Saturday, June 25, 2011

We've moved!

We don't want to miss anyone, so if you land here, please check out our new website at It has the website, store, blog, and forum all in one place!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Want Better Images? Read this now.

We are so pleased to have a guest blog post by Matthew Kees of MLK Studios. Matthew provides online photography education that is second to none. Matthew has also kindly consented to offer a SUPER sale for our readers. Using the code "super sale" at MLK Studios you can get the entire comprehensive eight week photography course for $199. (This is an incredible savings.) This is a great way to take your images to the next level.

Without further's Matthew.

Using a Gray Card

Whether you shoot film, digital or both a gray card is a very important tool to own and use. The older style gray cards, made by Kodak and others, are designed for setting exposure. A camera's exposure meter (aka "light meter") is based on a standard. If it weren't then we'd have to experiment with every camera and meter to figure out what the meter was really telling us. The standard that was agreed to many years ago, is called 18% "reflectance", or 18% gray or "middle" gray. **

** 18% is a middle tone in photography because our exposures are based on "stops" which double or halve the amount of light. So exposure is logarithmic and not linear.

When you hold an 18% reflectance card in front of the camera, it is reflecting exactly the right amount of light that your meter is "tuned" to. A lighter card would cause you to underexpose (the meter would try to make it darker) and a brighter card would make you overexpose (the meter would tell you how to make it lighter). The same is true for any "scene" you aim the camera at. If the scene is bright, your indication will be underexposed, and a dark scene gets overexposed. By pointing to a standardized middle tone, the meter always gives you the correct exposure.

The newer type of gray cards are designed for setting white balance. They tend to be a bit lighter than an exposure card, so you wouldn't use it to set the exposure. Instead, it is made to reflect the three primary colors of light equally, so that any light bouncing off of it will show the color of the light. You've probably taken a shot indoors and noticed it looks orange (or amber) or outdoors in shade and noticed the color was too blue. A gray card will let you capture the right color of the scene.

All digital SLR's have White Balance presets. Examples are Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent and Incandescent (or Tungsten). These have preset Kelvin temperatures that professionals use to measure the "color" of light. Blue light outdoors has a higher Kelvin temp than a tungsten, or incandescent, light indoors. Setting the Kelvin temp in the camera to match the temperature of the light gives you the truest color.

Since the presets are often a few hundred degrees apart, the light may not fit exactly into a preset setting. For example, if you shoot with normal household lights, they burn at 2600K (or so depending on the make an wattage) and the Incandescent (or Tungsten) preset is set for 3200K lamps used professionally in studios and movie sets. So while the colors will be close to real, they aren't exactly right. Using a digital gray card to set the Kelvin temperature in camera (or later in post when shooting RAW) lets you match exactly to the true Kelvin temperature of the light, and therefore gives you the truest color of the subject.

Don't spend a lot on a collapsible reflector style tool to set WB or exposure. Instead, get a Kodak (or Delta) card for exposure and a Robin Myers Imaging, WhiBal, Digital Gray Kard (or similar) for white balance. The Photovison targets have a good middle tone for exposure, but the color is not truly neutral for white balance. Save your money.

Matthew L Kees
Director of
April 18, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

week 5 Winners!!!

Our huge 10K Celebration is coming to a close--just in time for our big 20K. ;)

So our winners for this week are Briana Lynne Reeves for the whole caboodle


then for the actions our winner is Tiffany Johnston.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fabulous Week 5!!

Oh my goodness! This has been QUITE the giveaway! It has been so fun to introduce all of these fabulous vendors. Having great vendors is a HUGE asset to a photographer, and we hope that we've been able to help our fans out in finding creative, unique, wonderful artisans to use. That has been a big driving force for us in doing these giveaways and showcasing our talented fans who also own shops.

So, this is our last week of the big 10K giveaway. (Of course, we are pretty close to 20K, so be on the lookout for a new giveaway for that milestone!)

So how to enter this giveaway? The rules are simple. Go and fan our amazing vendors and then pop back over here and let us know that you did it by commenting on the blog. It is THAT simple to be entered.

So, let's get to the good stuff.

Our first vendor is Splash of Color. They offer all kinds of fun, whimsical, practical, classical floors and backdrops for the photographer. You really need to check out all of the options they have. They are easy to transport and and store and give a variety of looks quickly to your photo sessions. They will be giving the lucky winner a backdrop of their choosing.
Our next amazing vendor is Gracie's Garden. You can check out her shop HERE. She has some of the most amazing and cute hats I have seen in a long time! So gorgeous! She is offering an amazing $50.00 credit to her store! Can you believe it?!!

