Monday, March 29, 2010


Yet another example of Photo Fusion...this time combining painting, photography, the Auratone process, and jewelry making.

My friend Amadea Bailey (NOT pictured here!) and I have been talking about doing this for a few months now and so here it is...we've launched our line of jewelry! A perfect collaboration...Amadea is an amazing (and world renowned) expressionist painter, and it turns out her work looks incredible when transformed into Auratone pendants.  Check it out here!

We've decided to take our beautiful but shabby (and bald) mannequin around town to shoot some photos of her wearing the jewelry in various local settings...the beach, shopping, who knows.  I think we might even make a silly video...stay tuned!  Oh...and she definitely needs a name...any ideas?

Also be sure to visit Amadea's website ...she's an inspiration, the real deal, and I know you'll be impressed!

Friday, March 26, 2010


(Click to enlarge.)

For a baby shower held in a charming French restaurant, a mock “French postcard” was the perfect thank-you note. Taking individual table shots meant that each guest seated at a particular table could be featured on a customized postcard.

Once you've created a postcard template, you can use it again and again for a multitude of purposes, adapting it to suit your needs. I created an African version to complement photos I took in Kenya, changing “Merci” to “Jambo,” which means “Hello” in Swahili. I also have a Hawaiian version that says “Aloha” and one that says “Mahalo,” which means “Thank you.” Instead of the typical line you see separating the mailing address from the message, here I substituted a vertical line of type with the date of the event and my copyright information.

It's usually not a good idea to combine two such highly stylized fonts as Bodoni Classic Deco and P22 Cezanne, but in the postcard layout it somehow works, mostly because there's plenty of  space between the two fonts. This goes back to my earlier advice to just play with combinations until you hit one that makes you go “Yes!” regardless of the rules. Bodoni Classic Deco is a rule breaker in itself, the true Bodoni being a pure and unembellished typeface (as used for “Postage Stamp Here”).

I'll be including “How to Make a Postcard Template” in my upcoming Creating Photoshop Templates video workshop.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Save-the-date cards are the perfect  excuse for sharing one of those great photos from the engagement photo session!

The save-the-date card is a thoughtful way of notifying guests of the wedding date and location well ahead of time–three to twelve months–so they're able to plan accordingly. Although they've recently become pretty much de rigueur for just about any wedding (except an elopement ;-)),  they're especially appropriate for destination weddings and those for which guests will be coming in from out of town. Often a simple flat card, save-the-date cards can also take the shape of an elaborate program of events, travel routes, and suggested accommodations, although they are definitely not a substitute for the invitation itself.

Here's a simple yet elegant folded card using a printed vellum overlay and vellum envelope. If you're making the cards yourself, be sure to purchase vellum that's suitable for your printer (i.e., inkjet compatible). Action Envelope is my favorite resource for vellum envelopes in just about any size, shape, and color.

Since most printers don't allow you to print to the edge of the sheet, we'll use a larger sheet, then trim to give the effect of what is known as a "full bleed."

1) For a 5" x 7" folded card: In Photoshop, align the top of a 5" x 7" photo along the horizontal center line of a letter-size file (8 1/2 x 11"), then print on a letter-size sheet of heavyweight paper.

2) Remove the sheet from the printer, then flip, rotate, and reinsert into the paper feed.

3) Type the save-the-date information in the same area but on its own layer, then turn off the photo layer and  print the inside text.

4) Fold* the sheet in half and trim the sides and bottom.

5) Print the vellum overlay in the same manner, with the text on its own layer and positioned so that it falls within the photo area.

6) Fold* and trim the vellum overlay.

7) Apply a bit of glue along the top edge of the card and adhere the overlay.

*Note: For clean folds, use a bone folder to score and burnish.

Oh, and if you're a professional photographer, be sure to add your contact information (tastefully, of course) to the back of each and effective promotion!

This and many other projects are detailed in my book, "The Art & Craft of Keepsake Photography: Engagements & Weddings," available in my website shop and through online booksellers like

Monday, March 22, 2010


Introducing Monday Morning Musings...wherein the blogger blogs about whatever strikes her fancy.

This morning it's to INSPIRE and ENTHUSE, and to that end, my Photo Fusion Facebook Fan Page is now open for business!

In addition to my blog feed with tons of FREE information, I've added lots of photos, some videos, and a few discussion topics awaiting your participation. Much more to come, including links to my new video workshops. My hope is for the page to become a living, breathing thing as we share our passion for all things photographic. It's eclectic, exciting, and effervescent (shrug...I can NEVER resist the opportunity for a little alliteration)!  So join the fun, become a fan, and please do tell your friends!

