Wednesday, June 26

Maternity Shoot Today- Wish Me Luck!

My sister Heather

I have loved photography since I was a very small child and had my first camera (a 110).  It was only a hobby and I went on to become a world-famous scientist.  Well, that is not completely true.  I actually was a poorly-paid lab rat who worked in the genetics field for over ten years.

When we decided to have kids I realized that I would either have to find another job where I could work at home, or keep on commuting to the med. center to work in my lab.  Genetics is not a field where you can take a few years break to raise your kids and then jump right back in.  And I honestly had no interest in getting my PhD as I loved the research part of the job, not the writing and begging for grant money.  ;-)

So the first years I stayed at home and we were completely broke but happy.  When I had free time in the evenings I entertained myself editing my baby photos in Photoshop.  This was great preparation because I met a wedding photographer who needed someone to edit his photos.  So my new career was born.

I learned Lightroom 1 in one day, and spent many late evenings after I put the kids to bed going through 800-1000 wedding images (this was one wedding shoot), picking the top 300, and editing them.  I was able to do one wedding per week and earn some money.  It was a heady feeling.

My wedding photographer friend offered to help me get in the business and I decided to shoot two weddings with him.  I honestly had no idea how much work it was to shoot weddings, and I found it very stressful.  You only have one chance to capture a wedding, there are no reshoots, so I was a nervous wreck.  I remember coming home completely exhausted.

I decided at that point that I was better behind the computer editing images rather than shooting professionally, and my photography continued as a hobby.  I started my blog to teach other moms like me to have fun shooting and editing their own photos and CoffeeShop was born.

Even though I am not a professional photographer, I enjoy doing photo shoots for friends on occasion. Of course, I make no promises that my photos are going to be outstanding (they need to hire a professional for that), but they are usually willing to work with me.  I do ask that they allow me to use some of their images in my blog for actions/tutorials so we help each other out.  I can only post so many photos of my kids...

Today I am going to shoot a friend who is due to have her baby any day.  We have a big field down the road and we are going to try to get some decent shots.  However, it is in the 90's today and very pregnant women and incredibly hot and humid days don't mix, so I will keep you posted.  I am going to bring alone Duke as my assistant. We are both really excited and I hope to get at least one decent image I can use on my blog, but I am making no promises.  I haven't shot a maternity photo shoot in years.

I want to mention that I have so much respect for the professional photographers out there.  They make it look so easy.

By the way, here is a sneak peak of my next action/overlay/tutorial coming out hopefully tomorrow. This image was sent to me by a reader (Becky) and I had some fun editing it and wanted to share the edit with you.  :-)

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


  1. Have Faith! You can do it! :-) Nothing like capturing the beauty of such wonderful creation in the making! Best of luck to you!

  2. Ahhhhhh, Rita, you've got this! I don't think I ever knew the evolution of your photography, but ya know what? I love it, because it's exactly how I am! Shot a wedding once, took 8 hours, slept the whole next day. Professional photogs have the duty of deadlines and delivering a picture-perfect product every single time. Eh, no thanks. For me, it's fun. I do freebie photo shoots for friends and family too. So much nicer that way! I'm sure you'll do GREAT!

  3. I am new to Photoshop Elements 11, and photo editing in general. I cannot seem to figure out how you got the glowing orbs in this photo. Please help!

  4. I usually don't leave comments but I have been reading and following your blog for about 6 months and I absolutely love your blog. I am a college student and still trying to figure out "what I want to be when I grow up". Some of my favorite posts I read from photographers/photo editors are those when they tell about how they got to where they are today. I took 2 years of photography in high school and for three years have been taking free photo shoots for family and friends, and I hadn't found out about 'actions' until I found your blog and since, my photography has flourished! I am always encouraged when I read other photographer's stories of how they learned their skills! Thank you for having your blog and keeping your work available to so many people!


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