Thursday, May 31, 2007

Its Electric.....Rachel W. from Elentári Designs, Paying it Forward Elentári Style!

PIF:What is the best advice (Pay It Forward Style) you could give a photographer starting out in the business?
RW: I can think of a few things, actually. I'd probably say to make sure you're legal before you really get going. I so often hear of photographers (even ones who've been running a studio for years) who don't have business licenses or who aren't collecting sales tax. That can really come back on you later and sting, so it's best to get it done before you start rather than to have to go back and possibly even pay fines and penalties later.

Educate ourselves on copyright laws and respect them. We can't expect our clients to know, understand and respect our copyright if we don't understand or respect it ourselves. We also need to take measures to educate our clients about it. It's so easy for us to forget that before we started we knew little about copyright law; similarly, clients often don't know anything about it. Having them to sign a copyright agreement isn't enough. We need to go over it to ensure they're going to understand the implications. If someone is going to violate it, they'll do it regardless, but we can curb much of it by educating because most people are inherently honest.

Finally, be confident in our ability and offerings. I hear so many photographers say that they can not charge $xxx for this or that because it's just too much. If you are starting a business you will soon realize that cost of printing isn't the only cost you have. There are a lot of overhead and other expenses and if you want to stay in business for very long, you must not only produce quality work, but also be comfortable with that work and your prices. It's the difference between being a hobbyist who charges and being a professional.

PIF:Piece of equipment you just CANT live without?
RW: Aside from my cameras and lenses, I'd have to say Photoshop and my tablet.

PIF: What’s three things you keep at your desk while you work?
RW: A large display clock because I always lose track of time when I'm working. A few photo books and mags just in case I need to stop and have some eye candy inspiration. And h2o-- a girl's got to stay hydrated.

PIF: Your favorite quote?
RW: Not sure if it's a quote, but I don't create images to show you the world the way it is; I create images to show you the world how I want you to see it.

PIF: Favorite technique you enjoy doing in photoshop? (this could be a tip to the pay it forward blog readers on how to do something in photoshop if you don’t have a favorite technique)
RW: One thing I really like doing with photos is making a nice, rich, deep b&w. It doesn't work on all photos-- it has to be a somewhat dramatic image to begin with that needs or already has a lot of contrast, but a quick gradient map layer adjustment followed by a curve adjustment can really make a photo a dramatic b&w.

PIF: What do you do in your spare time?
RW: I take photos. ;) heh Besides being what my occupation, it's always going to be my most favorite thing to do in my free time. I really enjoy reading as much as I can make the time for it, globe trekking, piloting and I'm a bit of a gamer too.

PIF: Favorite picture that you took?
RW: Wow, that's a toughie. I don't even know that I have a favorite and my favorites change all the time. One of my favorites is a live show shot I took. I really love concert photography-- the lighting is amazing while also being very challenging. This is bassist, Mark White, of Spin Doctors.


And she is sharing a family template!

Link to download:

*Thank you Rach W. for PIF!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tricoast Photo Video, this is hilarious!

these guys are FUNNY! I'm rolling over here, laughing.

Tricoast - Mission Possible Redux

Add to My Profile More Videos


Theres no *I* in Team, NOT FOR TEAM STEVE! Steve and Shell Paying It Forward!

(Composite From Team Steve)

What is the best advice (Pay It Forward Style) you could give a photographer starting out in the business?
Team Steve: I still see myself as a pretty new to the business, so I’m always learning. That’s the first thing I’d have to say. Never stop learning, never stop educating yourself. There are hundreds of seminars out there, get to them. And this is my ‘weak’ point. Not being able to devote full time hours quite yet, I am ‘stuck’ with reading all the magazines and scouring the Internet for all I can learn on posing, lighting and new ideas.Get solid on the basics. When shooting something where the results are of the utmost importance, then is not the time to be wondering what to do and get stuck in a situation you can’t get out of. Know your equipment. With so many different cameras out there now days, they are all different and capable of different things. Know what your capable of, with the gear your using. Being able to deliver when it matters is what separates and hobbyist and a professional. If you want to be called a professional, then be willing to do what it takes to meet those ‘requirements’. If not, your doing an injustice to the industry.

