My Little Sweetie!!

Happy Easter for me and my little Penelope!!

Our Christmas Card

Here is our Christmas card this year.  It’s the first year I’ve ever done Christmas cards.  Once I got the photos taken & the card designed I ran out of time to get them sent out, I mailed so few of them.  So, I had to share it with all of you.  I couldn’t let this sweet little card go to waste.
I really hope you all had a fantastic Holiday!! 

Santa Pix with no Santa

All you need is a…
-Santa Hat (I found mine in the $1 bin at Target)
-White Glove
-Fabric for a backdrop (I used black fabric but you can use anything you have around)
-Reflector (I’ll talk more about this later in the post)

Cut a hole big enough for your hand to fit through
The perfect spot to shoot is next to an open door.  You’ll notice a couple of things…
1.  Notice I just draped the backdrop over the open door.
2.  Notice that my Santa hand person was not blocking the light coming in the door. 
3.  Notice there is no direct sun coming through the door just indirect light.

Here’s the image I captured…

The next images I played with a reflector as fill light.  (Fill light is the light that diminishes the shadows cast by the main light.)  The open door will light my subject bright on one side and leave a shadow on the other side of her face.  Sometime this look is desired.  A strong light and dark side makes for a more dramatic image.  When you diminish the shadows by using fill light it creates a more soft image.
Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!!

If you enjoyed this tip and love learning about photography and lighting then you must check out the Photo By Emilie Workshops.  I offers workshops in Salt Lake and ONLINE!!  I am giving you a discount of $25 off until Christmas.

Discount Code “perfectgift”

Tricks to the perfect Newborn Photos

I’ve been taking lots and lots of newborn pix the last few months.  I’m excited to share some of my tricks to capturing great images.

Here are the 5 Items I can’t shoot without…

1.  Boppy Pillow – This is my favorite positioner.  I use the Boppy for at least 5-10 different positions.
2.  Binky – Enough said :)
3.  Heating Pad – Heat is a necessity when taking newborn photos.  I use the heating pad to warm up the blanket or prop I will be using next so that I never lay a baby on a cold prop or blanket.
4.  Bag-O-Beans – I use this both under the prop blanket and on top of the babies while I’m positioning them.  Babies love to be nice and toasty warm and the Bag-O-Beans works perfect.
5.  Space Heater – I couldn’t do a newborn session without a space heater.  They are magic to get newborn to be nice and calm!!

Now let’s talk about editing newborn images.
Below is my out of camera image.  Her skin is not as creamy as what I see with my eyes.  These SLR cameras are so sharp that they pick up the tiniest little nicks and scratches.  No good.  Here is how I fix and soften skin in PS.

First, open the image into PS and duplicate the background layer.  The short cut is Command “J”.

Next, add a Gaussian Blur filter found in your 
“filter”-”blur”-”Gaussian blur” menu.

When adding the Gaussian Blur make it a little stronger than you think you’ll need.  The reason is that you can brush on the Gaussian Blur at a low opacity, but if you don’t make it strong enough you can not increase the opacity more than 100% of what you originally made the filter.

Then, add a vector mask to the Gaussian Blur layer by clicking the “Add Vector Mask” button at the bottom of your layers palette. 

Last step, Invert the Vector Mask (short cut is “Command I”).  This will turn the Gaussian Blur Filter off.  Then, use the “Brush Tool” to brush on the Gaussian Blur effect in the areas you would like to soften.

Final product…

Here are a few more images I took of her
sweet tiny little parts…

I hope this tip helps you on the pursuit 
of newborn photo perfection!!
Happy Snapping!!

Just a few I’ve taken recently of my Sweet Pea

This little Paris outfit is in honor of my sister 
who is living there.  We sure miss her!!

Our other baby.

 Penny & Penny

 My Sweet Parents 

Impromptu Maternity Session

I was suppose to have my maternity pix taken last week, but it was rainy & I don’t feel like I’m quite big enough.  I want to really have a full on big bulbus baby bump when I have them taken.  However, I needed an image for my shower invite (I couldn’t imagine my shower invite with a photo on it).  So, yesterday afternoon I was hanging with Sara planning the shower & we quickly took these image.  Truly impromptu… no makeup, didn’t wash me hair yesterday, that’s my swimsuit cover up (slap a belt & jacket on it & it looks like a dress), we walked next to my condo complex where they’ve demolished a house & piled up lots of junk (just pointed the camera in the right direction & crop out the junk & it looks like a great location.)  I’m tickled with the way they turned out.  Goes to show with a great camera, some creative vision & some Photoshop you can have some awsome images.

Another Sweet Penelope

Meet Penelope.  Yes, that’s right another sweet Penelope. This is the 2nd Penelope I’ve photographed in the last month and in 10 weeks my sweet Penelope will arrive.

Happy Mother’s Day to Everyone!!

30 Weeks!!

Bring on the PINK!!

Yup, that’s right!!  We’re having a baby.  I’m 17 weeks & due in July.  We found out this morning we are having a girl.  Bring on the PINK!!  We could not be more excited.  I wish someone would have warned me about this pregnancy thing.  Come to find out, I’m a wimp.  It’s been challenging, but a very effective way to loose weight.  Who knew??  The thing I miss the most if surfing blogs & reading all your fun posts, computer work makes me Sea Sick!!  I have about 450 sessions to blog, and about that many emails I haven’t responded to.  If you’re one of those people – gosh dang I’m sorry!!  Just know I’m home, probably on the couch being a wimp, rubbing my belly hoping to feel something move.  
Big Thanks to Shauna, Naoma and Alyssa for your help with my weddings this month.  Couldn’t have done them without you!!

Announcing Princess Kicks & Giggles

Yup, we got a puppy!!  Meet Princess Kicks & Giggles, we call her “Kicksie”.  We are completely in love!!  She is an absolute doll.  She has little spunky feet, she has a sweet little sensitive heart, she has this little sassy tall that whips around when you talk to her, & she is huge cuddle bug. She’s 8 weeks old & she weighs less than 2 pounds.  Here is just the beginning of lots of images of Princess Kicksie.