Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Minecraft Birthday Party with Free Printables


newborn photographer, Albany, NY wedding photographer, Saratoga Springs, NY baby photographer Saratoga Springs, NY, cake smash photographer Albany, NY, family photographer wedding photographer, Albany, NY

The nice thing about being a photographer, when it comes time to throw a birthday party, is knowing how to use photoshop to create printable d├ęcor! (newborn photographer in Albany, NY

For my son's sixth birthday he wanted a Minecraft party- what little boy doesn't, right?!  After scouring Pinterest and deciding what I wanted to do, I set to work creating what I would need. 


Enderman party favor bags



These bags were pretty easy to put together!  Just pick up some black bags from your local Party City (or similar store), print out the printable eyes I've created here, cut them out, and glue them onto the bags.  Click here to download the printable eyes.


TNT party favors
These were a little more work, but I thought they turned out nicely.  I ordered these 2 inch clear boxes off Amazon.  I took a piece of printer paper, cut the strips about an inch tall, folded them in four to make them fit inside the boxes, and wrote TNT on each side with a sharpie.  Then I taped it into the inside of the box and filled the box with red vines (which had to be cut to fit in the box).
Food Labels
Click here to download these food label tents.
Here's what those look like in use.


Invitations


To download the free printable Minecraft invitations click here.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Low Down on Metering

Albany, NY senior portraits


boudoir photography Albany, NY, pin-up photos Saratoga Springs, NY, Pin up pictures, boudoir photographer, Clifton Park, NY

As a self taught photographer, I found there were some essential things I didn't learn until months into my business.  Some of these were just things I stumbled upon on blogs.  I am embarrassed to say it, but metering was one of those things for me, which is crazy because metering is so important!

When you shoot in manual mode, your meter tells you if your image will be properly exposed with your current settings. Keep in mind your camera can be fooled by trickly lighting situations and it isn't always right, so you should always take a test shot and see if you need to make any adjustements.  Your camera will assess the light based on one of three different metering choices:

Overall Metering
Simply put, if you have set your camera to overall metering it will take in the whole scene in your viewfinder to decide if your image will be correctly exposed.  In general, portrait photographers do not use overall metering too often because we are more concerned with our subject being perfectly exposed, even if it means sacrifising the background to a little under or over exposure.

Center-Weighted Metering

Spot Metering

Monday, April 9, 2012

Photographer Interview with Lindsey VanTiem

I hope you all had a fabulous Easter yesterday!  I actually did a session in the morning, I know I'm crazy!  I have a fabulous photographer interview for you today so read on and meet the talented Lindsey VanTiem!


So Lindsey, you do a little bit of everything. What types of sessions do you like the most and why?

I decided this year I would specialize in newborn through age 1 with a few older children's portraits as well. Newborns are definitely my absolute favorite subject which is why I specialize in that age through 1 year. If I am not called the "Baby Whisperer" at least once during their session then I am not doing my job to make the baby feel comfortable or the parents feeling at ease with choosing me as their photographer. I love newborns for the fact that they are so new and fragile yet durable {If that makes sense}. They can be molded, folded and posed all the while staying asleep if I am doing my job properly. Having a sense of confidence, calmness and a soft approach comes in handy as well.



You have so many adorable props! What are your favorite prop shops?
I have been collecting props since high school which is not something my parents were thrilled about having in their basement. But they supported the fact that they would eventually be used more than once a month. As time goes on I have amassed a vast collection from all over the place. I don't really confine myself to any specific store but you can often find me at any second hand store or a fun thrift shop, flea markets, antique malls and obscure hole-in-the- wall stores- you never know what they might have. Although I would be lying if I didn't say Hobby Lobby, Marshalls and TJ Maxx are my local go- to places. JoAnn's, Michaels and even Home Depot or Lowes have some great finds for backgrounds, moldings and wood flooring. I have also discovered the greatness of Ikea so I will be utilizing that store a lot more. My husband is shaking his head at this but supports my business and therefore me so he just smiles all the while crying inside at all the collectibles laying around the house most days.

