More Eyeshadow Palettes I’m Loving

About three months ago, I made a blog post about “My 5 Must-Have Eyeshadow Palettes (Cruelty Free)” and I’ve received a lot of requests to do a follow up about more eyeshadow palettes I recommend. I’ve waited to post this blog because Christmas time is when the limited edition ones come out! Here are a few more palettes I would highly recommend you add to your collection.

 

Tarte Treasure Box, $59.00 ($433.00 Value) (Limited Edition)

Tarte is always my go-to place for Holiday sets (mainly for the blushes), and this one is no different. This set has everything you need in one place—a 24-piece eyeshadow palette, warm and cool-toned blushes, two universal bronzers, and a pearlescent highlighter. In the storage compartment, you’ll find a full-size Sex Kitten Eyeliner, and travel-sizes of the Light, Camera, Lashes mascara and Tarteist Lip Paint. Available at Sephora.

holiday-2017_sephora-rouge-eyes_006_promo

 

Jaclyn Hill Morphe Palette, $38.00

I know that there are controversies surrounding Morphe (possible private labeling, shedding brushes, Morphe codes, etc) but I had never tried anything Morphe until this palette. I held off getting this palette for about 6 months because I am not a huge fan of Jaclyn Hill. This is the only Morphe product I own, so I am solely judging the palette – and I think it is great! I love warm-toned shadows and this palette is full of them, along with pops of color and nice shimmers. The shadows are buttery, pigmented, and blend out very well. This is a great one to travel with as well! Available at Ulta.

06-4

 

 

Tarteist™ Pro Amazonian Clay Palette, $53.00

This palette has been a favorite of mine lately. It’s loaded with 16 long-wearing matte eyes shades that are infused with Amazonian clay (hence the name) for smooth blending—plus, four brand-new duo chrome shades that are to die for. The matte shadows are so buttery, pigmented, and universal. This one is for sure a must-have for me! Available at Sephora and Ulta.

IMG_20161021_131851343-01.jpeg

 

 

Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette, $48.00

The Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette is specially designed for eye contouring- a technique once used only by beauty experts to define and enhance eyes. This palette features contouring shades, arranged into three color quads- neutral, cool, and warm- to flatter every skin tone. If you have other Kat Von D products, you know she always hits it on the nail with the pigment – this palette is no different. This is the perfect palette for “no makeup- makeup” days, and also for traveling!

kat von d shade and light eye palette

 

This post was an update to my “My 5 Must-Have Eyeshadow Palettes (Cruelty Free)” blog post, and I’ll continue to update as I discover more awesome palettes. What are your must-have palettes?

 

 

What to Include In Your Wedding Contract ♥

 Having a wedding contract is VERY important. I’ve talked about contracts before in previous blogs, but on this blog, I’m going to go in depth and use my wedding contract as an example.

 A link to my personal wedding contract can be found here.  You obviously don’t have to copy this word for word or in this particular order. This is simply a guide to help you have all the rules of your service laid out for your clients. 

 A contact section is essential. This is the very first thing I include on both my wedding contract, as well as my photoshoot contract (I have separate contracts for both). I ask for the both of the client’s name, their current address and the address they will be at after the wedding, cell phone number, and email. Other things included in this section are all the details of the wedding, where the Ceremony and Reception will be located, along with the phone number/email for the locations (if applicable). I also ask for an additional contact who can be reached on the day of the wedding if the Bride of Groom are unavailable. (Can be a Bridesmaid/Best Man, or the parents of the Bride and Groom.)

At the last section on the front page, I have a section where the cost of the shoot is labeled in bold, and requires an initial at the top of the next page. This section also shows the deposit price to hold the spot for the wedding.

The next section is completely optional. I include a questionnaire so I can get an understanding of the client’s expectations of the shoot, and what they want the photos to look like.I have add-on packages included that they can add which come with props for the photos (a photobooth). Any specific questions can be asked in this section (What would you like me to wear? Would you like to take photos before or after the ceremony? etc). You can view the questions I ask in the contract.

The next three pages are very importan. This is where I keep all my rules and guidelines – my copyright laws, model release, limit of liability, and all my safety guidelines. Any expectations you expect for the client NEED to go in here, and as you have more photoshoots under your belt, keep your contract updated with new things you think of. I’ll post the link again here so you can see my contract and all the information.

