Sunday, November 15, 2009

I Love My Job...And Lightroom!!

Today I had a photo session at the beach. Beach sessions always make me nervous because I have to work with the elements: wind, direct sun, shadows on faces and people in the background. You just never know how it's going to go until you get there. I got to work with a delightful family who had two of the most beautiful kids you have ever seen! (But since they have not even seen their photos yet, I'm not going to show their faces yet) :)

My favorite part of my job is actually not the taking of the photos, although that can be very fun. My favorite part is coming home and editing the photos one by one. I go through each picture, selecting the very best ones, and then get to work. I typically shoot 200-300 photos and it takes me about 3-4 hours from beginning to end to edit my favorite 100 or so. Lightroom has become my best friend. I used to love Photoshop, and still use it for touching up, but I definitely love Lightroom's amazing presets for transforming photos.

This has been my stay-at-home job for over 4 years now. My brother continues to shoot weddings, and sends me a disk of around 3000 images. I select about 700 and go to town making them the best they can be. (Visit this page if you want to see what I do with them).

For anyone out there who is a beginning photographer (or does not use Lightroom), let me show you its amazing abilities:

Raw Picture (not amazing):

Edit #1 (Lightroom - although I took the person in the bg out with Photoshop):

Edit #2:

Edit #3:

Edit #4 (you can isolate colors so just the blue stands out):

Edit #5:

Edit #6 (this one is a preset I used in Photoshop- adds a little blur and softens it up a bit):

Edit #7 (this is also a preset I used in Photoshop):

You can find a lot of presets for both Lightroom and Photoshop for free online, just by searching for them. My favorite Lightroom presets are the WOW PhotoPresets (for free) which I used above, as well as the X-equals set. Check out more free presets here.

I'm curious to know which one you like the best. They all have different tones but I tend to always gravitate towards the tones in edit #2 and #6.  I do use #7 in editing a lot as well, especially for brides that want some pictures to look more vintage.

Hope the editing tips helped those of you who love to take and edit pictures!! :)

And now...I need your help:
I'm thinking of trying to focus my blog more.  I just can't decide between: home & kids (that comes most naturally), photography, lactation counseling (tips for nursing mothers, etc.), ministry & devotionals, or recipes.  I want to write about all of these things but think it might be going in 100 different directions. What are your thoughts and what do you like to read about?  Maybe in the near year I can get a new blog format with "sections" and file things accordingly...just thinking it all through and would appreciate your input!  :)


  1. The picture and all of the edits are lovely! I hope to be paid to do this one day too. I just started using LR and would love to chat with you more about it sometime. I think Edit #3 or 6 are my favorite although I love just the SOOC with the person removed in the background.

    I also completely understand what you mean about your blog's focus. I've been struggling with that too a bit because I have such varied interests and am not an expert on anything in particular. :)

  2. I heart Lightroom too. It makes editing so easy I almost feel guilty!! Soooo much easier than dealing with photoshop.
    I personally love #3.
    I'll have to try those presets. I only ever use the ones that came with it and LOVE the "aged photo" one. I always have to adjust the exposure down but I love how it mutes the colors and makes a vingette.
    Focus? Who needs focus? :) I like to hear of all sorts of things. But maybe a couple of different sections like the pioneer woman? :)
    Take care friend, hope you have a great week :)

  3. Beautiful! Can't wait to see more! I like number 2 (I'm big on more saturation usually). :D
    And I wouldn't change a thing about your blog. You are who you are. God made you complex and talented in a variety of areas. I would just keep it the way it is and maybe add a "search by topic" button. Think ok MckMama's blog...lots of variety in one spot. :D
    Oh, and now I want Lightroom thankyouverymuch! The color selection looks SO much easier than PS.

  4. I'm with Heather on--you are who you are! I've had the same thoughts about my blog...but the blogs I enjoy reading most are "real life" ones that cover a variety of topics. I read the "focused" ones less.

  5. i love the edits. i just got lightroom myself. how did you do number four? :0) thanks so much!! (