Monday, September 13, 2010

Removing Berry Stains: With Photoshop AND in the Laundry! (Photography Tips}

Sweet Abigail came along with her mommy and brother to my son Stephen's 6th birthday party. While she was sitting in her car seat waiting for mommy to pack up, I took the opportunity to snap a few pics. I didn't know then that these shots would make the perfect introduction for today's blog post. You'll see why shortly. For now, just take a look at this Berry Cute Baby Girl!

And here's my very own cute little girl - albeit a little messy.

What's that all over her face, you ask? Blackberries. We love berries at our house. They are a nutritional power-house, and those of you who know me best, know I'm just a little passionate about good nutrition.

Sure, berries taste great, but what do you do when they end up all over your clothes like this?

Lucky for us there is a very green (i.e environmentally friendly) and inexpensive (i.e. free) laundry solution. My mom's best friend's sister-in-law shared this 3 step tip that works EVERY time:

Step One: Boil a kettle of water. (While you are at it, you might as well boil enough to enjoy a cup of hot tea. Give my daughter's favorite herbal tea a try: Celestial Seasonings Strawberry.)

Step Two: Pour the hot water into a large container and soak your berry stained garment in the boiling hot water. It doesn't take long. Usually a few minutes is long enough.

Step Three: Carefully remove your garment from the hot water and hang to dry.

If you thought hot water would set a stain, it isn't true for berries. You don't even need soap. Take a look! Taddah! My Alden is free to be Belle once again.

But, what if you are a client of mine and you are on your way to your photo session and your daughter spills what you thought was water (but is really grape juice) onto her brand new dress? There's no time to change. You didn't bring an extra outfit. What do you do?

Fortunately, you do not have to panic.

One of the perks of hiring a professional to take your pictures is that they have experience using Photoshop and can easily remove that grape juice stain from your images. Suddenly your juice disaster in the car isn't the emergency you once thought it was. With basic knowledge of their editing software, your photographer can "erase" those spots in no time.

Spot removal is almost as easy as boiling a kettle of hot water. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as cheap. (Have you seen the price of Photoshop?) Retouch jobs can be very time-consuming, so I'm obviously not advocating coming to your session in dirty clothes. It just helps to know that you don't have to arrive "perfect" to end up with a perfect product.

By the way, did you know that I now perform minor face-lifts and liposuction? No, really. Chin tucks and tummy tucks are performed in our digital dark room quite frequently. Think you might be interested? Just ask!

Now for something special for all my photog friends out there. Do you have Photoshop at home? Are you looking to learn a few tricks of your own, so you can do the same with your images? Well, today is your lucky day. I've got a very special gift for all of you.

Here are three links to some easy tutorials so you can learn how to remove berry stains (and other distractions) from your own images.


1. The Patch Tool
2. The Clone Tool
3. The Healing Brush Tool

Have fun! Eat lots of berries, and don't cry over spilled anything. I (and now you) can handle it!

Happy Monday!

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