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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!


by Sarah O’Connor | Contributing Editor

recently did a FROZEN themed photoshoot for the new Queen Elsa & Princess Anna dresses at Mille Feuille.  It wasn’t actually snowing outside so I decided to make my own snow in photoshop just for fun!  Here’s a quick tutorial on how to add some flurries to your images.


1. Open your pic in photoshop and add a new layer.  Fill the layer with all black.

1-fill black

2. While on the black layer go to Filter-> Noise -> Add Noise


 3. Set noise to about 150% and it will look like the screen shot below.


 4. Set layer 1 to “screen” blending mode. It will look a little hazy and we will fix that later.


5. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Blur More


6. Add a new Curves Adjustment layer by going to Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves. Then click on the curves layer and link it to the snow layer(alt+command+g). You will adjust the curves by moving the arrow sliders at the bottom of the curve. See the picture below for approximately where your arrows should be. The black arrow will be a little to the left of the 1/4 mark and the white arrow a little to the right of it. The black arrow adjusts the number of snowflakes showing and the white arrow adjusts the opacity of the snowflakes.


7. Click on layer 1. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur. Set the angle for -65


8. Now the small snowflakes are done, but you may want to add a little more dimension by throwing in a few larger flakes. To do this select both layer 1 & the curves layer and duplicate them.


9. Select Layer 1 COPY and you are going to flip it horizontally (command + T) then right click and select flip horizontal.


10. Go to Filter -> Pixelate -> Crystalize.

11. I set the cell size around 35. You can increase or decrease the size of the flakes depending on what type of picture you are working with.


12. At this point I go ahead and make a group for the layers.  I put all 4 layers in one group so only the background is left out.


13. Lastly I create a mask over the group to go in and erase any snowflakes that might be covering the eyes or lips.  You don’t want to remove all of the snowflakes off of the whole face otherwise it will not look very realistic if the snow happens to be falling everywhere except on the subject.  Just make sure there are no giant flakes covering an eye or mouth.


And here are a few others from the super fun photoshoot.2014-03-10_00012014-03-10_0003


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 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 loves spending time with her husband, two little boys Rowan & Quinn and daughter Eloise.

website I facebook





Chic Critique is thrilled to have Grace Hurtienne of Hurtienne Photography  as a Celebrity Photographer in April!

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

hurtienne-bio hurtienne-photography-circle-logo-150x150 Grace and Jaden are crazy in love, full of energy and they never take themselves too seriously. They are known for their fun personalities, and their laid back style. They are addicted to the beautiful PNW, junkies for a hot cup of coffee, and hopelessly devoted to their two pups. They specialize in photographing weddings, and people in love. They have been featured in numerous online publications and blogs, and have won several online awards for their work.

Grace is the co-owner of Beyond the Wanderlust, an inspirational blog for photographers, and she is also a regular contributor for Epiphanie Camera Bags Blog, The Daily Epiphanie.



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

Mark III, and Mark II. We each have our own favorites, Grace LOVES her 35 1.4L, while Jaden prefers the 135L


Do you edit mostly in Photoshop or Lightroom?



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

You have to take a step back from your own work sometimes. Having a fresh set of eyes on your images will help you see things you might have missed otherwise! 

Salem Oregon Wedding Engagement Photographer- Hurtienne Photography  (1)


“Mask that ISH off the skin.” This was in our early days of abusing photoshop actions. We’ve hidden those images so there’s no proof, but seriously we’ve all been there.

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?

Fun, exciting, colorful


Where do you pull your inspiration from?

We are super inspired by each other, and by our clients. We are crazy in love with each other, and we LOVE spending time with other people in love. We seem to attract the most awesome people on the planet.

Salem Oregon Wedding Engagement Photographer- Hurtienne Photography  (2)


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

Working with your spouse is pretty much amazing. We don’t have any kids, so every second we spend together is “family time.” There is nothing we love more than road-tripping, car dancing, and coffee drinking our way to a wedding!


Best biz/photo advice?

Invest in a good chair, your back will thank you. Also, have a contract for everything.


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

At the beginning of the year we decided to specialize in couples and weddings. We also decided to own our craziness, and we implemented that into our brand. We don’t really believe in competing, instead we just want to be who WE are!

Salem Oregon Wedding Engagement Photographer- Hurtienne Photography  (4)


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

Facebook! It’s bananas. We’ve also been getting a lot of new clients from Pinterest and Instagram lately!


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

Uh, confession, we’ve never gone to any workshops. We’re completely self taught.


What is your most popular product?

Pixieset Galleries, and Leather Photo Albums

Hurtienne Photography-2

Want Grace to critique your images?  

Sign up to have your images critiqued by Grace and Jaden this April!

Only 10 seats left!




Guest Contributor | Leslie Vega





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
Leslie Vega
Leslie Vega Design, LLC
Brand Design for Photographers & Wedding Professionals
Web | Twitter | Facebook | Blog




Today in the SPOTLIGHT is Cindy Reeves of  Magazine Mama featuring their new Senior Modeling Welcome Guide + a discount code


cindy LOGO-01

Magazine Mama / Website / Facebook




New release!  Turn pages into profit with this 12 page 8.5×11 Senior Modeling Welcome Guide. Plus, get an additional 20% off your order when you use code “chicvv20” at checkout.




*Text squares have a black 80% opacity as the accent color to create a more edgy look while still maintaining elegance and sophistication.

*Unique ‘mirror image’ featured on the front and back cover as well as the Q&A pages.

*12 page magazine style template .psd layered files

*Pre-written text for “Senior Welcome Text

*Pre-written text for “Tips to Rock Your Senior Session

Senior Model Rep Q&A (spans two spreads)





‘Seniors’ and ‘Contact’ headings are vector images but can the colors can easily be changed. All other text, text boxes and image boxes can be edited and modified to match your branding.




This template has been designed for printing at McKenna Pro as a press printed brochure.  


Photos featured in this template provided by Connie Riggio Photography and are not included in download. 


cindy LOGO-01


Magazine Mama / Website / Facebook


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. Find out all about it HERE!








March What to Wear Guides | Freebie Friday

It’s Freebie Friday for all Chic members! You know you want stylin’ clients and the best way to get well-dressed clients is to educate them on what to wear. All Chic members get FREE What-to-Wear guides from I Adore Your Style {value of $48/yr} to teach your clients how to be more stylish. You can showcase them on your blog (who doesn’t need more blog content?), send them in a newsletter, or email them to individual clients whose sessions are coming up.

march chic blog

Each style file comes complete with UP-TO-DATE corresponding links of what’s retailing right now for every outfit! That means your clients can go buy those clothes online today!
Monthly style files include one family ensemble plus an additional file for either couples, seniors, children, or babies.
What-to-Wear Guides are only available during the current month so be sure to download your March  WTW Guides by March 31st!

Download yours HERE in the forum.




Today’s EYE CANDY comes from the amazing Exclusive Photography!

Exclusive Photography is an award winning professional photography studio that has been at the forefront of glamour and contemporary portraits in Australia for over 25 years.  It is their aim to create creative and artistic images that stand out from the crowd.  They are renowned for amazing before and after photography, glamorous looks and contemporary stylish photography. The Exclusive team of  photographers have won many local, national, and international awards, and their work has been featured in various magazines around Australia and overseas.

Enjoy these gorgeous photos and let us know what you think!

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Fyfield M9092-Maddie-45mms

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The lighting, the textures, the colors, the depth… gorgeous!  What do you think?


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