How to turn blue skies aqua

how to turn blue skies aqua via besotted blog

Michelle and I are dedicated to the idea of being as transparent as possible on the blog about our processes, we love sharing what we learned and to share both our failures and successes in the hopes that it gives you a shortcut to the latter. We are learning as we go along on our new venture and thought we would address the mailing list for anyone that has one now or is considering one for their business. We created ours with the idea of happy + useful mail in mind, we didn’t want spam email or used car salesman-esque emails urging you to buy, buy, buy, we wanted our list recipients to get an email from us and be excited, it’s something on the forefront of our minds when we send out our free Photoshop action for the month. Yes, we decided to create and giveaway a free premium action each month with no strings attached. Of course this is all new to us, we have only been doing this for a couple months but so far we feel it’s been a very good way to build not only a rapport with our potential clients but thank our existing ones that are on our list. When I do Besotted Brand emails I never send out an email with a sale unless it’s a good one and by good I mean 50% or more off. I know how annoyed I get with constant emails from brands that I often just immediately delete or unsubscribe. What if a brand actually has something that was worthwhile (and free shipping qualifies especially if you have overseas customers) well then, that’s different, right? When I do my sales it’s worth more to me in the time period I get sales then spamming my customers daily or weekly with meager percentages off. Time is money, always try to reach out to your customers in a way that would make you excited and move you if you were the one on the receiving end of the email. Do the other ways work, the pummel the email subscriber until they either submit or unsubscribe? I think it is a model that can work, but it is truly awful. I am no mailing list expert but I do know what I like. Also, in full confession here I do subscribe to some lists because I love to see what they’ll come up with next design/photography wise even though I am not a consumer (like Bhldn and Terrain).

So back to the our freebie for May! Both Michelle and I have been daydreaming about sun drenched locales lately (that will happen coming out of a Seattle winter). This image was taken in Los Angeles when I lived there and when I pulled it up the other night I felt like it didn’t convey the feeling of when I shot it, there was a vibrance and ‘joie de vivre’ missing that I wanted to convey, where was the magic of that moment? It needed a little technicolor and therein began the creation of this Photoshop action ‘aqua skies’ where you can paint on the blue in your image and transform it to a beautiful aqua in a swift click. We made it for skies, but it would work beautifully on bodies of water, eyes (use a subtle hand), clothes, etc. You’ll need to sign-up for the mailing list here to get it for May, but don’t worry if you want to unsubscribe immediately after that’s your prerogative (of course we would miss you dearly).

So tell us, do you have a mailing list now?  Do you have any tips + tricks that work for you that you are willing to share? If you have signed up for mailing lists what keeps you subscribed?

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

ACTION OVER ANALYSIS | PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION

Action-Over-Analysis-BesottedBlog-post

Last New Year’s Eve my husband & I took some time to compose and share our goals for 2015, (mine: 8-10 bullet points on my phone, his: an Excel spreadsheet with dependencies. deliverable dates, and probably a few pivot tables). Some of the goals were carried over from our 2014 lists, and we noticed a trend in our rationale for not making headway on those things: in an effort to make educated decisions, we do our homework, then revise our homework, then learn something new and revise it again…but, uhm… never turn it in. So many details researched, avenues explored, questions asked, but no final action taken. We decided to cook up a motto to get us out of that endless learning curve loop and what we came up with was: Action over Analysis. Of course keeping this motto in mind certainly doesn’t mean jumping into things without any analysis, it just means that once we understand the basics, we’ll move forward instead of hemming and hawing or indulging our perfectionist tendencies.

One of the goals that carried over from my 2014 list was for Tristan and I to officially launch Foto Rx which we had been working on for some time. As luck would have it, Tristan was mulling over a theme for the new year herself: Progress over Perfection. With our new symbiotic mantras in mind, we decided to dive (hearts full and heads strong) into launching Foto Rx. We are learning something new every day and fine-tuning the business as we go, which, it turns out, has been far more productive than trying to nail down every single detail before making our first move. There are still days filled with research and decision making, but whenever we get stuck, we remember our mantras and make the choice to favor momentum over inertia.

It’s amazing how a few simple words can help break habits that are holding you back. Do you have a motto or mantra? If not, you are welcome to ours – so far they are working wonders. Is there something you’d like to accomplish and have done your homework for, but haven’t actually made a move toward?

P.S. Tristan here, if you want to know how well this has worked for us, we created our first set of Photoshop actions over 3 years ago for a class we taught. A year late a huge blogger said we should sell them (we did nothing). We had about a zillion ideas in between that time (we believe most were good if not for us), but the moment we chose our mantras and decided to focus–again action/progress, we actually created something we are bonkers about, this works!

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

The end of blogging?

Is blogging dying? via besotted blog

I am sure you are dead sick of me saying how much I hate the word blogger, which means I most likely can’t stand the word blog either–correct. In our recent on-line marketing foray for Foto Rx I have found that many of my once beloved blogs have abandoned ship, some have left without even a good bye? For shame. Even though I understand with some blogs why they may have closed shop (the inspiration blogs without original content have been taken over by Pinterest for sure) on others I am perplexed? I see a lot of successful blogs leaving to work on opportunities that their blogs afforded them, it almost feels like a virtual slap in the face to blog readers to just quit without even an explanation. Am  I wrong to think that you’ll need/want your blog when your project finally launches?

