Sisterly Love

These girls always rock my socks!


Free! Digital glitter background

There aren't many people that don't like glitter, I happen to LOVE glitter ♥  I love the whimsy, glitzy fabulousness of it - I am obsessed!

I needed an updated head shot for myself, and had just received an amazing necklace (check it out!) for my birthday from a wonderful friend (thank you Kara) so I thought "of course, there has to be glitter".  The updated head shot is for my organization, The Gold Hope Project.  I found the glitter to be a perfect use for this!

Do you need some glitter? Let the excitement begin, here is a free set of digital glitter drops for your head shot awesomeness.
There are three here, they vary slightly depending on what you need the amount of bokeh to be.

So here you go, enjoy!  Use them with layer masks (Google for more information) on using layer masks in PS and PSE.  Just please do not try to sell them, use them to your hearts content :) 

xoxo Morgan

Tony & Nicole

Recently I met a fabulous couple and their fur baby for a super fun session.  Getting to have a blast and lots of laughs with clients is just one of the many perks of my job.  Thank you Tony & Nicole for being wonderfully carefree, and for letting me meet Champ!


Photoshop Course

Photoshop Web Workshop
My online Photoshop workshop is a four week long web workshop centered on the way that I work within the program.  The focus is on my workflow, combined with many tips, tricks and various ways to clean up your images and work in Photoshop. There are over 2 hours worth videos that cover step by step how to achieve a clean look and solve many problems that photographers run into.
This workshop is done in CS5, although the majority of the instructional videos will work for PSE, not all do.

  • 2 hours + instructional videos
  • Information on working within ACR, curves, adjusting color, use of filters, etc.
  • Q&A
  • Includes much, much more
Visit the website for more information and reviews


 Log-in information will be emailed within 24 hours of purchase to address listed on PayPal.  Access is granted for four weeks.  Access includes customized Q&A as well as all updated videos during that time. Due to the digital nature of this workshop, no refunds will be given.

A product review by MrsWags

How many of us adore the whimsical frames that are out there, and lined up by the masses to distribute them through an outside company? (Raising hand - Me!) The company I was going through made it more and more difficult to keep competitive pricing, they also had me buying additional supplies through them after I had already been a vendor with them for quite some time, this was discouraging.
I spoke with one of my fabulous photog friends and mentioned to her she should make affordable frames with her own twist and colors. That is exactly what the happily married duo did! Introducing Whimsy Expressions frames at an affordable price without the added stress of purchasing additional items.  Luxe, beautiful, spunky, and fresh at a great rate, she also sells matching beds and baseboards for photography purposes! Here are some examples:

That is Michele and her beautiful family! Below are some mini frames and their beds, I am in love :)

Please visit her site at:
Don't forget to like Whimsy Expressions on FB!

Show how much you love Morgan's blog and like her blog, become a follower! Follow Morgan on the  Gold Hope Project and show your support for finding a cure for childhood cancer, be a photographer with a cause.

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"

How to make a lil guy bowtie!

Supplies you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric of choice
  • Fabric glue
  • Sewing machine/thread or sewing needle and thread (not pictured)
  • Ribbon of choice
  • Clip on earring backings
  • Hot glue gun/glue Sticks (not pictured)
  • E 6000 glue (not pictured) optional

1-Start off with your fabric of choice and cut 10x6 (this will fit an older boy 6 and up, scale down for younger ages). I used my rotary cutter on top of my quilt mat but you can use scissors within your craft area if you so choose.

2-Now turn your fabric wrong side out and fold in half, you will sew all along the outside edge. Leave one small opening at a corner of your fabric like so. If you cannot sew don’t fret! Use your Fabri Tac glue and let dry. You can use your Fabri Tac for any portion of this if you can not sew.


3-Turn your fabric right side out by pulling the fabric through the hole you left, like so. I am using a high tech marker to help push my fabric through. I am just fancy like that.

4-Now fold the frayed part of your fabric you left open (at the corner) and sew (or glue it shut).