The first page, questionnaire, and the last page are kept by me (the photographer). Anything with a signature needs to be kept by you. The client keeps the rules/guidelines pages. If the client would like a full copy of the pages I keep, I will of course provide it to them. But make sure you keep a copy of the signatures.

 

My photoshoot contract and wedding contracts are different. I posted my photography contract in a separate blog post – you can find it right here. Let me know your thoughts and if there is anything else you include in your contracts down below!

Re-editing My Old Photos

I started my photography journey over a year ago. My first DSLR was the Nikon D3300, a very well known beginner’s Nikon camera, along with the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens. I purchased a beginner’s kit from eBay that came with the DSLR camera, kit lens, a battery and charger, an SD card, and a (terrible quality) tripod.

Since then, I’ve upgraded all my gear and have seen my work improve immensely. I decided it would be a cool blog post to go back and re-edit a photo from my first shoot. 

 

Original Image:PhotoDec02,11327AM_preview.jpegRe-edited Image:PhotoDec02,11306AM_preview.jpeg

When I first started photography, I thought over-saturating the colors was the best look. I thought bright colors were more appealing, but since then, I’ve preferred a more toned down and sharp image. This is my current style of editing, which is always evolving. This was my first photoshoot with my brand new Nikon D3300.

As I’ve learned more about photography and gained more experience, my photography has improved tremendously. Going back to re-edit old photos is a great way to improve your photography! Let me know how your photography has improved down below!

What to Include in Your Photography Contract

Having a photography contract is VERY important. I’ve talked about photography contracts before in previous blogs, but on this blog, I’m going to go in depth and use my photoshoot contract as an example. 

A link to my personal photoshoot contract can be found here. You obviously don’t have to copy this word for word or in this particular order. This is simply a guide to help you have all the rules of your service laid out for your clients.

 

  • A contact section is essential. This is the very first thing I include on both my photoshoot contract, as well as my wedding contract (I have separate contracts for both). I ask for the client’s name, address, cell phone number, and email.

 

  • Underneath the contact section, I leave all the details of the shoot. Specify where the shoot is located, when, and if you choose to offer different packages, which package they have chosen. This is important to specify for liability issues.

 

  • As the last section on the front page, I have a section where the cost of the shoot is labeled in bold, and requires a signature underneath. This insures that the client is aware of the price of the shoot + any add-ons, and will pay upon completion. This also includes a section for a parent to sign if the client is under the age of 18.

 

  • The next section is completely optional. I include a questionnaire so I can get an understanding of the client’s expectations of the shoot, and what they want the photos to look like. If any props are wanted by a client, (such as chalkboards, balloons, smoke bombs, etc) they can request them in the questionnaire.

 

  • The next page is another very important one. This page is where I keep all my rules and guidelines. This is where I put my copyright laws, model release, limit of liability, and all my safety guidelines. Any expectations you expect for the client NEED to go in here, and as you have more photoshoots under your belt, keep your contract updated with new things you think of. I’ll put another link here so you can see my contract and all the information.

 

  • After this is the final page, where I basically summarize everything they have just read. This little list changes frequently as well. At the very bottom is another place for them to sign. I have them sign twice so they can acknowledge/sign for the rules after the payment section, as well as the rules and guidelines separately.

 

  • The first page, questionnaire, and the last page are kept by me (the photographer). Anything with a signature needs to be kept by you. The client keeps the rules/guidelines pages. If the client would like a full copy of the pages I keep, I will of course provide it to them. But make sure you keep a copy of the signatures.

 

My photoshoot contract and wedding contracts are different. I’ll do a separate blog post about my wedding contract. Let me know your thoughts and if there is anything else you include in your contracts down below!

 

Preparing for a Photoshoot + My Essential Gear

Preparing for my first photoshoot was a very intimidating process for me. I was scared I wouldn’t look as professional as other photographers, or that I would forget something super important (like my DSLR battery). After doing a TON of research, and experiencing lots of photoshoots, I’ve got some tips on how to prepare and make the situation less stressful for any beginner photographers/photographers still learning. 

 

  • The very first thing you need, and one of the most important, is a contract. For reference, a link to my photoshoot contract can be found here. This is very important because it shows all your guidelines, as well as holding the client liable for any money they signed to pay after the shoot. I include a questionnaire to get to know what style the client is looking for. This is completely optional.

