Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography: Blog https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog en-us Diane K. Miller, all rights reserved info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Wed, 02 Sep 2020 01:01:00 GMT Wed, 02 Sep 2020 01:01:00 GMT https://www.dianekmiller.com/img/s/v-12/u178625963-o462739717-50.jpg Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography: Blog https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog 120 120 Butterfly Landing https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/butterfly-landing Butterfly landing

Piercing blue wings, eyes rejoice

Softly the wind blows

 

06 - Butterfly Landing06 - Butterfly Landing

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blue blue eyes butterflies butterfly cat eyes conceptual fine art photograph monarch photo photograph photography portrait portraiture science fiction scifi woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/butterfly-landing Wed, 16 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
The Serpent https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/the-serpent Tempted the serpent

Intertwined they become

Prisoner alone

 

05 - The Serpent05 - The Serpent

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) conceptual fine art photograph portrait reptile reptile eyes serpent snake surreal surreal portraiture surrealism woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/the-serpent Sun, 13 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Bee's Remorse https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/bees-remorse Sorrow found her quiet

Bees remorse soft sheltered

Escapes the bumble bee

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) bee bumble bee conceptual fine art photograph portrait surreal surreal portraiture surrealism woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/bees-remorse Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Revenge of the Lady Bugs https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/revenge-of-the-lady-bugs Lady bugs swarming

Cool breeze relieves strange creature

Red twilight she mourns

 

Examples of fine art photography session work. Includes planning, props or compositing and fine art photography editing.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) conceptual fine art photograph lady bug ladybug portrait red eyes science fiction scifi surreal surreal portraiture surrealism woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/revenge-of-the-lady-bugs Sun, 06 Sep 2020 18:00:00 GMT
Queen of the Monarch https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/queen-of-the-monarch Queen of the monarch

Butterflies brilliant orange

Her crown they fly proud

 

02 - Queen of the Monarch02 - Queen of the MonarchExamples of fine art photography session work. Includes planning, props or compositing and fine art photography editing.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) butterflies butterfly conceptual fine art photograph monarch monarch butterfly portrait surreal surreal portraiture surrealism woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/queen-of-the-monarch Thu, 03 Sep 2020 01:00:00 GMT
Cicada's Darkness https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/cicadas-darkness Close your eyes softly

Blinded by the cicada

Dark is all you see

 

01 - Cicada's Darkness01 - Cicada's DarknessExamples of fine art photography session work. Includes planning, props or compositing and fine art photography editing.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) cicada conceptual portrait fine art photograph haiku poetry portrait surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2020/9/cicadas-darkness Wed, 02 Sep 2020 00:50:00 GMT
Day 9 - Fairbanks https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-9---fairbanks Fairbanks was our last stop and we spent two nights here and rented a car.  All that said, I didn't take as many photographs in Fairbanks.  Or I should say most photos i took were from my phone and can be found on Instagram at @theshutterbugeye  Our first stop was a riverboat tour.  It was fun and educational but I was honestly ready for the tours to be over at this point.  Then we checked into our hotel and rented a car. 

While in Fairbanks we ate at The Turtle Club for dinner.  This was recommended by the cab driver that took my husband to pick up the rental car.  She said it was not touristy and had great prime rib.  She was right!  I recommend it if you are in Fairbanks and have a car as it's a bit on the outskirts.

We also stopped by a point where you can see the Alaskan Pipeline.  It was 9:30 at night but broad daylight.  It was also neat to see the engineering of how it would handle an earthquake.

There was an antique car museum that was on the property of the lodge/resort.  It had so many neat old cars as well as clothing for each period.

We drove up to North Pole Alaska but Santa wasn't home.  We did meet some of his reindeer.

There were also some wild wetland areas for birds.  Lots of sandhill cranes in the one spot.  My walk through mosquito infested forest only led me to gulls.

Day 10 and on - FairbanksDay 10 and on - FairbanksAlaska

We flew home from Fairbanks.  This trip was really amazing and so varied.  I'd highly recommend it, though if I could do it again, I'd likely have rented a car earlier and did the land portion more on our own.  But the tours were nice too.


If you have been following and commenting, I will be posting about the textures next Monday.  If you commented on all the posts, please comment on that one as well and leave your e-mail.  I will then send you a link to the free texture pack.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Princess alaskan pipeline bird photograph birds gull nature nature photograph photography sandhill crane travel vacation wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-9---fairbanks Wed, 05 Aug 2015 14:55:00 GMT
Day 8 - Denali https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-8---denali After a night at Mt. McKinley lodge we woke up and caught our tour bus that took us up to Denali, farther north.  The ride was scenic and we arrived at the Denali lodge in time for a quick lunch before our tour of the park.  The tour of the park was nice.  We made several stops and saw wildflowers, beautiful scenery, some historic sites and ended with a presentation from a native while standing at a point where you see miles in every direction surrounded by mountain ranges.

I wished that I had an extra day at Denali as I would have loved to explore more on my own, take more time to see wildlife and maybe go for a hike.  Sadly, we were back in time for dinner and ate at a salmon bake restaurant which was tasty.  The next morning we were on a bus to Fairbanks.

Pictures from inside Denali.

 

Day 9 - Denali landscapesDay 9 - Denali landscapesAlaska

Day 9 - CaribouDay 9 - CaribouAlaska

Day 8 - Flowers 1&2Day 8 - Flowers 1&2Alaska

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Denali caribou landscape landscape photograph macro photograph mountains nature photograph photography travel vacation wildflower wildlife wildlife photograph https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-8---denali Mon, 03 Aug 2015 14:15:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 11 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-11 A quick throwback Thursday.  Self portrait with mustache and textures.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-11 Thu, 30 Jul 2015 17:08:00 GMT
Day 7 - Train to Talkeetna and Mt. McKinley https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-7---train-to-talkeetna-and-mt-mckinley The ship arrived in Whittier early that morning and we disembarked a little after 6am and immediately boarded our train.  I saw a lot of wildlife and beautiful scenery from the train, but being a moving train, I took no photos.  Animals included dall sheep, a moose laying in the forest, the back of a black bear though he was brown in color, swans with babies, and more common animals such as ducks.  

The train took us North to Talkeetna, a cute little town not far from Mt. McKinnley.  We ate lunch at the brewery where I enjoyed reindeer meatloaf.  I also tried fireweed icecream.  Below is fireweed, a common wildflower, which was growing everywhere.  It was good and had a mild berry like flavor.

 

Day 8 - FireweedDay 8 - FireweedAlaska

When we finished exploring Talkeetna, we took the shuttle bus to the Princess Mt. McKinley lodge where we ate dinner and spent the night.  We also were lucky to see the peak of Mt. McKinley that evening.

 

Day 7 -  Denali PeakDay 7 - Denali PeakAlaska

More to come next week - Denali and Fairbanks! Then I'll share the texture pack.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Denali Mt. McKinely Princess Talkeetna fireweed flowers landscape mountain nature photography train travel vacation wildflower https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-7---train-to-talkeetna-and-mt-mckinley Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Day 6 - College Fjord https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-6---college-fjord Day 6 - College FjordDay 6 - College Fjord Top left: Hanging glacier; Middle left:  Glacier; Lower left: Blue iceburg; Center:  Harbor Glacier calving; Top right:  Harbor Glacier; Middle Right:  Y shaped glacier; Lower right:  Harbor Glacier viewed from front of ship as we approached.


This is the last day/night on the ship and in the later afternoon/evening is scenic cruising in College Fjord with more glaciers.  Because it overlapped with dinner we went to the upper 14 level deck so we could bounce from side to side of the ship.  It was cold and rainy out so I hid under cover and ran out to take photos and see what was there.  I also ran to the front of the ship for a view of what was ahead.

There were a lot of different glaciers here but the star was Harbor Glacier at the end of the fjord.  We spent quite a bit of time by Harbor Glacier and were able to see it calving several times, one of which I managed to photograph (see center photo).

This was a great finale to the sea portion of the trip.  I'll be honest, at this point I was ready for something different as I had enough downtime on the ship.  Next adventure is the train up to Talkeetna and a night at Mt. McKinley Lodge.


Don't forget to comment on every Alaska post if you want to receive the Alaska Glaciers Texture Pack at the end of my reviews.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Alaska cruise College Fjoird Harbor Glacier Princess cruise blue calving glacier glacier calving glaciers ice iceberg landscape nature photograph photography scenic scenic cruising travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-6---college-fjord Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 10 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-10

Peek-a-boo . . . another self portrait in black and white with sepia tones and a TTV frame.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) TBT Throwback Thursday black and white bw portrait self self portrait sepia ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-10 Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:30:00 GMT
Day 5 - Glacier Bay https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-5---glacier-bay Day 5 - Glacier BayDay 5 - Glacier Bay Clockwise from upper left:  Hanging glacier, Margerie Glacier, Close-up Margerie Glacier, Pacific Grand Glacier

 

Day 6 in the morning there was scenic cruising in Glacier Bay.  They had people from the park on the ship giving a talk about what we were seeing.  IT was cold but we bundled and watched the view from our private balcony. 

The star of the day was Margerie Glacier, which extended to the water forming a big wall of ice.  You could see the blue int he cracks and crevices of the glacier.  It was absolutely beautiful. 

The other big glacier, which is even larger than Margerie, although it is receding, is the Pacific Grand Glacier.  It is in the lower right of the photos above.  It is brown and does not look like a glacier, even though it is. The ice has picked up much silt and dirt which is common.  you can see it in parts of Margerie, but the Pacific Grand Glacier is covered in it.

I can't share through photos the sounds that glaciers make but it really was quite amazing to hear.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska cruise Grand Princess Margerie glacier Pacific Grand Glacier Princess cruise alaska cold glacier glacier bay ice landscape phogotaphy photograph scenery scenic cruising travel water https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-5---glacier-bay Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:20:00 GMT
Day 4 - Skagway https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-4---skagway The third and final port day was Skagway, a small town that seems to be there simply for tourists.  It is an old gold rush town that has preserved that feel with old buildings, boardwalks instead of sidewalks, etc.

Our off ship excursion for the day is the Mushers Sled Dog and Camp Experience.  We are bussed in a small bus out to the camp area.  It drops us off at the base of a mountain where we take a short walk to the camp.  The camp has dog homes, puppies with their moms, an educational area and more.  When we get there we then board a unimog that will take us up the mountain to where our dogs will be waiting to take us for a ride.

We learn that the dogs that are race dogs and many have and/or will compete in the Iditerod race.  They do not use Siberian Huskies but actually mix them with lighter faster dogs to produce a lighter, faster Alaskan Husky that will have the speed and endurance for a race such as the Iditerod.  They are the marathon runners of dogs.

We get up to the dogs and these teams of dogs will pull carts holding 6 people for a one mile loop.  We are the people.  It was really neat and they go pretty fast.  They also pull us up hills.  We are told this is part of their training.  Pulling heavier loads so that the race sled with one person feels light and easy.  The dogs were all so eager to run and when we were finished they were really friendly.

Last we are brought back down to the camp where they give a talk about the Iditerod, sled dog racing, their program, etc.  Then they let us hold the puppies.  Those pics are in my Instagram under @theshutterbugeye but I share below some dog and puppy pics without us in them. Enjoy.

Day 4 - SkagwayDay 4 - Skagway Clockwise from upper left:  Our cart and the dogs that pulled us; close-up of some of the dogs on our team; mother with one of her puppies; a pile of puppies.  Note:  The top images were all taken by John, who was the musher that guided us through the sled dog ride. Those are his dogs.  The puppy images on the bottom were taken by me.


When we returned to Skagway, we went to eat at the brewery which had delicious burgers, fish and chips and I tired some beer made with a local spruce.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Alaska Cruise Alaskan Husky Grand Princess Iditerod Princess cruise Skagway cruise dog dogs musher puppies sled dog travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-4---skagway Mon, 20 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday Number 9 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday-number-9

This image was all about trying to be a bit mysterious and a bit creepy.  I was still very experimental with textures and really using the TTV style a lot in my work.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) TBT TTV Throwback Thursday creepy legs mysterious sepia square square format https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday-number-9 Thu, 16 Jul 2015 15:10:00 GMT
Day 3 - Juneau https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-3---juneau Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 3Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 3
This was my favorite day.  It was my favorite day because . . . WHALES!  Lots and lots of WHALES!

 

So Juneau was the second port.  It is the capital of Alaska.  We had an excursion to see whales and to see the Mendenhall Glacier in the afternoon so we started with an early lunch at the historic Red Dog Saloon.  What a neat place.  The ground was sawdust! It really kept the old timey feel.  The food was good too.

 

Then we visited various shops while we meandered back to where the tours pick up.  I'll be honest, port shops are all the same pretty much.  you have your general touristy gift shops, your art galleries with locally themed art and tons and tons of jewelry shops.  

Finally tour time.  We are put on a bus and told we will see the whales first and then the glacier.  Off we go.  We get some info about Juneau while heading out of town.  Did you know their state capital was voted 50th most pretty state capital building?

Then we get to the whales.  The boat has two levels.  Level one is inside windows and has a snack bar that my teenage son took full advantage off.  Level two is outside.  We head out.  We see an eagle and a seal.  Ok.  But no whales.  We kept going and there was a whale in the distance blowing its spout but it dove down and never seemed to come back up.  We keep going. Whales way up ahead they say but people, including myself, were beginning to think the whale viewing was going to be a bust.  At that point I did not expect any whales to surface and was starting to feel a bit sad.

So after figuring that there would be no whales, there was a whale.  It was in front of the boat and everyone croweded into the two places up top to see.  It might have been different on the first level.  Anyway, I could not get a view and when I did the picture had blowing hair from the girl in front of me.  Oh well.  My husband suggests I try the other side, so I did.  There were two whales and I had a great spot!  Now I feel silly for almost melting down.   I watch these whales for a while taking a ridiculous number of pictures.

We get further and the whales are increasing in numbers.  In total there were around 20 humpback whales all bubble net feeding.   We were told this was rare.  That the whales usually don't all come together but once in a great while and so we were really lucky to be seeing this.  I must say it was quite amazing!  In addition to the feeding, the whales passed right by our boat with the one on the left diving down underneath it.  I was on floor one for those photos, which were taken using a burst setting on my camera.

I share more whale pictures at the bottom of this post!

 

Thoroughly satisfied with the whale viewing we then headed to Mendenhall Glacier, which is just outside Juneau.  The glacier was in a nice park but with the limited time I felt the hiking paths too long to feel I could complete and return in time.  Especially since I had my camera.  In addition to the glacier there was a pretty waterfall to the right, Nugget Falls.

Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 1Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 1 Clockwise from left:  Whale slapping it's tail, Bald Eagle, seal.

 

Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 2Day 3 - Juneau - Whales 2 Whales on the left are bubble net feeding.  On the right, two whales swim together.

 

Day 3 - Juneau - MendenhallDay 3 - Juneau - Mendenhall Mendenhall Glacier up close and further away.

 

Stay tuned as next up are sled dogs near Skagway!  And don't forget to comment on each Alaska post to receive a free Alaskan Glacier Texture Pack.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Alaska Cruise Grand Princess Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Princess Princess Cruise Red Dog Saloon bald eagle bubblenet feeding cruise glacier humpback whales nature photograph photography seal travel whale whales wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-3---juneau Wed, 15 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Day 2 - Ketchikan https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-2---ketchikan Day 2 - KetchikanDay 2 - Ketchikan

Today is less about the ship and more about our first port, Ketchikan, Alaska.  Ketchikan is a nice little town that has the expected shopping port area but also an actual town one could live in for reasons beyond just tourism.  This was the shortest port day and we had till around 2pm to get back on the ship.  While in Ketchikan we took a Duck Tour which toured us around the two via land and water.  There were no ducks on this tour.  The duck is what we rode in and is an amphibious vehicle.

