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Sunday, June 13, 2010

{ be back soon } photo shares

good afternoon!  i didn't want you to think i completely fell off the earth!  i only moved one state over.. but, boy has it been a transition.  you should ask my friends.. their e-mails are going unanswered for longer than i would hope.  we're still not settled into a new home so, we're sort of here and there at the moment.  also, i don't know what direction i'd like this site to go.  i was so happy to share my actions with you and will continue to do so.  what i'm not sure about is the shares from other photographers/vendors.  i have zero interest in approaching people to ask them to give things away.  i feel like i'm cold-calling people in a salesman type manner and, i don't enjoy that at all.  i am not getting any money (except for the very kind donation that i received today.  wow, that made my day!  it was unexpected.. thank you very much!  you are so very kind!) from doing this, it was just something to do to give back after "taking" so much from other photographers over the years (mostly on ILP).  i have taken all ads off of the site because i want this just be what it is... a free share site.  i don't like it when people assume that i'm advertising my photo business through this site or they think i'm sharing links to my site for monetary gain.  i don't advertise in my own town (i only take a few photo shoots a month while my girls are at home with me.  i'd be pulling my hair out if i tried to run a full time business and raise a 2 and 4 year old!!  ya know?) and, i certainly have no interest in advertising online.  so, ads are removed... it's just me and, my shares for now.  we'll see if it takes a different turn in the future.  in the meantime, thanks for listening and thanks for stopping by.  i hope to return soon with some sort of share for you!  i'll leave an open call and let people come to me (haha).. if you want to give something away, write me an e-mail, i'd be happy to host a giveaway!

have a great day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

{ my apologies } template share site

hello!!!  i'm so sorry that I haven't posted this week.  we just put our house on the market and, we've had an amazing 11 showings in 6 days.  we've been sent out of our house morning, day and night!  once this settles down a bit, i'm hoping to have some great tutorials, shares and giveaways for you next week!  hold tight... i'll be back soon!  i hope the house sells fast for us.. then we can move and settle in at the beach!

Friday, March 12, 2010

{ Nichole Van WINNER!!! } Photography Giveaways

Good Morning everyone!  It's early.. and, i'm up so, I thought i'd announce the winner.  I guess it pays to be early... the winner of this giveaway was seriously.... actually.... really #1!!

ha!  The winner is:

{ jeanine }


congratulations, jeanine!  write me at to get info on how to claim the $50 gift certificate from Nichole Van!  and, while i have you.. a pic of my little ones having a bit of fun!  have a great day!

Happy Friday!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

{ Nichole Van : Action GIVEAWAY!!! } Photography Actions Presets Brushes

Good Morning!  Is the weather beautiful where you are??  It is here, and it's making me smile!!!  I welcome you, spring weather!!  It's not only the weather that is making me smile this morning... we have an amazing giveaway today.  Nichole Van of Flourish: An Empoirum for Photographers is giving away $50 (!!!!) to spend in her shop!  WOW!  I'm jealous that I can't enter in my own contest.. haha!  She is an amazing photographer and teacher.  Check out her blog to see what i mean. 

Right now, i'm loving her ethereal actions and textures.. check out a sample below:

... dreamy, huh?  love that veiled vintage + texture.. ahhh....

SO, here are the details on how to win!

To enter:

1.  Go visit the Nichole Van Flourish website.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me what you'd purchase if you won the $50 giveaway!

2.  Become her fan on Facebook 
(while you are there, why not become a fan of Erin Leigh so you can keep up with giveaways and get notification of the WINNERS!!)

3.  Twitter about the giveaway OR, post something about it on your Facebook page

* max of 3 entries per person *

(Important: I will select the winner via Random so, you MUST leave a comment for each thing you do to increase your chances of winning)

The contest runs until Thursday, March 11th (very, very late at night) and the winners will be selected and posted on Friday, March 12th :)  Thanks for visiting Erin Leigh Shares!

Friday, March 5, 2010

{ q & a : Gina Miller Photography } photographer q&a

Today, we welcome Gina Miller of Gina Miller Photography!  I came across her work one day after visiting the Design Aglow blog.  She had made these incredible gifts for her clients... awe inspiring, time consuming, thoughtful gifts.  check them out HERE.  well, after looking over these beauties for a while, i began looking at her entire site and blog... wow!  she's incredible!  She captures emotion that you typically catch every once in a while.. she manages to find and *snap* it in every session.  It's wonderful and, beautiful.. and, inspiring.  To learn more about Gina Miller {in her own words}... read on...

{ q & a }

How long have you loved taking photos?  Is it a love you've had since you were little or something that you've learned to love over time?

I have always loved taking photos. I have albums and albums and shoe boxes full of photos that I took in high school and college. But it wasn't until I had my daughter that I became obsessed with remembering every little thing, and I'm glad I did! They grow fast (she turned 7 yesterday!!)