Piece of equipment you just CANT live without?
Team Steve: Hopefully a camera is a given? After that I would say reflectors and panels. We have learned a lot about using them in the last couple years. Nothing beats natural light. And when doing outdoor sessions, with reflectors you open your world beyond your wildest dreams. I still get excited when we pull out the reflectors at a killer location. The light isn’t quite what we need, and we are able to ‘find the light’ with the reflectors. Amazing how something so simple can turn a wasted shot into one of your biggest sellers.

What’s three things you keep at your desk while you work?
Team Steve: I keep my headphones close by, so I can listen to music off Napster. My smartphone, because my life is on it, and right above my desk is my list of goals written out.

Shell says, she has to have her lotion, chapstick and a large Diet Coke on her desk at all times.

Your favorite quote?
Team Steve: One of my favorites would have to be:
“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” Ansel Adams

“Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” Sun Tzu

Shell’s favorite is:“Poor planning on your part makes not an emergency on mine” -unknown

Favorite technique you enjoy doing in photoshop?
Team Steve: I have very little PS skills, so this is all Shell. She likes when we get composite orders. There are so many different things you can do. Clients seems to just expect a few image just slapped on a blank sheet. When you really put together something that is out of the box and you see the look in their eyes when they see if for the first time. You can tell it is something then never would have expected. It is a very rewarding part of this job.

Whats the most craziest wild thing Team Steve has ever done?
Team Steve: Signed papers just today to start building a new studio. Crazy you say? Well, yeah, we keep our fingers crossed we can continue to grow, and be successful the way we have been so as to make sure we can make that studio payment.

Steve Harrington Photography

And......Team Steve paying it forward
Heart Brushes~~!

Link for download:

*Thank you too Team Steve for the brushes and Interview! Congrats on your studio endeavor and good luck from Paying It Forward!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

She's got a whole lotta action going on, Its Kylie, and she's paying it forward!!

Interviewed Kylie, and she is a fun gal!

How long in the photography business?
Kylie:Officially opened for business in Jan. of this year, but have been studying photography for 4 years, and have been geeking it up in photoshop since 1998. I was a junior in highschool and my boyfriend at the time was a photoshop nerd. He got me started, and I've dabbled in it ever since. It wasn't until I got serious about photography that I really got into the nitty gritty of photoshop, though.

Tips on favorite technique in photoshop?
Gosh, where to begin?? I think the #1 thing that photographers NEED to learn is MASKING. I can't tell you how many times I've seen photographers draw a blank when the topic is brought up, and it's such an essential tool in photoshop! It will save you SO much time once you learn it-- trust me! I'm going to be doing a tutorial on the blog soon about it, hopefully it will explain it in simple terms and help people get started on it. It's really not that hard once you get the basics.

Piece of equipment you just CANT live without?
: Hmm.. Besides the obvious? I'd say my Whibal card ( I love not having to worry about white balance while shooting. RAW is the best!

What's three things you keep at your desk while you work?
Kylie: card reader to upload new pics, Dr. Pepper (with crushed ice), Cheerios (for the baby, who is usually playing on the floor beside me)

Your favorite quote?
I'm always collecting and displaying quotes to remind myself of the important things in life. I recently put this one on a post-it note on my wall...
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Simon says touch your nose, did you do it?
Kylie: Hah, No, but I did go cross-eyed looking at it!

Kylie links are:
Photoshop Blog:


YOUR GETTING SOME ACTIONS! Phaunt actions (Kylie), Paying it forward!!!!!!!
Clorix Before and After:

Eye Pop Before and After

Sunshine Before and After

Link to download:

Thank you Kylie for Paying It Forward!!

Hint Hint, Interview coming to ya soon ;)

Hint: She's got alot of action going on, and she has brown hair?

hmmmmmm, who could it be?

*wink* *wink*

Monday, May 28, 2007

Contest, Contest, Contest!

Take a picture of holding hands, could be multiple people, could be two people. Get Creative, Get not the norm type of shot. The picture itself reflecting passing it on, paying it forward.

