At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

   At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

   Paris…just saying the word out loud evokes so many memories. The first that comes to mind is the smell of freshly ground coffee beans steeping in our french press as the warm Parisian air blows through our quaint little apartment in the Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood. Louis Armstrong’s greatest hits playing gently in the background and the delightful feeling that something wonderful could happen at any moment. This was my third trip to Paris and this time I wanted to make it count. I chose to rent an apartment for 2 months rather than opting for a hotel room for a week or two. Every time that I had visited Paris in the past, I felt like I was only given a small taste of what it was really like to live there. I could compare it to the experience of buying a box of multi-colored macarons and only having the opportunity to try one of the flavors before you give the rest away. You thoroughly enjoy the macaron, the taste, the smell and the texture, but you always wonder what the other flavors tasted like. In fact, you find yourself thinking about it over and over again until nothing else matters except getting your hands on another box of those delicate little beauties. This time, I wanted to try all of the flavors in the box! In fact, I wanted to finish off the experience with a slice of cheese cake and a glass of champagne! This time, I was going to experience everything that Paris had to offer. The neighborhoods, the cafés the grocery stores, everything! As a Photographer and a Lightroom Preset Designer, there’s no better way to soak up inspiration and really gain a deep understanding of the type of photos and chic looks that my customer base is drawn to than to actually live it. So that’s what I did while I was there; I worked in our little Parisian apartment editing photos & creating presets, I watched scenes unfold on the streets below and I immersed myself in all the flavors and culture of the city. There’s nothing like placing yourself in a beautiful environment to get those creative juices flowing. I did a lot of dreaming and thinking while I was there. In two months, I came up with a plethora of new ideas and new directions for the Chic Presets brand. Now that I’ve arrived back home, I’ve also come to realize is that you don’t need to be on vacation to get that same surge of creativity. You could go to an art gallery, a local café in your home town or even something as simple as spending time in a beautifully designed living space and still get that same feeling that I experienced in my tiny little apartment. Thank you, Paris for reminding me of this and for always being a constant source inspiration. (Photos edited with The Blogger Pack!)

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets
At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

At Home in Paris | Chic Lightroom Presets

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Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

   It’s an early summer morning and we emerge from our hotel room and make our way down hundreds of steps to get to the ocean floor in Positano, Italy. Our destination, the small private beach that we discovered the day before with the most beautiful crystal clear blue water. When we arrive at the private beach, we realize that we’re the only ones there and we will have this picturesque location all to ourselves. The locals and other travelers are still happily slumbering away in their beds and haven’t made it down to this little slice of heaven just yet. I start the shoot by taking detail shots of the water and the boats that are rocking gently on the horizon. I’m absolutely blown away at how magical this beach is. The scene looks like something out of a movie, The Blue Lagoon or James Bond perhaps. Next, I get in front of the camera and we alternate between a variety of lenses and f-stops. We continue shooting until the sun betrays us and the light becomes too harsh to continue. Just as we begin to pack up, a heavy stream of people make their way on to the beach. We look at each other and exchange a silent smile to celebrate that we got the shot! For the edit, I used the “Like a Boss” Lightroom Preset with the “Subtle” finishing preset from The Blogger Collection. I also used a number brushes from The Brush Collection to clean up any spots that needed some extra attention. (All the presets mentioned are available in The Blogger Pack) Before & After Below. Looking for more presets? The Complete Collection has you covered with 480 presets and brushes to discover! Cheers from Positano!

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Private Beach Positano Chic Lightroom Presets11

Private Beach Positano Chic Lightroom Presets12

Private Beach Positano Chic Lightroom Presets1

Private Beach Positano | Chic Lightroom Presets

Before & After – Click & Drag Across!

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Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

   Cherry Blossoms, is there anything more lovely than these little beauties? Every Spring I become this anxiety ridden mess of a human being because I make it my mission to capture these gorgeous pink trees in full bloom. They only bloom for a few days and if you don’t time it right, you’ll miss them! Or worse, the petals will be sparse and destitute. I must have driven past this spot on 7 different occasions before I was finally ready to shoot. Mother nature pulled a little trick on me this year and moved spring back a full month! lol For the shoot, I was going for an organic look and feel. I wanted magic hour sunlight, beauty shot portraits and movement in the hair and clothing. I also wanted to play with the depth of field between the branches. I love it when a few elements of the shot are out of focus! We used the Canon 50mm for most of the shoot. All of the photos were taken at f/1.8 or f/2.8 to give it that soft/delicate look that I find so pleasing to the eye. For the edit, I used the “Frosting” Lightroom Preset from The Wedding Collection. I also used my Brushes from The Brush Collection to clean up any spots that needed some extra attention. I love the way that this preset gives you that warm and inviting look. I created a Behind The Scenes Edit Video below to show you what the “Frosting” Lightroom Preset looks like in action. I also added a few quick video clips from the shoot to give you a more well-rounded experience. Happy editing everyone!

