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Hello, and welcome to my blog. I'm a natural light photographer living in the Boise, Idaho area with my husband and 5 kids. I enjoy capturing images of all kinds, but I am truly in love with photographing newborn babies. The first days of life are precious and magical and so very fleeting. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have at Thank you for visiting my little corner of the web :)

us girls

us girls

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

beautiful flowers with some before & afters

I just loooooove this beautiful field of yellow and I so hope the flowers stick around for a while. It's only a few minutes from my house which makes me love it even more.

Lily was such a good girl for me.


Stella just wanted to eat dirt, but she sure looked adorable while she ate it.


Abbey and Lily have become such good friends lately. They're always happy to be together and they're even happier to go out for treats after they're done modeling for us.

Here's Audrey with her hands quite full. It's so nice to have such a good friend to shoot with. It makes every shoot so much more fun!

And I always love it when photographers share their before and after shots, so here are a couple from this shoot:

I'll start with the SOOC shot. Actually, it's SOOL or straight out of lightroom:

I shot this with my 5D and I borrowed Audrey's 85mm 1.8 lens for this shoot. I wanted to see how I liked that focal length on my full frame, and I really really liked it. My settings were ISO 200 F/2.8 and shutter speed 400.

Here's the fully edited image:

Here is what I did. Now this will probably sound like gibberish if you're not familiar with photoshop. But if you do use photoshop, here ya go:

I first ran the RAW image through lightroom and adjusted the white balance just a bit. I forgot to set a custom white balance when I started shooting (we were in a bit of a rush) so my original images were just a bit too cool. The exposure was pretty good so I didn't mess with much else in lightroom. So I saved it as a jpeg and opened it up in photoshop CS3.

I brightened with levels & curves. Used a channel mixer adjustment layer to intensify color and masked back skin at 75%. You never want to saturate the skin too much. It makes it look red or orange...yucky. Then I ran portraiture on their skin at around 50% masking back eyes, eyebrows, & mouth. Slightly sharpened girls using smart sharpen. Cropped a bit. Oh, and I also ran the 'Oh snap' action from totally rad actions at around 20% just to give it a bit more contrast.

I think that's about it. I always do EVERYTHING on an adjustment layer so I can brush on or brush off what I need to. It makes everything you do adjustable. So if you're not familiar with adjustment layers or layer masking, then google it and find some tutorials. They'll change your life!

Here's one more before & after of Lily:

So, I followed pretty much the same steps as above. Of course, every image is a little different, so the opacity's of the layers and amount of layer masking etc. will be a bit different too.
I hope all that made some sense!!!


Megan said...

you are amazing!!!

Audrey said...

These turned out so cute Laura! Abbey got so excited when these pulled up, she sure loves Lily. Your girls are just so pretty. I love the ones of Stella eating dirt, too funny! That was such a fun spot, I'm so glad you got such great ones of your girls. And I LOVE, love, love seeing your before and afters and hearing what you did. Thanks for taking the time to post that, I love learning from you! You're amazing!

Julie Freeman said...

Laura, I have been stalking your blog for too long now without leaving a comment. Love your work! I can't remember how I found your blog? You do a beautiful job! Just wanted to say hi and then I won't stalk anymore, I can comment on your fabulousness. thx!

Danielle said...

Oh my cute Laura. Love them all! What a pretty field too!

Melissa said...

Oh, you guys are killing me with these beautiful location shots! I emailed you months back and am the military wife getting ready to move to Mtn Home! We leave in just weeks now! I get so excited seeing the pretty, pretty locations that I can't wait to check out! Love your sooc shots, too! I love to see how different photographers edit their pics!

Anonymous said...

So fab-dab - thank you so much for sharing all of your tips! I can't wait to learn more about photoshop -but I really would love how to do the logo with the faded white bar across the bottome of your photos! I have wanted to do that for a long time -I love it!

Cynthia Jill Photography said...

Beautiful photos!! Came across your blog from Two Peas.

Appreciate the instructions on what you did in PP for these photos. I am still learning with Photoshop7 and have been so confused about masking for a while. What is masking, what is it used for and how exactly do you go about doing it??


Unknown said...

Cynthia, I think you can mask with photoshop elements 7. You might be able to, but for some reason, I'm thinking it doesn't have that capability. There are several tutorials on the web that tell you what it is and how you use it. I just googled photoshop layer masking and found this tutorial: There are tons of them out there.