Email it to: , we will choose two winners and they will receive, drumroll please:


*Contest ends at midnight on June 1st and winners will be announced and Interviewed on Monday June 4th.

Can't WAIT to see what you guys come up with. SO EXCITING!!!!

She's Paying it Forward GREEN STYLE! Cher Salo from

Cher Salo gave us the INTERVIEW! And a contest too boot!

What Job title would you give yourself?
Cher: Keeper of the Green J ProPs has always had the ‘green’ colors. Members call me Mama.

What is something you have learned in the past that you carry with you to the present?
Cher:Everyone is equal, no matter what, where, who, how, why, we’re all equal.

One thing you just CANT live without?
Cher:My coffee and mountain dew! Sad but true.

What's three things you keep at your desk while you work?
My cell phone. A stack of papers, to make it look like I’m working, oh wait, I’m the boss that doesn’t matter LOL
And of course, my iPod!.

Your favorite quote?
What goes around comes around. J

Wildest Craziest Thing you have done?
You really want me to tell you this? LOL I skinny dipped at Gulf Shores, one too many Tequilas, back in my younger days.

Who is your hero?
My kids are my heroes. No matter what they have been through their entire life, they have grown to be amazing kids (adults). They have used
what they have been through and learned, in a positive way instead of dwelling only on the bad.


And she's not done. Nope, not done, are you excited????
She's paying it forward (GREEN STYLE) with TWO MEMBERSHIPS of 150.00 EACH (thats 300.00 buckeroos folks) for the contest this week! Ladies and Gents, we will post the contest shortly.


Interview and Contest coming right up!

Hint: Keeper of the Green,

Do you know who it is?

Friday, May 25, 2007


We will have a contest next week , along with a interview from a special someone. Keep your eyes peeled for all the details, coming to you Monday!

So lets sum up this week, talked to three amazing guys in the photograhy line of business, Mike Fulton gave us the scoop on photoshop techniques along with giving The color set actions, Travis From Silverlake hooks it up every month on specials for three backdrops, and James Hodgins generously shared his actions, along with technique for exposing the sky, Amber and Rach submitting templates and brushes! ITS BEEN AN AWESOME WEEK PAYING IT FORWARD! Thank you Guys and Gals!!

and remember "paying it forward refers to repaying the good deeds one has received by doing good things for other unrelated people" , you, me, everything, its ever revolving, lets keep the Pay It Forward Train going..............

Next week BIG THINGS, Lots of BIG THINGS! Can you tell we are excited here?????? Hope you are!

P.S. 3200 visits to the pay it forward blog in three days, WOW!

He's Funny, He's Wild, He's Giving it to ya Pay It Forward Style!

Introducing James Hodgins from NoBs Photo Success and WE GOT THE INTERVIEW!

What is the best advice (Pay It Forward Style) you could give a photographer starting out in the business?

James:Always have an open mind, treat your competition as friends, always pass your knowledge on to others (you gain more knowledge that way), and if you have the with it.

Piece of equipment you just CANT live without?

James:Memory Card haha. I guess if I had to have one thing besides my camera, it would be my 70-200 F2.8

What’s three things you keep at your desk while you work?

James:Tea, cellphone, and a cat. (sometimes two)

Your favorite quote?

James:Cheers Mate.

Favorite technique you enjoy doing in photoshop?

James: I like exposing for the sky, when I have ambient light only, and then I will use a duplicate layer in screen mode to brighten the whole image up, erase the top layer to bring back original exposure where ever you want. Been doing this for years with great success

If you were in a hurricane, whats the first thing you would save and why?

James: Well, I would be the one chasing the hurricane as that is one of my life's goals.........but in this situation, I would save whatever needed saving at that time.


AND its not over, he is also giving some actions, WOW WOW WOW (thank you Hodgy!!):

Free download of the creamtone action:

and some other actions on the technique above "called hodgysky"

Heads up, interview coming up!

One hint, tell me if you can guess?

This person is FUNNY. Really Funny.

