Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Tricks & Treats!

Happy Halloween to you all today!  So glad you can join me today for this double topic post today!  I got loads of great feedback from bloggers loving the post I did about photographing on different "surfaces" last week.  So I thought I'd share with you another fun (and free) background to set your photographs on, paint chips! This works especially great for small objects to photograph, but you could also create a grid with these to shoot larger objects against!  Fun, right?!  Bonus: You'll have a rainbow of swatches to choose from at your local hardware store.  Just don't go crazy and stuff them all in your purse from sheer excitement, you might get some weird looks from store employees :)  I shot a small pairing of pumpkins against a few different paint chips, just to get your creative gears turning for your next mini-photo shoot ideas.

  I seem to have an endless supply of pumpkins these days, since our fall outing from last week to the pumpkin patch.  So I also included some easy ideas I'm using this season to display my gourds indoors and out.  Inside we keep them grouped together, on top of the microwave, no less :)  Until we find a better use for them... I smell a pie in my near future! And then I also used them to decorate my small outdoor landing area.  I also picked up a hay bale during our country outing last week, for (get this) 5 dollars!! Holla!  You can only find those steals in the country baby! :)  Okay, sorry I'm back.

In other news, I'm sorry to tell you that I am signing off my blog until next week as Joe and I have so much to prepare for this weeks wedding we are shooting together!  I'm talking planning some shots, buying more gear, getting our website in order, ordering business cards, the works!  Oh, and we are also setting up a photo booth for the wedding in between everything else.  Yep, it's a lot of work.  But who am I to complain?!  So until next week, take care!

Post Details:
Photography: evphotogal
Photo Templates: Pugly Pixel
Font: Journal

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Friday!

  Hooray we made it to the end of the week!  I don't know about you but this week was a bit of a struggle for me.  Feeling out of balance of sorts mentally and feeling some stress at my 9-5 job.  Most of those unplasant feelings have diminished a bit as I was able to sort out feelings last night in my hot yoga class. It's only been my second week going, but when I say it's transforming, I mean that I feel like a calmer, saner, and healthier being when I leave the class.  It's the best way (I've found so far) to decompress after a long week of work and it leaves me feeling totally refreshed to finish my last day of work on Friday.  Not to mention I sleep like a baby at night!  Transforming, I kid you not! And it's a fun way for Joe and I to schedule a gym date every week too! 

  I wish I could tell you that my weekend will be relaxing, but Joe and I have lots of exciting plans in the works for our new business adventure called Coach House Pictures.  So we will be designing business cards and website pages to get that side of the business more organized. Until next week!  Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for joining me this week :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Into Fall

Hi everyone!  I first want to give a warm welcome to those who have found my lil blog via BYW.
And a giant thank you for all your sweet comments I've received this week.  It has truly inspired me to keep posting everyday this week (so far), yippee!! Today I wanted to share a small table top duo I shot around this time last year.  Along with them I wanted to share a few tricks to compose a shot like this, without emptying your wallet.

  I'm always looking for fun and interesting surfaces to photograph on and this one I used cost only 99 cents at my local Michael's  craft store.  It looks pretty close to the worn surface look I was seeking.  Another source for inspiration is taking a trip to your local farm stand, farmers market, or orchard.  They tend to have the freshest in session produce you can find.  Plus they make for great holiday decor around your home after you've photographed them.  And finally try going on a walk in your neighborhood. It's fun to collect fallen leaves from the trees and inspect all the different varieties that surround you.  After your done with them put each leaf in between pages of a heavy book and come Thanksgiving you'll have a festive and creative element to add to your festive table!  Have fun!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shades of Autumn

