Friday, November 21, 2008


Background from another canyon taken a month ago.

Background in Same area, taken a month ago.

Original photo taken last week.

Now that everything is dead, but families still need photos taken, it is really hard to find something with any color. I took this family's photo last week, but also had some backgrounds from about a month ago when there was color. I don't make this a habit, but sometimes I find it necessary. The bottom one is the original, the middle one was in the same place but the background was taken a month ago and the top, the background was in another canyon. The photo obviously matches best with the background in the same place, but I was surprised how well it did match with the canyon photo. I still need to do some dodge and burn around the highlighted areas, but there is hope for some color and a better background. All in all, finding a background that doesn't matter what season it is, is better, maybe a cool barn, some great building, anyway, but for now, this is what I did.
In order to do this, I pull the background over the original photo and bring the family back in with a layer mask and the brush tool, toggling back and forth from top to bottom layer. It is like a giant head swap. The thing you have to be most careful with is when the heads are in a highlighted area, like the sky. Digitally, they make "halo's" around the area and that is when it is hard to put them into another background if there are trees and subject matter, this is when it starts to look like- "you put them in". That is when I do the dodge and burn thing to bring shadows and mask the "halloing" (sp?) and make it look as natural as possible. Most people can't even tell when it is printed.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Beth is a great photographer and friend of mine and upon returning a background she loaned me, asked if I would snap a few family shots. How cute are they! Just a few photo tips that I should have caught....maybe in viewing this you might catch them when photographing, I know I will watch a little closer next time. The boy on the left, his hand should have been turned coming off of his dad's shoulder. Dad's left hand I should have hid behind his daughter, and the daughter's (top right) arm should have been relaxed, maybe bent at the elbow coming in front of her. Oh, but what a great family. Thanks Beth, all in all a nice photo, just things I have got to watch for better. Check out Beth's website. She has a beautiful indoor studio at her home. Just to have half that space would be heaven!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby Danzer

Oh, how I love blister lips on a baby and Danzer had them. Just like his dad. What a great baby. I photographed this couples wedding 4 years ago.Beautiful couple then, beautiful parents now- happy day. These were just a few of my favorites.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Christmas Cards for 2008

Sample 1: Red & Green

Sample 2: Green on Green

Sample 3: Burnt Red

All cards are 4x8.
For those that cannot design the backgrounds, but still are photographers- don't fret! As many as you know, there are still some that don't realize you can still design your own layouts and purchase the backgrounds from companies and put together your own. You need to check with them so make sure you can resale them. I love using Scrapgirls and they do have a commercial use section and they are not that much more in cost.
As soon as this Christmas rush is over, I am going back to designing- since I did it for my whole life- I believe my 2.5 year break is over. I think the bug is back. I don't think back to the painting, but graphic design and stock photography on the side. I believe some may call it- adult ADDDTTT. But I don't call it that- I am just a little wacked out, a change of scene is needed.... something. My daughter took me to a new fabric shop here in town and there went my brain. I designed fabric for 10 years, and wouldn't you know it, the fabric company contacted me just yesterday asking when I would be coming back. Maybe it is time.... Oh, but I did paint my kitchen and living area and got rid of all of the shades of colored walls and went to a beautiful bone color and a gallery of brightly colored photos! Now, that calmed my brains down a bit. So refreshing!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Holiness...I don't know why I struggle soooo much with my own family. If they were all really little, understandable, but geesh! I am sure my son-in-law, was like "man, woman, can we do this in one time!". No, really, he was wonderful, didn't complain, but yes, we did go back twice. I just hate to ask someone to come back. My own kids, yes. Fortunately, this has not happened but one or two times. You will notice some of the clothing change... and no single shot of Sela. What a busy-butt. She was interested in everything, but staying in range of the camera. I am just grateful there is a thing called "head-swapping!" Anyway, the first time we "tried" the arranging was out of wack, my oldest son looked like a giant and Sela was done, so we went back. Now, just to get Sela alone....yea!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


This is my beautiful new "niece-in-law". Sam forgot her flowers and there was no time to drive back home to retrieve them. I told her to go ahead and come, there were plenty of flowers where we were photographing. It does make it a bit "harder" or lets just say "different" to not be holding a bouquet. It is "weird" as some brides put it to not be holding anything, but we had to do. Since Sam is a "sporty girl", so some of the "girly" things were awkward for her to do. Most of the time she ended up laughing. Hands behind her back seemed to work the best for her. Make sure the bride tries to lower her shoulder closest to you and have her twist enough to expose her waist-line.

