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Saturday, September 17, 2011

{ Choosing a Photographer } -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

{ Post Production }

Editing photos in post-production is a BIG part of what I do as a photographer. It take a person's photos and turns them into little pieces of art.

I love to pull out colors and contrasts so that you can "feel" textures in the scene. In this particular picture, I actually added a texture to the wall area to bring the roughness of it out even more.

I really believe that a good photographer will spend time with each photo to make sure that it's spot-on. It's what makes a professional photographer's pictures have that extra "pop" that you can't find at a local chain photo studio. It takes it from cookie cutter to personalized.

Here is the before of this photo:

And here is the "after", after it was edited in post-production with Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS4:

Sometimes people question why professional photographers charge more $$$ than local chain studios like JCPenny, Sears or Picture People do and it's because of the extra work that goes into turning pictures into artistic masterpieces. There is no right or wrong--clients can go to studios if they want...but if they want that extra something special, then they should visit a professional photographer and get a piece they can cherish for a lifetime. If they choose a professional photographer.......

It's a choice that is well worth it.

{ Little Girls } -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

{ Dyan Cannon & Paula Abdul } -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

{ The Ultimate Women's EXPO }

I'm so thrilled that I'm practically jumping up and down!

I can finally announce who the keynote speakers are for the Ultimate Women's EXPO in Phoenix on October 22nd and 23rd and who I'll get the opportunity to photograph next month!




{ Commence the jumping up & down }

Monday, September 5, 2011

1 Day Workshop -- Tomorrow Is The Last Chance To Get the Discounted Rate! -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

Tomorrow { September 6th } is the last day to register at the discounted price of $100.00.
After tomorrow, the cost will be $125.00.

I will accept any checks postmarked by September 6th.

Contact me if you're interested!
Alicia : 480-399-3030 /

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

{ Why I Believe That God is Like Photoshop } -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

{ Why I Believe That God is More Like Photoshop Than Lightroom }

I believe that God is a lot more like Photoshop than He is like Lightroom.

Before you think I've fallen off the deep end, let me explain my rationale.

Per the Bible, He spends time counting the number of hairs on our head.
He hand-knit us together in our Mother's wombs. He delicately hand-details everything in our lives and knows us so well that He knows what we're going to say before we say it, where we're going to go, what we're going to do.

He doesn't treat us like a number like or a face in the crowd like when a photographer batch-edits things in Lightroom all at one time. In Lightroom, things usually occur in groups--several at one time. But in Photoshop, a photographer usually edits photos one at a time. The editing process is more personal. The hand of the artist has personally touched each canvas.

That's why I believe He's more like Photoshop than Lightroom, because He meticulously hand-touches each of our lives and sees us individually, one at a time, and not as a face in the crowd.

So yes, I believe that God is more like Photoshop.

That is all.

: )

{ Photoshop & Lightroom Editing -- Saving What Was Lost } -- Mesa, AZ Photographer

{ Can This Picture Be Saved? }

Everytime I approach a photo that's under or overexposed, I ask myself the question, "Can I actually salvage and save this photo?" In the case of the picture above, I was a guest at my cousin's wedding in California. The wedding scene took place near the ocean on top of a beautiful hillside golfcourse and the sun pouring in from behind was in the direct west, meaning a very brightly lit area that was going to shadow anything on the backside of it. { Thus a big reason why the Bride's parents are so poorly lit and underexposed in the picture on the left }

Because I wasn't my cousin's photographer, I did not want to fire my flash and get in the way of the photographer that they had hired for their event, so I shot without a flash. This worked great for the photos that I was able to capture from the back sides of the aisle, but was a nightmare for these shots as they were filing out of the venue. I had originally passed by these photos because I thought they were not salvageable. I thought there was no way to rescue them.

But I love a good challenge!!!!

Thankfully, I shot in RAW, so there was a lot more color information to work with in the first place. I uploaded first to Lightroom 3 and then to Photoshop CS4. Most of this lightening and brightening came in Lightroom 3 though and I'll share how.

Once doing basic edits for color balance and getting skin tones warmed up and a little vignetting set in place, I used these sliders in Lightroom 3:

Fill Light


I then used the Adjustment Brush set to Lightening and lit my picture little by little in the places I need to light and darkened in the places I needed to darken. I then exported to Photoshop CS4 and targeted more areas by lassoing and feathering them and then adjusting the Curves. I ran unsharp mask on the entire photo and then blurred out the background so that the focus was more on the Bride's parents and not the hussle of what was going on behind them.

This is the BEFORE shot:

And this is the AFTER { post Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS4 } :

Voila! I love seeing the Before and After magic that happens when photo editing in post-production. It's like taking something tarnished and covered in soot and bringing out it's beauty. When I was a kid, I used to love helping my Dad polish the tarnished brass pieces we had and it's kind of like the same thing when editing in Photoshop and Lightroom--I get to unearth the beauty that lies deep within a picture, covered by layers of darkness.

SO why I love being a photographer and a photo editor!! : )