5-You are going to take both ends/sides of your fabric and fold them to the middle like so. I used glue (fabri tac) to secure it.

6-Now pinch in the middle and grab your ribbon and earring back!

7-Glue your backing on (or sew) I recommend E 6000 for the gluing of the earring backing, and hot glue for the ribbon. Wrap your ribbon around and connect in the back.

8-Voila! Fit for a black tie night, date with mommy, or family paparazzi!

Do not alter this tutorial and use for your own financial gain. This tutorial is drafted for Morgan's blog (by MrsWags) and for the use of individuals wanting to make an item for photography purposes.
Show how much you love Morgan's blog and like her blog, become a follower! Follow Morgan on the  Gold Hope Project and show your support for finding a cure for childhood cancer, be a photographer with a cause.

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"

The Gold Hope Project

When I was growing, in 2nd grade to be precise, I had a friend named Josh.  We sat next to each other most of the year, we learned about static with this fun balloon experiment, we read books together, we even used to play checkers during our free was this magnetic travel toy my Mom had bought me, we usually ended up in a draw but it was fun!  Late in the year I remember that Josh started being absent a lot, then he was gone for a while.  One day Josh, his Mom and little brother Travis came to our class and our teacher said that they wanted to talk to all of us.  This was the day that changed my life, my heart...and in essence my future.  Momma J talked about how Josh was sick, from an incurable disease called cancer. I hated it!  She said how he would not be coming back to school and that he would be at the hospital a lot. That school year passed slowly, and my Mom took me to visit Josh often.  The last time I went to visit Josh was probably the most sad day in my childhood.  His Mom met us outside and told me that he looked different (although it had only been about two months since I saw him last) but that he was the same Josh.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  Josh was swollen, he didn't look like Josh at all...but once we started talking (he couldn't walk anymore) and playing checkers I realized it was Josh, the same old Josh I had played with all those times before. When we left that day, I had no idea that was the last time I would see him.  Josh lost his battle with cancer, and I still miss him and cry for my friend almost 20 years later.  He is still in my heart, I even have a picture framed of him still as it was when I was little.

16 years after Josh passed away, a dear friend of mine is fighting alongside her daughter, Ava, against the terrible C word. This is how The Gold Hope Project was born.  Childhood cancer is extremely underfunded, awareness should be raised.  This year alone, approximately 13,500 parents will have to listen to a doctor tell them, "Your child has cancer." Can you imagine? Some pediatric brain tumors, such as brain stem gliomas and pontine gliomas, are terminal upon diagnosis and no new protocols have been developed in 30 years...these are the type of tumors that Josh and Ava have.

Let's get to the happier part of this post, shall we?
Monday at Jewels Avenue Photography studio, Ava came to visit and have her Gold session.  There was glitter, smiles, laughter and the booger song.  I have watched this video every day, and each time I have a huge sad smile and tears. 

They say girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. That is definitely what Ava is made of! Her eyes light up a room and her laugh is so contagious. She is a complete girly girl and must wear a dress everyday (she prefers pink ones). She has such a kind heart and loves all animals, especially dogs. She showers everyone she meets with hugs and kisses. Last winter Ava had a cold but she was also experiencing some odd symptoms like falling down and not being able to swallow. A routine trip to her doctor turned into much more after a brain tumor was discovered in her pons (the middle of the brain stem). A few days later we received her official diagnosis of Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG. This kind of tumor can not be removed because of its location on the brain stem. There is also no cure and most children with DIPG pass away within a year after being diagnosed. There were not many treatment options for Ava but we did participate in a clinical trial but her tumor spread to her spine and she was removed from it. The tumors in her spine are causing nerve damage and she is unable to walk. Ava amazes me throughout this journey. She is strong when I am weak. She laughs when I want to cry. She has pulled me through when I wanted to give up. She keeps fighting, so I keep fighting. She has taught me more about life in the last 9 months than I thought I knew in all my years before. We really live now and are so grateful for the tiny moments that would have gotten ignored before. Everyday I wake up to see her beautiful eyes and smile is truly a gift.
-Cynthia, Mom to Ava

We will be participating in the CureSearch for Children's Cancer in Austin, TX. The money we raise will fund and support collaborative research to find a cure for all cancers affecting children. I need your support, so please join my team, register as an individual or make a donation to CureSearch for Children's Cancer on my behalf. Together, we will conquer children's cancer. 
Join us, if you can!

