How to create a metallic signature in photoshop

I should absolutely positively preface this post by saying: I am not a graphic designer. I am, however, a photographer who spent months on end googling and practicing trying to teach herself the most effective way to create the perfect gold metallic signature logo in photoshop (before I bought a wacom tablet I drew my signature on a piece of parchment paper and taped it to my screen, using my mouse to digitally trace it.  Hood, ya'll).  I tried different brushes, various techniques, even just tried to paint and scan in my signature but none effectively created the painted brush stroke type signature I had dreamed of...until now. What you'll need:

-Photoshop

-Wacom tablet (I use the Bamboo CTL-460, which I think has been discontinued but the price tag on the others is worth it just for this)

-Gold foil stock photo (one with a creative common's usage of course!  You can also scan in a high quality gold foil yourself, but a realistic one works best.  Deviant art is always a good place to search)

-Favorite pre-loaded pencil, colored pencil, or paint brush textured photoshop brush (Brusheezy is a great free website for this, I used this colored pencil download.)

 

Enjoy!

Video Tutorial Gone Wrong.

Just like shooting film, when it comes to my videos things can go beautifully with smooth bokeh and pastel colors or things can go horribly awry, leading me wildly off topic and rambling up a storm---to myself, of course. Just because you do your hair doesn't mean you should make a video.  Add it to "Things I Learned the Hard Way".   I plan to step UP my  video game (and film shooting duh) and share more of the trials, conquers, and pitfalls (monnnaaayyyyyyy) to the fine art medium.  Today just wasn't the day.  If you need a good laugh or, oh, I don't know, something to make you feel better about yourself, well then here ya go.

The one time I tried to make a video tutorial off the fly.  This is real life, people. At least my hair looks good.

 

Got any videos you'd like to see? Questions to answer? Jokes for me to tell? Holler and let me know!

Take to the Sea.

When we first moved here, I was afraid we would be one of those destinations that was so far away from everything that all the people who said they would come visit wouldn't.  Boy oh boy oh boy was I wrong!  And SO thankfully!  I love and value our friends to bits and pieces, and this summer when a few of them came to visit we brought them along on what we love to do most--exploring the ocean (& sippin' mai tais). A short GoPro video featuring a few of our greatest friends Ryan, Del, Carlo, Danica, Marshall and mermaid Ashley from the rocky coves of the North Shore to the windy waters of Lanikai.

Music by Common Kings "Wade In Your Water". I love the sounds of the rumbling waves and passing currents so much that I actually wasn't going to include any music, but this popular song is our jam.  The quiet lull of swishing waters against nothing but your own amplified breath is so melodic, it's one of my favorite things about the ocean.

 

Take to the sea. from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

ps: I suppose I am not an imovie on my ipad and genius and the song gets way loud for about 2 seconds. Sorry in advance!

the Magic | Developing style.

In search of something hard to find? Think everyone is doing something behind the lens they aren't telling you about?Secret is, there's no big secret. The magic in photography. A few ways I helped figure out and hone my shooting and editing styles that didn't include a glitter laced unicorn camera. Where do I get one of those?

 

 

the Magic from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

Sidenote: Even if they do take all day long to make and I ramble all day long, I love making videos and plan to incorporate them more. Let me know if there is something you'd like to see, Harlem Shakes excluded. kloveyou.

Kaua'i.

"You know, you live where most people vacation.  Where do you vacation?"-David, my groom from yesterday's elopement as he explained their honeymoon plans around the island. The reverend and I both replied in unison "...Kaua'i".

But truly, we don't vacation much.  Matter-of-fact, Marshall and I joked about how this would be our first real "vacation" since Miami.  MIAMI!  True, we have ventured to Maui together twice, and been to other awesome destinations, but it's usually with a work related purpose.  Rarely do we plan time together of nothingness, so I was beyond excited to head back to the romantic and still manicured island via a 30 minute flight from O'ahu.  During our trip we tested out the new GoPro Hero3 (yo!  I may not be able to hold it still to save my life but I am SO EXCITED FOR SOMETHING THAT GOES UNDERWATER!  FISHIES BEST BE READY!), got a sweet jeep kama'aina upgrade (peace out, economy car) and devoured some delish island tacos made on true Hawai'i time.  We had drinks around a fire, drove in the rain, and I sat in front of a hot tub jet until I bruised my lower back.   Vacationing together is also apparently the time where married couples figure out HOW they like to vacation, because unbeknownst to me there are different forms. I like to see and DO things (I mean, what's the point of going to a new place if you aren't going to eat at the best restaurants and see all the sites?!? THERE'S A WHOLE BIG WORLD OUT THERE!  I thought everyone did this...) and Marshall likes to relax with some good food and good booze and just be.  Something my 40 Days of yoga is teaching me to do more of--more on that later. Truthfully, Marshall is the ying to my yang and our differences that we hold to as our personal truths are really things we each could use more of, so I am thankful for his mirror and encouraging me to slow down.  He is often times right, there are more ways to do things than just what I know.  Like, directions.  Don't tell him I said that.