As you can tell from the images I share, Ketchikan had a LOT of Bald Eagles.  I mean, a lot.  These are just two.  There were also many Ravens.  I don't have a lot of photos in Ketchikan.  I did take a nice photo of the welcome sign and you can see it if you go to Instagram and look up @theshutterbugeye.

While we took the Duck Tour, most cruisers were doing the zipline it seems.  I can't review that but it sure was popular.

 

After the port time, I took a Zumba class which was fun, if you like to dance like I do.  We also ate in our dining room that night.  The food was delicious - I had kin crab legs.  Our server was great and the three ladies, all together and from Chicago, were very nice as well.

Keeping today's post shorter as Wednesday is a long one, or at least it has lots more photos!

Don't forget, leave a comment on every Alaska post to receive a free texture pack at the end!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska Alaska cruise American Eagle Bald Eagle Grand Princess Ketchikan Princess Princess cruise bird cruise eagle port travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-2---ketchikan Mon, 13 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 8 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-8

I missed a bunch of Thursday posts and will resume them today.  I remember taking this image but I don't remember what the them was that I was trying to shoot for.  It was for some theme and it didn't turn out at all like it was supposed to but I still liked the end result.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) face photograph photography portrait self portrait tbt throwback Thursday https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/throwback-thursday---number-8 Thu, 09 Jul 2015 15:45:00 GMT
Day 1 - At Sea https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-1---at-sea As promised, here is the second post in my detailed review of Princes Cruises Denali Explorer trip.  See the last post here.

The first day was at sea, meaning we were just in the ocean all day headed towards Ketchikan, Alaska.  I had two goals/plans this day.  The first was to get signed up for the TRX class at the gym and take the first of the three classes.  My second was my spa afternoon complete with hot stone massage, fire and ice pedicure and a manicure.

I'll speak to the gym first.  When I arrived I found out that the class was full but told to wait as if there was a no-show they could fit me in.  While I waited I scanned the equipment and free weight area.  It was all nice but it was also FULL.  Apparently a lot of people on cruises use the gym.  I really hoped I could get in the class.  TRX suspension training uses straps with handles attached to and hanging from the ceiling.  Us use this to use your own body weight and do exercises like rows, pushups, biceps curls and more.  Hits all body parts.  There also are crazy exercises on the floor with your feet in the straps for hamstrings and core.  Oh the core.  So in the end they were able to fit me into the class and I found it to be a good workout.  My advice to others is to sign up that first day to anything you might be interested in.  It seems you can no-show and they don't take the money until the actual class so there is nothing to lose.

 

Day 1 - At SeaDay 1 - At Sea

The photos above aren't actually from the "at sea" day as I was too busy at the gym and spa to take pictures.  Plus it was just water and the cool clouds hadn't arrived yet.  Above are various images taken from the ship of the views at different points on the cruise.  The landscapes were breathtaking.

 

In the afternoon I went to the spa.  I had the massage first.  It was the hot stone massage.  While I waited they had you fill out a form that asked a variety of questions from some health items that might be relevant to a massage and a whole bunch of other questions about your skin, stress and more.  I honestly didn't really want to answer them all as I have no desire to discuss skincare at a spa.  I know they do facials and have "experts" but I have rosacea and my skin is very sensitive and reactive to products plus I have a dermatologist to discuss skincare with. 

So in my initial discussion with the woman who will be giving my massage (I apologize for forgetting her name) we talk about stress, where I have tension, areas to focus on during the massage.  That's all good.  She asks if I take baths.  I say no.  She really feels baths are important for my upper back and shoulder tension.  I say my tub sucks and it's not gonna happen.  She moves on to asking me what I use on my skin.  As mentioned above, I'm not sure how this is relevant to the massage and I am not having a facial.  I give the high level summary and mention I have rosacea.  She replies "Yes, I can tell."  Gee thanks.  Then she informs me I need better eye cream for my bags and dark circles.  And I need to use anti-aging products.  Annoyed because I hate when they make you feel bad like your lacking in some beauty area to basically try and sell products, I simply respond great, and I'll discuss products with my dermatologist.  Let's just get to the reason I'm here - the massage!

The massage itself was wonderful.  Hot stones, good pressure and focused on my upper back and shoulders that always seem to be tight.  After the massage she tries to sell me some expensive bath stuff to use in baths that she insists I need at least once a week.  My muscles were shockingly tense.  She did say she could tell I worked out and that I had muscles.  Finally - thank you!  I work hard for those.  But that working out causes lactic acid buildup and apparently the only way to rid this is to detoxify through seaweed baths.  And if I don't my blood will start to have acidosis.  And cancer grows in acid environments.  And this is where I bite my tongue and I just give her the "you are crazy" stare because if I start talking it's not gonna be nice and I'm to relaxed to get angry.  I do not buy the seaweed.  I'm sure it's nice but I have an old school little tub.  It's not comfortable to take actual baths.  But I really hate pseudo-science and scare tactics to sell stuff.  I mean, really top of the line hate it.  Even more than being told how baggy my eyes look to sell me eye cream.

Next I go to the salon area for my pedicure.  I don't remember her name either but the same woman handled my pedicure and manicure.  She was wonderful!  The fire and ice pedicure was awesome.  It had all the normal pedicure stuff plus super cooling oils and creams and hot stones.  Yea.  I left with pretty toes and nails.

I would have enjoyed the experience more if the massage part hadn't had such questionable sales tactics.

That evening I had dinner with my guys at the pizza place on the ship. It was delicious.

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Grand Princess Princess cruise TRX cruise gym hot stone massage landscape photography landscapes manicure massage pedicure photography psuedo-science review review of spa rosacea scenery seaweed spa suspension training travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/day-1---at-sea Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Alaskan Adventure - by sea and land https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/alaskan-adventure---by-sea-and-land Embarkation - OverviewEmbarkation - Overview Photos above Clockwise: Vancouver from the water, humpback whales, Alaskan Husky sled dogs and Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay.

 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to Alaska and enjoy a 7 day cruise and 3 day land trip with my family.  I will spend the next couple of weeks sharing not only photos from the trip but also a review of the cruise and tours in case anyone has wondered what it's like to cruise in Alaska.  This was both our first cruise and our first trip to Alaska.  We were not sure what to expect or if cruising really fit our vacation style which tends to be more free flowing and exploratory rather than scheduled with lots of formal tours.  More on that later but in short I enjoyed the cruise but there were times I wished I could explore more off the main path and other times I wished I had more time in a spot to really explore.

This trip was a Christmas from my mom and I traveled with my husband and my 15 year old son.  We took the Princess Cruises Denali Explorer which was a 7 day cruise from Vancouver to Whittier and then a three day land excursion.  See number 10 if you click through the link.  The schedule was as follows and we did excursions/tours as listed at the various ports.

  • Embarkation from Vancouver
  • Day at Sea
  • Ketchikan - Duck tour
  • Juneau - Whale viewing and Menendall Glacier
  • Skagway - Mushers Dog Sled Camp
  • Scenic Cruising in Glacier Bay
  • Scenic Cruising in College Fiord
  • Disembark in Whittier and train to Talkeetna.  Stay at Mt. McKinley Lodge
  • Bus to Denali (north part of park) and tour of Denali
  • Bus to Fairbanks and Riverboat cruise

We also stayed a night in Vancouver and an extra night in Fairbanks.  I definitely liked arriving a day before the cruise emarked.  Otherwise I'd have worried about delays with the flight.

Our room was a mini-suite (I think that's what it was called.  It had an area with the bed and a tv, then space with a pullout couch and a tv and the best part . . . our very own balcony with a clear view.  It was basically one room with all of that.  There was no great divider between the two sections.  Total square feet was just over 300 I think.  The bathroom/closet area was bigger than I had expected.

The ship was big.  It had a few outdoor pools, an indoor pool, an adult only pool, a spa and gym, all sorts of restaurants, several theaters and lounges, bars, a casino and more.  My son met lots of other teenagers and we hardly saw him on the ship which meant he was having more fun than he would have had with us adults.

Upon boarding the ship and settling into our room we went exploring the ship.  There were Princess employees everywhere selling soda passes, coffee cards and drink passes.  While the food is pretty much all included, drinks are not.  My husband and son each got a soda pass allowing them unlimited sodas and other drinks (not coffee or teas though).  I got myself a coffee card.  We all passed on the drink cards but if you plan on drinking much it is probably worth it.

The people from the spa were working hard to promote their 10-20-30 special.  Now, I had reserved for our "at sea" day a massage, a fancy pedicure and a basic manicure.  They were all over me suggesting I upgrade the manicure and combine with the pedicure so it would be a "specialty service" and then I just need to add a facial and I can get 10% off the first treatment, 20% off the second and 30% off the third.  This sounds all fine and good but when you do the math the changes still amounted to around $200 more than my original setup of treatments I actually wanted.  So I had the conversation with 3 or 4 people and said No, No, No to the changes.  I'll review the spa in my next post where I talk about our "at sea" day.

I did take the tour of the spa and gym because I really wanted to know the class schedule so I could figure out my workouts for the time on board at least.  After just over a month of Crossfit I did not want to just sit for two weeks straight.  They had several classes and signup sheets for each.  They varied in price.  Classes included:

  • Body Sculpt Boot Camp - 4 sessions - this didn't fill so it didn't run
  • TRX - 3 sessions (all on the non-port days so I chose this as it was strength work and didn't conflict with a tour like Boot Camp)
  • Pilates - this didn't fill so it didn't run
  • Yoga

I didn't sign up that day as I wanted to compare the schedules to my excursion schedule and pick one where I wouldn't miss any classes.  I signed up the next morning when I went to the first TRX class.  I do NOT recommend this. Sign up early if you want in.  They almost couldn't accommodate me but luckily there was a no-show.  The ship also had free Zumba classes in one of the lounges on the other side of the boat.  I went to two of those in addition to my TRX classes and found them fun.

Last, the food was good and plentiful though my husband felt it could use more seasoning.  He likes things spicy.  There was a buffet where we at this first night.  We also had a table assignment for dinners in our dining room (traditional cruise dining) and we ate there three nights.  There were two formal nights which we skipped because we aren't fancy.  And there were two higher end restaurants, a good sit down pizza place, and several fast places for burgers, pizza by the slice, ice cream and more.

That summarizes the ship and our first day.  I'll post separate for each of the following.  Posts reviewing the cruise and sharing our adventures will be on Monday and Wednesday until I've run out of things to say. :-)

  • Day 1 - At Sea - the TRX class, the spa, more general cruise stuff, Pizza.
  • Day 2 - Ketchikan - bald eagles, the town, the duck tour which was not a tour where you see lots of ducks . . . I saw no ducks on this tour.
  • Day 3 - Juneau - Whales, whales, more whales and a glacier.
  • Day 4 - Skagway - Sled dogs, puppies . . . wait, did I say puppies?  Yes there were puppies.
  • Day 5 - Glacier Bay - Glaciers.
  • Day 6 - College Fjord - More glaciers.  Sorry if it gets redundant.
  • Day 7 - We train it to Talkeetna and then see Mt. McKinnley.
  • Day 8 - Denali Park - where I longed for another day.
  • Day 9 and on - Fairbanks - I didn't take a lot of pics here but I have a few.
  • Finally - would I do it again?

Pictures not in these posts are already posted @theshutterbugeye on Instagram. 


I hope you enjoy these or find them useful.  If you do, comment.  Those who comment on all the posts will get a special Alaska Free texture pack.  They are from glaciers (yep, redundant) and rock carved out by glaciers.  So comment on each post to get the link at the end and be sure to include an e-mail in your last comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Alaska cruise Alaskan Husky Denali Fairbanks Juneau Ketchikan Princess Princess cruiselines Princess cruises Skagway Vancouver cruise dog glacier glaciers husky land and sea photography reveiw of Princess Cruise review of Alaska cruise ship sled dogs travel vacation whales https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/7/alaskan-adventure---by-sea-and-land Mon, 06 Jul 2015 14:12:00 GMT
Desert Flowers https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/desert-flowers Flowers in the desert, taken in March, 2015 at the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.

 

painterly fine art photograph, yellow blossomsYellow BlossomsYellow Blossoms in the desert. Painterly photograph.

macro photograph single orange flower, desertOneSingle flower in the desert

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) California" Living Desert Palm Desert The Shutterbug Eye art artistic blossoms color fine art photography floral flower flowers painterly painterly photograph square textured https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/desert-flowers Mon, 08 Jun 2015 14:20:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 7 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/throwback-thursday---number-7 And it's Throwback Thursday again!  I'm still sharing from my heavy texture days.  Enjoy!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Throwback Thursday portrait portraiture self portrait texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/throwback-thursday---number-7 Thu, 04 Jun 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Animals in Black and White https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/animals-in-black-and-white Most of my photography is in color but the giraffe image I simply loved in this old skool black and white.  So I created a series of three.  All animals from the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.

 

Wildlife photography, black and white, animals,Black and White Animal SeriesBlack and white photography. Wildlife at Living Desert in Palm Desert, California

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) California Living Desert Palm Desert animal bighorn sheep black and white fine art photograph giraffe monochrome ostrich photography vintage style wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/6/animals-in-black-and-white Mon, 01 Jun 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 6 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-6 This is my sixth Throwback post.  I'd love to hear your thoughts so far.

Today, I'm sharing another self portrait with an overdone texture.  This time a bokeh texture.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Throwback Thursday bokeh portrait portraiture self portrait texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-6 Thu, 28 May 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Magnolia blossoms https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/magnolia-blossoms Magnolia blossoms, nature photographyMagnolia BlossomsMagnolia blossoms

Magnolia Blossoms

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Magnolia The Shutterbug Eye blossom color colorful fine art photography floral flower magnolia blossoms nature photograph pink sky https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/magnolia-blossoms Mon, 25 May 2015 13:50:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 5 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-5 I hope you are enjoying my Throwback series.  It is hard for me to look back and see just how many mistakes were in images that, at the time, I was so proud of.  But it is good to see how far I've come and it is giving me new appreciation for my current work, although who knows what I'll think of it in 5 years from now.

Today I share another one of my early experiments with textures and overlays  Titled "She Blows Kisses".  I was still not very good at blending and did not know how to mask.

 



 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Throwback Thursday photoshop fail portaiture portrait self portrait textures https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-5 Thu, 21 May 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Jaguar https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/jaguar Here is the Jaguar at the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.  They had twin Jaguar cubs that were around one year old.  They still have another year of growth before they will be full grown. 

 

Animal photography, jaguar, wildlife, catJaguarTwin Jaguars at the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) California Jaguar Living Desert Palm Desert animal cat feline jaguar cubs photography spotted wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/jaguar Mon, 18 May 2015 15:05:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 4 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-4 So I've been sharing each week, an old portrait, in part to share where I started so you can see the progress that can be made in skill with time and practice. 
Today, I share a photo titled "Blown Away" that I also created back in 2010.  It is a bad selective color job and you can see that clearly around my hair and parts of my coat where things aren't quite clean.  I also tend to avoid selective color today and either go full color or black and white. 

My umbrella was not supposed to be like that but it truly was windy that day and it blew my umbrella inside out immediately upon opening.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Blown Away Throwback Thursday photoshop fail pink portrait portraiture self portrait sharing my mistakes https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-4 Thu, 14 May 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Flowers at Cantigny https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/flowers-at-cantigny flower photography, hyacinth, spring flowersHyacinthHyacinth Flowers

And now, for more spring flowers.  These were all taken at Cantigny on April 17 and show the beauty of the beginning of spring.