If you are unable to attend, consider making a general donation


Fairytales and glitter

Spending time with my little girl is amazing!  I have a little best friend that loves me like non-other ♥
She is so full of energy and always has something to say.  Whenever we are just hanging out we make faces, silly noises and come up with fun new stories...and laugh.  I love her.  I could never imagine life without her.

Taking time to photograph your own children is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, even more than that GET IN THE PICTURE with your babies - they won't be that way for long.


A day swapping heads, head shots that is

Meet my friend Julie - she is sassy, silly and stunning!
Did I mention that Julie is a fellow photographer with her very own studio - Jewels Avenue Photography?  We spent the morning swapping head shots - it was SO MUCH FUN!
Thanks for the ah-mazing day Jules - you totally rock my socks.


Giveaway winners!

Thank you to all of the amazing vendors that participated - and to everyone that entered, a huge thank you to you as well!

Now on to why you're really reading - to see if you won!
Winners were chosen via
You each have 48 hours to contact me at to claim your prize!  I will put you in contact with your vendor so you can get your goodie :)

1:1 mentoring with Morgan Kervin - Jessica of Eat Cake Love
Legal forms form Rachel Brenke - Adrienee Nicole
$50 credit from Vibrant Image Photography - Tamara Smith
Skype mentoring with Selina Francis - Sarah from love....for a million little reasons
Texture collection from Morgan Burks - Leanna Maddox
Logo from JLAnderson - Lynette
Modern Knot frame from Photographix by Kara - Smorency
Newborn headband and halo from January Rain - Laura Smith
Newborn beanie from January Rain - Stacey

Congratulations to all the winners!

Love for Ava

Say hello to Ava and her family - she is one amazing little girl!
Ava has a brain tumor that was discovered on December 6th, 2011.
Her tumor is called Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). This is a very rare and aggressive tumor. It cannot be removed because of the the location and the standard treatment of radiation does work, but then the tumor grows back and there is nothing that can be done at that point expect make the patient comfortable. 90% of children diagnosed with DIPG pass away within one year and the remaining children pass away within 3 years.

Since that diagnosis Ava and her family traveled from Texas to Arizona so that she could participate in a clinical trial.  Unfortunately a few days ago they received some terrible news - Ave is out of the clinical trial in Phoenix because the tumor has progressed.
So here is where you all come in!  December of last year I hosted an auction for Ava and her family to help ease the burden that comes with this sort of devastating situation.  The auction raised over $2000 for the Dawson family in just one week.  I would love to top that this time!

How can you help?
Vendors needed: If you offer a product or service you can help.  Last year we had sessions, artwork, mentoring, props and more donated.  If you would like to donate here is what I need from you.
  • Your item name and description
  • Image for listing
  • Value of item or service
  • Location stipulations (if any)
  • Other stipulations such as expiration date
  • Additional information (if any)
  • Website and Facebook
Please send all information listed to by July 9th before 9pm CST as it starts July 10th.
If you wish to donate directly to the Dawson family please visit the Hope for Ava site

Ava has no idea the road ahead of her but we are all here to fight along side her.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and support for Ava and her family!

Casting Call : Expecting Momma

I am in search of a beautiful expectant Momma to do a bit of modeling.  The requirements are simple and I'm only looking for one Momma :)

So here are the details - The model Momma will need to be available in July, sometime between the 7th and 21st.  The images will be used in an educational post on shooting and styling at-home maternity sessions, so the model will need to sign a model release.  In exchange - the model will get to choose their favorite 10 images to be put on disc as a thank you from MKP.

