Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Appreciating the Beauty

This past weekend my family & I went to a wedding up in the mountains northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. It was such a blessing to be a part of a good friend's special day and to get out of the oppressive heat for at least one day! The wedding was sweet & beautiful (and I was the photographer!!), the weather amazing and the setting was absolutely gorgeous.

The best part for me was getting to spend some time with my husband and son away from all of the trappings of everyday life. Getting to go somewhere new...getting to spend time with friends (friends we know enough to call family)...and enjoying the beauty that is the state of Arizona.

Sometimes living here in the Phoenix Metro area we forget how amazingly beautiful the state of Arizona is. It offers so much contrasting scenery from the green trees and grass up north, the red rocks of Sedona, the wondrous Grand Canyon to the cactus and desert. I truly am blessed to live in such a place of beauty! On our way back from the wedding I had my husband stop the car so that I could capture it to share.




The first two photos were along the Salt River northeast of Phoenix. We were surprised with how green everything still was, especially since it has been so very, very hot this summer! The last photo is more near Saguaro Lake, also northeast of Phoenix. Isn't it just breathtaking?!?


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Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Favorites - Aug. 19th edition

Every now and then I try to do a post called Friday Favorites. I use it to list things that I am loving that week...it's been a while since I posted one and I decided it was time today!



REGULAR Coke – OH MY. It has been so long since I had one and I had two this week! I have been a Diet Coke/Coke Zero addict drinker for over 15 years. My taste buds are all out of control with this regular Coke and they just don’t know what to do.

Ashley Sisk – This girl rocks my photographic socks off. She is a constant inspiration and is always making me want to up my game. She is sweet, caring and knows her stuff and isn't afraid to teach you new techniques. Check out her blog…you won’t be disappointed.

Carne Asada – Holy smokes, my husband and I discovered a little carniceria (Mexican butcher’s shop) not far from our house and they sell the BEST Carne Asada and homemade tortillas and we are completely addicted. I pick it up at least once a week and let it marinade in the fridge for 2 or 3 days and then we chow down on it. DELISH!

So, do you have any Friday Favorites?


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Edit Me - Week 14 {A Vintage Fishing Vessel}

This week's challenge over at My Reflection of Something was FUN! (Yep..that's fun with all CAPS, baby!)

As soon as I saw the image supplied by Amy it spoke to me and asked me to add some vintage lovin' to it! And since I am such a pleaser, I did just what the photo asked for...black & white vintage with some texture.

Check out my edit and let me know what you think!

My edit





















Amy's original photo

My steps were:
1) Cropped the image
2) Sharpened it
3) Used Totally Rad's Brooklyn B&W action
4) Burned the edges & faded out the background to get rid of the stuff on the horizon
5) Added some layers of texture from Totally Rad actions


I'm really happy with how it turned out...it's just as I imagined it to be!

My Reflection of Something



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40 Bags in 40 Days


Alright...I've been talked into something. And I am going to do my best to follow through with my commitment to it...

I'm talking about my friend (both a bloggy friend and an IRL one!) Melissa's challenge to take care of 40 Bags in 40 Days.


The whole idea is to create a list of 40 places that you can clean out & organize over the course of 40 days. And since I am a big purger, I will be trying to find 40 bags of stuff to throw out, donate or sell, 'cause I am tired of all of the clutter around my house!!

I took her list and adjusted it to fit my life/house and this is what I came up with!!


So do you want to join in with us and do your own 40 Bags in 40 Days?



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Friday, August 12, 2011

Today I am...


  • Ready for my vacation and trip up to Washington. I really miss all of my friends & family and I really, really need a break from the everyday!
  • Wishing for happiness and health for my friends and family.
  • Excited about my new photography business. Check out my new website if you haven't already!
  • Happy that I get to spend part of my weekend with my hubby. He usually works on the weekends, so it's a nice treat that our little family gets some quality time together!
  • Proud that I started back to bootcamp at the beginning of August and that I haven't quit yet!
  • Realizing that life is short and that my parents won't be around forever. :-(
  • Finally getting my finances in line and getting better about saving for the future!
  • Noticing who and what is important to me...as well as noticing who/what isn't and letting those things go.
  • Wasting lots of time on Pinterest. It's so freaking addicting!
  • Hungry for sweets, but I am trying to cut them out of my diet.
  • Looking Forward to doing the Portland to Coast relay at the end of this month! It's something that I have always wanted to do, so when I was given the chance to join a team back in January I jumped at the opportunity! I can't wait to see my teammates and rock this thing out! (And exhaust myself at the same time!!!)
  • Thankful for my friends and family for supporting me in my new endeavor! I appreciate all of the kind words from everyone both online and IRL. I love you all!!!

What are you today?

PS. I'm linking up with After Nine to Five. Check out her blog for more What Are You posts.



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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Edit Me - Week 13 {A Dangerous Sea}

The photo for this week's challenge over at My Reflection of Something was so very, very inspiring! It was provided by Amber over at Amber's Articles...and it is a stunning photo without any adjustments to it...and it lends itself to so much creativity!

Amber's Original


Seriously I had so many ideas rolling around in my head, but I choose to do only two of them...a black & white version and a dreamy, dark & stormy version!

Here is what I came up with:


























For my black & white version I did the following:

1) I desaturated the photo
2) I did some dodging & burning to add some darkness to the clouds.
3) I went in and created a layer mask & lightened up the boat so that it was more pronounced in the background.