 

magnolia blossom fine art macro photographyMagnolia BlossomClose up fine art photograph of a magnolia blossom.

flower photography, daffodil photographDaffodilsSpring daffodil flowers

flower photography, spring tulipsTulipsTulip photograph

painterly flower macro photographOrangepainterly flower macro photograph

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blossom cantigny daffodil fine art photography floral hyacinth magnolia nature nature photograph painterly photography spring tulip https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/flowers-at-cantigny Mon, 11 May 2015 14:10:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 3 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-3 This is my last from this heavy frame texture series back in spring of 2010.  It's titled horror.  You can see that I didn't know how to mask and so the texture obscures parts of my face and chest. 

Part of my goal with this series and sharing these old images, is to show you that I started with photoshop at zero knowledge and through youtube videos, google, Creativelive courses (only in the last couple years) and lots of experimentation, I learned how to use the program to the level I do now.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Throwback Thursday learning mistakes photoshop photoshop fail portrait self portrait texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/throwback-thursday---number-3 Thu, 07 May 2015 22:30:00 GMT
Animals at the Living Desert https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/animals-at-the-living-desert

Today, I'm sharing a selection of animals from the Living Desert in Palm Desert, CA.  There will be more to come in separate posts but here is a sampling.

Above, is a cheetah, relaxing on a rock.

bobcat wildlife photographBobcatBobcat at the Living Desert

Baby warthogs at Living Desert, animal photographyBaby WarthogsBaby warthogs at the Living Desert

badger, portrait photograph, animal photographyBadgerPortrait of a badger at Living Desert, Palm Desert, California

bird photographyBirdBird at the Living Desert in Palm Desert, California.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) California Living Desert animal animal photograph animals baby animals badger bird photography bobcat cheetah warthog https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/animals-at-the-living-desert Mon, 04 May 2015 14:15:00 GMT
Kontinent Awards https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/kontinent-awards While I have mostly been photographing flowers on their own, I have been submitting my portrait work to a variety of exhibit opportunities, both group and solo and today I just submitted for the Kontinent Awards.  After being bummed that my busy workweek led me to miss the deadline, they sent an e-mail today extending it to Sunday. So I decided I had no excuse since I had been sitting on the sofa with a cat in my lap.

 

Below is one of the three images I chose to submit.  I chose this one in part because I like it and it means something to me and also in part because all of the reviewers at the portfolio review seemed to really like this one.  So while it didn't draw the same attention as my lake photos of Shelly in blue do, it did draw the attention of gallery owners, etc.  I also submitted two other photos.

Dark PrincessDark Princess

Have a fantastic weekend!!!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) photograph photography portrait portraiture self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/5/kontinent-awards Sat, 02 May 2015 14:57:56 GMT
Throwback Thursday - Number 2 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/throwback-thursday---number-2 Today's blast from the past is another one from 2010 when I was first experimenting with self portraits and with textures.  You can see that I'm still in the early learning stages.  My face is not really in focus and I'm not sure I'd leave all the splotches from a texture on my face or anyone's face quite like I did in this image. 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Throwback Thursday blow a kiss photograph photography portrait portraiture self self portrait texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/throwback-thursday---number-2 Thu, 30 Apr 2015 22:15:00 GMT
Spring blossoms https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/spring-blossoms Today, I'm sharing some spring blossoms.  These images were taken at Cantigny on April 17.  I think they speak for themselves.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Cantigny Magnolia The Shutterbug Eye art blossom blossoms color colorful fine art photography nature photography spring spring blossoms https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/spring-blossoms Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:30:00 GMT
Throwback Thursday https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/throwback-thursday I've decided to start a Throwback Thursday series to share some of my older portrait work and where I started.  Today, I'm sharing one of my very first self portraits, taken in April of 2010.  I started doing self portraits because I didn't have the confidence to work with other people and it was easier to learn my camera, lighting, posing, etc. all by myself and make the mistakes so only I could see them.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art black and white monochrome portait portraiture self self portrait square throwback Thursday https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/throwback-thursday Thu, 23 Apr 2015 22:15:00 GMT
The Living Desert https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/the-living-desert

 

I'll be sharing some non-portrait posts as nature is my other area of photography I love.   It'll be no more than once a week and I'm also going to start a throwback Thursday post on Thursdays that I'll preschedule to share older portraits.

Today, I'm sharing a little from my trip in March to Palm Desert, California.  These images are from the Living Desert park and zoo.  I'm sharing the landscapes today and will share some other images with animals in future posts.


I also have beautiful spring blossoms coming next week.

For now, the desert.

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) California. Living Desert Palm Desert art blossoms desert fine art photography landscape landscape photography nature nature photography tree https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/the-living-desert Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:00:00 GMT
Endless Hope https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/endless-hope After a bit of a hiatus this year, I am getting back in the swing of things.  While I haven't created much new work recently, I have been looking at how I can greater share the work I already have.  While I've had anxiety about submitting for a solo show to any galleries, I did so today.  I'm not ready to share where or really much but I should know if my proposal was accepted in May.

Below, is one of my images from the Excerpt of a Dream series. It's titled Endless Hope and it perfectly fits how I'm feeling.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Queens Anne Lace conceptual portrait dreamy endless hope exhibit exhibit proposal flowers gallery hope portaiture portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/4/endless-hope Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:00:00 GMT
It's my Birthday! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/1/its-my-birthday My BirthdayMy Birthday

It's my birthday today so I thought I'd share a collection of self portraits I took last year. Some ask why I do self portraits and the answers are many.

One:  I'm always available to model.

Two:  I am 100% committed and understanding of the final vision I have for the photograph.

Three:  It lets me try new techniques without having to worry about winding up with a bunch of unusable images.   I also get more nervous working with others and so I like to at least know what I'm doing mostly.  Self portraits let me do a trial first.

Four:  They are fun! :-)

As you can see I will use wigs and costuming and sometimes even photoshop to make myself into a character.  So most of my self shots are really more self modeled than self portraits but not always.  

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) birthday it's my birthday photograph photography portrait portraiture self self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/1/its-my-birthday Tue, 06 Jan 2015 11:45:00 GMT
Dare to dream https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/1/dare-to-dream A few images from a recent photography shoot with Shelly Schwegal.  These were taken at Lake Michigan and some elements were from photoshop compositing.  I have noticed a trend of using blue in many of my images.  I haven't really given much thought as to why.   Do I simply like the color blue?  Is it an emotional response blue gives me that is appealing?  I will be thinking about color and my use of color to see if I can start to use color more purposefully.

Enjoy!

 

20141214 Schwegel Horse 220141214 Schwegel Horse 2 20141214 Schwegel - 4020141214 Schwegel - 40 20141214 Schwegel - 5720141214 Schwegel - 57

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blue concept conceptual dream dreamy fairytale forest horse lake ocean photograph photography portrait portraiture water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/1/dare-to-dream Sun, 04 Jan 2015 21:00:00 GMT
2015 - Plans for a new year https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/1/2015---plans-for-a-new-year Yesterday I shared the things I accomplished in 2014 that made me particularly proud.  Today I will share some of my goals for 2015.  Most of my goals surround on focused work on two series that are already mid to almost complete and then marketing these images.  One thing I didn't list in yesterday's post was the creation of a portfolio and the participation in portfolio reviews at Filter Photo Fest last September in Chicago.  It was a great experience and I learned a lot.  Many of my 2015 goals are focused on implementing the advice I received.  While I may move slower than suggested given my day job/career, I will still work towards the end goals of gallery representation and more book covers/licensing.

So without wasting time, here are my top 5 photography goals for 2015.

1.  Complete the last images to make for 20 images in my two series:  "Excerpt of a Dream" and "The Lost Mourning".  I am closer to completing the first and may actually have 20 once I finish editing some current images.

2.  Make a book for each series on Blurb.  A book is something I have wanted to do for years and I think with focused series and the state I'm at with them, I will be able to realistically do that this year.

3.  Market my two series to appropriate galleries with the goal of obtaining a solo show.

4.  Work to create and submit more images to Arcangel images with an ultimate goal of having 100 accepted in 2015.  These may or may not be portraits.   

5.  Last, I need to and will learn how to use the Wacom tablet I purchased with my Christmas money last year.

So those are my goals for 2015!  What are your goals?

 

Here is an image from "Exceprt of a Dream", my surreal series featuring stories in scenes.

FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing.

And here is an image from "The Lost Mourning", a series of emotive self portraits where I explore my own emotions and fears.

BreakdownBreakdown

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 2015 Happy New Year New Year art collection fine goal goals photography goals plans portraiture portriat top 5 photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2015/1/2015---plans-for-a-new-year Thu, 01 Jan 2015 20:13:08 GMT
2014 - Year in Review https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/12/2014---year-in-review Well, another year has past and I like to review the past year and see what I accomplished.  I spend so much time feeling like I am not making progress, not moving forward, not getting anything done but when I look back I'm often amazed.  While I've had many successes in my non-photography life (compliance career) this year, I will focus this post solely on my photography.   So here is my list of what I consider my 5 biggest photography accomplishments.

2014 Year in Review2014 Year in Review

 

1.  I created new work - a lot of new work.  Some was good and some was more learning but I am amazed at how I managed to create, especially given the other demands on my time and energy. 

 

2.  I was in 2 group exhibits with the fabulous Fine Art Portrait Photography Guild group. 

    In March my photograph "Indigo Blues" was included in an exhibit at the Be U gallery in Houston, TX.  I got to travel and attend the opening which was an amazing experience.

And in August my photograph "Awaken" was included in a group show at Star Gallery in Orlando, Florida.  Unfortunately I was unable to travel to that show.

FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing.

 

3.  I had my first stock sale on Arcangel Images.  It was my cardinal image and it's on a book cover in Germany.  I also had an image licensed as a digital download CD Cover.

 

4.  I had work published in the magazine "Obscurae".

A Quiet Possession SeriesA Quiet Possession SeriesPhoto Title: The Birds
Model: Dawn Hiller

Published in Obscurae Magazine May 2014 Issue.

 

5.  I worked with models more in 2014, which was one of my goals.

FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing. 20140412 Dawn Wall - 2 Square20140412 Dawn Wall - 2 Square 20141031 demeter - 1020141031 demeter - 10

 

2014 has been a great year!  I can't wait to see what 2015 has to bring.  Tomorrow I'll share my goals and hopes for the new year.

Happy New Year!

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 2014 New Year art conceptual exhibit fine art memories photograph photography portrait portriature top 5 photography year in review https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/12/2014---year-in-review Wed, 31 Dec 2014 16:30:00 GMT
Happy Holidays https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/12/happy-holidays I hope your holiday's were filled with magic and all your dreams come true! 

 

I was busy traveling to see family and more over the Christmas holiday and am finally settling back in to edit some photos that I took with the lovely Shelly Schwegel before leaving for Texas.  Here is one of my favorites so far.

20141214 Schwegel - 4020141214 Schwegel - 40

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Happy holiday Lake Michigan art birds blue conceptual dreamy fine art lake photograph photography portaiture portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/12/happy-holidays Sat, 27 Dec 2014 15:49:59 GMT
Christmas Spirt https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/12/christmas-spirt

It hit me fast . . . the Christmas spirit.  I spent much of the weekend shopping for Christmas gifts and then working on these photos.  Are you ready for Christmas?  What is your favorite part of the holiday season?

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Christmas berries face holiday photograph photography pine pinecone portaiture portrait self winter. https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/12/christmas-spirt Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:45:00 GMT
Giving Thanks https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/11/giving-thanks This Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share my top five list of things I'm thankful for.  What are yours?

1.  My Health - I am thankful for my health and absolutely won't take it for granted.  Recently I was referred to a genetic counselor because of a family history of cancers.  The genetic counselor indicated it met the criteria for something called Lynch Syndrome which greatly increases the risk for many cancers.  I had the testing and then it was a painfully slow three week wait for the results.  Well, they came yesterday and they were negative.  Negative for the five genes associated with Lynch Syndrome in addition to negative from BRCA1, BRCA2 and two other genes associated with increased cancers.  Never take for granted your health!

RedemptionRedemption

 

2.  My husband and our happy marriage - I'm so grateful for my husband, his support and for the life we have built together.

Autumn portrait photograph, fine art portraitureAutumn Forest Dance

 

3.  My unbelievable 14 year old son - who is my only son.  At 14 an a freshman in high school he has amazed me with his ambitious future goals, with his dedication to his studies.  I mean, he took Algebra 1 online while finishing 8th grade and starting summer so he could advance into Honors Chemistry.  He also has a passion for classical music.  So far, the teenage years, while still early, have not been anything I expected and I am so thankful for that!  Let's see if it lasts.

 

4.  My pets - Simply because they love me unconditionally.  Who wouldn't love that?

20130317 Cats - 320130317 Cats - 3 920130413 Spidey - 2920130413 Spidey - 2

 

5.  My career - The day job in compliance and yes, I may often complain but without it, I would not have the money to be able to choose only to photograph that which I am passionate about.  I have also had a wealth of opportunities recently and I get to travel to fun places like New York City and San Francisco.

FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing.

What are you most Thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Thanksgiving cat conceptual give thanks grateful photograph picture portrait surreal thankful woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/11/giving-thanks Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:38:11 GMT
A perfect Halloween https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/11/a-perfect-halloween 20141031 morgana - 1020141031 morgana - 10 Halloween, my cousin Sarah and I braved the cold do do a photo shoot we had been planning for months.  The day started with snow, which we drove through to get to the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve in Midlothian, IL.  Once there, the snow magically stopped and we were able to photograph some autumn scenes as well as walk through the woods to the abandoned cemetery, which is said to be haunted, and photograph some creepier scenes.

Sarah put together all of the costuming and we planned this for some time discussing themes and sharing inspiration on Pinterest.  We decided to focus on autumn goddesses and went with Demeter and Morgana. Here are just a few images from the day.  I am still working on editing more.

 

20141031 demeter - 0120141031 demeter - 01 20141031 Sarah Composit 2 - 120141031 Sarah Composit 2 - 1 20141031 morgana - 0320141031 morgana - 03

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Demeter Halloween Morgana abandoned art autumn cemetery characters collaboration concept conceptual nature photograph portaiture portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/11/a-perfect-halloween Mon, 03 Nov 2014 12:02:08 GMT
Happy Halloween! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/happy-halloween Happy Halloween!  Have a safe and fun filled day.

 

Spiders WebSpiders Web

Without Hope there is NothingWithout Hope there is Nothing

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Halloween art blood conceptual creepy dark horror macabre photograph photography portrait spider spooky surreal woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/happy-halloween Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Autumn Maple https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/autumn-maple Autumn MapleAutumn Maple

I have been enjoying the autumn color this year and am sharing just another quick portrait, from the maple trees.  This was taken at Cantigny park and gardens, which is one of my favorite local gardens.  I have many more photos to edit from the shoot, mostly nature photos of flowers and leaves.

Friday I have a big shoot with a model, my cousin, which will encompass Halloween and autumn.  We have been planning this shoot for a while and I can't wait.  I really just hope the weather is ok for us.  No rain outs!!!  Until then, have a splendid week!

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Maple autumn color colorful face fall fine art golden leaf leaves photograph portrait portraiture red scarelt square woman yellow https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/autumn-maple Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:46:37 GMT
Autumn and all its Glory https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/autumn-and-all-its-glory Autumn portrait photograph, fine art portraitureAutumn Forest Dance

After feeling like I was in a funk for a couple of weeks, just tired and unmotivated, I finally had a rush of energy this weekend when I realized this was probably the peak of the autumn color and soon there would be no leaves yet.  So I made a commitment to photograph the next three weekends for both portraits like I share here and nature to make sure I had no regrets when the leaves all fall.

This image was taken on a path I had been eying for a while just waiting for leaves to change.  And they did and it was better than I even imagined.  The dancing pose with the full skirt shows clearly the joy I feel being in this beauty.  The dress is one from the Opera sale. The skirt is amazingly flowy which was perfect for this shot.

