Entries Tagged as 'photography'

how i edit instagram photos.

Posted on: Thursday, September 15, 2016

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

I’ve seen a handful of people write this post and each and every person (all of whom have impeccable taste!) has a completely different method for achieving her beautiful images. I love learning new tips and tricks so I figured I might as well chime in and share my personal take on getting Instagram photos to my liking.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

Here is the photo I took using the built-in Camera app on my iPhone. I always try to make my photos look as good as possible from the very start so that when I go to edit them, I don’t have to make any major cosmetic changes. In the case of a flat-lay like this shot, I used a white foam board (a must if you take a lot of overhead shots!) and placed it near a window with plentiful natural light.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

01. Once I have my photo, I open up the VSCO app. Not only does VSCO make my favorite iPhone photo app but they also sell my favorite Lightroom filters that I use with my DSLR images. Needless to say, I’m a big fan! To begin, I almost always use the C1 filter and adjust it to suit the needs of each particular image.

02. Bumping up the Exposure is a must. I try not to go higher than 2, however, because it quickly diminishes the quality of the photo.

03. Sharpen is a handy tool for bringing in a little more polish and drama to the image.

04. For a colorful photo like this, I love using Saturation to really exaggerate the bright colors.

05. I prefer that all my images have a warm quality to them, so a little bump of red from the Shadows Tint feature makes my eyes happy.

06. In the case of this image, I felt that the overall picture could use a little more depth, so I ended the VSCO editing process with a slight bit of Contrast.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

And here’s how the image looked once I exported it from the VSCO app. I adore the way this photo looks but I knew I could make it even more eye-catching if I used two small tweaks in Instagram.

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

07. I bring my edited photo into Instagram where I apply a small degree of the Clarendon filter. I love how sharp and white this filter makes my photos look! You can still see a little bit of the pink-ish hue created in VSCO, but the overall image is much brighter and more striking.

08. Finally, I use the Brightness feature to pump up the image even further. I really love how far Instagram has come with their built-in editing features!

How I Edit Instagram Photos | Ann-Marie Loves

And here is the final image! Pretty crazy how a few small changes can really elevate a photo, no?

What are your favorite photo-editing apps?

instax camera love.

Posted on: Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

I recently found my old Instax camera and it has been a blast taking photos of Briar and sharing my love of photography in all forms with her. With the instant gratification of iPhones and digital cameras, the novelty of having to wait and see how an Instax photo turns out is super exciting. As soon as Briar saw the first photo pop out of the camera, she was intrigued. And THEN when it finally developed, well, let’s just say she was pretttttty impressed. (Toddlers make for the best audiences.)

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

This particular roll of film has been in the camera (and exposed to heat and cold) for over two years, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the photos turned out! The only minor imperfections are those three vertical dots on each photo but I kind of love them.

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

The reddish photo in the middle is of Briar’s thumb – ha! I tried to set up the shot and just have her press the button but clearly she had a different idea for the art direction ;) I can respect that.

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

This past Sunday was a particularly rough day in the land of raising a two year old, but the minute I busted out the Instax and let Briar play with it, both of our moods changed for the better. She toted the camera around, pretending to take photos of her toys and of plants and of mama, while I got to use the big camera to capture her in all of her adorableness. I’d say that’s a win-win.

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

John and I have talked about buying Briar her own camera one day soon. Nothing too fancy or expensive, just something that could capture the way she sees the world and foster her creative spirit.

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

Instax Camera Love | Ann-Marie Loves

Cheeeeeeese!

santa barbara museum of natural history.

Posted on: Monday, July 18, 2016

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

This past weekend was one for the books! On Friday, my mom and Briar and I took our third trip to Disneyland for the week (had to maximize my annual pass until it expired!). Then on Saturday we went to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (more about that below!). And finally, on Sunday my mom and I saw the final showing of Beautiful at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Whew!

Now onto the museum. First of all, I have no idea what it is, but the lighting in Santa Barbara is always incredible. Every time we’re there, I can’t help but stage a photo shoot. My mom and brother came with, so it was extra nice to pass the camera to them and sneak in a few family photos. Here are some of my favorite captures from the day:

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

I was more than happy to let John chase the toddler around while I took photos ;)

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Not too shabby for a 29 week bump photo backdrop, eh?

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar was not so sure about the real-life dioramas – haha!

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History | Ann-Marie Loves

The highlight of Briar’s day was definitely exploring the “Museum Backyard” where she was able to play with dirt, rocks, and water to her heart’s content. I loved watching her get down and dirty in her dress and I really enjoyed this sentiment that was tied to a tree:

The Backyard is a space for children to learn. Expect trial and error. Give your child a chance to meet challenges and assess risk. This is how kids develop self confidence. Let them figure things out for themselves. Problem solving is good for kids. It’s another way to develop self-confidence. Your choice of words can make a big difference. Instead of “be careful” which expresses your fears, tell your kids to “be smart” or “be aware.” Cuts, bumps, and bruises are a normal part of childhood. If your child has an accident, don’t panic. Children read you! When the child is calm, ask “what did you learn?” They will tell you. Expect children to learn from their mistakes. Don’t pass your fears on to your kids. Nature is amazing and kids are naturally curious. Allow them the experience without your judgment. Relax and let your kids decide what they want to do. Kids that experience non-structured play in natural settings are smarter, happier, and healthier.

