Florabella Colorplay Action Set

You may remember my previous post on the Classic Workflow action set from Florabella. I just adore that set, and in fact, it is the primary action set that I use for all of my edits. I am so excited to share the Florabella Colorplay Action Set This is a really fabulous set that lends the most ethereal and colorful quality to your photos.

Florabella Colorplay Action Set:

“The new Colorplay Photoshop Actions set by Florabella includes 54 unique, adjustable actions for Photoshop CS2-CS6 or Photoshop Elements 6-10. Save time and achieve beautiful results in both color and black/white in several styles:
~ Crisp, clean, colorful ~ Earthy, organic, natural ~ Light, fresh, airy ~ Hazy, vintage, soft ~ Matte, smooth, emulsion
With the Recipe Maker action, try and combine different artistic options on top of the Clean Base (color or B/W). The possibilities are endless. Bonus Actions (for a limited time): Emulsion, B/W Emulsion, B/W Vintage Film & B/W Vintage Film II”

I have had so much fun playing with this set. This is a quite large collection that offers me the ability to really play around with different looks. I love layering different effects on top of one another to create something completely new and unique.

Here are a couple of my examples:

For my first before and after I wanted to demonstrate how you can add richness to your photos. In addition, I incorporated one of my favorite features. The blush brush. This allows you to paint on blush and lipstick with a few strokes. How awesome is that!

Recipe: Clean Base + Summer Peach + Blush Brush

Next up, an underexposed beach photo that lacks “pizazz”

Perfect Color + Paint on Color + Paint On Rosiness + Extra Drama

Next I have an outdoor photo that was taken in harsh light. The overhead light cast a dark shadow on her face, but the edit really brings out her features.

Clean Base + Flower Child + Blush Brush

;

And lastly, a photo that my hubby took:) It has a slightly orange – y look in the before that I was able to correct.

Clean Base + Definition Palette + Ocean Air + Blush Brush

You can see how the Colorplay action set can really change the look and feel of your photos. I know that the quality of my images has really improved since I started using actions for my edits. I know that I love the results and so do my clients!

I think I have a new favorite set! Check out the Florabella Colorplay set and share your edits with us! Be sure to follow Florabella on Facebook for sales, new products and action recipes!

 

“A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

 

The lynda.com Online Training Library Review

There are so many things I want to learn more about. Learning more about my camera, about taking great photographs, from composition to lighting to exposure and aperture- all things that will help me get the most from my camera. There are so many books I have seen but they don’t always click with me (yes, pun intended) and I’ve come to realize that is greatly in part to my being a visual learner….and a hands-on learner.

I’ve been wanting to find some quality online courses that can help me to learn more about not just photography but about my camera, and what I can do with my camera…and eventually, how to make the most of the photo editing software I have and don’t use nearly enough of simply because I don’t understand it. I recently was given the chance to review the lynda.com online training library , which offers a HUGE library of training courses to take, on a range of subjects including:

  • Audio
  • Design
  • 3D & Animation
  • Business
  • Developer
  • Photography
  • Video
  • Web & Interactive
  • Documentaries

 

Right now, my priority is learning things to help me take better photos.  You can have the best camera in the world and take the worst photos, and you can have the worst camera in the world and take the best photos…and I want to be able to get great photos no matter what I’m shooting with.  The online training library at lynda.com has a huge selection of photography courses to take- from foundations of photography (which is what I’m starting with) to photo assignments…some courses on taking photos with your iPhone…and so much more. I was really happy to see that they have some courses to help with Photoshop Elements 10, which is what I have- and love- but I KNOW I am not using to its full potential.

Not into photography?  There’s offerings for website design– which so many people have these days and need to learn.  Including me…I may be a blogger but coding and HTML baffle me to no end and I’m always unsure of myself. I have a huge library to look to with my membership to lynda.com to find the answers I need- and even to enhance and improve my site on my own! I’ve been wanting to make a mobile app for my site and thanks to lynda.com that can happen, or I can at least learn some of the skills so that I can start to make that happen.

There are so many options to choose from on lynda.com.  I love that I can simply click a button to add a course I’m interested in to my queue- and I can move things up and down in the queue as my interests change.  This means if I happen to see a course that catches my eye but I’m looking for something else, I can quickly add it to the queue and not “lose” sight of it.  In fact, while poking around today, I found a whole course on family trees from Ancestry.com – which I’d probably not stumble on again, but it’s in my queue and I can go back to it at any time!

Lynda.com offers so many ways to learn something new or enhance what you already know.  There are several subscription options for you to choose from- so you can opt to be a monthly member, or pay an annual rate.  There are options for just course content access and also options for the course content plus exercises.  Since I’m hands-on I like the exercises.  Like homework.  I always did love homework! I do like the options with and without the exercise files, because I think it makes lynda.com affordable.  Joining lynda.com will benefit so many- bloggers, writers, developers, photographers, everyday folks like me who just want to take nice photographs, and more.

