More Photography Tips + Tricks!

We are back again with Photography Tips and Tricks! There is so much to learn and everything seems so important! Even with a BFA in photography, I feel like I am missing out on so much! We decided to put together another post full of cheat sheets that we have found the most helpful. Please feel free to share your best kept secrets. We would love to learn!

One of my biggest pet peeves is seeing something printed out or displayed with terrible quality. It is so important to make sure that your photo quality is there. When I see pixels, I automatically look down on the photograph (even if it is a great photo). Photographers, take a look at this chart, and let’s get rid of those pixels!


Keyboard shortcuts can save you so much time! I have to admit, I have been studying up on this chart. I waste so much time by not using these shortcuts. If you are just learning Photoshop, try to learn the shortcuts along the way, it will save you so much time!



In some cases, people are so focused on what they should do. Have you ever thought about what you shouldn’t do or what you should avoid? This cheat sheet breaks down the basics of what you should avoid. Don’t you just hate when there is something strange in the background and that is all you can look at? Yeah, us too!



I prefer to shoot in manual mode ( I would get yelled at if my professor saw anything else!), but check out these descriptiosn for each shooting mode. Who knew Nikon had a child mode that makes backgrounds and clothing colorful but keeps skin tones soft and natural looking?


Shooting outdoors with a flash can get very complicated. You have to figure out where the sun is hitting your subject and every other light sources that may be around. You don’t want to just use a flash for indoor portraits, but use it to add impact to outdoor shots too!


How To Make Your Work-space Personal.


As photographers, we have long hours of sitting on computers, our eyes focused on the screen. When you finally take a break, it is important to take a look around, see what is going on in the world. I believe that one of the most important parts of your work-space is making it personal. Our workspace should be visually appealing to us, we spend about a third of our day at work! One of my favorite quotes is by tony Dorsett. It keeps me going everyday.

"To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you." – Tony Dorsett

I challenge you to take a moment to think about what your ideal work-space would look like. What would make your work-space comfortable and you?

Take a look at my dream work-space and what I need to get for my space.

For me, adding living plants, photos, fresh flowers, lights, and candles are a must!



My house is full of candles, I constantly need at least one going to concentrate! For me, I love to mix the scent of several burning candles or even play with the scent in each room of my apartment. I’ll mix a Lavender candle with a Stress Relief candle, and it is ultimately the best scent ever. Try it out, experiment, and don’t be afraid!

When it comes to one candle, I defiantly love the Voluspa Japonica Candle Tins. Voluspa has been around for over ten years and creates a renowned label with signature coconut wax blends and gorgeous packaging. I highly recommend Crane Flower. It is a ripened grapefruit with geranium, lavender and nectar inspired by the bird of paradise flower. The next one on my list is French Cade Lavender, a refreshing blend of French cadewood, lavender, verbena and moss.


I know they say dim lighting isn’t the best for your eyesight when looking at a computer all day long, but I love the mixture of natural light with a soft string of light or candle light. Check these out!





Now get out there, do some shopping and get your work-space to feel and be like you! 

"Create positive space around you, even if it’s in your mind. You must have an environment of good energy, in order to give that."–Unknown


How To Hang Photographs


I have so many framed/unframed photographs, and I never know what to do with them, besides storing them in the basement and garage. I live in a smaller apartment, so cluttered walls could make my space looks smaller, or at least that is my fear. I finally took some time to get inspiration and come up with ways to hang photographs in your house. Why not show the awesome work we are making?


I’ve always loved the idea of having photographs going up stairs. Think about how often we go up and down our stairs in our home. Think about how much more you would like going up and down those stairs if you had photographs to look at? Here are some ideas!


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I love the look of creating depth with the different frames, their sizes, and matting color. This creates more of a vintage vibe! Including a letter for your last name makes the wall collage even more personal!


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A very simplistic way to hang photographs going up stairs. I love the look of the hooks with fabric tied to support the image.


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I also love the look of unframed, smaller images hanging. This is a fast decorating solution that will help make your room feel alive! Check these out!


This is called a tangle photo frame, but it’s not really a frame. Consisting ofa bar and clip cables of varying lengths, it is a stylish and creative way to display your favorite photographs. For all you DIY’ers, this would be a very easy project!


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Imagine filling your whole wall with images using these clips?!


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It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Find some hangers that you don’t need, spray paint them, and clip away!


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Before you start hanging your photographs and putting holes into you wall, make sure you have the proper measurements and space! Here’s a good way to do that.


Hold pieces of paper on the back of frame and mark with a Sharpie where to put the nail. You will then tape the back on wall and nail right through the paper!


