Around here…

around here matte and glow actions via besotted blog

It seems each week has it’s own set of crazy obstacles that leave me breathless, this week proved to be no different. Michelle and I are in full-on prep mode to get ready for our ‘Photoshop for Lettering Artists’ class launch (the launch date has been pushed back to June). The more I think about it the more nervous I get and the more I wonder why we decided it was a such a good idea in the first place. I know it’s a good idea (because I get about a 100 emails on this subject a day), but I wish my clone (if I had one) would do the class for me, being on camera is terrifying!

Our friend Sanae launched her first children’s book- Little Kunoichi last Sunday, and she is prepping for book number 2 now which is a sewing/memoir hybrid (she is a creative Jedi). We will be interviewing Sanae extensively soon because I think you will be happily surprised to find out how this blogger got her book deals!

Ever since I read about The Cure beauty product I can’t get it out of my head, I must try this stat! If you have already, please let me know what you thought, from the Amazon reviews this product is a miracle worker!

Because I can’t seem to focus on just one thing (even though I truly do try), I have been tinkering with our future Photoshop action sets (and a little Lightroom play as well). We know we want to do a B+W set, and one to do with light (hmm? cryptic enough), but we have also been toying with the idea of a mini matte set, the look is so popular right now and we think it’s subtle enough that you won’t look back on your edits a few years from now and cringe (that’s how I feel about some of my early photo editing, yikes!) Hint, this photo was originally destined for the trash bin, it was too cool, too dark and altogether trash worthy but with a little light therapy and matte Foto Rx actions I think it really recreates the feel of early morning summer light. Do you like the matte look? Or do you think you would be more interested in achieving beautiful light in your images?

Have a favorite book and love a good font? Don’t forget to enter to win Laura Worthington’s hefty new font collection here.

P.S. Want that beautiful glowy light today?  Michelle has the most awesome (and easy) tutorial here.

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.


around here besotted blog end april 2015

When we were making post suggestions for the week, I mentioned to Michelle that we hadn’t done an ‘around here’ post in forever so here it is…

This week I had an epic panic when I thought our site was down, I 911’d Lindsay our coder and she checked that everything was just fine–phew! She gave me this link so I can check it in the future.

My friend Whitney is learning French the easy way, she’s using this company and I think I might start too!

I have a not so secret obsession with The Walking Dead (yes, zombies!) I finally got Michelle to watch and I feel such victory. To me the story is about never giving up and I love that theme. My husband and I just finished the last season and now I am a bit bereft of what to binge watch now, any suggestions?

Michelle and I are getting ready for our launch of our newest action set for lettering artists, it should be finished and ready to launch on May 5th, it’s time for a happy dance. Be the first to know when it’s in the shop!

I stumbled across what seems to be a pretty vibrant writing community with workshops, interviews with published authors and general writing encouragement (I want to take their grammar refresher course).

Maybelle suggested the Being Boss podcast.  I haven’t listened yet, but I am sure it’s a good one.

With high hopes I tried this new hydro-boost gel-cream for extra dry skin, spoiler it didn’t work for me, but it turned out to be a great primer!

If you haven’t already, you need to check out the comments from yesterday’s question- Is there a book you would recommend that has inspired you to go out and do/make something? I am chomping at the bit to explore every one of the suggestions!

Thank you for your visits and encouragement this week, it’s always so appreciated!

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.

photo by tristan b.

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.



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.


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.

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