Friday, January 28, 2011

Shoutout to Jessica Drossin Textures

In case you haven't heard, I'm a texture junkie.
I apply textures to *almost* every photo I edit, for business & personal.  And I love love love to pass along the info for all the great textures I use and to give Shoutouts to all the great women that create them~

You've heard me singing the praises of Patti Brown {I can't live without her Dream Collection}, Florabella, ShadowHouse Creations and now Coffeeshop has created a texture set.  

Today I want to tell you about my new love, Jessica Drossin Textures.  And as all great love affairs
usually begin, it started with a little Funky Disco.  

This texture...

...totally challenged me but I thought it was killer as soon as I saw it~  The color palette is neutral but the actual texture is pretty intense and not one that could be used appropriately on just any ole photo.

But of course I just happened to have an image of my BFF Raindog that I loved the mood of but couldn't  figure out the right way to enhance it....I thought it needed a little *somethin somethin*~  Here's the original:

This was taken right at sunset when it was really getting too dark to shoot anymore but I love the coloring and the feel.  I decided to apply Funky Disco to Raindog and see what's the result...

I like ~
It's weird and unusual and kinda eerie....I'm good with that.

Anyway, this was a long way to tell you that you should definitely try out Jessica's Awesome Textures and what's even better is that all her sets are just $25!

*Sidenote*  I posted this image on Jessica's Facebook wall and told her that I'm an official stalker of hers now and gushed about how I adore her textures.  She responded and said that even though she loved that texture she almost didn't include it in the Pack because she thought it would be too difficult for people to actually use it properly.  She was so thankful that I shared this image with her that she gave me her Texture Pack 1 to show her appreciation!!  Jessica is not only amazingly talented but generous as well~  That's a nice combo.

*Another Sidenote*  Now that I'm rambling I think I need to do a whole other post about all the generosity that I've experienced from other photographers over the past year.  It's shocked me over & over how much time and knowledge others have given to me with no purpose other than to just be nice.

*Last Sidenote*  I've been experimenting with making Video Tutorials!  Basically I would record my screen while I edit and then post the video for the world to see.  If I make them, will you watch?

*Very Last Sidenote*  Raindog hates this picture of herself.  So, being the fantastic BFF that I am, I've posted it on about every forum there is and will probably make a life-size canvas of it for my future studio.  I'm just awesome like that:)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anatomy of....Winter Bride

This weekend I had the {honor/pleasure/terrifying experience...again!} of photographing a wedding.
I typically don't do weddings because:
A.  I think I need different equipment to fully do what I think is necessary at a wedding.
B.  I spend so much stinkin' time editing my photos that it would take me months of work to     edit all the photos I take at weddings which would mean I would have to charge a ginormous amount of money to make it worth my while which would mean that my target market would probably be very small so maybe I should go ahead and advertise for weddings?
C.  I have no desire to deal with bridezillas.

But, I had no need to worry about a bridezilla with my *fab* bride this weekend, Megan.  It was barely 30 degrees outside but she went along with my crazy request to get a few outdoor portraits (in her strapless gown!) since the church was so dark inside.   I only had about 10 minutes to photograph her and the groom  but we were able to get some great portraits in the afternoon light.

Here's one that I just knew was gonna be great as soon as I saw it in the camera.  Megan had an awesome vintage fur coat that she put on at the end and I loved the glam look it added~

I don't usually do this but I'll show you one of the final edits first...

Now for the editing part....I opened my original file in Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac:

First I adjusted the Levels just a little to whiten it up a bit.  Then I noticed that her eyeliner had come off at the very corner of her right eye.  This made her eye look rounder at the end instead of pointier.  {hope those technical terms don't confuse you!}  Anyway, I wanted to smooth out her eyeliner to the end of her eye so I went to Filter - Distort - Liquify...

While in the Liquify tool I used the "finger" tool and just smoothed out the eyeliner to a point just like I would do with my own finger if I were smudging it on her face.  Here's a close up with the eyeliner smudged:

It's those tiny little details that can make or break a photo:)
Next I used the Coffeeshop Baby Powder Room to smooth her skin then I flattened the image.

I decided to use the Coffeeshop Coffee with Cream action to give this image a very creamy look.  I ran the action then erased out the bottom part around the coat and lowered the gradient to 67% so it brought back a little more color...

After that I thought it needed a bit more dreaminess so I ran the Orton of my absolute favorites for portraits these days!  I lowered the opacity on the Orton layer to bring back some definition...

Beautiful!  Here's my final again...

But, as usual, I couldn't let it alone:)  I wanted to see if I could add a little more of a high fashion look so I ran the PW Seventies action and lowered the opacity...

Here's my final with the Seventies look to it:

I like that one too!!  
I've got plenty more shots to show off from this incredible bride...and her handsome groom wasn't too shabby either~

So tell me, which version do you like best?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Style Showcase 2010

Ever heard of Facebook?
I'm going to assume that's a "yes".

Well I've launched a new promotion on my Facebook fan page called *Style Showcase 2010* and I want to tell you all about it.
I was wanting to do kind of an end of year review of all my photo sessions this year but wasn't quite sure how to organize it without basically just doing one major album filled with every photo I've taken!!  

So I decided to focus on promoting what I believe makes Inspired by christy just a bit different from a world full of other photographers.  I chose one image from the majority of my 2010 sessions that best represents my *unique* style to showcase in my Facebook album.  

To make it fun for my clients, I've said that the image that receives the most comments will win a free Canvas Gallery Wrap or Metal Print.  And to make it fun for voters I'll give one lucky voter a $25 gift card to dinner or  I want everyone to be able to participate and enjoy looking thru my 2010 images.  Here's the promos I made up for it....

If you're a photographer with a Facebook page I would recommend doing something like this for your business.  I've gotten all positive feedback so far and the clients with the featured images are really getting exciting about the chance to win such a great prize!  

Word-of-mouth is by far the way I gain new clients and the majority of them see my images on Facebook before going to my website.  So this promotion has been fantastic for getting my images in front of new people that may not have had the opportunity to hear about Inspired by christy any other way but thru their friends.  

If you'd like to take a look at my *Style Showcase 2010* just head on over to my Facebook fan page HERE
And don't be sure to leave your comments on all the images you enjoy and you just may be the lucky voter who wins the gift card!  Also, have you tried a great promotion for your business that worked well for everyone involved?  I'd love to hear about it!
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