Thursday, March 26, 2015

Real Estate Editing

One thing that I've been doing for the past couple of years has been editing real estate photos. Ya know, when you go online to search for a house (because you are actually looking for a new place to move to or you want to see what's available in your area or you simply like to look at other people's homes) and the listings have photos that pull you into that home and make you want to know more of what that home has to offer... Yes, those incredibly important photos. They really are what will make or break the listing.

I started this service originally by going out to the actual homes going up for sale and physically taking photos of the outside, the rooms, the layout, and any other images that might promote the property. I love looking at listings myself and know the importance of having beautiful, grabbing images to pull you in.

This became a little tougher to do after I had my daughter as then I had to find someone to watch her, usually at a moment's notice, and then spend an hour (or three) at the property taking photos.

But it wasn't just as simple as going in and snapping a couple pictures. Many times the listing agent and myself had to walk through and mop floors, hide clutter, straighten the towels and close closet doors. This may be above and beyond what many real estate photographers do, but it was important to me to provide appealing images of the property and paying attention to those little details really can dramatically improve how a house looks.

Kinda makes me realize how cluttered and "lived in" my own house looks 99% of the time. Oh the desire to have a pinterest worthy home all of the time. Real life alert - It's not possible! (especially when you have toddlers) But I digress...

Thus my services changed from providing the whole package to simply editing photos that the listing agents take themselves. With the smartphone capabilities nowadays and the fact that these images will be shown online (no huge poster-sized prints where resolution and crisp focus are essential), there really isn't a huge reason to bring out the big equipment - cameras and special lenses and lighting and tripods. The 'photographer' (home owner, seller, listing agent, etc) still needs to have a vision of what type of photos are needed and know what angles are best, but the rest of the process is what I am here for.

I take those images and edit the exposure and colors and tones to get a cohesive look through the house. I remove the orangey color casts from indoor lighting and add true-to-life color back into the floors and cabinets*. I work to remove arms and legs from mirrors or odd connections from when several images are seamed together to create a panoramic of the room or yard. And I brighten the color of the grass and sky and bring out the beauty of nature in the outdoor photos. It's important though to not be fake and edit too drastically that the images appear edited. A little goes a long way and too much can ruin the listing and cause doubt and distrust in the viewer's mind.

 While this is just one small service I provide, it is something that can be extremely powerful for a Real Estate business and getting buyers interested in properties listed for sale. This is also something that I enjoy and that I can do during naptimes or after the kids are in bed. It's a win-win for all! :)

*this is the goal of my editing processes. It isn't always possible in every situation and every photograph. Some challenges do come up when working with other people's photos, but I edit to the best of my ability and time constraints.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Calvary Projects

Here are some of the design projects I've been working on the past couple months for Calvary Community Baptist Church in Northglenn.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Officially Spring!

Spring officially started today and what a beautiful day it is! The kids are outside playing and allowing me some time to get a little bit of work done, which includes catching up on some very belated blog posting...and billing (ya know, the important part of running a business).

Most of my time as of late has been caring for snotty noses and sleepless toddlers. It's made the nights long and the days longer, but we're surviving and extremely happy for some warmer weather to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. I know that we have a couple more months of winter left here in Colorado... our snowiest months are usually March and April...but we are enjoying the "spring" weather while it is here.

It's exciting to see how God is providing for us lately. He's brought a few new clients my way in the past couple of weeks and my calendar is already filling up with both photography sessions and design jobs. Spring is an exciting time of the year!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

9 Month Session - Sweet Little Alaya

I'm excited about these kids. They were smiley, rambunctious and so much fun to capture! I drove out to their home and we cleared a space in the dining room for a 9 month photo session for this little sweet pea.

Look at that gorgeous little leg chub. Swoon!

Her brother got in on some photos too.

 Although it did take a little coaxing and me getting on the floor to roll cars back and forth for a few minutes to get him comfortable enough with me to smile for the camera. :)
Even though all of the images turned out so cute, these are by far my favorite of the entire session!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Cake

So...the cake. Basically, it fell apart when I tried getting it out of the pan. I was able to piece it together to make a short stack, but it was very very rough looking. A couple hour stay in the freezer made it secure enough to accept frosting without it falling to pieces again.

If only the frosting worked out! Grr. For some reason, the frosting tasted HORRIBLE! I followed the directions but I'm not sure what happened. So, I dumped that and was going to make a grocery run first thing the next morning for the nasty pre-made, full-of-junk frosting tub.

Now, I have nothing against store bought frosting. It actually is pretty tasty sometimes and I am not one to say no to anything sweet. Plus, trying to get the color right myself was a bit tricky. Yes, I did use food coloring, although I did buy some berries and such to try it out naturally. I just didn't get the time to try with all the hassles with the first batch tasting horrible. But mostly I wanted to make my own frosting because I haven't given the kid much junky foods. He had a dairy insensitivity for most of his infant life - which meant I've been dairy-free for most of his infant life - and I've been hesitant to add much of that in, especially all at once. Plus, who wants a serious allergic reaction right before his birthday party?! So anyway, think about that if you are planning a cake smash session with me or with your photographer. Safety first!

Back to the cake...