And did I mention I found this bush growing pink and white fluff balls of fluffiness that I could NOT get over?  IT'S SO FLUFFY IM GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEEEE.

 

A shaky but fun memoir from our trip--our first venture to Kaua'i.  And a glimpse to my actual husband who pretends like he is intimidating but really is the biggest goofball you ever did see, chasing fish around in the lava puddles with the go pro while I was the one who had to edit it down. The clips are a little discombobulated, but fun to remember non-the-less. I am going to go ahead and plan the videographer (ahemmmm i.e. not me) for that one sooooo....

 

Kaua'i from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

Edits: Simple image adjustments that go a long way.

When I first started shooting, I went to town using actions.  I hadn't the slightest clue what a proper exposure was, and just thought to myself "oh, this will look awesome with Cinnamon's Very Berry action!".  Leaning on photoshop and the use of full blown 100% opacity actions:  total rookie move that all of us probably go through!  And as actions are awesome, and heck, actually helped me figure out the look that I wanted to define my brand (I was always using the action that would brighten the most), they built a wall between me and honing my technical skills.  That being said, don't go hating on me pulling up every single photo from 2010 I took with an action on it!  I STAND BY THOSE CAPPUCCINO COLORED SHOTS!  It's a learning process I wouldn't give up, just like the time I asked "Who's POW MIA?".   I would spend hours upon hours wide-eyed going blind behind my computer screen, trying just the right look to get the feel that I wanted.  And one day, things just clicked.  Seeing that no matter how many photographers I admired and how many of their $99 action packages I bought from links via their flickr profiles , my photos would never quite come to life how I had visualized because I lacked technical skill.  Boom.  I said it.  I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING.    As I am always learning to shoot in new scenarios, I had to take my camera off of auto mode as well as my brain and learn to shoot the way I wanted to. This video is one of those scenarios where I let everything I have learned fly out the window and shot a series of shots that I love at the wrong exposure...and have to fix it in lightroom.

HA!

No, but really, after countless hours years ago spent fawning over photoshop editing until it actually looked worse than the original, I wised up and started shooting with my style in mind, taking "I can fix this in photoshop" out of my mind for good.

BUT AGAIN, when that happens, which, lesbihonest, it does (you like what I did there, huh?), I try to edit as least as possible so that the images correlate seamlessly with the rest of my shots.  Then I check my settings on an over/underexposed/blurry photo to see what I did wrong and analyze the scenario so that I can correct it in the future.

Here's a quick and easy edit to how I took my underexposed ring shot on a concrete balcony to a bright and airy image in, like, less than 5 minutes.  And only that long because I was yakin'.

 

 

 

I can't lie, there are a few old school action images that I still love, so Lord knows I won't hate on some solid actions, ya'll!

And correction:  My underexposed shot's shutterspeed was 1/200th, and I MEANT to say the correct shutter speed was 1/125th, NOT 1/25th.  Sta-sta-studdah.

 

 

Made-Up Spanish

I don't know real spanish, so I just make it up as I sing along. Let's see what I am really saying, shall we?Both my mom and my aunt have always said "I have the spirit of a child" (I always thought that as a compliment until this very moment...), and every personality quiz I have ever taken have all said the same thing, that I am an "entertainer".  Who I entertain other than myself, I haven't the slightest clue.  Who DOES these things?!?!?

I immediately regret this decision.

 

 

 

Spanish Lessons from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes Video | Couple's Shoot.

When I shoot, I get into a zone. A zone of "eeks!" and OMGS and "LOVE."'s.  What???  I get EXCITED! gorg. Instead of putting on a production and feeling like they are "having their photo taken", I encourage my clients to laugh and play and have a great time with no pressure!   I specifically tell them to take the time to enjoy this moment together.  To relish in a few hours of stillness during wedding planning, or while vacationing on the islands, or from the every day trials of life.  To remember exactly how much they love each other and to feel it.   Not only does it make for fabulous photos, but a fun, no pressure experience!

When shooting, I direct couples into "stories" that turn into actions, think less of a pose, more of "something to do, something to think", but more than just taking what I say and doing just that, I encourage them make the actions their own and hopefully laugh at each other (or me) somewhere along the way.  ;) Typically I will pass along an idea and ask them to just roll with it, sometimes eliciting an "OH!  We've got that" response, or "I don't but I'm sure he would love it if I did wash the dishes...  LET IT BE YOUR FANTASY, honey!!", which turns into a case of the giggles, and I could never ask for anything better.  Sometimes I talk couples through a session, sometimes I am more reserved and capture the subtle yet romantic gestures they make with one another with a *gasp--that's so sweet* in between clicks.  For me, it's all about reading the couple's in front of my camera and always letting them be themselves. There may be a time where a couple says  "we are more silly and goofy" which is so perfect,  I always work to compliment people's relationships,  but let me tell you there is almost always a moment where everything gets quiet, and the moment happens, even to the goofiest of bunches. I can see everything softly fade away around them and there are a few moments where it's just them.  I silence myself, slow down my shooting, and leave it untouched for them to take in.  And then I smile to myself and say "thereeeee it is".

