Shopkeepers Helper to the rescue (again!)

fleaing france samp i

fleaing france foto rx shopkeepers helper iii

Yesterday Simone of Fleaing France left a comment that she wanted us to try our hand at editing some of her shop photos and of course we were happy to oblige!  Just so you have an idea of how crazy busy I am, I don’t have the leisure of sitting for hours editing photos that aren’t my own, I have a very active toddler, I have my own shop, I run two Air B’nB’s (I’ll get into that another time), I’m in the midst of a product launch and we have company in town, I don’t have any help/assistance, so I hope that gives you perspective on how long these took me to edit, which was a few minutes, it’s taken me longer to write this last sentence than it did to edit Simone’s photos! We know how difficult it is to shoot products, we do it all the time and we also know how daunting Photoshop can be, but if you own a shop and are wanting to take your images to the next level and want to get your life back from sitting in front of the computer and editing than I am confident that Foto Rx | Shopkeepers Helper is for you.

On another note, I am such a fan of Simone’s, I want to share her story here one day because it is so inspiring, but I will give you the Cliff Notes version now. Simone ditched her corporate career to follow her heart and packed up everything to become an expatriate and move to the South of France (le sigh), her love of ‘fleaing’ led to her opening ‘Fleaing France’ where she shares her discoveries of the treasures she has uncovered and offers them for sale in her well curated shop. Of course I love when she finds old letters and documents, I have been privy to having some of these ancient lovelies land in my mailbox, what a thrill to have a piece of history in your possession! I do hope you pay her a visit.

Okay friends, if you want any of your photos edited today’s the day, add your link in the comments, this is our week to show off our new Shopkeepers Helper action set while we work behind the scenes to get it ready for launch. Ask any questions you may have, we are ‘on call’ this week and will be happy to answer! And don’t forget to sign-up to be notified of the launch!


Foto Rx Shopkeeper’s Helper to the rescue!

before and after vintage paramour besotted blog

It’s Monday and we were really, really (yes, really) hoping to launch our Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper Photoshop action set today. We did give it the ol’ college try, but even though I tried to power through allergies that turned into a cold, we couldn’t make it happen. There’s a lot that goes into these launches, not just the technical aspect, but getting the tutorials ready, the promo video, even getting photos to use in the samples, it easily becomes a giant snowball of to-do’s. This weekend we did have a breakthrough and instead of us photographing every.single.image, we reached out to some on-line shops that we thought had great products, nice styling/composition and their photos worked just lovely but we wanted to see what they would look like with a little Shopkeeper’s Helper. The above photo is from one of Etsy’s most favorited vintage stores Vintage Paramour, I LOVED the results!  We have an action in the set ‘the star’ which allows you to finally get that beautiful white background while maintaining your shadows. I did have to run it twice because it it was a tough yellow, but it took me mere seconds and I have to tell you there is something so satisfying about getting the background to turn from either a dull or color casted white to a beautiful, clean white, you’ll have to try it to fully understand, Michelle feels the same way so I know it’s contagious (and addicting!). While I was editing some of Vintage Paramour’s photos I realized a need for another action to add to the set to spot remove yellow casts on products and it works like a charm, so I guess it worked out that we are delayed because that means the set just got even better!  For everyone that feels like Photoshop is too complicated, that they’d never be able to figure it out, I can assure you that if my MIL can edit a photo professionally now with our action set (and she can’t even turn on her computer) than I am confident that you will be able to as well! We have basically made it so that anybody even my 15 month daughter could figure this out (well the push the button part, she can’t read the dialog boxes yet). And don’t worry we will have plenty of back up tutorials for any questions that may come up, you are going to be an editing pro in no time!

Do you have a shop and want to see us edit some of your images?  Include the links in the comments to your shop and we’ll see if we can’t get around to a quick edit! This week the focus will be on the launch so you’ll see more amazing transformations. We have some ideas for a Google hangout to edit photos live and answer your questions on the spot, is that something you might be interested in? We really want to make this simple for you, I know from experience that editing shop photos is a bear, but having clean, clear shots that allow your products to shine is really a game changer, Shopkeepers Helper will make it so much easier + faster, we hope it adds to your success!

You can sign-up for the Shopkeeper’s Helper Launch here (and of course all sign-ups get a free mini set of actions!).


sofia kaman $500 gift certificate giveaway

I love a good stack, so much so that when we were designing my wedding bands (yes, bands plural) I had a band made in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and platinum. Granted my bands were only a millimeter wide (teeny, tiny), but I do love them!

I was talking to my friend, jewelry designer Sofia Kaman (queen of the stack) today, she just finished her re-brand and the herculean task of a new site re-design, she’s celebrating with helping you get started with your own stack!  I know it’s the 11th hour to mention this but they aren’t doing the drawing until tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, March 7!)  All you need to do is regram the above image, tag @sofiakaman and use the hashtag #skstylegiveaway to be entered to win a $500 gift certificate towards your own stack! Beware though before you visit her site be prepared to be majorly tempted, Sofia has some pretty, crazy amazing designs that would look good on your finger forever. I chose some of my faves, here, here, here and here, but believe me I have a laundry list of many more!