Below are two other images I took in the beautiful color that was this weekend in Naperville.

fine art conceptual portrait photographFirey Autumn conceptual portrait photographFlight

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Red hair", "conceptual photography", yellow, red, autumn color fall leaves nature photograph photography portrait portraiture redhead woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/autumn-and-all-its-glory Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:45:00 GMT
Born Wild https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/born-wild FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing. Title:  Born Wild

 

I have fallen behind with the blogging this week and wanted to make sure i shared something.

Have a wonderful Friday!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) concept conceptual photograph photography portrait portraiture sepia surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/born-wild Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:53:26 GMT
Halloween Season https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/haunted  

As Halloween draws closer, I felt inspired to pull out a raven mask and feathers and just play with some images.  After the portfolio reviews, I'm feeling like I'm overthinking my ideas to try to make everything fit so I thought I'd just have fun and not worry about fitting anything into any series for now.

I think I will pull out the sketchbook and sketch some thoughts for my Oct. 31 shoot and maybe for a self portrait idea I have.  I think that is the place to start.  No pressure, just get ideas on paper in rough form because right now I feel like I have to do everything now and that just isn't true.  I have all the time I need.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Halloween conceptual cosutme fine art maksed mask photograph photography portrait portraiture raven woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/haunted Tue, 07 Oct 2014 23:58:30 GMT
October https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/october The MourningThe Mourning

October is here.  It has been here for  a week.  Normally I love fall, the brisk air, the colorful leaves and Halloween.  It's a great month but this year, I'm just not feeling it.  The days feel too short.  The sun sleeps in when I can't.  The air feels cold and I can't help but think of winter.  After all we had a little bit of very early snow mixed with rain this past weekend.   It feels like winter is nipping at my heels.  Time just speeding by.  I'm just not feeling my normal fall joy.

How are you enjoying autumn this year?  Do you also have apprehensions about winter?   Because after last years "polar vortex" I know I do.

Have a great week!

 

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) October autumn cold fall fine art portrait portrait photograph portraiture sad season weather winter https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/october Mon, 06 Oct 2014 10:41:19 GMT
Whirlwind https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/whirlwind EnchantedEnchanted

Last week was a whirlwind of a week and I'm still absorbing all of the information that I received so this post will be brief.  I first spent four days in Boston on business for my compliance job.  Then Friday and Saturday I was at Filter Photo Fest for portfolio reviews.  It was fantastic.  I shared my work with five reviewers and I think I had a different takeaway from each one but the themes and overall impression was more or less the same.

Obviously some liked my work more than others but general discussion seemed to touch on the following themes:

  • My portfolio had too many things going on so I have split it into a two series and the start of a third.
    • My next goal is to build each to 20 images.
  • Create a book or a small catalog (mag cloud) containing the 20 photos from the series.
    • I had one reviewer who was big on books.  Create with 20 images print a nice paperback.  The purpose to help focus on sticking to theme and have a book when you're done.
    • Another reviewer was more a fan of magcloud and that I should do small 5x5 publications there.  They are cheaper and can be printed and sent as a mailer to galleries, etc.  (nice.)
  • Mailings seemed a theme.  I need to market with mailings to galleries, book publishers, etc.  I was also encouraged to not continue with the stock agencies but rather to research and target book publishers directly.

There was more but those were the big themes I'll share.  I have a lot of work and probably need to get organized with a written plan and maybe even some target dates for things so I don't get overwhelmed or distracted.

 

Have a lovely Wednesday!

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Filter Photo Fest art conceptual photograph photography portfolio portfolio review portfolio reviews portrait surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/10/whirlwind Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:16:58 GMT
Portfolio Review https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/portfolio-review RedemptionRedemption This weekend I will be attending Filter Photo Fest and having my print portfolio reviewed by five different people who are mostly gallery owners.  I've worked hard to put together my portfolio, select the images, get nice velvet prints and package them up.  It has already been a learning experience. 

I am really excited about the opportunity but I am also nervous.  What if they don't like my work?  I know critique is a great learning experience but it is also tough when you are so personally connected to the work that it really just an extension of you.

So, it is with nervous anticipation that I await tomorrow.  I will share my experience next week.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) anxiety photography portfolio portfolio review portrait portraiture woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/portfolio-review Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:45:00 GMT
From the Fruit Bowl https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/from-the-fruit-bowl Some posts I have a lot to say, while others are more about the pictures.  This is one of the latter.  I am just sharing some photos I did with fruit.  Enjoy.


Fine art portrait with fruitLemon Pucker Fine art portrait with fruitStrawberry Mouthful

Fine art portrait with fruitPomegranate Offering


Fine art portrait with fruitStarry Eye

Fine art portrait with fruitBlackberry Chew Fine art portrait with fruitPomegranet Wink

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blackberry face fruit kiwi lemon photo photography picture pomegranet portrait portraiture self square square format starfruit strawberry woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/from-the-fruit-bowl Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:30:00 GMT
A bit more about me https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/a-bit-more-about-me Brooke Shaden posted these questions on her promoting passion blog Monday.  I thought the answers to her questions would make a good blog post.  So here they are. :-)

 

1. Favorite places to find wardrobe
- Thrift shops
- Etsy
- Ebay

2. Favorite places to share your work.
- My blog
- Facebook
- 500 px

3. Favorite Lenses
- 50 mm 1.4
- 24-70 f2.8
- 70-200 f2.8

4. Top pieces of advice?
- Strive to create/work just outside your comfort zone.  That is how you progress and move forward.  Meaning learn that new skill your not sure off, try that new technique, take that job that's just a bit of a stretch.
- Don't compare yourself to others. (so much easier said than done and I struggle daily but it's important).
- Create what YOU love.

5. Favorite movies?
- Too hard for specifics.  These are the questions I can over think and then never answer.  I love scifi, comedy and some drama.

6. Favorite places?
- The forest
- On my couch with a cat in my lap (yes, I know, boring)
- New exciting places that I've never been to yet (ie. when not on my couch I love to see new places)

7. Favorite images you’ve created in the last year?
- The beach shoot with Shelly was fantastic and my shot Amphitrite is my favorite of the year so far.

FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing.

- I also like my photo drowning.  It's an idea I've had for years and just this year knew enough to create it.


- Third would be Endless Hope.



8. Favorite words?- persnickity
Lately that's it.  I'm not sure what my favorite words are but I know I've enjoyed saying persnickity lately. LOL and I"m not even sure that is a word.
- blemum - only adding because it has meaning that goes way back to me.  I'm also not sure if that is a word but it was engraved on a sign in my parents house. 

9. Top reasons why you create?
- Express and share myself.  I'm not great with words so photography is a great outlet.
- Use a different part of my brain than I do in my day job.
- I just really enjoy it.

10. Best moments so far this year?
- The beach shoot with Shelly.
- Getting to go to a costume sale by the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
- My family vacation to Vancouver - not really photography related but still a highlight of my year.

This weekend I get to help with photography at the Make-A-Wish Chili Cookoff.  I have volunteered for the event the past three years.  If your in Chicagoland, learn more here.  https://www.facebook.com/chilikickoffcookoff

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) about me facts photograph photography picture portaiture portrait ten things https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/a-bit-more-about-me Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Frequency Separation May Have Changed My Life https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/frequency-separation-may-have-changed-my-life fine art portrait woman's face with flower

Above is a photo I have shared before re-edited from scratch.  In this edit I used frequency separation to edit the skin.  This is a technique I am now just learning and I think it may change, if not my life, my photography from this day forward. 

See my images from this shoot with the original edit using my prior technique.  In my opinion they look over done, over blurred, over soft.  This is because I have rather blotchy skin (thanks rosacea) and it is challenging for me to even out my skin tone and not compromise the skin texture at the same time.

So with frequency separation you create two layers of your image.  I use Photoshop CS5.

Layer 1 is the Low Frequency and it is the layer that you will use to edit color and tone.

Layer 2 is the High Frequency layer and it is where you will edit textures.

Do do this I duplicate my base layer twice giving the layers the appropriate names and then I group the two layers to keep them together.  Then I turn off the High Frequency layer so I can see the low frequency layer.  Using Gaussian Blur I blur the Low Frequency layer so that all the texture details are gone.  It will be blurry.  Do not worry.

Next I turn back on the High Frequency layer.  Click "Image" and then "Apply Image" and set it to reference the low frequency layer.  Under Layer it should refer to the "Low Frequency Layer".   Then under blending click "Subtract".  It will turn a grey color and you will see the texture in that layer.  Last under Scale it should be "2" and under Offset put "128".  Do not ask me why.  I just followed instructions.

What you have done is subtracted out the information in the Low Frequency Layer leaving only what is left in the High Frequency layer.  so combined the two layers make up your original image.  To view it like that take your high frequency layer and change the blending mode to "linear light".  Now you will see the combined image is identical to the original.

Here is another of the re-edits I did using this tecnique followed with a bit on how to edit now that you have your layers separated.

Woman's face with cherry blossoms.
So now that your layers are separate.  You can edit tone and color in the Low Frequency layer using whatever tools you like.  Be sure to use very soft brushes and feather a lot when editing this layer.

Then you can move to the High Frequency layer.  Now use a hard brush and either the "heal" tool or the "clone" tool to fix any areas of texture.  So I removed some blemishes, harder visible capillaries and the like from my face in this layer.  I personally like using "clone" over "heal" as it offers more control.  The beautiful thing about either is that you are only cloning the texture so the color is no longer a concern with this editing.

Once I finished editing the two layers, I duplicated the group and merged it.  Then I did some finishing touch edits on the photos and they were done.  Below are two images with the SOOC image, the first version of editing I did back in June (or was it July???) and last the new edit.  Note that I wasn't trying to replicate the tones or effects of the original.  I started from scratch with the new ones and let myself see where this new technique would lead me and how my final results might vary in multiple ways.

One more final image for today. :-)

Beauty and fashion portrait photograph woman with pink flowers.
And for those who would like more tutorials or prefer actions, some links to other pages.

  • The Amazing Power of Frequency Separation on Phlearn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldhG9fmgC7o
  • Free Frequency Separation Action from Fstoppers:  https://fstoppers.com/post-production/free-frequency-separation-action-elena-jasic-3782
  • The Ultimate Guide to Frequency Separation from Fstoppers:  https://fstoppers.com/post-production/ultimate-guide-frequency-separation-technique-8699

Have a great week and if you try this technique, I'd love to see your photos.  Share them or links to them in the comments.

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop beauty photography fashion photography frequency separation how to photo editing portrait portraiture tutorial https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/frequency-separation-may-have-changed-my-life Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Sprinkles and Fairy Dust https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/sprinkles-and-fairy-dust

This is one of my final images from last Sunday. My original goal Sunday was to go to the river and create an image with me in the water.  When I got to my location people were fishing and so I decided to go elsewhere.  I didn't want to scare their fish away and to be honest, I'm still not fully comfortable doing the self portraits with people right there.  I mean, the passing cyclist or person with their dog is fine but to invade the space of people already doing something in a location didn't feel right or comfortable to me.

So I moved on to a pond.  I did create a composite piece with me in the pond, but I did not actually go into the water.  There were too many bugs and algae for me.  I did create some non-water shots which were my favorites of the day, including the above image.

Below are the four images I created that day.  I'm not sure if they are all "keepers" but I wanted to share.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) concept conceptual fairy dust photograph photography portrait portraiture self portriat sprinkles surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/sprinkles-and-fairy-dust Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:05:48 GMT
Lyric Opera Sale https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/lyric-opera-sale Last weekend, on Saturday, September 6, the Lyric Opera had a big costume sale to clear out space.  I was so lucky to be able to go.  The last one they had was in 2004, ten years ago!  So Saturday morning, I got up early and headed downtown.  I arrived and got in line at 8:15 and it was obvious right then, that I should have gone even earlier as the line was down the block, around the corner and half over the bridge. 

But after patiently waiting I was inside around 10:30 am and there were still lots of fun dresses to be found, although they had run our of cool hats.  If I ever have an opportunity like this again, I will be the person out there at 6:00 am waiting.  But even without hats, I had a blast and left with some new treasures.  Look for them in future photos I create.

Here are a couple pictures of my new dresses taken with my iPhone.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Chicago Lyric Opera costumes opera photography sale shopping https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/lyric-opera-sale Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Portfolio https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/portfolio

I put my print portfolio together on Sunday.  Here is a preview.  It is so fun to see the photos in print, on nice paper.  That just adds a whole new level of realness to it all.  If you have never printed your work, I strongly recommend it.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) photogrpahy portfolio portraiture print https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/portfolio Tue, 09 Sep 2014 17:30:00 GMT
Dreams https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/dreams Photograph of a woman falling to the water under the light of the moon.Falling

 

The image I'm sharing today is representative of a dream I've had many times over the years.  It's one of those repeating dreams and while not exactly the same each time (ie. sometimes it's night, other times it's day or the landscape on the shore is different), the basic premise is I am falling from the sky, plunging to the ocean below to what will most likely be a certain death.  Yet, despite how far I have to fall, I fall with control, like that of a skydiver, only without a parachute, and I have some certain confidence that I dive into the water just right, I will survive.  I never find out what happens because I awaken before I get to the water every time.

I'd love to hear about your dreams in the comments.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) conceptual dream dreams falling moon night ocean photography portraiture recurring dream stars water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/dreams Mon, 08 Sep 2014 10:54:43 GMT
Summer's ending https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/summers-ending photograph of woman with face covered in a field of Queen Anne's LaceSummers End

 

While it's not the meteorological end of summer, with the kids all back to school, some for several weeks already, and with Labor Day past us, it feels like the psychological and practical end of summer. 

Summer and it's long days free of responsibilities (well for the kids) but at work there may be certain freedoms. 

Now it's time to focus, get back to work, set goals and make progress.  At least to me that is what September is.  While I miss the idea of summer, fall has always been my favorite of the seasons. 

I love it for the weather. 

I love it for the renewed sense of motivation I always seem to have.  In many ways this time of year is what New Year's is supposed to be for most.  It's a time when I think about what I want to accomplish and how I will get there and then I set a path towards it. 

Goals I start working on in fall for me have a higher success rate than those started at the new year.  And goals started at the start of summer . . . forget it.  I can't complete goals in that heat and humidity (secret - there was not much heat or humidity this summer). 

So embrace the end of summer, look forward to crisp fall days, apples and pumpkins and of course Halloween, the funnest of all the fun holidays.

 

Happy September!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Labor Day September autumn back to school fall motivation photography portrait portraiture summer https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/9/summers-ending Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Drowning https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/drowning Woman in red dress under dark waterDrowning

 

I have been wanting to do a photo like this for years now, really ever since Florence and the Machine released "Never Let Me Go", which was my inspiration.  (Listen below.)

When I first heard the song and had ideas in my mind, I didn't know how to execute the images I wanted.  but I kept it with me and have been working on the idea this year.  Sometimes you may not know how to make an idea come to life, but keep it with you because you never know when you will have that skill or ability.

I created this in Photoshop using a couple photographs I have taken.  My next goal is to get a model in water to photograph. 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black dark drowning inspiration ocean photography portrait portraiture red self portait underwater water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/drowning Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Five tips to improve your work https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/five-tips-to-improve-your-work

I've been struggling to keep up with my blog.  I have been working on lots of new photographs however.  Some are working out while others are total failures.  But I'm learning and so failing at a photograph isn't as terrible as it may sound.  Some are failures at the start but then after a break and retry they have worked out.  That is the process I take now.  My big things to remember to improve my results, and I find this to be true with all work/projects, etc. not just photography are:

1.  Not plan out the image in advance:

Figuring out what I want to create in advance does wonders for my final image.  It also tells me if I met my creative goal for the image and helps me know when I'm done.  I don't always sketch my work but doing so, even in a rough sketch (trust me, I have no drawing skills), makes a huge difference.  At minimum, having the general idea and notes about the color, etc. written out in advance helps guide me during the shoot.