We all love to hear how others got started in the business, tell us how you got your start in photography and what things you feel have made you successful.
I think my parents started me in photography without ever really trying. They bought me my first camera for Christmas in 5th grade- it was neon green and a Kodak. I bought film with my birthday money and really have not looked back. Every year they would "upgrade" my camera to something more durable and age appropriate but never the expensive ones {With the exception of my first point and shoot digital} that my Dad dropped and broke shortly after I received it. In high school I was part of the year book class and often took a ton of images. I look back at the yearbook and I am pretty sure I took over half the images in there which is fun to think about but also dates me so we won't go there. Eventually I went on to attend Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. They didn't have a major in Photography so I went for Art History with a concentration in the History of Photography. I worked with an amazing mentor, Claude Baillargeon, who helped me work my major into something that would work for my life plan. I took every Studio Art class available in hopes of the college offering it as a major. They did in my final year so I was fortunate enough to have taken all my classes prior and work it out where I could minor in Studio Art but mostly concentrate in Photography. I am debating on going back for a full major in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography. I think I am three classes shy of another Bachelors of Fine Arts. Maybe someday but until then I am enjoying where I am today and happy with just one BFA. I think part of being a successful photographer is being a "People person/pleaser" to some extent. Just knowing I work for my clients and their happiness depends on putting my heart into each image drives me to want to be the best I can be. Never would I think about talking down to my clients in any way, shape or form that is disrespectful toward them or their children. I treat everyone the way I would want to be treated as a customer. Also without all the mentors I had throughout college and the supportive network of family, friends and peers I would not have the confidence in my abilities nor would I know how to "keep it real" and be humbled by the journey I have made up to this point. In turn I try to help others as much as I can to pay it forward.

And we have to ask, what do you shoot with and which are your favorite lenses?
I am a Canon girl but have had my fair share of different cameras. As you know I started out using the Kodak in 5th grade and in college I ran with a Pentax K1000. I just upgraded to the 5D Mark ii which seems a little less impressive now that the 5D Mark iii is being released {Insert a low, whimpering cry now}. My backup camera is now the Canon 50D. And to be honest when I first started in digital I only had kit lenses because all my really nice equipment and money went into the equipment I had for my manual 35mm Pentax from college. No one knew I was using kit lenses so I guess it was okay for just starting off but then again the digital era had just made a turn and no one really could tell the difference between a shotty lens and the grain caused from only having an 8 mp digital :) I would not do it that way if I had another option at 19 years old but rather I would have continued to use my 35mm film camera and save, save save. Right now I have the 50mm 1.8 but am upgrading to the 1.4 within the next few months, 24-105 L, 28-135, 75-300. I have a flash but prefer my studio lights on a trigger to add more light than my flash would offer. I use Photogenic Professional Lighting System at every session. If I am shooting a wedding I rent my lenses from Borrowlenses.com. My fave right now if the 24-105mm L glass. It has a great zoom but still has that sharpness and allows for some good bokeh similar to the 50mm.

What ages do you find the most fun, easiest, and most challenging to photography? Any quick tips on overcoming any of those challenges?
When I first started out every age except Seniors were a bit difficult. But now after doing this for so long I have each age group nailed down to what I can bribe them with. The easiest sessions for me are newborns (Well most of them anyway). The hardest age I would say is 3-4 months because they are stuck in the can't sit, want to roll, floppy baby stage. Props come in handy for those sessions. All other ages are pretty simple as long as you stay calm, have patience and know that children are going to be movers & shakers then you will have more fun than stress. Oh and of course my secret to all the different ages are bringing Gerbers Puffs for little ones (really easy to edit out of fingers, sitting on props or on wood floors), a jar of candies for toddlers and siblings to see sitting next to me- Yes I bribe hardcore!! Once they finish with their portraits they can pick one piece or two if Mom says it is okay (I always ask before I even bring in the jar). Even communicate with the parents to see when nap or lunch time is so you can avoid those two most cranky times for a child.


