Melissa Aldrich, Author at Natural Greenville SC Newborn Baby Photographer Quiet GracesNatural Greenville SC Newborn Baby Photographer Quiet Graces

Melissa Aldrich

Greer SC Studio Maternity and Newborn Photography

Greer SC Studio Maternity and Newborn Photography
Meet April and McCall.  This sweet mama came by for both her Greer SC Studio Maternity Newborn Photography needs.
Simpsonville Maternity Photographer

I’m not going to lie: I almost stole McCall.  Those curls and those crystal blue eyes.  Who wouldn’t want to steal him after spending time with him?!

Greenville SC Studio Children's Photographer

He made me laugh so much when he sneezed and I handed him hand sanitizer.  McCall licked it.  I learned to give better instructions and gave him a good cuddle for that mistake!

Studio Childrens Photographer Greer SC

April is stunning.  She’s such a gentle soul.  A speech therapist by trade, I could easily see her patience and perseverance at this maternity session.
Dreamy Maternity Pictures Greenville SC
Everything about her color scheme just screamed serene.

SImpsonville Maternity Photographer

We carried the same color scheme over into her newborn session.  I love how this made both galleries perfectly suited for either an album or a wall collage together.f

Mama and Baby Pictures Greenville SC

Baby Mattie Jane was delicious.  I constantly have to remind myself not to smooch client babies.
Simpsonville Studio Newborn Photos

Her delicate features stole my heart immediately.  Her hands tucked under her cheek!
Newborn Baby sleeping in a Bed Greer SC

This tiny smile in this Piper Romper from Lydia’s Hope Chest was my favorite from this session.
Smiling newborn baby pictures Greenville SC

But a close second is the bottom image below where Mattie Jane moved her foot from the “perfect” pose. I love when they do this and express their personality.

Newborn Photographer Greer SC

April, Mattie Jane and McCall are growing up in a home where they are absolutely adored.  Keep up the good work, mama.  I can already see it’s worth it.
Greenville SC Newborn Photographer

Interested in booking a studio maternity and newborn session with Quiet Graces?  I’d love to help you create a cohesive gallery perfect for an album.  Your first step to booking your session is to contact us.  We’ll send you information about working with us in the studio and help you create the session of your dreams.

 

 

Greer SC Natural Newborn Photos: Baby George

George’s mamas contacted me early on in their pregnancy for Greer SC Natural Newborn Photos.
Greenville SC Natural Newborn Photographer

They had seen my work long before their little miracle was on the way.  Lisa and Martha couldn’t wait to celebrate their precious baby with photos.

Greer SC Natural Newborn Photographer

So we celebrated.  George was an absolute angel for his session. He slept soundly and let me pose him smoothly.

Greenville SC Newborn Photographer Baby Details

In fact, he slept so soundly that I had to wake him at the end of our session because he had yet to open his eyes!

Greenville SC Simple Newborn Photography

Simpsonville SC Smiling Newborn Pictures

In my 7 years as a newborn photographer, I’ve found that I’m often hired to capture an image like this one.  Parents ask if I can make a baby smile and the truth is that I can’t.  I have some tricks up my sleeve and about 60-75% of the time I catch a smile on camera.  But George pretty much smiled in every single pose.  It was delightful!
Newborn Pictures Simpsonville SCSimpsonville SC Natural Newborn Photographer

However, even if I capture the perfect image the client had envisioned when they booked, it’s not typically their favorite image.  The images most loved by parents are the ones that freeze in time tiny meaningful details. The favorites images the show how he liked to sleep in his crib.  Or how she liked to sleep with her hands right next to his face. Or they way he curled up just so on mama’s shoulders.

Greer SC Natural Newborn Photos:

I did force George’s mamas to be in images with him, but I promised not to share them here.  Our babies need to see how much we loved them right from the start and they were so glad that I had made them!

