Strike a Pose Workflow {Review}

Holding a canon lens cap.Back in 2014, the unthinkable happened. The computer I used for my business went Ka-boom. Thankfully, I saw it coming and had all of my files backed up and saved.

But.

Buying a new computer required that I update my editing software. Prior to that, I had been using the Photoshop CS3 that I purchased in 2007. I knew Photoshop. We were pretty much BFF’s.

Making the jump to Creative Cloud meant I could harness the power of Photoshop and Lightroom. I knew there was so much potential with Lightroom, but oh, the learning curve was steep.

I had to learn everything all over again. I was swamped with work. I had no choice but to dive in and learn.

Now, I do 95% of my editing in Lightroom. I love the ability to quickly match the editing of all my images and the ability to make batch adjustments. One thing that has frustrated me, though, is losing the brushes and detail work of Photoshop.

I recently had the opportunity to give the Strike a Pose Lightroom Workflow a try.

Wow. Let’s just say LR just leveled up to BFF status.

Strike a Pose comes with 62 portrait brushes and 69 Presets. The brushes include face sharpening, highlights, color overlays, eye whitening, teeth whitening and more. I have a very clean editing style. I don’t want anyone to ever look at my photos and think they have been altered at all.

Having said, that, of course, I do alter my images.

{For the images below I used only the Strike a Pose presets and brushes. If I was editing these to print, I would make other adjustments. What you see is not the finished products}

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are surrounded by GREEN. Green trees, green grass, green skin tones. Every photo I take outdoors needs to have the color adjusted, it’s just a fact of life. A small trade off for the beauty of living in the Evergreen State.

For the image above, I used only the Strike a Pose workflow brushes. I took out the green, used the face sharpening brush (sharpening is one of the features I miss most in PS) and a light vignette.

I used only the Strike a Pose brushes and made no other adjustments.

One thing I was interested in seeing is how well this would translate to another photo if I simply clicked the “previous” button in LR.

In the photo on the right, you can see a dark spot on my daughter’s shirt. Other than that, I was happy with how the edits translated into another photo.

The image on the left here is SOOC (straight out of camera) and the one on the right I used the Fix Green preset. This I really, really liked! I can definitely see using this for my summertime photos.

 

Here is another example. SOOC on the left and nothing but Fix Green on the right.

I’m not a fan of Presets…I have only one that I use and it is a black and white Preset which I use and then make adjustments to.

However, while testing out the Strike a Pose I tried a bunch of presets on my images….and loved this Summer Ten preset.

A review of the Sleek Lens Strike a Post Lightroom Workflow.

SOOC

A review of the Sleek Lens Strike a Post Lightroom Workflow.

Summer Ten Preset

I can definitely see using this preset with a few tweaks to make it my own.

But what if you want to take it a little further?

Review of Sleek Len's Strike a Pose workflow.

SOOC

Review of Sleek Len's Strike a Pose workflow.

For this image, I used Summer Ten and Golden Sun. This is definitely more editing than I generally do on photos, but I like the result.

Overall, I really liked this set. I found a few in the Strike a Pose that I really do like and plan to use. I felt like the brushes are extremely useful. I definitely think it is worth the $39 price tag if you have any interest in the presets or brushes.

Here are two great links if you are interested in learning more:

Sleek Lens Lightroom Tutorial and Lightroom Presets.

I was given a copy of Strike a Pose Workflow for review purposes. All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this post.

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Playing with Shadows and Light

Playing with Shadows and Light.

When taking photos I love playing with light. Light and shadows. Low-light.

I was at my parents’ house recently and noticed the sun shining in through the blinds leaving strips of sunlight across the carpet. I was watching the light and wanted to do something, anything with them.

I took a few photos but didn’t love what I ended up with.

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

ISO 500, SS 1/125, AP 5.6

For one thing, the glare off of my parents’ TV was distracting, especially with the white wall. I knew I needed something different. I saw the potential in the light but didn’t like what I what I ended up with.  Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

ISO 100, SS 1/125, AP 4.0

I called over my younger son, Apollo. I liked the way the light fell across his face gently curving. But the TV and glare was still an issue.

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

ISO 100, SS 1/125, AP 4.0

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

ISO 100, SS 1/125, AP 4.0

Apollo had his g-tube removed in November. He ended up with a terrible staph infection and it has just recently healed over. I have been wanting to get a good photo of the scar and was inspired by the light. I asked Apollo to removed his shirt and got this shot. I didn’t like it at all. Not only were the stripes distracting but one fell directly over his scar.

