Best of June

Hello! I hope everyone who celebrated the 4th of July had a great day! I thought I would take a moment each month to share some of the most popular portraits from the previous month. Let me know what you think!

Before & After Edit

Today I thought I would share with you a before and after edit from a recent couples session I did featuring Ben, Pam and Bella. I will share my edits below!

To edit I start in Lightroom and select Auto while in the develop screen. From there Lightroom will automatically make the changes to boost the quality of the images. From there I usually bump up the exposure and work on adjusting the blacks and white to help create light and vibrant images.

Here are my settings:
Exposure: +0.15
Contrast: -21

Highlights: -93
Shadows: +57
Blacks: +15
Whites: -34

Vibrance: +13
Saturation: +4

How do you edit your photos? Share in the comments below!

How I Packed For My Trip

Last week I ventured south for some much needed family time. I was beyond thrilled to get away, breathe new air, and see different sights. I of course brought along my camera … because why not? I thought I would share with you what I brought along for this trip.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of people like myself who want to pack as smart and as light as one can. But photography can often require a lot of gear depending on what you are shooting. So I took some time to think about some images I truly wanted to come home with. They included a family portrait because the last photo we all took together was a selfie on my iPhone. Also, some great land and city scapes. Those were the minimum all others would be a bonus. 

From there I thought of the basics and here is what I included:

1. Batteries

2. Media cards (yes more than one of each!)

3. Tripod. As much as I wanted to leave the tripod home, I knew I need it to capture a family portrait.

4. Next up lenses: I only wanted to take two but my bag holds three so I figured my third would be a bonus.

  • 50mm for portraits
  • 10-22mm for my landscape shots since its a wide angle lens
  • 75-200 for distance shots. The 75mm was my bonus lens since I really planned on only using the 50 and 10mm.

5. Camera Body

I also wanted to leave the laptop and hard drive home but I brought it that way I could immediately back up my images at the end of each day. Also, I wanted to preview my images on screen in case I had an opportunity to revisit something before we headed home. 

And that is it! I carried all of this Nikon Camera Bag. That way I was at least hands free when I wanted to be. 

How do you pack for your trips? Share in the comments below! 

Tip Tuesday on Monday! | Keyboard Short Cuts to Speed Up Your Editing

Photoshop and Lightroom are vast programs that can do endless things when it comes to photo editing. I learned a handful of keyboard short cuts that helps me speed up my workflow. It’s a few keyboard clicks instead of scrolling through endless memories. Most of these I know off the top of my head but I also keep a list posted near my computer for easy reference.

I hope you find some of these to add to your keyboard shortcuts!

Here are my top 5 short cuts for Photoshop:

Zoom in or out Command +/-
Save your work Command S
To pan throughout an image Hold spacebar
Duplicate layer Command J
Undo Command Z

The List, a weekly round up

Happy Friday! This week I’m out of town enjoying the warm southern air in North Carolina and Virginia! I’ll be back next week with tons of photos from my trip. Stay tuned!

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This week on the blog.

Rallye For Pancreatic Cancer Car Show
Let’s Talk Gear
Raquel & Baby Mia
How Google, Youtube and Podcasts help me learn photography

 

Let’s Talk Gear

Buying gear creates such thrill and excitement … am I right? There is no greater feeling then unboxing a new lens or even better a brand new camera body!

As a growing photographer, I fell under the spell of buying gear, gear, and more gear. A lot of us just starting out see a lot of other photographers shooting with this lens, that body, this flash, the list keeps going. This inspires us to buy this or that in hopes that our photo game will improve and will be producing amazing photos just like them. I have to say based on experience this isn’t true! I believe all photographers just starting out should get the essentials (<– read my post for more details!) to start out with. The most crucial part of having your essentials is knowing them inside and out. As a photographer, you are bound to find yourself in a situation where your were prepare for one scenario but was dealt another at a moment’s notice. You need to be able to adjust at a moment’s notice. Having the latest lens or camera accessories aren’t going to provide you with this type of knowledge. I recommend getting to know the gear you do own, once your experience has grown treat yourself to something new!

Share your gear buying experience in the comments!

How Google, Youtube and Podcasts help me learn photography

For this week’s Tip Tuesday I wanted to share with you a few things that I utilize as educational tools.

As a someone who has begun the process of starting a new photography business, I’m always looking for new tools, tips, tricks to improve my business. When starting a business there are so many moving parts that you need to figure out and how to get them all working together at the same time.

There’s the actual business part of things like bookkeeping, session scheduling, and answering emails; more administrative type work. Then there’s the actual product side of showing up to sessions, using your camera, posing clients etc. I don’t think any business is perfect and I think many entrepreneurs are always keeping an eye out for ways to improve business, I think any good business owner is considering how fast any industry can change.