What is your favorite lens?

I equally love my 85mm 1.2 and my 24mm 1.4 ... they are two very different lenses, and i love the look and feel you can get from both.


I love how you share personal stories on your blog.  Have you always done this?  Or, has it grown over time as you've created relationships with your clients?

I have always done this ... I think most clients that come to me feel like they know my kids! 


Is it hard balancing life as a full-time mom and, a photographer?

It's very hard running a business and being a parent! I feel like it's especially hard running your business from your home. My work is always staring me in my face, if I walk by the computer, it's very tempting to check email or work on "just one thing" ..... one day, I hope to have my work area out of my home.  But for now, it works, and I am very fortunate that I've been able to have a flexible schedule with my kids. I'm here most days when the kids get off the bus, and my son is here with me several days during the week still! This was a goal of mine from the moment they arrived, and I've made it work. However, I often work after they go to bed, so there are some late nights involved.  But it is all worth it in my eyes.  

Without knowing you, it appears that every child on your blog is your own!  You capture them in a way so their spirit shines through.. like you've known them for a very long time.  How are you able to "know" your little clients in such a short period of time?

I try to communicate with them as I do with my own kids. You have to feel  a little person out ... if they're shy, you can't be too aggressive.  If they're wild, you can't make them sit and get angry if they don't! I just play them out and if need be, have mom or dad interact.  Also, I have lots of repeat clients. So, many of the little ones have gotten used to seeing me, and they are excited to tell me what they've been up to, show me things, etc.


I must ask --- have you always had a thing for ladybugs?  I love the way you've incorporated them into your site in such a playful way!

I have not! But I like how it turned out. I decided I wanted to re-brand : new logo, new feel. I'm very fortunate that my best friend is a fantastic graphic designer, and I often think we have the same brain waves ... we got together and I gave her some ideas. I mentioned a ladybug. I had no clue how it would turn out, I remembered a photo I had taken of my daughter when she was about 2 holding a ladybug, it's always been one of my favorites and it was one of my signature photos when I first started GMP.  So after we looked at a few designs she put together, that one stood out the most. It's so cool to see how the website and blog designer took it and animated it.  I love it!


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years, I would love to have expanded my client base, and I would love to have a studio or work area outside of my home!! I am interested in possibly getting into commercial work, but it is something that i have yet to pursue.  Also, some employees would be great ... :)  


well, after reading those answers, i fell just a little bit more in love with Gina Miller... how about you?
thank you so much for stopping by!  while you are here.. why not click this link and become a fan of Gina on facebook!

{ Melissa Davis Design WINNER!!! } Photography Templates, Cards, Announcements

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!!!  It was great watching the comments roll in.  I know Melissa appreciated all the new fans over on Facebook... she's almost up to 1,000!  And, she deserves it!  Her work is fantastic.  I just bought her 10x10 Family Album (yesterday) and, am so impressed!  I can't wait to make one :)  OH!!!  Let me stop rambling and get on with announcing the winner!!  The winner is.....

{ lacey } 

of Lacey Reimann Photography... go check out her blog.. her work is lovely!

Congrats Lacey!  Please write me at to claim your $30 gc to Melissa Davis Designs.  Hope you are able to do something wonderful with your purchases!

And, here is the lovely Random stamp... 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!  Come back to visit us soon!  We have a Q&A planned in the next few days and a giveaway with NICHOLE VAN!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

{ Melissa Davis Designs GIVEAWAY!! } Photography Cards, Albums, Templates

Good Afternoon everyone!  We have a FABULOUS giveaway today!!!  Melissa Davis is an amazing designer... she has some of the most beautiful templates on her site.  Everything from baby announcements to album templates.  She just released her new mini-accordian albums and they are fantastic!  Here are two examples of the mini 3x3 albums:

{ images copyright of Melissa Davis Designs - used with her permission }

Are we excited yet??  I am!!!  So... here are the details on the giveaway: 

Melissa Davis is {graciously} giving away $30 to be spent at her site... however you'd like!
If you win, you could snag one of the new mini-albums, a wedding template, or a storyboard pack!

To enter:

1.  Go visit the Melissa Davis Designs website.  Come back here and leave a comment telling me what you'd purchase if you won the $30 giveaway!

2.  Follow @MelissaDdesigns on twitter or become her fan on Facebook 
(while you are there, why not become a fan of Erin Leigh so you can keep up with giveaways and get notification of the WINNERS!!)