2.  Take my time: 

Rushing through a photo shoot or editing session or really any work is never good and it always hurts the end results.  When you are rushed you may not get your best shot.  The same is true with editing. Taking my time can really improve the results.

3.  Get all the shots:

This goes along with number 2 but making sure that I really have all the shots I need.  Do I have multiple options of each one.  Sometimes it looks good in the camera and then is off once it's viewed large on the computer.  Do I have any supplemental shots I may need for compositing?  DId I take a blank shot of my scene?  Shots around the scene?  It is hard to create a masterpiece, if you don't have all the pieces to do so.

4.  Take a night to sleep on it:

Once I am done with an image, I am usually chomping the bit to post it right away.  I am eager to share what I just created.  All my hard work.  But I find when I sleep on it and re-look the next day I often find little things that need fixing and wind up in the end with a better final piece.  This might be the hardest one of these for me to follow.

5.  Get feedback from people you trust:

Having someone provide some critique before finalizing an image can be invaluable to improving your work.  Much like how a proofreading your own paper can lead to missed errors, so can proofreading your own image.  Don't be afraid to ask for feedback from peers you trust.

 

I think part of my issues with the recent photos is that I did not follow all of these steps.  I went into shoots with just ideas in my mind but nothing really sketched or planned in advance so I didn't know what I was trying to create when I was creating it.  That led me to feel frustrated with the shoot and not take as many photos as I needed or to run of of time/light which led to it's own kind of rushing and issues.  This all led me to not have all the shots I really needed.

While I got some images I liked from the experience I feel a strong need to go back to the drawing board on a few of the ideas and on the one location because I just didn't do it justice.

 

What tips do you have?  What pitfalls do you find yourself in the most often?  I'd love to hear in the comments.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) concept conceptual fantasy flood photography photography tips portrait portraiture self help surreal tips to improve water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/five-tips-to-improve-your-work Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:32:04 GMT
Thoughts for Tippy https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/thoughts-for-tippy Diffuse calico cat portrait photograph

My son's cat Tippy is not feeling well.  I can't get her to eat and she is so sad.  I thought I'd share a few photos of her, even though it's not my normal subject here.

Portrait photograph of diffuse calico cat.

I hope she feels better soon.

Portrait photograph woman in prayer pose.Redemption

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) calico cat conceptual cute dark feline pet photograph photography portrait portraituer portraiture portriat woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/thoughts-for-tippy Mon, 25 Aug 2014 11:12:35 GMT
A girl and her horse https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/a-girl-and-her-horsea  

I had been wanting to photograph myself with this horse for a while.  It was my son's toy when he was younger.  I had a similar one when I was a child.  There was just so much sentimental memory there.  I finally cleaned out the basement and did the photos.  Above and below are the creations I came up with.  I was going for a left in the basement/forgotten feeling in these as that is what happened to the toy.  I will share some before editing/after editing pics in the next week or so as well as some fun edits my friend and fellow photographer Stacy Frett did.

This was also motivated by my needing to complete a printed portfolio which I just finished prepping for the printer this morning.  This portfolio will be reviewed by reviewers at Filter Photo Festival in September.  I am hoping to get some good feedback to push my work to the next level and maybe even an opportunity will come of it.

 

Conceptual portrait of woman on horse toy.Forgotten

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) basement concept conceptual dark forgotten horse photography phtotograph picture portrait portraiture toy vintage gown woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/a-girl-and-her-horsea Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:56:06 GMT
Looking for the fit girl inside of me https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/looking-for-the-fit-girl-inside-of-me

In the past several years, for a variety of reasons, I went from being in the most amazing physically fit shape to being very out of shape.  I have struggled to get back into a routine and deal with various minor issues that cause pain and make it difficult, yet I know that if I can get past the initial phase and get back in a routine, that ultimately I will feel better and hurt less. 

This photo below, from an exhibit 2 and a half years ago is when it really hit me.  I am on the far left in the hat (we were purposely dressing silly).  It hit me that no matter how I felt I looked, the reality was something different.  I no longer looked like "me".  And while all my friends told me that is not how you look or even worse that I look fine in the picture I knew I wasn't at my best. 

 

I had always been the naturally skinny girl or the fit girl, the girl obsessed with some form of exercise or another.  It came easy to me.  I never had to try.  Now I find myself overweight with back pains and neck pains and hating all of my clothing and all clothing in the mall too.  I had to find new shops to buy from as the stores I used to shop from didn't carry my new size.  Finding pants that are comfortable, don't pull in one place or another and look good is impossible.  I can dress slimming but feel uncomfortable or I can dress comfortable (like the picture) and have no shape at all.  And even when I feel like I look good, I catch myself in the mirror and realize I look nothing like my mind is picturing.

So starting today, I am embarking on a workout challenge with a group of friends online run by a fellow photographer and fitness enthusiast friend Laura Evans (send me a message if you want more information on the details of that) and I am going to stick with it.  It is my number one priority after family and work.  I have already been doing short cardio workouts twice a week for a month but I need to step it up big time.

I will try to share my journey back to fitness periodically too.  If you have gone from out of shape to in shape, I'd love to hear your story in my comments here or on Facebook.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) emotions feelings overweight photography portrait portraiture self weight workout https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/looking-for-the-fit-girl-inside-of-me Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:00:00 GMT
The Basement Series https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/the-basement-series Dramatic and moody portrait photographs.Basement Series

This is from a shoot I did on Saturday in my basement.  For weeks I've been wanting to shoot down there because the great grungy walls.  It took me so long because first I had to clean the ceiling and space from spiderwebs and I get very squeamish about that.  I still feel a bit buggy to be honest and it's many days later.

Anyway, I finally womaned up and just did it on Saturday.  Here are some of the headshots.  I also did a shoot with a bouncy horse that was my son's when he was young.  I'd been wanting to incorporate it for a while too.  I'll share those next week.

So share with me, what are you afraid of????

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) basement dark emotive face fear grungy moody photography portrait portraiture spider square woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/the-basement-series Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Vacation https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/vacation I'm officially back from vacation.  Ok, we got back on Wednesday but today is the day I go back to the day job.  I used those last days to edit my photos and rest up after a busy vacation.

Today I will step outside the normal portraits I share here and post a few from my trip.  Enjoy!

 

View from the top of Whistler Mountain in Whistler.

 

Outside a craft shop in Vancouver's Chinatown.

The rainforest at Lynn Canyon Park.


This can be found at the Museum of Anthropology

There were ravens.

The sunsets were beautiful!

 

If you ever have the chance to visit Vancouver and the area, I highly recommend it.  There is so much to do, a nice mix of urban and nature and everything is quite accessible.  Have a wonderful week!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) British Columbia Canada Vancouver Whistler bird forest landscape mountain nature photography rain forest rainforest raven sunset travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/vacation Mon, 11 Aug 2014 10:47:19 GMT
The Many Faces of Sarah https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/the-many-faces-of-sarah  

 

I had fun editing this photo a few different ways. The first I played with the tones and darkened it some, especially the background.  The second (see it larger below) I added dust and embers to look like there might be a fire nearby and the final one I added horns from a bighorn sheep. :-)

With embers:

With horns:

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) conceptual dark digital composit embers horns lady photo photograph photography photoshop picture portrait portraiture square woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/the-many-faces-of-sarah Fri, 08 Aug 2014 14:45:00 GMT
Abandoned Red https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/abandoned-red

Silly self portrait taken on an abandoned property out in the corn fields.  This red building is an old shed.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) abandoned derelict grungy photograph photography portrait portraiture red redhead self shed silly woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/abandoned-red Wed, 06 Aug 2014 17:30:00 GMT
In the leaves https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/in-the-leaves portrait photograph of woman with long brown hair surrounded by leaves.Springs Leaves

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) brunette green leaves long hair nature outside portrait portraiture self tree woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/8/in-the-leaves Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:30:00 GMT
Vacation https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/vacation I'm officially on vacation, starting today.  I will not be actively posting for the next week but you can see phone pics from my travels at DK Miller on Facebook and I have pre-scheduled a few photo posts during my time away.  Have a great week!

 

woman holding green balloons floating across the BadlandsFloat

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Badlands clouds composit concept conceptual float fly green photography portrait portraiture sky woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/vacation Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Family Visit https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/family-visit FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing.

What can you expect when I come to visit, a photo shoot.  Well, if you're willing.  Last weekend we went up to visit some relatives in Wisconsin and my lovely cousin Sarah agreed to model.  It wasn't really a planned out shoot and I forgot to bring the dresses but she came prepared and we braved the buggy forest and the prairie and this is my favorite from the day.

One of my goals this year was to expand beyond the self portraits and slowly but surely I am.  My cousin marks the second model I've worked with whose passion and creativity is strong.  I can't wait to create more!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) birds black composite dark digital digital art fine art portraiture nature outside photo photograph photography photoshop portrait portraiture prairie woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/family-visit Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Playing https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/playing

 

This is a photo from earlier this year.  I was playing with some fog/dust and starry overlays in it and thought I'd share.  Can you find the fog?  What about the stars?  yea, I know, it's not hard. :-)  Have a great week!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Monarch butterflies butterfly copmosite fog overlay photography photoshop portrait portraiture stars woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/playing Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Field of Dreams https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/field-of-dreams Woman in a field of Queen Anne's LaceField of Dreams

Sometimes a field of flowers stands for itself and needs no further explanation.  Have a wonderful day!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art dress field fine art flowers format gown green outside photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture prairie queen anne's lace self self portrait square vintage dress white wildflowers https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/field-of-dreams Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:45:00 GMT
The Making of Amphitrite https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/the-making-of-amphitrite As promised, here are some of the before images and the after image of my photo Amphitrite which was taken in early June at the Indian Dunes/Lakeshore in collaboration with Shelly Schwegel.  I also include my initial sketch at the end of this post.  Please be kind as I am not a sketch artist.

The top three images on the left of the below picture are the original three images used to make the square frame.  They were composited together first to create my square.  Then the other images are components used to make the hair and the skirt.  There were more images than shown but this gives an idea of how it was done.  Many images put together and blended in Photoshop to create the full blowing skirt effect the image has.

The image on the top right is after the main composite but before I worked with color, tones and mood.  I also added some birds and a texture at the end.  The  bottom image is the final.

Before and after images.The Making of Apmhitrite

 

Below is the original sketch that I drew of this idea.  This is the starting point for many, though not all images I create.  Certainly most of my planned out images have a sketch or clear written direction for the image in advance.  I find that really helps to set the focus of the shoot whether it is with a model or a self portrait.

I hope you enjoyed this post and seeing some of the behind the scenes work in making an image.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Amphitrite Photoshop art before and after behind the scenes composite photograph photography portrait portraiture sketch https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/the-making-of-amphitrite Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Suburban Wasteland https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/suburban-wasteland Woman standing in an abandoned parking lot with plastic bags floating around her.Suburban Wasteland

This is a bit of a study on suburbia today and a general environmental piece.  I went to what once was a Domincks and used the empty parking lot of the strip mall and the abandoned grocery store as my background.  I floated several empty plastic bags around me.  They are everywhere and a problem.  Many places are moving to paper, give a choice and encourage reusable bags.  Did I capture the mood right?  Do you use a reusable bag or paper or plastic?  I will be honest, most cases I do use plastic.  They make fantastic bags for cleaning the litter box and packing lunches for work occasionally. What about you?

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) abandoned bag closed cloudy dark empty environment environmental environmental portrait hoodie parking lot photo photograph photography picture plastic bag portrait portraiture self self portrait square square format strip mall suburb suburban suburbia sun glasses texture textured woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/suburban-wasteland Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:45:00 GMT
Drowning in my own Tub https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/drowning I tried my first take at some photos with me emerged in water which is something I have wanted to do but been hesitant for a variety of reasons.   One, I don't really like getting into pools, ponds, etc. especially with cloths on and I struggle to ask models to do things I don't like to do.  I do have the image of Shelly in the lake with water half way up her legs but I am talking about laying in water or going under the water.  I have all of these ideas and I need to figure out how to execute them.

The first step is trying.   So without a pool, on a work night, I used the tub to see what the results would be of a head shot of me in the tub with the camera on a tripod pointing down.  I did not end up with what I wanted.  Most of my photos were just blobs because the humid warm bathroom air ended up fogging up my lens too much.  So I edited one photo that was not too fogged up.  It still needed a lot of work as there was barely any contrast given the fogging had started.

Here they are.  I will work on this.  As with each new skill there is a learning process.  I still have my photos in ponds I want to do.  But if I'm not even comfortable in my own bathroom, I have some work to do first.  Here is the image in color and black and white.  It's not what I was originally going for and the underwater aspect is not as obvious as my initial goal but I still feel they turned out interesting.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) aqua bathtub black and white blue color face monochrome photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture self self portrait square tub underwater water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/drowning Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Opening Today https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/opening-today

 

That's right, it's today!  If you are in the Orlando, area, stop by between 6 and 9 pm tonight or visit some other time during the exhibit.  If you do, please share a photo on my Facebook Page DK Miller.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/opening-today Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:15:00 GMT
Feast of the Mosquito https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/feast-of-the-mosquito

 

I ordered three vintage dresses and they arrived so Sunday I did a bit of an unplanned shoot with one of them. Today, I'm sharing some of the photos.  I haven't finalized titles yet but am jokingly calling the above photo "Feast of the Mosquito" because I was swarmed by mosquitoes to the point I really just took a couple quick pics and ran as fast as I could out of there.  I am thinking of an actual name along the lines of  "Embrace of the forest.

Below is the second location I visited, in hopes of less mosquitoes and it worked well.  More from that to come.

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) artistic conceptual dreamy dress field fine art forest gown photography portrait portraiture romantic self self portrait textured vintage wedding gown white woman woodland woods https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/feast-of-the-mosquito Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:51:23 GMT
On Exhibit https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/on-exhibit That's right, my photo "Awaken" is in a group show that opens this Thursday, July 17 at the City Arts Factory.   It will be exhibited with many other talented artists from the Fine Art Portrait Photography Guild.  If you can make the opening or even stop the exhibit on another day that would be great!

Details of the exhibit are:

  • The exhibit runs July 17 - August 15
  • It's at Star Gallery
  • Address:  29 S. Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801
  • Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

If you go, please take a picture of my photo. Even better, a picture of yourself with my photo.  If you do and you send it to me or share it on my Facebook Page DK Miller, I will share it on my blog.

Surreal image of a woman in blue awakening in a nest in a desert landscape with a brilliant orange sky.Awaken

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) City Arts Factory Florida Orlando Star Gallery art exhibit fantasy fine art fine art portriat photography guild group show photography portrait portraiture surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/on-exhibit Mon, 14 Jul 2014 10:32:54 GMT
Belissima https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/belissima Today I share the last of the water goddess series and it's titled "Belissima".  This is the last from the water goddess series, at least so far.  There may be more down the road.  I will come back at a later date and share a before and after and discuss the editing process a bit more but I couldn't await any longer to share the photo.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Belisama

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) American Eagle Belissima Lake Michigan azure bird blue concept conceptual dreamy eagle female feminine goddess gown lady lake photography photogrpah portrait portraiture square square format tall water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/belissima Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:49:56 GMT
Indiana Lakeshore, Imagination and being Published https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/indiana-lakeshore-imagination-and-being-published Amphitrite

Back in early June I had a wonderful wonderful photo shoot with the amazing Shelly Schwegel who was more than a model, she was a true partner in the shoot.  We collaborated on ideas for a good month or more before finally meeting at the Indiana Dunes and Lakeshore to create the image. 