Desert Brochure Template..........

cha ching...... I know the boys will be happy with this one, not too girly huh? Colors can be changed with color overlays......
Trifold Long Brochure

Link to download:

Midnight Train To Georgia................

After midnight, Lets hit it......
Watermelon Vintage Style All for YOU!
5x5 template size

Link to download:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hit again, Amber STYLE, by the ever famous Pay It Forward Train...

How freakin adorable are these!!!! Vintage baby blocks! Thank you Amber for the contribution!

Link to download:

Two Words, SILVERLAKE BACKGROUNDS. Owner of Silverlake was generous to give advice Pay It Forward Style.

The Interview with Travis,

What is the best piece of advice you could give a photographer starting out?
Travis: Two things really. Work on consistency first, then artistic style. Photographers are hired to produce dependable results. If you can add some artistic flair in the process, then you will soon have a following of loyal clients. Before booking paid jobs, it is essential that you know you can guarantee results. Paid gigs are not the time to be guessing.
Secondly, you have two choices. You can work for another photographer or be self employed. If you choose to work for yourself, business education is a must, if not more important than photographic education. Many extremely talented photographers have been left holding the bag as a result of poor business practices.
If you were stranded on a island, and you were allowed one piece of camera equipment , what would it be and why?

Travis: One piece of equipment, huh? I would have to say a reflector with diffusion screens and reflective ones. Not only would that allow me to modify light any time of the day, but I could also use it as shelter at night. If it were an extended stranding, I would have to trade the reflector for a battery charger.
What is the best marketing advice you would give to a photographer that would help their business?

Travis: There are lots of great marketing methods to get your name out in front of your target audience, but the one form of marketing that is going to carry you through the years is Word of Mouth. Treat every client like they were your only client and make them love you before even viewing the images. Offering incentives for your past fans to tell their friends will be the most honestly received advertising that you can do. While it takes time to develop, we spend a majority of our efforts taking care of existing clients as they are the driving force behind our new inquiries.

Out of all the backdrops you sell, which one is your favorite?
Travis: My favorite background that we sell is constantly evolving as we continue to produce new designs. In order to keep my work fresh and show a variety of images, it helps me to have a continual supply of new backgrounds and props. We can offer more variety to our clients when we have a background that will match any outfit or mood.
If I had to pick just one to use for any possible shoot it would be something darker with a more muted pattern. I really enjoy using the Ebony and the Hickory for shoots of all subject matter. Although, the new abstract designs are really fun to play with as well.

Favorite tunes you love to listen too?
Travis: It completely depends on the mood I'm in. I love live music of any kind, but you will find everything from Death Metal to Johnny Cash in my collection.

Who is your favorite silverlake member??? ha ha don't answer that, totally kidding.
Travis: What are you going to ask next...which child is my favorite? These are all hard choices.




P.S. Silverlake hooks it up every month with specials for three backdrops

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

1300 visits in TWO DAYS to the Pay It Forward Blog!!

Man o man we need a celebration, everyone rocks. We got great things in store. And I mean *GREAT*. Its all for you and the Pay It Forward Train.......
Tomorrow, sharing a interview with another awesome person, I will give you a hint. His name starts with a T.

Vintage Brushes....HOT HOT HOT!

These are SESSY, HOT, Vintage brushes! And guess what? They are YOURS to use!!!!! Who would have thunk such a thing?

P.S. If you love to use these brushes and make a template to share with the Pay It Forward blog, email, lets see who gets creative!

Link to download:

*Disclamier: Brushes may NOT be used for templates to be made and sold from template makers, these are strictly for photography business and their client orders for cards, storyboard, etc. Thank you :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dinner Special? Pink Green Baby annoucement Vintage style!

Come on ride the Train, choo choo, and ride it, wanna join the Pay It forward blog, send templates, blends, textures, and your name to, it really is fun to give stuff away. :o)
here's one for the babies................... cute green/pink vintagy announcement

Link to download:
P.S. make sure to read the old blogs, and scroll down, lots of good stuff.


