Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have 3,558 photos in my iphoto Events.
I have approximately another 2,500 photos living in random places in my computer.
Now what?
I happen have an answer to that age-old question.  Actually, I have several answers.
One of the neatest things I've been doing lately is creating photo books.  They're an awesome way to display all those
photos that would otherwise just be hovering in cyberspace for eternity.  As much fun as all this digital photo technology 
is, the ultimate purpose of a photograph is to be printed and it not?  That's so deep....
Here's a few photo book options that I've tried personally:
First, Blurb is one of the coolest book sites that I've seen.  It's soooo easy and the software is a FREE download right
to your computer.  
Basically, you just drag and drop your edited photos into their many, many templates.  There's tons of choices of
page layouts, background colors and patterns, and all kinds of special little touches you can add to make it your own.
I recently made this 13x11 wedding book for my cousin's wedding and I was thrilled with the results.
blurb cover
This is a screen shot of what the cover looks like in the Edit mode while I was designing the book.
This is an inside shot when looking at a 2 page spread....
blurb screen shot
You can see the page templates in the upper left corner, underneath that is the photos I've inserted and along the bottom is my page view of the entire book. I's me.
Blurb definitely has the most templates to choose from and also several sizes.
Here's an 8x10 book that I created to showcase some photos of the creatures....
...and here's an inside shot of one layout....
But I won't leave you hanging with just one option, I've also made a book using my "book" feature on my Mac computer. If you have a Mac, it's included in your iphoto application. I made the large book and was really impressed with the quality of paper and the thickness of the cover. What I didn't like was the dust gets beat up really quickly. As you can see from this photo....
Photobucket Obviously you're gonna want to show off your book but the edges get worn pretty bad with the dust jacket. The cool thing about the Mac book is that underneath the dust jacket is a hard cover with the title embossed on it in foil. Very impressive.
There's lots more book opportunities out there but these two are my personal favorites....I've also made several calendars and greeting cards. I'll pass along my creation wisdom regarding those items in another post!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

the wedding

Earlier this year I had the extreme  {pleasure...honor...terrifying experience}  of photographing my cousin Ryan's wedding. 
Keep in mind, I am NOT a photographer!!  I'm just a mom who's obsessed with photography and knows just enough about it to keep thinking if I buy more equipment I'll get better pictures.  So far that theory has not proved true. I've NEVER photographed ANYTHING for ANYBODY EVER before.  
But for some reason Ryan and his gorgeous bride Allison kept refusing to take my "NO!" as an answer and I soon found myself packing my suitcase to head to a cozy little church in North Carolina.  I'm here to say, I actually enjoyed it more than I could have ever imagined.  
And I really wish they'd do it all over again because I would do soooo much better the second time!  
Anyway...a lot of friends and family have been asking to see the pictures so I'll share a few of my favorites here.  I took over 1,600 shots  in 7 hours!  Whew!  
I'll start with the bride and groom.  (Is there anyone else?)  They made my job so easy: the groom was very dapper, the bride beyond beautiful.  I was dying to use my new Perfect Portrait action to "beautify" their faces but unfortunately they needed very little help.  I need to choose uglier family next time so I can show off my editing skills a little more!
I used Pioneer Woman Actions and Coffeeshop Actions for the majority of these photos.  If you're interested in fabulous FREE actions you need to take a look at their sites.  
Of course the Bride is the main focus of the day.  Why does anybody else even bother to show up?
And of course the dapper Groom looking very dapperish:
The Groom
And here's a few more of the lovely couple in some great, non-posed and untraditional wedding moments:
The Dance
I'll share more later of the bridesmaids, groomsmen, fun stuff.... there's so much packed into one big day!
Also I hope this can help 'inspire' somebody to attempt to achieve something beyond their comfort zone. I was scared to death to take on the responsibility of their wedding but I educated myself beforehand and tried to approach the day calmly. (I didn't mention to the bride and groom that I had nightmares for 3 weeks ahead of time that I showed up at the wedding without my camera!)
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