  • Must be showing (ideally 6-8 months along - but flexible based on how the model is showing)
  • Must be in the greater Killeen area
  • Must have a nice, clean home with neutral colors
  • Must have available light via windows
  • Must be available sometime during July 7th - 21st for shoot
  • Must sign model release 

For more of an idea of what I am hoping to accomplish - please visit Kelly Hicks amazing maternity session.

If you are interested you will need to send a current image of yourself from within the last week (you don't have to be dolled up, I just need to see how you wear pregnancy).  Please send all correspondence to and in the title please put CASTING CALL.  The model will be chosen and notified on July 5th.

Newborns: It's time!

Did you read last week's entry on prepping the parents for the session?

Remember how I said that parents would be zombies, well that's them walking in your door.  I know you're excited, but they are probably exhausted!  Likely with sleep-deprived parents their imagination will be lacking, so you must help them with that.

I like to already have a game plan in mind - as far as poses go - in order to streamline the whole session.  It may be a good idea to have an inspiration board at the session, so it is easier to convey your vision to your clients.  An inspiration board can be poses that you want to do, so they have a visual explanation.  It can also be a general feel you want to portray during the session.  Your inspiration board is used to enhance the session for both you and the client.
So, they are here....what now?
  • If you haven't met with them before, introduce yourself and get acquainted with the newest addition to their family.
  • Undress baby and wrap him/her in a receiving blanket (diaper still on, but loose).
  • Have Mom/Dad feed baby.
  • Ask how the delivery went! If something happened, or they have a concern it should come up now - this is the way in for the parent to open up about any concerns or issues they may have avoided before.
  • Ask about birth marks or other skin issues (if you see any) that way you know what to work on when editing, and what to leave alone.
  • Ask what they brought for the session and show them what you have (if you haven't done this previously).
  • Once baby is full - then they will be in what we like to refer to ask the milk coma, this is a good thing!
Sleeping baby, check!  Excited photographer, check!  Anxious parents, check!
What's the next move....
Pose order
  • Start off simple so you can get a feel for the baby - some will prefer getting to sleep laying a certain way.  Some will even hate having their body a certain way, such as arms tucked in.  
  • While you are getting the starter pose, I like to do baby on belly with feet tucked under OR baby on side with hands together - have Mom/Dad/siblings prepare to make their way in frame (last minute face check etc.)
  • Once baby is in starter pose 1 get full body, half body (head) and get the details now! (hands, feet, lashes, belly button etc.)
  • Family - Get one to two family poses
  • Sibling - Get one to two sibling only poses
  • Parents - Get one to two shots with baby and parents
  • Each - Get one to two shots of baby with each parent alone
  • Solo - Get baby in to starter pose 2 with wrap. Now you want to get baby into a deep state of sleep and feeling cozy since he/she was likely just being held.  Wrap them up tightly and get a few more shots (get creative here).
  • Complex - Now move on to your more complex shots, ones that likely require a bit of composite work. (chin in hands, sack of potatoes, frog).
  • Last chance - Once you have your full set of poses completed if baby is still willing do a few 'unnecessary' shots - ones that are creative and *could* sell but aren't guaranteed like previous poses.  Be sure to ask parents if there are any poses left that they would like to see.
Are you tired and sweaty? You should be :) .....oh and you will feel like you did a full scale squat work out in the morning - that's normal.
  •  Thank your client for their time, and let them know how much fun it was!
  • Give them information (again) on how the gallery process works and when to expect to see their images.  They will be excited to see them :)
  • If you noticed any skin concerns during the posing, that you didn't before - ask again now. 

  These are the basic things you will do during a newborn session.
Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.

Jayda {child} | Killeen child photographer

It's her birthday!!!
Do you remember this little beauty from just about a year ago?  How about from a few months ago when she was just 6 months?  What about her sassy momma in leopard heels?!

She is going to be a heart breaker ♥  She has so much personality for such a little girl - as always she is a blast to hang out with :)  Happy 1st birthday Jayda - may all that follows be just as amazing as you are.

Newborns: Prepping the parents

Did you read last week's entry on prepping yourself for the session?

