Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Photog Play Date

70 degree weather, gorgeous sunset, secluded location, and good friends...
 Love shoot dates with my photog buddy, Liz!
Our girlies are just so cute together...they could have been sisters, don't you think?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Workflow Share!

Went out shooting with a friend the other night and got this adorable shot of her little girl! Unfortunately, the shadow lines on her face just ruined it for me.

Here is  the image straight out of camera:

 I loved how sweet and playful she looked, so I knew it was worth playing around with a bit! A little tweaking in photo shop gave me this final product...

Here are my workflow steps:

1. First I opened a basic curves layer to lighten the overall image and bring up the midtones.

2. Then, I ran Liz Labianca’s “black and white affair” action & made the following adjustments:
[brought up opacity on ‘darken shadows’ layer and ‘brighten midtones’ layer,  tweaked the pop layer, inverted the lighten mask and painted it back on using a low opacity white brush- just over her face.]

3. To get rid of those pesky face shadows was a bit tougher. I  created a new layer from the background (control J) and then took out my burn & dodge tools! I painted over the shadows using dodge at 100%, and then lowered the opacity. I ran this step several times until the shadows were gone. I then took out the burn took and painted back some of the naturally occuring face shadows. I played on this layer for quite some time- tweaking away until her face looked normal. When I was finished  I took the dodge tool one last time and changed the brush size so it just covered the circle between the eyes/nose. One quick click was all she needed to brighten up her face & give her that bright eyed glow!

4. Next I ran a sharpen mask and painted lightly over her eyes, eyebrows,  and those cute hair wispies to really make them pop!

5. Lastly, I ran a new layer and used the burn tool (followed by a small brush over a new sharpen layer mask) to bring back those adorable freckles on her nose that were lost during all of that “dodging”! (I think they are hard to see at this size...but I promise, they are there!)

That’s it!

I flattened my image, added my watermark, and resized it for the web!

Hope you enjoyed my 1st ever tutorial!
Maybe some screen shots, next time?

(Psst...Here is the template for sharing/pinning)

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Last night was absolutely goooorgeous in TX...70 degrees...in January! About 30 minutes before sunset, I decided it was too beautiful to pass up- so Q & I rushed over to one of our favorite locations. Luckily we still had her stolen party balloon in the back of the car...although the "weeds" provided most of the entertainment...

Monday, January 21, 2013


Holy Shmoly- what a day! I am so very humbled...Thank you so very much to Photographer's Connection for choosing my image to be in their Top 10 and to Learn Shoot Inspire for also choosing this image as their "Image of the Day"! 
 I think I'm floating on cloud nine...and I don't ever want to come down!
If you have a second, please check out their pages and show some love to the ridiculously talented photographers who's images blow me away and inspire me daily. I am honestly so grateful and honored to have such talented peers who constantly push me to "try harder" and "be better".
Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Looking Back

So this month over at Rock the Shot, they asked us to look back on the past year and choose our favorite photo. For shutter-happy nuts, like myself...choosing one photo from (literally) thousands is NO easy task.  Add the fact that this past year was the first year of my photography journey and the job becomes even harder!
I decided to take this task seriously and really reflect. I narrowed my favorites down to a handful of photos and then sat with each one for a few minutes. There were several from the beginning of the year that meant a lot to me sentimentally- but I was still learning and, well...let's just say they were "technically lacking" ;-)
I finally chose this photo. It may look like any other cute photo, but this image actually means a great deal to me. This photo shoot was a turning point for me in my photography career.
I remember the day I took this picture. I was trying out a new location, I was paying attention to the lighting...it was the first time that everything really came together for me as a photographer. It was the first time that everything I had learned and had been practicing finally clicked. It was this photo that took me from dipping my toes in the photography pool to diving in, head first!
And so, for that reason alone, it is my favorite image of 2012.
...ok, so maybe the cutie pie in the picture doesn't hurt either! 
Head on over to www.rocktheshotforum.com to see some other amazing submissions...you will be blown away!

Sicky Boo-Boo

Today we had a full blown "sick day" at our house. Mommy sick, Q sick, and Daddy out of town. (boo!)

As the universe would have it- sick mommy wants to lay on the couch while sick toddler wants to act like a crazy maniac. 

I went to extreme lengths to keep this little nutty buddy entertained...including letting her go to town on our playroom chalk wall...luckily chalk is easily removed from floors, couches, toys, skin, pajamas, and all other non-chalkboard surfaces. 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snow Day

Q's very first snow day.

{She was not impressed.}

...and yes, we had a "hat change". 


P.S. Looking for an AMAZING snow overlay? Look no further! The first photo on this post was processed with  Liz Labianca's Pixie Dust Snow Action.

© JJM Photography