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Happy hanging! Show us some of your hanging ideas!

Photographing a wedding = don't know what to wear


You’re getting ready to photograph a wedding, but you don’t know what to wear! This happens to me all of the time. You don’t want to be too dressed up, but you don’t want to be too casual. You don’t wan to be too hot while you are running around, but you want to look professional. These are my thoughts on a daily basis, and to be honest, sometimes I feel like it takes me longer to figure out what to wear to the wedding then get ideas of what I want to shoot, as well as getting my gear together. I have been pondering this idea for a while… And I finally decided, I can’t be the only one with this problem. Girls, please tell me I’m not the only one! I’m here to save the world… Well, I guess I’m here to help with your outfits for those long, hot, wedding days.


Let's get started! 

A-line dresses are my absolute favorite! They are cute, but casual, and so comfortable. When shooting a wedding, I am always bending down, sitting on the floor, doing the craziest poses to get the best image. With A-line dresses, I don't have to worry about my "stomach" hanging out. Have some fun with color, and jazz your outfit up with some fun accessories! Check these out, you might want to go shop!

Tahari Seamed A-Line Dress $128.00 item #694889 l

Fluttered Poplin Tunic Dress $148 by Maeve l Find at

Silence + Noise Ares Midi Tee Shirt Dress $59 l

So you're not a dress person... That's okay! Dressing denim up is so easy, and again, have fun with colored denim! Make sure you accessorize when wearing denim. You don't want to look under dressed!

Women's Mid Rise Rockstar Sateen Pants $32 l

Destroyed Boyfriend Jeans $110 l

We have the dress down, we have the pants down, what about tops? I have you covered! Be careful with fabrics that will snag, wrinkle, stain, or make you extra hot!

Crepe Shell Blouse $23 l

Dressy Top $64.99 l

Vintage Havana Tank-Crochet Trim $29.40 l

We all know how important it is to make a good impression for the bride on her wedding day. It is also important to make a good impression on the guest! Who knows who else will need a wedding photographer! Dress fun, have fun, photograph fun! You'll be rocking a cute #CheekyLime camera bag, so dress to impress! 

DIY Backdrops!


Happy Spring!


Have you ever looked at someone’s background on a photo and thought it was the coolest thing ever? It happens to me all the time! I always wonder, “How did they get the background that texture?” to “How is that even possible!?” I’ve been doing some research on Pinterest and all over the Internet, and I came up with some simple DIY backdrops! To get started, I wanted to show everyone some cool storage systems that are perfect for your backdrops in an in home photo studio!






Are you going for a vintage inspired photo? Take a look at this backdrop! You can use any book including pages that are in color for your backdrop.



Are you looking to add a little more color to your photograph? Use colored streamers for a 3 dimensional feel!




Geometric patterns can be very fun to work with as a backdrop. Have you ever thought of using envelopes as a backdrop? You could even write things on the envelopes or have letters sticking out!




What about a backdrop that you can eat!? Not only will you enjoy the backdrop, but so will your subject! This backdrop will make it fun to play with depth of field!





This backdrop has an Anthropologie vibe to it. With the yarn, you are able to play with how long you want the strings to be. You can also play around with the shapes that the yarn makes. Mix colors up, or stick to one color. Have fun with it!




These are only some of the backdrops that I have found! Follow us on Pinterest to get inspired and learn about other easy ways to create DIY backdrops! Don’t forget to tag us in your photos so we can see what you are creating!

Photographer Feature: Elizabeth Ashley

Today we have Elizabeth Ashley From Philadelphia, PA to talk photography and give us a few tips! Elizabeth has experience with  large-scale events at the Kimmel Center, to formal bridal party shoots in Rittenhouse Square, to intimate venues in rural settings, Elizabeth Ashley provides both high quality and value. Elizabeth shoots individual and family portraiture, natural photography, pet portraits, professional modeling portfolio shots, newborn, maternity, wedding/reception and engagement sessions. We welcome Elizabeth and recommend stoping by her website to check out all her awesome work!
What initially got you interested in photography?

It was actually a who that got me interested in photography. My strongest memories as a young girl are those of my mother using her 35mm film camera on trips to museums or gardens in the Philadelphia area… I loved sealing the film in an envelope at CVS or Rite Aid… the photographs that magically appeared a week or so later… and I vividly remember feeling awe at the fact that it was possible to 'freeze' a moment and have tangible evidence that it happened! As I got older I would borrow my mother’s Polaroid, her Point and Shoot and even her video camera. I grew into the teenager who in her group, was the one constantly taking photographs at parties and school functions. After school, I'd venture out to the park and use a disposable camera to shoot photographs of the blossoming flowers or the leaves as they began to change color in the fall.

