Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:13:22 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00) ( )
After months of work, our new digital workshop—Mastering On-Camera Flash—is finally here! I'm so excited about this workshop. Even better, scroll down to find out how to win our entire Digital Workshop Collection! Best of all, we've launched this workshop at the amazing price of only $29 (reg $49) which also includes a $20 gift certificate. See all the details here and don't miss out on this crazy price, good until September 30, 2013.
Let's face it. On-camera flash is hardly anyone's idea of exciting, powerful photography. I can't think of a time that I've run out the door to a photosession, giddy with excitement over using my speedlight on-camera.
That being said, on-camera flash is the one skill that saves the day. Every.Single.Time. It's not a "sexy" thing to know, but it's the one skill that can save a difficult situation. And when you really know what you're doing with on-camera flash, the light from a bare bulb flash can be flattering and even pretty. I'm often amazed at how soft and natural on-camera flash can look.
Here's a case in point. The first image was shot without my flash firing, so you can see that my model was a little dark and shadowy with the background being a little bright. The two images after were taken with the same metering, only with my flash firing. Both images were taken with bare bulb flash pointed straight at my model. You actually get to watch me shoot these images on the workshop supplemental videos.
A more images from the workshop. I love that the workshop doesn't rely on any gadgets or diffusers. Instead, it just focuses on how to use your flash bare-bulb to get the best results. I love that these images were all taken using on-camera flash in a variety of situations.
Don't miss out on this amazing workshop!
Even better, to celebrate this launch, we'll be giving away our entire Digital Workshop Collection which also includes our Mastering On-Camera Flash workshop to one lucky person. To enter, just post a reply to this blog post. If you already own tour Digital Collection or the new workshop, no worries. If you win, we will refund your purchase! We'll announce a winner on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Thursday, September 12, 2013 4:11:50 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00) ( )
Don't miss out! I'm
planning on shooting in a grassy field rimmed with trees and autumn
leaves and hopefully will be able to haul out my red velvet antique couch. The sessions will be held on Sept 21st and Sept 28th going from late afternoon until sunset. You will get proof copy of every image I can take in 25 minutes on disk for printing, plus one completely retouched art print digital file with a corresponding 8x10 physical print of the art file.
This is the best deal that we've run in years for family photos. Call, text or email me (nichole @ nicholeV.com) today to get on my schedule, as we have a very limited number of spots!
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:26:58 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00) ( )
Well, I'm so loving my birthday week! Who knew that turning 40 could be so much fun?
We're still doing the deals and amazing giveaways. Hop over to our Flourish Facebook page and share our post for a chance to win everything in our Flourish shop (over $1100 worth of products!).
And also don't miss out on today's incredible savings! Until 4pm MDT today, we have marked down our Creative Burst Collection to only $40. That is 7 of our most popular sets for the price of 1, a savings of over 85%. So don't miss out!
And in case you missed our blog post here, sign up for our newsletter and get some wonderful new freebies—a free sunflare overlay and 8 darling wallpapers for your phone/tablet/computer. I'm in love with them! I find myself turning my devices on and off, just to see my lock screen, haha.
And everything in our Flourish shop is 40% off for the rest of the week. Just enter
at checkout and an additional 40% will be deducted from your order!
Yay! Thanks so much for celebrating my birthday with me!
Monday, August 26, 2013 5:08:34 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00) ( )
Well, this Friday is my 40th birthday, and seeing how it's my birthday and my birthday week, I decided I'd have some fun! I mean, you only turn 40 once, right? And I figured I could either spend my birthday sad that I'm growing older, or I could throw a virtual online party with giveaways, insane savings and freebies all week. And me being me, why be sad when I can throw a party instead? I'm so appreciative of all of you and your support and friendship. So I decided that this week would be about giving back!
So welcome to Black Friday Week, where we'll have deals and
freebies all week long, all to celebrate my BIG 4-0.
things off, enjoy this coupon code for 40% off you entire Flourish Emporium purchase,
including bundles. Just enter the code
And as a gift from me to you, I have created special new freebies of my favorite things—8 darling wallpapers for your smart phone/tablet/computer
desktop and a free sunflare overlay for
Photoshop or PSE.
Here are sample images of all 8 of the wallpapers. I'm so in love with these. They come from some of my favorite Victorian artists: Kate Greenaway, Walter Crane, and William Morris. Others are just some of my favorite designs (and a chevron background thrown in cause who doesn't love chevron?!).
And everyone knows how much I love me some sunflare. So here is this yummy free sunflare overlay for free too!
