are sort of easy to use.   The first two are more of a natural and realistic way of editing.  A simple boost of color and contrast and a classy black and white.  The rest are more “artistic”  for those of you that like to get super-duper creative with your editing.  I tried to use different actions on each shot to show you that there’s really a TON of them in the pack.


Dodge – 27%

Born – 16%

Grandma’s tap shoes – 100%

Detroit (B&W) – 100%

Oh, Snap

-Contrast – 19%

Get faded (Winter) – 53%

Get faded (Summer) – 62%

Lights on – 20%

Boutwell Magic Glasses – 100%

Flare-up (faded) – 49%

Contrast – 100%

Flare-up (golden) 53%

And this last one I really had fun with trying to make it look like it’s raining.

Antiquing tone – 100%

Cool as a Cucumber – 54%

Claire-ify – 37%

Grunge Rock – 100%

Oh, Snap – 100%

Dirt bag – 34%

March 23, 2012

iPhone Friday + 500 words a day

I’m not much of an Instagramer lately…  Maybe it’s the way time seems to be flying by or maybe I’ve not been “into it” lately.  I don’t know.  I didn’t even bother putting these pups together.

I have six tabs open on my Safari browser right now and I have so much to do but instead I’m watching JASMINE STAR talk on the Creative Live.  I capitalized her name because she’s just extraordinarily fabulous!  And six tabs doesn’t mean that all of them are supposed to be open.  I’m just procrastinating and I hate it.  I have emails, paperwork, and errands to run and I’m stuck without a car.  I don’t know about you but when I have a To-do list I always try to do the things that sound more fun to me first and then focus on the other things.  So in this case running errands sounds waaaay more fun but since I have no car at the moment, I’m slacking off on doing the rest of my list until I do the fun thing.  That’s terrible I know.

Remember the 500 words a day?  Well I haven’t been doing it on the blog but I’ve been doing it on a word document app that I snagged off of the Apple Market Place and it’s working really well.  I started to time myself and write for 10 minutes straight, no stopping and it has been an extraordinary experience.  I’ve learned things about myself that I’ve never knew to be there.  For example :  In the mornings I type two words slower and have more spelling errors per minute than at any other time of the day.  Pretty interesting stuff.  And I’ve learned how my brain jumps from subject to subject within seconds.  While I’m finishing one sentence I’m already thinking what my next sentence’s subject will be.  So weird.  But it has been quite a successful way of learning who I am as a writer, photographer, and person.  You should try.

My next thing will be short stories.  You’re probably thinking “Please NO!” :)


Have a blessed weekend!

March 22, 2012

Idealizing life with my editing

During the slower times I still like to play around with pictures, but I’m not always finding the opportunity for an actual photo shoot of someone.  So I like to pack up my camera, tripod, and my good attitude and take off all by myself.  It’s a great way to spend time with yourself, thinking, idealizing life, and getting in touch with your inner-self.  There were some of you that asked who takes my pictures.  Well at times it’s Vitaliy but when he’s not available I take them myself.  Like HERE and HERE .  You can go and look through them again and see if you can spot the remote.  Toward the end I sort of forgot to “hide” it and it’s more visible than in other ones.  :)

I find it extremely easy to open up for the camera when there’s no one behind it.  I’ve never really had to or had the opportunity to, so I’m sort of wondering what it would be like and if I’d be an easy-to-shoot- model.  It’s fun to go out and do it on your own, but it’s pretty limited, there’s only so much you can do with a tripod rather than hands.   I found it rather difficult getting the right exposure on your camera in manual mode.  But I’m sort of a hard head when it comes to shooting anything but manual.  So some of them are a bit darker than what I like to shoot and all I did for editing was use the Lightroom preset that I blogged about HERE, called ‘Brightside | Lite’ …  Check it out, its pretty awesome.

Happy Thursday!