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

Among The Blossoms | Chic Lightroom Presets

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Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

   Ok, this might be my new favorite shoot! These photos were taken at Sugar Beach, a small man-made beach in the heart of Toronto’s waterfront area. The location gives you the illusion that you’re somewhere in the Caribbean, and you’ve just stepped out of your private cabana to take a stroll on the sandy white beach. The reality is that you haven’t even left the city and you are a mere 10 mins away from the chaos that is downtown Toronto! But, let’s pretend that we really are somewhere tropical for the sake of the shoot. I don’t know about you, but I could really go for some sunny island vibes right about now. When you think about it, photography really is all about creating an illusion. It’s about using your camera to capture reality in an artistic way and then editing and enhancing it to fit with what you envisioned in your head! Editing is the final step in the process of bringing your creative concept into fruition. For this shoot, I was definitely leaning towards a breezy pastel concept. I wanted soft blue skies, flowy clothing, and tassels of hair blowing in the wind. I was going for a relaxed, but chic look with lots of different angles and detail shots. We used a Canon 5D MkII camera with a 50mm and a 24-105mm lens. For this particular edit, I used the “Girl Crush” Lightroom Preset from The Blogger Collection. It gives you that matte film look while balancing out any harsh shadows and highlights in your shot. I also used the brush tool to pull down some of the additional highlights. (Looking for more presets & brushes? Take a little detour and check out The Complete Collection!) Now it’s time to get comfortable, grab a cherry cola and enjoy all of those beautiful pink umbrellas and blue skies! Don’t forget to watch the video below to see the photos transform right in front of your eyes in Lightroom! Happy editing everyone!

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

Sugar Beach | Chic Lightroom Presets

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Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

 The canal district in Amsterdam is a beautiful place to explore during the summer. We stayed in town for three night as part of our whirlwind trip across Europe. We spent our time with cameras in hand searching for unique bicycles (there were so many to choose from) vintage cars and Dutch architecture. When we weren’t taking pictures, we were perched in coffee shop windows enjoying cappuccinos and Dutch desserts. We have a friend in town who took us on a bicycle tour of the canals and brought us to a trendy restaurant in the Pijp neighborhood for tapas and Dutch brewed beer! It didn’t take me long to realize that the city was built with brick and mortar. The canal district has a very distinct color palette of brown, beige and black with a little hunter green thrown in here and there. When I started looking for presets to use on my Amsterdam photos, I took a cue from the city itself and chose The Cappuccino Collection. This collection includes 65 toasty presets that give you that hipster, coffee lover look! The Lightroom Preset that you will see across all of the photos today is called “French Roast.” It’s a delicate mix of clarity, matte and temperature adjustments. (Looking for more presets? Don’t forget to check out The Complete Collection with hundreds of looks to play with.) The French Roast preset gave me that warm/effortless look that I was going for with a few simple clicks. If you’re interested in watching me edit these photos in real time, I will be posting a behind the scenes editing video with actual footage that we shot in Amsterdam later in the week. Enjoy a little trip through the canals on me! Happy Editing!

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

Amsterdam | Chic Lightroom Presets

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Behind The Scenes Edit Desert Day Dream

Behind The Scenes Edit Desert Day Dream

Earlier this week I put together a Utah travel post called Desert Day Dream that was full of desert sunshine and light leaks from my brand new collection, The Light Leak Collection! I’ve always been fascinated with light leaks. I love how they can instantly transform a drab day into a sun-drenched vintage pool party with one click! The Light Leak Collection gives you the ability to add sun flares, edge blurs, light prisms and psychedelic looks to your photos. This collection will give you the creative freedom to express yourself in so many new and exciting ways! In the video below, I give you an in-depth look at how I edited these desert shots. Watch as I take these shots from boring to beautiful with one simple click! Like what you see? Head over to the Shop to see all of my Chic Lightroom Collections! Happy Editing Everyone!

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New Lightroom Collections – The Blogger Collection

New Lightroom Collections - The Blogger Collection

Introducing…The Blogger Collection! This beautiful Lightroom Collection was designed to give you that perfectly balanced blog photography look that is widely popular online right now! I examined some of the best Instagram bloggers and used my own knowledge of blogging to create an assortment of aesthetically pleasing, beautifully bright presets that will transform your images into blog worthy photos in seconds! The Blogger Collection will make your photos pop with color, style and softness! Check out the before & after shots below! Get this collection on its own or save when you purchase The Complete Collection which includes 480+ Lightroom Presets & Brushes. Happy Editing Everyone!