Do you have formal training? Self taught? Mixture of both?

I am predominately self-taught. I’ve begun work towards earning credits for a basic degree in Photography. I am a hands-on person; I need regular, visceral contact with my equipment combined with daily shoots and, daily, reading related information in order to progress with my work

What gear do you have in your camera bag? What equipment do you favor most?

A Canon 6D full frame body with a f/1.8 85mm and a telephoto 24-105mm lens (with a polarizer). A wireless remote, two extra batteries and an SD card holder with 2 16GB cards, 1 64 GB, and 1 32 GB. A 85mm lens; I grab that lens 90% of the time.

What are your favorite sessions/subjects to shoot?

My favorite sessions are those in natural settings- my favorite subjects are those in movement, not sitting or standing in a stiff position. There is great enjoyment working with a client who wishes to capture milestones such as a pregnancy or the birth and growth of a child. Weddings are extremely satisfying because everything is in motion- and that motion is filled with emotion… People and events or sessions outside a door- outside of walls- are quite fulfilling!

Describe your style in 3 words.
Whimsical. Thoughtful. Convincing. 

How has your style evolved over your time as a photographer?

In the beginning, the most important thing was to capture something that screamed importance. Over time the realization that every single thing, every single fraction of a second and every single image captured has relevance and is open to interpretation has given a depth to my images that explains where I began and where I’ve been. Laying a photograph I felt displayed strong evidence of my ‘style’ five years ago, two years ago or even 9 months ago along side something I’ve shot in the past six months clearly shows that I’ve evolved from an over-focused and slight misinterpreter, into a curious, open-minded observer of both my environment and my clients/subjects.

What’s your most memorable or funniest “on the job” moment?

One memorable moment occurred after shooting a backyard, sunrise wedding in the early Summer of 2013. After the ceremony the couple explained the meaning of certain Willow and Maple trees on their property; each represented a loved one who had passed on.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

The people in my life, my travels, food, books- the list goes on and on! Daily I draw inspiration from the sunset, sky, trees... Perseverance and strength of character also are great inspirations.

Best editing tip?

Take a cleaner approach when shooting, which leads to far less editing. It also helps to leave out the repetitive. Learning to reduce the quantity of images- trading in quantity for fewer, but more focused images lends a greater satisfaction for the images; if you like what you've shot you're less likely to want to alter the image.

How has photography helped shape how you see the world?

Contrarily, the world has helped shape my approach to photography. Once, it was everything to shoot the perfect sunset, the most cleverly staged ‘natural’ shot of a model or client. Now it is far more enjoyable to let the weather, the light and the mood of a client or event lead my eye to the shot.

Give us your best photography related tip!

Shoot it all. If it evokes emotion in you, keep your finger on the button and pursue that feeling with your eye.
Thank you Elizabeth Ashley! Head over to to book your next session!

Written by Cheeky Lime — March 18, 2015

Winter Blues = Time To Talk Business!


It’s cold, windy and business can get a little slow around this time of year. All you really want to do is stay cuddled up in front of the fire with your dog. At least that’s what I want to do, but you have to tell yourself to keep going. I want to slack off so bad, but I have to get ready for wedding season which is fast approaching and the summer photo shoots.

Today I decided to do some research on business cards. Having a brand for oneself is one of the most important things. Do you have an awesome business card that stands out from everyone else’s? Does your business card represent the photography you produce? Maybe your business card is simple, but does it tell enough of a story? Your business card is the first impression of who you are and what you represent. You want your business card to be so good that no one wants to throw it away. You might ask yourself, how am I going to do this? Well, let’s get down to the basics.

Size: One of the most common thoughts is that business cards have to fit into your wallet. Why would you want to do that? People always throw things away that are in their wallet after things build up. Cleaning out your wallet is one of the best feelings ever. Don’t let people throw out your business card! You want someone to have your business card sit on their desk for a year. You want them to show 20 of their closest friends your business card because they can’t get over how creative it is. Below are some fun sized business cards that are a perfect inspiration.







Design: The design of your business card is the direct relation of how people see your photography. If your card is boring, you’re boring. If your card is too loud and hard to read, you can’t communicate. Everything is important about your business card from the spacing to the font that you use.

One of the first steps I always do is decide if I want to use a serif or sans serif font. Serif fonts are typically used for the text body, while sans serif fonts are usually used for headers. You always want to stay with the same type of font. If you mix it up, it can look messy.

