erin hensley photography » storytelling photography | couer d'alene, idaho lifestyle photographer

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the creative world, we tend to be so secretive with the process of our work. Is it because we fear others will take something from us? Is it because we’re afraid of what others will think of our particular process? Whatever it is, we need to get over it and start sharing.  We all have something to contribute. We don’t all have to be geniuses in order to share what we know. As stated in the quote above, “to someone, it may be better than you dare to think”. 

Each week I will share a photo + the details of what I used to get the shot.


Canon 5D Mark III  |  50mm 1.4  |  f/2.2  |  ss 1/1600  |  ISO 640

I thought this photo would be a good choice for this weeks share because of the somewhat unique lighting. My little one is sitting just outside of the brightly lit area on the floor, on a typical sunny morning in our living room. Yet he is quite bright considering how dark it suddenly gets in the shadows. My living room is actually pretty dark but in the mornings we have this beautiful light coming through the window and it’s pretty magical for photos. Usually in order to get the subject so bright, you sacrifice the bright areas of the picture and those areas are blown. In this case, the light was reflecting back up on him, making him almost as bright as the light hitting the floor.  A natural reflector.

I did do a teeny little bit of work in ACR (adobe camera raw) to even out the light a bit. I used the adjustment brush (if you haven’t discovered this handy dandy little tool, look it up, it’s amazing!) on the top part of his face because it was just a little darker than I wanted. I was careful not to brighten it too much though because there was a natural shadow there that I wanted to keep and it would have looked very unnatural had I brought it to the same brightness as the rest of his face and body.  I then used it on the brightest spots on the floor to bring the brightness down just a touch.  I continued on with my normal ACR adjustments and finished it off with “Homemade“, my go-to action for black + white photos.

I love this photo because it sort of symbolizes the new stage he is entering. He’s getting faster and faster with his crawling. Always leaving the rug that I set him down on to play and explore the living room on the cold hard tile. Leaving one area, or stage, and looking back at me from the next. From light to shadows, from sitting to crawling. It’s so exciting watching them learn new things!

Two photographers, two babies born one week apart in December 2013. We are excited to watch them grow together through each other’s lenses and see their similarities and differences. Please join us once a month as we share our little boys’ journey’s.

Inspired by this blog.




We are getting a glimpse of what is about to come. You’re mobile (slow, but mobile still!), getting into things, and making messes in every corner. You recently learned to get yourself from the laying position and back to the sitting position so that you can continue to scoot your way around the living room. Love watching you grow!!



You SO want to be a big boy and stand, walk, climb and jump all the time! You are constantly aware of the big kids around you and I see the little wheels turning in that growing brain of yours…I know you are going to be climbing all over that playground equipment in NO time!!

  • August 16, 2014 - 1:45 PM

    Catherine - Beautiful moments captured foreverReplyCancel

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Canon 5D Mark III  |  50mm 1.4  |  ISO 4000  |  f/2.0  |  ss 1/125

I LOVE moody light. Shadows are just as important as light and I love to use them in my work to help draw attention to my subject. I love the drama and mystery that comes with an image filled with lots of shadowing. Properly exposing for this type of lighting is important but quite easy in the right setting, so I don’t usually do a lot of transforming in Photoshop.  When your subject is fairly close to some nice, subtle window light, and you expose for the light falling on them, the background fades into the shadows beautifully all on its own most of the time. However, sometimes just a little bit of tweaking can make a wonderful difference. This week, I’m going to share with you a little “behind the scenes”. Below you’ll find the SOOC (straight out of camera) and the initial conversion, so you can see the transformation that took place to get the above image.


SOOC                                                                                                                                                     Initial Conversion (Action used: Homemade - no tweaks!)

I used my go-to b+w action (shown above) and straight out of the gate, the image looked great! However, I wanted a little more mood to the image. Converting to b+w really helped give this the mood I was going for, but I wanted more isolation. No distractions at all. Just him, his toy animals, and the little bit of light coming in and illuminating the scene. This is where the Photoshop transformation comes in. :)

Many of you may already know how to darken a background like this, but if you don’t, keep reading! I grabbed a levels layer and darkened the image up until the area behind him was completely black. *Side note here: sometimes, depending on the image, areas of the background will not blacken completely with a levels layer but that is ok – you can clone those spots! Just get the majority of it nice and dark.*  Then I inverted the layer and began to paint the background with a white brush. I start with a large brush and at the top and make my way down adjusting the size as needed. Be sure to zoom in to areas around your subject and paint carefully, but remember that you can switch back to a black brush and fix mistakes if you need to. Once I get close to where I want to stop darkening, I begin to decrease the opacity so that it is more gradual and natural. This photo was a pretty simple one to use this technique on and the result is a much more powerful image.

 If you aren’t familiar with “The Photo Deets” Series and want to know how and why it started, click here to find out! 

With the heat and humidity so high here, we spend our time indoors mostly. As much as I miss spending time outside and shooting outside, I do love the light in our new place. It can be very bright and airy, but it can also be very moody.

Here are a few freelensed photos from the last week. Thank you for stopping by! :)






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