Thursday, February 24, 2011

Before & After

Here's a Before & After shot from a session I did last week. I thought some of you might be interested in the steps I take when processing most portrait photographs. I picked a very basic close-up image and mostly did face retouching.

I always shoot in Raw, sort through images in Bridge (some prefer Lightroom), and then do all my editing in Camera Raw and Photoshop.

So here's what I did to this image:

Brighten skin tones - duplicate layer, select soft light in drop down, reduce opacity
Smooth skin - Create a layer mask then use surface and smart blur to brush over skin (start small)
Remove fine lines - cloning tool at very low opacity
Remove blemishes - patch tool
Whiten teeth - Create layer mask and then brush over teeth with soft white brush
Make eyes pop - select eye area and sharpen

Hope this helps!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Expensive Makeup - Worth it? Not worth it?

After my facebook post of whether you all think expensive makeup is worth it or not worth, I decided a trip to the makeup counter was in order. I was mostly in search of a good face moisturizer for my dry skin (which is amazing that it's dry since I live in rainy Portland), an undereye concealer and any other goodies that caught my eye.

I stopped in at Nordstrom's, Macy's and of course, Sephora. I felt pretty overwhelmed by all the choices (especially at Sephora!) so I mostly went by all of your recommendations. And of course I consulted with the salesladies.

So here's what I came home with:

Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Eye Contour Cream (because the saleslady at Nordstroms said it was the best!)

Mac Paint Pot in Painterly (Thanks for that recommendation Amanda!)
Mac Eye Shadow in Cork (I know, a little boring, but very basic)
Mac round brush for application

Mac NW20 Select Cover Up (just a sample to try out)

Bremenn Hylexin Eye Cream

I did try Elizabeth Arden's eye concealer, but it caked quickly (once again, dry skin). I was tempted to buy Elizabeth Arden's undereye gel, and I make switch for the Clarins if I find it doesn't work. I have my doubts about the Clarins (and it was a little pricey - shhhhhhh!)

I'll let you know how I like all the products after I use them for a week. Luckily most makeup counters are good about returns : )

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day - Do you celebrate?

Valentine's Day has always been somewhat of a consumer holiday to me. Another excuse for more candy, chocolates, cards and flowers. Some go to great extravagance for their loved one, others pick up flowers at 7-11 on their way home from work.

I have to admit, my husband and I don't go all crazy on Valentine's. We don't exchange gifts, or give cards, we don't go out to dinner or light candles. Maybe the occasional chocolates or flowers. Is that sad? Or is it sad that some wait for Valentine's Day to appreciate their loved one(s)?

Some even sell flowers and gift baskets out of their garage on Valentine's. (Seriously, I saw this... on 39th). Are we that desperate that we need to stop and buy gifts out of a resident garage?

I love the idea of making cards for friends and loved ones, something from the heart. But candy... it seems like Halloween at our house this week! (And my kids are loving it).

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? Chocolates? Flowers? Candlelight dinner? Or do you "celebrate" all year long?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Princess Tea Party...

Lucky me, I had the fabulous opportunity of accompanying my 2 yr old to a "Princess Tea Party" - AND I was just as lucky to photograph the event. The setting was beautiful, the decorations were perfect, and all the little princesses (and one prince!) were on their best behavior.

Cupcakes to decorate, little pink M&M's, mini sandwiches, "tea" (juice) to drink, fruit kabobs, and the cutest little aprons I've ever seen! (Which were of course made by the most talented host EVER).

Here's a little glimpse of the party details...