Category Archives: photography

Appeasing Freckles

This past weekend, we hung an old chandelier that came from my parents’ dining room that I made pretty  for our bedroom, and after it was up and lit and decidedly not going to burn the house down, I decided the rest of the room needed a little makeover, too. I hit the computer, pulled up all of our engagement, wedding, and trash the dress photos, picked about 20 of my faves and turned them black and white, then uploaded them to Walgreens to have printed as 8×10’s.

Later that day when I went to pick them up, the cashier lady was a tiny little thing, she couldn’t have been taller than 5 feet and had sparkly eyes and a pretty smile. When I gave her my name, she lit up and became super chatty and started saying things like, “beautiful wedding!” and “amazing photos!” and was asking me all about the wedding and jumping in the ocean with our wedding duds on. And I’ll admit it was a lot of fun reminiscing. After our chat, I left with a smile and my photos in hand, I hit up the dollar store for a bunch of frames and mirrors, and hung them all when I got home.

Only, after they were all hung, I took a step back I realized they looked kinda…. vanilla.

Meh. There was way too much empty space on the wall that was screaming at me for more. So I went back to the computer, again, chose a couple dozen of my favorites, again, uploaded them to Walgreens, again, and the next morning I went to pick them up and do it all over – again. And this time when I got to the photo counter, there was a different cashier, a younger guy with moppy hair and freckles as far as the eye could see. I gave him my name and as he was grabbing the envelope with my photos he asked if I took the pictures myself or if they were done by a photographer. I was flattered that he not only thought I could take such amazing photographs, but that I could take amazing photographs of myself in the ocean from 100 feet away. I may rock a mean camera phone photo once in a while but I’m not that good. So I told him that we had them taken by a friend of ours, a photographer friend, and I waited for a repeat of the praise of the beautiful pictures I had gotten from the sweet lady the very day before. Only he started speaking another language that I had never heard before where ‘beautiful’ sounded more like copyright and ‘wedding’ sounded more like you can’t have these photos.

He said I needed a photo contract to pick up my pictures, little jerk all doing his job the right way and stuff. Where was that sweet little lady when I needed her? Lucky for me I had a signed contract at home and also lucky for me my hubs is super organized otherwise I’d be buried alive under my basement stairs and a pile of papers right now still looking for a contract we signed almost 2 years ago. So I went home, again, grabbed the contract, went back to Walgreens, again, and gave Freckles what he needed to hand over my pics to me. And finally my photo wall is complete.

I don’t remember when I had first been told to make a contract up for the rights to the photos but thank goodness I listened otherwise Walgreens would currently be the proud owners of 2 dozen pictures of my mug. Having a friendor as our photographer made it very easy to have all right and photographs signed over to us, he had no problem with any of that and while I’m not sure if a non-friendor photographer would be as quick to surrender any and all rights, if you need a starting point, this is our contract that was all copyright inclusive:

for an editable Word doc, click here —> Right of Photo Ownership Contract

Right of Photo Ownership Contract

1)      This agreement constitutes an order for portraiture services, including the taking of pictures, as agreed to by all parties:



and the below assigned photographer from: _____________________________ (Company if applicable),

on this ___ day of _________, 2012.


2)      Unless otherwise specified, it is understood that any and all rights including editing, printing, duplication, distribution and all other copyright ownership entitlements and privileges regarding proofs, final, sample prints, DVD’s, or any other media in connection with this event thereof, shall remain the property and authority of the above mentioned parties excluding the assigned photographer(s) and/or affiliated company and may not be used for advertising display, or any other purpose, without express written consent.


3)      We, the undersigned involved parties, hereby warrant that we are competent to contract in our own names. We confirm that we have read the herein agreement prior to its execution, and we are fully familiar with the contents thereof. This agreement shall be binding upon us, our heirs, legal representatives, and assigns. We verify that we have received a complete copy of this agreement with all blank lines completed.



Print                                                         Sign                                                          Date



Print                                                         Sign                                                          Date



Print (Photographer Assigned)          Sign                                                          Date


Please feel free to copy this if you need it! Have you ever run into resistance trying to print professional pictures without a contract in hand?


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Photoshop Tutorial

So I wanted to show you all something…remember this picture from my TTD post not too long ago?

