Monday, January 30, 2012


Week 4 of the 52 project's theme was a choice between "Unexpected Perspective" and "Sparkle". I originally had this idea of using my niece and her pink sparkly shoes I got her for Christmas (I wish I had a picture... they are SOO cute!!!) and taking some kind of angled shot... something other than the straight, head on norm photos. Then Saturday rolled around and I realized I had yet to take my photo for the week and I needed to turn it in that night in order to be considered for the pick of the week photo!

I rushed around town picking up anything sparkly... glitter, gems, beads, anything I could find for cheap (believe it or not, I had NONE of this at home). After playing with different shots of my hot pink wedding shoes, glitter, and gems... I had 10 different shots of the same thing. There was not a single picture that I was just in awe over. Not one single picture that I impressed myself with. On the verge of giving up, I tried one more thing. This is what I came up with for week 4.

I got a TON of pictures of my ring from my wedding pictures, so this was definitely not a picture I took to make up for lack thereof. This was merely a picture out of desperation to finish on time and I looked down and realized I had something sparkly on my hand and would be easy to photograph! :)

The pink background is actually a scarf I got for Christmas. The actual scarf is close to highlighter pink, so I toned it down quite a bit. I really love this picture. I love the simplicity of it... I love the color. I'll be posting the before picture later tonight since it's on my home computer and I forgot to email it to myself. DUH!

2/4/12 Edit:
Here's the before/after picture I promised. Oh... and I promise this is real :)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

White (Negative) Space and a "put-together" space (finally!)

So, this is a dual post. First I'm going to share with you my submission for this week's Let's Do 52 project hosted by Paint the Moon Photography and then I'm going to share with you the first, and so far only, room in our house we've completely 100% finished. Yes, I know... you're probably thinking "only ONE room?! You've lived there for a MONTH!" In my defense, during that month we had Christmas, Christmas parties, birthday's, New Years, plus fantasy football... and you know that trumps all on our Sunday afternoons :) Back to the post.

So, we are in week 3 of the 52 project. Why yes, Captain Obvious, I have only submitted one week. I couldn't come up with anything for last week, so I skipped it. *slap on the hand* let's move on. This week's theme was White (or negative) Space or Everyday Tools. Once again, I combined them. My "everday tool" I shot was my morning cup of coffee. I used one of my fiesta ware cups I got as a wedding gift because I just LOVE the color. Here is my submission.

I have to say... I kind of love what I came up with. I love the vivid color, and the crisp white of the background contrasting with the shadow. Although it may not appear to be, but this picture was taken at night under a lamp on my beautiful new media cabinet (we'll get to that beauty later!). Surprisingly, THIS picture taught me SO much about photoshop. I learned how to REALLY edit color and contrast, and how to make pictures warmer and cooler without using the auto buttons that I have relied on for so many years. It really took me out of my box to edit this photo... believe it or not. Sometimes it's hard to see all the work and editing that goes into pictures... even one as simple as this. Let me show you with a before and after photo.

Now do you see? Magic! :)

Now that I've bored you with pictures of my coffee cup, lets move on to my house! I know, yippee!!! So, the one and only room I'm going to show you is.... *drumroll*... the office. I know... even more boring than the coffee cup. Sorry. It was the easiest one to put together and I feel like I've really let you down with NO house pictures. Here's a few of the office with the new posters I had framed and printed for Daniel's Christmas present (he loved them!)

Well, these pictures aren't quite as pretty as the coffee cup, but I wasn't really too interested in editing photos of my home at 2 am. Again, sorry. Daniel decided he wants nothing but black and white in "his" room (shocker!). It's probably to counter all the "color" I put everywhere else. Borrrinnnggg. Don't you LOVE those posters though?! The middle one is a print my company handed out to us to celebrate the release of our very first game, Orcs Must Die! That particular image actually won an award. Yay Robot! He has two more of those posters coming, which will fill the gaps above the Mavericks poster and below the Jordan poster. We're still working on the desk and the organization, but the room is clean and functional and probably as decorated as Daniel will allow for now. 

Oh... I forgot. I also have two pictures of my gallery wall I'm 99.9% finished with. Enjoy.

There's the chevron print I posted on Facebook a few days ago! I finally got my Cricut in the mail the other day, so once I get the chipboard, I'll finish that project and be done with it. Oh... and please don't hate on me for having the photos that came with the frames. I haven't had a chance to get my wedding photo's printed yet and at least they're artistic enough to be pleasing. Dont hate.
2/25/12 UPDATE! I finished the chevron print. Here it is :)

Next week's theme is Unique Perspective or Sparkle! I'm SO excited for this week so I'll definitely be posting my submission next week! Any idea's for photos? Comment and let me know :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Let's Do 52...

Happy New Year!!!

Now that the holidays are over, I can really start focusing on getting our house together... finally. I promise I will be posting pictures of the house VERY soon, but for now, I want to introduce you guys to one of the new years resolutions I've made.

It's called Let's Do 52 and it's a project held by Paint the Moon Photography and blogger. Her photography is amazing and she also sells some really fantastic photoshop actions if you're in the market. As you know, I've decided to fulfill a dream I've always had and dive into the photography world. I haven't quite worked up the courage to a dive, though... I'm still swimming in the kiddie pool, but I'm getting there :)

One of my New Years resolutions is to really improve my photography and editing skills... learn new things whether by internet or by taking classes. I spent most of 2011 worrying about other people and everyone else's life that I lost track of my own and never took time out for me. Because of that, I'm using this photography project as a way to spend time on something I love to do and really enjoy the art of photography.

This is the first week of the project and I'm already excited. Basically, each week you are given two themes to choose from. You go out, take a picture based on the themes, edit it, and post it. The theme is not black and white by any means and can be interpreted in any way you want it to be. This project is really about finding out YOUR style and it's really based around YOU and not throwing you into a little box. This week, the two themes were Sharing and Natural. This is the picture I submitted for this week's theme.

By the way... I know it says Jessica Ortiz Photography, but I have in no way created a business out of this. I put that on there only as a watermarking tool to keep people from stealing my images. That was the first thing that popped in my head so if you have a more creative idea, I'm all ears :)

I love this picture. Love love LOVE it! If you have children, you understand the beauty of this picture and why it falls under the "natural" theme. Actually, this picture just happens to fall into both themes. While I was out shooting for my niece's 1st birthday photo's, I decided to let her see the pictures I was taking. Realizing I had made a HUGE mistake in sharing my camera, I decided to hide the camera from her since her button pushing and prodding was getting a little out of hand. This was the result. I was in the middle of trying to get a family picture and she.just.broke.down. I felt terrible taking this shot, but now, I love it so much it's definitely become a favorite of mine.

As far as the theme, I decided to take the Natural theme a different way. Although natural tends to lean towards nature and landscapes, I thought this picture fit better into the theme than any landscape picture. The natural reaction to my not sharing my camera with her... it's just priceless. 

For those of you photographers that are interested in this project, you can click on the link I provided above to join. It's really easy and free. :) Here's a button to take you to the project as well... Enjoy!
52 Week Project Photo Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions PSE