Monthly Archives: April 2012

{Registration is OPEN in just under 2 hours!}

Can your images be better, but you’re not sure how?  Getting honest, constructive feedback with a video showing you how to modify your image may be one of the most valuable next steps for you and your business.  My Chic Critique class registration is open in less than 2 hours!   And I’m looking forward to working with excited photographers that want to take their work to the next level.  The 4 week critique is $69 and if you want to just watch and not have your photo critiqued it’s ONLY $34.   Check out the link to sign up and for more information.  I’m so excited to work with those who sign up!  :)

UPDATE:  After registration being open for only a few hours – there are ONLY 2 spots left!  Seats are going fast!  I can’t wait to work with those of you who’ve signed up.  Thank you!!

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KymMay 18, 2012 - 12:01 pm


KymMay 18, 2012 - 12:00 pm

Can I just tell you… I’ve stumbled across your site a few times from your circle of friends… Every time, I come to your page, that music starts, and the images take my breath away. I literally stop in my tracks, and get choked up because I feel the emotion behind them. Someday, I truly hope I can captivate my audience the way you’ve captivated me every time I’m blessed to see it… Thank you for giving me the honor of viewing such beauty.

VeronicaApril 30, 2012 - 9:51 am

I really want to do this with you!!! And mentoring. Do you offer one on one mentoring? You’re so incredibly talented!!

D BakerApril 30, 2012 - 9:06 am

All signed up! YAY! See you (virtually) in June!

LillyApril 30, 2012 - 7:42 am

Oh I need to look into this. Do you offer mentoring. That’s what I’m dying to do with you.

{Project 26 – ‘Takes My Breath Away’}

It’s that time again!  We all took a little break this past week so I apologize for the lack of posting.  But we’re back and excited about this weeks theme as well as some new, very talented photogs we’ve added to the group.   Check the circle and you’ll see – oh and one more new photog will be joining us starting next week.  I love these girls and I’m excited to see their vision with this project also!

So this weeks theme had my brain spinning ‘takes my breath away’.  That could be SO MANY things!  So much these days takes my breath away, some good and some bad.  I was trying to figure out what truly makes me gasp, what makes my jaw drop and what leaves me breathless.  Is it a beautiful sunset?  This week we haven’t had the typical beautiful sunsets so that was out.   Is it buying a new house?  Um too stressful to talk  about – its definitely leaving me needing to take lots of deep breathes ha.  Is it when my kids give me kisses and tell me sweet stories before bed? Always, but I couldn’t put that into a picture this week.  Is it a sweet note from one of my children?  Yes – I love sweet notes.  But this week I found a home that had tragically been abandoned due to a fire.   THAT took my breath away. A little strange, right?  Not something that would typically cause most to gasp.  I know.   I shouldn’t have gone into the home but I couldn’t turn away.  I was in awe the entire time as I carefully tip-toed through the remains of this once, beautiful home.  It was sad and eerie walking through each room of the house seeing children’s books, stuffed animals, clothes, cards, notes, books, and even homework (times tables) strewn about.  I wonder what happened?  Is this family okay today?  Why were these things left behind?  Where do they live now? I was sad for them – their beautiful home was completely destroyed.  :(  I didn’t touch anything.  There was a card from a child to his Grandfather on the ground surrounded in shattered glass, but I didn’t open it – I kind of wished I had.  It just seemed too personal and I was already in a home I wasn’t invited into so I left everything undisrupted.  It was a rainy day so the picture  below was taken inside my car looking out of my windshield toward the abandoned house.  Once I was inside I saw through one of the broken windows a playhouse in the backyard, a little tattered but it still had a sparkle of wonder.  I’m sure it was the place of many magical memories to the children who once played in there.   There was also a large pool with a built in table and seating area in the pool and a spa that was covered with boards.  It was empty except for rain water and dirt, it was faded and worn.  Again, I was sad for the family that once enjoyed happy times there.  I could’ve spent hours exploring, but the rain was coming down hard and the thunder rattled the house spooking me a bit.

I also added one more thing that took my breath away this past couple of weeks.  We’re planning on moving soon to a neighboring city, so not too far.  But one of Brielle’s classmates is feeling the pain of our move already.  The last image below is his note to Brielle.  It melts me.

