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Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!

KAITLIN THOMPSON | CHIC OF THE WEEK

Congrats Kaitlin Thompson of Euphoric Shutterbug Photography! Your image is so gorgeous that we had to feature you as the Chic of the Week.

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Winter may be the slow months for photography, but Kaitlin shows us how easy it is to get a gorgeous portrait even when the elements are less than favorable!   Along with the natural beauty of the model, there was no way I could let it slip by without sharing it in a CHIC of the Week post.

Congrats again to Kaitlin Thompson of Euphoric Shutterbug Photography!  You’ve been awarded a gift certificate from one of our vendors for being selected as Chic of the Week!

Which photo of your own would you like to see featured on the site?

If you upload your favorite photos to the forum, we just might feature yours next.

 

A little bit from Kaitlin:

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My name is Kaitlin Thompson of Euphoric Shutterbug Photography! I specialize in portraiture photography with a women based clientele. I give my images an editorial vibe with an artistic flare. My main goal is to make my girls feel as confident as ever! I want them to see how beautiful they truly are.

Image Stats:

f-stop: 3.2
shutter speed: 1/200
ISO: 100
time of day: around 3pm

I took this image on a cold winter afternoon. My client was up for anything and was willing to trudge through almost knee-high snow! I shot this with a larger aperture then I usually would to get more focused in the background. My client loves the snow and wanted it shown throughout her images.

What critique from Chic Critique Forum did you find helpful after sharing this image?

I have not received any specific critiques yet, but from posting this image I have learned that I love sharing tips and tricks to fellow photographers on the forum!

 

Don’t forget to upload your favorite photos to the forum, we just might feature yours next.

 

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MOMMY GUILT | SAMSUNG REVIEW BY LAURA WINSLOW

Mommy guilt.

Samsung_Mirrorless_Smart_Camera_NX300_Laura_Winslow I had a serious case of it.

You see, I am a professional photographer, yet I dread bringing my Canon 5dmII DSLR with me (aka my “big camera”) on family trips, or to use to capture my children and all the hilarious-cute-weird-strange-fabulous things they do on a daily basis. When you deal with the uploading, culling, editing, preparing and backing up of so many huge RAW files for your client sessions, it just becomes something that you just aren’t really so psyched about also doing with those gazillion photos of your daughter at Disney World, ya know?

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So, I left it up to my trusty phone to capture some of my most important memories–those daily, fleeting memories that all placed together make up a childhood. Those small, everyday, ordinary moments–the ones you sometimes don’t even notice until they pass. Or–gasp–I never even recorded them at all…

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Your child in a shopping cart seat, the one they will soon be too big for. Photographing_Everyday_Moments_Samsung_Camera The way their hair is all crazy bedhead-esque when they toddle into your room at the wee hours of the morning just to snuggle.
That time your son came downstairs with his underwear over his clothes, a superhero cape on and swim goggles on, as though it were the most normal thing in the world.
Or, even the time when your son was in his room quietly playing legos and your daughter was on his bed throwing her sock monkey through the air…oh, or was that just me?!

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If you are a parent, you know these moments. You feel them deep in your soul and you know exactly what I am talking about.

I know many of you have that same mommy guilt, too. Phones are great and the cameras on them have come SUCH a long way, I know we all can agree. BUT, what if you want to print that cool shot of your daughter swooshing down the slide as a large 30×40 canvas? Hmmm…with your camera phone? Not so much.

As photographers, not only do we sometimes feel pressure to edit even our everyday family photos, but we also have a high standard for those kinds of photos. Yeah, point and shoot cameras can be great, but when you are used to the fast frames-per-second capabilities of a DSLR and the crispness of a 50mm lens, sometimes it is just, well, a letdown when we snap a photo of little Johnny’s school play with a P&S. It’s all blurry and he isn’t even in the photo because in the time that lapsed in between you pressing the shutter button and when the actual photo was taken, you could have gone to get a coffee and come back. Are you nodding your head yes and screaming amen yet?

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Recently, my mommy guilt (regarding this, at least!) has subsided, and a beautiful solution to my woes has emerged. A new camera has completely changed the way I photograph my children.

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I recently was asked to be a part of the Samsung Imagelogger Program, and I have had the opportunity to try the Samsung NX300 Mirrorless Smart Camera and various lenses. Since I have started using this sweet little piece of image awesomeness and sharing images on Instagram, I have been inundated with questions and interest about it, so I would love to share more about my experience with it.

