Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jessica's Type+Writer Class

I can't believe I almost didn't register for this class. It is amazing! I was a little hesitant that the focus would be primarily on writing. I wasn't so sure it would be the class for me. It's so much more than I expected! We're learning about typography, creative writing, and other photoshop tricks all while creating layouts. This is so worth going without sleep! I was just telling Kiahna that anything Jessica sells, I am buying!!!! Here are a two layouts I've made so far.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blessings from Blogging

If you haven't heard about about Stephanie Nielson (NieNie) and her husband Christian, you really must check this story out. Almost a month ago the couple was in a terrible plane crash and severely burned. They are both in medically induced acomas in Arizona. Stephanie has an amazing blog that I've been reading. She inspires me to be a better mom and has an amazing testimony. The blogging world has come to their aid raising money for their medical bills. The family updates Nies's blog almost daily and you can go to her sister's blog to receive updates as well.There is also a blog set up for their recovery efforts and design mom has posted a list of live auctions. There is some pretty cool stuff to bid on in which all proceeds go to the Nielson's. What amazing blessings have come out of the blogging world!

Here are the links:
Nie Nie's blog
Her sister's blog
Clip of the family on the Today Show 9/9/08

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jen, Kiahna, and Priscilla's Adventure

At the end of July, I get a phone call from Kiahna that a lady from her ward wants to talk to me about shooting her daughter's wedding. They hadn't found a photographer and there was only a month before the wedding, they were a bit frantic. I nervously accpeted the job. Because of my experience with the photographer I had assisted (won't go in to that), and the fact that I would be shooting at the San Diego temple in the mid-day sun (the worst possible time to shoot) my confidence was less than perfect.  Kiahna cheered me on, offered to be my assistant, reminded me that I had just learned some amazing things from Candice, had some crazy photoshop skills, and told me we could do this. Priscilla was an added bonus and in need of some mommy time and joined in the fun.I couldn't have been happier with the reuslts and they were the perfect couple to photograph! It was a total challenge finding the right places to shoot in the funky sun, but I figured it out. For LDS standards, this was a pretty swanky event. Instead of a CA. reception, the family hosted a luncheon at the Sheraton Marina Hotel. Was I in the right element? So now I have a website that is under construction and a new blog. I'd love to conquer the LDS wedding market in CA. (hehehe). So here is the link to my new blog: 

Feel free to check it out and say "hi!". On my blog, I have two slide shows with about eighty photos between them and I have about 600 more to edit. Editing is the fun part where I put these mad photoshop skills to use.  I never really intended to start a business, but it'll be great extra money on the side. I have already began negotiations for a few more weddings and have had people call me out of the blue asking for family photos and Christmas card designs. I think I am going to be very busy in the near future.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Spraground Gang Tutorial

Some girls on the Spraground were nice enough to include my in their tutorial gang. Just a group brushing up on their photoshop skills while trying to learn some new tricks as well. I was sent a tutorial on extracting an object from a photo. I feel like I haven't scrapped in ages, so here is the LO I made with a photo extraction...Nick's 1st Day of 3rd grade.

Credits:K.Christensen & D.Tope collab kit Olde Skool(pprs. recolored), font-Century Gothic

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Awesome Weekend at CPR San Jose

I almost didn't make this amazing weekend! Our van has been broken and I couldn't leave Damian without a vehicle. My super dad came to the rescue and told me to take his car. Thanks Dad! I need to thank my sugar momma as well. She paid for me to attend and wouldn't take no for an answer.

So my adventure begins a few months back when I ran into my friend Melissa. Melissa used to be my client when I was a massage therapist for Dr. Herrera (my college job while studying to teach). Melissa mentored me when I got my first teaching job. A few years later, we discovered we both shared a love for photography and scrapbooking. We'd scrap together occassionally at our local scrapbook store. So anywho, I ran into her, as usual, at the scrapbook store and we both began talking about CPR and decided to go together. I also want to out Melissa! She has taken Jessica's online classes. She doesn't participate on the message boards, but she lurks frequently. Her friend Mary attended as well. Mary is the life of the party I tell ya! I think we convinced her to try digi scrapping at the Spraground. Come to the dark side Mary!

I arrived in San Jose late Thursday night. I will never drive late at night alone ever again!! I thought for sure that I was going to die from falling asleep behind the wheel. Damian talked to me on the phone the entire drive up North. I missed Lisa Bearnson and the kickoff bash (bummer!), but I was just happy to be there safe (at 1:30 a.m.)!