To download these freebies, just visit Flourish Emporium and sign up for our newsletter. (The link is at the bottom left of our homepage.) After you sign up, you'll be sent details on how to download your freebies. If you already receive our newsletter, we have already sent you an email with information on how to download these new freebies.
Also, stay tuned to our Facebook page, as we will be doing
daily giveaways and added savings between now and Friday for those who pay
Don't miss out on all the fun! And thanks for celebrating my birthday with me!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 8:35:31 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00) ( )
Alright, so I admit that I'm a blog slacker. I could give excuses . . . . . but anyone who knows my life over the last 8 months or so will certainly understand. To say it's been the most difficult 8 months of my life would be an understatement. Anyway, I'm here, I'm back and I'm starting to get back into the swing of things.
I actually have been ridiculously busy working on two amazing projects. The first has been to
plan and style and prepare for our workshops at the amazing Chateau de Courtomer
outside Paris, France from May 4-11. To say that I'm giddily excited
would be a gross understatement. I feel more like a 2-year-old after
drinking a can of Red Bull on Christmas. I think my bouncy energy is going to drive my family insane. But planning the workshop shooting sessions and
materials has been toooooooooo much fun! I wake up every morning with
the list of things I
have get to do and then feel giddy all over again.
We'll be doing a Lighting Workshop, as well as our new Fine Art Workshop while we are there and all the attendees will be staying with us in the Chateau eating amazing food and soaking in lots of inspiration. Anyone who has attended our workshops, knows the incredible lengths we go to to ensure our attendees have an unforgettable experience and these workshops promise to be the best we've done to date. I've actually been really inspired by this Annie Liebowitz shoot for Vogue and this photo
in particular for ideas and styling for the workshop photosessions, though scroll through the entire gallery. You'll get the
idea, haha. It's been hours of delicious fun trolling ebay and etsy for
all the right styling pieces and putting it all together. Sigh. Oh and
we do still have a little room if you would like to join us. Email me if
My second project has been a complete redesign of my Professional Workshop. We've broken it out into many mini digital workshops that I've then completely revised and at least doubled if not quadrupled the amount of information in each section. We also did new video for the workshops and these mini digital workshops will be available for digital download. So each workshop will include a detailed pdf with review questions and suggestions for practice, as well as several videos visually discussing and demonstrating the information from the workshop. We should be releasing them within the next week, so stay tuned. We're starting with 6 mini workshops with titles like Using Natural Light, Perfecting Composition, Capturing Sunflare, Achieving Perfect Exposure and Secrets to Extraordinary Images. I love how it's all come together and just think, you will be able to read and watch video from our Enhancing Creativity workshop and see how and why I ended up taking this image:
Eeeek!! So much goodness going on! I can't wait!
Sunday, April 15, 2012 8:14:54 PM (Mountain Daylight Time, UTC-06:00) ( )
For this month's Elevate project, I decided to show a little Photoshop work on a recent engagement shoot. The shoot was a LOT Of fun . . . . involving some antique airplanes, vintage suitcases and some wonderful period styling. My editing for both of these images closely followed this YouTube tutorial I did showing one of my fav action recipes (minus the sunflare, obviously, haha).
For this first image, the groom's adorable daughter joined in for some of the images. I loved her cute Shirley Temple outfit and she was great to act bored for a couple frames. So here is the image SOOC:
And here is one of my final edits. I wanted to minimize the distracting background and straighten and center the image a little more.
With this second image, I shot this using an off-camera light. But I didn't want to bother lighting the plane too, so I exposed the background more for the airplane than for the sky. As a consequence, I lost some detail in my sky.
So with my edit, I did a manual merge of two exposures of the original RAW file to bring detail back into the sky.
There are many more images from this shoot that I'm dying to play with, haha, but this will have to do for now. To continue this circle, hop on over to kamee june photography orange county, ca and see what she's done this month!
Sunday, February 12, 2012 9:29:37 PM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00) ( )
Just one for this month's post . . . . . I loved the light in this image and how it captured the folds of her beautiful dress . . .
To continue this blog circle, hop on over and see what Wendy VonSosen | San Francisco Bay Area Photographer has done!
Thursday, February 02, 2012 10:02:22 PM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00) ( )
Alright. It's a new year and time for resolutions and such. So let me start by at least starting on one New Year's Resolution (and yes, I know that it's February, haha): posting more client sessions.