Our next vendor is SlingBebe. Our winner will receive a sling of their choosing from SlingBebe. Emma of SlingBebe says, "I am extremely excited about this! Inspired by the greatest newborn photographers, slings are the latest trend. It is a must-have prop for the newborn photographer. The sling shot is every mom's favorite, because it brings to life childhood memories of the stork story." Check out SlingBebe!
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Completely Colorado has a very unique shop that I am sure you will be interested in. Please visit her site. Elyse says,

"When my sister-in-law was planning her wedding at the base of Pike's Peak, she wanted to give gift bags filled with Colorado products to each of her guests. She was living in Oklahoma, which made this no easy task! That's when the idea for Completely Colorado was born.

With so many craftsmen, artists, chefs, innovators, and inventors in Colorado, I saw a need for a gathering place to bring these talented small business owners together with consumers looking for these products. Colorado is a favorite vacation destination for travelers word-wide. is a great way to bring home a taste of that amazing vacation!

For shoppers, is your source for a $6 jar of Molicious Mustard to a beautiful 18k gold hand-carved Rocky Mountain ring priced at $1,299…and everything in between. We actively seek artisans who use eco-friendly materials, use organic ingredients or upcycle. Check back often, as we are continuously to building our catalog!" Pure banner

Jessys Props and Creations will be donating a $20 gift certificate to the winner for this week. Jessy has lots of headbands and cheesecloths in a variety of fun colors. Spring is coming, so let's celebrate it with COLOR!! Jessy is just the one to go to for that.
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Rachael of Khlo-Bug Kreations is absolutely coming to bat for our winner with two sleepy owl crocheted hats in newborn size! One for a boy and one for a girl. Like Rachael says, this would be PERFECT for a very whimsical session. Simply adorable! Please check out all her other adorable offerings of hats and props!!
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Busy Bees Boutique will be giving the winner a $30 gift certificate to their store, where there are fun headbands galore! They also sell super cute tutus and tutu dresses! Please check them out!! She is also offering 10% off to EVERYONE if they use the codes Grand10 in the Busy Bees Boutique!
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Next up is Jessica Pearson's Props and Other Stuff. Jessica will be offering a $15 gift certificate to the winner to select any of her adorable props! She has a ton of different sweet flower headbands for newborn sessions and lots more. With Spring finally here, a little floral accent to sessions would be awesome!
Jessica Pearson photography and props - PPA Giveaway

Kristin of Twirls and Giggles Tutus will be offering a $40 credit to her shop! You have to check out all of the darling style and color options she has. Tutus are just such a fun prop that the parent and child get a kick out of. Check out Twirls and Giggles!

Kangaroos and Coconuts is offering a free item from her shop to our lucky winner. You simply MUST check out these ADORABLE hats! I am not kidding. I cannot even do them justice! Sock Monkeys, Hello Kitties...just a myriad of totally unique crocheted hats. When I clicked on the link, I about died of the cuteness!

And our last vendor is Baby Designs and Custom Crafts! She will be offering a free hat from her shop to the winner. And really, there are some great, great hats in this shop. I love the totally great boys' hats she offers. It can be hard to find a really boyish newborn hat sometimes, but she has some completely unique offerings.
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Well folks, that's all! Please please go like these wonderful vendors and give yourself a chance to sample the awesomeness!

Winner Winner week 4!!!!

wow..... this weeks giveaway was amazing!! Thank you to the amazing vendors!!!!!

and now for the winners.... :) :)

The winner of everything.... is..................



Heather Johnson Millett

The winner of one action set of their choice is


Melanie Weiss Catalano

email us at to claim your prizes :)

Now.... onto week 5 of the giveaway!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Well, it all started as a celebration of 10K fans! We were so thrilled to reach that milestone on March 17th. We realized that getting 10K fans needed to be a HUGE celebration of our fans. And we have so many talented fans. We are so impressed with the AMAZING vendors we have among our fans and we want to introduce everyone to them. That's been the point of this giveaway and we are so glad all of our Pure fans are connecting and liking each other. We have so much talent out there.

So, now, 4 weeks later with 15K fans, we are even more excited about introducing our vendors. We hope that you will be as excited as we are to like them. Also, due to the number of vendors we have participating, we will be extending it to a Week 5! Which means good things for our fans who are entering!