Looks like we had the beach all to ourselves, right? Wrong. This was the original picture…

Boats, buoys, swimmers…we were definitely not alone. Scott and I had typed up a release of rights for our photographer who also happens to be a good friend (so we knew he wouldn’t object). Basically it gave us full rights to the pictures – free reign to legally edit, copy and reproduce our photos. And here’s how I made the public beach our private oasis in Photoshop 3.0 .

Open the picture and click on the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’…

Next, zoom in close and draw a box around the water right next to what you want to hide. Make your box similar in size to the object you’ll be covering. Sorry, the box is kinda hard to see in this picture but look just right of the boat…

Click Edit /Copy, then Edit /Paste (or ctrl+c, then ctrl+v). This will create a new layer with just your square that you copied from the picture.

Go back to your picture layer and change the opacity so you can see the new box/layer through it.

Select your new layer on the right so it’s your drawing layer.

Select the ‘Move Tool’ (little arrow with the cross looking thingy on the left) and drag your new box over what you want to cover.

Go back to your picture layer and change the opacity back to 100% so your picture looks like this…

Next you want to smudge the box you made to blend in with the main picture. I like the ‘Mode’ set at ‘Normal’ and the ‘Strength’ at 25%.

Um…..what boat?

I repeated the process over and over to cover everything and make us our own private beach picture. I also found that this process is very easy when using pictures with water because it blends very well.

So we went from this to that…

And how dare this woman try to grow out of Scott’s arm. Photoshop to the rescue!…

Good luck!

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Nachos Nuptials: Wedding Day – Winging It (pt 2)

As we made our way down to the pool area, we had no idea what was in store for us (and nothing screams class like a bride and groom with beer cans).  


We met up with our families who had grabbed a few tables for some food…  


We ordered some food and while we waited for it to come (island time can be slooooooooow) we headed over to the pool…with it being Carnival time in St. Thomas, the hotel just so happened to be having a Carnival night of their own! We honestly did not know this would be going on, and how lucky for us that it was on our wedding night! Seriously, we could not have planned a better reception if we had tried. We did a lot of dancing with the little ones…  


And then the real festivities began! We sat back and watched…  


Out came a dancer that lit the ground and ate fire. Seriously, a fire-eater at our wedding party!!…  




It was really amazing! Then our food arrived and we stuffed each other’s faces.  



Once we were full, we went back over to the pool where the festivities were in full force. A woman went out into the crowd and had everyone gather around.  


She taught us all a dance that we were supposed to follow and I’m really happy there are no pictures of me trying to keep up! The dance got really fast and my lack of coordination skills should still be fresh on your minds from the steel pan lesson. We did get this great shot of Sharon’s husband shaking his thang, though…  


Mmmm, I loves me a good blackmail photo. The kids also got in on the action and made a friend in the process…    


After a bit of dancing, we headed back to the table and were greeted by the sweetest couple that we had met the day before when they got married.    


And guess what? They brought us their cake topper because they knew we hadn’t gotten one!    



It was so sweet of them!!! And although we hadn’t planned anything, especially anything resembling a traditional reception, I am very happy to have these pictures…    



After cake, we hit the pool again for some more entertainment.    


The dance crew had the crowd form a conga line around us which was just too much fun…    



And along came a Mocko Jumbie that we got to walk under…    



I was then singled out with a few other onlookers and told to sit in a chair…    


I had no idea what was going to happen next, and then this guy snuck up behind me…    



I had so much fun! We took a few pics with the crew…    



When the excitement died down, those of us donning Cubs gear took a picture. Hey, you can take the fans out of Chicago, but you can’t take the Chicago out of the fans…    


And since I had a garter, we decided to do one thing the traditional way…    


We all stayed well into the night and lived it up by dancing, laughing and celebrating.    


Our fellow wedding buddy and her family stuck around to celebrate with us…    


And more than once, random people asked to take pictures with me. We’ll just say these people are my super distant aunt and uncle twice removed (though I honestly I have no idea who they are)…    


All photos courtesy of Blair’s Eye View Photography    

We ended up having the best wedding reception I could have ever imagined, all without planning a thing. I can honestly say I had never been to a reception with fire eaters, stilt walkers, and free cake! How’s that for spontaneity?    

Up next: trash the dress!    

And in case you missed it…    

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Blair’s Eye View

You saw the wonderful pictures that our good friend Blair Stoehrmann (aka Sherman) took of us for our engagement photo shoot…

He is amazing with his camera and has such a great eye for detail. I am so excited to have him join us for the wedding as our friend because he is such a sweet, fun guy and we’re happy he can be there with us for our wedding.