On Friday, I registered and received an AMAZING goody bag! A scrapper's dream of goodies!

We had Erin Manning's class first. Loved her! She talked a lot about shooting in natural light and looking for natural frames. I left a few minutes early to get a good seat for Candice's class. I was eager to meet her. I hope I didn't scare her! I was a worried that her class might have a lot of the same things we learned in her Oh Shoot! class. She did not dissapoint, lots of new stuff! She took us outside to discuss lighting. The buzz from all the attendees was she was one of the faves (I am not surprised!). She is a natural teacher and super nice!

We met up with JenInSF for lunch! She is awesome and a kindred spirit! We hit it off immediately and ended up having some classes together. I love making new friends!

We also had our class with Skye Hardwick. Holy cow! She is an inspiring and amazing children's photograper! She gave us tons of ideas about using our pictures to tell stories! She lives in California now and I am tempted to set up a session with her.

We finished the day with Renee Pearson. Lots of great photoshop techniques. Some I already knew how to do, some that she took a different approach to (which is good), and some that are completely new to me. WOOHOO! Renee is really animated and super friendly. I throughly enjoyed the time with her!

Saturday began with Nicole Hill's Child's Play class. Wow! She had tons of great ideas/strategies on how to play with kids while shooting them. Definitely a plethora of good ideas to use with my own kiddies! I left a few minutes early (again!) to get to Jessica's class. I did not want to sit in the back for this one!!

As Melissa, Mary, and I waited in line outside the door to Jessica's class. Every attendee on their way out kept saying this was the BEST class! Of course it would be, it's Jessica! Melissa and I, the big dorks that we are, took jessica a birthday present, hometown favorites Smith's cookies and DeWar's Chews. She is just as adorable as her pictures and exactly how I imagined her. It's weird meeting someone you know, but you don't know. I am not one to be star struck, but I must admit I was! Meeting someone that has taught me something I love and is important to me makes me a bit emotional. I was proud of myself that I didn't cry when I met her. I really thought I would! Well, her class rocked as I had expected!!! Did you know you can open a jpg and edit it in RAW (insert choir of angels singing)? Wow! She explained her whole process(workflow) while editing in RAW. I would've paid the $500.00 just to take hers and Candice's class!Jessica was nice enought to take a picture with me and Melissa.

We met up with Jen again for lunch and had the next class with her as well. We had the still life class with James Ransom. What a great guy! He's a little soft spoken, but we were all captivated with what he had to share. It was definitely the quietest class of the weekend. Everyone was such a good listener (no chatty Cathy's in this class). He went over his workflow with us and discussed with us how we could apply shooting still life to scrapping. He also gave us great technical tips!

Our last class was with Brian Smith. He is right, flash is not a dirty word! I consider myself a natural light photographer. There are times when flash is necessary and he gave us the best tips! Honestly, this was one of my favorite classes! A few people in the earlier sessions were a bit bummed out as there were a ton of beginners in some tracks and it sucked up a lot of his teaching time. He didn't get to finish some of the material he had hoped to cover with them. On a side note, the number of beginners there was my only complaint about the event. The same people kept asking the same questions. I was under the impression this was an event for the intermediate photographer. I think the one thing CPR should consider is having a beginner's track. Oh, and the lady with the baby, I thought no kiddies were allowed at the event? Well, anywho, Brian rocked and covered everything he had hoped to share with us. He taught us about fill flashes (how and when to use them) and Slow Synch flashes. Slow Sync flash is my new cool favorite trick! Basically, you use the flash to freeze your subject, but not the background. Check out Mary and Melissa!

For the next few hours, there were shoot stations throughout the hotel. We met up again with JenInSF and decided to join Erin Manning out by the pool. It was so awesome to pick her brain. She taught us more about shooting in backlit situations and how to achieve rim lighting. We had a blast with her. Here's what we shot.

This was an awesome experience and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go and improve my skills! A chance of a lifetime in my book! Since Ali Edwards had cancelled, Melissa, Mary and I decided it would be best if we hit the road early. I was eager to get home to Jack. It was his birthday Saturday. We said our goodbyes to our new friend JenInSF and dined at Burger King. I arrived home just before 11:00 In time to kiss my sleeping birthday boy. Those of you going, you will love it!! I can't wait to start scrapping my expereince! TTFN!