Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 4: Green

Day 4 adds a little color into the mix by throwing in the theme of GREEN!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 3: Clouds

We all like the fluffy white clouds painted on a backdrop of deep blue sky, but when it comes to a dull overcast grey canopy, sometimes we don't appreciate it as much.

Isn't it great to know that no matter how blurry our future looks or how sad a situation may be, our God is right beside us, offering encouragement to us if we will accept his love?  

So don't complain about the clouds, because with grey skies come life giving rain.  

The darker times in our lives make the sunshine that much more valuable to us.

P.S. For you photography folks, this is the first time I think I have ever posted SOOC pictures.  I just liked them how they were, no touch-up needed at all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 2: What you wore today.

So, day 2 of the challenge is somewhat boring.  The challenge was to take a picture of what I wore today.  I did my best to make it interesting. 

(I so wish I would've been wearing a tux or something like that today! :o)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New 30 Day Challenge!

So, awhile ago I did a 30 day photography challenge to stretch my camera know-how and I enjoyed it so much, that I have been looking forward to doing another one for a long time!

So starting today, I will be posting at least one picture a day for 30 days in a row.

However, this challenge will be a bit more difficult, seeing as I can't take just any picture, I have to go by a pre-decided list of subjects/themes.

So the first day was one of my least favorite things to do....self portraits.  I tease that I became a photographer just so I could stay behind the camera, but it is kind of true! :o)

I have a hard time giving a real smile even though I can coach just about anyone else into giving me their best grins.

So here goes the first day of the challenge.

Self Portraits!

Of course, with the advantage of having a studio, I also had some fun props sitting around and just couldn't resist grabbing a few less-than-serious photos. :o)

Check back every day to see a new post! (At least by midnight :o)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gellos Family Update

We got a few updated family pictures for my sister and her family while I was down in Pensacola and I thought I would share a few of them with you.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Product shoot

Okay readers, I need your help!  I have never done a product shoot before, so when some friends asked me to do a preview shoot for their handmade soaps, I was pretty excited.

So what I need you to do, is look through this post and tell me which pictures are your favorites, the ones that really catch your eye and make you want to buy the product. :o)

Leave your responses in the comment section below and thank you in advance for your opinion!



These last two pictures are thrown in as a bonus lesson for all you photographers that are trying to learn more about your camera.

If you haven't learned what aperture is and how it affects the picture, research it online and figure out how to adjust it on your camera.

Here is the difference that aperture can make.  Both pictures were shot within seconds of each other, same lighting, same distance, same everything except for the aperture setting on my camera.

The first picture was shot at f/22 the second picture was shot at f/1.4
  Now picture putting a portrait subject in front of these amazing soft lights!  Awesome, right?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Canvas Review

Hey folks!  I have a few people ask me about good places to order canvas wraps from, so I decided to do a personal review of the four companies that I have ordered prints from so far.  

If you have printed from a company that I don't list and you love them, please share with the rest of us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your likes and dislikes!

If you have never printed a canvas wrap, I would encourage you to do so.  The quality of fine art is available  for displaying your favorite photos.  Once you print a canvas, you will fall in love with it!

So we will start with my first canvas print that I ever did.

I printed this engagement picture for my sister and her husband from the company that I use to print all the pictures from my proofing site.  Mpix does a great job and I couldn't be more happy with the quality of the print.  The canvas print was smooth and the color was vibrant, the wood stretcher frame was strong and well built.  It did not come with mounting hardware.  Shipping was fast and the packaging was superb for ultimate protection during shipping.  The price was not bad, but wasn't the lowest available of these sites. (

This next canvas was printed by Canvas4Life. (

The finish is amazing in detail with a nice flat texture with no shine whatsoever.  The cost was very reasonable due to an online coupon/deal I combined with my purchase.  Processing and shipping was fast.  

The frame is sturdy, and clipped together at the corners with small plastic inserts.  No mounting hardware was included with this print.  The corner folds on the canvas are pretty clean and straight over. 

This wedding picture was printed by Canvas People (

Once again, the price was pretty cheap because I got a coupon to use for the purchase.  The processing and shipping wasn't bad but it wasn't amazingly fast.  The finish had a gloss that is a bit too shiny for me. You can't really see it in this picture, but any light source gives a shine off of it that makes a distracting sparkle on the picture.

The corners are glued together and the frame is sturdy.  I didn't like how the corners of the canvas were folded to create a diagonal line at every corner, but maybe I am just being picky.

For mounting they sent this small metal clip for you to insert into the wood frame wherever you want.  You can get an idea of the size of the clip by the staple next to it.

The last company that I ordered for my studio prints from is called Simply Canvas. (

I loved the quality of the prints they sent me, every detail of the photo was perfect.  The processing and shipping was not super fast, but they sent details via email of every step that was happening and when it was happening for the order.  Unfortunately, the website is not made for the average consumer, so you have to figure out how to use their free downloadable pro lab software.  For you professional photographers, this place is great once you figure out how to place an order!

The frames were very clean and sturdy.  Also, they were sanded down smooth to touch. (I like those little details)   The corners were folded completely flat and crisp.

The mounting hardware was already installed upon delivery which made it easy to hang up right away.  I also like using a cable because you can level a picture very quickly with it.  The price was a bit higher then some, but I found a first time discount code that took the price down to unbelievably low for what I ordered.

In review, I would list these sites in this order:
In the end, you get what you pay for, and these prints were perfection in every sense of the word.  I couldn't find anything I didn't like about the prints and the customer service was a joy to work with.

2. Mpix
I will always love the fast shipping and super secure packing that Mpix provides and the top notch quality products they produce.  They also have one of the best return programs available if anything happens to your print during shipping or printing.

For being a lower budget printing service, they did an excellent job and shipped quite fast.  I would say that the print could have had a bit of a better protective coating and the corners could have been a bit cleaner.

They did a good job of printing the details and the price was great, however I wasn't impressed with the corner folds or the ultra shiny protective coating that was applied.  (You may be able to order without that coating.)

Remember, these opinion s are just my own thoughts, and you may like one or the other for different reasons.  If you have had experience with any of these companies or any other canvas companies, please share with us the good, bad and the ugly in the comment section below!

I hope this has been informative and helpful to all my friends who enjoy fine art.

God bless and I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The LaBate Family

I had good time last Saturday shooting family pictures up in northern Indiana for the LaBate family.  They are such a joy to be around and even though it got a bit chilly later on in the day, it was for the most part a beautiful day for a walk in the woods!

Not sure if this is a group hug, or the death grip, but at least they are smiling! :o) 


I was so happy that Emily was able to come along to help out with the shoot.  She is becoming a pro at cleanly switching lenses!

I can honestly say, this is the first time I have ever done a "picture frame" shot.  And I loved it!

Expressing "JOY"! :o)

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