For the color one I did the following:

1) I sharpened with Totally Rad's Sharpen Like a Ninja action
2) I did a curves adjustment layer for the blues in the photo
3) I dodged & burned too add darkness to the rain coming down and the bottom portion of the clouds to add drama to the photo.
4) I lightened up the sails on the boat to help them to stand out more.
5) I then used MCP actions Magic Markers action from the Fusion Action Set on the sky to help it to pop and give it more of a stormy, orange color.
6) Finally I added the quote and a slight vignette.

So isn't the original stunning? And I can't decide which of my edits that I like better...they both are great in their own way!!

Happy Thursday, and don't forget to click on the button below to see the other edits!

 My Reflection of Something


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A new venture...and a new adventure!


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I am so excited to finally share with you what I have been working on for the past month! I have decided to take the leap and start my own photography business Jenn Schell Photography. Photography is something that I have loved for years...going all the way back to when I got my first 35mm camera just after high school! (And no, I won't tell you how long ago that was, just know that it was more than a decade ago!)

I have always been a visually creative person...I love doing crafts at home and I do graphic design for a living. I have been concentrating on the graphic design part of myself for the last 5 years, but when I purchased my first DSLR a few years ago I fell in love with photography all over again. I changed platforms and upgraded to a Nikon (which I LOVE!!!) this past spring, learned to shoot in manual and things have just taken off for me! I have been doing photo shoots for friends and family, discovering and learning my own personal style and getting in as much practice as possible. After much thought and soul searching, I decided that it was finally time to take a leap of faith...time to take a chance and try doing what I love and getting paid for it!

I have so many mixed feelings, mostly happiness and excitement, but I am also scared. Scared of failing, but I know that I won't have any regrets...mostly because I am taking the chance. I won't have to wonder "what if?", I know that I have finally done it and what happens, will happen!


So head on over to my new blog, Jenn Schell Photography, and check it out! I also have a Facebook fan page, so you can "like" Jenn Schell Photography there also!




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Friday, August 5, 2011

Edit Me - Week 12

I know, I know...two editing posts in a row, but I am on a roll this week working with photos. (Probably because I haven't had time to get behind my camera this week, so I am getting my creative on by working on others' photos!) This week's photo was provided by Carrie at Page's Memories, check out my edit below!


For my edit I just wanted a really clean, black & white look. First I cropped the image, because the horizon looked off because it was at such an exaggerated angle. Then I sharpened it and used an action from Totally Rad called Bitchin' B&W. I then brightened up the white just a bit and added a slight vignette to the photo. And that was it! 

The original image is to the right...

Check out other edits by clicking on the button below to head over to Branson's blog, My Reflection of Something. Have a great weekend!

 My Reflection of Something

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Simplicity Editing Challenge

I am linking up with a new editing challenge over on Faith's website and I was so excited to do this one...mostly because it is a beautiful image of her and her sweet new baby Eli! I love, love, love photos of babies!!!

My edit is on the right, the original is on the left.


 
 For this edit I used actions from MCP Actions. 
1) Fixed the exposure
2) I used Magic Skin to give a really luminous feeling to them
3) I then used the Color Fusion Mix & Match with the following: Vanilla Cream 50%, Peachy 16%, & Sentimental at 26%

I love how the photo came out looking so soft and ethereal...just what I was aiming for!

Happy Thursday!
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Haiku ode to the Arizona Summer

 
Day is very hot,
I want to enjoy a drink.
Water feels good on skin.

I am so ready for this summer weather to be over. I start to feel this way each and every summer by the month of August...Ready for it to be over. Ready to be able to enjoy the outdoors without becoming a pool of sweat. Ready to be able to enjoy the neighborhood park with my kiddo and ready to actually enjoy the sun without running from it in fear of being cooked alive!


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Monday, August 1, 2011

I have an addiction...

...To a little place on the interwebs called Pinterest

Seriously...I can't get enough of it. And if you haven't heard of it, you need to check it out.

Or don't...especially if your life is already short on time, because I would most definitely describe Pinterest as a time-suck of the highest class!

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a website that lets you "pin", organize and share what you find on the web. It is like having bookmarks, but visual bookmarks. You can use it to help decorate your home, plan a party, or organize recipes and craft ideas. Best thing is that it is also a social media medium...you can follow your friends boards, browse others pins and share your pins with others. 

I have also used Pinterest as a way for me to keep inspired at work! I have been able to organize and save some great fonts, design ideas, color schemes and photography poses. It has really been an amazing time saver when planning out a photo shoot or graphic design plan...I have already "pinned" my favorites so they are easy to access when needed! 

Here are some of my favorite recent pins!

An amazing tutorial on how to layout framed images in your home:

 Via Pinterest
I love, love, love this pose. And the light. And the perspective!
Via Pinterest & weheartit

Peach cupcakes with peach cream cheese frosting. YUMMY!

Via Pinterest & Week of Menus
We are planning on building an outdoor fireplace and this one caught my eye!
Via Pinterest & My Home Ideas

These business card designs are awesome. Just pure, modern awesomeness!

Via Pinterest & Witty Love


So are you on Pinterest yet? If so, find me and check out my boards!

If not...get on there! You won't regret it!
(ps. if you need an invite...just email me and I will send you one!)

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