Welcome to the family, Sam. My daughter will so love having someone to throw balls with!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kerry & Sarah

Oh, I love my job when they forget or don't care about the camera and they just let "life happen". I love Kerry, what a trooper, this fun series was a result of a comment that Sarah's dad made when he came from work to watch for a few minutes. Just snap, but pay attention because I missed a few because I started laughing also.

Photo tips: on the third photo down where they are kissing with the flowers in focus... make sure the bride"s arm is under the groom's. Dang, my eye keeps going there. Also, I wish I would have not had her bouquet in her hand. The color wasn't needed. I still like the photograph. I am so bummed because I couldn't have asked for better color. The evening light was just perfect. At one point though, when we first got there, it was really, kind of yellow. I love it, to walk in, (I sometimes feel I am walking though someone's painting) but to photograph skin tones, it is a little harder. To remove it from the one on the bridge- I went to Hue and Sat and chose yellow in the options and took out, I believe 10, just to get a bit out of the skin. Nice bright overcast days do not need a flash as much. I had mine turned down to 1/125 and also had a bouncer on. If you are not careful, you will notice the background darker and it will look late evening- not so good. Turn off the flash when coming in close to them or doing details of the dress & bouquet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Some of my favorites from the shoot.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh, I forgot one...

Not many seven year old boys like their photo taken. This one was the exception. What a model. Who wouldn't like those lips anyway?!

My Favorite Farm that I wish I could Claim!

The little group of little bodies, were actually over a two day period. They are friends full of lots of energy. This place is amazing! It belongs to one of the grandmother's. Who's husband thinks of purchasing an old school bus or old truck for his wife's birthday? This wonderful grandfather! Anyway, here are some of the shots from last week...

I had to have these adorable arms of Addie's- couldn't resist. Mostly because this year she loved having her photo taken. So very proud of her.

HUGE photo tip- if you have a child not responding to absolutely everyone calling her name.... have them leave and talk quietly to her. The baby was soooo much better with just two people and letting her do what she wanted! She relaxed, smiled and was so proud of herself. LESS was definitely more in this situation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I don't like the end of summer, don't get me wrong, I love fall, but it closes another time that seems to be rushing by. This is a small group of friends of my son's (he is the tallest) that are all going separate ways, beginning new chapters in their lives. Some serving missions, going away to school, adventures across the world, new and exciting, but I will miss the laughter, always the laughter. Wish them all well and hope that in a couple of years, experiences will bring them back together again.

sophie's frog

Sophie about fell, jumping out of the chair when she found out I was headed back down to the lake for another photo shoot. She was in for a real treat this time with something unexpected....a two foot long snake! This was her third frog... the first is somewhere in our van, yipee! and the second one we took to the pond, because her room started to stink and this third little guy, well he stayed at the lake. The snake was interesting, and if her brother hadn't chased it back into the bushes, that would been on her next pet list. I love her adventureous personality, and her girlish giggle. Her blonde hair is fading, which makes me sad, but her freckles will always be there.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Lexie and Logan, what a great couple. I have known Lexie for a few years, being a friend of my oldest daughter and photographing her older sister's wedding, I knew they would be great to photograph, even though they called themselves dorky. My favorite was the top photo, easy and carefree. Lexie the "poser" couldn't do a serious one if she tried, a natural smiler- a word? I don't know, but that comes natural to her. Logan is a great compliment to her and I wish them well.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We went down to the lake to advantage of the beautiful scenery, unfortunately as the summer passed away the oder becomes a bit stronger. Sela was in a funny mood and thought she was still in Oregon on the beautiful beaches. The frogs were out and my youngest daughter, Sophie was thrilled. Of course she caught one and lost it in the car on the way home. We searched forever, but could never find it. Lovely. Won't that bring the lake smell right close to home. I sure hope it got out when the doors were open! Oh, by the way, she got another one when she came with me the next night. Yea! how I love that beautiful Tom Boy of mine!

photo tip: remember to turn off the flash and catch the beautiful evening light. Wear clothing that you really don't care about, so you can get down on their level. Don't worry, you will smell like the lake when you are done. It comes with the job.