Welcome to the blog home of the Pixel Chicks! :)

We're so happy you've found us! Come back often as we have big big things in store, including contests, giveaways and of course, photography... lots and lots of photography!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cindy Got Married!!!

What a privilege it was to celebrate with Cindy as she married Robert in a magical forest last week. I wish you all could have been there to see how beautiful it was!! Twinkling lights, lightning bugs, beautiful soulful music, and lots of love. Here are a few shots I captured. Laura and Sherry will share more soon, and I will too as I get them edited. ~Alli

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Very Special Wedding

On Saturday evening, June 19, 2010 a very special couple will exchange vows... our very own Cindy Harter will marry her prince charming... her soulmate... Robert Sims. Three of the Chicks will be there to celebrate with her... and the rest of us will absolutely be there in spirit. We are all so thrilled for them both and wish them a lifetime of happiness and love!

There are three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.
~ I Corinthians 13:13

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cindy Harter Photography

I had the very talented Danny Kersic come out and shoot me during an engagement session. I can't tell you how much I love doing what I do :) Soooo many wonderful things going on in my life right now. TODAY, I am a fulltime photographer ! I am launching into this biz full steam ahead !!!!!!! I have so many ideas and so many opportunities :) GOD is soooo good ! I get married in 24 days :) LIFE IS GOOD !!! I just had to share !!!! Thank you , to my sweet dearest friends ...MY PIXEL CHICKS .... for staying with me and supporting me on my journey !!!! THESE WOMEN ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST !!! I know of atleast 2 of them that will photograph my wedding WOO HOO ! YEY, for the good life :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Creative Process Feature

Hi ~ Sherry here...
Fall is one of my favorite times to shoot because of all the gorgeous warm colors! Here's an image from winter where I was able to find some of the fall color lingering.
One of the best things about personal images is having the time to get a little more creative and try different things to see what fits your style. With this image, I just let my mind wander until I came up with something that I liked. I actually could have stopped at several times during the process and had an image that would have been acceptable to me but I wanted to push the image (and myself) a little further.


basic S-curve ~added warmth

darkened background ~ soft light layer

slight gaussian blur


slight desaturation ~ clone

The steps behind the process:

1. A basic S-curve to add some depth
2. Pioneer Woman's warmth action to increase the warm tones
3. Darkened the background using the burn tool on a very low opacity
4. Duplicated the layer and changed blending mode to soft light (decreased opacity as desired)
5. Softened the image slightly to give it a more subtle look with very light use of blur
6. Texture added ~ An image of that I had taken of concrete was added as a new layer (the blending mode was changed to overlay). If you've never used textures, find the method that works for you...This is just one of the methods that I use.
Remember: Erase the texture from the areas that you do not want covered, such as the face!
7. Slight desaturation ~ Since I wanted a more subtle look with the texture, I desaturated the image slightly.
8. Cloned distraction ~ The texture overlay added an area that appeared like a smudge. I simply cloned to remove the undesired portion.

So there you have it...a little look at the wheels which turned in my head during the processing of this image. Having a perfectionist streak, I can always find some way to improve on images (and this one is no exception) but I like it when they make me smile! :)

Keep shooting!
Keep creative!
Keep having fun behind the camera...and in your processing!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We have a winner! SEO Guide Giveaway!

Sorry we got a little off schedule here due to some technical difficulties. But we're back and ready to announce the winner of Shannon Steffens fabulous SEO Guide!!!

Drum roll please.... and the winner is HALEIGH ROHNER!!!! In her winning comment Haleigh said: "Great feature! I've been wanting your guide forever! Pick me :)"

Well Haleigh today's your lucky day because The True Random Number Generator at Random.org. did pick you!!! Here's a screen shot:
Congratulations Haleigh!!!! We'll get you and Shannon in touch.

For those who didnt win, or who want more information, please visit Shannons SEO Guide Blog. Thank you again to Shannon for donating this amazing prize and for the fabulous interview!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jack of Hearts, TV Pilot

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of joining the cast and crew of Jack of Hearts for a photo session. (Side note, if you'd like to follow the journey of filming for this project, check it out here). Jack of Hearts is the brainchild of director Elyjah Wilbur who's wife Kate I met while doing work for the Sacramento Kings. I met up with Elyjah and Kate prior to the shoot to discuss the storyline and characters and get a feel for the show. Together, we talked about how to best capture the essence of the show and bring it out in the photo shoot. It was fun to learn the characters and creatively chew over with Elyjah and Kate the feel of the images, small details that we could include to elude to the character's nature and even the expressions and body language that would best emphasize this.

We also had to shoot with the final product in mind - so, for example, the image below (group images, bottom) with a lot of top and bottom room is intended as a possible poster for the show with room left top/bottom for title, info, etc. That's a key detail I learned while working with the Sacramento Kings who use a lot of the images we create at Media Day for their Gametime covers - for projects like this, its really important to know where the images are going and what they're intended for as it can direct how you shoot and compose.

Below are some fav images from the day and a few behind-the-scenes shots. And make sure to check out the fun video of the shoot here!

