The Mohns {family}

It seems like just last week I was standing in the football stadium next to Laura and she was telling me that she had a crush on Erik.  I can’t believe that it was ten or more years ago.  And I can’t believe that their little girl is already one.  ONE!  Claire’s birthday has come and gone – how did this happen?  I get the whole 365 days have passed, but I’m not buying it.  Somebody pressed fast forward on me.  I know it.

I can’t imagine how fast this year passed for Laura and Erik – from a cuddling newborn to an active toddler.  To see her eyes turn to a warm brown, her dark hair to inch over her forehead – she’s become such a pretty little girl.  For the longest time I thought she resembled Erik – now I can see both her parents in her face.

It’s been a privilege to see my friends with Claire, to hear about their family adventures and the fun things she gets to do with her older cousins.  But she’s only one now… can’t wait to see what exciting things the next year brings to Miss Claire.  Happy birthday, sweets.

She’s such a cutie!  And she loves to walk with mom and dad. :)


October 4, 2012 - 9:02 am

katie o - 5th one down…love it.

October 4, 2012 - 3:28 pm

Mer - These are wonderful! You have such a unique way of capturing more than an image. I could hear sweet little giggles as I went through the shots. Amazing, again!

What To Expect {mini sessions}

To see the new website and blog, visit Brooke Murphy Photography {here}!

With mini sessions only being a week away – *so excited* – I thought I’d take a minute to let you know what to expect.  Minis are similar to my standard sessions, but quicker (much quicker) and it helps to be a little prepared beforehand.  So here are some tips and some things to expect next weekend!

1. They’re called “mini” for a reason.  My usual sessions last an hour (or more) and there’s more wiggle room for exploring and for little ones that just aren’t that into the session.  But with only 25 minutes, we lose some wiggle room.

It helps to prepare your family for the short time – tell your kids that you’re here to take “good pictures,” but remind them it won’t last long.  And that we’ll have fun!

The Pruietts {family}

2. We will have fun!  I strive to not only make you feel comfortable, but to have a good time as well.  I tell silly jokes, I’m known to tickle little bellies and, for the grown ups, use a little mature humor.  I want you to feel like we’re just hanging out – I like making new friends. :)

The Carricos {family}

3. Come feeling confident.  Wear something that makes you feel great; if you look good, you feel good.  If your up for it, coordinate styles with your family, but I would avoid matching outfits.  (I may cringe when I see matching outfits. eeeeh.)  We’ll be walking, sitting and standing, so also consider clothing that moves with you.  But the goal is make you and your family feel good, because it will shine through your photos.

The Meehans {family}

4. Speaking of what to wear, consider the weather.  We’ll be shooting before noon, so it may be a tad chilly and the grass will be wet.  Layering clothes allows for you to cool off/warm up and also provides depth in your outfit.  With wet grass and leaves, shoes may get damp, so just keep that in mind.  (And ladies, remind your fellas that shoes and socks may be seen in your photos!)

Maggie+Madelyn {family}

5. Though we have limited time together, you’ll have several options to choose from.  We’ll move around the grounds to photograph different backgrounds, shoot some seated and some standing, and may even get experimental.  I’ll select the best photos from our session and from there you can choose your favorites.

Maddie+Stephanie+Tommy {family}

I’ve been looking forward to next weekend since the beginning of September and I can’t wait to meet some new folks!  Here’s to hoping for great weather, great conversation, great smiles and great pictures!

The Paulins {family}

Being with new parents is one of my favorite things.  I love seeing them with their babies, talking with their babies, telling me about likes and dislikes and tempers.  And after spending time with Stephanie and Jeremy in February, I couldn’t wait to see them with their little man.  The way they spoke about the child they hadn’t met yet, you could tell that being expecting parents brought them closer together, let them fall deeper in love with each other.  And I’m happy to say I’ve finally got to meet the baby boy that melts their hearts.  This is Levi.

