Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for colored pens and good coffee!!

I am so thankful that I have had lots of time this week to dig into my Bible! It feels so good to be able to start the day with a God encounter! :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for creative moments in my day! It brings me great joy to be able to sit down with something and be creative! I just love turning something old into something new!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thankful Thursdays!

Today I am thankful for warmer days to enjoy at the park!

When I look at this photo, it makes me realize how fast Abbi is growing up, and how lucky I am to get to spend a few afternoons with her at the park before she is all grown up.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Freebie Friday: CoffeeShop Flaxen Daydream

FREEBIE alert!!
Coffeeshop's Flaxen Daydream is a completely free action that can be used in Photoshop or PSE! It is a beautiful simple little action that adds a little personality to your photos. It is the perfect action when you don't  want to make a lot of changes to your photo, but you still would like it to have an extra umph!  
Here are a couple of before and after photos for you. These photos were edited only with The CoffeeShop Blog's Flaxen Daydream action.

You can get the FREE Flaxen Daydream action HERE!

Also FREE right now is Beryl Ayn Young's mini class One Ingredient Fix. Sign up HERE!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thankful Thursdays!

I am starting a little photo challenge called Thankful Thursdays!
My goal is to post 1 picture every Thursday of something in my life that I am thankful for. I feel like this challenge will be a good reminder not to overlook the amazing things that happen all around me everyday!

Lately I have been letting the everyday troubles and hardships of life steel my focus and my joy. Well, no more I tell you! I have decided to redirect my focus to all of the things that are going right in my life! 
I am learning that life, like photography, is all about perspective! I feel like the way I choose to look at a situation in my life is much like the way I view a subject through my camera. The way I am looking at a subject through my camera lens determines the outcome of the photo, as well as, how other people see the subject. I can't help but wonder if changing my perspective about a difficult situation could have the same effect.
Please feel free to join in on this little challenge and post a picture of something that you are thankful for. It can be anything big or small! 
Lets all refocus and put our lives back into perspective together!

Today I am thankful for afternoon naps and fuzzy flip flops!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


                                                                                        Lets refocus!

I have just recently taken a FREE online mini class from Beryl Ayn Young called One Ingredient Fix that completely changed my perspective about photography and motherhood!

My passion has always been, and will always be, photography. I just love how photography allows me to extract beauty from everyday life. However, above all else I am a mom to the most beautiful little girl in the whole world! She is truly a blessing to me! She makes everyday an adventure to say the least. Over the past few years I decided to "attempt" turning my passion for photography into a business. I am still at the beginning stages of this very long and slow process! I got my entry level DSLR camera in June 2010, and I just went crazy taking pictures of everything! I slowly started to learn the functions of my camera one Youtube video and free tutorial at a time. Once I was brave enough to take my camera out of auto mode I decided it was time to show off my "skills"! I started asking anyone and everyone to let me do a photo shoot with them. One friend and family member at a time, I slowly built my business and my skill level up to charging people $35.00 a session!! I was so excited!
As the next 2 years went on I watched my daughter grow and change so much in what seemed like such a short amount of time. She is a very colorful little girl with so much personality she can barely contain it all in her tiny frame. In my attempt to preserve this era of her life I would dress her up in a cute outfit, and head outside for a photo shoot. After all, I am a photographer I should be more than capable of taking an outstanding photo of my daughter! This proved to be quite a bit harder than I thought! After several hours of "Stand there!", "Look this way!", "I said look THIS way!", "Smile!", "Smile the right way!", "Don't mess up your hair!", "Why are you crying?", "If you smile I will buy you ice cream!" I would walk away completely exhausted and with maybe 1 useable photo! Every photo shoot with my daughter seemed to turn out the same! Completely frustrated, I decided that photo shoots with her (aside from the occasional phone snapshots) would be few and far between.
Taking Beryl's mini class helped me realize just where I had gone wrong these last few years! Somewhere along my photography journey my focused had shifted! I was focusing everything on trying to obtain "perfect" photos and expand my business instead of focusing on my daughter! I realized that I had lost sight of the most important part of my life! Making lasting memories with my daughter! And if I was lucky enough to come out with a few blurry, not-so-perfect photos in the process then that would just be icing on the cake. Beryl's mini class is about taking the "cheese" out of your photography and replacing it with play. As a result of swapping out the "Say cheese!" for quality time with your kiddos the results are some really amazing natural photos! 
Thank you, Beryl, for helping me to refocus!

It isn't too late to take Beryl's FREE mini class! Sign up right HERE! It will be available through the month of April! 

These pictures were taken at bedtime as we were reading bedtime stories and just simply talking about her day. They are not perfect, but they are a true depiction of how sweet and innocent she is. She is just as happy as she could be just spending some time with me on my big comfy bed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nothing like spending a day with the cutest little Valentine EVER!!

I have just been dying to get a little mustache happy so, needless to say, when I had the opportunity to shoot some surprise V-day pictures for a friend of mine I JUMPED on it! I had so much fun with this shoot! And little Ethan was such a trooper! He didn't even mind all of those kisses!

I hope your Valentine's Day was as sweet as this little guy!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

FREE Coffeeshop Butterscotch Vintage Photoshop and PSE action!

One of my favorite actions from The Coffeeshop Blog is The Butterscotch Vintage action! I just love the subtleness of the “vintage” and the warmth it adds to the photo.

What I love most about all of the Coffeeshop actions (other than the price) is the simplicity of them. She makes all of her actions extremely user friendly, and also provides you with step-by-step tutorials for each one!
You can find the free Butterscotch Vintage action and tutorial HERE!

This is how I used the Butterscotch Vintage Action in Photoshop Elements 9:
Step 1:
Open photo in PSE.
Step 2:
Click on the Butterscotch Vintage action icon and drag it onto your image.
(For a tutorial on installing actions in PSE click HERE)
 Step 3:
When prompted, click continue and run the action.

Step 4:
Adjust the layers to taste.

For this particular photo I felt like the action made the subject’s face too bright so I decided to mask the action off of her face just a bit. To do this, you must first select the layer mask (the white box next to the layer icon) on the "Curves Adjustment Layer”.

Then, you have to set black as your foreground color.

Next you will need to select your paintbrush tool and choose a brush.
I always use a basic brush without a soft feathered edge. This way I only paint exactly where I want to.
You will also need to change the opacity of your brush. I set my brush opacity to 37%.

Now paint over the entire area that you want to mask off in one brushstroke. Do this by clicking and holding down the left mouse button on the area you want to mask the action off and don’t release it until you have passed over the entire area. This will keep the area looking smooth and evenly toned.  
 You can repeatedly paint over the area in the same manner as before until the desired outcome is reached.

Now all that is left is to merge all of the layers together! You can do this by right clicking on one of the layers then select “merge visible”.

That’s it!! You’re done!!! How easy was that??
Beautiful every time!!! Oh, and that nifty little before and after tag was also created from a coffeeshop design! Click HERE for your free tag!

Thank you Coffeeshop Blog for all of your beautiful actions and designs!!