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 ;)
In the 46 years that John and I have been together, we’ve never had more than a few photos taken of us at one time, much less a professional shoot spanning several hours! Even though a certain fiance o’mine despises being in the front of the camera (boys…), I think he nailed it. We started off the afternoon in downtown Ventura and ended up atop Meditation Mount as the sun set over Ojai. It was perfect. Our photographer did an amazing job and we are so grateful that we had the opportunity to see what we actually look like on camera before our BIG photoshoot rolls around (Note to self: never attempt closed-mouth smiles. Like, ever.).
For two people that are far more accustomed to being behind the camera than in front of it, posing for our engagement photos was an interesting + rewarding experience. Even though I couldn’t help but wonder what in the WORLD my face looked like at any given moment (“Does this half smile look like a smirk?” “Are my falsies still on?” “Could we look anymore awkward?” Ha!), our amazing photographer was a total pro and put us at ease instantly. And then when I saw the quick photo (above) that Katie snapped with my iPhone, all my worries were put to rest. My falsies were in place, my dress was cooperating, and my smile was genuine. Phew! More photos to come :)
Two months ago, I had the absolute pleasure of playing photographer at the amazing wedding of two amazing people. Jess + Jeff are the salt of the earth; one should be lucky enough just to be invited to their wedding, much less photographing it! Needless to say, I smiled a big fat smile from hair + makeup all the way to the final farewell. It was a long, beautiful day that taught me so much about what it takes to photograph a wedding (hint: it takes A LOT)! Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:
This past week has been nothing short of crazy, nonstop, and life-affirming.
Last Tuesday, my dad had open heart surgery. Even though it was a preventative measure to repair a faulty valve, it was terrifying for my whole family and rocked our world pretty hard. (There’s nothing that makes you want to take care of yourself more than spending countless hours in a cold + scary hospital.) THANKFULLY everything went well and he is now resting at home. Huge shout out to my amazing mom who is not only the heart + soul of our family, but a natural caretaker who will nurse my dad back to health in no time at all. Also! Major props to Jim Gaffigan for being a welcome distraction as he had me laughing until I was crying every night with his insanely funny book, Dad is Fat.
On Friday, I spent all day + night helping to photograph a beautiful wedding in Camarillo. Not only did it remind me how much I LOVE to take photos, but it was a great practice run for my own wedding! Thank you Jeff + Jess for letting me be a part of your special day!
And of course, throughout the whole week, I’ve been working like a mad woman trying to finish up a myriad of CHA projects. Yesterday was a DOOZY of a work day (sprinkled with a healthy dose of expletives) that started at 10am and didn’t end until 4am! I still have a long way to go before I can cross everything off my list, but I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the (effing) tunnel (;
All I can say is that I am SO looking forward to this upcoming holiday weekend. John has four days off and I am already dreaming of big things for us to do. And by big things, I mean a trip to Lemonade and a long visit to B+N for wedding and crafting inspiration. Living the dream!
This past weekend my brother graduated from college with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering, so we spent the better part of Saturday exploring the Cal Poly Pomona campus (beautiful!), taking tons of photos (740 to be exact…lord help my hard drive!), and celebrating Andy’s hard-earned accomplishment (heyyyy, brother). It was a reminder of the good things in my life: lots of walking under the California sunshine, big camera + empty SD card in hand, quality family time, an opportunity to wear a new dress + a giant hat, lots of laughter, exploring a new-to-me place, and a chocolate chip Pizookie for good measure.
Not only is my brother a whip smart, hilarious, human calculator, but he is also one of my best friends. Cheers to all your successes, Andy!
When I found out that the infamous stair car from Arrested Development rolled into town, there was no way I could skip out on it. So on Sunday, John, my brother Andy, and I headed down to Santa Monica for a Bluth mobile sighting and a walk around town. The beach, the buildings, the Bluths…what more could you ask for on the day of rest? (Ummm…how about more parking?)
The countdown to the BIG PREMIERE is on! George Michael, I’ve missed you so…