Monthly Archives: March 2015

Project 52: “For Hire”

Two-year-old photoshootWay back in early February, I hosted a baby shower for my friend Johannah (she was due March 28th! Still no baby…). While I was there, I took pictures of the cake that her sister-in-law had made. I later sent them to her. She seemed impressed with my pictures, because she asked me to take pictures of her little girl for her 2nd birthday. And she wanted to pay  me. Whoa.

two-year-old photoshootMy immediate reaction was to say no. Having someone hire me to take pictures for them seemed like wayyyyy too much pressure. When I’m just taking pictures for fun, it’s just that. Fun. What if someone paid me and hated the pictures? Or what if I couldn’t take one decent picture? I thought of all the reasons why I shouldn’t and almost wrote her a message to say no. But then I thought of the biggest reason why I should: because it’s a challenge and I wanted to push my boundaries this year.

ForHire-4So I said yes. I told her that she could come here, since it was in the dead of winter and we certainly were not going outside. I charged her for the cost of the materials to make the backdrop. I built a little studio in my dining area. I Pinned a bunch of ideas on Pinterest. The day arrived and I had butterflies! I was so nervous, mostly because I realized I had prepared everything to the last detail except for one important thing: the child! Everything can be controlled, except for the beautifully unique and unpredictable little person who will be coming over.

two-year-old photoshootTaking pictures of someone else’s child was indeed the greatest challenge of this “shoot”. A two year old does not “get it” when it comes to creating Pinterest-worthy pictures. They are squirmy, fidgety, and want to run around. They definitely do not want to sit still and smile in sweetly premeditated poses. There is a lot of bribery that happens.

two-year-old photoshootBut I am so happy I did this! I think I ended up with some lovely pictures of her, and it definitely helped to create more confidence in my abilities. two-year-old photoshoot

Advertisements

Sweetness

Our boy brings so much sweetness to our lives. Every day, I just love to watch him. He is always growing, learning, and doing something new. I love seeing his personality develop. I love all the new stages! Like right now, he is learning how to eat. I put some blueberries on his tray and let him explore them. I got busy scrubbing dishes. When I looked up he was covered in blue sticky juice, but I saw him very delicately pick up a blueberry between his thumb and first finger and put it in his mouth. My heart just about burst seeing him do that. Each moment is filled with wonder. Thank you God for picking me to be his mom.  

           

Project 52: Creating Snow in Photoshop Elements

Creating Snow with Photoshop ElementsWhile not a record breaking year for snow fall in Nova Scotia, it certainly feels that way. Up until January, we had little to no snow. Since then, we have had about 5 big snow storms that have accumulated roughly 240 cm…thats almost 2.5 meters of snow! Needless to say, we are buried.

But funny enough, I actually love snow. This amount is quite excessive, but I just love when it is actually snowing.  It is so beautiful. I especially love how the world is so silent and bright right after a snowfall. You can’t go anywhere (safely) so it means snuggling in close and enjoying time inside together.

After a recent snowfall, I decided to go outside and snap some pictures. When I got them home and started to edit them, I thought they would be perfect candidates for adding in snow post-production.Creating Snow in Photoshop Elements

Here are some of the steps I followed using Photoshop Elements that I followed from the book 52 Weekend Digital Photo Projects:

1. Open your snow image in Photoshop Elements (or if you have Photoshop that works as well!).

2. Go to Layer>New Layer. Name it “Snow1”. Next, click Edit>Fill Layer, change contents to black. Next, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise, use an amount of 15% and set options to Gaussian and Monochromatic. Click Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and use 0.3px.

3. Go to Layer>New Layer. Select “Screen” from the Mode menu. Name this layer “Snow2”. Go to Edit>Fill Layer, change contents to white. Go to Filter>Pixelate>Pointilize, use a cell of 5. Press Cmd+U to desaturate layer. Cmd+I to invert.

4. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and this time use 1px. Click OK then press Cmd+L to open the layers palette. Set black point slider to 0, midtones to 0.2, and white to 40.