3.  Twitter about the giveaway OR, post something about it on your Facebook page

* max of 3 entries per person *

(Important: I will select the winner via Random so, you MUST leave a comment for each thing you do to increase your chances of winning)

The contest runs until Thursday, March 4th (in the wee hours of the night) and the winners will be selected and posted on Friday, March 5th :)  Best of luck!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

{ do you want your color to POP?? } Photography Tutorial and Action

i tend to use more muted colors in my images but, there is always the occasion that you want things to pop!  you can tell before you see the image.. it has these rich hues just hiding in the shadows.  this mini tutorial and action will help you to achieve "that" look... enjoy!

select an image you'd like to use.. like this one -- you can tell ahead of time her eyes will pop and those warm hues in her hair and the hardwood floor with shine....

{ before }


so, the basics on this action are as follows: 
  • curves layer to brighten
  • selective color - select blacks - move black channel to +2
  • duplicate layer, set to soft light, opacity at 45-50%
  • duplicate layer, set to hard light, opacity at 45-50%
  • duplicate layer, set to multiply.  before flattening, erase back center of photo & skin
without having to do that every time, i have created an action for you.  hit play, let it run through.. at the last step, it should select "eraser" for you and, make sure you erase away the multiply layer.  otherwise, you'll get a very dark, muddy image.  it'll look like this, before you erase:

{ screen shot in PS, before erasing multiply layer }


and, after erasing, the final image will look like this...

And, here is a PS action of all the above steps.... 

to download { Erin's Color Pop } click HERE 


Thursday, February 25, 2010

{ Tip of the Day - Are you underexposing your photos?? } Photography Tips and Tutorials

{Tip of the Day}  This tip changed the way I exposed my photographs from the moment that I learned it.  So, pay attention... it's a super simple concept but, it took me a while to learn that I was thinking about it all wrong.  I used to try to expose my photos so that the line on my light meter lined up right in the center.  It's how i'd always taken pictures!  When I used to take pics with my old-school Pentax film camera, i made sure my light meter was centered and then took the shot.  I thought that was the "right" way.  I would post photos over at ILP and everyone kept saying that my pictures were underexposed.  Ugh!  It was so frustrating!  I felt that I was doing everything right.  Well, at one point someone let me know that you have to expose 2-stops to the right.. simply put, let the little mark line up with the notch 2 lines to the right of the center (this is especially true w/ Canons.. or, so i've been told).  I would have thought this would have blown my whites or overexposed the picture.... nope!  not true!  I've never gone back.  This tip has nothing to do with HOW you meter, etc... it's just a simple tip worth trying out.  Maybe you realized this a long time ago.. but, if you are underexposing your images and making the same mistake I was.. give this a try!  It doesn't hurt... you can't do it wrong.  If it doesn't work for you, don't do it again - if it does... keep doing it!  enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

{ Design Aglow giveaway WINNERS!! } awesome template winners

{ UPDATE: I failed to hear from one of the winners even after attempting to get in touch with her so, I have changed the list of winners!  Please look at the list to see if your name is there :)  Write me an e-mail at the address listed below and as soon as I hear from you, i'll send your info to Design Aglow.  She sent the template to the other winners on the same day, so you should get it soon!!  Thanks! }

good morning! so, i guess i should have been more clear on how to enter the contest! haha. next time, i'll leave better instruction.  basically, if you did any of the 3 things you should have left a new comment for each thing you did. this would increase you chances of winning since i found my winners using RANDOM.  i was able to easily fix the problem... for each person that did some of the extra things and didn't post a new comment, well.. i just wrote up a new comment list and posted a new order containing the extra posts for each person and then went over to random and found my winners!  phew.  easy, right?  haha!  so, anyways.. here are the winners of the contest.

1. karma_learning
2. tccba (christine)
3. susan m

write me an e-mail at within 2 days so that i can get your contact info to give to the people over at design aglow.  if i don't hear from you, i'll pick a new winner on friday morning.  hope to hear from you soon!

and, who wants to post something w/o a photo!!!  here are some pics of the { 4 feet } of snow we got 2 weeks ago that has failed to melt!  i already posted them over on my photo blog but, wanted to share some here :)  enjoy.. it's a LOT of snow!

my favorite...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

{ Lil' Sprout Greetings - $5 Off Discount Code } lovely custom photo cards

Have you visited Lil' Sprout Greetings lately?  I've used them for my Christmas Cards over the years and, they have not disappointed.  EVERYONE that receives our cards raves about the high-quality paper and wonderful designs.  I upload my photos and she does the rest.  They are on a very nice matte paper that has substance!  Not those flimsy little cards you find at the local discount store. 

If you haven't been to her site yet, go check them out by clicking HERE!