YES. YES. YES.

nana + briar bake chocolate chip cookies.

Posted on: Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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We’ve been staying with my parents while we figure out our next move and while it’s not always ideal, there are definitely some perks. Case in point: Nana’s famous chocolate chip cookies! Last week while I was at work, my mom sent me photos of Briar helping her bake cookies (while wearing her new apron, of course). First of all, I couldn’t get over how cute Briar looked, but secondly, it totally opened my eyes to all the new things we can do together now that she is almost two years old! (I need to remember to include her in more activities!) So yesterday, Briar got back in the kitchen to help Nana with another batch of chocolate chip cookies and this time I was there to capture the process:

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I was so impressed with how serious and focused she was! I am not a huge fan of baking (I am a huge fan of eating baked goods, however), so here’s hoping she takes after my mom and carries on the chocolate chip cookie legacy!

stationery shoot with goldpress paper.

Posted on: Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

A couple months back, I had the pleasure of photographing the process of Goldpress Paper’s “You got this, Mama!” card design being letterpressed at Alissa Bell’s pop-up studio at Kit + Ace in Pasadena.

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Not only was the card (in collaboration with Our Sacred Women) created for a great cause, but it was so fun to connect with Alisha and Eileen over our shared experience of being moms to young babies. I first met Alisha at our favorite coffee shop last year (she came up to me and introduced herself and I was so impressed; I wish I was that brave!) and we have stayed in touch via social media ever since. Her son is only a month younger than Briar so we are in very similar boats when it comes to navigating toddlerhood while working from home (i.e. we have no idea what we are doing!).

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

It’s always a treat to see an artist’s studio in person and witness their process firsthand. I took a letterpress class in college so I have a basic understanding of how to letterpress but there’s nothing quite like watching a professional in action! Mesmerizing.

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

Goldpress Paper x Alissa Bell x Our Sacred Women | Photos by Ann-Marie Espinoza

You can read more about the story behind these beautiful cards and purchase them here!

weekend trip to san luis obispo.

Posted on: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

There’s nothing quite like a physical change of scenery to boost my mood and give me a fresh perspective. This past weekend, John and I spent a night up in San Luis Obispo and we had the best time. We’re both big fans of the central coast and SLO is the perfect mix of relaxing and stimulating.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

On the way up the coast, we stopped off in Santa Barbara for a quick coffee break at The French Press. I love having a running list of coffee shops to visit everywhere I travel! (What’s your favorite coffee shop? I want to add it to my list!)

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Scout Coffee is a must if you’re anywhere near San Luis Obispo. It’s nestled in the perfect spot downtown and has the cutest decor and some of the best lattes I’ve tasted! I kind of want to move in.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Apple cider at the Apple Farm…it tasted just as good as it smelled! It was a pretty chilly weekend up in SLO so a warm drink hit the spot.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

John and I have been on a major pot pie kick lately so it was a no-brainer that I would order one at the Apple Farm. Oh man, it was good. 

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Coffee, coffee, coffee.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

So happy to travel through life with this guy. We were reminiscing about different memories throughout our relationship and we came to the (startling!) realization that this year will mark twelve years together. TWELVE! I have no idea where the time has gone but it’s been an amazing adventure.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Spring in SLO is gorgeous. Everything is in bloom and it’s not too hot yet and it makes me want to move up there ASAP! We saw a young family of four going for a bike ride around town (mom was towing the baby and the dad was sharing a cool tandem bike with the little girl) and I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. I suddenly had serious aspirations to BE them one day soon! Now I just have to convince John to move with me to a cute small town where we can live out my bike riding dreams…

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

We stumbled upon Avila Valley Barn while driving around and it was such a good find! I stocked up on fresh peaches, John picked up a chipotle ketchup, and we ordered an olallieberry-flavored lemonade to share (so good!). I always feel like spontaneous detours make for the best memories.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

slo-Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Feeling large and in charge these days. This striped maternity dress from Target is getting lots of mileage! And of course, I can’t seem to take off my denim jacket either. Basically, I wear some version of this outfit every single day.

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

Weekend Getaway to San Luis Obispo | Ann-Marie Loves

One night away from Briar is the perfect amount of time to reconnect with my husband and make us miss that little bub! Thank goodness for willing babysitters (aka Nana + Papa) who take such good care of Briar so we can enjoy our trip worry-free :)

take more photos!

