Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gila Valley Senior Portrait Photographer | Kayley

I'm so behind and have lots to post, but I'll stick with sharing just this one for now. This was part II of Kayley's senior portraits. Aren't her eyes just gorgeous?

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gila Valley Newborn Photographer | Baylee

This is part II for Baylee. Just had to show her parents a few more. Baylee's aunt Margo is a friend of mine and was kind enough to refer this little princess to me when I needed a tiny model to practice on. I definitely learned a lot and it encouraged me to possibly take on a few newborns here and there. Contact me if you're interested in getting your little newbie photographed. I do not photograph newborns who are more than 10 days old (I like them nice and sleepy)... so if you're interested then please contact me while you're still expecting.







Friday, March 5, 2010

::{Yellow Skinny Photos}::

I have these awesome friends... you are familiar with them... used to be Becky McArthur Photography. Well, they're revamping their blog, website, and their over all image. Becky McArthur Photography is now Yellow Skinny Photos! Isn't that a great name? Dan is jumping into the mix, which makes them the hippest husband and wife photography team in town!

Becky needed a few pictures of her and Dan for her new blog and website, so we headed out to the coolest location and had a blast. Here was my favorite shot of the day. I've been wanting to create this shot for a very long time, but couldn't because both of my lens' are too zoomed. I used Becky's 35mm for this one and it worked like a charm. Sadly, I won't be able to create this shot for any of you until I get a hold of a 35mm, which is not at the top of my list.

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ETA: Here's my second edit. I think I love it. Which do you like better?
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Lastly, I just have to give a shout out to Becky. She is my photography soul mate. This girl was so generous to me when I was first getting into photography, and it continues still today. I love that we live two blocks away from each other, go to church together, know the same people, have the same client base, and yet there is no feeling of competition between us. We are genuinly happy for each other when one of us books an awesome senior, family, engagement... etc. We share our photography secrets with no restraint. We also keep each other sain when we're feeling less than adequate or when our hubbies are driving us crazy. I'm grateful for you Becky!!

Now hurry and go over to her blog and leave her some blog love. Her blog is still in the works, but she already has some awesome photos posted from recent sessions.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm due for ::{my own}:: family photo shoot.

I could lie and say that because I understand the importance of family photos, that we get our pictures taken at least once a year.... we don't. We skipped over 2009, which kind of bummed me out. I'm definitely making it a priority this year to get our own family pictures done. HOPEFULLY, this little giveaway will make it possible. One of my favorite photographers EVER is giving away a free photo session. Click HERE for more info. But let me just warn you... once you see her work you're not going to be happy until you've booked a session with her. Just sayin'.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A few more of ::{Haleigh}::

I never did a full post for Haleigh, so here are a few more.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

::{small request}::

EDIT: Big thanks to all of you baby makers out there!
The position has been filled. By two babies actually.
Paper Rock Scissors?

Can someone please have a newborn baby GIRL for me? Please?
Thanks. Appreciate it.

Oh, you're wondering why?
Well, I've never been so head strong about learning something as I am with photography,
so you can see why it drives me bonkers that I'm not as good at photographing newborns as I'd like to be.
I need some extra practice without the pressure of doing a full out shoot. So here are the details:

I would like to do this shoot within the  next few weeks.
I would like the newborn to be a girl so I can put bracelets, beanies, and bows all over her.
She MUST be no older than 10 days old at the time of the shoot.
You will receive up to 5 high-res images on cd to compensate for your time.
No session fee!

Please email me if you're interested or if you  have a friend that might be interested,

Monday, January 25, 2010


I want you to notice two things about this picture... the first is that this family knows how to have FUN and they also know how to laugh together... a lot! Secondly, I want to direct your attention over to the tall guy on the left, Sam. DO YOU SEE HIS BREATH? Yes, it was that cold! We did a morning shoot the day after Christmas. Let me tell you, I was bundled up with my oversized jacket, scarf, and gloves! They were such good sports to drag the babies out in the cold. We did make it a pretty quick shoot though, and I don't blame them one bit!




You will be seeing more from these two models below. I've already put in a request with Amber to let me do an engagement style shoot with them for my portfolio. Amber and Sam know how to work it for the camera. I just can't pass up that opportunity!