Yup, you read it, big interview down below with Mike Fulton from Tricoast Photo along with The 6 Color Action set he Paid It Forward for YOU! Advice and Actions all in one sitting, I'm in awe. Thank you Mike!
We got more fun stuff in store, and it really feels pretty good today, how are you feeling? Keep on the lookout, more interviews, more fun stuff Pay It Forward style!
Thanks for all the contributions, help, and visits to this blog, its all for you.

TONS more to come............................ Each time you come here, I hope its a lovely surprise.......................

Freebie Action Set from TriCoast PHOTO, Mike Fulton Shouting it PAYING IT FORWARD!

Hit by the Pay It Forward Train!
A basic set of 6 colors of actions:
the actions and adjust the layers to suit your needs from a little to alot.Hope this basic collection helps:







TriCoast Action Set

Link to FREEBIE actions...

Thank you MyKEY!

We got the interview, Pay It Forward Style (of course) with Mike Fulton From TRICOAST Photo!

What is the best advice (Pay It Forward Style) you could give a photographer starting out in the business?
Mike: Without a doubt ETHICS. Too many new photographers are using others work in their business cards, websites and other marketing material in order to try and get that jump start to their business without the owner's permission. To many new photographers only think of themselves and not the business and do not realize the damage they are causing. I am a STRONG believer that by sharing you gain more and learn more and become a better photographer, if one remembers to always keep their ethics and share when and where they can your business but more importantly your life will be that much stronger!
Piece of equipment you just CANT live without?
Mike: Minus my camera of course, I would say our flash units. I can create light or more importantly shadows anywhere I want at anytime of the day, anywhere in the world and since we travel alot with our international weddings the flash units are a must have.
What’s three things you keep at your desk while you work?
Mike: Im really a basic kinda guy when it comes to processing and working. I have a TV so I can stay in touch with the world, my duel montiors so I can work/color correct on one (tube monitor) and then an LCD with the websites/forums on it so I can take breaks and play. Finally, a webcam so I can stay in touch with my clients and friends around the world and conduct business meetings with companies throughout the US.
Your favorite quote?
Mike: I have several I try and remember when I work:
1. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. Its a catalyst...a spark that creates extradordianry results.
2. Learn to embrace change, and you'll begin to recognize that life is in contant motion and every change happens for a reason. When you see boundaries as opportunities, the world becomes a limitless place, and your life becomes a journey of change that always finds its way.
3. Enjoy the flavors of life, take big bites, moderation is for the monks!

Favorite technique you enjoy doing in photoshop?
Mike: Don't know if I have a favorite technique but I enjoy sharing my processing style with anyone, it is the main reason why I developed our Finding Color Processing DVD showing all the TriCoast "secrets" to our processing. Here is a quick image on how you can make a not so nice image into a keeper with just a few simple and easy steps which anyone can do.
Orig. Image is from the Biltmore at the Coral Gables just outside of Miami.
DATA INFORMATION:Exposure: 1/15 second at f/2.8Exposure Mode: ManualExposure Program: ManualISO: 3200Focal Length: 200mmLens: 70-200L IS f/2.8Camera: EOS-1D MarkII
Step 1 - Here is the orig. image opened up in Photoshop CS-2 Bridge, NOTE all settings are set to "0" on the sliders

Step 2 - I cropped the orig. image to an 8x10" format to give strength to the couple and converted to B/W using Bridge by lowering and rasing the Contrast and Saturation Sliders and then adjusted the Exposure and Shadows to suit my personal likings, then also changed the tint just a tad, again just personal likings
Step 3 - Opened up image in Photoshop from Bridge then applied Noiseware Professional filter to it, HOWEVER NOTE these might not be the actual settings I used on this image I just took a screen capture to show you what I did. So play with the settings until you get the look you want/like
Step 4 - Applied my "TriCoast Glow" action to the image to give more of a soften/glow look, which is almost on all of my images in one way or another.
Thats it, 3 mins at most. I never spend more time on images for the most part, I believe in workflow and not workslow so for the most part these little things is all I do to my images.
Hope these steps help you guys out and let me know if you want more of this kind of thing.
Again I am a strong believer in NO SECRETS so if you want to know somethign just ask, I am a simple person who enjoys this art with a huge passion, I gladly let it control my life, it truly makes me a better person. The places and people I have seen and meet just by having a camera is amazing, from countries all over the world to some of the best people right in my tiny little home town, this art is truly amazing.