One thing you want to remember is that the parents of your littlest clients are nervous, this is their new, tiny, fragile bundle of perfection.  They are probably sleep deprived aka zombie mode.  It is ideal that you give them a step-by-step breakdown of what to do and expect at the session so things go smoothly.


This is the list I send to my newbie parents:

What to do:
*Try to not feed your baby for 2 hours before the session so they are hungry.
*Try to keep your baby awake for 1 or more hours before the session so they are sleepy.
*The room will be very warm, near 85-90*F so it is still cozy when the baby is nude.
*Bring your little one in loose fitting clothing so that there are minimal clothing indentations.
*Once you arrive at your session we will undress the baby right away.
*Once your baby is undressed you will get to feed your baby, this will make your baby ready to sleep and easy for the session.
*While your baby is eating we will go over questions concerns and last minute set up ideas you may have.
*Once your baby is fed I will take him/her and we will begin the session, so relax and enjoy.....babies can smell fear :)

What to bring:
*Bring at least 2 bottles for baby to eat (or if you are nursing, any supplies for that).
*If your baby takes a pacifier, please bring a few.
*Bring any special items your would like to incorporate, such as theme items or family heirlooms.
*Bring an extra set of clothes for you and baby....because everybody poops, especially babies.

Keep in mind:
*For older siblings bring a toy or special snack for them to feel special as well.
*Keep clothing simple and cohesive.
*Be patient, chances are your baby will cry and that's ok, I am used to soothing newborns. It will feel like there is so much time being spent soothing your baby, but that's ok I am still getting great shots of your little one.
*Feel free to bring a book, and relax.

I look forward to seeing you again, and meeting your new baby!


In the email make sure to ask a few questions - that way you KNOW that they have read over the list.  If they don't answer your questions within a few days, send them a reminder :)

  • Nursery theme
  • Heirlooms they would like included
  • Any health issues that you need to be aware of

In addition to all of that make sure to send a reminder of the location, session time and date as well as contact information should they need to pull up the informational email (it is best to have the information in one place, as new parents don't have time to hunt for it).

 These are the basic things you will need to help the parents for a newborn session.
Next week we will touch on what to do when it's time for the newborn session.

 Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.


Newborn tutorial : The prep

Preparing for a newborn session can be incredibly nerve wracking.
"Do I have everything?"
"What if I need.....?"
"Are the parents prepared?"
"Will the sessions go smoothly?"

There are a few things you need in order to pull off a successful newborn session.
  • Heat - whether it is from a space heater, heating fan or just cranked up temperature: baby is used to being in a body temperature womb for the last 9 months, so being exposed to room temperature is quite uncomfortable for them. Keep them warm and comfy.
  • White noise - it can be in the form of an app on your phone, a specialized machine or even a pre-recorded noise such as a vacuum or blow dryer in action. Remember the was noisy.
  • Wipes - everybody poops (and pees) especially babies. You will need these on hand for baby as well as anyone and anything in contact with the will happen.
  • Soft blankets - you can use them as padding in baskets, on the floor and anywhere else you need them. Make sure they do not have a sheen to them - as this will result in a glare on the blanket.
  • Bean bag - there are lots of posing bean bags (these are ideal), but for those just trying to see if it's is their niche or even if you just don't have the funds yet - a cheaper bag from your local store will suffice. The bag should be filled! I cannot stress that enough, it needs to be completely full to the brim - if you do not have bean fill you can put blankets/pillows inside to plump it up or use a hair tie/zip tie to pull it tight.
  • Back drop stand - if you are doing posed newborn shots you will need one to clamp the backdrops to. 
  • Blankets - you can go to your local store and buy throw blankets with great texture to use as newborn drops, or you can even go crazy at your fabric store - you want about 3 yards in order to have space to work with.
  • Adequate light - whether you are using natural light or artificial you need to be aware of the lighting conditions and plan accordingly. (natural light sessions will go more smoothly, as the baby isn't exposed to flashes.)
  • Inspiration - when you are trying to explain a pose to the parents you may need them to participate in you may want to bring an image example so they know what to do.
  • Assistant - you will 100% need one. You can use one of the parents, a friend or an actual assistant - either way you need one. Reason being is that newborn safety is paramount and should not be compromised just to achieve a shot. The assistant should be close to baby at all times (within arms reach).
  • Props - if you choose to use props, such as hats or headbands you will want to be prepared. First, when you purchase the props for wear make sure that they are very soft to the touch. Baby has very sensitive skin and a little abrasion to us is painful for them. My rule of thumb, if it feels like a cloud - it's a go.
These are the basic things you will need for a newborn session.
Next week we will touch on client preparation for the newborn session.
Go view it now>