Ok, how do you win? Good question. It is simple! You need to fan each of the vendors on their Facebook page and then come back here and let us know! It is THAT simple. We will then select a random winner for all of the amazingness posted here, and a second winner gets to select one of our single action sets! How cool is that?

Let's get to the good stuff!

Our first vendor really needs no introduction. Sassy Designs, Ltd. is an amazing purveyor of awesome digital papers, templates, and cuteness. They are perfect for the photographer making cards to sell clients for holidays, but they work equally as well for the non-pro who just loves digital scrapbooking. Sassy is offering a $150 gift certificate to her shop to the winner. What a HUGE, awesome prize!!


Our next vendor is Naturally Playful, LLC. Marina of Naturally Playful creates amazing wooden newborn props. Her beds are simply to-die-for. They are absolute perfection. With these props, you can take your newborn photography to the next level, visually. Check out their fanpage for their super fun comment sales too! Naturally Playful will be giving a Madison bed to the winner. LUCKY!


Woolywishes is such a FUN vendor and we are super excited to have Heather on board. Heather creates adorable newborn hats, slings, diaper covers, etc. Her designs are super unique and creative. She makes the sweetest designs with super soft yarn. You've got to check out her hats. They are just wonderful. Heather is giving the winner a $50 credit to her store. WOO!

Sass & Savvy Jewelry has some of the most amazing vintage jewelry I have ever seen. Lockets, rings, bracelets, earrings. You name it, she's got it. Everything has such a feeling of elegance and refinement to it, as well. Each is something you will enjoy wearing now, and could easily hand down to posterity. Simply beautiful. Emily of Sass & Savvy is giving the winner an item of their choosing from her store!
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Rebecca of Princess for a Day is joining our giveaway with a $30 gift certificate to choose anything from her shop. She has everything frilly, fluffy, and girly that you can even imagine! Your clients (or even just your daughter!) will LOVE you when you pull out your tutus and props from Princess for a Day.
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This next item is just as cute as can be!! Keri of Keri Hamilton Photography is donating some ADORABLE photo blocks! The winner will receive 4 adorable distressed blocks that spell LOVE with the winner's own photos attached. Can you even IMAGINE your client's reaction to this product? So cute.

And last, but NOT least, is Ashley's Posh Tots. Ashley says of her store, "My shop has a wide variety of photo props, as well as everyday accessories for little ones. I hand make all my items including unique crocheted and knitted hats, cocoons, hammocks, diaper covers, etc. , specializing in newborns. I also offer many different styles of headbands, hair bows, hair clips, tutus, and more. I love to do custom orders by request." Her store is full to the BRIM with props that you will really love. Please check out all of her items. Ashley is giving away a $35 credit to her store!

Please make sure you fan all of these AMAZING vendors and come back and post your entry!

Week 3 Winner Winner Chicken Dinner :)

Week 3 giveaway winners are

Ashley Hiss Grogg (winner of the prizes from the amazing vendors)


Stacie Shular (an action set of your choice)

email us at to claim your prize :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ohhhh snap we just released 7 free Easter and Spring cards for our fans!! Make sure to go snag yours while they are available!!!!
Thank you for being such amazing fans!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Big Celebration and Giveaway--Week 3

It is so funny. At the beginning of March we at a little over 8000 fans and we made a goal to hit 10K by the end of the month for a big celebration and sale. We really HOPED it would all work out and we would get 10K fans. We planned the giveaway, the freebie action set (which you can download on the fan page, if you have not!!), and a big sale.

Well, March just ended and thanks to our amazing fans, we have OVER 14K fans! That is simply amazing. (It feels a little impossible, really.) THANK YOU ALL.

And here we are at Week 3 of our big huge giveaway. (We thought there would be 3 weeks, but there are so many fans, it will be 4 weeks to give everyone their chance to shine!)

Ok, so how do you enter this amazing giveaway? Simple! You get to like these awesome vendors on their Facebook pages and then come back here and post on the blog that you did it and you are entered! (While you're liking them, leave them a little love, eh?) We will pick a winner from the comments. How simple, eh?

So one winner will scoop all the prizes listed this week and one winner will grab a set of our actions valued at up to $50. Seriously, you WANT to enter. We have LOTS of awesome prizes and tons of great vendors. You'll want to like them just to know what everyone's up to!

