Friday, February 24, 2012

Insta-iPhonography 2.24.12

When my point and shoot camera decides not to work (which is more often than not), I turn to my iPhone to capture the little things in my life.

As usual, I am behind on posting my iPhone photos here, so you get another wordless photo dump! I'll try to remember to post February's photos earlier in March.

All photos imported from iPhone and dumped into a storyboard in Photoscape.

InstaFriday at Life Rearranged
iPhonography at One Mom's Perfect Imperfections

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Walk in the Forest

For Kim Klassen's Texture challenge today, we are supposed to use her new texture, Felicity. Oh gosh, it's beautiful. I fell in love with it right away!

I decided to use it to perk up this photo that I took during my travels in TN a few weeks ago. These are the lovely parents of Princess Gracie.

My layers from top to bottom:

-felicity on color burn 41%
-gradient map - pale grey to dark grey, 47%
-haze layer using levels - soft light 71%


Monday, February 20, 2012

Wedding Music

Today, February 20th, 2012, marks 6 months since Jon and I were married. I thought, since I haven't really written much about the wedding lately, I'd share our playlist for the reception.

We absolutely loved our DJ's, especially because they were so helpful with picking out songs. They sent us a huge list of recommended songs, and were also willing to use the songs WE recommended.

*All links on song titles lead to a youtube video, if you want to listen to the song.

Our first song was for the bridal party entrance. We chose Beautiful Day by U2, which was perfect because some couples walked in serenely, while some chose to make a flashier entrance. It was particularly memorable when my younger brother danced and boogied in with my friend K.

After we entered and posed for family to take some snapshots, we transitioned straight into our first dance together as husband and wife. (Side note - I am getting teary remembering it.) We had chosen our song shortly after we got engaged, but were able to keep it a secret from everyone up until then. We chose Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickelback because we both love the band, and this song has always been special for us. It truly vocalizes our relationship and how it developed over 3 years of dating.

For my dance with my dad, choosing a song was hard. Nothing seemed quite right... I was close with both of my parents when I was younger, but I was the only girl, so I am was the definition of Daddy's Little Princess, and I needed to find a song that portrayed that. I ended up doing a google search for "father daughter wedding songs," and I came across Always Be Your Baby by Natalie Grant. After listening to just the first verse, I was sobbing, which (to me) meant it was perfect. (And now I am crying again.)

For Jon's dance with his mother, he was originally going to use the same song that his brother used at his wedding. I wanted him to pick something that was more meaningful for him. He had an idea, but wasn't sure if it'd work... As soon as he told me, I knew it would be perfect! He chose Somewhere Out There from the Fievel movie because he used to sing it when he was little. So cute!

The next song on our playlist is our cake-cutting song. This was an easy choice for me; I just had to persuade Jon to agree with me. I wanted to use Sugar Sugar by the Archies. It is such a fun song! I might have been shaking my hips just a bit while I was smearing icing on Jon's face. (No cake on his face, just a dab of icing!)

When it was time to toss the bouquet, I knew exactly which song I wanted. See, I danced competitively when I was younger. 3 of my bridesmaids were in the same dance group as me, and we did the cutest little dance to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. It was only natural for that song to be playing while I tossed the bouquet.

Jon turned to google to find a good song for the garter removal. We didn't want anything that was too raunchy, or even slightly sexy for that matter. That's just not our style. So when he happened upon a recommendation to use the Indiana Jones theme song, he ran with it. He loves the movies, and it made for a great laugh for anyone who knew what it was.

The same dilemma occurred when we were trying to pick a song for the garter toss. We knew ahead of time that the majority of the males in attendance were either under the age of 10, or already married. I think there was 4 guys who came up for the garter toss. We went with The Boys Are Back in Town by Thin Lizzy.

Besides these songs, our DJ's also asked us for a list of songs we wanted them to play while people were eating dinner and dancing. Jon contributed some, and I contributed some. Here is part of the list with links to youtube if you want to hear any of the songs:

Hang On Little Tomato by Pink Martini
When I'm 64 by the Beatles
Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N Roses
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Jason Castro
Give A Little by Hanson
The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra
The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel
Something by the Beatles
Unforgettable by Nat King Cole

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gracie is 3 months old!

One of my best friends had a baby back in November, and they chose Jon and I to be the godparents. They live in TN, so I made sure to take her 3-month photos when I went down there a few weeks ago. We did the shoot in the kitchen, with all artificial lighting. Not what I would have preferred, but we were pressed for time. And it was tons of fun anyway! Here is just a few of the photos:

You can see more on my facebook page: here!

I know I still have a lot of learning, and a long way to go. Still, I am proud of these, considering the lighting, although I know I could have done better. I think I am taking steps in the right direction.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - Replacing Backgrounds

Sarah from Naptime Momtog and Ashley from Ramblings & Photos have started a new meme! This link-up is called Tutorial Tuesday. They will give us a challenge or a new tutorial, and we post our results.

Tutorial Tuesday

The tutorial this week teaches us how to replace backgrounds. I've never been very good at this particular technique, so I had to try again.

I recently shot 3-month photos of Princess Gracie (to be blogged... soon), and some of them were perfect for this technique. We did the shoot in the kitchen, and we put Gracie's basket in front of the fridge for a seamless black background. After processing these photos, I decided that the black background wasn't really pretty with the photo. I still wanted a dark background; I just wanted something with a little more flair, maybe a vintage touch.

I decided to use the Royal Blue version of CoffeeShop's Sweater Weather Vintage Papers. I blurred it slightly and used a layer mask for fine-tuning. Here is my result:

I have to admit, I'm really not good at hiding that skinny line of the original background that outlines the foreground. I make my brush small and soft, I use lower opacity... Any advice?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Texture Tuesday - Organic Tree

For Kim Klassen's texture challenge today, we can use any texture we want! I love KK's new texture organic, so I chose this photo of a tree.

My layers:
-organic on soft light @ 100%
-organic on color burn @ 21%
-dark grey to light grey gradient map @ 94% (brushed softly off sky and tree)
-increase brightness a smidge and contrast a lot


That photo of the tree is from the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's home in Nashville, TN. I went there last week, and I took lots of photos! Well, I took lots of photos outside. No photography is allowed inside the mansion. That was slightly disappointing, but the views outside sure made up for it.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday (6 days late!)

Sarah from Naptime Momtog and Ashley from Ramblings & Photos have started a new meme! This link-up is called Tutorial Tuesday. They will give us a challenge or a new tutorial, and we post our results.

Tutorial Tuesday

Our challenge this week was to create watercolor paintings in Photoshop CS or Elements. I use pse8. I had fun with this tutorial! For my first 2 photos, I followed Ashley's steps almost exactly.

For my last photo, I fiddled with blending modes and opacity to get a bit of a different look. I love how this one turned out!

And I know I am posting this uber-late, but I had a very busy week last week! Jon and I drove down to Tennessee to hang out with some friends & family. We spent 2 days in Nashville with our friends and their daughter (our goddaughter!), and then spent 2 days in Chattanooga with his brother, SIL, and their kiddos (Jon's godson and 3 nieces). I was mostly unplugged whilst down there, but I am now back at work and trying to slowly get back to the blogging routine. I have some 3-month photos to share of Baby Gracie, and I hope to also share some photos from the various places we visited during our trip. I'll be back soon!