NEWBORN PORTRAIT | A BOOK SERIES BY MEG FISH

meg fish books the portrait

Maybe it’s something in the air all these amazing talents willing to share their knowledge and expertise; whatever it is I am feeling so lucky and grateful, you? The sharing of knowledge and “secrets” seems to be more prevalent in the photography industry but I do hope other creative industries catch on and it becomes more and more accessible to learn from individuals that are at the top of their craft. I would put Meg Fish at the top of hers, she’s an amazing photographer specializing in pregnancy and baby. The light she captures is just so beautiful, soft and ethereal.  I love that her photos are never contrived and the tones are perfect for a baby–buttery soft and filled with love. When she mentioned she was coming out with a book, (soon to be series!), I knew that it was something that I must spread the word on. I have poured over the first one in the series–‘Portrait’ several times now.  I love that it is written in Meg’s voice, it’s as if she is there teaching you, it’s very easy to comprehend and I loved all her tips (especially her posing guide). You will need a basic knowledge of Photoshop to follow her very easy + effective editing steps and of course your camera. With her soft reassuring tone, I am sure you will be able to create some beautiful images of your own. It is geared towards newborns, but I am a fan of Meg’s photography in general and feel like the tips could translate to other subjects pretty seamlessly. If you are looking for a photo 101 course this is not your book, but if you are like me always looking to enhance your skills and learn from someone who’s work you admire than I think you will be thrilled to add this to your photography library!

P.S. She offers both a PDF version (for those that can’t wait) and a hardcopy, you can find it here.

P.P.S. Meg generously has put together a mini mag/tutorial called ‘Finding the light’ it’s free!

P.P.P. S. She also offers a template for baby’s first year photo book, which is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups.

JEN HUANG GUIDE TO FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

JenHuangGuideCoverI don’t spend my budget on many ‘things’ anymore. When I ran my bi-coastal fashion PR/lifestyle firm all I did was collect the latest shoes, bags, accessories, etc.  I felt like I needed these things to be able to do my job and that was partly true (fashion can be cut throat), but even though I loved helping individuals build their dreams, I felt lacking in the fulfillment department. By nature I am a minimalist and all the ‘stuff’ eventually weighed me down. I left that life behind for a more calm less ‘stuff’ driven me. I hardly shop at all now and when I do I feel like I invest rather than buy things that won’t enhance my life and I can enjoy for years to come (I am always up for a bargain though).  One of my major shifts is what I spend on is investing in my continuing education–I love to take classes, workshops and buy books on whatever subject of the month I have an interest in. It’s a lot less expensive than designer shoes (more comfortable as well) and I never feel buyers remorse like I used to. A few months ago, I had the opportunity and great pleasure to attend photographer Jen Huang’s film photography workshop in Santa Barbara. It was pure bliss for me; I loved the location, the people I met both the behind the scene players (make-up, artists, stylists, etc.), my fellow participants and of course learning from a talent I truly admire. I learned so much in such a short amount of time and will always cherish the experience. Many of you emailed me and asked about the class and wished you could have attended/afforded it especially those overseas. Lucky for us Jen has decided to package her workshop up at a fraction of the price of her live workshops. You can learn all her ‘secrets’  like where she develops her film, what film she prefers, cameras, lenses, and much more.

JenHuangSpread

The workshop-in-a-box comes with a 200 page book filled with beautiful images like the one above, indicating all the settings Jen used to create her beautiful images. If you have been wanting to delve deeper into fine art photography and film than this is a tool I highly recommend to assist you getting to the next level. If you have looked into film photography workshops, you’ll know that they are a pricey investment, this is a true gift to be able to take this workshop from your own home, anywhere in the world at a price that you can most likely recoup in your first client film session!

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Let me know if you have any questions about her live workshops, I am happy to answer. Are you taking any classes/workshops this summer? Have you learned something new lately? Read a book on how-to do something? I am always curious about so many subjects and I figure that you are too!

INEXPENSIVE PHOTOGRAPHY RESOURCES

great photography resources

I love photography, I really do, but it can become a very expensive hobby–fast. I am thankful for the internet so I can easily look-up questions I may have or collect endless amounts of information for the small price of my time, (which is the best price for someone like me on a tight budget). I have a couple of resources that I have found that I have been meaning to share, the links are in The Directory (along with many others) but they are so good that I think they warrant a little more attention and today seemed as good a day as any to do just that.  The first one is Craft & Vision, created by author & photographer David duChemin, it’s a series of downloadable ebooks that are very well put together + very affordable. In their words, ‘Exceptional photography education at irresistible prices’.  Most of the books are $5 and in my humble opinion worth 10 times that amount.  You can download to your computer, but if you have an Ipad or Kindle type device it’s a bit more comfortable to crawl up on the sofa with.  I own the entire series of The Magic of Black & White, which has been an invaluable resource for me. Craft & Vision 11 ways to improve your photography is free and a great way to get familiar with their offerings and get an idea of what to expect in your future purchases. They have added so many titles since they first launched, subjects run the gamut from composition, to digital darkroom and even off camera flash. I think I am going to download a Lightroom one soon as I am still so new to using the program and could use a little help.