Let's get introducing our vendors!

Our first vendor is Jessica Vaughn Photography. She is giving away a guide to shooting birth photography! Birth photography is really growing and it is amazingly rewarding, but it can be totally overwhelming. Jessica's guide will help you hit the ground running and feeling confident.


Our next vendor is Glam It UP! Danielle of Glam it UP! says of her store:

Glam it UP is all about making women feel their BEST!! I personally have been using this on all of my ladies in the Boudoir sessions. I'm a photographer in Oklahoma and I can't imagine using anything else. All of our make up is FDA approved and made with LOVE!! Glam it UP now offers eyeshadows, blush, light coverage foundations, finishing powder and lip gloss. We are so excited for you to feel Glamm'd UP!

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Next up is Marketing and Props for Photographers. Wooden trench bowls are all the rage for newborn photography. Marketing and Props for Photographers has so many AMAZING and artistic options available to the photographer looking to stand out. She has so many color and style choices. The bowls are truly classic pieces of art in and of themselves, just right to be showcased with your photographic art. Please check out all of her options for yourself!


Kelli of Made4You Boutique is our next vendor. Her store specializes in all things related to child photography. She has tutus, hats, hair combs, diaper name it! It is great to have a vendor where you can look at so many options! She is offering a newborn tutu with a matching headband to the lucky winner!
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EmmaLou Banners is our next vendor. (She shows some of her banners on her FB page, but her etsy page is where you can see them all.) Erin of EmmaLou makes adorable custom banners for any occasion you can think of! Birthdays, anniversaries, babies, graduations...and the colors and styles are totally interchangeable! Announce your next event in style!!

Kere of Olive To Sew will be donating a zebra pettiskirt and hairclip to our winner! She says of her shop: It's All Things Crafty: Monogrammed items, sewn pillowcase dresses, camera straps, crocheted fringe bags, tutus, pettiskirts, bloomers, fur rugs, organza clips, feather clips, and pretty much everything photography related! Check out her stuff!!

Lisa of Tri-Bec Creations will be giving the winner a fabulous crocheted hat from her store! Her store is described as "Handmade Sweetness. Hand-crocheted, boutique-style photography props and gifts." Check out her amazing talent!
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Whew, is that not a treasure trove of amazing talent? Make sure you like all the vendors and then come back and post for your chance to win it ALL! And stay tuned for Week 4 of our giveaway!

Week 2--Winner!!

Amy McCoy, come on DOWN! You are the winner of this week!!

And Lisa Smiley--you win a set of our actions!

Email us at!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

10K Fans and a HUGE giveaway--Week 2



So it's been a week since we started the 10K fan festivities and guess what? Because of you amazing fans, we've hit well over 13K fans. Crystal and I kind of have no words to express our thanks or our love. Basically, you guys rock.

So we're still giving out our 10K action set on the Fanpage. FREE! Snap it up. It's under our exclusive tab.

We are now moving on to week two of our huge giveaway. We have such talented fans and amazing preferred vendors that we really wanted to showcase their complete awesomeness and let all of you fans know about what they're up to. We are so pleased to be able to share these outstanding members of the photography community!

So the rules of the giveaway are pretty simple. To enter, you need to fan each of these talented vendors on Facebook and then come back here and give us a comment, so we know you're entered. Simple, no? One lucky winner will win this whole week. One runner-up will win a set of their choosing of our actions. We are just so excited to have such generous vendors who share their products with our fans.

To Fan the pages... make sure you right click their name and select view in new tab or window so you don't leave our blog... :) Then fan their page and let them know we sent you!!! Shout out the giveaway on your fan pages and make sure you tag @purephotoshopactions in it for another entry!!!

Ok, without further ado, let's kick off this week!

Our first giveaway makes us just crazy giddy. We LOVE Color Inc. Pro Lab. We've used lots of labs, but this is the ONE for us. It is such a pleasure to open my package from Color Inc, and KNOW that when I see the prints, they will look exactly like my color calibrated screen. Their customer service is top notch and their prints are just beautiful. We simply cannot overstate how happy we are to have them as our lab.

And to show how generous they are, they have donated a 16x20 gallery wrapped canvas to our winner! WHOA! About their prize, they say:

Gallery Wrapped Canvas is the perfect way to present your works of art. Each Canvas is hand wrapped around a 1 ½ inch frame with the finest attention to detail. Each piece is properly finished with a wire hanger, bumpers, and you can choose to leave the back open or cover it with Tyvek® backing. In addition, your canvas will be coated with Hahnemuhle protective spray which protects your work from harmful UV rays and other atmospheric contaminants.