One of the biggest benefits to me is that it has changed the frequency with which I photograph my children. Now, I WANT to photograph them every single day, knowing it won’t take up a ton of time uploading and saving them and there is NO PRESSURE to edit them. All the images in this post were taken with the Samsung NX300, and NONE of them were edited on my computer. If they are edited, I used my fave iPhone photo app, Pictapgo. That’s it. No Photoshop, no Lightroom (though a copy of Lightroom is included with the purchase of the NX300). Easy peasy.

My Top Five Things I Love About the Samsung NX300 :

1. It’s so very light. The NX300 isn’t cumbersome or a pain to lug around–in fact, unless I am charging the battery, I always have it tucked into my purse.

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2. I can easily Instagram + Facebook the image when I am away from home, at any time. Using my phone, I can upload the jpegs + ‘gram the heck out of those puppies in seconds (I shoot RAW+jpeg on this camera so I can use the jpegs immediately for social media + sharing and so that I always have the RAW files that I later upload to my computer).

3. It’s easy and painless actually getting the images off of my camera to my computer. They don’t call is a SMART camera for nothin’, folks. I can be cooking dinner in the kitchen, press a button on my camera and BOOM! My RAW files are being uploaded to a designated folder on my computer. No USB. No cords, no telling them where to go. In fact, I am not even in the same room as my computer. It’s all done wirelessly.

4. The quality of my images is stuuu-ning, peeps. For reals. This sweet Samsung NX300 packs a powerful 20 megapixel punch. My images are clear, crisp and I am quite the happy camper. Don’t even get me started on how amazing it performs in low light. Though it has a hot shoe for an external flash, I never use it. I recently photographed my daughter at night, in my rather-dark bedroom (hey, I have tan walls and they stink!) at a 25,000+ ISO (I shoot in manual) and that camera rocked the heck out of it.

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5. The photographer in me adores the variety of lenses available to me. My camera came with the 18-55mm kit lens, which is a great little lens to have. I use it for Jack’s basketball games when he is running down court. Then, the Samsung 30mm Pancake lens came into my life. I must say, it never really left my camera…that is, until my newest little toy arrived, the 10mm Fisheye Lens (insert choir of angels singing here). It’s so.much.fun. This is one of the very first shots I took of my daughter–yeah, I might have just been like a kid on Christmas morning when this puppy arrived on my doorstep. I HAD to use it on the way home from school pickup, even if homework did await.

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Have questions? Check out all the questions asked on the FACEBOOK POST HERE! Don’t see your question answered over on Facebook? Feel free to add yours here or on Facebook + I will do my best to answer! :)

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M Y G E A R

Samsung NX300 Smart Camera with 18-55 Kit Lens

Samsung NX300 Smart Camera with 20-50 Kit Lens

Samsung 30mm Pancake Lens

Samsung 10mm Fisheye Lens

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All images in this post were taken with the Samsung NX300 SMART camera. I have had the distinct opportunity to have been asked to participate in Samsung’s Imagelogger program, and in doing so, Samsung has provided me with the NX300 and gear to participate. All opinions and thoughts are sincere, authentic and my own. Over the next few months I will be sharing images taken with the NX300 SMART camera on social media and on my blog. I would love for you to follow along by checking out the #imagelogger hashtag!

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INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA KLAUS | CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Chic Critique is so excited to have Jessica Klaus of Jessica Klaus Photography as a Celebrity Photographer in April!

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Sign up to have your images critiqued by Jessica this April!  Only 10 seats left!

Jessica Klaus, of Jessica Klaus Photography, is one of Ohio’s top boutique senior and family photographers. Jessica’s lifestyle work is known for its beautiful natural settings,captured emotions, edgy editing, and dramatic black and white contrasts. Besides starting Jessica Klaus Photography in 2011, Jessica is also the co-creator and co-founder of Beyond the Wanderlust, a popular photography blog specializing in inspiring other photographers. As a photographer, Jessica has written articles for and been featured in blogs such as Chic, Senior Style Guide, Seniorologie, among others. Through her self-created, fierce, and inventive social media marketing campaigns, Jessica has established and sustained her businesses in an aggressively competitive marketplace. Through passion, talent, hard work, and dedication, she has earned the respect of some of the industry’s top leaders in less than two years.

