Portfolio Video Slideshow - Play in 720p when viewing in full screen. **UPDATED JANUARY 2013


Sunday, June 28, 2009


While I love taking photos of people and especially kids, I also really enjoy taking photos of animals.

Karissa actually lives in my neighbourhood and is one spunky, full of energy little thing!! Fortunately I was able to get a few good shots. :) This one is my favourite that I took a while ago, but haven't been able to get it posted until now.

Meet Karissa

My 5 yr old thinks Karissa is a lot of fun and really cute too! :)

PS: Don't forget to vote in this week's just for fun poll over on the right hand side.


Here's a "What The Duck" comic for this weekend:

"What the Duck" is an online comic strip by Aaron Johnson. Viewers are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc. I LOVE these!! :))

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #7: Do you take more pictures in Summer or Winter?

Thanks to everyone who voted in last week's just for fun poll. Another record level of votes at 10. :) You can see the results posted in the blog post from last week.

The weather is SOOOOO nice so far this week I got to wondering if people typically take more photos in the Summer or in the Winter.

Winter Friend

Summertime Stroll

I think I must take more photos in the summer, only because of all the outdoor activities going on. Also, clients tend to want more outdoor portraits done in summer vs. winter ;)

So what about you? Do you put your camera in hiding during the winter months? Are you too scared to bring out the camera when you're at the beach for fear of sand and water getting in it? I'm interested to know if you take more photos in the summer or in the winter. You can find the new poll just over on the right side.

GO!! VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!!!! :))

-- Lisa P.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


So I'm totally stealing the idea of posting my fav "What The Duck" comic onto my blog from my online photographer friend in Denver, Sheba :) She's the one who introduced me to "What The Duck" when I started reading her blog a long while ago.

Every weekend I'll try and post my favourite of the week. Here it is for this week:

"What the Duck" is an online comic strip by Aaron Johnson. Viewers are welcome to link, post, copy/paste, or save the strips to their own sites, blogs, forums, newsletters, etc.

PS: Don't forget to vote in this week's just for fun poll at the right. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #6: Do You Calibrate Your Monitor?

Wow, a record number of votes on last week's poll. 9! haha :) Thanks for voting. It looks like we're all packrats and keep all of our 'stuff'.

Sorry for the delay in getting the new poll posted. I've been having to minimize my time on the computer due to the return of my RSI (repetitive strain injuries) so you may notice a decrease in my online activity for a little bit. :(

This week, I'm curious as to how many of you calibrate your computer monitors. I didn't calibrate mine until I started photo editing. Now I calibrate regularly. It's amazing how different monitors can be and I wish I had control over what others see on their monitors when they view my photos.

I use Spyder 3 to calibrate with. What do you guys use? Let me know in a comment :)

Thanks for voting!


Results of Weekly Poll #6:

Yes 2 (20%)
No 7 (70%)
I don't know 1 (10%)

-- Lisa P.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: A Tablet...No, not the medicine kind....well....maybe....

One of the items on my wish list (and there are many) is a tablet. No, not the pill kind, but a graphics tablet. It's an input device that can be used for many things, including during the photo editing process instead of a mouse. People say that you have better control with the pen vs. the mouse when doing finer editing.

I had hoped to get one later on in the year, however I had to step up the purchase by several months.

In the late 90's, I developed a repetitive stress injury in my arms, triggered by heavy computer use, lots of sitting, poor posture, etc. It was probably even more frustrating than painful, as I wasn't 'sick', however I wasn't able to do even simple things like cut my food at times. I was referred by my doctor to The RSI Clinic, was off work full time for a while and then part time for a bit as well. I probably was doing rehab therapy for about 2 years. Then I changed companies and was no longer working 'downtown', but out by the airport. Too far to continue going to the clinic, so I tried my best to continue my exercises, etc.

Apart from continual back muscle pain and tightness, things haven't been too bad over the past 9 years. :) I admit that my lifestyle doesn't include much regular physical activity, which is never a good thing. Combine that with 7-12 hours sitting in front of a computer and I have had to be careful not to overdo things. I also rely heavily on my husband's help to work out some of the tight muscles. He's gotten very good at finding the trigger points on my back and helping to release them. His poor hands are getting weaker though...poor guy!

A few years ago I started sensing that the old body might be starting to rebel once again. So I made sure I did my best to not sit for too long in front of the computer and was lucky that my job at that time required me to be on my feet on a regular basis. The company I work for also had a Registered Massage Therapist come on site once every two weeks which was very convenient and saved a lot of time vs. having to find one close to home and wasting time traveling to and from appointments. Unfortunately, about a year ago, the onsite massages ceased, as there wasn't enough interest to make it worth their while to come in. I think at times I was the only person who was booking and they'd always end up cancelling on me! LOL

Back last Fall, I took on a new position at work and was once again sitting at my desk most of the day. Couple that with the photography related computer work I do and it was back to sitting in front of a computer for 7-12 hours a day. I did notice the difference almost right away, but made a conscious effort to not remain static for long periods. It's been going alright for the most part, up until this week.