I love Camille (below). Her and I took an English class together our freshman year in college. Oh goodness. We have some pretty funny secrets about that semester! Haha. She is now married to Jace's first cousin, Ryan. Aren't their babies cute? All of the Daley babies are adorable!



Little Annie has the prettiest eyes!!



Ruth Ann said when she asked me if I could do pictures for them that she wanted candids that showed that they were having fun. Doesn't this next picture accomplish that?



Thanks Daley's! It was a pleasure.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

::{Hello Twenty-Ten}::

2009 Rocked! It was seriously a roller coaster for me trying to start this little business. A crazy, fun, scary roller coaster! Here's how it went:

January - April: I was driving my husband nuts with my begging and pleading for him to make enough room in our budget to fund my new photography obsession. As a lot of you know... it's not a cheap hobby!

May: He finally shoveled out the cash and bought me my first dslr. A Canon 40d. It was like adding another member to the family. I was in love!

June: I took my first job. And, can I just say... WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I really wish I could go back and do some things over. Looking back, I really should have taken some time to learn the technical basics before getting caught up in the excitement of someone actually wanting to hire me.

July - September: Slowly things started clicking and I felt like I was making a lot of progress.

October: Frustrating! It was in October that I felt like everything was 1 step forward 2 steps back. You know how sometimes the more you know, the more you realize you don't know anything? I was starting to realize that I needed to know MORE and didn't know where to get the information I needed. I started to really work on nailing all technical aspects in my photographs. This took it's own tole on my creativity. I was focusing so much on the technical details that I quit thinking as much about angles, composition, & perspective.

November & December were so busy. SO SO SO busy.  I'm so glad that I had the business that I did, but I will do things differently this year. Holiday sessions in September sound good to me. No more December 15th sessions. It was way too stressful! Live and learn.

January: I have loved these last few weeks!! I've taken some much needed time off to re-evaluate, read, LEARN, and just focus on comparing where I'm at to where I want to be; while making notes of steps I need to take to get myself from point A to point B.

::{2010 Goals}::
I am stoked for business in 2010. I have a lot of the kinks worked out by now and I'm predicting tons of growth and progress with my photography in the coming months. My main business goals for 2010 are to fully develop and understand my photography style, to get to a point where I am 100% confident about the work that I  am giving to clients, and to develop strong and lasting relationships with those that I meet and work with throughout the year. I honestly don't care if I don't make a dime this year. I am finding more joy in my hobby than I ever thought possible. It has become an addiction to seek out the thrill of learning something new and turning that knowledge into art.

::{Welcome 2010}::

If you're still reading... props to you!

And because I couldn't possibly leave you without a picture... my own crazy girl. She WILL NOT look at the camera. Oh well. Maybe someday she'll be my little model.

I won't hold my breath.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

::{One more}::

Here's one more of Michael & Whitney. I usually don't take this long to edit, but because I haven't started booking sessions yet for 2010 I've been taking my sweet time editing this session along with a senior session I did right before Christmas. I love when I have the time to really look at a picture and figure out exactly what it needs. Editing is definitely my creative outlet for me at times. I hope that by taking on fewer sessions this year that I can spend more time enjoying and learning while in the editing process. Anyway... here's proof Whit that I really am working on your session!! It shouldn't be too much longer.



Friday, January 8, 2010

::{Steele}:: part II

Ok, I can't help myself. Here's one more. Same pose, different angle.

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This morning I did some second shooting/assisting for my friend Becky McArthur. Newborns aren't usually my favorite thing to photograph, which is why I don't do them anymore, but because it wasn't my shoot I could sit back, relax and have some fun without the added pressure of being in charge. Baby Steele was so good he almost made me want to take on newborns again. He slept for an hour and 50 minutes of the 2 hours we were there. Little angel!


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Check out those fuzzy arms! Don't you just love it?


Thanks, Sherri, for sharing your home with us!

Monday, January 4, 2010

::{Q & A}::

Well, I watched The Bachelor tonight. Talk about awkward-ness!! Why in the world did he pick that last girl? The freaky emotional one. Wierd. It clearly didn't cut it for my nightly entertainment... so here I am - blogging for the second time today. Hope you don't mind.