Image below - thought you guys would get a kick out of this. SO. I could have dressed a wee bit nicer for this project (and maybe styled my hair a bit! geez. ya don't know how bad it is until ya see yourself! LOL) Anyway! Talking in total girl-to-girl mode - the teeshirt I wore did my figure no favors. So, I did what any self-respecting photoshopping photographer would do - I helped myself out. :)

Before (and no, I swear I'm not pregnant! it was just the wind and the shirt! :))

Liquifying tool to the rescue!!! ohhhh baby! check out the flat tummy! :) If you're unfamiliar with the liquify tool, hit me up at my email and I'll send you some tips (studio@llfotos.com). Every women should know this tool - if only for her own vanity - inside and out!

possible posters

some tech tips from this shoot:
Camera used: Canon 5d
Lens used: 85mm 2.8 (all group shots), 50 mm 1.4 (all individual shots)
Lighting: 2 Alien Bees. Most shots had a main 800AB with an octabox camera left in front of subjects at about a 45 degree angle and a 400AB bare bulb, camera left behind subjects. Individuals were shot using "flat lighting" - one 800AB octabox slightly above and behind my head. We used a white foam core board for fill for some of the group shots toward the end as light was dwindling.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feature Interview with a Giveaway!! Double the fun :)

Hey everyone!! Well today you are in for a double treat here at the Pixel Chicks Blog. We have a fun and informative interview with the Fabulous Shannon Steffens of Candid Moments. And not only do you get to enjoy Shannon's beautiful photography but Shannon has also been so gracious as to give away one of her books on SEO, which I can personally tell you is fabulous!! Her SEO field guide can be purchased by using the link below. As you will see when visiting her SEO blogsite, there are 2 options in purchasing the guide. For the contest we will be giving away the book option which is a $50.00 value!! So sit back, relax, enjoy Shannon's interview and don't forget to visit her website, blog, and SEO blogsite to check out her Gorgeous work. Then make sure you leave a comment to enter the giveaway. Winner will be drawn by random.org.

And now, we introduce Shannon Steffens of Candid Moments. Thank you so much Shannon for the interview and the giveaway!! You are AWESOME!! :)

Shannon's Photography Website http://www.mycandidmoments.com/
Shannon's Blog http://www.mycandidmoments.com/blog/
Shannon's SEO Blogsite http://www.seophotoguide.com/ (link to buy is on top)

1. How long have you been a photographer, and when did you get started? I have been a ‘photographer’ as long as I can remember. I have ALWAYS be interested in documenting life through photographs. I got my first camera at age 7 and have not stopped taking photos since then. I didn’t have one for a while and felt, lost. I had been doing photographs for friends for a while, when I decided to take the plunge and do it as a business. It was a long journey but Candid Moments was born out of my love of capturing those moments the ones you almost don’t see, between the smiles and the tears. I launched officially the fall of 2006, but really get truly going until after I had my daughter the following spring. In all honestly it was something that just evolved out of my love of photography.

2. If you weren't a photographer...what would be your career choice? I would be a librarian. That was my ‘other’ life before I started my own business. Long story short if I could go and do it again, there are days I would. I loved helping people learn how to find information.

3. How would you describe your work? This is hard, but if I had to give it words I would use fresh, clean and basic. I tend to go with simple and processing that will be more timeless. I would love to be known for my black and whites, which are my personal favorites but my clients seem to love my color, go figure!

4. Tell us your background and how you gained so much knowledge of SEO? It’s simple, I researched it. I work for another company online (Flashpalette can I say that here) and wanted to understand better how to optimize a flash site for SEO. It was during that journey I realized that while SEO is important, most of us just need to raise to the top of a small area and not be listed number one for the term photographer. That when people search they search by area, type or other parameters.

5. Show us your very favorite image taken by you. This is so hard. I have so many. I have to say that my current favorite (and that rotates) is this one of my kids. I like it because it so “imperfect”. My daughter has remnants of tattoos, the clothes are not what I would have picked, the background was their choice, but it’s real it’s “THEM”.

6. What equipment do you use? Nikon all the way! I shoot both with a D700 and a D300 and a variety of lens. I primarily use the 24-70, 60 mm macro, 105 macro and the 85 1.8. I have a few others, but these four are my main staples.

7. What is the one piece of equipment you can't live without? Hmm… this is hard, because I think anyone who knows me would tell you I would die if you took away my 24-70 or my macro’s. However, it is not either, it’s my reflector – odd choice I know. However, it saves me so many times when the light is not just right. I also love that I can and have used it to sit on or just catch the attention of a fussy toddler.

8. What is one piece of advice you can give to photographers to help them get noticed on the web? Make sure you have your website listed with Bing, Google and Yahoo. I also recommend you get your website/business listed with Yahoo and Google maps.

9. What is the biggest misconception about SEO? The biggest misconception is that it’s a magic bullet to QUALIFIED clients. Yes, you need to have good SEO to be found, but there is so much more to getting clients to book you. They may find your site, but you may be priced too high, you may be too far or your style may not mesh. Yes, you do need to work on it and have some web presence and come up on searches, BUT you still need to cultivate word of mouth and make sure you are finding other ways to hit your target market.

10. If you could have any superpower what would it be? To fly, for so many reasons, but I think of all I can show my children about the world if I could just transport them to somewhere else for a bit!

11. What's your favorite guilty pleasure? A hot bath, a good book and Diet coke and dark chocolate. I don’t get all four at the same time often, but when I do it’s heaven!

Again...HUGE thank you to Shannon!! We loved having you here on the Chicks Blog. Don't forget to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment and don't forget to check out more of Shannon's work and her SEO Field Guide :)

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