Before meeting, ideas were shared.  I sketched out images I wanted to create.  I may have promised on facebook I would share those but that will have to wait as I don't have them photographed yet.  But I promise I will.
The dress was made by Athena Schwegel who sells her wonderful clothing at Azaelea Clothing.  See her on Etsy here!  And don't forget to follow Azaelea Clothing on Facebook!  Shelly made the headpieces she wore in some images, although not the ones I'm sharing today and she did her hair and makeup.

We spent a hot day at the Dunes.  The sun was bright which was not what I had hoped for but with busy schedules this was the day and the weather was not going to stop us.  We climbed sand dunes, we walked through forests, we went in the lake.  It was wonderful.  I will share more details on how some of these were edited/made and share some before/after pics in a couple of weeks.  There was a whole process to getting the dress to look as it does above.

I'm thrilled to say that the images I am sharing today were also included in Volume 4 Issue 1 of Obscurae Magazine.  This is my second time being published in Obscurae and it's still a wonderful feeling to see my work in a magazine.  If you like fashion, art and the likes, check out Obscurae on their website or Facebook.  If you are a photographer, they have a listing of topics so you can plan for submissions.

The images shared today were all included in the issue of Obscurae.  They were cropped obviously to fit the paper.  There is a ton of other work in the magazine.  The digital issue is only $4.00.
 

She waits in the dragons tower.

Vivien - Lady of the LakeVivien - Lady of the Lake

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Azaelea Clothing Indiana Indiana lakeshore Obscurae Magazine art collaboration concept conceptual dress fine art lake Michigan magazine model nature photography portrait portraiture published woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/indiana-lakeshore-imagination-and-being-published Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:30:00 GMT
What do you see? https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/what-do-you-see I will be honest, I love darkness, dark colors, dark fashions, dark characters, dark music, you name it.  I may not show that much on the outside anymore in my own fashion but I used to be a bit of a goth.  People see an outfit such as this and they think "mourning", "who died" but I see beautiful lace, mystery and endless possibility. 

What do you see?

 

Fine art photograph of a woman in black lace.Dark Princess

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art beautiful beauty black black lace cloudy concept conceptual dark darkness emotive fine art goth gray grey hood hooded mystery photo photograph photography picture portraiture portriat self self portrait square square format textured woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/what-do-you-see Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Happy Fourth of July https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/happy-fourth-of-july tre carnevale folliatre carnevale follia

Wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Fourth of July Independence Day black celebrate color composite dress ferris wheel firework fireworks gold lights mask night photography photoshop portrait portraiture three tres venetian mask women https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/7/happy-fourth-of-july Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:40:18 GMT
Fleur - a spontaneous creation https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/fleur---a-spontaneous-creation Romantic portrait with pink flowers

I took a lot of photos last weekend.  Well, by a lot I mean a total of 6 finished images, which is a lot with these portraits.  This series is with some flowers and I was laying on the floor in a very awkward position with the tripod and camera above pointed down looking at me.  I used a few wigs and a few outfits, not that there is any focus on the clothing.

This shoot was spontaneous.  My husband had gone out for the evening and I just wanted to create so I did.  No planning, just a quick, what do I have around the house to make an image with.  I don't do all of my photos this way.  Many are planned out in great detail beforehand with terrible sketches (I can't draw), Pinterest mood boards and more. 

I would generally say the planned out shoots produce the most dramatic results but I still enjoy a good spontaneous creative session and I'm always surprised by how many keepers I wind up with from them.

Romantic portrait with pink flowers

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) beauty fashion feminine fleur flower photo photograph photography pink portrait portraiture romantic self self portrait woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/fleur---a-spontaneous-creation Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:30:00 GMT
Failure https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/failure Painterly photograph of a woman in a blue dress.Failure

The above photo is titled Failure because this photo shoot was a complete failure in my mind as I headed home.  My original idea and plan was thwarted when the location I was planning to shoot from was under construction and I had no good way or knowledge of another suitable location.  So, I went to a park near my home and did the best I could.  Neither image is what I originally intended, not at all BUT, I really like how they both turned out.  I consider these failures to be keepers.

The above image, is the first of two.  My lens was fogged up from the hot humid air.  It had been in an air conditioned home and then car.  So the image was very surreal and glowy from the start.  I edited with a few different textures to play up the painterly surreal feel.  The below image, which is titled Breakdown, because that is how I felt when I found my park all under construction.  The fog had cleared so it is more focused than the first image but I like the emotion of this.

So while things don't always go as planned, sometimes you have to just roll with the punches and you won't walk away empty handed.  Have a fantastic week!

 

Portrait photograph of a womamBreakdown

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art breakdown emotion emotions fail failure fine art photography locations musings painterly photo shoot photography photoshoot portrait portraiture self self portrait texture woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/failure Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:30:00 GMT
You have to believe in magic https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/you-have-to-believe-in-magic  

Magical portrait photograph of woman in red in the forest.Summer Magic

The above photo is of my beautiful friend who was kind enough to model.  Summer Magic is part of a series I've started with a goal of one per season.  Below you can see Spring Magic which was my first and a self portrait.

Because I am working on my portfolio with a deadline of September for a fully printed version, I have been creating a ton of new work.  Not all of it will make it into the final printed set but each image gives me a chance to express myself and learn.
Do you believe in magic?

 

Spring portrait photograph with green dress and cherry blossomSpring Magic

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art blossom conceptual dark defy gravity fine art forest green nature photograph photography portrait portraiture red square square format woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/you-have-to-believe-in-magic Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:14:07 GMT
Twin https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/twin Twin Twin

Today, I'm just sharing a quick photo from earlier in the year. 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) alley art black bride conceptual dark dress gown grey monochrome photo photograph photography picture print surreal twin wedding dress white https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/twin Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:43:53 GMT
Overwhelmed https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/overwhelmed I am feeling overwhelmed.  I have started working on my portfolio, as in figuring out which photos are worthy of being printed.  I'm just at the beginning and finding it so overwhelming.  It seems like it should be an easy enough thing.  Pick my best work and order it appropriately but what is my best work?  Do I only go with square images as most, but not all are square and I like the uniformity?  But wait, some of my favorites aren't square. . . so if I mix in some vertical how many so it's not an odd one or two?  And I could go on and on and on.

So I am stepping away and sharing a photo from earlier in the year that is not making the portfolio cut because I either can't decide what new photo to share or I'm not allowed to share it yet.

Have a fantastic day!

Portrait photograph of woman with monarch butterflies and orange flowers.Orange Bliss

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) butterfly flower monarch orange photograph photography portrait portraiture self square woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/overwhelmed Tue, 17 Jun 2014 11:26:00 GMT
A Child's Imagination https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/a-childs-imagination Portrait photograph of a child with Monarch butterflies.Imagination of a Child

 

I remember when I was young and playing make-believe was one of my favorite things.  I could be anything and anywhere at anytime.  That is what photography is to me now.  My time to play make-believe and create any scenario I can imagine.  I had the honor of photographing a child, still full of imagination and wonder.  I vow to keep that wonder no matter how old I get.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Monarch blue butterfly child girl imagination orange photograph photography picture portrait portraiture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/a-childs-imagination Tue, 10 Jun 2014 11:04:01 GMT
Online Networking Presents Opportunities https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/the-benefit-of-online-groups

I wanted to talk about the wonderful opportunities that can open up when you work with others as a group towards common goals and how the internet and online social networks can bring groups together that might never have formed before.  Global, international groups of people working together.

As a result of a photography group I'm in I have had the opportunity to participate in a large group show in Houston, be accepted into another group shop in Orlando, Florida which will open July 17, 2014 and my work was included in a smaller subset of the group in Slovenia at their Photonic Moments.  Two of my images, Siamese Twin and Dark Forest, were included in the group "This is My World" in the June 4 projections.  If our group of images wins, we will get an exhibit of print work as well.  This wouldn't be possible if I wasn't friends and networking with photographers from all corners of the world.  I would not have even known about this opportunity.

Martina Zaletel helped organize our little group and submit the photos and she was also kind enough to take photos of the images as they were projected on the screen.  So my sincerest thanks to her for everything.

I am so grateful for the year I've had so far and the opportunities that have presented themselves and my new found surge of inspiration.

 

Below are the photos Martina took of my work on the projection.  They are a bit dark as this was indoors but I'm told the images all looked much more vibrant on the screen.

 

Dark Forest at Photonic MomentsDark Forest at Photonic MomentsMy photo "Dark Forest" on the projection screen at Photonic Moments in Slovenia June 4, 2014 as part of the "This is My World" collection.

Thanks to Martina Zaletel for this photo and for making this opportunity happen for the group.

 


Siamese Twin at Photonic MomentsSiamese Twin at Photonic MomentsMy photo "Siamese twin" on the projection screen at Photonic Moments in Slovenia June 4, 2014 as part of the "This is My World" collection.

Thanks to Martina Zaletel for this photo and for making this opportunity happen for the group.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Slovenia exhibit groups international networking online photograph photography projection social networking https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/6/the-benefit-of-online-groups Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:48:46 GMT
Summer's Unofficial Start https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/summer  

photograph of colorful poppy flowersColorful Poppies - 4

This is the unofficial start of summer, the post Memorial Day, late May start to summer.  The weather is warmer, the days are longer, offices allow more relaxed dress codes and schools are almost out for break. 

Enjoy!

 

Portrait photograph of a girl on a wooden bridge in the forest.HeartbreakKnock Knolls Park<br/>June 23, 2012<br/>

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Memorial Day bridge flower flowers forest girl green nature photo photograph photography poppies poppy portrait portraiture red red hair redhead summer trees wooden wooden bridge young woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/summer Tue, 27 May 2014 10:51:55 GMT
Happy Friday https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/happy-friday IvyIvy

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art bright brunnete fashion green high key ivy leaves photo photograph photography picture plant portrait portraiture square weekend white https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/happy-friday Fri, 23 May 2014 11:24:29 GMT
Dancing in the spring breeze https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/dancing-in-the-spring-breeze Dreamy portrait photograph of a woman dancing in the spring breeze.Spring Breeze

 

Dancing in the warm spring breeze

When everything was green

But brilliant red hair

She twirled and spun with joy

Just a breath from the deep, dark forest.

 


I'm so happy it's spring and everything is green.  Flowers are in bloom.  Birds are chirping.  Happy Spring!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) bold color concept conceptual dance dancing dark dreamy faceless fairytale firey forest green photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture red square vibrant vignette woodland https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/dancing-in-the-spring-breeze Wed, 21 May 2014 10:45:00 GMT
Bloom https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/bloom Fine art portrait photography.  Implied nude portrait of a woman with a dahlia.Bloom

I will be honest and say I have been so excited about creating new work that it has felt like a chore to even share that work.  I have so many photos to release still. With spring finally solidly here (at least I hope as there was snow in the forecast around here last week) I thought today I would share something brighter than my normal.  Because spring makes me happy.

I also wanted to let anyone who is in a creative slump know that they don't last forever.  I felt like I was in one for so long.  I created very little work and felt uninspired but I have come out if that with even more ideas and inspiration and I almost always do.  It seems every jump in my work is preceded by a slump.  So embrace your slump.  Take a break if needed and come back to it.  Or try just shooting for fun, maybe a subject you normally don't photograph.

Have a wonderful week!

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) brown brunette dahlia flower fresh implied nude light pale photo photograph photography picture pink portaiture portrait pretty seasonal self self portrait sexy spring square square format white https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/bloom Mon, 19 May 2014 11:05:47 GMT
Facing my Fears https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/facing-my-fears

What are you afraid of?

Without thought, I can tell you immediately that I am afraid of bees, wasps and most any insect that buzzes around.  

I really love nature, gardens, flowers and such and I really wanted to start a series that blends them with my portraits so on Sunday I went to Cantigny, which is the closest beautiful, amazing garden that I know of.  It was perfect and the trees were all in bloom.  Well, except for the weeping cherry which I fear may not bloom this year.

The above images are the result of my outing.  to get them, I had to get right up with the flowers, from inside the foliage.  The trees were alive and buzzing, filled with many bees enjoying the nectar and pollen.  When I say buzzing, I am not kidding.  I was terrified and it took me a good thirty minutes to get up the courage to enter the first tree and start actually taking photographs.

But I did it and I didn't get stung and hopefully I will be a little less afraid next time.  I knew if I didn't follow through with the shoot, I would have deep regret and be so angry at myself so I just sucked it up and did it.  And I'm so glad that I did.

What are you afraid of? 

Have you let that fear prevent you from doing something you wanted? 

Have you pushed through a fear before?

I'd love to hear your answers in the comments or visit my facebook page DK Miller and share there.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Cantigny accomplishment bees blooming blossoms fear garden gardens nature photograph photography portrait portraiture self spring woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/facing-my-fears Wed, 14 May 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Black birds and Ravens https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/black-birds-and-ravens

Today I am sharing a couple more photos from my shoot with Dawn.  These were are both published in Obscurae Magazine Volume 2 Issue 2. 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) bird birds black bird blackbird concept conceptual creepy dark fine art portraiture photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture raven ravens surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/black-birds-and-ravens Mon, 12 May 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Happy Mother's Day https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/happy-mothers-day 20140510 Self tulips - 220140510 Self tulips - 2

I wish all the mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Happy Mother's Day Mother's Day glasses holiday mom mother photo photograph photography picture pink portrait portraiture self tulips woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/happy-mothers-day Sun, 11 May 2014 13:30:00 GMT
Gratitude and Overcoming Toxic Negativity https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/gratitude-and-overcoming-toxic-negativity EvictionEvictionAs seen in Obscurae Magazine Volume 2, Issue 2. Gratitude is taking time to think about, acknowledge and be grateful for the things we have.  Showing gratitude in a structured way can help people out of depression or simply help them live a more happy fulfilled life.

To me toxic negativity is when your unable to see those good things and you hone into only the negative things.  I know for me personally, once I start falling into this trap, bad is all I can see anywhere and it is a downward spiral from there.

I have noticed a lot of toxic negativity online lately in a variety of places.  I often wonder why people who have such great opportunities and freedoms can go out and complain or find fault in everything.  Why aren't they grateful for certainly if I had that same opportunity, I would be.

The reality is nothing is all perfect or good in the same way nothing is all horribly bad.  Almost everything has it's ups and downs and it's good things and bad things. 

We need to figure out our priorities, our goals and then be willing to sacrifice and pay that price, whatever it might be, to achieve those.  The price may mean moving away for that dream job, even if it's not the ideal city for you.  It could mean not pursuing that job because family is what is most important for you.  It's all choices and each one has some sacrifice. 

The whole idea that a person can have it "ALL" is a fallacy.  As an example, the mother with the high powered executive career sacrificed time with her children where the mom who leaves her high powered career to stay at home with the kids gets the benefit of that time with them but may not be able to resume her career when they are grown up. 

In photography, since this is a photography blog, it's about figuring out what you want to do with that photography, how to follow your passion and go for it in a way that fits your priorities in life overall, while understanding there may be sacrifices along the way.

For example, I enjoy creating artistic pieces that aren't necessarily what is big in home decor, aren't necessarily true fashion and my goal is to get into galleries.  And it's taken me several years of doing a whole lot of other things with the photography to get to this point.  People have suggested I quit my career in financial compliance to be a photographer.  That they know someone who makes lots of money photographing sports teams or weddings or (insert whatever else here). 

But why would I give up a career I've worked hard at and am doing well in to pursue a job I have no interest in?  I have no desire to photograph sports teams professionally (unless you can get me on the pro football field that is).  I find wedding and event photography far more stressful than I wish to deal with.  So I keep my "day job" which means less time for photography.  At times I have complained.  I mean, who doesn't want to be independently wealthy and able to do whatever they want with no need to earn income from it, right?  But by keeping my day job gives me the freedom to photograph what I want, how I want and with no need to earn money from it.  If it resonates with someone, wonderful, if not, as long as it resonates with me, I'm good.

