Dramatic black and white

>> Monday, March 29, 2010

I love black and white photos. There is just something about a color-less print that seems to tell someone or something’s story in a way that colors can’t. This week, I thought I would be brave and enter my own photo into iheartfaces weekly challenge. It took me a while to decide which picture I liked enough in black and white to enter, but when it came down to it I went back to my first choice: a favorite photo of hubby and little man walking on the beach.

Photography 133-4

I did all of the editing on this using Lightroom. I actually edited it in color and then converted to black and white. That way I could get the different areas of the picture to the saturation level that I wanted.

Head over to iheartfaces to link up your picture or to see what others are up to!



fix it friday

>> Friday, March 26, 2010


It’s Fix-it Friday over at iheartfaces and I am playing along. This weeks photo was so cute! I love the colors in it, and I was really happy to get to spruce it up a little bit. I only did one edit this week, because I’m typing this on the run…trying to finish up some packing and whatnot since we’re moving out on Tuesday. So here ya’ go:



FIF - Natalie P[3]

FIF - Natalie P[3]

I edited this in Lightroom. I started with a little White Balance Adjustment, some warming, adjusted the fill light, bumped the saturation up a teeny tiny bit [didn’t want it to get too grainy], boosted the pinks, upped the contrast and added vignetting. I used the sharpen tool to enhance the eyes and bumped up the brightness a little bit. What a cutie she is!



>> Thursday, March 25, 2010


Monica over at Pixel Perfect is hosting here traditional “Before & After” blog hop. I looked at all of the entries this week and there are some that are truly fantastic edits! I encourage you to head over and check them out. I downloaded the free version of Lightroom this morning, just to get an idea of how it works {and to decide if I want to purchase it down the road.} So today, all of my edits are being done using Lightroom. None of those fancy layers or anything because, well, frankly I just don’t know how to use them.   :) So here ya go…


Unedited 171 Unedited 171

Unedited 397

Unedited 397

Unedited 419

Unedited 419


My future in photography

>> Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I have been doing a lot of studying and a lot research lately. [Naturally, seeing as how I’m just starting out.] I’ve read some business books and some finance books and some books specifically targeted at kick starting a photography business. All of them, by different authors, have said that the key to getting started is to establish some well thought out and well planned goals for where you plan to be. In short, I need to write out a 5 year business plan.


I’ve already started doing this, and I’ve already got a good list in mind for things that I want to do in the long run. So today, I’m going to get those out on ‘paper’ so that I can see them, remember them and hopefully have a place to turn to when I knock one off the list. This isn’t a “business plan” per say. I’m not going to include all of my marketing strategies or my financial hopes and goals or anything like that. This is solely and strictly a place for all of the little things that I want to do and accomplish through  my business.


First and foremost, I want to achieve success in Maternity, Newborn, Children's Photography. As a mom who didn’t have maternity portraits taken [aside from the ones that I took myself to measure my belly], I know how important those pictures are and how much they mean later on down the road. I definitely want to offer those. Same with newborns. The initial photos we took of Little Man when he was born are some of my favorite. Especially since babies grow so FAST! You blink and they are walking. Those memories should be preserved and cherished. Childhood is the same way. Children do some of the funniest and silliest things. It’s not always easy to capture those moments, but if I can offer that and achieve that for parents who can’t do it themselves, then I feel like I’ve given them a little piece of their children’s childhood that they will always be able to remember and go back to.


I definitely want to offer Wedding photography. And I mean that to include Engagement photos, Bridal Portraits, Rehearsal Dinner, Before the Wedding, during and after the wedding. A wedding is one of the most important days of someone’s life and I want to be able to successfully and creatively tell that special story. We had a very traditional photographer at our wedding, and while the pictures turned out good, their was really no story there. I look back now and wish that we would have had that. Just to really visually recall the day for people that weren’t there.


