Category Archives: Photography Workshop

God Created Woman

God created man in His own image and His beauty He reserved to give to women.

The beauty of women intrigues me to want to photograph women more and more. It’s not just the skin-deep kind of beauty, but the sincerity in the eyes, the  gentle motions of the frame, a formidable spirit and tender heart. 

A woman’s energy is ignited when encountering other women that share similar enthusiasm for life. Iron surely does sharpen iron, a fact proven to me again and again when I am in the company of other women, especial women with entrepreneurial goals who are driven by their enthusiasm to reach them.

My blog post today began a few of months ago in LaConner. I met with some friends that are hair stylists and beauty consultants

Business women don’t only know business, they understand the hearts of young women.

The #LaConnerModelCall started out as a simple idea. One of a fun day of hair, makeup, clothing and photographs. But the transformation wasn’t just of those getting the makeovers, it also tipped the axis a little for those of us offering our services.

On the day of the model call, with the hair salon owner’s permission, I worked with my husband to transform the parking lot of the LaConner Hair Design studio into an outdoor photography party. But then, what I got was not what I expected.

directing and fixing hair
Me in the photography stance

The mother daughter team who own Thavin & Marcob, Rachel & India were originally planning to provide a rack of clothing for trying on but another transformation was happening for them at this time also. Their business would soon be moving to Oak Harbor. Instead of a sample rack, they brought over what they called Brand Awareness Swag-Bags that included outfits for the girls to not only try on, but to keep! That was a huge and generous surprise to everyone. 

Swag Bags from Thavin&Marcob

Every young lady we served that afternoon showed a sense of confidence and radiance once each of them individually received so much personal attention from the hearts and hands that were serving them. 

Many caring for the one. Is that not beauty right there?

What I saw was a renewal of the spirit in not just the girls but in the women offering the services. We all felt the transformations, it was magical.

Beauty holds out a loving hand to serve others, beauty promotes others ahead of itself and beauty creates relationships. I could not have been more impressed at how these budding beauties carried themselves with grace and gratitude.  I could not have been more proud to be involved with all the businesses that came together to create such a fun day full of warmth and care.

Thank you everyone who participated. I hope we get to do this again soon!

Taryn, is confident, cordial and effervescent. Her enthusiasm and happiness were positively contagious! I loved photographing her, she was a natural!
Rachel, another natural in front of the camera. She is a sweet young woman with such an easy going attitude, she’ll be a senior next year and I look forward to getting to photograph her again sometime before she graduates.
Amberly. 2018 high school senior! Contrats! Amberly was smokin’ hot and she totally knew it. In fact, she told us. LOL. She’s wise beyond her years.
Caroline, another 2018 graduate, smart as a whip. Demure and confident track star and future physicist or something smart like that. Congratulations, Caroline!
Ashley, this woman has a heart of gold and gives everyone she meets a warm and wonderful smile. Ebony hair and eyes to match, she has a photographic allure that drew us in, another 2018 graduate. Congratulations, Ashley! You have alot to look forward to!
Eileen, a talented musician and gorgeous young woman yet seemingly unaware of her radiance. Once she felt the energy from the women around her, she was a rockstar! Eileen is also a 2018 graduate.
My ultimate goal in portraiture is to achieve expression and connection with my subject while capturing their images utilizing soft lighting and posing techniques. My inspiration is from the masterworks I used to view as a teenager. I would frequent the Detroit Institute of arts and stare at the works by French artists like William Bouguereau or Jacques-Louis David,  19th Century neo-classic painters. The way their subjects were lit and posed, they look like photographs. 

In Camera Camera Tricks

Photography is my job and sometimes I just gotta have a little fun with my work. Having fun is a necessary component to inspire creativity and the interactive playing with these ideas with other creatives inspires new ideas.

Having watched a youtube video about prisms, I bought a few inexpensive items at the local Hobby Lobby and tried a few refracting in-camera tricks. There were several prism suggestions, I thought I’d just try working on two of them. First I tried a home made prism technique using three mirrors. The mirrors I bought were square, so I didn’t get the depth I needed for the lenses I used (but inexpensive rectangle mirrors were not readily available). Amazingly the square mirrors seemed to work even better with the iphone cameras because the lens on the iphone camera is flush on the camera body and angled for wide shots.