Thank you to Rachel Brenke for snapping this at her son's newborn session at the Jewels Avenue studio.


Caleb {newborn} | Killeen newborn photographer

Sweet little Caleb aka Tres is finally here!  I am always honored when friends and fellow photographers ask me to capture a monumental moment in their life.  Brenke family, you are all amazing!  Congratulations on adding yet another beautiful baby to the world, he is gorgeous♥


How to make Wee Lil Angel Wings-Photoprop

Admit it many of us have bought chincy little angel wings as props. I have found most of them to be of poor quality and definitely not made for a newborn, nor are they very comfortable! So I set out to make my own, here is how!

How to make wee lil angel wings. Gather your supplies you will need:
-Loose feather
-Matching boa
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Matching Felt

Start off by cutting your felt square or circular shape, I would say generally a 2x2 or 3x3 will probably do if you are using it on a newborn.


Dawson {family} | Killeen family photographer

I enjoy this family so much! When I heard the Dawson's would be in town for one week - I knew I had to jump on the opportunity to photograph them again.  They are so much fun and you can just see how much they love each other ♥ I wish you the very best Dawson family, safe travels as you head up North.  My heart, and my thoughts go with you.


Tamika {maternity} | Killeen maternity photographer

You've seen her other little ones before, here are some highlights of sessions with Tamika's family - when I first met her with her cuties and when I met the rest of her extended family. I am so lucky to be able to call her friend, the fabulous cake and sweets maker of Sweet Retreats.  She has now opened up a boutique that offers some fabulous prop accessories like headbands - Buttons, Buckles & Bows!
I am so excited to meet your newest little darling next month ♥


Tiny changes - Big difference

Pin It
Body language - it's the way photographers convey the meaning in images.  Everyone has a bad angle, and everyone has their best is your job as a photographer to figure out the very best way to photograph your clients so that they look their very best.

1. I start out far away so that I can 'see' with my camera eye (yes that's my own way of saying it) - the view IS different. Here you can see that her front leg is bent - creating a nice curve.  Also notice that her elbow is bent - thus creating that beautiful shape that is oh-so-feminine.
2. I moved in closer so that I could get a better view of that adorable belly. You can tell by the angle that I am slightly below her eye level (making her head seem smaller than it is and making her belly look larger). The 90* angle is ok but not completely flattering.
3. I moved up above/equal to her eye level so that it equals out the proportions of head|belly. Again the 90* angle isn't quite IT.
4. Now that the angle is higher than eye level I moved slightly to the left so it isn't quite 90* but still showing the belly size. In addition to the angle and sidestepping I also adjusted her hand to rest on to of her belly dividing the breast|belly line.
*I remind my maternity clients to always keep their fingers together - to avoid the look they are 'clawing' at their belly.


1. Again I start further back and tell them to hug the belly.
2. I switch up the angle again to see how it looks.
3. I prefer the angle of more straight on for this particular shot, something just wasn't right...
4. The hands! If it doesn't seem to click swap the hands.


1. As always I back it up first - I had an idea in my head but it didn't translate well so it was time to move.
2. Tried a variation of my idea - again it didn't quite work - mainly because her belly was leading and making her head seem smaller than it is.
3. A new angle - I move - if I have an idea I move around until I get it right. Keeping her in the same position but gaining different perspectives yields a very different result.