Simpsonville SC Natural Newborn Photos:

George’s mamas loves this image best in both color and black and white.  His little face shown in the beautiful dance of light and shadows.  His hands raised above his head like he likes to sleep in bed.

Greenville Newborn Photographer

What memories do you want to hold in your hand forever?  What tiny detail do you never want to forget? I’d be honored to capture your brand new little love for you in Greer SC Natural Newborn Photos.

Sessions book fast, so contact me today to get your due date on the calendar.

SleekLens Portrait Perfection Photoshop Action Review

Recently SleekLens contacted me about giving their Portrait Perfection Photoshop Actions a try in exchange for a review.  I was intrigued because I’ve never used a set of actions that were not created specifically for newborn photography. So I’ll start with a side by side comparison.

Review of Portrait Perfection on a Studio Newborn Image

SOOC

Here’s a Straight Out of the Camera Action of Sweet Mason.
Normal Edit

This is my normal newborn photography edit.  I typically use a combination of hand edits in Camera RAW, and Erin Tole’s Paint Box, Portraiture, and some skin color correcting actions by Amanda Nicole Photography once an image comes into Photoshop.

Here is a newborn edit using only the Portrait Perfection Photoshop Actions.

SleekLens Portrait Perfection Review

Here’s my recipe:

  • Color Corrections: All applied at 14% with a soft brush
    • Reduce Reds
    • Less Orange Juice
    • Cream Yellow Tone
  • Warmer at 24%
  • Exposure Bright at 9 %
  • Soft Skin glow painted on baby at 40%
  • Fast Retouch
    • Skin Smooth Layer Painted only on Baby at 40%
  • Rose Skin Brush at 18% on cheek and Lips
  • Enhance Tones: Romantic Dance at 40%
  • Toned Vignettes
    • Cream Vignetted masked off baby
  • Resize for Web at 800 pixels
    • Sharpen layer at 15%
    • I used this on all images for the review so websize action was consistent.

Thoughts on my Studio Newborn Image

What I liked:

I really liked the color correction actions.  They worked a little different from the ones I used currently and I felt they dealt with the minor jaundice so well!

I also liked the Rose Skin Brush.  I don’t have anything like this and often I can take too much red from tiny lips and cheeks while color correcting a baby’s skin.  This is such a quick way to add it back in!

I loved that the Warmer/Cooler and Exposure Brighter/Darker layers applied at zero percent so I could turn them on gradually as needed.  Most of my actions for this in the past have applied at too high opacity and I feel like that makes me over apply them on the whole.

What I missed:

There’s no flake remover in her set.  I can frequency separate (a technique I use for babies with lots of acne already), but that seems to be about it for removing the hundreds of little flakes new babies often have and it’s just not my favorite way to do it.

I didn’t like a lot of the toned actions. None of the All in Ones, Bases, or Enhance Tones really spoke to me.  I think that’s partly because I have my own style for newborns already and partly because these actions apply at high opacity instead of a lower opacity and letting me dial up opacity.

 

Review on some Outdoor Images

Since I’m sort of set in my ways on Studio imagery, I thought I would give this a try on an outdoor image.  I really don’t do a lot of outdoor portrait work so I’m more of a blank slate here.  I don’t have a typical edit.

Lighter Back Drop Images

Here’s the Straight out of RAW.  Only adjusted white balance.

soor copy soor2 copy

Here’s my Edit.

just copy Just2 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what I used.

  • Warmer
  • Enhance Tone: Whisper
  • Color Correction Natural
  • Color Correction Reduce Greens
  • Portrait Retouch: Fast Retouch
  • Light Glow Peach (Moveable)
  • From a Candy Store: Dodge and Burn
  • Vignette: Toned Vignette

I kept messing with these after this action set.  Here’s my final edit.

me too copy Me too2 copy

Thoughts on my Outside Images

What I liked

I really enjoyed playing with the light flares. I don’t know how to do that on my own so it was fun to have that added to my arsenal.