After the font is picked out, I work on spacing. Spacing between words, letters and even lines is extremely important. When the appropriate spacing is read, it is easier for the reader to process the information. A helpful tip when it comes to spacing: check that the line height is larger than the font size.





Color: Colors are an important aspect when designing your business card because they can make a card pop. Colors can also communicate a subtle or an emotional message. Make sure you are putting thought into the colors that you pick. When working with colors, I always look at my most recent work and see if there are color themes that work together. If that is the case, I tend to lean towards those colors and make a brand for myself.

Examples of how colors are interpreted:
Red: Love, Energy, Danger
Yellow: Intelligence, Caution, Cowardice
Blue: Peacefulness, Confidence, Sincerity







It's time to show us some of your favorite designs and colored business cards, along with your own cards! We want to see how creative you got! 



Photographer Feature: Kelly Garsee

Today we have Kelly Garsee with us to talk photography and show us her AMAZING work. Kelly grew up in a small town outside of Buffalo, New York but she now calls Texas home. Kelly services the entire Dallas Fort Worth area, and is willing to travel to wherever you let her. Kelly is intrigued by human interactions, having studied behavioral science for three and a half years before pursuing her passion for photography. Kelly believes life is beautiful and people are fantastically unique. Her job is to express that while telling your story through her images. Check out more of Kelly’s work at!
1. What initially got you interested in photography?

I have been drawn to it for as long as I can remember. I love the idea of freezing a moment in time and being able to capture raw emotion and make it (somewhat) tangible.

2. Do you have formal training? Self taught? Mixture of both?

I grew up self taught, playing with different settings and different cameras and "wasting" a whole lot of film. In 2008 I decided to go to the Art Institute of Dallas and pursue a degree.

3. What gear do you have in your camera bag? What equipment do you favor most?

I currently carry an original 5D and a 5D Mark II pretty much everywhere I go. I have a couple trusty lenses and love to rent the ones I can't afford to buy.

4. What are your favorite sessions/subjects to shoot?

I'd say my favorite sessions right now are bridals. There is something magical about a woman in a wedding dress.

5. Describe your style in 3 words. How has your style evolved over your time as a photographer?

I think I am still discovering my "style"... I am always learning which keeps me evolving as an artist. I am trying focus less on the technical aspects and just capturing the beauty in every moment.

6. What’s your most memorable or funniest “on the job” moment?

Gah… there are SOOOOOO MANY! I recently photographed an adorable newborn with a Dr Suess themed nursery. We had a rough start to the session but he finally fell asleep and I got to work. He was naked and I wanted to pose him with one of Mom's favorite Dr Suess books… he peed all inside of it!!!!! I couldn't stop chuckling. Of course he woke up with Mom trying to clean him up. So we piled everyone up on the bed for a few relaxed family photos and he peed AGAIN!!!!! :D

7. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

EVERYWHERE! There are so many fantastic photographers out there and social media allows me to keep up with new work from around the globe. I love to find and try new techniques. I talk to people and read magazines and look at blog posts. And I am pretty sure Pinterest is my biggest addiction right now.

8. Best editing tip?

Outsource the tedious stuff ;)

9. How has photography helped shape how you see the world?

Being in this industry has really enabled me to see the beauty in all the little daily things. From my daughter riding her bicycle to the dogs sleeping in her bed to the way a couple walking in front of me is holding hands. Life is so short and goes by way to fast. Slow down, admire the beauty and appreciate what you have.

10. Give us your best photography related tip!

Please don't compare yourself to others. There will always be someone out there better than you. Admire their work, learn from them, try new things, and strive to better yourself and your work. We all learn at different paces and we all come from different beginnings. Be patient with yourself and love what you do!

Thank you Kelly for talking with us and showing us your beautiful work! Stop on by to see the rest! 

Written by Cheeky Lime — February 04, 2015

Photographer Feature: Christina Watkins

Our featured photographer for today is Christina Watkins, who services the Montgomery Alabama area! Christina loves capturing the spirit and joyfulness that represents ones life.  she believes that the moments that are created can go by so quickly, that you have to make every moment count. To capture your story, please contact Christina at and check out her photography at! 

What initially got you interested in photography?

I have always loved Art even as a kid. If I wasn't drawing, I was listening to music over and over again. When my son was born, I felt the urge to do something just for me and so I took an Art class at the College of Charleston and at the same time I had gotten a new camera. I started documenting my son's first year and I started a blog when my daughter was born so that I could share it with friends/family. The next thing I knew, I was capturing moments for others and bringing those same emotions for others to enjoy when they saw their pictures. Being a photographer is so much more than just taking pictures with a nice camera. When people share a little piece of their love with you or you get to see the love or joy in their life, it's a beautiful thing! I am constantly reminded how to see the beauty in our lives!