To keep me motivated I listen to podcasts. These are by far the easiest, simply because I listen to these while I’m in a car. I’m still working a full-time job and have an hour-long commute each way. This is a perfect amount of time to really listen to an entire podcast or two! I’ve learned so many different things, things I wouldn’t even have considered or come across in a google search. The only downfall is not being able to take a note or two.

Here are a few podcasts that I recommend: Focus(ed), The Influencer Podcast with Julie Solomon, and

Sometimes you know what you’re looking for. It may be how to edit in Photoshop or Lightroom. It may be how to make use of a setting on your camera. It may be a particular thing you are looking for. For this, I almost always start with Google.

Google may not be the most reliable source for accurate information, however, I think it can certainly point you in the right direction or get you started. Google is how I have come across many reliable resources. For instance the Focus(ed) podcast, I was Googling a topic ( I can’t remember what) and came across the photographer Cinnamon Wolfe who happens to have a lot of resources available for photographer launching a business and voila! She mentions her podcast right on her website.

I’m a visual person so the best way for me to truly learn something is to see it done and Youtube is the best for this. Sometimes I could be struggling with an edit or need tips on how to pose people. Many photographers are really diving into the educational aspect of photography and teaching people how to do an endless amount of things. A while back when I started looking for tips and tricks on Youtube I decided to start a playlist. If I liked a video I would add that channel to my list of favorites and visit them often as they usually are providing fresh content every week or so. I treat this like a typical tv binge-watch session every few weeks and catch up on the videos that seem of interest to me.

There you have it my top 3 educational tools! Have any tools you want to share? Drop ’em in the comments below.

The List, a weekly round up

Whew! I made it to Friday! Let’s celebrate that for a second. It was a whirlwind of a week. I launched my Mini Mommy and Me Sessions this week and my bookings began exploding. Can I say it is the most exhilarating thing when you are launching a business venture and receiving bookings! I’m super excited about all these great sessions that I have ahead of me. The moms are all so excited to do something for both themselves that includes their mini.

I hope you have a great weekend! I’ll be spending this afternoon enjoying the sun and prepping for some upcoming sessions I have. What are your weekend plans? Share in the comments below!

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This week on the blog.
Portrait Session | Jenna Henderson
Canva to help you Market Your Business
Gear Essentials | My Favorite Places to Shop Online
My Favorite Place to Shoot: Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT

My Favorite Place to Shoot: Seaside Park, Bridgeport, CT

One of the most important tools as a photographer you can have in your toolbox if a short list of go-to places for photo sessions. You are bound to come across a client or two that leaves the planning up to you. I’ve recently moved and have been taking the winter months to discover new locations to test out during sessions where the plans are fully left to me (it’s great having clients that really let you be as creative and free as you want!)

One of the favorite places to shoot sessions is by the beach. I’m lucky enough to live on the gold coast of Connecticut and there are a ton of beaches within a short driving distance of me. One of my top five would be Seaside in Bridgeport, CT. What makes this place great is its versatility. It’s half beach on one end and half park on the other. There are a ton of benches, picnic tables, stone sculptures, fields, and landscape that it’s impossible to be lost for ideas. Here are a few of my favorite places to shoot while I’m there.
Do you have a go-to place to shoot? Share in the comments below. I’m always looking for new places.

Gear Essentials | My Favorite Places to Shop Online

Photography is an expensive profession to get in to… there is no way around it. I guess this is true for most businesses when they are building from the ground up. So today I want to share with you my favorite places to get equipment without always breaking the bank. There are a ton of great places to get gear but my favorites include:

First up is Adorama! What really sold me on them was their customer service. When I decided to really invest in my photography career I decided to trade in my Nikon D40 for a refund check to help me purchase my new Canon Rebel. From start to finish the customer service was great. They walked me through each step and answered any questions I had. Another reason why I love Adorama is for their refurbished section, there are such great prices for really great equipment. And the best part is they rate each item so you really have an idea as to what condition the item is before you purchase.
Secondly, Amazon, I like Amazon because yes they have great prices but they also let you shop from more than one retailer all at once. It’s one-stop shopping.
Last but certainly not least is Canon. Sometimes you just have to treat yo’ self! But also more importantly because this is where the gear is made! As a Canon user and professional sometimes you just shop at the major retailer because they simply have what you need. They can answer questions specifically about your camera and how things will work together because you’re buying a product they made. Canon too has a refurbished section on their site that you can shop and still save.

Do you have any recommendations for places to shop? Leave suggestions in the comments below!