Kristen asks: How do you keep the skin tones from going all wonky when you're editing? And, how in the world did you add the sun flare to the cute picture of your daughter in the field? Thanks so much!

Let's tackle sun flare first. It is SUPER easy! I think this is the picture you were talking about. For those that didn't see my tutorial on how I edited this,

click here to read.


For my tutorial I'll use an image I took on my sister's wedding day. Merry... don't lose hope. I'll get your wedding pictures to you some day! Here's proof that I actually am working on them.

Step One:
Open your image in photoshop, edit it like you normally would, then hit Ctrl J to make a duplicate layer.

I forgot to circle it for you, but for those who aren't sure, the layers palette is in the lower right hand corner. You will see that it has two bars (or layers). Make sure you click on the top layer titled Layer 1.


Step Two:
On the menu bar at the top click on
Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Drag the little icon to the part of your screen where the sun would naturally be. I usually choose a corner, but if I have an image with trees in the background I sometimes place it like it's coming through the trees. Adjust the different lens settings and Brightness settings to your liking.

Here's what it looks like with the flare...


Doesn't that look nicer? I love it.

If you notice, there's a little flare cirlce on the bottom left corner. Sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't. For something as formal as a wedding, I usually get rid of it. Because we did the duplicate layer before adding the flare, it's easy to erase.

Step Three:
Just add a layer mask to Layer 1, select a large black brush, and brush over the areas of flare in the image that you'd like to erase. Don't know how to use layer masks? Google it. It's something every photographer should know how to use and will save you so much time and make fixing mistakes so much easier.

With flare spot and without.

Posting that took about an hour longer than I expected, so I'll make the skin tone talk short and sweet. I am so far from an expert when it comes to skin tones. I have my own struggles with getting them to look natural. This is what I've learned though...

1. Shoot in RAW. It's so much more forgiving than JPEG!

2. Getting your white balance and exposure correct is the key to good coloring and correct skin tones. Exposure needs to be done in camera while you shoot because you can only adjust it so much in post processing. White balance is much easier to work with later as long as you shoot in RAW.

3. Adding too much contrast to skin will damage it quickly. Try to use layer masks to erase contrast from skin that is starting to look un-natural.

As I learn more about skin tones, I will share my tips with you. I love hearing from you! Please keep emailing your questions and comments to

::{Picking favorites}::

Never in a million years did I think that anyone would hire me, let alone keep me super busy at this "job", if you can call it that. Aside from the long hours and time that it takes away from my family, I am loving this photography hobby. Due to the number of requests I'm getting, I feel like it is time to start focusing on the parts of it I love and let go of the parts that I don't. This will help me to slow down a little bit (hopefully not too much though), but will also allow me to enjoy my time more. It's hard to justify taking time away from my family when I'm not excited about what I'm doing.

For now I will not be photographing newborns or extended families. When your baby starts sitting up on their own, please bring them to me! I love photographing that age. Newborns... those are a different story! Thanks for being understanding.

Love, Erin

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

::{Whit . Michael . & Brig}::

My hubs, Jace, was scrolling through my blog tonight and as I was looking over his shoulder I noticed that there have been SO many fun shoots I've had that I haven't blogged. My bad. Maybe I feel a new resolution coming on? I {LOVED} this shoot and I couldn't skip over it. These beautiful people must be seen!! Michael and I met back in the day when my best friend was dating his best friend. They lived 5 hours away and we'd always go on road trips to see them. Whitney and I met in college and one of my favorite memories of her and I was us jamming out to Michael Jackson's 'Billy Jean'. Good times! Brig is... well, what more can I say than he's just adorable! Whitney and I are planning his and Ellie's wedding. Whitney and Jace's dad are like 3rd cousins though... so is that legal? Maybe not such a good idea after all. Wow, enough rambling Erin! Please try not to drool over these:



Beautiful Mama!


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This shot has been in my head for months. I had to wait for the perfect models to pull it off. Thanks for cooperating Brig!


Funky edit. I'm diggin' it.
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