March 19, 2012

Product talk : Waterproof iPhone case

I give my phone baths.  I let it fly through the air like a bird and fall hard on the asphalt like hail.  I allow it to go ski with my in the winter and go on roller-coasters in the summer without worrying it’ll fall and break.  My phone takes risks I’m unwilling to take.  It’ll go skydiving without a parachute and swim with sharks.  That’s how BOLD my phone became after I embraced it with my LIFEPROOF case.

I’ve had this case for about 8 months now.  It treated my quite well I should say.  It expands your possibilities of doing things with your phone.  And the LIFEPROOF team are coming up with great accessories for the case itself, such as ARMBANDS, WATERPROOF HEADPHONES (to listen underwater), and EXTENDERS to ensure that you get the most out of your phone.  

The downfalls of the Lifeproof case: it is only made for iPhone 4 and 4s.  No other phone or model of iPhone (but that’s just more of a reason to buy yourself the current iPhone, which now you can get the 4s for as little as $99!)  And they don’t recommend you to take the case off once you put it on.  Also the price could be cheaper, but you know, you get what you pay for, so we won’t count that as an actual downfall.  Other than that it’s magical! ;)

Be sure to watch the videos down at the bottom of the page.

Happy Monday hope everyone has a fantastic week ahead of them!

March 5, 2012

Free Lightroom Presets + First actual snow fall of the season.

So, in simple words…  I’m pretty excited about this post.  It’s the very first time I’m blogging about Photoshop actions and it’s sort of a big deal in this generation as a photographer.  Today I will discuss Lightroom Presets.  And Photoshop Actions will be for another time.  Many might not know what they are or how to use them and the first step is to have Lightroom installed on your computer.  If you have either LR2 or LR3 you’re good to go.

On a short side note, the Valley awoke to 6 inches of snow this morning!  It’s 4:30 right now and the snow is gone!  There’s something really weird going on with Mother Nature this year.  Anyways…

Some FAQ’s ::

What are Lightroom Presets?  They are series of recorded steps by the designer or photographer to help the editor achieve a look without having to manually apply each process. It allows the editor, at the click of a button, to enhance and enrich their photos in a fast and efficient way…  In the simplest words possible, they are short cuts to an automatic process.  

How can Actions help me as a photographer?  What are some advantages in using them?  

– Saves time.  

– Speeds up workflow.  

– Gives you a variety of looks by trying new actions.

– Makes editing a breeze and way more fun.

– They are customizable!

– Just to name a few…  But there’s really thousands of reasons and advantages in using Actions.

How to download my Lightroom Presets?  (These downloads that I have provided for you below are tested only on Mac’s.  If you have a PC I don’t guarantee the same easiness.)  Lightroom presets are as easy as 1-2-3 to download.  Simply click on the link.  

After it has downloaded, double-click on the .lrtemplate file, your computer will understand what you want and it will open up Lightroom for you automatically.  Once it has opened up LR it will ask you if you want to install your action.  Click install and it automatically transfers your preset to your LR presets table.

 And all your downloaded presets are right there…

So I know you’re wondering why I have all these effects on the photos below, when I never use them…  Well I know and respect other photographers out there that have their own style and I’d love to help them out by getting their hands on these cool free actions.  Every photographer has their own editing process that they like and are used to, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  So if you’re someone who likes to get all funky and creative with your editing process feel free to download these 16 awesome Lightroom Presets that I have posted especially for YOU!


Brightside | Lite

Light Leak + Grain 

Kiss Me Sunshine


Feeling Peachy

Boring B&W

Exaggerate it

Dirty Money



Soft Light-Bulb

Make Belief

Blue Crystal

Human HDR

Boring Sepia

Warm Horror

Sepia Faded Me

These first 8 presets work best if your original photograph is taken in good lighting, color, and focus.  (You may click on the image to get a better and larger view of these examples)

These next 8 presets are designed for the accidents that every photographer makes…  If your original photograph came out to be under-exposed, these are for you. ;)

I do hope you guys enjoy these and keep coming back for more. :)