What to Wear // Spring

Oh my goodness the What to Wears are back!

A lot of people e-mail me and ask me how I make the What to Wears. Here’s a tip if you are making them yourself: I really think about what each outfit will look like not only photographed together but photographed in pairs or a smaller grouping of some sort. For example, will the outfit still work if mom is photographed with her children or if dad is photographed with one of the children.

Here’s a casual Spring look for you. You can download it without the logo here.

How to Create Your Own Splash Page & Freebie PSD Splash Page

You can create your own splash page with Photoshop and an HTML editor. I’ll walk you through here and include a freebie PSD for you to edit:

1. Start with a new Photoshop file by going to File > New. I’ve created mine at 1000×800. Press OK.

2. Start creating a layout  of what you want your splash page to look like. Add photographs and text. You can download the splash page I created here. If you use the one I created, replace your photographs over each “Photo” layer and then go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask to add your photographs.

3. Next, use your Slice tool and create slices over each separate section that you want to become clickable. I have 4 sections: one for weddings, one for babies, one for blog, and one for client login.

4. Now, go to File > Save for Web. Make sure that you are saving as a JPEG and the quality is at least 80. Click “Save.”

5. On the dialog on the bottom, make sure you change the setting to “HTML and Images.”

6. I created a folder called “splash” and changed the name to “index.html.” Hit “Save.”

7. Photoshop should have created “index.html” and an images folder. Open the index.html file in an HTML editor. I am using Dreamweaver. CoffeeCup has a free HTML editor for Windows 7 and Vista.

8. In your HTML editor, select each photo slice and create a link to each. For example for the weddings slice, you will have a link that will point to your wedding gallery. For your babies slice, you will have a link that points to your baby gallery. Your blog will have a link to your blog. Do this for each slice and hit save.

9. You have now created your own splash page. This is where it gets tricky and it’s pretty much impossible for me to give you instructions without seeing how your website is set up. Basically, you will need to upload the “index.html” and “images” folder onto your web server. *** BE CAREFUL*** not to REPLACE OR DELETE the old “index” file! You should rename the old index file to “index_old” or something similar so that you can revert back to it if you need to. Please ask your web admin for help if you don’t know what you’re looking at.

10. Please e-mail me if you need help!

Freebie: Make Me Dark Photoshop Action

I’m obviously not good at coming up with names for my Photoshop Actions. My 4 Hens has names like “Glee” and “Silly Nilly.” “Make Me Dark” was the best I could do at 6 a.m. :) This action allows you to paint darkened areas onto your photograph. You can download it here. I would normally use it between 50-80% opacity but I wanted to show the effect here. Here is a before & after:

I’m sorry to Photoshop Elements users – I don’t have Elements so I can’t test to see if it works. If you run into problems, please let me know. Otherwise you can download the action here.

Mini Photography Lesson + Assignment: Not All Shade is Created Equal

As photographers, we often look for shaded areas to place our subjects in. The light is even, we don’t have to deal with harsh shadows, and no one is squinting their eyes. However, not all shady areas are created equal. Some areas will be better than others and looking for them will improve your photography. Although sometimes you can’t help the location where you’re shooting, instead of arbitrarily looking for a shaded area to photograph, see how light reflects back onto your subject.

Using Walls As Reflectors

A few of my favorite areas to photograph are alleyways or in between buildings. Usually one side of the wall is lit by sunlight. This light bounces off into the shaded area directly across and essentially becomes a huge softbox.

The photograph below was taken in the men’s bathroom at a local park. While walking around before my client arrived, I noticed the white bathroom walls and sunlight illuminating one side of the wall and essentially bouncing light around everywhere.

f/2.0 at 1/640

Using Garages/Overhangs/Covered Areas

Look for shaded areas with an area of sunlight in front of your subject. One of my favorite areas to photograph when I’m shooting at the beach is underneath the pier. The pier overhead provides shade and light reflects off the ground and bounces back into the shaded area.

Underneath a pier:

f/2.0 at 1/100

In essence, think about the location where you are photographing. If you have control, try to find locations where light is being bounced onto shaded areas. This will light the face well, light the eyes, and reduce those muddy shadows especially underneath the eyes.


If you would like feedback for your photographs, please e-mail them to Feedback for assignments is open for one week (ends December 7, 2010).

1. Find an area where the sun illuminates a side of a white wall. Place your subject in the shaded area facing the lit wall.


1. Open up your garage door in the afternoon.  Place your subject facing out. You will be shooting into the garage.

2. If you’re photographing one subject, shoot at f/2.0, f/2.8, or the widest aperture your lens will open up to.

3. FOCUS ON THE EYES and shoot.

4. Upload the photographs onto your computer. Is the face well lit? Do you have light in the eyes?

Assignment photograph courtesy of Sweet Moments Photography // Facebook

Freebie: What to Wear Baby & Toddler

A reader suggested that I do a baby & toddler What to Wear – so here it is! It was actually a little difficult to do these since I’m trying to make them holiday-free but most of the clothing right now is Christmas related. Please feel free to download and use the version without our logo.

What To Wear Photography Session Baby and Toddler