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Archive for January 2012

Melissa Sheets, Real Life Photography, NC, Photographer

Monday, January 30, 2012

It is time for another tutorial. This time I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips for enhancing images using photoshop.

The image on the right is "Straight out of the Camera". Photoshop allows you to do so many great things, adding contrast and applying warming filters are two things that I use often. But to really enhance images quickly I use actions. You can create your own actions, or buy them online. Today I am using an action from MCP actions.

This video will walk you through the steps I took to alter the image.

This shot with M holding the frog only needs minor tweaking.

I hope you enjoy! Now pick up your camera and go shoot!


Lexington Portrait Photographer, 336-425-8602

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I am often asked "What is your favorite age to photograph children?". My response is always six months. I just love the expressive looks you get from babies at this age. This sweet little munchkin came in on Friday. All her shots look great, but this is one of my favorites that I picked out for the online teaser.

Comment ten times!!!

Happy Weekend everyone.

Photographer Lexington NC, Melissa Sheets, Real Life Photography

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mini Sessions are on their way! Usually I book mini sessions the week of. And it is always a mad dash for clients to secure their spots. But this year I decided to spread the love around and offer a bunch of sessions several days in a row.

If you would like to secure your spot, please send me an email or call.

Have a GREAT day!

Connect with me on Facebook here.

Valentines Day Fun

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Boudoir is here ladies
 Just in time for Valentines Day
Can you think of anything more fun than being a supermodel for the day
and having your significant other end up with a super sexy present that he will be sure to love??
We didn't think so!

We are very excited to announce a boudoir marathon is in the works for February 3rd

Free wardrobe consultation
3 outfit changes
1 hour of shooting time

Spots will go quick, contact us soon to ensure your spot.

Melissa Sheets, Lexington NC, 207 South Main Street. 336-425-8602

Friday, January 13, 2012

What a week. Usually when I start a blog post out like that I mean..."What a crazy week." But this time I mean what an exciting week.

Backing up to this past weekend, I was ecstatic to be a speaker at the Professional Photographers of North Carolina seminar. My program was the basic ins and oust of social media, and how it can be used to market your company. It was a bit intimidating at first to be on stage, but after a few minutes I was fine. Then on Tuesday I sat in on a seminar given by Tim Kelly. WOW, this guy is amazing!

Click here to visit his site.

The rest of the week has been spent shooting, shooting, editing, and making decisions on a bathroom remodel for the kids. Have you ever scraped a popcorn ceiling? Well if you have then you know that I spent two days cleaning up the mess that it made.
Yesterday I had a fabricator come out to measure for my new awing. It will be black with white stripes. I can't wait to see how it sets my little building apart from the others around me.
I ended the work week with a tiny client. He is just about as new as the come! Here are a couple from the session. Remember to comment. 10 comments wins this lucky mom an 8x10 wall print.

Have a great weekend.
Be sure to connect with me on facebook by clicking here.

Melissa Sheets

North Carolina Photographer, Melissa Sheets..336-425-8602

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quick preview of a cutie from last week. I was warned before hand by his mother, that this little guy might be difficult. I am happy to say that this was exactly the opposite of what happened. The moment he walked in he opened up and began to explore my studio. Such a sweetie.

Yesterday I recorded the drawing for the free frame giveway. You can see the video by visiting my facebook fanpage. CLICK HERE

With 10 comments this proud mama will get a free wall portrait!

Tomorrow when I have more time, Ill tell you all about the very exciting weekend I had!
Happy Tuesday,

Freebie Friday.... Melissa Sheets, Real Life Photography

Friday, January 6, 2012

Everyone loves FRIDAY, right! SO on this first Friday of the New Year, I wanted to give away a little something to start the year off right.

In my studio I have a wall display of frames from organic bloom. Lots of people admire these frames. Today I picked out one that I thought could go in any decor.



What a perfect way to start 2012. So here is the scoop on how you can win. You must be a fan on Facebook of Real Life Photography. Leave a comment on my facebook page(click here),  in your comment write "free frame". The contest will go through the weekend and on Monday a winner will be randomly selected using

This mocha frame holds an 8x10 print.

The distressed edges are what made me fall in love with this line of frames.

The fine print: You must be a fan of Real Life Photography on Facebook. You may only enter once per day. You must live in the United States. You must tell all your friends to enter too:) You can comment on this blog once for an extra entry.....but shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.


Good LUCK-
Melissa Sheets

Digital tips from a local Photographer. Melissa Sheets

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What in the world is ISO?    
 Warning this post will be boring if you aren't a camera junkie

     Yesterday a friend came in, he told me that until recently he didn't realize the importrance of ISO in his camera settings. He has been an active member in our photography club, and he said until he heard us going on and on about ISO he hadn't given it too much thought.
      Well that made me stop and think. Most people want to know how they can instantly take better images, and my answer is usually.... Manual mode, and up your ISO. Even outside I like to shoot with my ISO around 400, because it gives me a quicker shutter speed, which results in crisper images. But, if I'm telling folks to change their ISO and they have no idea what it is..... it it really helping them? No! So this post will explain my take on ISO.
     In photography, the ISO is pronounced "EYE-so," not "eye-es-oh," however it does not have anything to do with the Greek "isos," as others have claimed.  ISO" is a word that represents the International Standards Organization. This Switzerland based company measures lots of things including the sensitivity of film. So this term has been carried over from our days of shooting film.
     In a nut shell, a typical digital camera will have ISO values of 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600 as a minimum. The higher the number, the more sensitive the camera is to light. These values are relative to one another, so ISO200 is twice as sensitive as ISO100, and ISO800 is four times as sensitive as ISO200, and so on. Every time you double the ISO setting, you halve the required exposure time, and vice versa.

Now I'm going to head up front and take some quick shots to demonstrate.

                               OK, So in the pictures my camera settings stayed the same except for the change in my ISO. By increasing the ISO you can make a darker image brighter. This means in a low light situation by bumping up your ISO you can have a faster shutter speed. This is the best trick ever, even if you are just taking pictures of your children blowing out their birthday candles.

Now with all that being said, it is important to note that all cameras are not equal. Entry level cameras can not handle a higher ISO without creating digital noise. This is what makes an image appear grainy. Use your ISO settings at your discretion. Noise isn't always a bad thing, for smoky dark shots, I think noise adds to the ambiance.

I could go on and on about ISO, but I think this was enough to get you started. Happy shooting!

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North Carolina Photographer, Melissa Sheets

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas vacation is over, and that means:

The kids are back in school
My house is no longer roaring with playstation noises
The house stays somewhat clean until 3:00
Bedtime is at 9:00
Mornings are CRAZY
Basketball, tutoring, homework, reading
Photography is calling my name
Shoots and appointments are booking fast
Wedding season is on it's way
Brides are calling and emailing (love every bit of it)
Newborn babies are here
Pippa is back in her window on the street ( the studio's dog)
The kids are back in school
The kids are back in school
The kids are baaack in schooool...... sniffle, sniffle, I miss my little mess makers!

Happy Wednesday!