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

ISO 320, SS 1/125, AP 4.0

I asked Apollo to turn around so I could get photos of the scars on his back. I wasn’t happy with this image either. You can clearly see one of his scars below his shoulder bone…but the second scar isn’t even visible.

At this point, a cloud moved in front of the sun and the stripes disappeared as if someone had flicked a switch.

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

ISO 320, SS 1/125, AP 4.0

Then I took this.

This is the image straight out of camera. No editing. I went home knowing this was the image I had been wanting to create.

Sometimes playing with shadows and light can create magic!

I converted the image to black and white using my usual method. I took the photo into Photoshop and darkened the background slightly.

To me, this image is magic.

It is exactly what I was hoping for.

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Evolution of Photography {Bellingham, WA}

Photographers grow and change just like anyone else. Our styles develop over time. Like many artists, we may begin by imitating other’s work that we love, until we fall into a groove of our own. I know all of that was true for me.

I have always been passionate about photography. I was the kid at summer camp running around, trying to capture each moment with my 35mm camera (weighing each photo carefully…I only had 24 frames on my roll of film after all!) As a teenager I had the amazing opportunity to travel around the world and once again my camera was my trusty companion. My photos weren’t good and I was often disappointed when my film was developed, but none of that dampened my enthusiasm.

I got my first digital camera in 2005 and was hooked. I worked hard with that $100 point and shoot. I experimented with the settings…with flash and no flash. I worked on my composition and sometimes even converted my photos to black and white! I was rocking what I had and loving every moment of it.  In 2007 I upgraded to my first DSLR, a Canon 30D. After having it for a few months I was determined to master manual mode, which I did. When I pushed the camera and its kit lens to its limits, I bought the Nifty-Fifty (50 mm 1.4) and learned how to use that.

My style of photography has evolved a lot over the years. From 2008-2012 I thought high contrast and bright colors were the bomb.  Who cares what the subject was? My goal was to make it brighter, more vivid, more…everything…

Evolution of photography

Bright! Contrast! Vivid! Wow, I feel like I need sunglasses to look at these photos now. Who needs catchlights when you have this much color and contrast?

I was also convinced that putting my subject somewhere interesting (who cares where or why) made for an interesting photo…maybe even art. Here, stand in front of that tree. That will make a great photo!

Beautiful senior portraits by Little Earthling Photography

Now my style has evolved into a more natural, muted look. These photos were taken on the same property as the first two, but I have learned to use the light and plants as a beautiful backdrop. I value expression and personality over “cool” locations. I want my subjects to feel happy, comfortable. To feel like themselves.

Posing newborns? It wasn’t always my strong suit. Here is a photo from 2009:

I mean, what in the world was I thinking here? What kind of pose is this? Why, oh why, didn’t I tuck those arms in somewhere? Black fur and naked baby do not a beautiful portrait make.

collage of newborn photos by bellingham newborn photographer, Renee Bergeron

Now I prefer to work with the baby…and capture them in more natural poses. Poses that will bring back a rush of memories to the mom and dad viewing these photos. I love to capture the light as it spills over the baby, enhancing the wrinkles and dimples and new baby-ness.  I love to capture the unique relationships in families. This is the newborn photography I love today.

Back in 2009 I also had no idea how to pose for maternity sessions. Here, stand and look at me…now smile. A cute enough snapshot, but not the makings of beautiful wall art. Now I try to capture the essence of family in a single frame.

I strive to capture the family interactions and relationships. To me, these images speaks volumes about these growing families.

Calvin {Bellingham Birth Photographer}

And birth? It is my favorite type of photography. Calvin’s birth (above) was the first birth I ever photographed. In fact, it was the first birth I ever attended that wasn’t one of my own children. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had the enthusiasm and a desire to learn. I still love the photos from his birth. It captures the love and emotion…but I am so much more comfortable in the birth environment now.

Dozens of births later, I have gained confidence and skill.  I have shot home births, birth center births, hospital births and even a c-section. I work to capture the individual story of each baby’s birth; not a preconceived script. I am not writing the story, I am providing the visuals. The tangible memories.

I have adopted this same view with my personal photos. I try to capture the story as it unfolds; not write the script. These moments, these photos are treasures to me. These are  the moments I want to remember.

I was inspired to write this post by Light, a new camera technology that just hit the market. I am hoping to get my hands on one of these later this year and see how it works.

How has your idea of photography changed over the years? Do you have favorite photos from your childhood? Which ones are they?