Also, I am addicted to From a Candy Store: Dodge and Burn. I have used it over and over and over again on my outside images and a studio images.  It’s a little easier to use for me than the dodge and burn tools in Photoshop

 

Final Thoughts

I think this set is an excellent portrait retouch set for outdoor work.  The skin retouching is perfection for that work.

I also really love the movable light, dodge and burn, vignettes, and versatility of bases.

If you’re looking for a large set of actions to do just about all the beginning to intermediate level Photoshop work, then I would give SleekLens’s Portrait Perfection at try!

 

 

Rainbow Baby Photos in Greenville SC

Meet Giovanna or Gia for short.  This sweet rainbow baby came to me for photos in Greenville SC.

Circle Photo Print Product Greenville SC

A rainbow baby is a little one who came after the storm of loss. The beauty in rainbow babies is how their parents treasure them. The joy these little ones bring is so tangible you feel like you can scoop it from the air like ice cream.

Rainbow Baby Photos in Greenville SC

So, of course, we had to photograph sweet Gia with my rainbow prop.  Gia is just an incredible little person.  Her smile is always ready to light up the room.  I wish I had videoed her sweet singing as she talked to me and her mama Marie.

6 month baby with mommy pictures Greenville SC

Because I believe in telling the whole story rather than just showing a perfect life-business picture, I will confess I made a costly mistake in Gia’s session. We had just returned from vacation and my memory card wasn’t in my camera for half of the session. I had put my cards in my smaller camera to do videos of our trip and not returned it.  I’ve since reprogrammed my camera to not take images if I don’t have a memory card installed!

Rustic Sitting Baby Photos Greenville SC

Marie was extremely gracious and while we proceeded with finishing her original session, she, like me, was upset about the missed shots from when my memory card was missing.  So a week later Marie and Gia came back for a second session so that I could correct my mistake.  I’m so glad we both agreed that this needed to be done.  I’m so honored that Marie gave me the opportunity to make it right.

Sitting Baby Studio Portraits Simpsonville SC

I’m not infallible, but I do want my potential customers to know that I will strive to make my mishaps or mistakes correct.

Baby Portraits Timeless in a studio Greenville SC

While we both loved some images from the first session, our second session images were our favorites.  Like this image of Gia playing with her toes.  It’s so typical of the 6 month age!Baby eating her toes studio Portraits Simpsonville SC

 

I’d love to work with you to create the images you envision to remember your little one by.  I’ve stocked the studio full of timeless wardrobe items (all but this pink dress are mine!) and a few creative props to keep your little one still while also adding to the photo.  And if I make a mistake, know that I will strive to make it right.

Knitted baby dress formal portrait Greenville SC

Interested in booking a milestone session for your little one?  Contact me today.

Zac: Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Meet Zac.What is it like to have a child with Down Syndrome?

This 22 year old young man loves watching typical boy movies such as The Fast and the FuriousRocky, and The Avengers.  He can play them non stop for long periods of time just enjoying the plot lines.

Young Man with Down syndrome

When he’s not watching his favorite films, Zac is hanging out with his amazing girlfriend Kelly.  They like to go on lunch dates, bowling, and out to play putt-putt.  They also spend lots of time enjoying each other’s company through Facetime.

Picture of people with Down Syndrome Holding Hands

Zac’s tender and empathetic heart is toldly sold out for Jesus.  He loves being at church and hugging everyone present.  Worship music makes him come alive.  His mama often finds him praying and while she can’t always understand his prayers, she knows that the Lord does.

Should I abort my baby with Down Syndrome?

Zac’s smile and tender heart proves what his mama would most like to tell a mother expecting a child with Down syndrome.

That there will be times when things are hard but that just makes every milestone that much more special. They give so much more than they take.

They give so much more than they take.

Family with a Child With Down Syndrome

Zac, thank you for giving some of your time to let me get to know you.  Your laughter and joy made my cheeks hurt from smiling.