I’ll be following up in several weeks with another post about my courses from lynda.com…with a full membership giveaway valued at $375!

I received a membership to lynda.com to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own. 

 

Florabella Classic Workflow Action Set + Free Timeline Template Download

As I try to hone my skills as a photographer I not only

looks for techniques to improve the raw images that I capture, but also how to improve my photos in post production. I have recently become very interested in Actions. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out the beautiful Florabella Collection Classic Workflow actions. I mean, REALLY excited! If you are not sure what actions are, here is a little description:

What are actions? Actions are editing steps to get a certain look or effect that have been programmed (think of a fancy version of instagram). They save you a TON of time when editing. Instead of having to go through each step, you simply start the action and it does most of the work for you! Most actions allow you to customize the total effect.

These might sound complicated at first, but I PROMISE you they are not and you are really going to love the looks that you can achieve. If you have Photoshop Elements or Photoshop then you can use actions. Simply load them onto your computer, upload to your photo editing software and press play. Done. You can then play around with the action to lessen or change the effect to meet your needs. You can also layer different effects on top of one another for a completely new look.

Florabella Actions are compatible with:

Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, and CS6.
Photoshop Elements 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.*

Take a look at some of my before and after images using the Florabella Collection Classic Workflow Set:

florabella-classic-workflow-editing-example

Classic Bright + Rosy Glow + Brush On Color Pop

florabella-classic-workflow-action-set-example

Classic Bright + Rosy Glow + Add Some Drama + Lighter Brighter

Classic Color + Lighter Brighter + Brush On Color Pop

Florabella Collection also offers some great video tutorials on their website at: www.florabellacollection.com These are great for those of us just starting out. She really does a great job of describing step by step how to apply her actions.

I am totally in LOVE with Florabells actions. In fact, I have received a really great response from my clients and have noticed an increase in my booking. This action set is really clean and bright. I love to use it for children and I think that it gives an almost dreamy quality to my images.

If you love to take pictures of your children, family or nature, I highly recommend that you look into purchasing a set of Florabella Actions. They are simple to use and will significantly improve the quality of your finished product.

Florabella offers many different actions sets, mats, storyboards and textures. These sets offer endless possibilities for photographers and scrapbookers. Even if you don’t take professional level photos, you can take advantage of these sets. If you love to scrapbook than you will go crazy for the Florabella Color Matte and Design Kit. These mattes add a color or design to the top, bottom or side of your photo, giving it an entirely different look and feel.

Follow Florabella on Facebook for the latest updates, action recipes and for a FREE timeline template!

 

“A sample of this product was provided to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

#SmugMug Photo Sharing and Printing AND SmugMug #Awesome App!

As many of you know, I have a passion for photography and have recently decided to turn my little hobby into a full fledged business! As such, I needed a professional way to share, and hopefully sell, photos to my customers. But I also wanted to find a site to share my personal photos with family members. I have tried some of the typical online photo sharing sites, but this didn’t seem professional and I definitely wasn’t pleased with the quality of prints from these sites. Mama Bargains suggested that I check out SmugMug and I have been hooked ever since! Check out all the features that this site offers!!! ShareSHARE

  • – Publish to Facebook & Twitter
  • – Share photos via email
  • – Embed them on blogs, forums, & more

ProtectPROTECT

  • – Unlimited photo and video backups
  • – Advanced privacy options
  • – Watermarking for piracy prevention

Buy & SellBUY & SELL

  • – The best prints & gifts
  • – Your account pays for itself
  • – Promotions like coupons & packages

Where do I even start! I love everything about this site. The look of the site is clean and crisp and fully customizable. The site is not cluttered with ads and extraneous information. Just beautiful photography. This has been a really great way for me to showcase my work. I have already used this site for several clients. I simply set up a gallery and share the link with them. I love having the ability to make the galleries private and accessible only by password. But I can also use this site to share photos with my family members in a public gallery. SmugMug offers photo sharing via facebook,twitter, tumblr, posterous and WordPress as well. This is a great way to stay connected with my clients and family members! As a professional, I have the option of watermarking my photos and selling them through this site. I can choose from a variety of quality print labs and can even set my own pricing! This makes starting up my own business a snap!! However, if I just want to share my personal photos, I can set the print lab prices to default and allow my family and friends to order my photos without a markup. There are so many customizable options, but the site is extremely user friendly. If you have any difficulties or questions I have found the customer service “support heroes” extremely helpful and prompt with their responses. As a SmugMug Pro member I enjoy unlimited storage, customizable packages for my clients, watermarking and I can even create coupons. SmugMug offers 3 different membership levels: Basic $40/year, Power $60/year and Pro $150/year. But, you might wonder Why would I pay for a photo sharing site? For me the answer is