And finally, tell us a little more about you (the non-photographer side of Lindsey)

I am the Mom of two wild, crazy boys and am thinking of adding a third to the mix {I blame this on all the newborns lately}. I married my high school sweetheart who is a fiercely, loyal fan that is always pushing me to do what I love. On any given day or should I say night I am up until 3 am or later working so I do not take away time from my family. Although I am pretty sure it is because I have insomnia! Humor is my ice breaker for everything especially when I am nervous. I am obsessed with movies- all movies, love em all! Any Nicholas Sparks novels, the Twilight movies {I even went to a movie premiere and met Kristin Stewart and stood next to Taylor Lautner- Nerd alert} and basically any chick lit that is by Emily Giffin are on my table all year long. I have a school girl obsession with Channing Tatum and Robert Pattinson and if they were ever in front of my camera I could not physically function to take their pictures. Hmmm what else...Indie music is my muse, old jazz with all the instruments of that era makes me instantly calm and doing something artistic or crafty makes my mind feel free. Other than that I am an old soul who collects vintage cameras and would rather sit home & watch movies or read while hanging out with my family. That is me in a nutshell.


Big thank you to Lindsey for giving us some fabulous insights into your busy world!  Stop by and visit her website or facebook page to see more of her gorgeous work.

Photo of Lindsey and Lindsey with her family courtesy Shanell Edwards.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Editing 101- Making your photos pop using curves

This is the first tutorial in my brand new series- editing 101.  Learn some tips and tricks for making your photos look more professional, one lesson at a time.  Please excuse the small size of this video.  Between this video and the next I will be working on getting them to show up larger here (without having to go full screen). 
This lesson is on using curves to give your photos that pop that really takes your image from flat and amateur to professional.  Knowing how to use curves is SO essential to making your photos look professional.  If you are still intimidated by curves you are not alone, but it's time to dive in and start playing with the most powerful tool in Photoshop!  There are many things you can do with curves and this is just one of them.  Be sure to follow Frame Worthy Shot on Facebook so you can be informed when new tutorials are posted!



Here is the final edit of this photo.  Other aspects of this edit will be covered in future tutorials.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free Birth Announcement Template

Today is my youngest son's first birthday!  To celebrate I have an adorable birth announcement template to share with all of you :)  If you want to stay informed when future freebies are posted, be sure to follow Frame Worthy Shot on Facebook

If your studio is anything like mine, Spring is full of newborn sessions.  I have been gearing up for the season by preparing some adorable birth announcements for my clients to choose from.  I am particularly fond of this Hello World Announcement and I wanted to spread the love and share it with all of you!  You can download your free copy of the template here.  Enjoy!

This template was designed using the specifications of Miller's Luxe Flat 5x7 Ornate Card.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Photographer Interview with Amy Parrish

I met Amy at After Dark, where she was a teacher.  She is truly an inspiration!  I actually had the pleasure of having her take a few photos of my own family and they are truly the kind that take your breath away.  It's no wonder Amy has been able to build a very successful business! 

1) Amy, you have truly been a trendsetter in family photography!  How do you keep yourself inspired and creative?
Really?  A trendsetter? I think all I do is go out there and try to have as much fun as possible.  I do get bored rather easily.  When I get tired of the same locations/looks, I try to force myself to do something new.  In the past couple of years I've also started working on more personal projects and have found that these have made a huge impact on the work I create for my portrait clients.


2) When you aren't hard at work, what do you love to do?
I love meandering through the woods and being close to nature.  I just moved into an old farmhouse and, aside from moving/painting, have been keeping myself entertained by digging in the mud, splashing in the creek and have been on the lookout for salamanders (no luck yet!). 

3) You always seem to find just the right angle at just the right time to create a family portrait that is stunning and emotional.  Any tips for new family photographers?
For me, photos are a side effect.  My primary focus is to get a family connecting with each other.  Once you get them to forget that there's even a camera there because they're so wrapped up in each other, it's quite simple to capture those really special moments.  I love getting in very close for these with a wider angle so the viewer almost feels as if they're part of that moment.


4) Let's not forget the typical question: what do you shoot with and which are your favorite lenses?  Let's spice it up a little this time and throw in: Do you like to shoot wide open as much as possible or is it ever changing depending on the portrait?
I primarily photograph with the Canon 5D MKII.  My Canon 24-70 2.8 is almost always on my camera, but I usually pull out an 85 1.2 a few times through a typical session as well.  I shoot wide open more often than not, but (especially in family sessions when I need to have several different planes of focus), I'll also shoot at smaller apertures. 


