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Chic Critique is THE elite magazine, community, & resource for women who love photography (yes, we’re biased!)
Our mission: critique | confidence | community
Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!

Blog Love Week 35

Chic Critique Forum Blog Love

Do you post on your blog only to hear crickets? Do you sometimes feel like you are talking to yourself (and maybe your Mom) on your blog? Do you need some LOVE?

Chic Critique is here for you, girl. In 2013, we are doing a weekly feature on our blog every Saturday called “BLOG LOVE” where you can showcase your  blog posts on Chic Critique for lots of love.


  • Use this as motivation to blog at least once a week
  • Boost your SEO: your thumbnail will link back to your own blog for lots of publicity and SEO lovin’!
  • Get blog comments from our fans
  • Show off your work
  • Get published! One of your images might be featured in an upcoming issue of Chic Magazine

It’s so easy! HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

You must be a member of Chic Critique forum to participate 

  1. Post some pics on your own blog with a link back to Chic Critique
  2. Every weekend, submit your permalink (not your main blog address) from your own blog post to the frog icon (see sample below) to our weekly Saturday “Blog Love” blog post
  3. Your image will then show up as a thumbnail on OUR blog and allow our readers to click on your image to check out YOUR blog.

Need a reminder? We’ll help remind you in our weekly newsletter and on Facebook so be sure to become a fan and subscribe to our newsletter.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the other entries because that is half the fun! Also, submit your photo early since those seem to be the ones who receive the most comments.



Make acid wash jeans in 5 simple steps | Fashion Friday

by Kelli France | Editor-in-Chief

It’s Fashion Friday!

Tons of you asked for a tutorial after I posted pics of my daughter’s homemade acid washed jeans on my Instagram, so here it is!

I must admit that this was SUPER FUN! I’m gonna do it to my own jeans next!



  • Household Bleach
  • Water
  • Dark Jeans (I recommend these because they are cute & cheap)
  • Rubberbands
  • A Bucket
  • Rubber gloves (optional…I did not use, but it’s probably safer)
Step 1: Begin by tying small knots in your jeans with the rubberbands. Try to wad them up and fold them as you add the rubberbands. I used like, 50 rubber bands.
STEP 2:  Add about 80 ounces of water to the bucket and an entire container of household bleach (about 120 ounces). Then put your wadded & banded jeans in the bucket.
STEP 3: Let your jeans sit for about an hour. Then check to see if you are getting the desired look. You may need to flip your jeans and let them sit another hour if they aren’t fully submerged in the water/bleach mixture.
Continue checking your jeans until you get the look you are going for. **We had to let these jeans soak for over 6 hours until we got the look we wanted. 
STEP 4: Once the jeans are finished soaking in the bleach bucket, take them out of the bucket with gloved hands. Rinse the bleach out of the jeans on a sidewalk (so you don’t ruin your grass) with water from a hose.
STEP 5: Wash them in the washer ALONE (with no other clothing) in cold water. Then dry them in the dryer.
VOILA! You now have a unique pair of jeans that looks amazing! Feel free to comment below if you have any questions.





ChicTV | How Brittney Kluse gets Killer Color

It’s FREEBIE FRIDAY!!! At the end of every month, we share a FREE ChicTV interview with one of our Celebrity Photographers to all our forum members.

Today’s fun interview is with the vibrant, Brittney Kluse.

In this video you will learn:

  • How Brittney started out as a “vintage” photographer
  • How Brittney found her style and how to find yours
  • The key to killer color (hint: it’s not what you think!)
  • Finding your “thang” in photography

OUTTAKES: We may or may not be “whipping our hair back & forth” to some music. Watch to the end to see! 

WATCH IT NOW in the forum >>


P.S. Sign up for Brittney’s Online Workshop HERE. Only 8 spots left! 

Check out more of her work at: Brittney Kluse Photography



Reader’s Poll: Chic Retreat Speakers




Learn from the best. . . in your pajamas!


