Birthday Girls {children} | Killeen child photographer

I met these little ladies about a year ago and they are still just as adorable as they were then. 
Happy birthday girls!




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Showcase: Cozybebe

You are probably wondering what this is, right?
It's called a cozybebe and it reminds me of when I was a kid :)

Growing up in the country meant doing things a little unorthodox, but I'm thankful for that. One of the things my grandmother used to do was make these little sacks and fill them with corn to use as heating/cooling pads similar to this. Well, Alexandra-creator of cozybebe got in touch with me recently about her new product which is absolutely fabulous for newborn photographers...seriously!

What it is: A cherry pit filled pillow that can be warmed in the microwave. 
Once you heat it up you put it under your fabric backdrop to help keep baby cozy and warm...it also works wonders with gassy babies little tummies. It lasts anywhere from 25-50 minutes.
You can also use it as an ice pack!

Be careful: Simply put it in the microwave and heat to desired temperature. Always be careful to not overheat and test it on yourself first. Never take it from microwave to baby without testing it.  Please don’t eat it, or swallow it, it’s a pillow not food. Don’t get it wet. 

Available sizes: Small is about 7x 7- $15 
Big is about 11 x 7- $20
plus shipping

It’s a pillow that you can warm, is completely sterilized, all natural, chemical free and made here in the good ‘ol USA by Alexandra.

I can attest to the greatness of the cozybebe, everyone should have one :) 
It has so many uses, and it's more safe than a heating pad when photographing those new little bundles of joy.

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Titan {Pet} | Killeen pet photographer

My photographic hiatus is over and you should expect to see a lot of session previews from me in the coming months.


I received a call about two weeks ago from a lovely woman with some terrible news...their family pet's health is deteriorating and they want to remember him in photographs. I was honored to be chosen to photograph Titan, and he is a Titan. This big sweetie came in and immediately took my heart ♥
Thank you so much for letting me spend some time with Titan.
I hope you and your family will pass by his pictures in your home and catch the Titan smile :)


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DIY: Belly bouquet

Another great big thank you to Amy for such a fabulous tutorial!

Have you been drooling over all of those beautiful belly shots with the belly bouquets/sashes? Well put your crafty self to work and create your own! Here is how:

Gather your supplies, here I have:

-Stiff felt (This felt is from Michaels and is not the “flimsy” felt, it is more stiff and sturdy”
-Assorted flowers (grab a bouquet of silk flowers, and jars of “belle fleur” from the scrapbooking section, you can also find packs of 6 flat fabric flowers there as well)
-Buttons, rhinestones
-Feathers
-Hot glue and glue gun
-Ribbon
-Whatever else your heart desires!





Now you are going to begin by cutting your felt in a small, medium, or large circle. Here I have cut it about 8x8; this is for a large belly bouquet pictured here:

Next you are going to take your silk flowers from your bouquet and open them up by taking them apart. You will take them apart layer by layer and discard the parts you will not be gluing back together (pictured on the right). This allows your flower to have more volume and to have a cleaner look to them. These are examples of what you will be throwing away (on the right only):
Now you will take the portions of your flower that you saved to the side and hot glue them back together layer by layer. After doing this step glue your flower wherever you would like it to be placed on your felt for your belly bouquet. Note that I glued my rhinestone button in the middle of the flower. If you have chosen a button it will have the portion on the back that you sew the thread through. When gluing buttons on anything make sure you snip that portion off the back so it will lay flat. I do this by using my needle nose pliers. I either snap it off or use the wire cutting portion at the back head of the needle nose pliers. Now place and glue! Here is mine:
Continue adding and gluing your flowers on your entire felt portion, almost done:
Now here we are with all of my flowers glued on, then my feathers, then my rhinestones for flower middles, then my hummingbird for added flare, (note in my blue one I added a little bit of vintage netting). If you have gaps between your flowers and you can see your felt no worries! Just snip it off the back with your scissors OR I like to add some leaves over those gapped areas. If you bought the Belle Fleur cans they will come with leaves in the bottom of the can, not jars.
Now turn it over here is the back side:

Now cut your ribbon, I cut it at about 60 inches or more, you want this to be very long so that it will fit all stages of pregnancy. Find the middle of your felt, find the middle of your ribbon and glue it all along the back portion (ribbon), note-make sure your ribbon is facing right side forward. Ok so it does not look so fancy on the back portion but that is ok:
And voila!
Here it is in action!
Tip- Take your bouquet from belly to baby, very cute on those newborn shoots by placing it on the backside or belly of baby ;) Size small is best.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thank you to Morgan for featuring me! Please follow my blog as I am just starting it up and it is a labor of love while my husband is deployed for a year to Afghanistan, Thank you! XO-Amy Jo

You have permission to sell the items made from this tutorial, feel free to share this free tut, I ask that you do not sell this tut or alter the tut and sell as your own. Also please give credit to my blog and Morgans when selling or advertising, thank you.



Guest blogger Amy Jo Wagner, is a stay at home mom, military wife, crafter, student and photographer. As a guest blogger she hopes to teach you all how to craft on a budget for personal use or photography use . Her current eye candy comes from Morgan Kervin, Rita of The CoffeeShop Blog and Pink Paisley Photography.
    
"My real job is being a stellar mother and wife, my hobbies are crafting and photographing life's special moments"

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Showcase: SugarSnappers

Recently at Prop Insanity I won a gift certificate for $25 toward SugarSnappers
Talk about excited :D
I have a home studio which doesn't afford me space to have more than one faux floor, with SugarSnappers and a little Photoshop magic I can have a whole hoard of floors!
It's fairly simple to use once you figure out your own way of doing it. I can interchange all the floor styles in less than 3 minutes to find the one that is perfect for the shot.

What it is: The floors are high quality images that you use in overlay mode. The set comes with horizontal and vertical orientations as well as varying base boards.
How much is it: Each set is $65 or you can buy them all at once for a $165.
Ease of use: At first I was over thinking how to use them, I sat back and watch the video tutorial as well as read the instructions that came along with the images and I got it.
What do I need: To make the flooring work you will need an image with a floor already there (you can get flooring for cheap or free at your local hardware/flooring store). You will need Photoshop or similar editing software. 
In Photoshop you will need to use: eraser, layers, blend mode

Over all I'm quite happy with the products, they really thought it through to offer both orientations as well as matching base boards :)

They have three styles:
Barnwood (I have)
Classic Dark
Classic Light

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Fun Family Challenge!











Entrants must live or be willing to travel for session to Morgan Kervin Photography studio in Killeen, Texas.

Please limit your story to 200 words or less.

Please include only one image per entry family.
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SIYH

I am so happy to announce I have taken on a few guest bloggers that I know you all will love! They have some great ideas to share as well as fabulous knowledge.

Have you ever found a PS or PSE action and loved it so much that you didn't know how you survived the editing world without it?  Well, that's how I feel about the Sunshine in Your Hand (SIYH) action by Phaunt Actions.  I first heard about this action from fellow photographer, Denise McCabe, who told me that this action was a huge part of her work flow.  Denise uses PS...I use PSE.  So, I thought this would be one of those actions that work on PS only, and I continued to try and find my own work flow.  A few months later, I googled "Sunshine in Your Hand" and found the Phaunt Actions website.  Just as I thought, most of his actions are PS only, including the new SIYH Pak.  I decided before I left the site, I'd check the freebies section (why not, right?)...and THERE IT WAS!  The original SIYH for PSE!!!  Wow!  Free!  So, of course I downloaded it and fell completely in love with it! I use this action on about 80% of my images now.  Let me show you why...

I'll open this image that I took of my daughter (over a year ago - look at her!  sniff sniff).  I've always loved this picture of her...
I didn't circle it on the screen shot, but the white box in the effects pallet is the SIYH action.  After running it, here's what we get...