Levi is four months old now and is the most handsome hambone in the county.  I call him hambone because, well, he’s a little big boned.  I think his mom said he tipped the scale over 17 whoppers at his check up the day after our session.  But I love his bright eyes and that bottom lip that pouts out – just precious.  And seeing him with his parents?  I had a smile the size of watermelon slice the rest of the night.

If there were ever two people that were meant to be blessed with this little guy, it’d be Stephanie and Jeremy.

I mean, come on. Gah.

This was quite cute. I wanted a shot from above and had Stephanie reach over to hold Jeremy’s hand. And Levi just set his on top.
You can’t see me right now, but I’m smiling.

*sweet boy*

It’s always a treat to spend time with Stephanie when we meet up from friends from college, but I think Levi has me by the heartstrings.  I can’t wait to see more of those smiling eyes and toothless grins.  Honestly, I look forward to smiling so hard myself that my cheeks hurt.

September 27, 2012 - 8:15 am

Kinzie - Beautiful pictures, Brooke! Your colors are so vibrant, and you definitely captured this adorable couple and their awesome son. So good. :)

Listastic Tuesday

Instagram Mosaic

• Can I just say how happy I am that it’s Tuesday and that it’s listastic?

• So it’s been one of those months where I feel incredibly busy but I’m getting nothing done.  Do you have those?  I’m living it day in and day out right.  Boo.

• But I’ve got the Instagrams to prove it. :)

• Three UofL football games back-to-back – FANTASTIC!  The UNC game gave me heart palpitations and my head a serious big girl ache, but they pulled off the W.

• Note to self: Stop screaming at the games.  Seriously, lady.  That’s what gives you headaches.  All those “NO NO NOs” that come outta ya mouth.  Stop it.

• Another W was pulled off this past Saturday as well against FIU… but it was close.  Luckily, I fell asleep in the 4th quarter and didn’t have more heart palpitations.

• Work. Is. Kicking. My. Butt.  It feels good to be challenged but deadlines are not my best friends.  And deadlines be nonstop these days.  Boo.

• Sometimes there are little baby cupcakes at work though.  And ice cream in the freezer.

• On top of craziness at work, the hubs and I decided to have new flooring put in.  Something that could withstand the doggins.  But unfortunately, that meant we had to move six rooms of “stuff” into the basement in 2 days.

• Getting it back upstairs… well, that’s taking some time.  Boo.

• The weather has been perfect lately.  But when fall settles in, so do allergies and our doggins are miserable.  Chase is on steroids.  Chevy is doped up on Benedryl.  Medicine heads all around.  I feel so bad for the doggins.

• We took advantage of the weather on Saturday and celebrated my grandma’s 87th birthday.  My family = top notch. :)

• In other news, I’M GOING TO ATLANTA NEXT MONTH!  After years of emails and phone calls and letters and business with media buying/selling, I finally get to meet Katie Oblinger for the first time.  She’s seriously one of my closest friends, we share so much of ourselves with each other and I just can’t believe I get to spend a weekend with her family and photograph a wedding alongside her.  I’ve already got butterflies.

• T minus 24 days until I descend in ATL!!!!!!!!

September 25, 2012 - 10:39 am

katie - I still can’t believe we’ve been friends this long and haven’t actually met each other face to face. Still remember talking to you for the first time! I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that you’re going to be alongside me on this big adventure. It’s going to be fantastic and hilarious. The dogs and Camden are already giddy with anticipation!

Mentionable Photoshop Finds

To see the new website and blog, visit Brooke Murphy Photography {here}!

I consider myself to mostly be self-taught when comes to things in the Photoshop world.  I poke around a lot, experience a mega-ton of trial and error and sometimes find myself having a conversation with my computer, trying to convince it to just “do” what I want it to do. Unfortunately, we are not in the Star Trek age just yet.  (Computer, make it happen.  And a coffee while you’re at it.)

