Showcase: Me To You Treasures

Not too long ago I came across Mary, the founder of Me To You Treasures, a local business woman that makes these adorable necklaces. I was so excited to hear she would make my "I shoot people" necklace for me...OK I was ecstatic!  She has very reasonable pricing (she should seriously charge more for her pendants). They are beautiful, she quickly finishes and gets your pendant to you in time for almost any occasion. 

*hint hint* 
Mother's Day, Grandparent's Day, Valentine's Day etc. 
*hint hint*

All of her pendant necklaces are handcrafted SERIOUSLY she makes each one by hand! Each pendant is made using glass tiles, jewelry findings, non-toxic water based adhesives and quality graphics. Photo pendants are made with pendant trays only in order to preserve the quality of the picture as well as lasting wear. The pendants are water resistant but not water proof so it is best to refrain from wearing them in the shower, pool etc. These pendants can be used for more than just necklaces...they can be put on key rings, bracelets and more.

Important links :) (Satisfy Your Senses is Mary's "over all" blog)
Satisfy Your Senses FB Fan Page (!/pages/Satisfy-Your-Senses/139768312581)

"I invite you to delve into my Handcrafted Treasure Box, you are sure to find something to Satisfy Your Senses!"

How about an incentive? When you refer 10 people that purchase a pendant from Mary you get one free AND you will get a button to your website posted on her blog for one month! Who doesn't like free advertising :) Make sure and let your friends know they need to tell her you sent them.

Upcoming products: Military and other awareness designs

All pendents come with a free ball chain. Items may contain small parts not recommended for young children.

Tutorial Tuesday: Photoshop Dr.

Continue to edit as you normally would for your final product.


Showcase: The CoffeeShop Blog

There is no possible way to express how much Rita means to me, and the photography community...especially those just starting out. There is an abundance of information on The CoffeeShop Blog, so much that I haven't gone through even half of it yet! She covers everything from actions, tutorials on editing, blogger information and manipulation, how-to's, freebies and just so much and can you believe that it is ALL FREE!? All the wealth of knowledge that she provides and asks for nothing in return, seriously this woman is a Godsend to those just beginning their photographic journey.

What does she charge for?

Go visit her sites, join her on Facebook and start learning all she has put out for everyone to take in. Go grab some freebies and don't forget to say 'Thank You'


Tutorial Tuesday: Cropping

This is the way I do things, it doesn't make it the best way, it is just my way :)

* Print sizes aren't just sizes but they are different shapes too.
* Your print lab will tell you what ppi your image needs to be at to print properly. My print lab suggests 300ppi.
*Your images do not come out of your camera an 8x10 so you will have to crop for print.

This is how I do things: 
Have my edited images in a folder, once my client makes their print order I gather the files they want to print and make a copy of them then put them into their own folder labeled print.
I then go into Photoshop and select my crop tool, print size changed to the correct one and resolution at 300 pixels per inch (ppi).  Then I crop making sure to keep the composition as I intended. 
I NEVER crop an already cropped image. I always go back to the uncropped version, again because they aren't just different sizes, but different shapes too.

Cropping from a cropped image will cause you to begin to lose your composition, and potentially start to lose important parts of your image such as the top of heads or other body parts.

Information straight from WHCC- a professional print lab:
Q. I just couldn't seem to get the files to 8x10's without distorting the picture.
A. When your original file size is not the same aspect ratio as an 8x10 the image will distort when you use image size in Photoshop with your constrain proportions unchecked to size the file. You can crop you file one of two ways to get the file to an 8x10 size for test prints: 1-use the cropping tool in Photoshop to size the file to 8x10 at 300 ppi. However, you will lose some of your image. Or, you can go to image size check the constrain proportions box, size your file to the closest it can be to 8x10 but size under not over. Then take your 7.5x10 file (for example) go under image scroll down to canvas size and canvas the file up to 8x10. This way you will have a file size at 8x10 without cropping or losing any of the image. The canvassing method can also be use for printing a custom sized print with us. If you are cropping your files in Lightroom this should be done from the Develop screen by setting your file dimensions and then dragging the crop tool over your image.

Edit to add:
When I edit my images I do not crop them at all.
For images on CD I do not crop at all since I do not know what size my clients will want to print.

Showcase: VaDaVelle

Not too long ago I was contacted by Julieta, the creative mind and owner of VaDaVelle -Stylish hair accessories for girls and women to have a few of her products modeled and let me tell you that they are gorgeous and extremely well made! They are perfect for almost any portrait session, from newborn, child, to seniors and adults.


Lucky action | Freebie

If you ask anyone that knows me or follows me on my Facebook fanpage they will tell you I am lucky. I always have been, and I don't know any way to be except to be lucky...maybe it's karma? I try to give as much as I can to help others improve and be happy and maybe the luck is karma's way of saying 'keep it up'

Over the past 6 months I have won probably close to $1,000 worth of goodies
canvas sets, cookies, cupcakes, key fob, grey tipped fur, digital flooring, action sets, gift certificates, trench bowl, easy as pie pricing guide, and last night I won Boudoir business boutique's lighting guide.