In this 90 minute LIVE web event, you will learn about how to:

  • Define & attract your ideal “Lovemark Clients”, the ones who are most likely to rave about you in the first place.
  • Give those clients the stories you actually want them telling with a remarkable “Purple Cow” experience (because it’s not that they’re talking but what they’re saying)
  • Move on to building your “Secondary Circle” of followers in your tribe- an army of evangelists thousands strong out there saying your name, and
  • Become a company worth believing in by having something that you stand for
  • Plus, ask Mary questions during the Q&A AFTER PART-AY!

WHEN: Monday, September 23rd 2013 @ 8 pm Central (6 Pacific, 7 Mountain, 9 Eastern)

Can’t watch the LIVE event? No worries. A downloadable video recording is available for pre-purchase (below) & will be sent to you 48 hours afterwards.


Live Event: FREE for forum members! >>REGISTER HERE!<< Hurry though, seating is limited!

Live Event + Video Recording Download:

$39 for forum members. Price will increase to $79 after the live event

$59 for non-members. Price will increase to $79 after the live event

Sign Up HERE to watch Mary Marantz Live Web Event!



Ever wished that you could just hang out with some of your favorite Celebrities Photogs?  Tired of stalking their blogs because you just want to chill with them. Well now you can! Each month we’ll have different Celebrity Photographers floating around the forum answering your questions, giving critiques, talking about business and posting inspirational images. This month’s Celebrity Moderators are Heidi Hope Photography.





by Sarah O’Connor | Contributing Editor

The Golden Hour like it’s name suggests is that tiny little one hour window right before the sun sets where the lighting is just amazing and golden.

In my years of shooting during this precious hour I have really nailed down a few things that are musts for shooting at this time.

1. Sunset Calculator
Probably the most important tool is the sunset calculator.  You can input your zip code and it will give you the sunset time for any day you are looking at.  This is great for scheduling times for future sessions!  I use but I know there are a ton of others and some iphone apps as well.  Once you know the time the sun is setting you schedule your session to start shooting one hour before the sun sets.

2. West facing Location
Equally important as the sunset time is the photoshoot location.  The sun sets in the west so you want your location of choice to be beautiful with your camera pointing at it looking west and slightly northwest and/or southwest.  This way you can do backlight and 45 degree side lit shots.

3. Reflector
I love love love using my reflector for backlit shots.  I always use it for my close up shots.  With longer focal distances I usually have to tweak a bit in editing since the reflector isn’t really effective. Some photographers find having an assistant useful to help however, I just hold the reflector myself with my elbow right underneath my camera and it seems to work out pretty good.

4. Lens hood
If you don’t want the sunflare coming in your lens be sure to remember your lens hood.  I like a mix of both hazy photos and clear photos so I usually take the hood on and off during the shoot depending on the look I am going for at the time.

5. Hat or sunglasses
Since you will be shooting towards the sun it will be bright and you don’t want to hurt your eyes, or worse squint and get wrinkles! I always wear my sunglasses because I have super sensitive eyes.  Some people might have trouble looking at the camera screen correctly with them though, so if you look at your screen a lot then a hat might work better for you.
First part of the session the sun is still higher and you can get some nice 45 degree angle lighting.  The two pictures below on the left were shot with no hood on the lens and at less of an angle to get a hazy sun look. The top photo on the right was shot with the lens hood on so it is more clear and the bottom right photo was a close up so I used a reflector to bounce light into her face.

lenexa kansas senior photographers

The second part of the session the sun will be lower and can be placed directly behind the subjects head.  This allows you to use the subject to  block the sun and it will peek out from behind causing the hair to glow like these pictures below.

kansas city senior photographer

The third part of the session the sun will be almost set.  This time you can get a little bit of a deeper look in your colors and this is a good time to turn your subject facing the sun if you want and get a tiny glow on their face.

olathe kansas senior pictures

The sun has now set and you are done…WRONG!  Bump up that ISO and have some fun. This is the time for dramatic skies and silhouettes.

kansas city family photographers

lenexa kansas family photographer

overland park kansas child photographers

Ok, now your done!  We’ll work on how to edit the golden hour pictures next month.



 Sarah O’Connor is a creative portrait photographer in the Kansas City area and works mainly with families, newborns & children on location and in her home studio.  She lives in Lenexa with her husband, two little boys Rowan & Quinn and daughter Eloise.

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