By printing on Fredericks Canvas™ our Gallery Wraps are Archival Safe, have a Color Match Guarantee and are made in the U.S.A.

The Color Match Guarantee simply means that the colors on any canvas print will match the colors of the same image on a standard print - 4x6, 8x10, wallets, etc.

If you have an image that comes close to the edge of your wrapped canvas, there is no need to worry! Our experienced team of digital artists will apply our digital side stretching service to ensure that the image is showcased on the front of the canvas.


Lil' Sweet Prince is our next vendor and they have been designing all kinds of special occasion cards for many years now, and their experience shines through. Their cards are top notch and their designs are beautiful. Vanessa says of her shop:

Inspired by the creative chaos that comes from working at home with their little inspirations running around, and with sophistication, style and the sense of humor needed to tackle a full work-day while toting around their tots, this design-savvy team creates superbly stylish photo cards and elegant announcements. The collaborative team behind Lil Sweet Prince creates snapshots of family life that are filled with laughter, joy, and love.Banner-LSP

Our next vendor is Nicolette of Love That! Crochet. Her designs are so cute and fun that everyone who sees her talent will certainly be saying, "Love that!!" Her shop has quite a few offerings, so check out her stuff. So adorable!


Amanda of alb|photography is donating the cutest little items! She is donating a headband and (get this!!) a TOP HAT headband! Having recently given birth to a boy, I love that boys are not being left out of the adorable headband craze!! Awesome!!! You have to check this out!

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Amy of Props for Tots is offering a 36x36 maternity/newborn wrap in dark green. The color is just stunning. Wraps and fabrics are so flattering for maternity photography. Props for Tots has a large array of props for the maternity/newborn/child photographer. Please check out her page!
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Marcy of A Photog's Boutique is offering an very very generous $50 gift certificate to her shop so that the winner can select a prize of their choice. She offers so many fun props (and CAMERA STRAP COVERS...I'm just sayin') that it will probably not be an easy choice. Not easy...but certainly a fun choice!

And the final offering this week is just TOO cute!! (I seriously am eying one...) Sarah of Treasured Rustique is offering a heart or thought-bubble chalkboard! I just love how much whimsy and humor these could infuse into a session. You have to check these out! She has other wooden props and gifts as well, so check out this unique store!

The winner of this week is SO lucky! I just love all of the amazing offerings from our incredible vendors. So, get to entering and fanning. I love having great vendors fanned because it really gives me a chance to see what their newest offerings are and I get to keep abreast of their latest happenings and sales and promos. Fan away!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Attention Photoshop Users!!! New Upgrade :)

Photoshop users!

We now have an upgrade that allows you to adjust the opacity of your action all at one time. Elements uers can not have groups, so we made all of our actions without groups to start off with. However in an effort to save our Photoshop users time, we have changed the Photohop version of the actions to include the groups for free.

If you have purchased your photoshop actions from us, and want the new actions with the upgrade please email us at include your paypal email address that you used to purchase your actions.

If you already feel established in your workflow, then don't worry about this update, as it doesn't affect the overall functionality of the actions. Or if you decide to just do it once in awhile in an established workflow, simply click the top layer and the one just above the background layer (while holding down the Shift key) and then click ctrl. (command on a Mac) + the G key and it will make a group. You can open and close the layer to edit individual layers, or close it and adjust the opacity together.

Again, this is only for Photoshop users, not Elements.

Please note that all future purchases will have this upgrade.

Week 1 Winners!

The winner of the WHOLE slew of awesome prizes from our amazing vendors is Sherrie Dates! And the winner of a set of our actions is Erica Baker! To claim your prizes, please email us at!

Be on the look out for a post in a minute with week 2!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

10K Fans and a HUGE giveaway--Week 1

We love our fans.

When we first started all of this, we really had NO idea how amazingly it would grow and how many friendships we'd make and how much fun we'd be having. About 7 months ago, we were photographers who were just having fun shooting weddings and newborns and loving what we did. After a lot of requests for workshops, we decided to do a webinar to show some of our
newborn post-processing techniques, and as a part of that we decided to dedicate some of our processes to actions for our attendees and voila! Pure Photoshop Actions was born.