Posted on: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

This girl loves her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal that she handpicked from Disneyland and makes sure to grab her before jumping out of bed. She waits for me open my eyes in the morning and then says “hi mama!” and gives me a big kiss.  She wears any outfit that I put on her but refuses to have ponytails / clips / headbands in her hair. She often turns to me and says “ug” which means “hug” which means I’m in heaven. She calls for her pacifier like it’s a lost puppy dog: “paaathi?paaathi? paaathi?”She is constantly running into things, tripping over toys, and head-butting everything in sight, but for the most part, she doesn’t seem to notice. When asked how old she is, she exclaims, “two!” (she’s one). When I get the camera out, she heads straight for the lens and says, “cheeeeeese!”

I took these photos a few weekends back as the three of us were playing outside. I almost always have my phone at the ready to take a picture or video of whatever cute thing she is doing, but busting out the big camera is a less frequent event. I’ve decided that this needs to change. I love having a fresh batch of RAW files to edit and then go through a million times over with John. Briar is changing at warp speed and I want to make sure to pause time every now and then so I can look back and remember how much she loved blowing bubbles and being thrown in the air by her daddy and wearing her oversized hat. She is pure sunshine at twenty months old and I never want to forget it.

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Take Lots of Photos! | Ann-Marie Loves

Briar’s Outfit: Sweater // Floral Romper // Rain boots

briar at 18 months.

Posted on: Monday, March 7, 2016

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

As of February 8th, this girl is officially a year and a half! It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since her birthday and a whole year since these photos were taken, but alas, here we are and we are loving every minute.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza PhotographyBriar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

She’s also still active and fearless as ever. In fact, on the day I took these photos, we spent awhile at a local park and she was ALL OVER the jungle gym. I’m normally a pretty relaxed parent, but something about having my one year climbing up open structures that were taller than my head made me so nervous! We had to leave after a short time because I thought I was going to have a mini panic attack every time she would go down the giant twisty slide. Briar, of course, loved every minute.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

At eighteen months, this girl eats just about EVERYTHING. There are times she eats just as much as an adult! She is also still nursing a few times a day, which was certainly not my original plan, but we’re rolling with it. When I hear other moms talk about how their babies just decided to wean themselves out of the blue, I feel the slightest tinge of envy…I can’t even begin to fathom what that would be like! I’m hoping to slowly wean her over the next couple of weeks, but we will see how that goes (let me know if you have any tips for weaning a toddler!)

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

The biggest development that has taken place over the past couple weeks has been her sudden vocabulary explosion. Up until January, she only had a few phrases in her repertoire (mama, dada, nana, papa, etc), but all of a sudden, she can say over forty different words and counting! It’s been so exciting to watch her put names to objects / people / actions in her daily life.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

In terms of favorites, Briar loves reading books (this one is her jam); playing with her water table and watering plants; taking classes at Gymboree; and thanks to her new favorite show Sarah + Duck, Briar is especially obsessed with ducks! She also has become much more consistent with her daily afternoon nap and she now sleeps through the night (most of the time)! Thank goodness.

Briar Soleil at 18 Months | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

There have been so many wonderful phases over the past eighteen months, but I’m pretty sure this phase takes the cake. We are so in love with our one and a half year old!

Cream Eyelet Top // Gold Heart Leggings // Shoes

kim + gabriel | maternity session.

Posted on: Friday, February 5, 2016

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

My philosophy on maternity photography is that it should capture the short-lived, incredibly special phase of pregnancy in a modern, timeless, and never cheesy way. I mean, I’m sure we’ve all seen that Buzzfeed article about maternity sessions gone AWRY…yikes! So when Kim (a blogger here and here) reached out to me to take photos, I was thrilled! Not only is Kim an old friend from junior high, but she and I share the same doctor! That may not sound too crazy, but of all the thousands of doctors in LA, what are the odds of us choosing the same one? I love it.

Since Kim and her husband currently live in the Pasadena area, I jumped at the chance to use some of my favorite locations for our shoot. We started at Float (which happened to be closed that day…perfect for photos!), then wandered down Lake Avenue, and finally ended up at Pasadena City Hall. It was such a fun afternoon and I am so honored to have captured these two before their world changes in the best way possible :)

Here are some of my favorite images from the shoot:

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Militello Maternity Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

I can’t wait to meet (and photograph!) your little one, Kim and Gabriel! xo

parkinson family shoot.

Posted on: Thursday, January 28, 2016

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

A few months ago I had the pleasure (seriously, it was such a joy!) of taking photos of my friend Heather’s parents and all six of their beautiful, energetic grandkids. It was a dream job because they just wanted me to shoot fly-on-the-wall-style and capture the special relationships that Grandma and Papa have with each of their little ones. As much as I enjoy a good posed photo, there’s nothing quite like catching those priceless moments in between…and with six kids under six, there were priceless moments galore!

Here are some of my favorite images from the day:

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

p16Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza PhotographyParkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

Parkinson Family Photo Shoot | Ann-Marie Espinoza Photography

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