Tutorial: Bokeh-Faker

Sometimes it just doesn't happen, you don't get the great bokeh....so sometimes you have to fake it!

You start by opening up your image and making your adjustments in RAW. Once you have that completed you will select your magnetic lasso tool.

Using your magnetic lasso select your subject, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Once you complete the subject from beginning to end you will see the "marching ants"

Then you want to utilize your refine edge option
In PS you will have a brush that comes up, adjust the size and paint around the subject, also doesn't have to be perfect.
(PSE users you do have this but not exactly the same, you will have to adjust sliders, set your feather to 3-5 and play with the rest)

Then duplicate the layer. 

You will repeat using your magnetic lasso, and refining the edge just as before but on your background layer.
Then you will select the inverse so that you are grabbing the background without the subject.
Then you will duplicate the layer.

So now you have your background (original), your background without subject, and your subject only.

You will want your background without the subject layer selected and you will run a gaussian blur.
I find 10-13 to be a great natural blur.

Now you want to add a layer mask so that you can perfect it.
There is a great layer mask action over at CoffeeShop.

Next I paint away, using my soft black brush first at 100 % opacity, then at 50%, then 25% so you get a natural taper.
Black - I used 100%
Red - I used 50%
Green - I used 25%
all using the soft black brush

Enjoy, I can't wait to see your fake bokeh!

"Rock Your Camera" workshop-the shots

I really enjoyed my "Rock Your Camera" workshop.
A bunch of great ladies, willing to learn and work hard to improve learning their camera and getting great shots from what they have in their hands.
On top of that we had a great model!

Just take a look at these fun shots :)


Caylee {Child} | Killeen child photographer

I wish I had a wardrobe and accessories like this girl!

Happy Birthday Miss C
I hope you enjoyed your preview :)


Actions: How to load them

First have your actions palette open and click the little paragraph looking icon to open up the menu.
Then you want to select load actions, a window will pop up and you will need to find where you saved your action then select the .atn file.
I have my actions saved to a folder on my desktop so they are easily accessible.


Actions: Levels work

I ♥ my levels adjustment and I use this one on nearly every image I edit.

For this image SOOC I used my levels adjustment only
REALLY that was it!
It makes that big of a difference.

You can download my Levels work action here.

Of course I also used my Eye Love Sparkle action for his gorgeous eyes and finished editing for the final product.

Enjoy :)

Magic Monday

Oh how I love my kiddos.
They really are best friends and I couldn't ask for anymore than that....well maybe that they stay nice to each other forever :)
They help each other do everything and love to play together, mostly they love to read and color together and when it is time for my son's learning books my daughter always tries to learn right along with him.
The other day was counting

I love them :)


Mohr {Family} | Belton family photographer

Happy Birthday to J!
You are so adorable no matter how mad you get
 I know you had a blast in the water
and you crawl oh so fast!
You're part of an adorable family too.
Happy Birthday J


Sessions: For Mudpies & Pigtails Boutique

I was asked by the lovely Monique Green to photograph a few new creations of hers before the launch of her new website for her one year on-line anniversary. Of course I graciously accepted :)
I had two lovely baby girl models and I have been sitting on these pictures for a few weeks, waiting to share with everyone and waiting for Monique to launch her new website!
Happy Birthday Mudpies & Pigtails Boutique!!!


Mihm {Family} | Killeen family photographer

It's been a while since I posted a preview...I am waiting patiently and should be able to post 2 more tomorrow!
This lovely family was my first paid client session, and we have worked together numerous times since then. I was lucky enough to be able to photograph this little guy during his first days of life, and here we are celebrating his first birthday! 
Happy Birthday M, and Happy (early) Anniversary D&C!



Who doesn't want to get a lovely silhouette portrait? They tend to be more emotional and personal than a typical portrait. They rely on the body language of the subjects instead of the eyes....that is the hard part :)

Now how to achieve the silhouette:
Have your camera in manual exposure and expose for the sky (your meter should be centered, thus properly exposed) have your subjects pose and let the sky paint a picture.

IHF Tuesday

This week at I heart faces is "Random Act of Kindness" week, and showcasing Inspiration Through Art (Littlest Heroes Project). I love this foundation!

I am a photographer for this amazing foundation and I have been lucky enough the last few months to be able to photograph two very special heroes, who have inspired me to be so much more than I am.
These little heroes are so perfect, and adorable.

First I photographed Carter
 This is how our session went:
We met at a great outdoor location so Carter would be able to have fun and not feel stuffed into my studio, I wanted him to run and be a boy. The first location he didn't like the texture of the high grass and wouldn't let go of his daddy or his cup so I gave him my smiley face pin to try and win him over but no luck he wouldn't let go. We decided to move on to the second location....the waterfall! Here it didn't take long for him to light up, splashing his big brother and sister, and giggling so much. It put a smile on my face to see his joy and that I was a part of it. Once the session was over and the fun had been all used up we had walked back down the trail to our cars, at that time Carter found the wooden railing and began to have some more fun...without us! I couldn't resist capturing him in his own world :)
"Carter is the youngest sibling out of three. By the age of two, Carter’s parent’s noticed his lack of speech and limited communication. Carter also did not point or give many social smiles. Through in home therapy sessions Carter did gain some words and even speaks in 2 word sentences. However just before his third birthday, Carter was officially diagnosed with PDD-NOS which is on the autism spectrum. He has just began a special pre-school class for children with special needs and seems to really enjoy it. We have high hopes for Carter but we know that the things most kids learn easily will not be as easy for him."
-Carter's mom

Next I got to photograph Xavier
I had the opportunity to meet this adorable miracle recently and I knew it would be great! I was contacted by LHP about Xavier and I knew I wanted to get him a session ASAP since they would be leaving for medical checks for Xavier the following week. When I arrived at Xavier's house I had a good idea of what to expect but I had no idea, how adorable this little guy would be...he stole my heart ♥ ♥ !
I saw this amazing chair as I was bringing in all of my equipment, and turns out it had been in the family for years and I knew it would be perfect for Xavier, I brought lots of goodies for him to play with while I photographed him as well. He really wasn't sure about what was going on, other than some strange lady was in his house, where the dining table was supposed to be....and all this strange stuff everywhere. Finally he started opening up to me and playing with all the props, he was seriously adorable! Since then I have stayed in contact with Xavier's mom, and love getting updates about how he is doing. Everyday is a challenge but Xavier is a trooper and showing his heart whose boss!

Xavier Gallegos was born May 4th 2009 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
He was born premature and had his first bypass operation at 36 hours old
and weighing 2 pounds 11 ounces. His first few weeks of life were very touch
and go. He had a second operation at 4 months old and will face another one
next year. Xavier is on lots of medications to substain his heart function
one being to prevent him from any further svt. He really is a hero!
-Xavier's mom

Magic Monday

Seeing as how Monday is dreadful, I really hate Mondays......I thought it would be great to post an uplifting picture from my life, something that makes me giggle no matter how many times I look at it.
So today's Magic Monday picture is one where I was trying to get an updated picture of my kids this past week. I dressed them up to represent how they are, my son in his ACU pants and camo vest...the boy wants to be a soldier soooooo bad. My daughter I dressed in a yellow flower shirt, with a vintage inspired skirt, pearls and a flower headband...she is extremely girlie :)
The new thing in our house is animal noises and what they do, at this point my daughter has heard dogs, woof woof, and saw a bird, chirp chirp...so we move on and my son says tiger so my daughter replies RAWR with her claws extended too :D
I love these kids!



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