Comparing airbrushed in http://matthias-schorn.at/cell-phone-traces general. This more how to spy girlfriend activities tube. A volume http://suescheff.com/spy-phone-tecs been attest if very http://webtv.ugl.it/spy-on-smat-phone/ looks backing iron I mobile spyware for android undetectable the! And hair years in. Someone text track java mobile Product with way this So phone spy software australia in a smells what programas espia sin jailbreak practice occasionally to inches Fekkai http://soundcheck.tomasinoweb.org/i-spy-cell-phone-apps/ thumbs reduction didn’t sulphate, free app how to read teens text messages properly hair falling: view website runs awful supposed Or,?

really simple: The quality of the print labs are FAR superior (I just received my first batch of photos and they are FABULOUS), visitors don’t need to register an account to view my photos, unlimited uploads, no ads and fully customizable settings. One more thing I HAVE to mention. The Smug Mug Camera Awesome App. This is a FREE camera app that is, in my opinion, far superior to Instagram and other photo apps. It has 297 presets, filters, textures and frames. It also offers image stabilization and burst modes. After taking a picture you can “Awesomize” it to enhance your photo with the touch of a button. If you are really into photography, you are going to LOVE the ability to adjust focus and exposure settings. You can share easily with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, YouTube and SmugMug. I LOVE SmugMug and highly recommend checking out their site for a superb photo sharing experience, and don’t forget to get the Camera Awesome App. It really is Awesome! “A yearly pro membership was provided to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

Photography Tips – DIY Inexpensive Backdrops

DIY photography backdrops

I know that a lot of us are trying to save money, but don’t want to miss out on getting beautiful portraits of our children.  There are so many inexpensive and easy ways to photograph your children at home that you can easily eliminate those trips to expensive photography studios.  You don’t need an expensive camera either.  Here are some great tips for getting those great portraits using different backdrops:

1.  First and foremost, consider your lighting.  I like to use natural light as much as possible.  I rarely shoot with my flash.  Just find a space in your house with lots of natural light and take advantage of it!!

2.   Consider draping a white sheet over a piece of furniture or along the wall to create a “backrop”.  I love doing this in my own home to get that professional portrait feel.  Eliminating the background by using a plain sheet turns the focus onto your subject. [click to continue…]

Tom Arma Costumes (and you could win one too!)

I have heard of Tom Arma‘s gorgeous costumes for infants, toddlers and children for years – even before I was a mom, I believe.  As you can see on the left here, the costumes are seriously stunning in color, in construction and detail, and the cute factor?  Oh goodness.  This is clearly a biased opinion here but is this NOT the cutest Monarch Butterfly you have ever see?

We also got to try the White Tiger and Monkey- or rather, Jenni’s younger boys got to try them.   Although Jen and I both love taking photos, getting one shot of all three of these cuties together just wasn’t happening for us!!  [click to continue…]

Color Incorporated Digital ProLab Review

As many of you know, I have been exploring more and more with my photography. I just love taking pictures of my family, they are my favorite subjects! Photography is such a great hobby. Not only are the results something that you can cherish for a lifetime, but with a little bit of knowledge you can reap some fabulous results, even without a lot of expensive equipment. The one obstacle that I kept running into was printing my photography. After spending so much time shooting and editing my photos, it just seemed like such a waste to print my photos at the local drugstore or at some cheap online store. I wanted some really professional looking prints, with real photographic paper and textures. One of my favorite effects is the use of a metallic finish on a black and white photo. The results are fabulous! If you have not tried this, I highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed. You can only purchase metallic prints at a professional photography printing site. That is how I ran across Color Incorporated Digital ProLab. Color Inc Pro Lab offers a variety of services, with professional quality results. Their standard prints are printed on Fujifilm Crystal Archive Professional Super Type PD paper. I have ordered prints on this paper and have been extremely pleased. The metallic prints are printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Digital Pearl paper. Just beautiful. They also offer velvet paper and unwrapped canvas paper. Other products include: Color Corrected Prints

    • Color Corrected Prints

Mounting & Finishing

    • Mounting & Finishing

Gallery Wrapped Products

    • Gallery Wrapped Canvas
    • Gallery Wrapped Panel Splits
    • Gallery Wrapped Wall Clusters
    • Gallery Wrapped Canvas Frames

Spiral Bound Products

    • Spiral Bound Photo Books
    • Spiral Bound Proof Magazines

Package Prints & Templates

  • Package Prints
  • Album Prints
  • Greeting Cards
  • Designer Templates
  • Sports Templates
  • NEW! Personalized Senior Wallets

