Archive: March 2010   |   View all recent posts

Laura ~ Expecting [Frisco Maternity Photographer]
WHAT: Maternity   |   WHEN: March 30, 2010
Every other Sunday night Kylie and I have the privilege of hanging out and fellowshipping with some fantastic couples going through a similar phase in their marriage (0-3 years married) as part of our Foundation Group.  In addition to our awesome mentor couple Terry & Susan, Jason & Laura sometimes also lead the group during our get-togethers since they've been through the Foundation Group process before.

Jason & Laura were expecting a little brother for the first son, Lincoln, so we got together to create a few images of Laura during her last few days of pregnancy.  I say "were expecting" because between the time we got together at their new house for a session and the time it's taken me to post the images here on the blog a couple weeks later, their new baby boy, Jackson, has since made his debut to the world.  In fact, Laura had Jackson just barely a week after our session.  Whew... just in time.  

I can't say enough good things about Jason & Laura.  They both have a heart for Christ and a desire to serve, and they're just. so. nice.  We feel blessed to have ended up in a group with them and the rest of the couples in our Foundation Group.

A few of my favorites from our session...

Isn't Laura adorable?  She's so tiny, even at 8 months...

Here's big brother Lincoln showin' some love to his soon-to-be best bud.

One word... suh-weet.

Love me some off-camera flash.  Beautiful light.

Loved the way the light was falling across Laura's face in this image.  I had Jason holding a small video light from above and to Laura's right to create this look.

Jason & Lincoln taking a little play break after the session.


Lost and Found in Portland
WHAT: Personal, Travel   |   WHEN: March 27, 2010
I was in Portland for a couple days this past week, and nearly stayed much longer than planned.  I was supposed to leave the hotel at 6am on Thursday to head out on an 8am flight back to Dallas, but my wallet was nowhere to be found.  Those of you that know me or have been following the blog long enough are shocked this could happen to me, I'm sure. 

I tore my room apart looking for it, but nada.  Nil.  Zilch.  I told the people I was supposed to ride to the airport with to go on with out me, and plan B went into effect.  Checked with the hotel restaurant we ate at the night before to see if they had my wallet.  Nope.  At that point I was out of ideas because I literally hadn't used my wallet the whole trip except to get my room key out of it every time I went back to my room. 

Many phone calls to my travel agent, American Airlines, credit card companies, Kylie and the police landed me down at the Portland Police Central Precinct where an incredibly helpful lady at the station met me outside to give me a copy - at no charge - of the police report I'd filed.  Normally it's a $25 charge to get a copy, but she bent the rules and went out of her way to help me out (considering I had no money to pay for the report anyway).  Oregonians rock.  Seriously.  Several people offered to help with anything I needed, including Portland  photographer Candy Newby.  (Thanks, Candy!)

Anywho, to make a long and potentially over-hyped, over-dramatacized story short, while I was in the cab on the way to the airport to try my chances with police report in hand to go standby on a flight later in the day, the hotel called to tell me that the restaurant had found my wallet.  Whew.  Apparently it must have somehow fallen out of my back pocket when I was getting up from the table.  In any case, I turned the cab around and went back and got it and life returned to some resemblance of normality. 

Anyone else bored with this story yet?  Man, I am.  So, I'll get right to the photos because I'm tired of hearing me talk.  I only had about 90 minutes to get out and do some personal photography while I was there, but Portland's such a cool city with a ton of character.  I kinda wished I woulda got stuck there a little longer to explore more of the city, but teh following is a sample of Portland's awesomeness.

Lots of wicked-awesome architectural character in Portland.

A quick way to create an interesting look to an otherwise ordinary image:

-  Desaturate the image layer in Photoshop and change the blend mode to overlay
-  Create a new layer underneath the image layer and fill it with a color (I chose a steel blue color for this image)
-  Presto. You're done.

I do find this method works well particularly with high contrast images.


WHAT: Personal, Random   |   WHEN: March 23, 2010
A few random photos lying around on my hard drive have made their way to the blog.

First off. my name's Matt and I'm a gum-aholic.  There.  I've admitted it, and that's the first step, although I have no intentions of wanting to cure myself of this addiction.  Somewhere between high school and college I got hooked, and ever since I get a little case of the shakes when I'm down to my last couple pieces.

I used to pride myself on how long I could make a piece of gum last, often removing a piece from my mouth at lunch and putting back in afterwards and repeating this at dinner.  And sadly I can count on more than one hand the times I've gone to sleep at night while chewing gum (which I removed to brush my teeth) and woke up in the morning and commenced chewing without missing a beat.  Disturbing in hind sight. 

Anyway, Kylie recently restocked me, and so all is right in the world.

Here's a pseudo sneak peek of the kitchen refresh with the stash of gum on the counter

Snapped this next image of a Hyacinth in our front flower bed on the last day of winter with temps in the upper 60's...

... then on the first day of spring we had 4" snow and temps in the low 30's.  Go figure.  It reminded me of a time when I was about 8 years old and I was so honked off because - in my obvious limited understanding of how the weather worked - I was under the assumption that as soon as spring started the weather automatically turned sunny and warm so I could go outside and play, but instead it was snowing on that day. 


Trash Duty Rules
WHAT: Personal, Random   |   WHEN: March 22, 2010

Was taking the trash out tonight around 11:45pm.  Looked up and saw some clouds rolling in, so I rolled out the camera bag, busted out a tripod and took these 2 photos .  Just proves there's sometimes beauty in the mundane.  And to think, all I thought I'd see on the way to the trash can was me tryin' to toss the bag into the can from 15 ft away in one try.

This first one is pretty much SOOC (straight out of camera) except some added sharpening in Photochop.  The light at the falling on the top of the fences is actualy the security light from our backyard.  Details: Nikon D3 - ISO 640 - 24-70 f/2.8 lens at 24mm - f/5.6 @ 5 second shutter speed.

I added a littel bit of cross-processing action and sharpening in Photchop on this second one.  Details: Same as first image.  Nikon D3 - ISO 640 - 24-70 f/2.8 lens at 24mm - f/5.6 @ 5 second shutter speed.


Photoshop Time Savers
WHAT: Tips, Tricks & Tutorials   |   WHEN: March 18, 2010

For any photographer types who may be tuning in and wanting to learn more tips to improve your Photochop workflow (or maybe just needing a refresher for some of you veterans), here's a link to a blog with 20 tips to speed up your Photoshop workflow.  I use most of these and don't really even think about it any more as they've become 2nd nature, so I can vouch that collectively they can save you lots of time.

And here's a link to photographer Trevor Morris's webpage with downloadable PDFs of all of Adobe's Photochop shortcuts - all 4 pages of them - for pretty much any flavor of PS you might have.  I don't know Trevor and just stumbled on his page for the first time today, but I appreciate him putting together all the download links.  So... thanks, Trevor.


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