I want to shoot pageant photography. As a former beauty queen myself, I remember how much fun pageant photos were to look at and how much I enjoyed seeing myself all fixed up and beautified. I would also love to get into pageant coaching and makeup lessons down the road. If we live in an area where pageants are a big deal like they are back home where we are from, this is definitely something I can see myself doing on top of photography itself. I enjoy the coaching aspect of it. I enjoy teaching young girls how to be confident in who they are and their opinions. I love seeing a girl shine on stage as she answers a question or hearing her say that she really felt like she aced her interview. People can say what they want to about pageants, but they are really a wonderful confidence builder to girls who allow it to be. The girls who seek out pageantry in hopes of getting their voice and their opinions out there are so strong and so confident. I hope to be able to offer that someday.


The makeup aspect, I would like to offer to keep from having a client run around. I always hated when I went to have my picture taken, knowing that I would have to get started at least 2 hours early to get hair and makeup done. If I can offer that in studio that would bring in more revenue on my behalf and cut down on traveling and time for my clients. 


I want to offer Holiday Cards, Birth announcements, Engagement announcements, etc. though my studio. Hopefully as part of a package deal. You have your photos taken, pick out your card, and then voila. You’ve gotten a package deal without a run around. I plan on offering Military Discounts to families. I absolutely hate going places that don’t offer military discounts. Our military men and women sacrifice so much and they deserve that extra little something. Whether it be a percentage off their final package or a photo or their choice or something like that, I will offer them. Period.


Eventually, I would like to do charity work. Maybe take pictures for Saint Jude or something. Give back to people. I found a website the other day where the photographer offers one photo shoot a month to a deserving family. Kind of like an “extreme makeover” type deal. People love pictures and I would love to be able to give that to someone who can’t afford it otherwise.


A Business major or finance guru will never like my plans, I don’t think. Because I believe that if you work with clients, you’ll get much more of a response from people. I enjoy working with people who work with me. Offering payment plans, package deals, etc. increases popularity. Especially when you are working with families who can afford it, but can’t afford it all at once. Like my family. We live on a budget, as do most people out there. We can’t just jump up and go buy $1000 worth of photos. But if we set it up in increments and payment plans, we can. I plan to offer that.


Customer service is a biggie for me. I also want to set up my own studio someday. I’ll most likely be working from home for a while. I just can’t see renting a studio in a place where we are only going to be there for 4 years [Military Life…gotta love it.] If we can reach the point financially where rent a little bit bigger home, I will most definitely be doing in home studio shots. I do like natural lighting and outdoor pictures the best, but lets face it, people like studio shots too.


Anywho. Just wanted to put these out there. Just some things that I will be working for and some ideas that I have for my future. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts. Goals, ambitions, business ideas.


My first paying gig

>> Sunday, March 21, 2010

I booked my first wedding today.


I am unbelievably excited. Somewhat overwhelmed. And absolutely and totally humbled that I was asked to be the photographer. The fact that I have never photographed a wedding and they still have the confidence in my pictures is…indescribable. To say the least.


I wrote up a semi-formal wedding contract last night and spent about 2 hours going over shot ideas, deposits, payment plans and story telling with the Bride today. It was so much fun. That’s one of those things that reminds me more and more that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing. Exactly what God wants me to do. I’m being a full time wife and mother, and now I’m on the road to owning and running my own business.


It’s a bit much. It really is. But I love it. I’m excited and anxious for it. And I’m really loving every single minute of it. The business side of things fascinates me as much as the creative part. I guess because I’m an organizational freak and having everything precisely as it should be makes me all warm and fuzzy. I’m trying to learn as much as I can on my own, but I have full intentions of getting together with an accountant while I am home this summer to learn the ins and outs of tax law and whatnot.


I’ll be purchasing my brand new computer hopefully on April 15. I’ve decided upon and set my heart on the MacBook Pro…13 inch. I’ve had several people tell me to go with the 15, but as much as I’m going to be traveling this summer, I just can’t see passing up on the compact and light weight 13 inch. It’s still got everything I need and it’s a lot more versatile. 