As you can see, the action has the sunshine layer and a contrast layer.  In this case, I like the softness of the picture a lot, so I adjusted the contrast layer to 50% opacity.  Here's the result:

There are a few things I really like about this action.  One is the nice, even brightness that is added to the photo.  I also like that it's simple and fast:  there's only two layers to deal with.  The sharpness layer really adds a boost.  I find that in some of my photos, it is too much, but that's the beauty of being able to adjust layers.  Some photos won't require nearly as much brightening as this one did, so you can turn down the opacity on the sunshine layer.  Sometimes, you will want even more brightness.  In that case, you can simply run the action again.

If I had to change one thing about this action, it would be adding a layer mask to the sunshine layer.  There are many images where you need the brightening in some spots, but not others.  Of course, that is easily fixed with Coffeeshop Rita's Layer Mask action!  

This is a great action for any photographer to have in his/her pocket!   I hope that it can help improve your work flow as it has mine  :)

P.S.  Just a side note for the PS users out there, Phaunt Action's original SIYH action is also available for PS for free! 





Guest blogger is Corrine Corbett of Timeless Blessings, is a stay at home mom and photographer wielding a Sony Alpha 500. As a guest blogger she hopes to teach you all things that will take the frustration out of photography and leave you more and more satisfied with your art. Her current eye candy comes from Morgan Kervin, Denise McCabe and Isabelle LaFrance
"I have learned so much from other photog bloggers out there.
I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to pay it forward with anything that I learn! :)"

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Showcase: LemonDrop Stop Backdrops

If you're a photographer you know how important backdrops are, you know even more how important QUALITY backdrops are. I am the type to enter every giveaway I see in the hopes that I will win, this was the case when I was introduced to LemonDrop Stop Backdrops. I have a few backdrops, most of mine are fabrics but the problem with fabrics is that they wrinkle and you have to steam them or hang them for a while or clamp them very tight to keep them nice and wrinkle free during photoshoots. I also have seamless papers that I love, but the problem with the paper is that is tears easily, and gets crumpled if the floor isn't flat.

Recently I entered a giveaway over at LemonDrop Stop's Facebook page which was to suggest the page to your friends and both the new fan and the old fan would win a backdrop of their choice. When my suggested friend won I was ecstatic because honestly I wanted a backdrop from them like you would not believe BUT I was skeptical since they are polypaper....I had no clue what that meant like most people.

So it took me a few days to make my decision on which one to get, since I wanted most of them :) I ended up going with the brick wall since it is very much my style and I thought it would be the most versatile for me. It was delivered to my house and I took it out immediately! I was pleasantly surprised about the feel of the paper. It feels like a flexible card stock. Imagine seamless paper feeling lightly laminated and that is the feel of the polypaper.

I am very pleased with everything at LemonDrop Stop, from the customer service, quick shipping and the quality of the product everything they provide is top notch and I highly recommend them.



 
The backdrop is perfect for two small subjects, this is a little bit of a pull back so you see the size...these are two 5 year olds.

This backdrop is 60 inches x 5 feet.

All materials are water resistant and tear resistant but not indestructible. 
Material options: PolyPaper,and Vinyl Canvas Blend.








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Bows by Mia Giveaway Winner!

It's time to announce the winner of the Bows by Mia giveaway!



The winner is....................................





Mandy Beesley
 
 
 
 
Mandy all you have to do to claim your prize is to email Melissa-owner of Bows by Mia at bowsbymia@yahoo.com
 
Congratulations and thank you all for entering the Bows by Mia giveaway!




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Bows by Mia Giveaway!

It's Giveaway time and that you means you get to win something great from Bows by Mia!


To enter just share the Bows by Mia fan page on your personal page or your own fan page! You can share by using the share option at the bottom left corner of the Bows by Mia fan page.

Once you share the contest with your friends please find the Giveaway post on the Bows By Mia fan page and say that you entered and shared the love on your profile by posting the link. 

The contest will go on until Friday, Feb. 4th at 8 PM.

*comments on this blog do not count as entries*
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