I recognized the sensations in my arm all too well. :( Yesterday, when I started writing this post, is actually the worse day of all and it's take me a very long time to even type this blog entry. But I'm stubborn and will find a way to accomplish what I need to accomplish. I decided last night that mousing was definitely not going to be a possibility for much of my editing work that I'm doing right now as I can't steady the mouse with my hand. So I did some more research and narrowed it down to two types of Wacom tablets. The Bamboo Fun and the intuos4. I decided on the intuos4 based on what Bryan at my favourite camera store, Henry's, told me about the quality during editing compared to the other model.

I'm hoping that changing my hand and arm motions while I'm using the computer, at least while at home, will help some of my muscles rest. If it turns out it works well, maybe I'll use it at work as well. We'll see.

My Newest Toy

What's Inside The Box

It's a bit strange to get used to at first, and I've only been using it a short time, but I think I'm getting the hang of it :)

So we'll see if my new addition will help at all, in conjuction with other changes. Wish me luck!!!! :))

-- Lisa P.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #5: Do you still have your old school pictures?

Thanks to those who voted in last week's poll.

This week, I'd like to find out if you still have those school photos of yourself. You know, the ones that were taken in every grade?

My mom gave me my school memory book with each grade's pictures inside many years ago. I haven't looked at it in ages. I think it's in an old desk in the basement. This reminds me that I should dig it out and show my 5 year old. I'm sure he'll get a good laugh at seeing Mommy when she was little.

You can find this week's poll over on the right side.

Thanks for participating in my little just for fun polls :)



Yep, I have them all 8 (88%)
I kept them for years but eventually tossed them 0 (0%)
Nope, didn't keep them after I moved away from home 1 (11%)
We didn't do that where I grew up. 0 (0%)
I'm still in school and I keep them myself 0 (0%)
I'm still in school and my mom/dad keeps them 0 (0%)

-- Lisa P.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

TOOLS OF THE TRADE: Photo Editing Software

A new category! :) There are so many tools used by a Photographer that I thought I should start a new category. So introducing: "Tools of the Trade"

I'm in the middle of doing a lot of photo edits and I thought I should do a quick post about the tools I mainly use for editing.

Many Photographers will tell you that there are 3 pieces that make up a photograph:
  1. The skills of the Photographer
  2. The quality of the equipment used by the Photographer
  3. The post processing done by the Photographer
I'm of this belief as well. There are many posts and articles about this. I'll try and find one to link to once I'm more caught up :)

For post processing, I primarily use Photoshop Elements. I find that it has most of the functionality I require, without being too complicated. I've recently downloaded a trial version of Photoshop CS4, but haven't had much opportunity to test drive it. It's quite a bit more complicated and has functionality I probably will never have the need to use. It's also quite a bit more costly than the Elements version.

When I do process a photo, I typically do the standard things like crop, adjust contrast, saturation, etc. Nothing to fancy. I've been known to 'fix' up backgrounds and other things that need adjustment.

When I started editing the Boudoir photos, I wanted to give them more attention to the finer details. Things like skin smoothing, blemish removal, taming a wild hairdoo, etc. are petty much standard. You can do these things in Photoshop, but there are also other tools available that specialize in such processing techniques. The one I've been using is Portrait Professional. It's relatively simple to use if you're familiar with using editing type software. But you do need to understand how the adjustments will affect the portrait and make sure you don't end up with an over done skin tone/texture.

You've seen this photo in a previous post. The first version is before any significant post processing has been done. The second is after.

Prior To Post Processing

In the original version, my client looks quite nice. But one of the parts of doing a Boudoir session is to give the client a bit of a boost and draw out her natural beauty.

After Post Processing

In the after shot, you can see that the photo is softer and things are evened out a bit more than the original and of course is darker with a higher contrast than the first version).

The tricky part is not going too far. What's too far? It's quite subjective and is a personal preference of the client. Some clients want to have every blemish removed, while others don't. (I think I have about 6 or so different versions of this one photo)

Every client is different, and that's what makes things so fun and interesting!

Processing photos can be quite time consuming, depending on what types of edits you need to do. It's important to have software that will make your job easier and quicker, so you can spend more time shooting. :)

-- Lisa P.

Monday, June 1, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #4: How do you share your photos?

OK first off, I can't believe none of you who are reading my blog and voted on last week's poll use Nikon!!

For this week, I'm curious to know how you share your photos? Do you share them electronically, perhaps through an online gallery, or do you print them?

Please, add any details to describe what method you use, what service you use, etc. in a comment on this post. I love comments :)



Through e-mail 1 (20%)
Online galleries 3 (60%)
Print 1 (20%)
Other 0 (0%)

Thanks for participating :)

-- Lisa P.