I couldn't be the only one getting free stuff! It's just not fair to hog all the luck so here it is, my new free action 'Lucky'
There are close to 50 looks you can achieve with this action...seriously!

Lucky is compatible with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements



Click here to download the free 'Lucky' action 



Tutorial Tuesday: Life in Motion

First things first.
This is not for someone just starting in photography and still shooting on auto. You will need consistent color and white balance to achieve this look. I also recommend shooting in RAW to avoid uneven processing that can happen when your camera processes Jpeg images.

You WILL need a steady surface, preferably a tripod and a willing subject.
Set your settings on your camera first, depending on the amount of space being covered in the image you will need to set your f-stop accordingly so that when the focal point changes the DOF (depth of field) doesn't cause trouble later on when editing. If you shoot wide open and the focal point is near and to the left, the right back of the image will be OOF (out of focus) and vice-versa, thus the need for an f-stop that will allow for a more realistic focal range. I suggest staying around f7 to ensure realistic results.

Once you have your camera settings in place, then you will put your camera on the steady surface.

Pose your subject and make sure they are in focus, release shutter.
Move subject, focus, release shutter.
Repeat until you have the amount of poses/frames you desire for your composite image.

In Photoshop open your first RAW image and make any adjustments, make sure to write them down so you can apply the same settings to each image in the composite.

You will need to add a layer mask to each layer, in Photoshop that is the little icon at the bottom of your layer palette that looks like a camera. In PSE you can use the action from the CoffeeShop to add your layer masks.

Then make sure your foreground color is set to black and your layer mask is selected. Grab a soft brush and you will mask out part of the previous layer to reveal the images. You can do it this way or the opposite with inverted layer masks and a white brush, it is all up to your preferences on which way you do it.
Then begin your masking.

Once you've finished your masking flatten the image and edit to taste.


Showcase: Pamela Topping

I first 'met' Pamela Topping from a giveaway over at the CoffeeShop and I instantly knew I needed to contact her! First, it is so hard to find cute necklaces that I like...and her camera love necklace is beautiful AND has a function too :) You can use it to adjust white balance, how awesome is that. Then I noticed she has actions that create an ethereal feel, a feel that I love but can't ever seem to get right on my own. I have had the pleasure of using some of Pamela's actions and I ♥ them so much! She has graciously been a part of some fabulous giveaways and continues to bring out new products that I am excited to own and in the future purchase.

Brooklyn and Payton {Children} | Killeen child photographer

Stunning, handsome-and oh so fun!


Friday Faker: Fade from wall to floor

This was a recent set up and would work MUCH better if he had been further from the 'wall'

So yes folks it can be that easy :) You may need to use the clone tool/patch tool to smooth any odd patterns.

Skyler {Newborn} | Killeen newborn photographer

Here is Mr. 1.1.11
I will call him Ace :)
He wasn't due until later this month but he decided he is in charge of his life and he wanted to have the most awesome birthday AND birth story.
This little guy was born on the way to the hospital-you can read his story >here<
I had the pleasure of photographing his mother during the latter part of her pregnancy and I hope all the photographs are ones they will treasure, along with the eventful story of how he came into the world.


Tutorial Tuesday: Using a gray card

Open your RAW image
Select your white balance dropper and select a portion of your gray card
Make any adjustments you need in ACR and open your image in PS
Add a levels adjustment layer so that you can adjust the opacity or mask anything if you need to.
Use the white, gray and black droppers to select the corresponding cards and save your levels preset to use for editing the same session.

Continue to edit to your personal style :)

Showcase: Sassy Designs

A few months ago I saw a post on Facebook from a friend of mine about this fabulous place, a place of whimsy and great sales...a place where happiness spreads like wildfire. I didn't know how easy things could be with templates instead of making each and every client 5 custom designs to choose from, I was losing time with my family and decided to make the transition to templates. The wonderful thing about Sassy Designs is that you have a template that is the same BUT you can add very different digital papers and other embellishments so that the standard templates you have can still be made custom with her thousands of digital papers! 
For example this was my family Christmas card

Now a clients Christmas card.
Same template different papers=different card

I use her digital papers to add new backgrounds to images as well

I also now am able to market myself with one of her fabulous marketing kits that I bought, now everything I have is cohesive and I am now officially branded!

She has great products at amazing prices and even more than that, she has sales all the time! I'm not talking about 10% off....I'm talking about 75-98% off!
Whenever she has a sale I stock up. I suggest making an account with her cart and start adding things then wait for one of her fabulous sales and get it all! The only thing that could make this store better would be to have a "buy all" button :)
What she has in store:
Digital papers
Card templates
Mini book/Photobook templates
Marketing kits
And more!



The Confidence Journey

Dr. Morales

Spartan Performance Meals


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