Archive for category Photography Tips and Tricks

Tips and tricks – The Sun

Because I am first and foremost a “mommy photographer” I thought I’d share a little tip for any parents who want to take better shots of their kids.

Full sun in the middle of the day is probably one of the most challenging times to take beautiful photos of your kids…and it’s also the time of day that you are probably out having fun and want to take pictures of them! Dang it! What is a mommy to do when there isn’t a shady place to be found?

Here is an example…of what NOT to do.
See all those ugly shadows and how the light parts of the photo are REALLY bright and the dark parts are really dark? Eeew. This was because I was standing with the sun behind me and the sun was shining straight onto my subject.

In the photo below I changed my position so the sun was behind my subject (counterintuitive, I know!)…huge difference. It’s one of those simple things you can do to make your photos so much better, no fancy camera or lens to buy either!

Coen just recently learned how to “pump”…so exciting for him! (and no more pushing for me, yay!)

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Bump and Grind – a gift for YOU!

 Okay, I’m a day late…but in my defense I thought Valentine’s Day was on Monday. 😉

I wanted to give you all a little gift to show my appreciation for your constant encouragement and sincere comments so I made you a little something I hope you’ll like!

Do you ever wish your photos had a little extra “oomph?” Do you curse at Photoshop when no one is watching? Do you just not have the time or inclination to learn how to edit your photos? Well, on this holiday that celebrates love…I thought you might like a little “action” to go along with it. So I created an action for Photoshop that combines all the things that I typically do to a photo to give it that little something something, before I really set to work on editing. I even named it “Bump and grind”…to go with the Valentine’s Day feeling!

Here are some samples of it in “action”!

Pretty cute…but a little flat.

Subtle…but different.



This action is meant to be subtle enough to use on most photos…it doesn’t add funky color casts and it gives the image just a little more dimension (at least I think so!). You can use it as-is (just hit the play button on your action menu) or you can do your dodging and burning on the layer titled “Dodge and Burn” (duh).

If you don’t know photoshop well, just skip this part…
This dodge and burn method doesn’t use the actual dodge and burn tools. Just grab a white paint brush, set to 10% and make sure you’re on the Dodge and Burn layer and paint over the parts you want lighter…it shouldn’t affect the shadows if you paint over them (well…technically speaking, anything that is darker than 50% grey).
To darken the darks (won’t affect anything lighter than 50% grey) just grab a black brush and paint over the parts you want to darken! Easy peasy!

There you have it! Again…this isn’t meant to dramatically alter your photo…just get it to looking good before you reach for all your other fancy stuff!

This action was created with Photoshop CS2 and I have no idea if it works on Photoshop elements…but if you try it and it does, I’d love to hear it! Oh and just because I am lazy…if you are wondering about how to install actions…click here!

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

Click HERE to unwrap your gift!



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