A WELCOME from Jessica:

I would love to welcome you all in! I am excited to make great things happen ♥

 

Jessica, what camera do you use and what is your favorite lens?

Nikon D700. toss up between my 85mm and my 35mm

 

Do you edit mostly in Photoshop or Lightroom?

Both

Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?

One critique could break your business wide open. Our work is our art and when working with someone who doesn’t have the same emotional attachment, this creates a gateway for learning.

 

To stay true and classic to my work. Don’t follow the industry trends. That person also opened my eyes to where I really stood out in, which is seniors, and I couldn’t be more happy with that decision!
 

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?

Classic & Modern with a bit of Earthy

 

Where do you pull your inspiration from?

When I started my career in photography I had photographers that drove me. Those same photographers give me inspiration with their success in this business. Inspiration literally is everywhere around us.

What is one specific way that you balance work and family?

This is one area I have a constant struggle! My husband and myself have three children, all 6 years old and younger. Honestly for me, I wouldn’t be nearly as sane if I didn’t have close family and friends that help me!

 

Best biz/photo advice?

Surround yourself with friends and family who will support you in your dream. And don’t forget where you are going.

 

What have you learned the hard way?

Business Friendships.  Sometimes they aren’t as rosy as they seem.

How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?

Really I use my clients. At that specific time I concentrate on how to make my clients feel and look like the most important person. By doing this I know they will want to spread their experience, thus making my name out in the community more. At the end of the day, if my client is happy, I am happy. I try not to look at competition, as that usually only brings our success down.

 

Where have most of your 2013/2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?

My reward system with my seniors. I KNOW their friends will have fun with me but I need them to hear it directly from someone they trust. Most teenagers won’t go out of their way to help you so I made it worth their time. Cash is king!

 

What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?

Honestly I have not attended many! Hands down my best was Julie Paisley. It came at the perfect time and perfect place in my business.

 

What is your most popular product?

Tie between Canvas and Fusion Albums

 

Want Jessica Klaus to critique your images?  

Sign up to have your images critiqued by Jessica this April!

Only 10 seats left!

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SUNDAY SPARKLE

Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega

 

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LeslieVega_ChicCritiqueForum Inspiring quotes by Leslie Vega for Chic Critique Form
Leslie Vega is a seasoned brand designer for photographers and wedding professionals. She founded Leslie Vega Design in 2008 and has been creating breathtaking brands for clients across the globe ever since. From logos to stationery and beautiful web presences, her passion exudes in her work and in her client experience. View her work at www.leslievegadesign.com
Leslie Vega
Owner/Designer
Leslie Vega Design, LLC
Brand Design for Photographers & Wedding Professionals
Web | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

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CANDELA: FINDING INSPIRATION THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY| SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT

Today in the SPOTLIGHT is Laura Valenti-Jelen, creator of the online photography course, Candela: Finding Inspiration Through Photography

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Laura Valenti-Jelen / Website/ Facebook / Blog

 

Hi, Laura! Tell us a bit about your upcoming e-course.

I’d love to! Candela is a six-week e-course about moving away from a technical approach to photography, and towards an approach based on the core of the creative practice: intuition, emotion, and heartfelt personal inquiry. 

I’ve been a photography teacher for many years and have seen photographers really struggle with the technical side of the process. Oftentimes, this struggle starts to eclipse the creative part of photography and take the fun out of it. I feel strongly that photography is much more than just a technical or mechanical exercise. Instead of investing in newer, fancier, better gear, we need to invest in ourselves as artists. 

Candela is designed to help photographers tap into a more personal approach to the medium and develop a richer artistic life. We talk about breaking photographic “rules,” making images that reflect personal passions and experiences, and overcoming creative stumbling blocks and that pesky inner critic. The e-course includes inspirational readings, audio slideshows, lectures, and weekly photography projects designed to help expand creative boundaries. I am incredibly happy with this course and I love sharing it with students.

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What advice do you have for photographers who are trying to find their creative voice?

I think the most important thing is for images to come from a deeply personal space. At a certain point, we have to move beyond taking common, everyday images and create photographs that are deeply informed by who we are as people – as artists.