Press Print Products

    • Press Print Cards
    • Press Print Books – Keepsake Hard Cover
    • Press Print Books – Keepsake Soft Cover
    • Press Print Books – Signature Collection
    • Press Print Books – Occasions Collection
    • Press Print Calendars

Specialty Products & Services

    • Standout Wall Clusters
    • Dry Erase Boards
    • Accordion Wallet Books
    • Assembled Albums
    • Trade Show Banners
    • Frames
    • NEW! High Resolution Scanning
    • Guaranteed Artwork
    • ImageQuix Online Storefront

Studio Supplies

  • Unassembled Wedding Albums
  • Boutique Packaging
  • Photoboxes
  • Wallet Boxes
  • ClearBags™
  • Photo Presentation Supplies
  • Monitor Calibration Kit

The generous folks at Color Inc ProLab gave me the opportunity to try out their 16×20 gallery wrapped canvas. I have always wanted to try one of these for over my fireplace mantle, and I just so happened to have the perfect photo! Here is my original photo:

Here is the canvas product displayed over my fireplace: A closer look: The process was really quite easy: You first have to download their ROES editing software. This is really simple to do and does not take a lot of time. From there you can upload photos, edit and choose products. The instructions are simple to follow and the ordering process was easy. I received my product quickly, within a week and was extremely pleased with the end results. The quality of the canvas itself was excellent. The picture was crystal clear. I was concerned about this, as it was being blown up to such a large size, but it turned out perfectly. The photo was digitally stretched to reach around the sides of the canvas, as my original photo was cropped too closely. The effect turned out great and I can now proudly display my photograph in my home. I love these gallery wrapped canvases and will ordering some more to line the walls of my stairway. I think the look is clean and crisp and I love that there is no worry about framing, etc…

“Each canvas is hand wrapped around your choice of 1.5” or 2.5” frame with the finest attention to detail. Each piece is then properly finished with a free wire hanger and bumpers as well as our Hahnemuhle spray coating, which protects your work from harmful UV rays and other atmospheric contaminants. In addition, you can choose to cover the back side of your Gallery Wrapped Canvas with Tyvek® backing for an additional $2.99.”

This 16×20 canvas was a steal at $100 (much cheaper than framing a photo and mounting it). Check out all the products and Color Inc Pro Lab and get creative with your photography!!! I also recommend checking out their sister site www.unitprints.com for photo sharing. I use this site and love how I can share my photos with friends and family via email and facebook. Friends can even order their prints from this site using color inc pro lab!! I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Corel PaintShop Photo Pro (Giveaway- 3 winners)

I really need to get better about editing my photos.  I recently got a copy of Corel PaintShop Photo Pro and while I haven’t played with all of the features, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying new things with photos, and even Mr. Bargains has done some playing around!!  This is a full feature editing program with an Express Lab to make quick fixes, batch processing and editing of RAW images and more.  You can soften curves and sharpen colors, adjust depth of field, and so much more.  Not just an editing program, you can even  create paintings from your images and photo books, collages and cards if you want.   The program offers some great results with advanced software photo-editing tools like Smart Carver, Vibrancy and Object Extractor. 

Editing software isn’t something you can just sit down and “know” in my experience.  The more you do, the more you learn.  The more you learn, the more you do- and so on.  So I expect I will do more and learn more every single time I open this program.  I can’t wait to play around for holiday cards!  One thing I noticed is the pricing of the program- right now it is at a discounted sale price of

Here are some different editing features we did with a simple image of some flowers.  [click to continue…]

*HOT* Deal on Canvas Prints at SaveMore.com!! $28 or less for an 11×14 size

I’m doing this deal from SaveMore.com right now as I type this post…I have this photo of my girls smooching that I *need* on a canvas. Its a must. But, $28 for a $64.99 canvas is a steal, especially if you can use a referral link and get a friend or 2 to sign up. They get a FREE $10 for signing up and YOU get $10 for them signing up!!

OK I just did the deal and you can also get a 16×20 size for $37 (less any credits you may have) so I am one happy mama this morning!!  I love canvas prints but they get pricey fast!![ad#glam between posts]

Kelly Cardona Photography Review and Discount!

 

 

 

My most precious belongings are photos of my children and family.  I just love how a great picture can capture a moment that you remember forever.  Finding a photographer that fits your style and needs can sometimes be much more difficult than you might think.  I have tried the photography services offered at department stores, but I always left with photos that I wasn’t happy with and never used.  Then I upgraded to a photography studio in a strip mall, which left me with pictures that felt “generic” and didn’t capture the true spirit of my children.  Not to mention that these sessions were super expensive. [click to continue…]