Time . . . | Smithville Lifestyle Photographer

Good morning yesterday, You wake up and time has slipped away …

Time is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.”

This week my daughter and son-in-law will celebrate their first wedding anniversary.  I cannot believe one year has gone by so quickly.  Last year was so busy, so many plans and events, it’s difficult to remember all of the little details. We seemed to be living in a wedding frenzy, joyful busyness that encompassed our lives.  This year has been the complete opposite, quiet with no big event to plan.

Cristine Christening 4.28.1991
Cristine’s Christening – 4/28/91 1 Month old

The quote above is from a song titled “The Times of Your Life” by Paul Anka, (oddly, that song was an advertisement for Eastman Kodak) my sister played that song at her wedding when she danced with my father.  That too is so long ago, I was pregnant with my daughter and life just seemed to move at a steady pace back then.  I’m not really sure when it seemed to move as quickly as it does now, but I know that it moves much faster the older I get.  Both of my parents are gone now, just the three of us left, me, my sister and my brother, who is the youngest.  I remember when my parents brought him home from the hospital, we are five years apart and, I can remember it like it was yesterday.

This week, I started thinking about time, with Cristine’s first wedding anniversary approaching, I thought, how did it all go by so fast?  She was just a newborn last time I looked, 26 years could not have gone by that quickly, could they?  I can still see my mom bouncing (yes bouncing) down the hallway of the hospital, on her way to meet her first grandchild.  Presents and pink balloons in hand, she was so excited to be a Grandma.

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“Just one more music box Mommy”

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Maybe being nostalgic is part of getting older, you see things differently as you get older and become more sentimental about so many things, at least I seem to be.  That being said, life is a gift and it should be lived to the fullest.  Sadly, when you’re young, you don’t think this way, but as you get older, you realize how precious every moment is and how it should be cherished. Looking at photographs is one way I enjoy remembering all of those special moments, now just memories and such good memories they are! I sometimes find myself laughing when I look at how silly my daughter was when she was young and her smile, how it brings me such complete joy.   I’m sure you have similar photographs which bring utter joy as well.

As always, thank you for stopping by and I look forward to hearing some of your memories.  Until next week . . .

 

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A Dahlia Story | Smithville Lifestyle Photographer

“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.”

                                       ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I have always envied those who are able to grow plants, flowers or maybe an herb garden. Unfortunately, I was not given that gift, not that I wouldn’t love to be that “gardener” person.  I don’t think I received the gardener gene though. Continue reading “A Dahlia Story | Smithville Lifestyle Photographer”

Where from here?

Forward & Backward …

This past week I began cleaning out some old art portfolio cases I had from college.  I hardly remember those days, some 30 plus years ago now.   When I was young and had dreams, that never became a reality.  Sometimes I wonder what my life would had been like if I had gone to art school instead of college? or if I hadn’t worked in New York City; or if I moved to California when I had the opportunity.   Continue reading “Where from here?”

Summertime

every summer has a story …

Hands down summer is my favorite time of year.  I find the older I get the less I like the cold weather, not to mention the darkness which creeps in very early  during non-summer months.  Living very close to the beach, you are able to visit often, which I do! Even during the cold months, my husband and I still visit the beach. Continue reading “Summertime”

A Teapot & Pink Roses

Back in the Studio . . .

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

I believe I’m a creative person, who makes mistakes along the way, but I always seem to find my way. As I set out to write (and photograph) this weeks blog, I was a bit uncertain, how many ways can I talk about photographing a teapot or a flower?  I’m sure it must be a bit mundane for someone reading my story each week.

I thought, maybe I could share with you my process for arriving at my final image.  I took a few photos of what I purchased before it was propped and primped and made to look how I envision it in my mind.

The props used this week were:

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In many of my images I like to give them a vintage feel, in order to do that I incorporate textures, overlays and sometimes presets or actions.  Each step brings me closer to the final image. Many of the textures I use are either from Kim Klassen or Leslie Nicole of French Kiss Textures .

First, I place the texture over the image, then by using a layer mask in Photoshop, I begin to erase or remove, with a brush, the parts I do not want to see.  When I first began using Photoshop I was so intimidated to use a layer mask, it seemed so foreign but it’s really quite simple.  Basically what you are doing is placing the texture OVER the actual photograph like so:

Texture Screenshot

Once I’ve placed the texture over the photograph, I then adjust the blend mode and opacity of the texture to achieve the feeling I desire.  The final step will be to “brush” or “erase” off the portions I do not want visible, allowing the photograph to show through.