Do you have formal training? Self taught? Mixture of both?

I’m self-taught and it's amazing to see how much has changed from the beginning....because wow, those experimental years are kinda embarrassing now! I have shot with and for other photographers who have helped me a long the way and helped me grow. I am still learning and every year I see my photography change. I took the long route though so I don't know if it's the best way if you are going to get serious about photography!

What gear do you have in your camera bag? What equipment do you favor most?
I have a Nikon D700. Nikon D810. Nikkor 50 1.4D, 50 1.4g, 85 1.4, 105, and a LensBaby Pro with Double Glass Optic. I will have to say the 50 1.4. It's such a great lens!

What are your favorite seasons/subjects to shoot?
My favorite season is spring. I love the colors and the weather. I love everything blooming and the sunsets. My favorite shoot would be of a child! I think it's fun to get their personalities to shine through when it's just me and the camera! I love expressions and seeing the innocence and joy in such a beautiful little person!

Describe your style in 3 words. How has your style evolved over your time as a photographer?
I don't know that I have a specific style but I love to shoot in an editorial way. I think over time my photography has changed because I am tapping into what makes us emotional and real. Capturing that on camera has changed so much in my photos!

What's your most memorable or funniest "on the job" moment?
I think my favorite moment is when I got paid for the first time. I was shooting with another girl at the time and we went back to the car and I just started this full on break dance with horrible movements in the front seat! I was just so excited!

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My photography inspiration comes from so many things but I get inspired just by emotions. I love bringing people closer together and connecting so I try to find a way to always bring a connection or emotion out of a shoot.

Best editing tip?
Get organized. Sometimes taking 500+ photos and not knowing where to start editing can be overwhelming. The first thing I do is organize my photos. I will go through them all, highlight the ones that are keepers, narrow down the ones that are duplicates, make folders if needed. (especially events) Turn on and start editing! 
How has photography helped shape how you see the world?
Oh wow, I think photography has changed how I look at the world in so many ways! I am living my life more in moments now and appreciating my time so much more than ever! I see the beauty in even the most dead of leaves and trees. I also feel like it's made me focus on what's in front of me and not worry about the things I can't see!

Give us your best photography related tip!
Learn your light. Lighting is everything.

Thanks Christina! Make sure to check out the stories Christina has captured at!

3 DIY Lighting Tricks

3 DIY Lighting Tricks


Love making your own stuff? Ever thought you could make your own photo gear? I never thought I could! Check out these simple lighting techniques/projects, and put them to test!


Using A Business Card To Bounce Light


Who knew your business card would have multiple uses? If you create two slits in your business card and place it right in front of your internal flash, the light will bounce up to create a nice overall illumination. Some of the light will go directly through the card, while the other will disperse and light the subject from the front. When using your internal flash, most images will be dark and shadowy. When using the flash bouncer, your image will become light, bright, and airy! Try it out!




DIY Beauty Dish


Ever wanted to purchase a beauty dish, but then saw the price? Have no fear! This DIY Beauty Dish will cost you little to nothing and your photographs will have a soft and shadowless finish.


What you’ll need:
2x polystyrene dishes
2 toothpicks
A small piece of foil
Double sided tape
A cutting knife
A pair of scissors
External flash







-Grab your external flash and make an impression into the rear of the dish. Cut around the impression with a cutting knife and make sure the external flash fits nicely.


-Take your second bowl and cut out the entire flat bottom of the dish


-Line the bottom of the “was a dish” piece with double sided tape and place a piece of foil on the tape, press firmly for adhesion. (trim the edges of the foil)


-Turn the piece over and insert two cocktail sticks- one at 12 o’clock and one at 6 o’clock.


-Place the bottom of the bowl with the toothpicks over the head of the external flash and place into bowl, leaving 2cm of room.


-Shoot away!










DIY Flash Diffuser


Tired of having unflattering, harsh photographs from your flash? Use an old film canister to make it better!


What you’ll need:
Camera with pop-up flash
White film container
X-acto knife




-Measure your flash- measure the width of your flash so you’ll know how wide to make the cut in the film container.


-Using your X-acto knife cut a notch in the side of the film container. Make the notch slightly wider than the depth of the flash.


-Slide it on- slide the film container onto your flash, and put the lid on to hold it into place.