It never truly feels like Fall until I get to experience something in nature.  When the air is crisp and the smell of burning leaves fills the air.  This past weekend Joe and I packed our car and headed out of the city for a much needed time in the country.  We met up with some friends in McHenry at Stade's Farm.  It's a quaint family owned farm located 50 miles outside the city. It was definitely worth the trip!  We had a blast taking a hay ride to a REAL  pumpkin patch were we picked out the best looking gourds.  My friends jokingly asked if this was better that shopping at Aldi, where I usually go to buy my pumpkins.  And oh was it ever!  We stayed until the sun went down indulging in there famous hot apple cider donuts, hot coco, and sweet corn on the cob.  Later that night we headed back to my good friend Alise's house were we carved our pumpkins and roasted all the yummy seeds! We had a blast and can't wait for next years fall outing!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pattern by Orla Kiely

 All Photographs found in Pattern.

I poured through this lovely book by Orla Kiely called Pattern as soon as I got it home and since I've
been totally inspired by the BYW e-course I'm currently taking, I thought it might be a good idea to parallel how other successful creative's work and how they are influenced to keep creating fresh and new ideas into the world.  Orla Kiely is one such influential designer with a hugely successful global brand that started out with handbags and has since expanded to include accessories, travel & homeware (you might have seen some at Target), and a womenswear line.  Despite how big her brand has grown in size, it was refreshing to read that her ideas come from practicing new ways of learning to see the world around her. By discovering what you gravitate towards in shape, colors, moods, and themes, you start to develop a confidence in your own preferences which trains your eye to be a more critical editor.

"Inspiration is always the beginning of the design process. Next comes the research phase, where you delve into it all in more detail, gathering information of various kinds and trying out ideas in sketches and drawings." I've included just a few of my favorite patterns and photos from this book, but it truly is a great visual resource of inspiration and a wealth of information about building and sustaining a brand with new ideas that have a lasting impact.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Free Download: Vintage Bias Tape Labels

  I thought I'd start the week off by sharing a fun free download I worked on over the weekend.  I have a small but plentiful collection of vintage bias tape that I've been sourcing from flea and antique markets for the past few years.  And having been inspired by Katrina lately (and all her lovely design downloads), I decided to share with you a few of my favorites from the collection, in 3 color ways, and turned them into labels for your personal use.  I like to use these as captions in my posts and I'll probably be using them as labels for my sidebar tabs sometime in the near future, I hope :)  Until then, enjoy these here!

Photo Frame: EV Photo Chic

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Works

Hello Friday!  You're here and I'm so happy that you are :)  Joe and I have a jam packed weekend, starting with a trip to the pumpkin patch and corn maze with friends tomorrow.  As for the rest of the weekend I will more than likely be spending it behind the sewing machine creating a paper project for an upcoming event for Coach House Pictures (we are shooting are first wedding together in a few weeks, eep!) I'm so excited to be taking on this new photo adventure with my best friend by my side, none the less :) For now we still have lots to plan and will be working like bees up until the day!  I can't wait to share with you highlights of what we capture!  Until then, have an inspirational weekend!

Photography: evphotogal
Photo frame: Pugly Pixel
Font: Fling

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Loving: Lost Type Fonts

Recently I've been on the hunt for a font to spruce up our Coach House Pictures logo and yesterday I may have found it.  Or, so I thought!  I found this little jewel of a site called Lost Type fonts.  It's founders wanted to create a unique place where its designers get 100% of the profit they make from each font but here's the other fun twist, you decide how much you want to pay for each font!  Check out the library of fonts they currently have available.  These are some of my favorites above.  Time to start deciding which one of these will make the final cut!  Which font speaks to you the most?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Craft Product Review: Scissors & Punch

Crafting is one of my great loves! And to find products that are smart, help me to save time, and create great results? One of my goals is to find these products, test them and then share the results with my lovely readers! This weekend I tested out my newest Martha Stewart crafting products for an upcoming project and they are now an essential part of my craft closet.  The first product is fringe scissors, they have 5 scissor blades in one handle. A great time saving tool to create your own streamers and other fringe like projects, like my fringe backdrop.  And the second is an all over circle punch.  Unlike most paper punches, where you can only punch a shape on the border of the paper, this punch lets you punch anywhere on your paper. Which means you get more punches per paper and less waste, great! I used a medium weight card stock to create this paper garland. Thanks Martha for creating such handy tools for crafters like me :)  Oh, and the product design is easy on the eyes, so I don't mind displaying any of her craft products either because they just look so pretty.