To get $5 off ANY purchase at Lil' Sprout Greetings, enter code ELP5 at checkout!  Fantastic!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

{ Design Aglow GIVEAWAY!! } design template giveaway

Ok people, get ready!!  Here it is... The very first giveaway on ELP Shares!  How exciting!  I know I'm excited.  i'm not just excited about the fact that i'm giving something away... i'm exciting about WHAT i'm giving away!  Three lucky winners will get this brand new template from Design Aglow.  it's based on their best-selling "Sweet 16 Circles" template and, it's called, "Sweet 16 Fleur".... get ready to drool.  ready?

drool......  ahh... isn't it lovely?

All the template details are listed when you click { HERE }

Now, how do we win this lovely template???  You have 3 chances to win.

1.  Leave a comment on this blog telling me how excited you are to win!

2.  Become a Fan of ELP on Facebook to keep up with our giveaways, etc by clicking HERE
While you are logged in.. become a fan of Design Aglow by clicking HERE

3.  Post about this contest on YOUR blog or facebook page

Make sure you leave a comment to let me know you've done those things.  You'll be entered for each (max 3) comments you leave.

The contest runs until Tuesday, February 23rd.  The (3) Winners will be announced on Wednesday, February 24th!!  Tell your friends.... you don't want to miss out on this giveaway! 

{ TOFURIOUS } awesome blog theme

 so..... i'm sure we all know what Tofurious is by now.  we do, right?  we know it.. we love it.  i sure do.  if you go check out my blogsite, you'll see that my template was designed by the one and only Lawrence Chan.  he's the best!  he is so helpful.... sooooooo helpful.  he makes these great tutorial videos explaining everything from SEO information to "how-to's" for his template set ups.  what's not to love.  well, he's giving away one of his templates on my site after WPPI has ended.  it'll be new... fresh.. clean.  i can't wait to share something of his with you.  come back after WPPI to see what's in store for you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

{ B&W Tutorial.. and the action! } Action Freebie

When I was first learning how to process images in Photoshop,  I used a lot of actions.  The results sucked were not the best.  I didn't know how to use them correctly and I used them on the wrong images.  After stumbling upon i love photography, I learned how to edit images just by reading how other photographers did things.  Granted, they probably weren't working in the dark ages.. aka, PS 6.0 (haha!  do you have $699 to give me to upgrade??) but, i learned to interpret what they were doing and then work with what i've got.  Sooo... the best thing I took away from those early years on ILP was the B&W action that I created after reading how 5+ other photographers created theirs.  It's simple. easy. clean... and, it hasn't "done me wrong" over the years.  The action is completely customizable.. so, i will share a little tutorial and then give you the link to download it for yourselves.  Please.. enjoy.. and, i'm trying to spread the word that i'm back in "action".. so, share my site with your friends!  Go ahead.. you know you want to!!

Disclaimer:  I can't say what CS4 will look like in comparison to my 6.0 but.. hey.. you get the idea!  Don't laugh at me.. even if you want to.  Ok, go ahead. 

Without further ado...

Open the image you'd like to work with


Then, open my action and hit play :)  What goes on behind the scenes is basic. It's 3 layers..  a gray scale gradient map, a color balance layer with the color levels at +11, 0, -5 (to make it slightly sepia toned), and then a selective color layer which is where you end up at the photo below.  When this pops up, just hit OK
first, i must say.. you don't have to do ANY of the following steps if you like what the image looks like.  I have already played with the blacks, whites and neutrals for you but, like i said.. you have the ability to play around.  On many images I find it's perfect.. on others, i have to tweak things a bit.  So, here is how you do that.
you should select BLACKS and ONLY move the black slider.  Play around.. each image is different so, on some you'll want to go darker, on others you'll want to lighten up.  I chose +6 for this image.

then, select NEUTRALS and once again, only move the BLACK slider.  For this image, I selected -4.


Then, last.. you'll want to select WHITES and move only the BLACK slider.  For this image, I selected -4.


 Then.. wa-la!  You are done.  Just flatten your layers and, this is the final result: 

Ok!  There ya go!  Have fun!  Enjoy the share!

Download HERE

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

{We're BACK!} Photoshop Action Share

Hello!  Hello!  Hello!  To my 7 loyal followers, I am back :)  Sorry I was gone for so long but, we are in the process of relocating to the Delaware Beaches!  It was a busy holiday season for my photography business and, with the preparations.. well, you understand.  Either way, I am back to share an action I created for you.  Please enjoy!  It's not for every photo out there.. but, it looks quite nice on the "right" photo.  Feel free to decide what photo is right for you... and, have some fun!

Please come back in the next few days.. I'm working on getting a nice giveaway for you!!

Here are some samples using the action... and, the download link is below:




and, one of my wedding photos.. literally, i mean MY wedding :)  it's me!: 



and, i'm considering sharing the only action i use for my b&w's.. i created it a while back... hmmm.... would you like it? leave a comment if you are interested :)



And, last but not least.. you can download the action HERE 
I hope you have a lovely evening!