 

  • When trying to get ideas for a shoot I’m doing (shoots that are collaborations and not client-based) I usually base a shoot behind particular outfits or song lyrics. Take inspiration from things you are passionate about. I get most of my shoot inspiration from lyrics.

 

  • Have your gear packed and ready to go at all times. I keep my Nikon D5500, my Nikon AF-S DX VR ZOOM-NIKKOR ED 55-200mm F4-5.6G, and my Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8g in my bag at ALL times. Along with that gear, I keep 3 sd cards, an extra DSLR battery, a slave flash, and my portable ring light. Having spare batteries and sd cards is essential in case of disaster.

 

  • And lastly, I keep a check off list before I leave for each shoot. On the list, I have to check off that I have gathered all my gear, brought any of the props assigned for the shoot, and I am dressed for the weather conditions of the shoot.

 

(This list will be updated as I progress into more shoots and adjust my preparations.)

 

 

 

All About Lightroom Presets + My Favorites

Lightroom is one of the most popular options for photo editing, and with good reason.  One of those features that allows for lots efficiency and time saving is the use of presets, particularly in the develop module.With the help of presets you can apply the same effects to photos over and over again, and you can apply them to a large number of photos all at once.

 Lightroom comes with a few presets already installed. You can download free presets, purchase professional presets, or create your own as well. One the best things about Lightroom presets is that they are flexible. You can apply a preset and then make adjustments to those settings to suit the needs of your photo. Contrary to what some people think, Lightroom presets are not cheating. They help you adjust the tones and other settings to find the direction you want to take the photo. 80% of the time, you will still have to adjust the settings even after setting the preset.

Now that we’ve talked about presets, I’ve got a whole list of some of my favorite websites for free presets. Some presets I have purchased, and I listed my favorite preset I’ve purchased. 

 

BeArt offers several free presets, templates, Photoshop actions, and more! This website is better for those on a budget who would like to receive a big bundle for a discounted price.

 

Shutter Pulse offers free presets, as well Photoshop actions. These are awesome in particular situations, but I don’t use them all that often. If you like your photos to have a vibrant, colorful look, these presets will work great for you.

 

Sleek Lens offers several free presets, as well as Lightroom brushes, Photoshop overlays, and templates. This is a great website for growing your preset collection, but is more expensive then presets you can buy on other websites.

 

Rustic Wedding Preset Bundle by Envato Elements ($18). This is my favorite preset pack. I love the warm, rustic look, and the dark green trees. You get 50 presets for $18 (That’s $0.36 per preset). These presets are versatile, and are very professional quality. I highly recommend these to anyone who is looking to shoot weddings and looking for the rustic look.

 

 I’ll update this list as I try out more presets, but for now, these are the ones I recommend for any beginners/intermediate photographers. Let me know your favorite presets down below!

 

 

 

My Favorite Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands

In the world of cosmetics, we have SO many brands to choose from. When I purchase makeup or receive it in PR, it is a necessity for me to use cruelty-free. I strongly believe that there is NO reason to test cosmetics on animals. Below are the three certified cruelty-free logos to look for when buying cruelty-free makeup.

certified-cruelty-free-logos

  Here’s a list of some cruelty-free brands, separated by mid -high end and drugstore.. (I will do a separate blog post for vegan cosmetic brands.)

 

 Mid -High End Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands:

 Urban Decay, Too Faced, Tarte, Bare Minerals, Buxom, IT Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverly Hills, TheBalm, Bite, Becca, Cover FX, Hourglass, Pur Minerals, Smashbox, OFRA, Jeffree Star, Lime Crime, Dose of Colours, Sigma, Lorac, Ben Nye, Beauty Blender, KKW, Kylie Cosmetics, Glossier, & Coloured Raine.

 

Drugstore Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands:

  E.l.f, Milani, NYX, bh Cosmetics, Physician’s Formula, Pixi, Wet n’ Wild, Colourpop, Jordana, Essence, L.A. Girl, Hard Candy, Flower, Sonia Cashuk, Ardell, Real Techniques, Catrice, Eco Tools,  & Makeup Geek.

 

All of my favorite makeup products come from these cruelty free brands. I am so thankful that Anastasia, Tarte, and Urban Decay are cruelty free, or else I wouldn’t have any of my favorite makeup products.

