Big Smiles! - Portrait Preview {Massachusetts Photographer - International Wedding Photographer}

I hope the holidays went well for all of my friends and readers out there.  This holiday season I was booked solid between travel, spending time with the family and two portraiture sessions and a wedding.

Now that I'm back home, I'm available for booking, so send me a line if you want to work together in 2014.  I'd love to meet you and your family, do engagement shots or family photos.

Up above we have a great portrait shot from a Christmas Eve family photoshoot I did in Michigan.  These kids were practically all models, Rhiannon had a great energy and smile, and her brother Xavier was super easy to direct and had a natural sense of where to look.  They were such fun to work with, I wish I'd gotten more time with them.  We had a big family to get through, and they were some of the first that I got to shoot.

Thanks so much to the family.  I'll have a few more previews as I continue editing, and I can't wait to show them off.

Preset Preview

It's hectic here at Rains on the Plain!  My studio (and life) are busy busy busy right now, with many different projects (and laundry, always laundry). I'm working as fast as I can this holiday season, and I've got plenty planned for the new year.  My black and white collection of Lightroom Presets are still in the development phase, but I thought I would give you a preview of a new one.

This is Lo-Fi, a filmy black and white with subtle blue tones in the highlights that give it a dreamy, vintage look.

I also wanted to answer a question I got through email just in case anyone else was wondering - I do plan to make Photoshop tools in the future, but I haven't developed any for sale yet.  Hopefully 2014 will bring forth some Rains on the Plain actions and brushes for PS.  Until then, my presets and textures are available in my etsy shop.


Happy Happy!

Happy holidays to everyone out there!  I hope you're doing well.

I'm rather busy - but it's that time of the year.  I'm offering free domestic (US) shipping until Wednesday in my shop with the coupon Holiday13.

After that I'll be away until the end of the year.  The shop will be open, but there will be a notice about nothing shipping until January.

Thanks for being a part of my year.

Lightroom Presets Available

My first set of Lightroom Presets are available on etsy now.  It's an instant download if you buy it through them, so you can buy and be using them within minutes.  I've shown you a lot of pictures of them, but here's a few more.



Did you notice the changes to the blog?  I've changed the background from one of the blogger textures to one of my own.  This is Sour Apple and it's part of the Dramatis Texture Pack that I just made.

In a later post I'll share more about textures and how I use them, but I have some sample photos from the Dramatis Pack to show.  The Dramatis Pack includes the five free textures I previously made, so if you want to grab those before checking out the whole pack, feel free - they're linked on the side.


Fabric From Concept to Print

Some of the fabric I talked about before, like Fall Leaves and Victory are now available for sale.  I wanted to share how I draw most of my fabric designs for Spoonflower.  This is the drawing became the fabric called "Bao", which is one of my favorite designs that I've done so far.

First I start off with a pencil drawing that I make on cardstock.  I like using cardstock for this - the size works well for my sketching and for later scanning, and the weight of it feels good under my mechanical pencil.  If you're interested, I buy it in bulk from Cards and Pockets online and I draw with a Pentel Graphicgear 1000 with HB lead.  I use pencil first to see if I like what I've done, then go over it in ink.  Sometimes it's just the outline and other times I fill in the design.  It just depends on what I'm working with.  I think it's easier to fill in, because linework usually means that it's a busier pattern.  My linework is done with Copic black liner markers, usually in .5 thickness.

After I ink the whole thing, I scan it.  It's scanned in at 300dpi and I take a look at it in Photoshop.  There's no real up or down to the pattern at this point, I often rotate and change while I'm working on it, and then see what I like best when I am done.  Photoshop is a bit of a process for me - I have no real guide to tell you about.  I go around erasing the background, making layers and copying in the inked lines.  Most of the time, I work in black and white with a pattern like this one, for the sake of simplicity.  If I were going to put particular colors down I would do it in this step.

This is the most time consuming step.  I am remaking what I drew and refining at the same time.  This can take anywhere from days to months, depending on how intricate the design is and how busy I am.  When I made it, Bao was one of the most challenging pieces I'd done, and it took me a good amount of time to finish it up.

After creating the digital piece, I uploaded it to Spoonflower.  This is a remarkably easy process, once you have an account with them you can do uploads.  I chose a mirrored repeat for my piece, and I liked the way the shapes joined and the stars blossomed between them.

Before you can sell any pieces, you have to order test swatches, to make sure that it prints the way you intend.  For the most part, I am happy with the digitally printed versions of my fabric, though there have been some exceptions.  Luckily, Bao was not a bad print, and it came out like this when I got the printed sample.

It's worth noting that you have to order each colorway separately.  I made Bao in a good number of color combinations, and each had to get its own swatch.  The upside is that switching colors is also made easy on the Spoonflower site, there's a tool that reduces your artwork to a set number of colors (two in this case) and then you can choose new colors.

I hope you've enjoyed this look into my work!


Dramatis Textures on Sale

My Dramatis Texture Set is on sale in my etsy shop now.  I handmade all of these textures, 24 in all, with six additional PNG overlays.

I hope to have another set of textures and my lightroom presets on sale soon, but I'm taking some much needed sick time right now.  You can still shop my store however, and save 20% on your order over $8 USD until Friday with the code GRATEFUL13.