I’ve been extremely lucky in that I’ve worked in advertising the last several years and with ad agencies come graphic designers that know a thing or two about Photoshop.  My fabulous creatives have shown me how to make my own actions, batch edit, blur an image and even how to use vectors in both Illustrator and Photoshop.  But I don’t like to abuse the fabulous creatives (because they have their own to do lists), my lack of knowledge is my own problem and have taken to discovering new resources.

Via the Googles, of course.

I’ve found a handful of tutorials over the last year – some are new, others are old… some I searched for, others thankfully fell into my lap – but I thought I’d share them with you.

I am NO Photoshop expert.  At all.  Never will be.  I’m OK with that.  I don’t really use the tool to drastically change my photographs – I don’t make people thinner, baby drool is my enemy and alien eyes frighten me.  But I do like to be able to tweak things when I want to.  Be it to enhance a photograph or remove something from it or create something new from it.  I want to use the tool to improve my original vision, not change it.  I’ll never fully tap the potential this awesome program can offer, but that’s just me.  And there’s no use in changing me now.  (Computer, tell me I’m right.)

Anyway, here are some tutorials I’ve found worth bookmarking.  I hope they’re helpful for you or inspire you to try something different.  (Link me up, Scotty.)

The Clone Tool

This doodad of a tool is powerful, so powerful, but man can it be tricky!  This is the tool that I’ve probably fussed the most over because it is so versatile.  I’ve used it to clean up backgrounds, remove blemishes and even reduce glare on shiny, bald heads.  But not once have I selected the tool and not have to try a few times before I get it right.  So I usually end up referring to this resource when I start petting my monitor.

Repairing Exposure

Light is photography.  And if you want to be a good photographer, you have to understand it.  And there’s a lot to understand.  But over the years of learning, sometimes I have a really great shot but I didn’t check my settings.  Boo Brooke, boo.  It happens.  And it’s sad.  And not everything is repairable in Photoshop, but with this video tutorial you can at least try.  Just don’t get upset at the computer if it doesn’t work – should have checked your settings, girl.

Toolbar Shortcuts

You may find this silly, but I’m telling you shortcuts make a difference.  Did you hear me?  SHORT CUTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  This web-blog actually offers a lot of different tutorials and online classes, but the shortcuts print-out has saved me so much time.  Before I was moving my mouse all around the screen, clicking at stuff constantly and had no idea I was wasting time.  But me and my keyboard have seriously bonded and I’ve even written in my own shortcuts.  I’m telling you what, it saves time for prime time.

Make it a Polaroid

This one fell in my lap.  I actually wrote about Amanda’s tutorial last month, but it’s worth including in this list.  Not because it’s rocket science, but because she did such a fab job explaining the process, provided photos and the finished product is seriously cute.  The “Polaroids” turned out perfectly and they provided  a really nice touch to the decor for the event I co-hosted.  I even feel inclined to say that the bride and groom in the photos were 15 shades of happy when they saw them.  So high fives to Amanda and her fantastic step-by-step tutorial.

Create a Collage Template

Another one that fell in my lap.  And sooooo useful.  Me and “create clipping mask” get it on like Donkey Kong.  For so long I’ve suffered through trying to make collages match, but after walking through this template tutorial?  Holy bananas.  Prayers have been answered.  I thought my deaf dog could hear again.  I was wrong about that last one, but that’s how hallelujah I was about it.  If you blog, dog ear this sucker right now.  DO IT!

So there’s nothing super fantastical on this list, but I’ve taken to these five resources and have visited them multiple times.  So have at it – bust open your Photoshop and try something new.  And it’s OK if you end up talking to your machine while you’re working your way through them – I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s normal.

(Computer, take a bow.)

September 20, 2012 - 10:17 am

Susan - Thank you for posting this! I have PS 6.0 at work (shhhhhh) so I might be giving some of these a try. :)

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