I had a student recently who was at this turning point in her work. She’d been photographing for a few years and was making some pretty good pictures, but she felt like there was something missing. She couldn’t figure out how to develop a personal style and say something unique with her work. We worked together to identify some really rich sources of inspiration in her life – and it’s made a real difference in how she approaches her photography. She was born in Japan and moved to the States when she was still fairly young. Her home was filled with beautiful Japanese antiques, old family photographs, and handwritten letters from her parents (great photo subjects!). She had a lot of strong emotions around losing touch with her heritage and was working to reconnect by tracking down extended family members who were still living in Japan. Through our work together, she started to see that she had a powerful story to tell with her photography, and she’s now working to build a whole series on this subject. Because these experiences are so personal, she’s now able to imbue her work with more emotion. It can feel a little vulnerable to put yourself into your work like this – but it can be incredibly enriching. In the end, personal work is powerful work. 

 

Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Sure! I am a photographer, curator, educator, and arts director based in rainy Portland, Oregon. I work as Outreach Director at Photolucida, a nonprofit that helps build connections between photographers and the gallery and publishing worlds. I also curate exhibitions, jury competitions, and review photographers’ work at portfolio review events around the country. I love helping photographers clarify their vision and produce stronger, more meaningful work. You can see my personal work at my website: http://valentijelen.com/.

Laura Valenti Jelen

 

You also have a travel photography e-course, right?

I do! I wanted to create a course that would go beyond simple gear recommendations and itinerary tips. Those things are important, but they’re not at the heart of the matter. My course, Traveling Light: The Spirit of Travel Photography, focuses on making more nuanced, personal travel images – images that resonate with the spirit of the place. It’s a one-week, on-demand course, so it starts on the day you register. It’s easy to squeeze in right before an upcoming trip!

I have two more e-courses on the horizon: The Visionary Portfolio and On Gratitude: 30 Days of Photo Meditations.  Both of these courses will launch in the spring or early summer.

 

We would love for you to check out Laura’s e-courses.

Her next Candela course begins on April 2nd. Registration is now open.

Candela: Finding Inspiration Through Photography: http://valentijelen.com/candela/

Traveling Light: The Spirit of Travel Photography:  http://valentijelen.com/traveling-light/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LauraValentiJelenPhotography

Laura’s blog: http://valentijelen.com/news/

Wanna be a Vogue Vendor? We spoil our vendors with content marketing, giveaways, magazine and event advertising, a special section in the forum, and MORE! Advertise with us to get your business noticed.

 

 

 

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FAT FREEBIE FRIDAY | RED CARPET WEEK

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In honor of RED CARPET WEEK and the launch of the fabulous new CHIC BOUTIQUE,  we are offering all our fans some super FREEBIES!

P.S. Every Friday on the blog we share a FREEBIE for our Chic Members including What to Wear Guides, templates, actions and more. Join now so you won’t miss out on another fab freebie!

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Freebie from PRAIRIE SWEET BOUTIQUE:

$25 Value!! | Mini Session Marketing Card Collection | Four One-Sided Card Designs | 5×7 PSDs (WHCC)

 

Download it HERE and use the code: SWEETFATFRIDAY  (Good for this product only)

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Freebie from MAGAZINE MAMA:

Turn your pages to profit with this premium 5×7 two sided template. Both sides are fully editable and customizable. Basic instructions on how to place images, changes colors and fonts along with a list of fonts used are included with download.

 


Download it HERE

 

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Freebie from  SUMMERANA:

Enjoy 10 free actions from Summerana’s hit Colorosity Lights Action Collection compatible for both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements users.

This sample collection contains one-click light overlay actions that add extra oomph to any image!

Summerana Freebie

Download it HERE.

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Freebie from LITTLE SWEET DESIGNS:

2014 Calendar Photography Template 8×12′ – Photoshop Template for photographers.

Create the perfect gift for your new and existing clients with this beautiful calendar template.

Simply offer these designs to your clients as an ‘add on’ to an existing package and they can gift them to their loved ones once printed – an ideal present for grandparents and family living overseas! Your clients will simply love this idea. :)

Download it HERE.

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 Check out the amazing new CHIC BOUTIQUE and shop till you drop!

And don’t forget that every Friday on the blog we share a FREEBIE for our Chic Members including What to Wear Guides, templates, actions and more. Join now so you won’t miss out on another fab freebie!

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