1. You can see it isn't bad - but it is definitely off. Hands are good, arm placement good....
2. Change up the legs! By having her bring her front leg forward and on her toe it instantly slims her and creates a great feminine shape.
3. Again it isn't bad and everything is pretty much as it should be, but it isn't complimentary.
4. A slight change of hand placement - moving it back to create a bit of space between arm|back allows the eye to see the shape of her body, instantly slimming her again.


Inspire: cake smash edition

Inspire: newborn edition
Inspire: maternity edition
Inspire: child edition

Cake smash sessions will be a fun mess!  There are a few things you should keep in mind throughout the time you are photographing these little mess makers.

  1. There are many things similar working with these specialized sessions as working with children in general - please refer to that as far as how to work with children in general.
  2. The cake. For this session I highly recommend working with an artistic baker, someone that makes custom cakes. Reason being, when you do this you can go above and beyond making the parent feel amazing by having a custom one-of-a-kind cake for their child's session. I like to ask the parent first what theme they have in mine, if it isn't a theme - at least color palette.
  3. Flavors. My number one, no questions asked is do.NOT.use.chocolate! No matter how much little Sally loves chocolate if you do a cake smash like that it will look like.......poo.....and that is not cute. You also want to have fun easy frosting - think butter cream icing, or at least make sure to rip open the fondant if the baker uses that with butter cream underneath so that it is easy to get messy and taste it.
  4. The scene. I prefer to work with cheap paper backdrops (bulletin board paper from my local teacher supply store) that cost me a whole $0.15/yard so that I can let the kids go crazy and just trash the mess after I'm all done. I also have begun to use paper streamers so that in case the little hands get on the background.
  5. Details. First and foremost you want to get a shot of the cake before it is demolished. While the little one is making a mess get in close and get shots of those little messy toes, fingers and messy face.
  6. Time. Know that it may take a few minutes for the little one to actually understand what you're trying to do, what you want them to do. Chances are Mom/Dad have spent the first year teaching them to not play with their food :)  So help them make the initial mess - or even better have Mom/Dad help make the mess (and get a few shots of that too).
  7. Wardrobe. Cloth diapers are the best thing to do! You can have Mom/Dad purchase or use a colorful one that matches with the theme you are going with OR if you can find or custom make a bloomer/bib set that is even better! Fun hats/bows are also a great addition to the outfit.
  8. Things to keep handy. Music! I know it may sound silly but kids tend to love music, especially fun upbeat music and it helps to keep the mood light and fun and keep Mom/Dad laughing while the mess is happening. Wipes, chances are that you, Mom, Dad and anyone else within slinging range will have some cake/icing on them - so keep a box of wipes handy to keep things clean. Sweet little candies, something sweet that is a favorite of the little one so that in case they aren't 'into' the whole cake smash thing push a little candy into the cake to help get them started and digging into the cake.
  9. Clean up. So it's over.....what now?! If at all possible do it at a place with a bathroom so that after it is all said and done you can easily shower the mess of the little one. Remind the parents to bring an extra set of clothes for their kiddo. If you used paper just bundle it up and trash it.

This Inspire edition was photographed by Morgan Kervin Photography as intended for educational purposes and to inspire other photographers to step out of the box and create wonderful memories for their child clients.

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Change it up

Today I posted this image in regards to a chair I recently found on the curb - awesome!  I crazy lady cleaned it (6 hours) and am contemplating painting the chair.  This spurred a tutorial request - now I have written one before, that can be found here - but this is a variation on that tutorial.

So you start with your image. Get a paint brush - I like to use it with the same color that the thing is I am changing it's color. Then you need to set that layer to color in the blend mode drop down menu (next to opacity by default it is set to normal). You will have to be meticulous and color with the brush everything that you want to change.

Then make a hue/sat adjustment layer and create a clipping mask. Set your hue/sat adjustment layer to the colorize option at the bottom and then start seeing it change!

*Keep in mind that you want it to look realistic so you will have to adjust the hue to set your color then the saturation and lightness to make it look real.
*With the darker colors (red) you will have to make a duplicate layer of your painted background and set it to blend mode multiply and lower the opacity in order to make it look realistic.

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The Confidence Journey

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