Coming up...Wedding World Wednesday (groan, there I go again!):  Tons of tips on wedding and engagement photography—whether you're a bride, groom, guest, or pro shooter—and even Photoshop tutorials on what to do with those great images.

Friday, March 19, 2010

FONT FLAG FRIDAY #6...and some free advice!

Killing three birds with one stone here...a new font flag with four (!) different typefaces, using my iPod hair experiment, and getting something off my chest.

Okay, first things first: The fonts are Lithos Pro (an all-caps typeface); Apple Chancery (script); Mrs. Eaves (for very readable yet elegant text, and probably my favorite and most-used font family); and Prints Charming (which I chose because the “O” echoes the shape of my smilin' face, laugh lines and all!). Four very different personalities, yet they comfortably cohabit this layout without chaos.

Now, as far as getting something off my chest...I cannot tell you how many fabulous, wonderful, sophisticated, upscale, and stylish ads, websites, articles, and captions I have seen where an apostrophe is arbitrarily plunked down to form the contraction “it's” when it's just plain wrong. There is nothing wrong with the word “its” as long as it's used properly (as in “Punctuation rears its ugly head.) I know, I know...picky, picky, picky. But it's just one of those things that makes my heart sink as my (and I'm quite sure other people's) estimation of the professionalism of the entity involved sinks in direct proportion.

There, I feel MUCH better!

Friday, March 12, 2010


I swear this isn't really my's a bunch of Photoshop layers. I scanned some distressed papers, a blank Post-It note, an old file folder, a broken grease pencil, and a contact sheet I recently came across (from the old!), threw in some Photoshop brush stains and splats, then chose a couple fonts I thought would work well together in this grungy layout: FG Nina, to replicate a note printed by hand, and VT Portable favorite old typewriter font (and it's FREE!).

A fun example of "photo fusion" this case film and digital virtually collide!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I am not a photojournalist...I'm personally uncomfortable getting in a stranger's face, so to speak, but thankfully there are others who are not...and my newest old friend, Barbara Hayden, is one of them. Her love of humanity drives her art, and she has an unerring eye for catching those authentic moments. She's been shooting since the 70s, from the east coast to the west, and I think her photos are a national treasure.

Check them out here...make sure your sound is on, choose to view in high quality, and enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Inspired by last night's 82nd Academy Awards...or more precisely the logo for the 82nd Academy Awards. My attention was drawn to the space surrounding the font was filled with a blurry moving image. Exquisitely designed fonts like this one (I'm not sure what they used...I chose Big Caslon, above) feature lines and curves that make the "negative space" as elegant and eye-catching as the typeface itself.

Of course, I was watching mostly for the favorite: Demi Moore's peachy Versace!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Off point (again), I digress...well, it is Sunday, after all. So I gave myself a manicure the other day with my usual coat of dark polish. Once it had dried, thought I'd lighten it up a bit with a coat of bronzy shimmer. Hated it the next day so got out the polish remover and after a couple swipes noticed the cool distressed look...kind of like acid etching on paint. Showed it to my daughter who said, "Wow, Mom, it looks just like your art!" Now I can't wait to try other colors.

The perfect foil to the oh-so-proper French manicure...grunge nails. Wouldn't it be funny if it caught on?!? Well, don't forget you heard it here first!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I know, I's Thursday, but I couldn't wait to share this with you.

Some font packages include "extras"...related decorative elements and even sketches that can be used to complement your layouts in myriad ways. Here I chose the P22 FFLW Exhibition font...I used one of the 72 (!) extras to create the background which I then grunged up a bit. This geometrically-designed extra provides the perfect border for a photo...others form continuous linking borders. Very, very cool!

And now, for your listening (and viewing) pleasure...pump up the volume and click here.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Don't you love thinking about how one thing led you to another thing which led you to another thing and on and on until here you are? Like following the dots of our creative experience that make up the picture that is us? Nothing is wasted!

Shortly after I began shooting in earnest, I discovered alternative Polaroid processes and dove right in. Though the technique became a bit over-used, I still love the fresco-like texture and painterly effect. A few years later, after I had learned to use Photoshop, I scanned my favorites, so even though Polaroid is no longer making instant film, I can use my transfers forever.

Now my passion has turned to photo encaustic, and my eyes are constantly on the prowl for likely candidates. I had made this little booklet of Polaroid transfers as a promotion piece. The pages are interspersed with vellum containing text. Recently I took the book apart, edited and reprinted the title page, then dipped the imaged pages in encaustic and rebound the book. It's a great little table-top piece...I love the tactile quality and the way the light shines softly on the wax. Imagine your photos complemented by some of your favorite quotations, poems, or lyrics.

Very simple, very satisfying. Order my photo encaustic kit and see for yourself.