Anyway, these are the things that ‘took my breath away’ this week.  Continue through the circle and see what Martha Schuster’s  - I see the Moon Photography  posted this week.  Yes, she’s new to the group!  *squeal*

One last thing that took my breath away this week.  A love note from a boy in Brielle’s class.  I covered his name just in case you’re wondering why there’s  white space.

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Nissin FlashApril 30, 2012 - 12:03 am

Great post. Loved reading it. Images are very beautiful. The last note is really cute and you did outstanding job by adding that to this post. Superb.

aubryApril 29, 2012 - 10:14 pm

you are a rare talent, this is just amazing! love everything about it.

LJApril 28, 2012 - 2:07 pm

Haunting. Amazing!

mugsie5April 27, 2012 - 2:39 pm

so sad for that family. love the note to Brielle and it is so sad for that little boy. You feel his pain in that note.

Jessica DrossinApril 27, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Kara. Kara. Kara.

These are all so lovely. Soft, introspective, nostalgic and even a bit haunting.

BethanyApril 27, 2012 - 12:47 pm

You find beauty in the most amazing ways. Truly an inspiration.

Mandy PaigeApril 27, 2012 - 12:45 pm

Haunting but so beautiful. How sad for this family. And that love note got me teary.

Kristin RachelleApril 27, 2012 - 12:17 pm

Beautiful captures Kara!! Absolutely adore that red house one with those amazing clouds. Love all of these and that note is just way too sweet.

DebbieApril 27, 2012 - 10:31 am

Wow Kara… what a lovely post. I enjoy seeing all the images. What a sad story but you truly captured them beautifully.

martha schusterApril 27, 2012 - 10:20 am

so this post truly did take my breath away. to see the remains of a former life, burned out and abandoned….it’s hard not to picture my own life, my own children’s books that they held and loved. so many things gone – it’s an agonizing beauty. (sometimes my favorite kind…now i’m the weird one) – and the note to your baby girl….no words. love your post kara.

Life with KaishonApril 27, 2012 - 9:58 am

Oh my goodness. The note made me cry : (

Michele QApril 27, 2012 - 9:42 am

The stairs . . . I just can’t stop looking at that image. It’s just so so beautiful, pure art.

SharonApril 27, 2012 - 9:08 am

So haunting, yet beautiful. I want to see more. And I suppose it’s safe to say that Brielle takes his breath away. Such a sweet, sweet love note.

ginaApril 27, 2012 - 8:53 am

the story is so very sad. but you went in and found beauty within the sadness. the letter…priceless.

Nichol JensenApril 27, 2012 - 8:43 am

Ohhhhhh I love this. I want to explore abandoned houses with you.

Lindsay SApril 27, 2012 - 8:39 am

Any work of yours leaves me breathless.

AnnemarieApril 27, 2012 - 8:37 am

Amazing! I love old abandoned houses. There’s such a sad beauty in them. That love note is a keeper.

Nikki MercerApril 27, 2012 - 8:32 am

This is haunting with the rainy weather but do beautiful the way you captured it. I love seeing things through your eyes.

ClarityApril 27, 2012 - 8:31 am

Wow…that is all.

VeronicaApril 27, 2012 - 8:28 am

Wow, this is sadly beautiful. I wonder what the story is behind it? So sad, yet you captured it so beautifully.

MrsFunApril 27, 2012 - 8:23 am

I love this :) The note kills me, so sweet.

Beth Ross | Tyler TX PhotographerApril 27, 2012 - 8:06 am

This is so tragic, eery and beautiful all at the same time. I love the first picture of the raindrops and I especially love the picture of the house with the dark sky. Your work amazes me.

{‘Shop Talk’ – Shadows with Hats}

Yes!  It’s ‘Shop Talk’ Friday! I love these days when I can post anything photography related!  Today…it’s hats and the shadows they create.   I love using hats to accessories my clients, unfortunately sometimes those cute hats can create flat eyes and loss detail.  But there’s an easy fix to brighten things up that brings life to the eyes in the process.  This is before any edits are made.  I like the image but the visor makes her eyes darker than they are and there’s loss of detail as well.

To isolate the area under the visor, I used the lasso tool (feathered at 30-40%) and selected the areas under the visor.  I then selected the ‘Curves tool’ and only adjusted the shadows and mid-tones up a small amount.  Depending on the image you may need to adjust the highlights as well.  A little goes a long way with this tool.

