Go ahead , grab a cup of tea and a snack *wink*
Once upon a time back in the 1990’s I was in a computer graphics class in Junior High School. I was introduced to the new PaintBrush application. At first I drew with it like most kids did. Then I discovered I can import digital pictures into it and draw on them. I also discovered the sample tool and used it to create colored pixels to add or take away from the photo. My family received our first set of digital files of our family photos done at Olan Mills so I imported some of those. I used the sample tool to adjust my figure slimming myself down and whiten my teeth because I was self conscious back then.
Then I got a hold of a basic digital camera and helped improve the overall colors of the photos and created some interesting magical special effects using Paint Shop Pro. Lots of my friends and family enjoyed what I was able to do with their photos.
Then in college, and 4 majors later, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to study. I went to a workshop at the Councilor’s office and they said that I should draw on a piece of paper what I enjoy doing the most. Most of what I drew was about…yes, editing photos. This burden was lifted! Yes! I LOVE editing photos and making them look spectacular! I was so excited. My new major was in Graphic Design focusing on Digital Imaging.
This is where I discovered this magically amazing photo editing software called Adobe Photoshop. The possibilities were endless!
I had such fun classes to further improve my skills and imagination. One class I had to take was photography. I wasn’t much of a photographer and hadn’t thought much of it. I also acquired a job as a photo journalist as an elective course. What a new experience it was. I’ve learned so much after taking these photo classes and working as a Photo Journalist! I’ve learned composition, lighting, posing, capturing interesting situations, and learning new perspectives and angles. All of these helped make my editing eye and skill improve.
After I’ve graduated I’ve wanted to become a freelance photographer/photo editor using my graduation gift, an Olympus Evolt 300 DSLR camera. I became the official church fellowship meeting photographer. So many church brethren loved my photography. And of course the special edits I’ve done to their images.
In 2003 I was given the privilege to photograph my own mother’s wedding. And then I photographed my little sister’s pre-wedding ceremony. Can you believe her photographer was late? I photographed my sister getting dressed in the room. My favorite photo I captured and edited was a gorgeous silhouette of my sister looking over her shoulder. In Photoshop I added a veil to her head since you couldn’t tell she was a bride.
2004 I got married. Woohoo! Since I was new to photography, I hired one of the photographers from my College Newspaper team. I made the mistake of not having them edited. Even so, they didn't turn out as beautiful as I'd like. There have been times I'd come across a friend's gorgeous wedding album and I'd get so sad because I don't have beautiful and dreamy photos. Have you experienced this with your wedding photos?
In 2009 I photographed my first wedding of someone introduced by a friend. It was a lot of fun and the bride enjoyed her photos. I always love to include specially edited photos to make them look extra stunning. Notice how many people are enjoying photo art?
I’ve photographed a total of 5.5 weddings and everyone enjoyed their beautiful photos by me. I can’t help having my heart feel so overfull with excitement and love.
It was 2010 and my husband and I finally was able to to give birth to our much desired baby after trying for 5 years. We enjoyed our Micah so much for 3 wonderful little months. But then we experienced the worst tragedy, no parent should experience, with the loss of our baby boy Micah who was 3 months old when we were hit by a semi-truck. Our dreams and hearts were crushed. Thank God my husband and I made it but my son did not. A month later there was a fellowship meeting back home with a dedicated morning for Micah’s memorial. In my heart I had this strong desire to make the invitation, the program and a photo book about Micah. Some people didn’t understand how I can handle working with his photos but I felt so strongly to honor him, my family and church family who has prayed for us all of these years to give them my magic. I loved photos, his photos and making them look extra beautiful. They had to be perfect and showcased to everyone I love at the meeting. I wanted to be the one to make the invite and program card. He was MY baby. I'm his mommy and it's my honored duty to do this. Have you ever felt passionate about something like this? The way I made the program was that on the back of it I made a bookmark with Micah’s photos on it. This was meant to be cutout to use as a bookmark. Later I found out no one had the heart to actually cut into the beautiful program. That’s fine I guess. *smile*. My husband and I overcame our grief well because of the tremendous support and love from our church families.
Once my injuries healed enough I was able to purchase a new Canon T1i DSLR camera and a new portrait lens and get back into my photography business. And wow did this new glass improve my images making the photo art even more amazing! I tell you, a DSLR camera with good glass makes a world of difference in our pictures we take.
Now the Smartphone has become popular and many people are using it to take their pictures. Honestly I have been enjoying my own iPhone. But as I zoom in to the photos from my iPhone I’ve noticed I can’t do much but put them in my photo book. The quality isn’t very crisp, smooth and clear. And when I zoom into my photos taken by my new DSLR, whoa, the possibilities are endless. I can enlarge my photos to a gorgeous 16x24 if I wanted to. I can make beautiful canvases too! And I have!
2015, a miracle! We had a baby girl! Our hearts are so full of love I’ve been enjoying photographing her cuteness. I’ve decided that for the everyday life I will use my iPhone. But for goals of making an enlargement or for her birthday photos we will have a more professional session with my DSLR camera. I plan to print out a 16x24 enlargement of my little girl for every birthday. And to think out of a few hundred shots I have to narrow it down to one? lol The newest plan is to make a professional lay flat photo book with only professional shots using my DSLR camera. I can’t wait to start working on this! This book will be out of this world! My daughter is my dream come true again. I can't contain my love for her inside but must express it in photography. Everyone who comes into my home will know a precious girl lives here. A little girl who we've prayed for since we lost our son. When we look at her enlarged and beautiful photos, we just fall in love all over again. Do you feel that with your photos too?
Now that my daughter is 3 years old I’ve recently had my website redesigned by a designer. I have new goals too. Now that I’m a mother, I want to help not just mothers but anyone who loves to take photos of their family members. I want you to be able to make those special memories stand out. If you were a bride and suffered terrible wedding images like I did, well, here I am again to help you make them much more gorgeous to enjoy. If you’ve suffered tragedies like I did then I’d love to help you make those last images even more beautiful and memorable. They deserve that. You deserve that. Do you think so?
Speaking of remembering loved ones, over the years I have used my editing skills to restore old photos. I use a lot of “Sampling” similar to when I first learned about Paintbrush photo editing. But of course, my skills have immensely improved. Another skill I have worked on is people drawing. I’ve learned how to draw people since I was 8 years old so I’ve been able to use this technique and redrawing in lost features in old and faded photos. Drawing has definitely helped restore many clients’ photos successfully.
I truly enjoy the reactions, the tears of happiness, I receive from everyone who received their new images whether it’s for a memorial table or as photo gifts. Do you have old and worn photos of someone you love?
It’s been a pleasure talking to you about how I came to be your family photo retouching artist. You don't have to be a professional photographer to receive beautifully enhanced images. Feel free to check out the free photo tips to help improve your photography and sign up to receive a helpful gift that goes towards your first purchase of magic.
I look forward to helping you fall in love with your beautiful photos.