Who would have even imagined that from that very small beginning, we'd be hitting ten THOUSAND fans only seven months later? Not us!

And the even more amazing part of it all is just how wonderful all of our fans are. We've laughed together, cried together, learned together and become friends. There is such a sense of community on our fanpage. People feel comfortable asking questions. Others are happy to share. We share images of our families, our children and our lives.

So it only seems appropriate that as part of our big celebration of 10K fans, we celebrate just how awesome our fans are! So for the next month, we'll be showcasing the talent of our fans who are also vendors. Each week there will be a new group of awesomeness to check out and more chances to win.

Each week one lucky winner will win all of the featured items in the post and a second lucky winner will get a chance to choose a set of Pure actions! We'll be randomly selecting each from the comments. Please fan each of these amazing vendors, as we'll be checking on that as well. (We also figure it is easier to fan smaller groups rather than one gigantic group, right?)

We also have a free sampler set of actions on our facebook page, so please make sure to grab those actions and enjoy!

Without further ado, here is our first group!

SHOOT BABY! will be giving away a GORGEOUS newborn posing ottoman. Have you seen these things? They are AMAZING. In fact, Crystal and Rachel are green with envy for this winner of this week. These posing ottomans are HUGE and perfect for newborns and even small children. They are also gorgeous. You will look like the coolest photographer in town as you bring this fashionable bean bag to your newborn shoots.


And what would be better with the SHOOT BABY ottoman than an AMAZING newborn posing
guide from the fabulous Rachel Vanoven? She is a Jedi master of newborn posing, and
she has graciously provided a posing guide for this giveaway. Woo!

Heather of Bugaboo Boutique will be giving the lucky winner a DARLING orange tutu dress! Heather says, "Bugaboo Boutique offers custom made tutus, tutu dresses, personalized t-shirts with embroidery, and personalized towel sets. All items are custom made to order. Pick the color and style you want and I will create it for you. I love to get special orders from you with all your creative ideas and mingle them with my ideas to make something special and adorable for your little one."

Ok, this next one is adorable! Chi from Sugar Petunia Photography is giving away some photographer bling! It is called the Sugar Shot necklace and you can choose the color of the bling! Red, Turquoise, Clear, Blue or Pink! Seriously, these are just way too cute. What photographer would not want one?


Our next vendor, Kristen, is offering a Wee Wrap from her shop Son-Kissed Knits and Props. The wraps are just so gorgeous and very high-end. In fact, it looks so comfortable, I would love to be wrapped up in it. Check out her beautiful prop offerings for your next newborn shoot!

Naja of Naja's Prop Shop is offering a headband to the lucky winner! Naja says of her shop, "All of our hand-made props, from headbands to blankets, are carefully made with TLC, and we also offer trench bowls, fur blankets and more at unbeatable prices!" Check her out and fan her!

And finally we have Kathy of The Photog's Helper. Kathy is a virtual assistant for photographers. She will help people with everything from image manipulation, correspondence, social media and marketing. A wide variety of services are offered including, but not limited to: basic cloning and skin correction to full blown artistic edits for sessions. Email organizations, newsletter creation and processing, Twitter/Facebook/Blog account setups and management. Again, Crystal and I are incredibly jealous of the winner!

Make sure you fan all of these awesome vendors and comment below for your chance to win! Remember we will be hosting giveaways for a few weeks, and each week will have one HUGE winner of awesomeness and one winner of a set of our actions. It's going to be so much fun!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Amanda Aykroid....come on down!!

You're our big winner!!

Amanda wrote:

"I absolutely love your actions and would LOVE to win a set of these actions for myself. As a foster parent, I try to capture memories of the kids that come in to my care.
Each child whether with me a week or a month or longer, has updated professional photos taken and then candid memories within my home. When the child returns to their parents, I provide the parents an edited CD of the photos of their child while they were in care.
I realize the difficulty it is for most parents to be away from their children and providing this CD allows these parents a chance to fill-in the 'gaps' from days their child was away from them. It also allows me precious memories of the children that have filled my home and warmed my heart.
By choosing me, you will allow me the opportunity to serve these kids, their families, and myself through reduced editing time and GREAT photoshop actions which will provide cherished memories for myself and others.
Thanks for considering me!"

9000 Fans and a Giveaway!!!

We are so excited to have reached 9000 fans! We feel so blessed and amazed that we have gained so many wonderful fans in our short 6 months.