It was bothering me so bad that night that I didn't have the cake ready for my morning cake smash session that instead of going to bed like a normal person, I made another batch of frosting using whatever ingredients I could find in my fridge and cupboards. :) This time it tasted pretty good and actually was a good enough consistency to use.

I had meant to do one large circle eye in white and black frosting on the front, but with all the frosting issues and my lack of time since it was now 11:30 at night, I figured out some different eyes to use. Thanks to sister's craft project pom pom balls and cake pop sticks. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Maddox - 1 yr Smash Cake

This kid cracks me up! He is extreme on both his giggles and his stubbornness. So I knew I had to do something fun for his 1st birthday.

Enter: theme - Monsters

It never turns out as good as it is in your head... or am I the only one with this problem? It definitely was more grand in thought than it was in reality, but I think it turned out pretty good overall. If only the kid cooperated. Lol. It seems that no matter what, it takes a little bit of coaxing to get them to get into the action. It's like they know it's a one-time-shot and they do everything in their power to fight the urge to make everyone happy. Especially when it's one of your own. :P

We found these super cute fuzzy balls at Walmart that went perfect with the monster theme, which was good because as I previously said, my idea was more grandiose in my head than it was turning out to be. A few streamers, a funky cake that is a story in itself, some heavy-duty wrapping paper and a variety of balls and we're good to go!

He wasn't much into it. It took quite a bit of coaxing to get his fingers dirty. And he didn't like the taste at all, which I was totally fine with. :) All in all it was a fun time and the pictures were so worth it! It's a lot of work, but these are such fun sessions to do overall.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Annual Report - Global Connection International

The staff at Global Connection International were so pleased with our last project (the Xtreme Truth Mailer) that they contacted me again for help designing their Annual Report! I was happy to oblige of course.

I love doing Annual Reports! They are a mixture of creativity, stories, facts and financials all combined into one large, or small, piece. It takes a lot of thought and structure to get all this into one booklet and keep it all looking cohesive. And on top of that, the company's branding needs to be maintained.

Maybe it's because life in general tends to be complicated. There's always so many parts and pieces in our lives - work, home, social, kids, friends, church, etc. I think this allows me to take a bit of that complicated mess and make it seem so beautifully simplistic. :)

We got the report put together and finalized, then came back a few weeks later and created individual pages that GCI could email out through a series of enewsletters.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Xtreme Truth - Global Connection International

Global Connection International is an organization working all over the world to help bring the gospel to some of the darkest and hardest reached places. One of its big areas is human trafficking. GCI staff were putting together an event here in Colorado for high school girls to bring awareness to this horrible offense within our own communities. Yes, this is a problem even here in the United States. I heard the stories of local young girls being bribed and threatened and trapped in sexual slavery, all while still living a 'normal' teenage life, unsuspecting of their parents and friends. It's disgusting and horrendous, but this knowledge needs to be out there to prevent our own daughters, sisters and friends from becoming ensnared in the same situations.

They had been working with a local print shop to design a mailer for this event and just couldn't connect their thoughts and ideas with that shop's designer. So they contacted me! We met up and discussed what they were looking for. They sent me some samples of images they thought would work for the mailer. And since the deadline was fast approaching for when they needed this in the mail, I got right to work on setting up the piece.

We had quite a bit of back and forth for changes and new image ideas and finally met up for an afternoon of designing/collaborating ideas with the images we could find to purchase. It was a long day and a wee bit stressful since we couldn't find the exact image to fit the size and specs and feeling of the project, but we found some that were close seconds. A few more changes and drafts later and this is the finished project:
It's pretty nice if I do say so myself. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Life of a Mommy Creative

Late nights, long nights, even longer's the life I live now. Don't feel bad for me though. I bring it on myself. That's because I love what I do...all of it!

I love being a mommy.

I love being behind the camera.

I love creating new things and working with amazing people.

I love the challenge that some of these projects bring.

I love the late nights (just not so much the early mornings and nap-less days).

I love the little bit of extra income it provides for my family and business.

I love the connection with adults (there is too much toddler-level talk around the house these days!).

I love the reprieve from this insane life I live. :)

So see, I bring it on myself. I just love it all too much. And so far I've been able to continue doing what I love. I'm not sure what the future holds for us - we're constantly in prayer over that. But I do know that my love of design and photography, of the creative lines involved in these fields and of the focus and knowledge that these fields require will always be a part of me. It's just who I am!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Catching up... and a graduation.

It's been a long summer... and yet, this summer has gone very quickly! Can you believe it's August already?? We've had family vacations (most being simply a long weekend away), weddings, parties, playdates, camping, family celebrations. Then we've had flu bugs and colds, temper tantrums and talking back, time outs and spankings,

The latest and greatest event was this graduation that we attended about halfway through the summer. I should've brought my Nikon to capture this event, but at the time juggling two kids and a DSLR didn't sound like much fun. So the camera on my phone had to suffice.

So now that summer is over and the weather is just starting to get unbearably hot (ha!), I need to get back into posting and creative exercising. We'll see how that goes... these two kiddos of mine are always on the go. And lately they've both decided that they want to stay up all night...and not take naps during the day (Bubbi has been surviving on 10 minute snoozes! No idea how!). This has been hard on me and sweet Hubs! But here is to being hopeful I can carve out some more time for the 'paperwork' and social side of my business. :)