Two textures were used for this final image, some of the texture was “brushed” off of the photograph, but I did leave most of the texture on the plate, but brushed most off of the flowers and cupcake to make them pop and become more prominent in the overall final image.

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For this next image, I did not use any textures or overlays, just simple white and pops of color gave me the feel I wanted for this flower teapot.  At first I wasn’t sure of the fabric color but it seemed to match the flowers in the teapot, so I decided to keep it.

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In this image, I used two textures, one which had more of a watercolor brush stroke and the other had a golden brown tone, with a nice border around it.

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So, that’s most of my workflow for creating the images today.  I was a bit more chatty this week, but I hope you enjoyed my process and also enjoy my images.

If you would like to see what I’m up to during the week, please follow me on Instragram. All of my images are for sale as birthday, greeting cards or customized invitations.  If you are interested, please contact me.

Have a fabulous Fourth of July … Until next week  . . .

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Summer in South Jersey

It’s Summertime in NJ

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck

So much truth to that quote!  This past week we welcomed the Summer Solstice and who wouldn’t want to welcome that in with huge smile?!

Since summer has arrived, I felt that I needed to get out and take some summer themed photographs.  This time of year, no matter where I go, there is color everywhere! Abundant color.  For me and my family, this year we are taking it slow, last year we planned a wedding and that didn’t leave much time for relaxation.  This summer since things are a bit quieter, I wanted to share what summer in South Jersey looks like from my perspective.  I am always thinking of ideas or a layout for story, and this week was no different.  I knew I wanted to share photographs of where I  live with all of you.

Shore towns in NJ are very similar no matter which town you are visiting.  The photos I’m sharing today were taken in Brigantine, NJ.  The Jersey Shore comes alive in the summer, there is an energy you can feel everywhere you go.   As I took these photographs, the sky was a bright blue and the clouds were just perfect.

Summer_Three Box Story Board

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My husband and I also celebrated 15 years in our home.  We moved into our current house on June 24, 2002.  We were newly married (just a little over a month), we both were beginning new jobs and my daughter was attending a new camp.  I’m not exactly sure how we survived that first summer in South Jersey, but now it seems like a lifetime ago.

In our neighborhood the houses are beautifully landscaped, I walked around looking for beautiful summer flowers.  The orange tiger lilies grow wild on some of the roads near my home.  One of my neighbors has absolutely beautiful flowers in her front yard  that I could not resist photographing.

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Summer Two Vertical Storyboard

I hope you have enjoyed a little piece of where I live.   If you have a favorite memory or an event that means “summer” to you, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by today . . . until next week

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Imagination

A Black Pitcher … imagine the choices

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein

Imagination is an amazing tool, as humans we can escape from the world simply by imaging something. I often wonder, what about our dog, does McKenzie ever imagine anything, sometimes she sits, just staring into space, so I wonder, Continue reading “Imagination”

A Sunday Morning in June

Well life is short
And love is rare
And we all deserve to be happy while we’re here ~ Little Big Town

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Sunday Morning …

As the warm summer breeze blew through the window, my entire day was brightened. It has been a cold and rainy spring here in New Jersey and the bright sunshine was a welcomed change.  Spring typically has some warmer days but usually more cold days, then without notice summer shows up.

Today, I wanted to share some beautiful bright colors with you, which for me, represents what summer is all about.  Summer has an easiness about it, relaxed summer nights sitting on our front porch, watching the humming birds feed and play with each other.  Neighbors walking their dogs and stopping by for a small conversation and let’s not forget the beautiful sunsets and the smell of the sweet summer air.

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My blue chair featured today was quite a find in a craft store, which sadly, is not longer there.  I could not believe my ears when the owner said $20, so in my car it went.  It has served me well in the last two years that I’ve owned it.  It’s old and worn and the bright cheery blue instantly makes you feel happy.  Pair it with some vibrant orange flowers and beautiful tulips and you cannot go wrong!

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When I search for flowers, I don’t always have an idea or composition in mind.  As I begin to arrange the flowers, and play around with some of my props, the picture and story seem to unravel.  This is what brings the quiet in my mind and the peacefulness. There could be complete chaos outside my studio, but in my world, there is just calm and peace.

I’m sure there are hobbies or things that would bring the same quiet peacefulness for you, the secret is to find that one thing and bask in it.  Make it a point, if even for 10 minutes a day, to find that quiet in your mind and enjoy it.  It will change your entire perspective on how you look at your day.

If you are interested in more of my photographs, please follow me on Instagram.

Until next week …

Debra