Once the curves adjustment has been made you’ll see that the eyes have popped and her skin from chin to forehead is pretty even with the shadows.  I didn’t want to eliminate ALL the shadowing under her visor since I wanted it to look natural and their naturally will be a small amount of shadowing when your subject wears a hat.

After some  saturation and contrast – here’s the final image.  :)  Easy peazy!  Let me know if you have any questions.   I love getting your e-mails with comments and requests.  :) Keep’em coming!

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mugsie5April 27, 2012 - 10:11 am

this is so touching plus the note for Brielle is so real. You can feel the little boy and his pain

NicholeApril 21, 2012 - 12:57 am

Brilliant! You and your details are amazing. Thanks for sharing!!

Payton NApril 20, 2012 - 12:54 pm

You make me a better photographer. Your attention to detail is admirable.

Ashley AnneApril 20, 2012 - 11:20 am

So so smart. I’ve never thought to do that. Awesome tut!!

JessicaApril 20, 2012 - 10:27 am

You are awesome! Thanks for sharing your gift!!

Sabrina LizzariApril 20, 2012 - 10:18 am

What a great tutorial! I never thought to try to fix the shadows. I just thought I’d have to use different photos that didn’t involve a hat since the shading was so harsh. Thanks for sharing!!

mugsie5April 20, 2012 - 10:01 am

great teaching session

{Rocker Baby Nation: The Raven Collection}

Matilda and I have been working hard on preparing for the debut of her latest baby – the stunning ‘Raven Collection‘.  This new collection  is so well designed.  Not a single detail was left out in her creation – she truly is an amazingly talented woman!  I was in awe over the design, every detail, the black & white combination (it’s still so girly), and the amazing construction.   I’m honestly speechless.  Matilda – YOU ARE AMAZING!  Thanks for trusting me to follow your vision.

Click here to go to her site.

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martha schusterApril 27, 2012 - 10:13 am

ok hi!!! i need EVERY dress in this collection!!!!!!!!! i’m sitting here dying!!!!!!!!!

Maria FloresApril 26, 2012 - 6:40 pm

How can you have such adorable models?!! I want to have them too as my models! Your so great,really..

Terry McKaigApril 23, 2012 - 4:49 pm

Always a treat to come and see your work on your blog Kara! Gorgeous work…….gorgeous!! : )

TanyaApril 20, 2012 - 4:17 am

You are amazing!! Love everything about this session!

VeronicaApril 13, 2012 - 10:19 pm

I have followed you work for a long time and every post is truly inspiring. You never, ever fail to amaze me with your talent. Theses dresses are beautiful but your photography BLOWS ME AWAY!! Unbelievable. Keep up the amazing work.

MimiApril 13, 2012 - 12:14 am

I want to be you. I love your eye, how you see the light, the way you get your subjects to work with you and your unbelievable editing talent!! Bravo.

Sabrina LizzariApril 12, 2012 - 11:32 pm

Unbelievable. Your work is pure inspiration. More please

Brielle's Dad and Kara's HusbandApril 12, 2012 - 8:57 pm

Holy Cow! WOW…. I am obviously biased but these are awesome. This is one of my favorite sessions you’ve ever done.

Desiree/Palm Tree PrincessApril 12, 2012 - 7:40 pm

TIMELESS, CLASSY, and CLASSIC! Great job ; )

Jenn PennApril 12, 2012 - 7:37 pm

These might be my favorite pictures you have ever taken!

ingridApril 12, 2012 - 6:51 pm

I love EVERYTHING you do! Your photography just hits the heart string.. it evokes so much emotion! Love it all!! :)

Lilly GainesApril 12, 2012 - 6:27 pm


mugsie5April 12, 2012 - 6:16 pm

I think you have outdone yourself with these shots.

Layla MarieApril 12, 2012 - 6:11 pm

Wow!!! Can your work speak to me any more than it is right now? You amaze me Kara. And I want one of each of these dresses for my nieces. Brilliant!!!

BekkaApril 12, 2012 - 5:47 pm

drooling, seriously. The photography is to due for KARA! And I want the dress your daughter is wearing!!!!

Neil HansenApril 12, 2012 - 5:46 pm

FLIP!!! These are phenomenal!

Tiara AndressApril 12, 2012 - 5:36 pm

GORGEOUS!! The girls and the clothes!