So take a moment and think about what you have and try to make a habit out of it.  If you spend your time focused on the things you have in your life and your goals, you will have far less time to dwell on what you don't have and in the long run, that leads to more fulfillment and happiness.

Live with gratitude, not negativity.  Be humble and grateful for what you have.  And try to give back in some way.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) gratitude humble inspiration inspirational negativity photography priorities prioritize toxic negativity https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/gratitude-and-overcoming-toxic-negativity Thu, 08 May 2014 11:12:30 GMT
Published in Obscurae Magazine https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/published-in-obscurae-magazine

I'm thrilled to announce that this image and 5 others have been published in Obscurae Magazine, Dark/Horror Issue 2 Volume 2.  It's under $3 for a digital copy of this issue and the other issues and there is some pretty cool photography featured.

This is a new magazine focused on fashion and art and I'm thrilled to be included in it.  You can also follow Obscurae on Facebook and you can find me on Facebook @ DK Miller.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Obscurae Obscurae Magazine conceptual creepy dark fashion horror magazine obscura photograph photography portrait published self portrait siamese twin surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/published-in-obscurae-magazine Mon, 05 May 2014 23:41:14 GMT
Raven's Release https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/ravens-release

I wanted to share these thoughts after last week.  Those you love may pass unexpectedly so make sure that. . .

  • You don't hold onto anger in your heart.
  • You make time to spend with those whom you love.
  • And always say your goodbyes with love for you never know when it may be your last.
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Raven bird birds black conceptual crow gown mask photo photograph photography portrait portraiture red self surreal woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/5/ravens-release Sat, 03 May 2014 23:28:13 GMT
Hair https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/hair

 

I have always wished for long thick hair.  It's not something I have naturally and because of that I have learned to embrace short styles.  With the help of wigs though, I can pretend to have the hair I always wanted in my photographs.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black dark faceless hair long hair photo photograph photography picture portaiture portriat red red hair self self portrait square square format wig woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/hair Mon, 28 Apr 2014 10:41:41 GMT
And she said she wasn't a model https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/and-she-said-she-wasnt-a-model

And she said she wasn't a model.  Do you believe her?

Model:  Dawn Hiller

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) fashion fashion photography fine art portait glamour gown gritty grunge model photo photograph photography portrait portraiture vintage woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/and-she-said-she-wasnt-a-model Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:37:13 GMT
Force of Nature https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/force-of-nature


I created this image for a submission.  The theme "Force of Nature" sounded like it should be easy.  I certainly had enough ideas but the execution proved to be difficult.  I spent countless hours and multiple takes (as in different images completely) before coming to this one.  This is a testament to not giving up, learning from failure and believing that I could pull this together.  So next time you fail to create the vision in your mind, go back to the drawing board and start again.  The worst thing that will happen is you will learn.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blue conceptual conceptual photography failure lightning nature persistence photography portrait portraiture red storm surreal tornado https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/force-of-nature Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:30:00 GMT
More fun with a friend https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/its-always-more-fun-with-a-friend

I often use myself as a model for a wide variety of reasons but this weekend I got to photograph a friend of mine.  I met her in the city and we worked in a couple of locations.  Today, I'm sharing the first of the photos.  The above was taken by Lake Michigan.  Time was limited as we were parked in a hospital lot and told it was ok as long as we didn't take long.  I didn't need long though as I already had the images in mind.  Here they are.  They are a bit lighter than most of my work but I love how they turned out.

Below is a preview of one of the grungy cement wall images I was excited to take.  I am thrilled with how these came out.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Chicago art dress feminine fine art lake Michigan photograph photography portrait portraiture serene https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/its-always-more-fun-with-a-friend Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:57:28 GMT
What's old is new https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/whats-old-is-new storm in my headstorm in my headSelf portrait.
Tornado image from Can Stock Photo.

Photo:  Storm in my Head
Self Portrait
Tornado storm image from Can Stock Photo by ig)rZh

I've been so motivated to create that I can't take new photos fast enough so I was playing with some older photos.  I also have certain subjects, items that I have accepted I am likely not going to get on my own shoots so I have purchased a few stock images to play with.  This image I used a storm image purchased on Can Stock Photo.   I always try to photograph all of the elements of my work myself but this is allowing me to play with editing and new concepts.  I don't think it will become a regular part of my process, outside the occasional small element but this was fun to play with and I feel that I made it truly my own in editing. 

The real question is if this is still considered a photograph or has it moved into more of a digital art piece.  What do you think?

I have a shoot set up this weekend and am excited to create more new work.  I am also sitting on some new work that can't be published just yet.  One  of my goals is to submit to more publications this year and many of them do not want work that was previously published so I am working on patience. 

How do you deal with patience?  Do you post work right away or hold off?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Can Stock Photo digital art photo photograph photography photoshop portrait self portrait sepia storm tornado https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/whats-old-is-new Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:52:46 GMT
Spring is in the Air https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/spring-is-in-the-air 20140405 FlowerStills - 520140405 FlowerStills - 5

 

I am finally feeling in the spirit of spring.  The long, really cold winter seems to be past us, the first sprouts are peeking through the dirt.  Even the weather this week will be warmer.  This is a boon for my creativity.  After a winter slump I can't seem to create enough, whether it's flowers or portraits, I've been inspired and motivated to create new work, submit my wok (hopefully it will grace more gallery walls soon) and share.  Above is one of the tulips, available at  The Shutterbug Eye.  Below are some portraits I took a couple weekends ago.  I created a four photo portrait series this weekend but am submitting to a magazine and cannot publish until I know if they are accepted.  More on that later but wish me luck.

 

_IVN0418.jpg_IVN0418.jpg

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) DK Miller Diane K Miller Diane Karas Miller The Shutterbug Eye abandoned butterfly colorful conceptual creative inspired photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture spring tulip tulips vines woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/spring-is-in-the-air Mon, 07 Apr 2014 10:37:14 GMT
New Work https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/new-work I'm not really one with words.  I fantasize about righting inspiring and engaging posts that make you want to share with all of your friends, but the reality is, that does not come natural to me.  In fact, it doesn't come to me at all which is why I prefer to express myself through photography.


These are a few of my recent photos.  taken in March.  I am especially excited that this image below was featured in the digital showcase for Obscurae Magazine, a new magazine that is set to publish it's first issue.  I have a shoot set up next weekend to hopefully submit for print publication in their next issue.  Wish me luck.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Obscurae abandoned art dark edgy fashion fashion magazine fine art photography goth magazine photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/new-work Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:11:05 GMT
Textures of Civic Opera House https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/textures-of-civic-opera-house I finally have photographed the textures of my work building, the Civic Opera House in Chicago.  It's cement with marble and full of textures.  These are free to use in your creative work.  If you post them as is, please credit me and provide a link to the textures or my website.

Here is a sampling.

Free texture overlay for photoshopCivic Opera House - 05
Free texture overlay for photoshopCivic Opera House - 11

Civic Opera House - 15Civic Opera House - 15Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.

You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website.

Civic Opera House - 25Civic Opera House - 25Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.

You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website.

See them all at Textures of the Civic Opera House.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop black and white free free texture high resolution overlay photography texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/4/textures-of-civic-opera-house Wed, 02 Apr 2014 00:40:32 GMT
An oldie reworked https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/an-oldie-reworked Vibrant makeup, beauty photography, fashion photo, portraitureVibrant

This week I have been working on a complex edit with a lot of tedious masking work so in need of a break I thought I'd do a re-edit on an old photo.  So I dug through my old raw files and thought this would be fun to work with.  I have wanted to play with really vibrant makeup but when I apply the real stuff it never shows up anywhere near the vibrancy of the commercials.  I will admit I am not a makeup artist.  So I edited this image with the goal of giving myself a bold makeup look in Photoshop.  Above is the results and below is the before.  How do you think I did?  The before is below.

self portrait photograph straight off the camera

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop beauty before and after face makeup photo photograph photography picture portraiture portriat https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/an-oldie-reworked Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:45:32 GMT
Entanglement https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/entanglement This weekend I felt inspired to create, not just photos but props as well so I went shopping and bought lots of greenery and some flowers and other items to make cool hair pieces and more.  In the image to the left, "Entanglement", I created a headpiece with the ivy that I am wearing here.  I also purchased some similar garland and wrapped it around my neck, arms and body so it looks like I'm being engulfed in the plant.  In addition to the image on the left I am working on a more complicated composite with this idea as well but I loved this image as a portrait so I went with it.  

I have been inspired to create a lot of new work the past two weeks and have even more ideas.  This is despite chronic sinus infections that will not resolve.  I have yet another doctor appointment to see about fixing this and am modestly hopeful.  I have felt trapped and held back by this as it reduces my sleep, makes it difficult to breath or exercise and generally drains me  I don't generally like to discuss this level of personal stuff on my blog or online but I am trying to be more open and share more.  I'm not sure if this is the right thing to share but it has affected my ability to create and it, to some extent provides a back layer of inspiration into the emotions and feelings that may go into my work.  Trapped, suffocating, and maybe a bit sad.

One thing I am not sad about is that March is almost over and in just a week it will be April.  I am positive that April must bring some warmer weather and spend my free time dreaming about first blooming flower, trees with blossoms and green grass.

What is your daydream?  

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art bushes dark emotive entangled fine art fine art portraiture green ivy lady photo photograph photography picture plant portrait portraiture red red hair redhead sad suffocate trapped woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/entanglement Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:55:56 GMT
Simple https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/simple Portrait photograph of woman with a flower crown. It has been a long, long, cold and dreary winter with lots of snow, subzero temperatures and no breaks.  Now as we finally, slowly creep out of that, I thought I'd share that I find winter to be depressing.  I find it hard to motivate to create new work.  I don't like being cooped up inside and even more I don't like being out in the freezing air fighting my way through snow, no matter how beautiful it is.

I have had a rough winter filled with colds and a never ending sinus infection that I hope is almost resolved.  So when Tuesday, after work I noticed some nice light coming into the bedroom, I felt inspired to do a quick and spontaneous photo shoot for the first time in what seems like an eternity.  I used to do this all the time but lately I have felt time and energy are too short.

So in the spirit of spring I wore flowers in my hair and did a quick, simple (just the light from the window) self portrait session.  The image to the right is one of my favorites from the session.   

I have had a long list of ideas that I had been saving for spring and summer but I have found enough inspiration and motivation to create without leaving the house.  This is just a simple portrait but I created a variety of more complex composite images a few weeks back and I hope to do the photography for one more this weekend and the editing over the course of the week.

I finally feel like the weather is starting to turn, slowly, and am so excited for the first day that things look green outside or that I see flower buds.  Until then, I will work inside and humidify.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) bare shoulders flowers lady photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture red red hair redhead self self portrait simple texture white woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/simple Sat, 22 Mar 2014 13:58:54 GMT
The BeU Exhibit Opening at BeHUMAN Gallery https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/the-beu-exhibit-opening-at-behuman-gallery Fine art photography exhibit, conceptual portraiture.Debbie and I in front of the art

I had the amazing opportunity and experience to attend the BeU opening at the BeHuman Gallery in Houston, TX this past weekend.  Now that I am home and have had some time to decompress I thought I'd post a bit more about the event and my experience.  

This exhibit came about because two wonderfully talented and motivated photographers brought the idea up to the gallery and then behind the scenes did a huge amount of work to make it happen.  They are Bonnie O'Brien Al-Rifai and Gabriel Al-Rifai of Bonnie and Gave Two Creative Birds.  The call for submissions was initially only for members of the Fine Art Portrait Photography Guild which was founded and is run by Rocio Martinez Gonzalez, talented photographer of Evoke Dreams Photography.  The group submitted enough work of the caliber the gallery was looking for to fill the entire show.

Once the submissions were in and the acceptance received the whirlwind of printing, preparing artist statement, figuring out if I could travel to the event began.  I feel so grateful that I was able to attend the opening as it was beyond amazing to see my work on the wall with so much talent.  To think my photo earned a place on that wall leaves me quite speechless.

This experience has also been such a learning experience.  I've been a part of other shows but either they were more casual with requirements or, if out of town, the gallery printed for me and I was really out of the whole process once my stuff was sent.  This group effort allowed me to learn so much more and build my confidence in approaching and talking to galleries in the future as well as submitting to other shows.

Last, I was thrilled that my long time friend Debbie, pictured to the left with me, was able to come out for the event.  It made the whole evening so much more special as we hadn't seen each other in over 20 years and were such close friends in high school.

That summarizes the event in short form for me.  I'm sure I could go on and on and on.  My image in the photo pictured here is the one second down on the left with the blue tones and the bird.  It is a self portrait I took that was inspired by one of Brooke Shaden's Creative Live courses.  This is the third exhibit it has been in.  I want to end with a thanks to Brook for the inspiration and for teaching and sharing so freely.

Photographers at the BeU exhibit of Conceptual Portrait photography.Photographers at the Exhibit

Above - Photographers at the exhibit. (I don't know who took this picture but thank you!)

Below - Me pointing at the art. 

With my ArtMe, pointing at my image, upper left.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art artwork conceptual event exhibit fine art gallery opening my experience opening photo photograph photographers photography photography exhibit portrait portraiture travel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/the-beu-exhibit-opening-at-behuman-gallery Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:09:43 GMT
Without Hope, there is Nothing https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/without-hope-there-is-nothing Without Hope, there is Nothing is the title of this photograph.  It places a masked woman in an abandoned room.  This was the least complex and really used three main images.  

001IsabellaCastroPose10015


Below are the two main images that comprise this.  I also used two textures and did not include them below.   The first was taken at City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana.  the second is me in my living room.  The last image is where I got the horns.  Much of the work in this image was the tones and colors and blending it all together. 

I hope you enjoyed the before and after posts of this and the two other recent images.  This has been some of the most complex compositing I have done in Photoshop and realizing I am capable of doing it frees me up to be able to use different landscapes and create images even when the weather is terrible and I don't want to or can't go outside.

Without hope roomWithout hope room

Without hope meWithout hope me

Horns and Antlers - 3Horns and Antlers - 3

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop Photoshop Composite abandoned before and after brick composite conceptual creepy dark derelict digital composite dirty graffiti hopeless horror mask masked nightmare photograph photography picture portrait portraiture scorpion square square format surreal woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/without-hope-there-is-nothing Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:00:00 GMT
Awaken, Create a World in Photoshop https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/awaken-create-a-world-in-photoshop This is the second of my three photos from the weekend.  It is titled Awaken and I'd be lying if I didn't say it was my favorite of the series.  It is the most colorful and it takes me to another world that exists only in my mind..

FIne art photography sessions include discussing the concept, props, fine art editing with compositing.

 

I planned this one, and all of them, in advance.  Decisions such as what I envisioned were sketched, photos were reviewed to select a suitable landscape and sky.  I had almost forgotten about this desert image and the sky image, both from a couple years ago.  They were the perfect choices.  I used five images in total.  The eagle is the only one not show here.   It is pretty self explanatory as to what image was used in what part of the final.  The stitching together and making it cohesive took a lot of time.  Playing with colors, resizing parts of it; namely me and the nest.

 

Awaken before picsAwaken before pics

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop Photoshop composite art before and after blue cactus composite concept conceptual conceptual portraiture desert digital composite dreamy fine art fine art photography nest orange otherworldly photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture surreal woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/awaken-create-a-world-in-photoshop Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:00:00 GMT
The First of Three New Photographs https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/the-first-of-three-new-photographs This is the first of three new pieces I wanted to share along with some before pics to illustrate a little bit of the process.  I am still undecided on a title for this photograph and am open to suggestions.  It came to me more as a vision but not so much as a clear cut story or specific concept in my mind which makes titling more difficult. 

