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Roses love Sunshine, Violets Love Dew- Hunterdon County, NJ Maternity Photographer

Gosh, Where do I even begin with this one?  This abundantly beautiful mother to be was a co-worker of mine in my 9-5 life.   For several years, we anxiously awaited her announcement that she was expecting.  She was but a newlywed when she came to us, so our “gentle nudging” was all in jest but we were certainly looking forward to it.   She’s such a stunning beauty to begin with, I just knew that radiant glow of pregnancy would set her off like none other.

When the day finally came, we were all elated.  And, of course, I couldn’t resist demanding  requesting to do her maternity and newborn photos.   I went on maternity leave before her belly really showed up, so I missed all the fun times in the office watching her grow into this new phase of life.   But, when she arrived for her maternity session, she took my breath away.   She was every bit as lovely as I had imagined she would be.

She chose a purple off the shoulder ruffle gown from my client wardrobe, and also brought along a ruby red stunner as well.   Of course, we could expect this saucy Peruvian goddess to bring her own spicy flair!    We had so much fun with her session and I was thrilled that her husband came along for the ride and got in on some photos too!  I love when the dad’s to be join in.  This is a time to celebrate both of them as they prepare for their new roles as “Mom and Dad”.

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A Day in Our Life- Warren County, NJ Child Photographer

One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to take the time to capture my own family more frequently.  With my real camera. Not my phone.  All too often, it is so easy to just lift that palm sized camera while scrolling Facebook and grabbing a quick snap.  But, sadly, those photos don’t print all that well and with my sweet littles always on the move, I don’t always catch the moment before it’s gone.   I’m hoping to stay on track with printing these and putting them in an actual photo album for them to look back on over the years.   My last trip home, I brought back a photo album and a box of photos from my childhood.  It was amazing to look back on those memories and to see so much of my children’s faces in my own and in the faces of my loved ones.

This was a random Thursday morning.  My middle child is currently obsessed with her Elsa PJs.  My oldest child couldn’t be less interested in clothes.  And my youngest is still in that “lump on a log” stage.  (but not for long…she’s 6 months old as of the day these were taken! )   The kids were playing in the dining room when I started skulking around the house with my camera.   My son was crushing kinetic rocks, while sitting on top of the dining table, naturally.   My daughter disappeared into her room, where I found her making me all sorts of delicious food in her kitchen.   The next thing I know, we were having a full on photo shoot day!  Both of the older kids got their cameras out.   My son focused his attention on capturing me or the dog…whomever was the most amicable subject at the time.  My daughter, clearly on her way to being a newborn photographer, started snapping photos of her doll in the stroller.    Meanwhile, the baby kicked and babbled in the crib watching us with wide eyes.   I can already see the love of this art forming for her as well.

As you can tell…this was all so spontaneous that my daughter’s room is a mess.  And that’s ok.  That’s real life.   One day, I’ll miss the toys and the footie PJs strewn across the floor.   And lucky for me… I’ll have this day to return to again…when my babies were content to take photos, crush rocks, and make their mama yummy plastic snacks.

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Field of Love- Phillipsburg, NJ Family Photographer

This mama is a dear friend of mine.  She was one of the first women to reach out to me when we moved to Phillipsburg a couple of years ago and has been a saving grace for me too many times to count.  Whether it’s watching my kids so I can shoot a session, or coming over to have coffee and make sure I’m not losing my sanity, or accompanying me on photo shoots as my assistant…she’s definitely building up some good karma points.

We did her 4th and last baby’s newborn session a couple of years ago and decided it was time to update the family album and get the whole crew in front of my lens.   This was a gorgeous day… late October, warm afternoon, cool breeze.  And they all showed up looking like they belong on the cover of a magazine.

Her girls are not only beautiful, but such sweet helpers to each other, their mother, and others.  I had to tote along my little lady (she was about 2 months old at the time) and the big girls did such a wonderful job of entertaining her while I got all the individual shots.

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Holiday Mini Sessions *closed* NJ Portrait Photographer

I’m excited to announce that I have opened up booking for Holiday Minis! This year, I ‘m even more pleased to announce that 10% of each session will be donated to NJ Farmers Against Hunger. This is an amazing organization that allows farms to donate their extra produce to those in need. Please contact me ASAP to book your date as slots will go quickly!

October 28th and 29th
Rain Date: November 4th and 5th

 

 

Holiday  Mini Sessions NJ Photographer Family sitting in tree farm

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Sleeklens Photoshop Actions Review, NJ Portrait Photographer

It’s a pretty amazing feeling when a company reaches out to YOU and asks you to review their product.   I didn’t quite realize that I had hit that point in my career.  But, lo and behold, I recently received an email from Sleeklens asking me to review a pack of their Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions.

Now, I don’t use Lightroom in my retouching workflow, but I do use Photoshop so I jumped at the chance to try out some new actions.   While I do a lot of hand editing, I have a few actions that I love to use as a part of my basic workflow just for efficiency.

When I first opened the Portrait Perfection Photoshop Actions, and started to play around, I noticed that they were a little inconsistent with the prompts.    Some actions would just run, while some would provide prompts for how to use them.   This isn’t a problem if you are an experienced user of actions, but a beginner may feel a little lost on some of them.

Two points of contention, for me, were the actions that ran and flattened with no ability to adjust the opacity or mask off of the subject.  These actions are a lot more intense than I prefer for my editing style so I like to have a little more control over them.

I tend to go for a lighter and airier look for my studio work and these feel little more intense than I usually go for on newborns, but I’m excited to use these for my outdoor fall sessions.  There are some great easy processes included that can really make those outdoor sessions pop.

I really love the Light Glow and Enhance Tones packs in this workflow.   There is a lot of freedom in these sets to play around and adjust the opacity to your liking.    The Bases are good to create consistency in your images.  However, I recommend going light with the opacity and brushing off of your subject.

Here is a Before and After of an image I took last year.  In this image, all I’ve done in the edited version outside of the actions is clone out a few gnats from the girl.   As you can see, the final image is fairly warm but for a session like this…it works.

Actions used:  Portrait Retouch Fast Retouch- Skin smoother from “Eyes, Skin, Teeth”,   Enhanced Tones in “Autumn Love” and brushed off of the subjects at reduced opacity, and Light Glow in “Sunny”.

BandA Julia

My final notes on this product… If you’re a beginner to actions, this may feel a little cumbersome. But, the people at Sleeklens are really nice and there are a lot of videos available for how to use them.    If you’re an experienced actions user, you’ll find this easy to use.  I will definitely be looking more into Sleeklens’ product line and hope to use them again!

Thank you to Sleeklens for the opportunity to review their product!   I did not receive any compensation for this review.   I did receive the actions in exchange for my honest review.  These opinions are mine and based on my experience with the Sleeklens actions set.