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Boomer’s Drive-In {Bellingham Business}

I love living and being a photographer in Bellingham. Bellingham is a bit quirky, very green and such a friendly place. We moved here in in 1999 (when we just have three children) and I have really enjoyed this community. One thing I really enjoy is checking out the local restaurants and coffee shops. Recently I took three of my boys to Boomer’s Drive-In. It was a first for all three, and I think you’ll see they thoroughly enjoyed it. Enjoying a burger at Boomer's Drive-In in Bellingham, WAI absolutely love Boomer’s hamburgers. They are hot, juicy and layered with all the good things a burger should be layered with. The taste of these is only surpassed by the flavor of their waffle fries. Seriously, if you go there, make sure you get both.

Delicious, juicy burger at Boomer's Drive-In.

Ice cream selection at Boomer's Drive-InBoomer’s Drive-In has a large selection of ice cream. My boys indulged in milkshakes (root beer and salted caramel in case you are wondering).

Enjoying milkshakes at Boomer's Drive-In in Bellingham, WA.

The didn’t have any complaints…

Boomer's Drive-InI really like the circular table around the fire place…unfortunately this day my son’s wanted window seats.

Enjoying burgers at Boomer's Drive-In.

Holding a canon lens cap.

Black and white photo filtered through a waffle fry.

Boomer's Drive-in in Bellingham, WA.

 

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Seattle Great Wheel

Dramatic image of the Seattle Great Wheel at night.Have you you even ridden on the iconic Seattle Great Wheel? My husband and I rode on it for the first time this summer, as we celebrated 20 years of marriage.

 

 

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Boomer’s Drive-In {Lifestyle Photography}

Hamburger and waffle fries at Boomer's Drive-In

Summer is here, and with it, a special date with my

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nine-year old daughter, Avi at Boomer’s Drive-In.

A fresh burger, perfectly seasoned waffle fries and a strawberry milkshake? My daughter was in foodie heaven. cars parked at Boomer's Drive-IN Girl eating at Boomer's drive-in hamburger, shake and fries at Boomer's Drive-In

Don’t forge to slow down and savor summer. Hug your children. Buy them a milkshake.

You won’t regret it, I promise.

——–

Call today to book a session with Renee of Little Earthling Photography. Renee specializes in birth and lifestyle photography. 360-383-7889

 

 

Taco Bell {Bellingham Lifestyle Photographer}

Bellingham Lifestyle Photographer Renee Bergeron of Little Earthling Photography

My four-year old son, Apollo, has been watching with anticipation as the new Taco Bell has slowly been constructed. We talked about it every time we drove by so I promised him a trip there once it was finished.Bellingham Lifestyle Photographer Renee Bergeron of Little Earthling Photography

Apollo had never been to Taco Bell before. I wasn’t sure what he want, but ordered a crunchy taco for him. He devoured it and asked for more!

Such a fun day, full of simple pleasures.

There is nothing like having a child to help you reflect on the joy of small moments.

——–

Renee Bergeron

Bellingham Lifestyle Photographer

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The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest

The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest Little Earthling Photography

I love our little corner of the world here in the Pacific Northwest. The trees, the moss, the giant leaves, I love it all.The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest Little Earthling Photography

One favorite family activities is hiking. It is inexpensive, gets us all moving and into the great outdoors. Fresh air, quiet trails and active kids. It is the perfect combination.

The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest Little Earthling Photography

We often find ourselves hiking the North Lake Whatcom Trail. It is more of a wooded walk, but perfect because everyone in our family can participate.

The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest Little Earthling Photography

My  teens often run ahead on the trail, or  head up to the waterfall. My little ones are content to explore the trail and lake.

The Beauty of the Pacific Northwest Little Earthling Photography

Four year old Apollo has health issues, but even he enjoys getting out and hiking as much as he can.

What are your favorite hiking trails?

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Ice Cream You Scream

Renee Bergeron Little Earthling Photography

Renee Bergeron Little Earthling Photography

Who doesn’t love a little ice cream?

Thank you, Edaleen Dairy !

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The Ultimate Frozen Party

The ultimate Frozen Party.

A few weeks ago I had the fun of photographing the ultimate Frozen Party. Sweet Kylie was turning four and her mom and dad hired me to catch the action and details of her party.

The ultimate Frozen Party.

Everything was so well-thought out and planned. No detail was overlooked.The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party.

Kylie was sweet as could be, enjoying her party and passing out favors to her guests.The ultimate Frozen Party, cupcakes The ultimate Frozen Party, cupcakes The ultimate Frozen Party.

I photographed Eliana’s birth back in June, so it was lovely to be able to see her again.The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party.

And I photographed Kingstyn’s birth this summer as well. Those little lips get me every time!The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party.The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party. The ultimate Frozen Party.

 

——

Birthday cake by Xtra Special Cakes

Cupcakes and Cake Pops by Cupcakes Like it Sweet

 

 

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