New Lightroom Collections - The Blogger Collection

New Lightroom Collections - The Blogger Collection

New Lightroom Collections - The Blogger Collection

New Lightroom Collections - The Blogger Collection

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Viva Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas!

   Las Vegas is many things to many people. For me, Vegas is a place where I can let my hair down and experience the sweet taste of freedom! I mean, freedom is the real reason why people go to Vegas in the first place, isn’t it? Vegas is essentially just one big adult amusement park. The fantasy comes complete with roller coasters, ferris wheels, and even alcoholic slushies! This was my first time in “Sin City” as many of our Uber Drivers loved to refer to it, and I planned to see as much as possible while we were there. We started the trip by making our way to the huge Hotels/Casinos that line the famous strip. The great thing about Vegas is that you can take a trip around the world in one afternoon. They have Venice, Paris and New York themed hotels all within walking distance. You can eat in Greenwich Village, walk across the Pont Alexandre III Bridge and catch a ride on a Venetian gondola all in one day. Although none of these hotels could hold a candle to the real Venice, Paris and New York, it was still fun to see how they replicated some of the iconic structures from around the world. At night, the hotels are all lit up with bright white lights. I remember thinking that the city resembled a movie set. Each hotel looked like a miniature model that had been carefully replicated for a scene where aliens or a natural disaster would wreak havoc on the buildings. Yes, the Vegas strip is definitely something you have to see. On the second day, I wanted to venture out a little and visit places that had more of a vintage vibe. I’m always on the hunt for photography locations that lend themselves to my bright/airy aesthetic, places that will show off my Lightroom Collections to the fullest extent. These photos were taken at The Flamingo Hotel and at a small pink motel that we randomly found while walking around outside of the tourist area. The Flamingo is a pink lover’s safe haven. Everywhere I looked there was more and more pink! They even had an outdoor exhibit with real pink flamingos. I hit the proverbial jackpot with this place, pun intended! The pink motel was also a great find with oodles and oodles of vintage personality packed into every shot that we took. When it came time to edit these photos, I knew that The Vintage Collection was the way to go. I used the “Hipster Hotness” Lightroom Preset on all of the photos and I added in some funky light leaks to finish off my shots. It only takes a few clicks to get vintage looking photos like these. Don’t believe me? Watch the transformation VIDEO below and see for yourself!

Happy Editing!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

Viva Las Vegas: Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes!

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A Rainbow of Color | Chic Lightroom Presets

A Rainbow of Color | Chic Lightroom Presets

A Rainbow of Color! Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes

A Rainbow of Color! Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes

A Rainbow of Color | Chic Lightroom Presets

   Today, I’m taking you somewhere over the rainbow! These photos were taken at Colette Grand Café in Toronto, Canada. This gorgeous Parisian inspired café is the perfect place for colorful blog photos. First, let me tell you a little bit about this shoot. I’ve admired this café for a long time and I’ve always wanted to take photos there. The interior is adorned with colorful furnishings, beautiful white marble tables, and excellent lighting for photography! What more could you want from a photo shoot location? We arrived bright and early on a Sunday morning. (Photography quick tip: Sunday morning is usually the best time to take photos. The streets are bare and the restaurants/cafés are empty. The earlier you arrive at your location the better!) I ordered a number of desserts from the bakery, including their famous macarons and raspberry cake. We also ordered two cappuccinos, which were artfully prepared for us by the barista. Soft french music played in the background and served as a charming soundtrack to our visit. Every detail of the experience felt like absolute luxury! As I arranged my shots, it was “trés difficile” to stop myself from devouring my beautiful subject matter before we were finished with the shoot. We held off just long enough to produce these lovely images for you to view today. I used the: Perfection Preset from The Wedding Collection to edit my RAW photos. It boosts your shots in one simple click! I added a VIDEO below to show you just how quick and easy the editing process really is. Check out the video and come back to see me soon for your next Free Lightroom Preset!

Happy Editing!

