It’s always a surreal experience to see your own face on a well-known blog and yesterday was no exception, thanks to this little feature on Style Me Pretty.
Last month, John and I had the pleasure of being photographed by Nicole of Sorella Muse Photography for a maternity shoot and it’s so much fun to finally go through the pictures and marvel at this fleeting stage of life. I remember thinking that I looked huge a month ago. Ha! Try 39 weeks, Ann-Marie ;)
We started the shoot by letting Nicole work her magic in the nursery and our bedroom (who knew our early evening light could be so magical?) and then strolled along picturesque Green Street, followed by a trip to City Hall (of Parks and Rec fame) for the ultimate Pasadena photo. I have no idea where we will live when future little ones come along, but I’d love to get an iconic shot of each city that we have babies in.
It’s a crazy thing to watch your body grow and change as each week goes by. I will readily admit that I don’t always love the way I look while pregnant, but I am so grateful that my body is doing what it’s doing, even without my consent. There are much bigger things to worry about than puffy cheeks and swollen feet. Like, for real…when is this kid coming? ;)
Aside from the fact that I love clean-lined white furniture, a big part of the reason that I wanted this dresser for the office / nursery was because I knew it would make the perfect makeshift “photo studio.”
Given the dresser’s close proximity to the window and the fact that it’s so easy for me to clear an open space by removing the changing pad, I’m positive that even after the baby arrives and starts napping in her crib, I’ll be able to quickly and easily utilize this space for all kinds of photography purposes. (P.S. How ridiculously cute are those hand-knitted teddy bears? $0.79 each at the thrift store…!)
I’m a big believer in making use of what you have! There’s no need to invest in fancy studio equipment as long as you have access to a clean white surface and plentiful natural light. And even though I hate the look of those terrible vertical blinds that came with our apartment, I love that they allow me to control the amount of light entering the room so I can photograph at all different times of day. #silverlining
Of course, my only problem right now is the giant bump that seems to photobomb all of my overhead shots – ha!
P.S. You can read so much more about my tips for creating eye-catching compositions and taking blog-worthy photographs in my e-course Styling | Shooting | Sharing!
If I’m not catching up on what fruit my baby is this week (she’s a pineapple) or reading Great with Child, then I am MOST CERTAINLY spending my last few minutes of each evening feverishly scrolling through Instagram in search of inspiring moms to follow. Clearly I have a one-track mind these days ;)
Here are some of my favorite feeds that make me so excited to have a little person of my own:
I’m so happy I got married when I did. Not just because John and I were both in a great place with our relationship and our professional lives, but because photography is JUST SO AWESOME these days.
I love that our amazing photographer, Katie Pritchard, was able to share a sneak peek with us the day after our wedding. I love that we had a full hashtag of Instagram photos that our guests contributed to during our celebration. I love that I have been able to easily blog and share different images that tell our story. I love that a simple picture conveyed a BIG message this past Christmas. And now, I love that I have finally printed out three of our favorite shots from the big day and hung them in our home.
On Friday afternoon (at rush hour, of course), I got the urge to jump in the car and drive over to IKEA to buy a few things for the house. While I was there, I picked up three white frames and a handful of other super necessary (unnecessary) items. What is it about impromptu IKEA trips that fill my heart with my delight?
When I got home, I sat down with John and we chose our three favorite photos from our wedding that we knew would look great grouped together as a series. Then, I resized them in Photoshop, printed them out on glossy photo paper using my plain old HP Photosmart printer, and popped them into the frames! I put John in charge of the hanging process, because eventually we would like to be able to move out of this place without having to pay for 4,000 holes in the wall ;)
Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to help style, design paper goods, and put my thrifted glassware to use on two very different but equally exciting wedding inspiration shoots.