I’m going to set up my actual photography website this summer, too. I was going to hire someone to do that, but after doing my research and discovering photobiz.com I can’t pass up the creativity and ease of doing it on my own. I’ve looked at a lot of sites that have been done through them and they really look great. I just hate the thought of having to pay someone all of that money and then deciding down the road a ways that I want something different. I can change things up whenever I feel like it with photobiz, so that just makes more sense to me.


Once I get my computer, new software and website up and running…it’s time to save and purchase the big boy. That’s right. The Canon 5D Mark ii. I am so excited and so ready to get my hands on this little beauty. I’m thinking I may rent one to try out this summer when I do my maternity shoot. That way I can play with it some before I fork over that kind of cash. I’ve seen the photos taken with it and I’m left breathless. They are fantastic.


Guess that is all for this evening. I’m getting ready to head to bed. Spending my day tomorrow running a few errands and studying at the Barnes & Noble. Got to take full advantage of the alone time I have during the day for the next two weeks. Hope you all have a wonderful start to the week!


Constructive feedback friday

>> Friday, March 19, 2010


Today iheartfaces is forgoing their usual “Fix It Friday” post in exchange for Constructive Feedback Friday. Meaning that all of us amateur and beginner photographers have the chance to link up one of our edited photos and have someone tell us what’s good, hat’s bad and what could be better about our photo. I’m super excited because I haven’t really had the opportunity to have any of my photos critiqued and this is the perfect chance. So, without further ado, I think I will use this photo of Little Man that I took last week at the beach.


I took this photo using my 50 mm lens. I love the way that I was able to capture the sand leaving Little Man’s hand when he released it. But I’m not real crazy about the skin tone or the cropping. I feel like it could have been cropped a little bit better but I didn’t want to do away with too much of the background. I would love and appreciate ANY kind of criticism and feedback you would give me. Be it on the angle, composition, exposure….anything. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! Here is the original photo as well, in case you are interested in the before:

Unedited 256


My favorite week day…

>> Thursday, March 18, 2010

It’s Thursday! Which means that it’s time for another “Before/After” Blog Hop with Monica over at Pixel Perfect Blog. Link up your before and after photos and head over to see what everyone else has been up to this week! I took this one the other day standing out in the front yard. I wanted to try to capture the sun coming through the trees without getting too much color from the tree itself.


Unedited 415



Here is another that I re-edited from a few weeks ago. I took this photo several weeks and I’ve done a couple of different edits; some subtle and others like this one, not so subtle.

Photography 019

Brilliant Sunset

Ya’ like? Hope you guys have had a great Thursday!


I’m all about post-production

>> Saturday, March 13, 2010

I’m learning very, very quickly that i am going to be one of those ‘post-production’ photographers. I truly believe that you can capture a great photo just using your camera. But I also believe that truly phenomenal photos are created during post-production. Right now, I’m only using Paint.net and I am amazed at what I can do using only this free software. I can not wait to see what kind of doors and possibilities open up when I finally purchase some good software. I guess I just never really realized what a BIG difference post-production made.

Unedited 394 waterspout

Unedited 395 leavesonthewall

Unedited 379 leaves

Unedited 342 flipflops

Unedited 380


Unedited 389 AfterTheRain

Unedited 385 waterdroplet

Unedited 357 BubbaGump

Unedited 378leafdrops   Unedited 382


Unedited 383 throughtheleaves

Unedited 373 anotherladder

Unedited 355 Construction


Fix It Friday #47

>> Friday, March 12, 2010


Original Photo

Fix-It Friday _47[3]

My Edits

Fix-It Friday _47[3]-edit1

Fix-It Friday _47[3]-edit2

Fix-It Friday _47[3]-edit3

Fix-It Friday _47[3]-edit4


About This Blog

I'm a SAHM learning my way around my SLR and striving to open a professional photography business. I spend most of my time in my Manual and reading tutorials online. This blog is my way of documenting the things that I learn and the sessions that I photograph along the way.

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