My models were having a field day with the contraption and their iphones and thus I got to be in a few shots, too.


BTS, behind the scene

With the benefit of my studio strobes, Angela angled the shot of me with her iphone to present me in a flattering light. This is a great representation of me because I could use an extra hand and if I could I would probably shoot two handed.


refracting light like a kaleidoscope
refracting light like a kaleidoscope

For my second trick, I used some little sticky “gems” at $2.99 for a strip of them, I wanted to sample how those would refract light. This one is a little trickier because I needed to trigger a strobe at the right distance and angle from behind me while I have the gems at the correct distance to be out of focus and blurry bubbles enveloping my subject. The light needs only skip across the beads to hit a facet or two on the gems, it seemed to work best if the light were pointed away and out. It was just off to the side and behind me. It would have been better if I used live view to see where the gems looked best in the image, but I pretty much always forget that I even have live view on my camera.

Angling light to add boka in camera

Experiment with how close the beads should be to the lens.

in camera boka,
Voila! In Camera Boka!


Pretty fun, huh?  Try it yourself. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s under $10!




Championship Rock Skipping

Earlier this year (hehehe) okay, on January 12th, I was a participant in a live audience for the Creative Live online channel, it was a class called “Incredible Engagement Photography” and the instructor was Mr. Pye Jirsa who also is the creator of the website, “F-Stoppers” 

I truly enjoyed his class, he pulled a lot of his posing instruction from a book I had just gotten at Christmastime, Picture Perfect Posing by Roberto Valenzuela.  (Check out Robertos extremely cool portfoli website here)

It was a tremendous help to be able to participate in a classroom setting and see demonstrated just what the book was describing, When it comes to posing, it’s not obvious in photographs how the pose is achieved and what steps you need to get there because poses are designed to look the most flattering in the way the camera sees, from where the camera is positioned. A good pose to the camera is all about angles, negative space and touch points (and sometimes dumb luck).  All of this knowledge is absorbed over time and lots of practice.

Practice in any craft, be it piano or math or computer programing or photography, it can be a grind. Without practice though, I get off track, I get stuck and feel like I’m in the same place with my photography, not making any real progress. A lot of the time, just “noodling” instead of practicing.

One of the “new” things that I learned from Pye’s class at the Creative Live studio, he walked us through how to create a GIF in Photoshop.  I knew I had several sets of “series” images so I decided last night to put together a couple GIFs.  In order to upload to Instagram or Facebook, the GIF has to be uploaded to a GIF host first, like GIPHY.

However, for my own site, I can just throw it on here, full size – isn’t that fun?

Kinda cool. I think this counts as practice because it’s stretching my skills a bit, using Photoshop, going into areas of Photoshop I didn’t know existed. Hopefully I’ll remember that ⌘+ opt + ⌂ + S = going into the save for web dialog box.

I love the Flipbook looking style of a GIF, it’s very vintage and fun.  Pye taught me how to actually utilize the technique to make interesting and fun “flip books” that clients will love to share with their friends and of course make them say, “oh, fun, who did your photography?” thus causing their friends to all stampede over to my website.

Thanks for stopping by!



At the beach, throwing rocks while it’s still legal.

Backdrop II

In anticipation of the writers conference this weekend, (See this page if you’re interested) I’ve created yet another project for myself. Since I loved how the first canvas backdrop I painted back in March turned out, I am painting another one. I have intended to anyway, but life and time don’t intersect until I force them to. (sorry writers, I know, i shouldn’t end a sentence that way)

The Miller Paint store had a closeout on the Ralph Lauren Matte base paint, only for the dark tint colors, which is great, dark backdrops are what I wanted.  This paint I’m using today is a dusky grey violet base, I think it is making a great base for the canvas. I’ve not yet decided what other colors to blend in, I’ll have to let that come to me while I vacuum.

The canvas is just the canvas drop cloth from Home Depot, 9×6.

I can hardly wait to try it out. Who will be the first to have a sitting in front of this lovely?

DIY Backdrop Painting
Painting a dusky grey violet background for the studio.
DIY Backdrop Painting
Setting out the cloth in the new office area.
Painting Backdrops for the studio
The Ralph Lauren paint was on closeout at the Miller Paint store in Ballard.