A Rainbow of Color! Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes

A Rainbow of Color! Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes

A Rainbow of Color! Chic Lightroom Presets & Brushes

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How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

   How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays: Are you a photographer or a blogger who wants to start an Instagram account? Or, do you already have an account and you’re looking to generate more interest in your brand? Well, look no further! Flat lays are a great way to mix up your content and get your followers interacting with you! Today, I’ll be sharing a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way and breaking down what I do to create my own Instagram flat lays. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to download my FREE Lightroom Preset: “Flat Lay” for easy editing, which you’ll find at the bottom of the page! Let’s get started… 

How to Photograph Instagram Flat LaysLighting – Lighting is the first thing that you should consider. There are many ways to light your flat lays, but I’m only going to focus on three common methods. The first is: Natural Light. This is by far the easiest and least expensive method to use. Arrange your flat lay in front of a large window and start snapping! Remember to be mindful of the time of day that you take your photos, avoiding times where there is harsh sun and/or low light. The second method is: Soft Boxes. I use soft boxes to create my own flat lays for the Chic Presets’ Instagram Account. Soft boxes are light diffusers that create a soft/even look that reduces shadows and evenly distributes the light. Set up at least two soft boxes on either side of your subject and adjust until you create a balance of light. The final method is: Tents. Light tents are usually square with translucent sides that diffuse the light. They are commonly used in product photography. You can buy them from a photography store or you can make your own! There are many tutorials on Youtube that take you through the process step by step.  

How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

Background – Choosing the right background for your flat lay will depend on where you want your followers’ eyes to land when they initially look at your photo. A White background allows your followers to focus their attention on the objects that you’re photographing without interruption (more about this below). A Colorful background attracts your eye to the photo as a whole rather than focusing on each individual object. A Textured background tells a story about where the photo was taken and can easily convey a mood or a feeling. All three are effective in their own way. Think about how you want your followers to interact with your photos and choose accordingly.How to Photograph Instagram Flat LaysContent Consistency – I’ve often asked myself why some Instagram accounts look more pleasing to the eye than others. After months of studying successful accounts, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the main reasons is: content consistency. This means that you pick a theme (including brand colors, style, point of view, message) and you stick to it across all of your content (photos). You don’t necessarily want every photo to look the exact same, rather, you want each photo to relate to your overall brand on some level. When it comes to creating flat lays, make sure that you’re using objects that align with your overall brand. For example: The three photos that you see above are all completely different, yet they share some of the same elements. In this case: a black and white pattern. The photos on the right and left were snaps that I took in London. When I created the photo in the middle, I thought about how I could tie all three together and bring in my brand color (blush pink). I wore a striped sweater to reference the black and white that was dominant in the other photos and I selected pink roses to ensure that all three would relate to my overall theme, which is primarily pink. Quick Tip: Before creating my flat lays I always ask myself: “Does this belong in the Chic Presets world?” If yes, full steam ahead! If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

Composition – Think about how you compose your photos. Do you prefer a structured look, with a straight composition? Or, do you prefer to photograph your flat lays on an angle? Or, a mix of both? If I’m not sure what looks best, I arrange the items multiple ways and take multiple shots using a different composition each time. Eventually, I find the best composition for the photo.

How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

Negative Space – Just like with other forms of art, negative space plays a big role in photography. Negative space refers to the empty space that surrounds an object. Negative space is soothing to the eye and provides a place for the eye to rest. Above I’ve provided a snapshot of my Instagram account. I’ve circled the flat lays that feature negative space. As you can see, when arranged in a grid, negative space evens out the gallery and gives followers a place to rest their eyes between the larger travel shots. As we discussed earlier, negative space will also bring your attention to the objects in the photo rather than requiring your eye dart around the image multiple times to understand the message you’re trying to convey. Reminder: Sometimes a lack of negative space can also be effective, but only if it’s executed well and with purpose. Picture a busy mural or a well laid out flat lay with more than 10 items.

How to Photograph Instagram Flat LaysFocus –  Getting the right focus for your shot can mean the difference between a good flat lay and a GREAT flat lay! Using a tripod is always best, but if you don’t have one, steady hands can also do the trick. Quick tip: Set your camera to autofocus, get a solid grip on your camera body, take a deep breath, push the trigger down half way and when you’re confident that your hands are still… push the trigger all the way down. Snap! lol

How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

Editing in Lightroom – Editing your flat lay photos in Lightroom is a great way to control multiple elements of your image. Editing a flat lay involves adjusting the Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, Sharpening and Noise Reduction until you create the perfectly balanced photo. I personally love to boost the White in my flat lays until I get that professional studio look. I’ve created a Free Lightroom Presets called “Flat Lay” that I use for my own Instagram photos. It’s the perfect mix of all the elements that I shared above. Download it here for FREE! Looking for more Chic Lightroom Presets? Check out The Complete Collection.

How to Photograph Instagram Flat Lays

   Well, I hope that this tutorial was helpful and that you take advantage of some of these tips and tricks that I use on a daily basis. Remember, with the right information and a little creativity, you can do this! Have fun making your beautiful flat lays! Cheers.

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