Ok, I’m not gonna lie, I’m also excited to see what he captures on film (no pressure, Shermy)! He has a creative ability to capture great moments and freeze them in time in a photograph. And I love how all of his pictures tell a story. He just started up a website that is still in the very early stages, and a little birdy told me that one of our e-pics is gonna be on the home page 🙂

Here are some of my favorites he’s taken along the way…

That’s Mr. Nachos in mid flip in a bouncy tent

That’s me on the left trying to stay upright in the bouncy tent 🙂

I wish I was this good with a camera. I can’t wait to see the pics he takes when we get married!

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Engagement Photos pt 2 – The Good Pics

I just realized that I posted the good pics all over Facebook but not on here for my WordPress buddies. Here are a select few that Scott and I loved and we got great feedback from…




DSC_9747 bw




Such a fun day. I’m really happy we decided to take these and thanks again to Shermy, the bestest photographer in the whole world!

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Engagement Photos – What Not to Do

Up until this weekend, engagement photos were not on our to-do list. I’ve seen lots of cheesy ones out there and really didn’t see a need for them. However, the wedding blog-stalker that I am got the best of me when I was looking through other people’s pics. Some of the photos that I saw were really amazing and I realized that the only pictures Scott and I had together were in bars. Fun, but not terribly professional….

Me with BeerScott with BeerNot exactly pics you could put in the local paper. Since the weather was so nice, we grabbed our Shermy and hit the beaches of Lake Michigan.

It started out a little awkward staring into each others eyes while strangers were walking by and our good friend Sherman was taking pics, but it definitely got a lot more fun as the afternoon went by. When we were satisfied with taking pics on every possible surface of that beach, we headed home, put the pics on the computer and began critiquing. Our facebook friends have seen the best of the best, and now I’m going to share what not to do (this is absolutely nothing against our amazingly fantastic photographer, it’s completely about what we did wrong as amateur models)…..

Molesting your FianceAs much fun as it is, don’t molest your fiance during your photo shoot.

Sticking out TonguesFunny faces. Not so funny. ‘Nuf said.

ShadowsTry to be cognizant of where the light is so you don’t end up with nose shadows…

Bird Shadow…or creepy bird shadows on your arm.

Not my best angleKnow your better angles…apparently I’m not the most graceful when skipping rocks.

Give me AngryAnd when your photographer is joking around and says “give me angry”, don’t actually do it.

This was definitely a learning experience and when they say it’s a chance to get comfy in front of the camera, they’re not kidding! We had such a blast yesterday and I truly can’t wait to see what Sherman does for us at the wedding.

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First Look Photos

I know I’ve said it before but I spend A LOT of time looking at wedding blogs and inspiration online. I think Scott is the only person that has even an inkling of how much I wedding-blog stalk. Anywho, now that we’ve established my level of crazy, I have to say that up until now, I’ve never been huge into wedding photography and usually skip past anything wedding photographer-related unless the pictures are really, truly amazing things I’ve never seen before; however, there’s something about first look photos that get me every time. So here I sat, reading blogs today and I found myself tearing up at my desk when I saw these (could have been the pictures with a little added PMS but bear with me) – photos taken the first time the bride and groom get to see each other on the wedding day. Here are a few pics that would have made me cry like a baby if I was at home…luckily for Scott, this time I wasn’t…

This picture is just too sweet…

first look

Amy and Stuart Photography


And I love the look on his face in this one…..

First Look 2

Ira Lippke Studios


This one was part of a series and just makes me happy…..

Heather Leggett Photography(source)

I love his giggly smile…..

first look 4


It looks like she just melted in his arms….

first look 5

Lindsey Little Photography


This reminds me of playing hide and seek when I was little…..

first look 6

Dave Brosha Photography


There’s something about photos that capture that first moment of the bride and groom seeing each other that just makes me teary. It’s just such a sweet romantic moment and I’m definitely a sucker for romance! I can’t imagine how I’m going to react when it’s my turn, especially considering the fact that pictures of total strangers can make me cry like a little girl. I get a little flutter of excitement and nervousness in my stomach thinking about seeing Scott on our wedding day for the first time. It makes me giggly thinking about the look on his face when we catch our first glance of each other, it’ll be a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

….great, now I’m all ferclemped. Tissue please!

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