5. Create new layer, naming it “Snow3”, and changing mode to screen. Go to Edit>Fill Layer and set contents to black. Apply pointilize filter again, using cell size of 10. Desaturate this new layer, invert color as before, apply same levels, Gaussian blur, and blending mode.

6. Press Cmd+J to make a new layer, naming it “Snow 4”. Press Cmd+T and increase height and width to 500%.

Creating Snow in Photoshop Elements

You might have to adjust the opacity of the levels to make the background level visible. I also used the eraser tool to selectively erase some patches of snow.

And there you have it! A cool new way to spice up a photo that might otherwise be pretty flat. Let me know if you try it and it works out!

Project 52: Watermarking

Something that has been on my to-do list of photography related things was to learn how to watermark my photos.

Now that I am writing a blog and putting my pictures out there for the world to see, I realized that it might be a good thing to have my name on them!

I started using Lightroom a few months ago, and noticed that there is an option to add a watermark in the exporting process.

I decided to Google it, and found this tutorial that was extremely helpful!

In the "export" process, I simply scrolled down to choose my watermark present that I had just created

In the “export” process, I simply scrolled down to choose my watermark present that I had just created

I used the same font for my watermark that I used for the header image of this blog. It’s called SUNN and it was a free download from this site.

Yarn Along: First Project Underway!

I’m joining in with Ginny at Small Things and Frontier Dreams. I’m happy to say that my first ever knitting project is well underway! I found this super-soft and luxurious yarn at Michaels a few weeks ago and knew that I had to do something warm and cozy with it.

YarnAlong-2Since I am a beginner, I decided that I wanted to do a scarf of some sort. I figured that this would be an easy project that might introduce me to patterns without being too overwhelming.

Naturally, I was drawn to hard patterns! I was drooling over scarves with intricate cables, but was dismayed about needing extra needles to accomplish the beautiful designs. I actually searched for quite a while to find something that was beautiful, challenging but not too challenging, and used the materials that I already had on hand.   weekend_scarf_mediumI found this beautiful scarf on Pinterest that used alternating rows of slip stitch and yarn over. I found these beautiful bamboo buttons and wanted to incorporate them somehow. I love infinity scarves and cowls, so I figured making something like that would be perfect.

The-Memory-Keepers-Daughter-August-Book-club-pick-via-ABFOL

On my trip to Calgary, I decided to re-read a book I’ve had on my shelf for the last 7 years. I could not remember the story, so I thought I would pick it up again! The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is the most beautifully sad book I’ve ever read. It is the story of loss, parenthood, and love. I found it so moving, especially now that I am a mom. I highly recommend it.

Contagious Joy

CalgaryTrip9th-4 CalgaryTrip9th-2One of my favorite memories from my latest trip to Calgary, Alberta does not involve beautiful scenes of mountains, a delicious meal at a restaurant, or really any notable surroundings. It happened as we were waiting to leave as my friend was visiting with her sister-in-law and her two little kiddies.

Joseph was sitting in his car seat. The little girl, almost three, was squirming and dancing as she was eating her snack. She started singing and dancing and hopping. She didn’t realize someone was watching her until Joseph started into a fit of giggles. She was obviously delighted, and started doing it more and more. Joseph almost couldn’t stand himself he was laughing so hard. CalgaryTrip9th-3 CalgaryTrip9th-1Wanting to see what all the commotion was about, her mom came out. This woman is vocally trained in singing and started belting out a tune she had just been teaching the kids in her studio. Well, combined with the animation in her voice and the bouncing and bobbing of the little girl, Joseph was beside himself.

Laughing at my little jokester

Laughing at my little jokester

But the best part was that his laughter caused everyone else to erupt into laughter. Pretty soon, everyone was laughing. It was such a beautiful, joy-filled moment, and I was so proud of my little nugget and his sense of humour!

Look at those little bottom teeth!

Look at those little bottom teeth!

CalgaryTrip9th-8

A Trip Out West

I have been pretty absent this past week. We decided to take a trip to Calgary. Well, actually, Josh needed to come out for work and Joseoh and I decided to tag along 🙂 



We are having a great time here. It’s warm, sunny, the mountains are beautiful and the people are lovely!