Educational Products:

New Educational Book "Mastering Digital Wedding Photography" where TriCoast was picked to be the US Wedding Photographers to be a part of the book. Mark Ridout is another photographer of the 4 in the book.

After midnight, and yup Pay it Forward RACHEL style...

yet again, this blog was hit by the Pay It Forward train, by another amazing beautiful photographer!

Link to download:

P.S. I got an interview with this lovely lady, keep on the look out for it this week! She has great tips!

Monday, May 21, 2007

400 vistors in ONE DAY!

This blog has been a HUGE hit! We are amazed and it feels great to see so many visits and enjoy these awesome free stuff! Its all about YOU!

Here's some big news, We are taking another step in another direction, along with free fun stuff, we are going to be doing interviews with some big wigs in the photography business. Keep on the watch out for some familiar faces, I'm sure you will enjoy getting to know them and their question/answers that we ask of them. We also have some awesome photographers that we will be asking some advice from and tips! There's going to be some surprise interviews! And it just might be you!
Thank you for reading, enjoying, and contributing to the Pay It Forward blog.

all the best,
the pay it forward blog

Another Pay It forward today, from AMBER!

Yes, you heard it right, the fabulous beautiful Amber has contributed a 5x5 asuka purple template FREE for you to use! How awesome is that???!!!!!!

Drum roll pleaseeeeeeee.....................

Link to download:

Thank you Amber for your contribution to Pay It Forward, xoxo

Need some great tunes to listen too

while you have fun playing with all the free stuff, gotta recommend Maroon 5's new cd that is out. It is awesome, kinda retro style meets disco rock. Very cool tunes,

link to their myspace:

Fun stuff ahead

Theres a few fun things in store, and some generous people donating their stuff they made for the Pay It Forward Cause, and they just ROCK! Also have some other fun stuff to share too , well heck, Keep on the look out, and tag this blog as one of your favorites, you wont regret it!

10x10 9 pic collage, perfect for baby shots!

Its a good day, so why not do another give away Pay it forward style,
Simple easy to use 10x10 Collage, perfect for those cute baby part shots :)

Link to download:

Trifold Floral brochure

may need some adjusting here and there, make test print at home before sending it off to the printers.
Link for download:
Backside of brochure
Front side of brochure:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pay It Forward 10x10 senior blend

10x10 Senior blend, funky kind of urban style, popular style:
Link for download:

Pay It forward 10x20 black simple storyboard

Heres a simple black version in a zipped file for download:

Pay It forward, simple 10x20 white storyboard 5x7 pic inserts

Simple 10x20 storyboard in layers, easily adjustable and you can customize to your liking :)
Here is link to download you will have to unzip it:

Its free, its true, its PAY IT FORWARD

Its not everyday we see someone making a blog to give stuff away, but heck, it feels pretty good. We just recently recieved something very nice mailed to use from a fellow photographer, and told us to Pay It Forward, so this is a dedication to him and his kind soul, and what better way to Pay It Forward then to anyone who comes across this blog. Most photographers spend loads of money on gear, camera equipment, and other photography related needs. Lets Pay It Forward.
Heres how this blog works:
You can either:
1. create a template, blend, texture, collage, brushes, or some other fun related stuff and email so we can host it on here for you to give away, if you want your name or business associated with it, we will gladly credit you. If you dont want your name and wish to do it anonymously, we can grant that as well.
2. Pay It Forward blogger will be here, and will also make the occasional template, blends, textures, etc etc to pay it forward ;)
3. All we ask is that anything you create is made by YOU and only YOU. This covers the copyright issue of using other sources to make the templates because alas, that is a big no no.
4. After doing it, do a happy dance because you just made a few photographers not only relieved but happy that they will be able to save some time out of their busy schedules, and we all need that right? And it just plain feels great to give stuff away!

Lets Rock and Roll......................

All the best,
The Pay It Forward Blog