The second resource is a little more light-hearted, it’s a great resource for beginners, but for those that are more advanced don’t fret you too can find great information there as well. The company is called Photography Concentrate, their tagline is learn photography-faster (and funner, too). For an nominal investment they load you with video tutorials, in-depth guide books and tons of examples.  They also offer a 60 day 100% guarantee, which is pretty impressive!  They have a ton of freebies and a great blog with free tutorials + advice. It’s just a good site to bookmark if you are feeling like you want to learn more, but are overwhelmed by what is available or wish you had access to affordable photography lessons.

I hope that either of these sites inspires you to learn more or get out and try something new. I know it can be difficult to unearth all the treasures readily available to us today on the interwebs, but these two are definitely gems that are worth adding to your growing collection of photography resources!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future. Will it be the Bay area or Seattle? She’s open to your suggestions!

GREETINGS FROM NOLA

Nola Dog Besotted BlogI am just popping in really quick to let you know I am still away and didn’t have the foresight to come up with anything, charming or creative for this Monday (and Tuesday).  That’s what happens when you are in New Orleans, the real world no longer feels real, it’s as if you have slipped back in time, where the pace of life is a whole lot slower and my get up and go has got up and went. I have been wildly inspired by pretty much everything you can think of–the architecture, the history, the food (oh, goodness if I eat another Beignet..), the flora, the fauna (as seen above), just everything.  I leave on Tuesday, but Nola is high on my list of places to return to one day. I am thinking this would be a perfect spot for a future live Souvenir Foto workshop, the light here is amazing, lots of drama and moodiness, but you can also find beautiful + bright. There is also no shortage of photo-op’s!  I have been actively documenting my trip via Instagram if you are curious.  I will have more shots to share soon.

I shall see you back here on Wednesday per usual, can’t wait!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future. Will it be the Bay area or Seattle? She’s open to your suggestions!

JEN HUANG WORKSHOP PHOTOS + PRESET REVIEW

Jen Huang Workshop Photos i

Jen Huang Workshop Photos iiiI have a major confession, well not that major.  At my Jen Huang Workshop I didn’t shoot film.  I had good reason, I felt like I so rarely have the opportunity to shoot people (other than my husband) that I knew I was going be a wreck and then add film on top of that equation it could have been a disaster. I also really wanted to take advantage of all the beauty Jen had masterfully set-up for us, from the styled florals and vignettes (like that beautiful dress above) to the models, I didn’t want to miss a thing.  I must say that all the models were amazing and I do want to show you some other images soon, but I was just crazy for Laura Murray.  If you read my blog you know I have an obsession with beautiful skin and lashes and what you may not know is I also love me a good set of teethe, Laura was flawless. Besides the preset I used to make her photo black & white and a tiny mole that I removed (that she may have wanted to keep), I didn’t have to do any other edits to her (nada, rien, zip–no teethe whitening, no eye sharpening, no skin smoothing, nothing). Her eyes sparkled, her skin glowed, her hair was soft and in beautiful waves, she was the perfect subject. And get this, Laura isn’t even a model, that beautiful girl is a talented photographer!  I hope she doesn’t mind that I am plastering her face all over the blog this morning.

Now for the presets I used. I have had this set for awhile, I bought them when I got my copy of Lightroom 4, they are the Film Art Presets from Clickin’ Moms. I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer of not letting the name dissuade you.  You do not need to be a mom to participate in their forum or partake of their presets. I personally love these presets, even though I am a novice to LR and don’t really know yet how to manipulate the presets as well as I would like to. They do work best on RAW files and I currently do not shoot RAW but I was still able to use them and I am happy with my results. The thing I love most about presets over actions is you can scroll through each preset very quickly and get a preview of the results, it’s so much faster than using a Photoshop action. If you apply the effect and hate it you can just press ‘reset’ and your file is back to the original in a blink of an eye. I also feel like the Film Art presets do a beautiful job of mimicking film, the ‘moonstone’  is one of my faves in the color options and the one I used for the edit ‘Pewter’ is always a good choice.  It’s a great buy if you have been wanting a film preset collection but feel like the VSCO or the Red Leaf versions are currently too much of an investment. And you? Have you tried any of these preset collections or think there is a set I should have mentioned?  I do know that the look is not a substitute for the beauty of film, I do love the look of film so, but it is a nice alternative for those that want to get creative in the digital darkroom and add a nostalgic quality to their photographs.

make-up by 1011 makeup | styling by borrowedblu

P.S. One of my favorite floral studio’s Studio Choo is offering a very affordable flowering arranging class in April. Check it out!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

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