Monday, February 1, 2010

FAQ's ~ Photo Textures

I've been enjoying the use of textures ttv layers when I'm working on pics in photoshop and love checking out Flickr for inspiration!
Many times textures add depth and character to my photography ~ sometimes they don't....but the right photo and ttv layer can make the most romantic picture ever and I'm always on the lookout for new ones. Three Flickr finds for free ttv layers are from NinianLif, Noise and Dust Through the View Finder and Leahleaf.
For a quick look at what they can do I'm just grabbing some random shots I have and adding the layer....Here is leahleaf's "ttv_vivitar_o5 layer"...
And here is photo of my fabulous friend Jen on the beach in OB last summer ~ she's showing me some breathing exercises...
In photoshop I opened the photo of Jen and then opened the ttv layer I had copied off of leahleaf's site (with permission). On my Mac I hit control v and drag the ttv layer over to Jen's photo. Hit enter and then hit enter again to approve using a different color scheme.
Then I goto Edit~Transform~scale and I drag the ttv layer to the edges of Jen's photo. Now - I can't see anything but the ttv layer until I change the layer style. I go to layers~multiply and then reduce the opacity to 80%. A little Yang from Totally Rad Actions and then I'm done.
Here is the "after"
One of my favorite ttv layers is from the brownie camera. I do shoot through my Brownie during some shoots...but I have fun with the "fake" layers I find also. Love the one I found here on Kat's Flickr page...
So now the feet in Versaille ~ after two weeks of walking around both London and France in rainy spring ~ I had no socks left ~ and my feet hurt!!! I stopped to just sit for a second and had to get a photo of my aching feet ~ toes sticking out and all....
Below is the "after" following the same directions~
If you are into photoshop, take a second and google "free ttv layers"....your bound to find some that will inspire you!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why You Get All Your Photos on CD ~ A Wee Bit About Me

My brides fall in love with my wedding images while my grooms love getting all their wedding pics on cd ~ both want NOT to charge Grandma $9.50 for a wedding photo online (note: to the wedding photographers out there ~ I know this is how you make your living and I would do the same thing ~ I just have a different business model).

So then if I'm not raking it in on selling photos ~ how do I make money?

Some truths ~ I've been shooting since 2005 and started full time as a wedding photographer in 2008. I started with travel photography and moved into weddings when I left Los Angeles and relocated to San Diego. I partnered up with another photographer and we shot brides all around San Diego. Can I tell you...I LOVED it! So now I've returned to the city of my birth (la la land) and I'm back at the job I've been at off and on since 1998!!! I have an amazing boss, I work with some of the top creative people in the world AND I have health insurance to die for with two pensions for retirement. Now...I've taken off a few times from this amazing job - once for six months to back pack around the world and once for about 15 months to backpack around Europe and Egypt with my boyfriend, Mark. After four months on the road we ended up moving to San Diego.

Another truth ~ I'm SO not a 9 - 5 person in my heart....however my full time job defies convention!!! It's given me freedom to grow and learn about me and BE me...I've come to value and appreciate my day job more and more.

So this is why you get your photos on cd - high res and 4x6. It's not about the money (okay mama always wants a new pair of shoes!) it's about creativity and me balancing my happiness in a 9 - 5 world. Once again ~ there are amazing photographers working full time on their businesses who do sell their photos online and deserve to! Shooting a wedding is more than showing up with a camera ~ trust me!

For me? I'm at a new place in my life....One where I look forward to settling down ~ M and I are talking marriage and babies ~ 3 am feedings and future PTA meetings. All the crazy travel and living on the road is behind me now ~ I wouldn't have missed it for anything! M and I plan on more exciting travel....we may even sail around the world one day! But it's never going like the way I backpacked India or the Middle East ~ sleeping on hard mattresses with bed bugs as my companions! It's no longer about finding myself or conquering the world ~ because I get it now. Now I look to my 401k and my insurance and my steady paycheck and I'm happy ~ because it gives me the freedom to choose what I want.

I will only book two weddings per month ~ that's it. That's all I want. If I've learned anything it's that I go crazy with nothing to do....and doubly crazy with too much to do! My books sit unread, I don't get to try new recipes or drink wine with my friends.

In this overly expanding global marketplace - with it's sameness and lack of imagination ~ I want to be an artisan. Quality over quantity. Balance. A full and beautiful life that brings both financial success and creativity. Like the leather craftsman in Corfu who stitched Mark's sandals back together with precision and care ~ or Pizzaria da Baffetto's in Rome (the best pizza EVER) ~ I don't wish to conquer the world ~ I wish to be appreciated for all that I am by clients. I want to work with the brides that get what I'm going for.

So that's it ~ that's why you get all your photos on cd.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Before and After FAQs

I'm a huge fan of Totally Rad Actions and just added to my collections with Volume Two of the TRA pack! Yes photography starts with a good picture, proper exposure and an understanding of the way things work - but let me just say that there is a level of creativity that I absolutely love!!! Here are Jacqui and Ben in December on the beach: It's stormy and cloudy and these rockstars are out on a rainy day having fun for their wedding pics! How lucky can I be? It's a good picture but I wanted something unique and creative in the end - something a bit different. I normally take my Brownie camera out and shoot a bit but on the sand with the rain - NOT a great I fudged it. In post I added a ttv layer that I found on the web after I had used TRA actions to darken it down and and give it the feel I was looking for. A little bit of this - a little bit of that and I had what I was looking for...just like being in the kitchen. I cropped it to 8x8 and voila: Okay - now it's time to do some yoga and jump on the elliptical - basically because I've promised myself I must lose that holiday weight before I can no longer refer to those 10 pounds as holiday weight!!! Hope you enjoyed!