Whenever behind my camera, I strive to capture an image of my couples that says "THIS.  This is US.  This is exactly what we do.  How I look.  How I feel in this moment."  More than just a pretty photo,  I want them to be able to look past having their photo taken, possibly any  insecurities, hair whipping in the wind,  and be able to admire their true selves shining through. To me, THAT is a beautiful photo.

 

Check out ALL the fun that goes down! "Behind the Scenes" shoot with Yasmin Dar & her fabulous fiance Sal, who said "I was a little reluctant to do another photoshoot for the wedding, but you made it a great experience. You can quote me on that one!"  Thank you Sal!  It was my honor, and I am thrilled you had a great time!  Yasmin & Sal used bits from the video for a Save the Date video I made for her (for fun, I am no videographer!) that you can check it out on her blog.

 

Behind the Scenes | Couple's shoot from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

 

Wardrobe & make-up styling by Crystal Pancipanci of Panci Style.

Styling: Me with the help of Marissa Rodriguez and Crystal Pancipanci.

Photography by me, of course (those are coming soon!)

Video footable by both me and Marissa Rodriguez.

Editing by Me.

Other way cool videographer who came along: Nik Ripp

 

 

Adding your logo in iMovie

When I was little my sister and I had a karaoke machine accompanied by a heavy silver microphone.  For hours I would lock myself in my room and sit cross-egged in front of the metal piece of equipment, speaking with my lips closely pressed to the mic and recording..then rerecording...songs and antics and dedications, my own tiny person improv act.  I'd pretend I was a working radio station or envision grand scenes in which I would act out who knows what.  Then I would lay on my back, right ankle perched across my left knee, and play back the cassette tape. Strange, I know.

So what does this have to do with anything?  Well, nothing really other than the fact that even at five my voice decibels were blowing out karaoke speakers.

Even though I am no cinematographer, playing around with video kind of reminds me summer afternoons recording as a kid, it's fun and adds a different medium to the mix of things.  When doing my "30 Day Vlog Challenge" (in which the thought still keeps me up at night) I wanted some sort of consistency and branding element in my vlogs which themselves were anything but consistent.  Or branded.  Or even, you know, normal.

Here's a simple way to import your logo and create intros/transitions in videos using iMovie.  Made by the five year old me.

 

Overcoming Anxiety FOREVER. Like, fa-evah evah.

It's no secret that I love yoga.  Like, love.  It does wonders for your body, your muscles, tension, and aches and pains, but my favorite is how it helps manage stress!  It changed my life. Between a post on Facebook about anxiety & depression medications, Vinnie's bout with anxiety last season on the Jersey Shore (just stick with me here, k?) and my love for yoga, I decided to share my story with my 12 year struggle with severe anxiety and how I  finally overcame it without the use of medicine. Because to me, modern medicine is sketchy and often causes wayyyyy more harm than good.   You never know if a medicine will cause fingernails to grow out of your hair follicles like it did this lady!  (cue the heebie-jeebies!).  Sorry lady, but I think.  I'm going.  to vom.  Plus, just figuring out what the REAL cause of  anxiety is and having a way to deal with it in any situation was more helpful in the long run.  It literally is just like the commercials say and "coping" with the struggle, not FIXING IT.  Not to mention lots of Doctors seem to not even listen.   I never really took medicine for it, but I knew that if I did I was simply covering it up and never dealing with it, so my anxiety would always stick with me, and the lassstttttt thing I wanted was to live nervous I would throw up in the middle of a bar again.  In my hands.  In front of a table of handsome gentlemen.  And THAT'S one of the "not so bad" stories!!  Now I can say  I "took matters into my own hands", literally....  *grossiieeee*.

I self diagnosed myself with "Agoraphobia" (the specific anxiety about being in a place or situation where escape is difficult or embarrassing or where help may be unavailable. Agoraphobia is strongly linked with panic disorder and is often precipitated by the fear of having a panic attack. A common manifestation involves needing to be in constant view of a door or other escape route. In addition to the fears themselves, the term agoraphobia is often used to refer to avoidance behaviors that sufferers often develop. For example, following a panic attack while driving, someone suffering from agoraphobia may develop anxiety over driving and will therefore avoid driving. These avoidance behaviors can often have serious consequences; in severe cases, one can be confined to one's home.--from Wikipedia.)

Today I am  proud to say I have (99.9%) tackled this form of anxiety.  WOOHOO!  Here's how:

Overcoming Anxiety from Ashley Goodwin on Vimeo.

 

Check out yogaglo.com for some great vinyasas and meditation!  Seriously.  Just try it.  You can send me a thank you check in the mail later.

Oh, and I ramble when I am passionate.  So sue me. And don't go reading and not asking questioning or throwing in your two cents! You don't want to send me into a panic attack now, DO YOU???!?! ;)

**UPDATE** Here is the link to the book 40 Days to Personal Revolution that with just ONE QUESTION in there helped me realize that I bury issues and don't deal. Totally worth checking out the book.