Yes, I do workshops and, yes, I do design and sell actions and such for Photoshop. But I am first and foremost a photographer. I firmly believe in practicing what I preach. So I photograph. A lot. It feels like every other day I'm shooting a family or consulting with a client or traveling to a wedding. But as I was looking through my blog for 2011, it dawned on me that you don't see that. Cause I'm REALLY bad about posting client sessions. And when I don't post them, it looks like I'm not actually busy in the true work of photography. But I am. And I need to be better about showing my client sessions. So I do intend to get caught up, haha. But in the meantime, how's about a little taste of 2011.
So here you have it. One image from every client session I shot in 2011. Just one. Though I really wanted to post more, I limited myself to just one image per session. Realize that for some of these images, they represent an entire day shooting a wedding or hours photographing a large multi-generational family. There are no workshop images here, no photos of my kids, no "creativity" sessions, no commercial shoots (though I did all those too). Those will have to wait for another blog post. These are my actual clients. Ironically, 2011 was not my busiest photographic year, haha. Spending nearly a month in Australia over peak wedding season put a damper on my wedding bookings. But I still hugged repeat clients and made amazing new friends and cried during EVERY "first dance" I photographed (that's why I have such a large camera; it's useful for hiding behind).
So, in no particular order, welcome to my 2011:
Thank you if you've made it this far through the images! I'm so excited for 2012 and can't wait to do the same sort of post next year too!
Sunday, January 29, 2012 8:55:18 PM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00) ( )
So for this month's installment of the lifestyle blog circle I belong to, I thought that I would post a couple snapshots I took of my kids on Laguna Beach a couple weeks ago. It's been an extremely dry but very cold winter here in Utah. It's like the worst combination. Bitterly cold but no snow so the kids can't really sled or do any wintery things and it's waaayyy too cold to do anything else outside. So a week in sunny, summery Laguna Beach was just what I needed. The thermometer in my Jeep read 12 degrees when we left home and then steadily climbed as we drove south, hitting 80 degrees when we reached Anaheim. Ah yes, THAT was heaven. It took the kids all of about 3 minutes to get into the ocean once we arrived in Laguna.
So here are a couple shots. This is actually an iPhone snap of all three kids right after we arrived. Yes, they're still in their "Utah" clothes. They just rolled up their pant legs . . . . well, sorta . . . they pretty much got soaked . . . . . and love me some iPhone sunflare, haha.
This is the next day more properly prepared with a real camera and wet suits . . .
So loved the sunburst reflection at the bottom of the image with this last one . . . uh yeah, I totally meant to do that, haha.
That's just a little taste of our trip. To continue the circle, hop on over and see what has done this month!
Saturday, January 07, 2012 10:18:10 AM (Mountain Standard Time, UTC-07:00) ( )
Well, as some of you know, I've been working on a fabulous new set of flares and sunbursts for Flourish. And it's finally up on the website. I so love this new set! I know it's a good set if I can't seem to stop obsessively using it, haha. This new set includes 22 huge overlays that I've created from actual sunflare, so it's not PS-created sunflare, but the real deal that you're integrating into a photo. This creates extremely believable sunflare. And even better, this set uses our Flourish Palette which allows you to see all the sunflares at once, choose which one you'd like to integrate and then the palette opens, merges and integrates the texture for you, all in just seconds. So fabulous and saves so much time! You can watch a little demo video of this set in action here and see the set here.
And even better, save 20% on your entire Flourish purchase between now and Jan 15. Just enter code
at checkout! And here are a couple before and after images from the set, just to give you a taste of what this set does.
Nichole Van has repeatedly been labeled as a hot, new, up and coming photographer. As a Utah wedding photographer and a Utah
portrait photographer, she specializes in turning everyday life into art. Nichole loves expressing the unique beauty of
every client, creating artistic images that make people gasp when they see them.
As an international award-winning photographer, Nichole won the prestigious International 8x10 Portrait of the Year from
Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) for 2007. Consequently, her international award winning photography
was featured in Rangefinder Magazine in June 2008. She has also taken First, Second and Third place honors from WPPI in other
international competitions for her child and family photography. Additionally, Nichole has received numerous Accolades of
Excellence and currently holds an Accolade of Photographic Mastery from WPPI.
In addition to her love for photography, Nichole loves teaching and enjoyed being English faculty at Brigham Young University
for nearly 10 years. As the best of both worlds, teaching photography to others is her passion. Nichole currently offers
international photography workshops focusing on helping others enhance creativity and artistry in their photos. Combining her
excellence in teaching with her photographic knowledge, Nichole’s Life as Art Workshops are quickly revamping industry standards
for photographic workshops.
Nichole lives in southern Utah County with her husband and three children. You can see her work at www.nicholeV.com.