For the first shoot (Modern Watercolor Wedding Inspiration as Green Wedding Shoes dubbed it), my wedding photographer-turned-good friend Katie Pritchard invited me to help style various vignettes at the OC Mix Mart, alongside a talented team of vendors (including gorgeous paper goods designed by Alex Choura!). Not only was it a great way to meet new people, but I learned so much about what goes into a pulling together a shoot of this magnitude. So inspiring! Here are some of the beautiful photos from the day, as captured by Katie:
For the second styled shoot, I worked with another good friend, Kate Doherty of La Rousse Photo, to bring a romantic, elegant, and slightly untraditional wedding inspiration shoot to life. After meeting up for coffee and exchanging e-mails back and forth to nail down the details of the shoot, I designed the paper goods, pulled aside some of my favorite thrifted pieces, and the had a blast pairing everything together on the big day. Not only is Kate an absolute dream to work with, but all of the other vendors and models were a delight as well! Here are my favorite photos:
If you’re looking to collaborate on a creative project, let me know! I love helping others bring their creative visions to fruition :)
In this class, I share all of my favorite techniques for styling, shooting, and sharing your photos + your personal voice to create blog posts that represent the amazing person you are! I divulge all of my top secret tips and tricks, including:
- six video tutorials on my most frequently used Photoshop editing techniques, ranging from adding text to photos to using the clone stamp tool to experimenting with the Gaussian blur filter
- lessons on how to style and compose photos to best fit your personal aesthetic
- my tried-and-true approaches for shooting and editing quality photos that you will be proud to share with your readers
- ways to hone your personal style and boost your blogging speed
- developing your online voice and expanding your reach
As my blog has grown and evolved over the years, I’ve picked up several habits that have not only made my images (and in turn, my entire blog) much more visually appealing, but have also taught me how to blog smarter and quicker than ever before. I’m thrilled to be able to share my best-kept secrets with you!
*Please note: Although this e-course features tutorials and ideas using Photoshop CS3, a digital camera, and a WordPress blogging platform, you do not need any of these things to take this class. It’s also ideal for anyone looking to simply better their photo styling and shooting tips!
You can purchase Styling | Shooting | Sharing HERE.
P.S. This week only, all e-courses (including this one!) are 25% off with the discount code: SPRINGFEVER
Although I was lucky enough to take a few awesome photography classes in college, the majority of the tricks and tools that I use on a daily basis for photo editing have come from personal experimentation. In fact, I’d say that statement applies to the bulk of my formal education vs. real life knowledge. I learned so much during my four years of college, but getting out into the real world and having to figure things out for myself has been the best classroom setting of all. So today, I’m sharing one of my go-to photo editing tricks: adding fade!
Adding fade to my photos is one of my favorite ways to create an ethereal vibe or to temper a color palette that doesn’t exactly jive with the look I’m going for. This effect is often seen on Instagram through the help of the Afterlight and VSCO Cam apps (shown above), but can also easily be achieved in Photoshop. Here’s how I do it:
1. Open a photo in Photoshop.
2. Edit it to your liking (I always adjust the levels, contrast, brightness, and curves).
3. Go to Image > Exposure > Offset and play with the dial to achieve your desired “fade” effect.
4. The over-saturated colors have been dulled a bit to create a more subtle, moody image. While I’m positive that I will never master Photoshop, it sure is fun to try!
What Photoshop tricks or techniques would you love to learn?
The other night while watching the 100th episode of Parks & Rec, I was completely inspired by Jenn Barkley’s (very expensive) advice to Leslie Knope regarding running a smear campaign to get back into local government:
Jenn: ”Terrible people defeat great people all of the time. I should know, because terrible people have paid me so much money that I have a condo on every Virgin Island. Now…you might win. You’re smart. But why would you want to?
Leslie: Because it’s my dream job!
Jenn: Then dream bigger! Look, you love this town. It’s being run by monsters and morons. Get a better job. Rise above their heads. Affect change at a higher level. Don’t be the kid that graduates high school and hangs out in the school parking lot. Look, Pawnee has done you a favor. You’ve outgrown them. You’ve got talent, you’ve got name recognition, and that means that you have a bright wide open future with a thousand options! State Senate, federal jobs, even Congress. All of these are doable for you. And you can trust me. Because I don’t care enough about you to lie.”
This week has been super exciting in the world of post-wedding bliss because not only did we survive a month of marriage, but we received our photos AND our sneak peek video!! Needless to say, I’ve been spending waaaay too much time on the computer staring at myself. HA!
Yesterday I shared my top seven photography tips over on Amy Tan’s blog. Be sure to check it out and let me know what else you would like to learn about taking pictures! I may or may not be putting together a big photography + styling online class in the very near future ;)