5) Tell us how you got where you are today.  Did you always know you wanted to be a photographer?  When did it become a profession for you?  What amazing things have you experienced in the journey?
Photography was a bit of an accident for me.  I first wanted to be an actress, studied Speech Communications & English in college and graduated thinking I'd become a videographer.  I purchased my first DSLR a few months after college and got a job working at a high volume portrait studio.  It wasn't long before I felt ready to branch out on my own, though, when I first started my website, www.amyparrish.com, I purposefully left out the word "photography" because I wasn't entirely sure it would be a direction I'd stick with (remember earlier when I said I get bored rather easily??).  I invested a lot of time and money, but the emotional payback kept me going.  Since then I've met so many incredible people, in all walks of life: these interactions have reaffirmed that there is still a whole lot of goodness and love in this world.



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Thank you Amy!  You can see more of her fabulous work at Amy Parrish Photography or on her Facebook page.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feature and Giveaway with Poppy Tree Frames


Are you loving the boutique picture frames that are all the rage right now?  I know I am!  My clients can't get enough (and let's be honest, neither can I)!  If you haven't checked out Poppy Tree Frames yet,  you are in for a very pleasant surprise!!

They have the most gorgeous selection of frames!  Tons of shapes and sizes to choose from. . . solid colors and prints. . . the possibilities are endless.  And better still, their prices are amazing!  With these prices you can actually make a profit offering them to your clients.  My studio is decked out with boutique frames and my clients ooooh and awwww over them constantly!


To make things even easier for us, Poppy Tree Frames has come out with pre-arranged groupings (also at amazing prices).  They have a grouping to fit just about any space you could imagine.  Now you can impress your clients with a fabulous grouping to fit the needs of their home and match the grandeur of their images. 



Want to win a fabulous 5x7 Faint frame to start your studio displays off on the right foot?


Here's how to enter:

Mandatory:
Like Poppy Tree Frames on Facebook.  Then come back here and let me know you did so.

Optional extra entries:
1) Browse the Poppy Tree Frames website and come back here to let me know which frame style is your favorite.
2) Like Frame Worthy Shot on Facebook AND follow it on Pinterest (if you have a Pinterest account)
3) Share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (one entry for each thing you do).  Please leave a link in the comments below so I know you have done so.

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Be sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do.  This giveaway will run for one week.  It will close on Thursday March 29th at 11:59pm PST.  The winner will be announced that weekend. 

DISCLAIMER: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to Frame Worthy Shot and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for the Frame Worthy Shot March Madness Giveaway. By entering the contest you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. You may not reside in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, or India according to Facebook.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DIY Prop Tutorial: The 3 Minute Bow Tie


Okay, so here's the story behind this bow tie.  I had this fabulous stylized session planned for my son and his adorable little friend (also known as my best friend's daughter).  I wanted to give his outfit more of a vintage feel so I decided to add a bow tie.  The only problem is I live in Western Washington when the weather is super unpredictable. 

When all of a sudden tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees I was not entirely prepared.  I was throwing things together all day to beat the sun and catch that gorgeous backlighting.  (Luckily we made it because we haven't had a nice day since.  In fact, it snowed here today!!)  Anyways, as we were about to walk out the door I realized I still needed my bow tie!

So here's how I whipped out an adorable bow tie in about 3 minutes.

Supplies
- a sheet (or scrap) of felt in desired color
- scissors
- a hot glue gun
- a piece of bulky or extra-bulky weight yarn

Tutorial

Step 1: Cut a piece of felt approximately 1 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches.

Step 2: Fold the piece of felt in half lengthwise.  Put a small dab of glue down at the bottom of the fold.

Step 3: Fold both sides back down like so.  Secure them down with hot glue (careful not to burn yourself)!  This will then be the back of your bow tie.

Step 4: Cut a piece of bulky weight yarn about 20 inches long and glue the middle of it onto the middle of the back of your bow tie.  When you are tying onto your little one you will want to tie a very small bow, then trim the ends short so it can all be tucked under the collar.

That's it, you're done!  It's not something you would want to sell (lol, funny thought, I know) but it cost me less than $1 and it sure looked cute in my photo shoot, didn't it?!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thanks for reading :)
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