To express our thanks, we will give away a single set to one of our fans! To enter, post here with your name and what set you'd love to get and why. We will choose a winner in twelve hours.

Thank you all so much for helping us grow. We are so incredibly grateful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We are so excited to announce....

Our upcoming Facebook Contest!

We used to have so much fun with Facebook contests but then we learned of the restrictions Facebook had put on contests. But we have found a way to run contests within Facebook's rules and we are really excited!

Please check out our Sweepstakes tab on our Facebook fan page. We will be giving away a one-hour Sykpe mentoring session to the lucky winner. We are really excited. (We love chatting and teaching, so this is right up our alley!)

We will be running the contest until we get 10k fans, so the sooner we get 10K fans, the sooner there will be a winner!

Please make sure to only enter once.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Using Clipping Masks in Templates

We are so excited to have two template designs in our store currently. One is the set of 20 blogging templates (and 3 printable freebie storyboards) and the other is our highly-anticipated Black Damask Letter templates. Here's an example of how we've used them in the past. This FAMILY collage was printed at 10x20 and mounted on styrene then adhered to the wall with 3 mm strips of velcro.

Clients LOVE these unique ways to display multiple images from their session in a very cohesive wall display and YOU will love how simple they are to use. If you're interested in either of these template options, they are in our store. The Black Damask Letter template is currently on sale until Sunday (the 13th of Feb) for 20% off using the code TEMPLATE.

Using templates is a very quick and easy process, and below I am adding one of our tutorials on how to create clipping masks in Photoshop and Elements, so that you can see just how quick and easy it is.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Texture Mania

Adding a texture is a quick and easy way to add a fun, unique, and artistic look for your images. There are lots of ways to do it, but if you've never done it before, it can seem daunting. Here's a quick tutorial on how to add textures to images.

AND to help you try out your newfound texture skills, we'd love to supply you with the texture from the tutorial...FOR FREE! Hop over to our fan page and check out our new custom Welcome Tab and find the download button and get that freebie texture. Woo!

Friday, January 14, 2011


According to Maegan Laurie and Tara Willey are the winners of the Pure Blogging Templates Set 1!!

We can't wait to see what you do with them! We'll be emailing them shortly!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blogging template giveaway!

So, we love you all. You know we do.

And we want your blogs to be the best they can be! We also want you to be able to keep that New Years' Resolution to blog more.


We are releasing our blogging templates AND we are going to give you 20% off. If you purchase the templates and use the code "BLOG" at checkout, you'll get the discount.

But we love you even more than that. We want you to have a chance at a fun giveaway too! So, how to enter. First go to our newly launched Pure Photography and Design Fan Page for our photography. Fan that page and then come here and comment! (If you came from the Pure Photoshop Actions fan page post, and the link is not working, then just copy and paste this link into your browser OR.... right click the link up top and hit view in new tab and it seems to work that way)

But when you comment, please make sure to leave your full name or a way to contact you if you win. Lots of times we only have a first name and no blogger profile and if one of those entries wins, we have no way to contact the winner and need to choose another, so please make sure that you make it possible for yourself to win!

What will you win? 2 lucky winners will get our full Set 1 of Pure Blogging Templates! You will love them!

So...get entering!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Blogging Templates

We are currently working on bogging Templates...and this is just a sneak peak of the ones we have completed :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Photo Tip--Thinking like your camera

Man, cameras these days. So smart.

There are so many options in making an image with a camera now. You can keep all of the control of the camera (this is what Crystal and I (Rachel) do. When people oooh and ahh over our cameras and say, "Wow, those must take GREAT pictures!", we smile and say, "Yep, we taught them everything they know!" ;)), you can keep some of the control of the camera, but let the camera make some decisions, or you can let the camera make the decisions. Each way has pros and cons, and some models of camera will only allow a one or maybe two of these choices. A point and shoot is a good example of a camera that will usually only allow you to let the camera call the shots. that means you have no control, right? If the picture turns out good, it was all the camera? And if it turns out bad, there was nothing to be done? Should we just sit in the corner and sulk?

Absolutely not! You have a lot more control than you think, even if the camera is on auto mode.

So, we know the camera is looking at the picture you want to take, and SOMEHOW the camera is figuring out what settings to apply to that image. You can't usually SEE those settings, so how can you influence them?

That is where I come in! I am going to show you how your camera thinks! Once we learn this, we can apply it to other lessons. Once you're "at one" with the mind of your camera, you'll be able to have some measure of control in using even a point and shoot camera.