Speaking of re-brand, and I KNOW Sofia is going to kill me, but we have had heated discussions about this and I am convinced I am right on this one and I want to hear your feedback. Sofia was adamant that her name follow with ‘fine jewels’, I was adamant that it be ‘fine jewelry’. Sofia said that ‘fine jewelry’ sounded stuffy to her, where I believe ‘fine jewels’ doesn’t sound high-end and sounds more like she is selling loose gemstones. ‘Fine jewelry’ is timeless, classic, it also clarifies that she is selling ‘fine’ versus ‘faux’. What do you think? Which sounds better to you for gorgeous, (fine) jewelry?  And btw, it has no bearing on who will win, I just want her to go into this re-brand as successful as possible!  Good luck everyone!

P.S. The hand lettering was done by the very talented Torrie Asai, who for the record is not a professional letterer, but boy she could be!

Ren Skincare Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial

If you follow any Pacific Northwest Instagrammers, you know that we are experiencing a mind-bogglingly early spring this year. Along with the cherry blossoms and saucer magnolias, comes that urge to shed cumbersome layers and spruce things up a bit. I thought my winter skin was as good a place as any to start my spring cleaning.

This Ren Skincare 1 Minute Facial was a gift from a thoughtful friend, and although it feels like I haven’t had a minute to spare since the beginning of the year, I decided that this was a minute worth finding. (I can definitely afford to delay my evening binge-watching of the new season of Bates Motel – which is harder than it sounds, Vera Farminga is sooo good!).

As I’ve mentioned before, my skin is fairly finicky so I followed the instructions to the letter. The solution is applied to clean skin, then you apply water with your fingertips to “activate” the solution. It goes on smelling like chewable vitamin c, but once it’s activated it takes on a dull metallic scent. Luckily, all fragrance evaporates as soon as the facial is rinsed off so no need to worry about smelling like a wet penny for the rest of the day. I left it on for exactly 1 minute, and waited 3 days before I used it again. So far there hasn’t been a single sign of irritation – yay!

There was a noticeable difference from the exfoliation of my shlumpy frumpy winter skin right away. My skin feels smooth, almost like a primer has been applied. This smoother skin looks so much better under my sunscreen (which is slightly matte) than it did before. If I can stick to finding that minute every 3 days, there should be even more improvement over time.

The benefits of vitamin c on the skin (yes, even topically applied), are well documented. If you are curious, here’s a scientific study, or if you prefer, the Dr. Oz explanation.

photo by michelle p. /image edited with Foto Rx of course!

Foto Rx Shopkeeper’s Helper Launching Soon!


Shopkeepers Helper Foto Rx editing actions ring iii

Okay, first let me give kudos to all the fine jewelry photographers in the world, it is not easy!  I wasn’t planning on showing you a before + after this morning, but I was editing shop photos and thought I would see how long it would take me to edit this really poorly lit and (Pacific North West blue) color cast ring I photographed for a sample Shopkeeper’s Helper image. It took about a minute, maybe an eeensy bit more because I used some of our surgical precision level tools-jewelry sparkle, shadow darken, color mute (there were rogue colors from the room in the facets) and highlight tone. Even with the precision tools I managed to get this done super fast!

We’ve been asked what the difference will be from Shopkeeper’s Helper and our Original Foto Rx Photoshop actions set. Obviously, we will be targeting online shop specific images, it will come with the original set included (after all you need an awesome base image) and then it gets seriously Ninja on you from there. The star of course is the ability to get beautiful white backgrounds whilst still maintaining your shadows without using the dodge tool or any other exposure destructive means. I wish I had this when I first started out shooting products for my shop, it would have saved me many a photo breakdown! We also created a realistic depth of field/blur action, perfect for Iphone shots or when your camera lens doesn’t have the ability to give you that creamy blurry background you crave (this is up for best supporting action by the Academy). There are too many to list in this little post, but it’s going to be a product photo editing game changer indeed!

Michelle and I have even been toying around with the idea of doing a shop photo editing giveaway, where we would edit your photos with our Foto Rx Shopkeeper’s Helper actions, or would you prefer to try to win a set? Whenever launching a new product, it’s always a challenge trying to figure out a way to market it and get the word out in the best, most sincere way possible. We are up for suggestions for anyone out there that has any. Of course, as always we plan to share with you our process, because sharing is caring.

You can sign-up for the Foto Rx Shopkeeper’s launch here (we are launching this month!) and everyone that sign’s up gets a free mini set of actions! Let us know if you have any questions.

P.S. I used the macro close-up lens filters on my regular 50 mm lens to photograph the ring, a completely amazing tool!

P.P.S. Your original image probably won’t be as bad as mine was, so it’ll be even easier editing!

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