Photography: evphotogal
Fabric Ribbon: evphotogal
Blog Template: Pugly Pixel

Friday, October 14, 2011

DIY- Binder Cover Tutorial

As I mentioned earlier last week I signed up for Holly's Blogging Your Way e-course and one of the things I knew I wanted to have in place was a pretty binder where I can collect all my paperwork and store other creative findings.  And since I'm trying to reuse materials that I already own, I decided to cover a plain 3 ring binder that I wasn't using. The paper I used for the outside was a role of pretty paper I found at the dollar store.  I really like the contrast of lacy paper paired with the shipping brown paper on the inside. Pretty meets functional, what a great combo! I was so excited by the way it turned out that I put together this DIY tutorial so you can cover your own!  I had fun putting together these illustrations (straight from my sketchbook) and photographic tutorial.  I think it would be great to cover a few binders, that way you'll always have a place to store your many inspirations! I keep one in the kitchen to keep all my magazine recipes handy. Have a lovely weekend :)

Photo template & tape: Pugly Pixel 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joe = Tasty Portfolio

Photography: Joe Bankmann

My guy has been working hard in the kitchen!  Here are some of his tastier fare, hmmm.  I can almost smell that peach & blueberry pie! Trust me, it tasted as good as it looks!  A nice little perk to living with a food photographer, there are always some ingredients that didn't quite make the cut.  A few weeks ago we had a produce aisle of heirloom tomatoes in our kitchen.  We had so much that we devoured them in salads for over a week!  Oh, it was difficult to go back to the regular cherry or plum varieties after that! But it's nice to know that there is always an abundance of something else around the corner.  Right now we are slammed with salami!  This could spell trouble :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Engagement Session- Annie & Steve

I finished my editing late last night and couldn't wait to share my favorites with you this morning!  Yippee! Here they are!  Joe and I had so much fun running around the Old Town neighborhood to capture these shots.  Love and Fall were both in the air, mixed in with some great light!  What more could we have asked for? Thanks Annie & Steve for a great afternoon!

Flowers: A New Leaf

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend Stretch!

Good Saturday morning to you in blog land!  With my morning coffee in hand I'm spending a beautiful fall morning editing an engagement shoot Joe and I worked on last Sunday with this lovely couple!  Annie and Steve made our night, with there sweet looks and gestures.  We followed them around in there Old Town Chicago neighborhood.  Fall was in the air and love was following closely behind :)
After our session we ended up going out for Thai food, my fav!  And talking about there wedding coming up in January.  Thanks Annie and Steve for letting us capture such sweet moments!

Photography: Coach House Pictures
Flowers: A New Leaf

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the Work Kitchen

For the past few weeks I've been helping out at work in the styling arena!  Our photo producer has seen me in action over the last several months and now seems relieved every time she hands a project over to me, having full confidence that I can style shoots and get the art directors approval. Which makes me happy at the end of a long day!  Here are a few kitchen shots we did last week.  I had fun shopping for all the baked goodies I used to prop the donut and cake pop makers. Yum!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Barnes Family

Just a quick sneak peek at what Coach House Pictures has been up to!  As I announced a few weeks ago, this is our new photography adventure that Joe and I have been growing.  We had so much fun photographing the Barnes family!  There boys are so energetic and lively!  We loved following them around there Bucktown neighborhood (which just happens to be ours too) and capturing them in the moment. Here are a few of my favorite shots.  Check out our blog to see the full posting of this photo session. Happy Monday and a great start to your week!