You see, I believe in the blog, I think there’s opportunity here, room for you to finally have your shining moment in the blogosphere. How?  Well, it’s really very simple, without information the internet doesn’t exist, we have become dependent on Google for answers, we need this information and you my friend as a business will give the people what they need, right?  Does the world need another DIY post?  Probably not (but they are very pinnable). What is missing then from blogs?  It’s so obvious to me it makes me cringe when I don’t see it–perspective. What the what?  I’ll give you an example; if you are an interior designer I want to know more about the who, what, where, when, why and how! I don’t want to see inspiration pics from Elle decor’s site, I want to know about how you got into your business, what your day looks like, the intricacies of your business, the things you take for granted would be tasty gems for a design-a-phile! Speaking of gems, my friend Sofia was asking about what she should write about on her new blog and I was excited because there is so much she could write about, she’s getting her masters in gemology that alone is interesting, but she is also an excellent treasure hunter and finds the best vintage jewelry.

My unsolicited suggestion? Write about your experiences, your adventures, the how’s and why’s. I believe everyone has within them a wealth of information, things they take for granted that others might find wildly interesting, things people are Googling. I am a native Californian, born and raised in Los Angeles basically an anomaly, if I was smarter I would have written more about my City of Angels, because it is such a special place, these are the types of things that make you different and unique, mine your personal knowledge and experiences it’s the one thing that will set you apart from everyone else.  I love the pretty pics and the DIY’s but what I really want to know is more about how so and so got to where they are (and yes, pretty pics are super important). I want details, nitty gritty, show me, tell me, explain how, ask questions, start a dialogue! I don’t think blogs are dying, I think certain types of blogs are and I do think that the ‘celebrity’ blogger is a dying breed, but if you have valuable information (and I 99.9% guarantee you do) there is a chance that your specialized information could be what drives people to your blog and in turn your business. So tell me your thoughts, if you have stopped reading blogs is there a reason why? Do you believe me when I tell you that we all have something interesting to share?  Have you noticed the max exodus of big bloggers abandoning their blogs? How do you feel about that? I am very curious to know where you are going (and why) if you have stopped reading blogs. Myself?  I have never read blogs like most people, I have always been a Googling fool, if I am going to take time away from my ‘real’ life I want to feel like I have accomplished something, that I have walked away from my computer a little bit richer (in knowledge), truly inspired and not dejected (easy to feel that way in the blogosphere, comparison the thief of joy and all), I want my time spent in the cyber world to effect my reality positively and enhance it, never take away from what I cherish most.

P.S. I just looked up Alt Summit (the blogger conference mecca) and it doesn’t look like they are slowing down anytime soon, at an almost 1K investment per attendee I would say that blogging isn’t going away anytime soon…

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

FOTO RX FOR EFFICIENT WORKFLOW IN PHOTOSHOP

CureforBloomsonBlack_FotoRx_BESOTTED

I love and can get lost in the creative alchemy of Photoshop, but I generally don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to editing my own photos. If my shots don’t look darn good out of camera, I ruthlessly abandon them in my Lightroom library, because honestly, I’d rather be shooting than editing. We’ve been sharing with you how easy our Foto Rx actions are to use, and how perfect they are for the beginner who wants to harness the capabilities of Photoshop without feeling overwhelmed, but I have found myself turning to Foto Rx for my own edits more and more, even though I know my way around Photoshop pretty darn well. What it comes down to is simply workflow efficiency.  If I can get my edits buttoned up with one click instead of 3, why wouldn’t I?

Take these peonies for example. I made this photo when the flowers started to wilt a bit. I was thrilled with the looseness of the petals, and the composition, but not the sickly yellow tinge of the formerly white petals. So, as you can guess – it was quarantined in Lightroom, never to be heard from again – until we started running tests with Foto Rx. I pulled the image into Photoshop, opened our Foto Rx : First Aid Kit actions set, applied Feeling Yellow adjusted the opacity to 90%, then flattened the image and applied 20/20 Vision, adjusting the opacity on that to 70%, and was done. In less than 1 minute, those petals became pearly white and sharp as a tack, transforming my forgotten floral into a print-worthy piece.

Shot with Canon 6D

50mm Lens

Edited with Foto Rx : First Aid Kit

P.S. Are there ever too many flower photos? Seriously – I need your opinion. I’m trying not to overstuff my Instagram account with flower images, but when spring hits and the flowers are going gangbusters, it’s hard not to want to photograph every single one!

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Wilma’s World : Good advice from a good dog

Wilma's-World-iii-via-Besottedblog

Wilma's-World-ii-via-Besottedblog

I first came upon artist Rae Dunn’s charming Wilma on Instagram and immediately fell hard.  I am supposing that’s where the rest of the world + Chronicle books found her as well and I am assuming got hooked just like moi. It’s really hard not to fall for this pup with the distinct airplane ears and puppy dog eyes. I have to admit being privy to Rae Dunn’s world via Wilma is an absolute delight, everything is wonderfully textured, curated and wabi sabi, just the way I love it. When Michelle sent me the link to Wilma’s new book I ordered for both myself and E. she loves a good pup book, you? You can take a peek into Wilma’s world via Rae’s Instagram feed and of course you can order the book here. For those unfamiliar with Rae’s work (gasp! you are going to love!) we thought these dog + cat bowls were pretty sweet.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Blog by Hello Monday Creative