Earlier this year, NARS made the decision to leave the cruelty-free list. I absolutely love NARS products and I intend on finishing the bottles of foundation I have already purchased and used. But after that, I won’t be repurchasing any NARS products.

  I’ll update this list as more are added. Let me know in the comments if I missed any of your favorites. There are so many options out there in the cruelty-free cosmetic world, and you’re saving precious animals when you try them out! 

3 Mistakes I made as a Beginning Photographer

Entering the world of photography can be very intimidating. I felt like I was entering a cutthroat competition for the best pictures constantly. But I’ve learned it only feels that way if you make it that way. I’ve got a list of some mistakes I made early on that I have fixed, and have improved my photography tremendously.

 

1. Not raising my exposure

This might seem common sense to most, but to me, raising your exposure in post-editing was BAD. I would throw out an entire set of pictures because I thought they were “too dark and unsalvageable.” Raise your exposure and adjust your settings accordingly. I’ve learned now to raise the ISO one level because it is easier to lower exposure than it is to raise exposure without ruining a photo.

 

2. Over-saturating colors (particularly greens)

  This is one of my biggest mistakes. I thought I would stand out if I over-saturated the crap out of the colors in all my photos. Having bright colors distracts from your subject and makes your photograph appear too busy. Subtle colors bring more attention to the details of the photo and are more appealing to the eye. I’ve learned that toned down colors looks much better, and de-saturated skin tones look so much better as well. This is just my personal preference though.

 

3. Trying to be Like Other Photographers

  The last big mistake I made was trying to hard to be like other photographers. I looked at my work and felt it was inferior to theirs. I’ve learned that every photographer has a different style and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I tried so hard to replicate other photographers editing styles and poses and it was such a disaster. Always push yourself to be better, but down feel like your photos have to look like someone else’s!

 

❋ S O C I A L  M E D I  A ❋
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5 Tips to Improve Your Photography

 1: Shoot in manual mode and with RAW files.

 When I first started photography, I never shot in auto mode. I immediately started in aperture mode, and it was awesome to learn how the camera adjusts to the aperture I chose. After shooting in aperture for a few months, I switched to manual and my life was forever changed.

If you don’t know how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO interact with each other, that is definitely something you will need to know before graduating to manual mode. In manual, you set the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed all by yourself. This is the best way to get the exact settings, and it is the only way I shoot now.

A RAW file is the image as seen by the camera’s sensor. It’s like unprocessed film. Instead of  letting the camera process the image for you and turning it into a JPEG file, the RAW file allows you to have complete control over the editing of your image. RAW files are a definite must for me.

 

2: Sense of Depth

 When I first started photography, this is one of the concepts I just couldn’t get down. You want to use sense of depth on your scenery photos. To create a sense of depth, you’re going to need a wide angle lens, and some scenery (obviously). Wide angle lenses emphasize linear perspective by allowing the distance between the foreground and the background of the scene to expand, thus emphasizing the appearance of converging lines.

Converging lines are a great way to show distance. Converging lines get smaller the farther away they get, eventually disappearing at the horizon. When shooting to create a sense of depth, position your scenery to create a depth of field and use a smaller aperture.

 

3: Rule of Thirds

 The rule of thirds says an image should be divided into nine equal squares by two evenly spaced vertical and two equally spaced horizontal lines. Important elements of the photo should be along these lines. This rule is said to make photos more appealing to the human eyes. It’s a great tip to help you position your subjects into the scene. Example:

JATomlinson Photography Rule of Thirds 2

 

4: Don’t take photos at eye level

 This is a tip I learned from Jessica Whitaker. Photos straight on are almost always an unflattering angle. Jessica says that standing slightly on your tip toes and angling your camera downward slightly onto the subject is more flattering, and I totally agree with her! Jessica takes a lot of fashion photos and angling her camera like this allows for more of the model to be seen as well.

 

5: Scenery

 It’s hard to find places to shoot sometimes, but be open minded. Old buildings, college campuses, open fields, city streets. You can shoot almost anywhere! You really only need a small chunk of a red brick wall to take some great portrait photos.

Some of the most beautiful photographs I  have seen were taken on the sides of the roads in some flower bushes. Be open to trying weird locations. Your best photos will come when your creativity is flowing!