Friday, April 18, 2014

Paint your Own Custom Cake Plates and Planters

If you have an upcoming birthday party or other celebration,
these inexpensive, painted cake plates can add a
pop of WOW to your table!
I'm a portrait photographer, so I made the cake plates to
use in photo shoots and they cost just a few dollars each!
Start at a thrift store and look for fun shapes to put
together.  The base can be a vase, candlestick holder...
Let your imagination run wild in the glassware section.
Then select plates with fluted, cutout... or any edge that pleases you.
I paid less than a dollar for some of these vases.
You will go wild thinking up cake plates!
Start by placing the base on the bottom of the plate.
Don't affix it yet....just spray paint it like this:
I used spray paint that already has primer in it and it did
a great job of adhering to the glass.
I experimented with both glossy and satin finishes.
This red one is the glossy.  I like this better.
I wanted to try this little blue cake plate for cupcakes.
I painted this with the satin.
The satin works nicely for my photography because
I don't get the glare.
But you may prefer the glossy if you're using them for actual serving.
I saw these little fruit cups and goblets at the thrift store
and thought they would make pretty cupcake holders!
After I got the bottoms painted, I left them to dry
then flipped them over and painted the tops.
I let that dry.
To stick the base to the plate, I used Silicone.
I asked for this in the paint department at Home Depot.
This is why I affix AFTER painting...
I can see exactly where to place the base.
Wipe off any excess with a paper towel.
Here are my creations using my friend Wanda's
amazing FAKE CAKES!
If you want to learn how to make fake cakes  CLICK HERE.
The red and yellow cake plates are painted with the gloss,
the others are painted with a satin finish.
These colorful, custom cake stands make a bold statement
on your table.  Spray paint them to match your theme or d├ęcor.
You can repaint them for another occasion!
Group several together for parties or celebrations.
If you use these for actual food, DO NOT place food directly
on the painted plate. 
Use a doily.  You can find doilies at the dollar store for cheap!
I use them all the time in birthday portraits.
To take this a step further, my artistic friend Wanda used
the same concept to make a wonderful planter.
This time, affix an array of bowls and glasses like this:
(Affix before you paint.)
Spray paint the entire thing with a stone finish spray paint.
Now you have a fabulous, unique custom plant stand!
You are only limited by your imagination!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Winter Babies

I LOVE winter portraits and when I found this beautiful
pink bassinet at a thrift store for six-dollars...this scene popped into my mind.
A mother was bringing her baby girl Ellie for her one-year-old portrait
and I planned to create this photo in our snow.
Would you believe that baby was not actually in the bassinet???
The balloon and fawn were not in the photo either!
 The photo shoot was cancelled 8 times because of
weather and the baby had a cold.
I was aghast that the snow was melting fast,
so I took the bassinet outside and photographed it without the baby. 
In Photoshop, I moved the baby in this photo into the bassinet
to test it out and I LOVE  the results!
If you want to learn how to move people and items to another
photo, read  this blog post.
I had so much fun with this technique, I couldn't stop!
I shot lots of winter backgrounds then added
BABIES from other photos I have taken
....and a few fun critters.
I photographed this Ho! Ho! Ho! basket
to use next year for Christmas cards.
Feel free to grab these background photos to
add your own babies.  No need to courtesy....just enjoy them!
The snow melted completely, and I was relieved I had my
bassinet shots to save the day.  But....
We got a freak snowstorm the night before the shoot and awoke to
a thin blanket of snow!!!
Of course, photographing baby Ellie actually in the
bassinet is much harder.  Her boots kept falling off.
And, she wasn't so happy to be confined.
Yep, she cried!
But I was so happy with the dusting of snow!
I cut the fake fur off an old Christmas stocking and sewed
it around this thrift store hat.  Cost: $1.60
My friend Janice took the adorable squirrel pic and let me borrow it.
One-year-olds always like to escape and run around!
I was thrilled to capture these special shots
for Ellie's first birthday!
But adding babies to snow backgrounds is
endlessly creative.  I hope you will use my
backgrounds to practice this technique.
Oh, I added the cake and cake stand into this photo because it
kept falling over. 
Have a BLAST with this!
this blog post.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine Portraits

I love pink and little girls and LOVE!
So, I was very excited to photograph three sweetie pie sisters
Bella, Brooklyn and Britton for Valentine's Day.
Who doesn't love a bucket full of kisses?

My friend Lucy came along and took photos of me taking photos.
It's always fun to see this perspective.
Notice I am wearing all white.  That's because whatever color I
wear reflects in my subject's eyes.  I learned this when I was editing
a portrait and couldn't figure out why the gal had hot pink in her eyes.
I looked closer and it was my hot pink shirt!
Wearing white, I am now a wonderful reflector creating
catch lights in my subjects' eyes!
I also love to style my portraits and found everything
at thrift stores...even the red ladder.
Bella is 9 and children her age are usually great to work with.
They can follow direction and love posing.
4-year-old Brooklyn got shy when it was her turn.
This is very common with this age.
A snuggle with daddy...
But she was still shy. 
That's okay!  Just shoot in their natural state. I get some of my
best photos when it is completely natural.
Then there was 3-year-old Britton
who smiled and posed like a pro!
Are these the sweetest sisters?
It was 21 degrees and snowing when we took these photos.
I had my camera in a plastic Ziplock bag.  I really need to order
a rain cover for my camera especially for Michigan winters.
I was up on the ladder...
to shoot THIS pose:
Finally time for the family pose.
Lots of help fluffing them up...have to make
sure lots of tutu is showing!
Love're all looking great...
Love all the laughter!
Such a beautiful family!
Every time I do a photo shoot, at the end, I have my
clients pose in front of a white board at the edge of my garage.
This narrow space offers exquisite natural light.
The white board shots have become my signature and
are often the favorite from the entire shoot.
I will have to do a blog post about them!
The girls held up well in the cold weather...
Such special Valentines!

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