First of all, when a camera looks at a scene that you intend to shoot, it doesn't really see the scene like you do. Say you're shooting your kids at the park on the playground. There's green grass, a red slide, a blue sky. Junior's wearing a yellow shirt. The camera doesn't see that. The camera doesn't see colors. It sees TONES.

16 Step Grayscale Pattern For Monitor Calibration

The camera sees the scene in gradations of brightness.

Ok, great! But how is it choosing the settings?

Well, the camera is looking at the whole scene you have framed and is averaging the scene to 18% or MIDDLE gray. It wants to pick the settings that will average the frame towards the middle of that pattern.

And lots of times, it works great!

But what if I want to shoot a picture of my kid standing against a black board, writing his name? Or something primarily black? (Or a VERY dark color.)


Is this a middle tone? NO WAY! But guess what? Your camera will let in enough light automatically to make it look 18% gray. So that chalkboard will no longer be black. It will be gray. Oh...and hmm. If that black is moved up the grayscale...then what do you think happens to all those tones (like skin, hair, etc.) that are LIGHTER than the black that has been shoved up the scale? Uh oh. It's not good. They're going to be WAY brighter than they should be. They might even get shoved entirely off the scale, into white nothingness.

We've all had those pictures right? The overexposed ones. ALL the detail is gone. Everything is just an icky, white blob. It looks bad on screen and prints even worse. All the details get shoved into the white category and they are gone forever. Let's all have a moment of silence for our fallen highlights. *sniffle*

Ok, so that's a time where our camera's plan of making everything middle gray has failed us. D'oh!

Let's think of another. And you all know this one too, I bet. Say you're darling and precocious child is sitting in front of the bright window reading a book. It is an ADORABLE picture in your mind. The angelic child is framed by the bright window, it's perfection! take that picture with SO much of it SOOOO bright, and what happens?


The average of this scene is really white. Not middle gray. It's at the TOP of the scale. So, the camera pushes allll that white, bright light down the scale to 18%. And what happens to the child's face, which is pretty much in shadow? It also gets shoved down the scale. Suddenly you can barely make out the child for all of the shadow. Some of the details might even be lost to total blackness. *sniffle* Isn't this story just SO sad??? All of these missing details that we could have had!

By the way, the above technique is a good way to get a silhouette. So if that was what you were planning...a silhouette of junior reading in the window, WOOHOO! (It's always nice to know what you want to do and how to do it.)

Ok, so now we have an idea of what the camera is thinking. How it is trying to read the scene. This will help you choose lighting/color situations that your camera can better handle. (Or you can add flash to help even the exposure. There are pros and cons to using a small flash on your camera, but we'll discuss those later.) One thing that is very hard for a point and shoot is backlight. In general, it is best to steer clear if you want to be able to make out the faces of the people in your picture.

But here's my big tip for how to get a backlit photo with your point and shoot. But first, I have to share a secret. Shhhhh. Your shutter button is a double agent. Shhhhhhh. It lives a secret life. Not only can you push it and it will faithfully release the shutter and take the picture, it can also LOCK THE EXPOSURE!! So, all of what we were talking about above is the basics of making an exposure. We've learned how your camera determines the exposure it will use on automatic. SO now, let's use that knowledge. If you know that you want your child sitting in the window to be properly exposed and you want the window to be bright, then walk up to your child's face and fill most of the frame with it, push your shutter button halfway down and HOLD IT! This will lock what your camera is seeing as middle gray. It is seeing your child's face this way. (Which is technically a little underexposed, but not THAT bad for a snapshot with a point and shoot) Now, back up and frame the picture as you would like to see it (again, keeping that button halfway pressed down.) Now, once you have the picture framed as you'd like it, press the shutter down the rest of the way. VOILA! Your image is now properly exposed! Or a lot closer, anyway. (What can I say? I'm an exposure purist. I can't call 36% gray 18% gray. ;) )

Would it work the same as the child against the blackboard? You bet. Pick what you want to be properly exposed and press that shutter button halfway down and reframe your shot and then press the shutter button the rest of the way.

Now that you know how your camera thinks, you'll be able to start looking at what might happen if your camera is thinking the whole scene needs to be 18% gray. Sometimes it will be perfect, and sometimes it won't, so that is where you can either lock your exposure, add some flash, or change your angle to the light.