 

So this image is a combination of five different photos, four of the originals are in the below collage.  I used two background photos to make the room I am in.  The photo on top was taken at the public schools auditorium in Gary, Indiana, or what is left of it and it made the floor and brick part of my image.  The bottom image provided the window in the upper right corner of the final.  Then there is a photo of me with the bison skull taken in my living room on black under the close supervision of one fine tabby cat.  Last but not least, I obtained the horns for my head from the pronghorn antelope, which was taken on my travels last summer.  The final bison skull to my left was an extra shot on black that I added in.  

To make the room I first selected wall to one side of the door opening, made a layer by copying and used the transform tool in photoshop to flip it over to cover the doorway.  I then masked out the edges with a super soft brush.  I added the window in the upper left.  It was easy enough to put me in the room as it was dark and I was already on black.  I changed my dress color and I added an extra bison skull.  Once everything was together I merged the visible photos and the rest was playing with color, light and textures.

 

Skull originalsSkull originals

 

I hope you enjoyed this small peek into my process.  

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop abandoned before and after bison bison skull conceptual conceptual photography conceptual portraiture creepy dark digital composite eerie fine art photography horns how to photo photograph photography photoshop composite picture portrait portrait" portraiture pronghorns self skull surreal woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/the-first-of-three-new-photographs Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:00:00 GMT
Fantasy and the realization of hope https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/draft-fantasy-post 030114 Blue Ice030114 Blue Ice


I finally decided the weather was not going to improve and I needed to just find a way to work inside as I had so many ideas floating in my mind.   So I went through my old photographs looking for landscapes, backgrounds and such and I used those with some self portraits I took in my living room on black or white to create new images.

I will share these images, along with the before photos that go with them during the next week or two.  To the right is one image from the shoot.  I'm wearing a dress I bought on Etsy and a Halloween wig.  The background is from Starved Rock a couple of winters ago.

My goal in all of these is a bit melancholy, a bit dark but with hope and a bit of light interwoven.  This particular image, titled "Blue Ice" is inspired by what seems to be a never ending winter.  It is March, yet we have another fresh piling of snow on the ground.  The bird though, signals that spring is coming.  And soon all this winter snow and slush will melt to reveal green grass and buds.  The winter parka, boots and gloves will be replaced with rain slickers and light jackets.  Trees will start to bloom and I will be awakened by the chickadee each morning.  Ironic that I felt that bird to be so annoying and now I long for it's song.

In other, news, I am excited to be going to The Project Room next weekend (because this weekend I was sick) to see an exhibit that features some of Brooke Shaden's work.  Her kindness and generosity is such an inspiration to me as is her work.

The weekend of March 15 I will be flying to Houston for the BeHuman Gallery.  I am beyond thrilled I will be able to attend the opening of the group show featuring members of the Fine Art [FA} Photography Group.  My photo "Indigo Blues" will be on exhibit there for a month.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) BeHuman Gallery art art exhibit blue conceptual dark exhibit fantasy fine art photography fine art portrait gallery photo photograph photography portrait portraiture spring surreal winter woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/3/draft-fantasy-post Sun, 02 Mar 2014 21:17:53 GMT
Reworked image https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/2/updated-website-and-reworked-image Le MonarchLe Monarch

 

I decided to rework this image after sitting with the series for a few days.  I really liked it but felt like something was missing.  I decided that it had too much empty space and that the space was not adding anything to the image.  I felt I needed to have something to be looking at. Last I felt that I wasn't integrated into the image but separate from the textured background and I wanted to be a part of it.

Below you can see the original version of this image.

20140209 Butterfly Portraits - 620140209 Butterfly Portraits - 6

 

I also gave my entire website a makeover, from the home page, my portfolios, everything has been updated so browse around and check it out.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Monarch butterflies art butterflies butterfly fine art monarch monarchs painterly photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture self self portrait square square format texture textured woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/2/updated-website-and-reworked-image Mon, 17 Feb 2014 22:41:31 GMT
Updating Website https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/2/updating-website Fine Art Portrait Photography, Surreal PortraitureHeadcase

I am working on updating my website and portfolios.  Please have patience if things look a bit messy for the next week while I do this as I'm will be honest and confess I'm not an expert at making changes.


Have a wonderful weekend!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art design photograph photography portrait self stress web website woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/2/updating-website Fri, 14 Feb 2014 11:51:13 GMT
With Monarchs https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/2/with-monarchs Fine art portrait, fashion photograph woman with flowers in hair and a birdcage with monarch butterflies.CagedAnd they were caged, all except one.

I was inspired to create new work.  That always happens when I watch Brooke Shaden on Creative Live as I did over the weekend.  I also still had a pile of flower clips and butterflies so I put them to use.  I always want to have something inspiring or deep to say but the words are never there for me.  These images make me think of spring and they also represent being trapped, finding your own path and releasing what you may care for but no longer need.  These are actual thoughts I had prior to creating the images, which is something I often don't do.  I may plan what I want an image to look like but I don't often think much beyond that.

fine art portraiture, longing, sadness, monarch butterflyReleaseMonarch butterfly release.

fine art portraiture, fashion photography, woman, daisy flowers, monarch butterflyle papillon

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art beauty bird birdcage butterfly cage caged daisies daisy fashion female feminine fine flowers free freedome inspiration inspired lady monarch photo photograph photography picture portrait portraiture release self woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/2/with-monarchs Tue, 11 Feb 2014 03:14:04 GMT
Regaining my Inspiration https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/a-three-day-weekend Photograph of a blue jay on the outside of a birdcageThe Blue Jay

 

I'm feeling a loss for words so maybe I should just share the images from the weekend.  It has been a while since I have created much new work.  A few winter photos but not much else.  I'm not sure if it's just time constraints or lack of inspiration, although I don't have a lack of ideas.  I struggle with the execution.  Finding someone to model for me (I ended up using myself) is a challenge and I am finding it harder to get the images in my mind when I use myself.  To finding the energy to just do it.  I try to always be positive but I feel like I'm struggling this year.  What are my goals for my photography and how do they work with my other goals and responsibilities in life?  What is original because the more I look at other photography, the more I feel nothing in my mind is truly original.  Is the goal to sell work, be seen or simply create.  I feel I focus on the first two to much sometimes and then become discouraged.  I originally started this to create and I really want that to be my first and foremost focus this year.

So with a three day weekend ahead of me, my RX was to use it to create.  On Friday I went prop shopping at Michael's and here is a phone picture of the haul and one of me getting ready to start.

Photo props including a birdcage, birds a nest and some flowers.Birds nest props

01192014 Birds nest project01192014 Birds nest project

 

Yesterday I pulled the camera out and took some self portraits as well as a few still lifes.  I did not use the flowers in yesterday's shoot but I have plans for them.  Here are the final images. Are they exactly what I had envisioned in my mind?  No but often the end result isn't.  I enjoyed the process and am happy with the end results.  It also reminded me that the best way to beat inertia is to simply do something.  Enjoy!

 

20140119 Bird Portrait - 1 green20140119 Bird Portrait - 1 green 20140119 Bird Portrait - 320140119 Bird Portrait - 3 20140119 Bird Portrait - 220140119 Bird Portrait - 2

20140119 Birds - 220140119 Birds - 2 20140119 Birds - 320140119 Birds - 3 20140119 Birds - 120140119 Birds - 1

Thanks so much for reading and visiting.  If you made it this far, please leave a comment and say hi!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art birdcage birds blue cardinal composit conceptual emotive inspiration jay life nest photograph photography portrait portraiture self still struggle woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/a-three-day-weekend Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:30:00 GMT
Pine https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/pine I love pine trees in the winter.  Where I live there are no vast pine forests but when I see a grouping I try to get a photo, such as these trees.  While cold and hostile, winter can be so beautiful.  What is your favorite winter scene?

 

photograph of snowy pine trees in the winterPineSnowy pine trees in the winter.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) dreamy nature photo photograph photography picture pine pine tree snow snowy surreal trees winter https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/pine Mon, 20 Jan 2014 15:15:00 GMT
Minimalism https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/minimalism minimalist winter nature photographyWinter BerriesMinimalist photograph of berries set against a white snow backdrop.

Today, I'm simply sharing a simple photograph of berries in the winter snow.  Have a great weekend!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art berries blue branch fine art photography nature photo photograph photography sapphire simple square square format white https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/minimalism Fri, 17 Jan 2014 18:30:00 GMT
Summer and winter https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/summer-and-winter I go to one park a lot for photographs.  It is Knock Knolls Park and it has the river, a little bridge, a big bridge, an area with big giant trees, heavily forested areas and prairie areas so there is a lot of different spaces to work with.  These following two photos are of the same place and showcase the difference between winter and summer.

 

Winter

winter photograph at Knock Knolls Park, Naperville, IllinoisWinter PebblesWinter river scene at Knock Knolls Park, Naperville, Illinois

 

Summer

Surreal portrait photograph at Knock Knolls Park, Naperville, Illinois.013 HopePortrait in the water at Knock Knolls Park, Naperville, Illinois

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) butterfly nature photo photograph photography portrairure portrait red river self snow summer water weather white winter https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/summer-and-winter Wed, 15 Jan 2014 15:00:00 GMT
Wonderland in the snow https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/wonderland-in-the-snow It has been a snowy and cold 2014 so far.  We are at the end of a short warm-up and it will get cold again, hopefully not as cold this time.  With all this winter weather, I thought I'd share some of the beauty that winter can bring.  I took these a week ago during a snow storm and right before the super deep freeze.

Enjoy!


Winter photography, snowy nature, forest, woodlandWonderlandsnowy winter forest scene

Dreamy winter nature photograph, Snowy riverDreamlandThe river at winter. Snowy trees line the frozen snowy water.

 

Stay warm out there!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Illinois Knock Knolls Park Naperville cold dreamland forest frozen photo photograph photography snow snowing snowy square square format trees weather white winter wonderland https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/wonderland-in-the-snow Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:51:44 GMT
I want you to be a part of my 2014! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/i-want-you-to-be-a-part-of-my-2014 I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and happy New Year.  Now that we are a few days into the year, I thought I'd talk about my goal for 2014.  I want to really create and work on my portfolio this year.  My biggest challenge is finding people to photograph, which is part of the reason I use myself as a model so often.  But I am not the perfect character for all of my ideas.  For that, I'm asking you, if you are local or will be traveling to the area (Chicagoland), for help.

I am looking for people who want to be in the photo to be my characters for 2014.  People who love to play dress up and make believe because I want to create stories, not just pretty portraits.  Models are welcome but I want to stress you do not need to be a model to be a character in one of my photographs.  I am looking to create a varied body of work which has room for all body types, women or men or even children.

If you help me, I will get you digital copies of the photos for online personal use and an 11x14/12x12 print of your favorite photo.  Or if you have ideas of your own that you want photographed, we can work something out.  Contact me either by using the contact me here or on Facebook if you are interested and we can start talking ideas.

 

Here are a few photos from 2013 to give you an idea of my style.

 

surreal emotive portraiture, portrait of woman001 Indigo BluesPortrait from the Lost collection. Surreal portrait photography woman with butterfliesButterfly Effect 2The butterfly is a symbol of carefree, of beauty, of metamorphosis and change and of death or a messenger from the dead. I am exploring these symbols through a series of simple headshots. surreal emotive portraiture, portrait of woman009 HiddenPortrait from the Lost collection.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) art character conceptual portrait fine art photography fun model models photo photography portrait portraiture surreal photograph https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2014/1/i-want-you-to-be-a-part-of-my-2014 Sat, 04 Jan 2014 22:45:59 GMT
2013, An at a glance summary https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/12/2013-an-at-a-glance-summary Another year has passed and boy do they pass quickly.  Before I start feeling like I didn't accomplish anything, I thought I'd put together a little collage summarizing some of my photography work from 2013.  That always reminds me that I did accomplish quite a bit.  In 2013 I started my butterfly project (I already have more butterflies to start the new year with too), I went to South Dakota and photographed wild horses, I began a new self portrait/portrait project and expanded my skills and inspiration.

In 2014 I really want to focus on the inspiration and creation of new work and end the year with an amazing, cohesive collection of creative butterfly inspired photographs worth of exhibit.  I had written up all of these goals and detailed lists to accomplish them but I think that it is too much.  I want to focus on just 3 things in 2014: 1.) regular exercise; 2.) to create this cohesive body of photography work and 3.) to keep moving forward in my day job career (2012 and 2013 were great years there for me and I just need to keep my focus through 2014).  I consider these goals as I don't like the term resolution for some reason.  I guess you always hear about failed resolutions.  I set goals and while these are not huge, 2014 needs to be about maintaining and continuing progress more than starting some new big thing.  I need to ride the momentum I have built.

Goodbye 2013!  I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store.

2013 Summary2013 Summary

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/12/2013-an-at-a-glance-summary Tue, 31 Dec 2013 16:31:03 GMT
Happy Holidays! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/12/happy-holidays Happy Holidays!   I will be taking some time off but plan to be back on New Year's day with my goals for 2014.  If there are topics you would like to see in 2014, please let me know in the comments.

 

 

Crimson Berries, Part TwoCrimson Berries, Part TwoCrimson berries set against a dreamy bokey background.
Photo taken 11-27-11 at the Wisconsin Dells

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 2014 Christmas New Year berries bokeh holiday mint green nature photograph photography red snow winter https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/12/happy-holidays Tue, 24 Dec 2013 13:50:08 GMT
Cyber Monday Specials https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/cyber-monday-specials It's Cyber Monday and the 50% off Sales in both Dark Raven Photo and The Shutterbug Eye are on their last day so don't wait, go buy now.  In this post I'm sharing a final four from Dark Raven Photo.  Enjoy!

 

Color and black and white photographs featuring surreal portraits and black birds.Girls and Birds

Upper Left: Enchanted

Upper Right:  Ode to Raven

Lower Left:  Blackbird Part 1

Lower Right:  Hidden

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 50% off Cyber Monday art bird blackbird crow dark art discount fine art photography monochrome photography portrait portraiture raven sale square square format surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/cyber-monday-specials Mon, 02 Dec 2013 15:25:00 GMT
Sunday Deals https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/sunday-deals Here are some rustic options from The Shutterbug Eye's 50% off sale!  Tomorrow is the last day of the 50% off sale.  After that, everything goes back to normal price.

 

Rustic home decor fine art photographs and photo art pendant.Rustic Photos

Upper Left:  Shoes

Upper Right:  Rustic Boots

Lower Left:  Bison Family

Lower Right:  Ferris Wheel Photo Pendant

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) American west Brick building Etsy The Shutterbug Eye architecture art bison boots bronze decor ferris wheel home home decor jewlery photo photograph photography rustic theshutterbugeye https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/sunday-deals Sun, 01 Dec 2013 16:30:00 GMT
Saturday Deals https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/saturday-deals Yep, just highlights from my sales this weekend.   I'll get back to my normal blogging once December kicks in.  Here are a few of my favorites from Dark Raven Photo.

 

fine art photograph prints and photo jewelry pendent featuring animals and insects.Critters

Upper Left: Catelope

Upper Right:  Entomology Specimen

Lower Left: The Raven

Lower Right:  Spider Photo Pendant

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 50% Etsy Sale antlers art bird butterfly cat catdeer catelope crow dark jewelry moth photo pendant photography raven spider surreal tabby https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/saturday-deals Sat, 30 Nov 2013 19:30:00 GMT
Black Friday Sale https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/black-friday-sale I mentioned Tuesday about sales.  I'll share a few items a day from my shops.  Today I'm sharing some pretty pink items from The Shutterbug Eye.  Everything in shop is 50% through Monday.

 

Pink photographs and photo pendant jewelry from The Shutterbug Eye.  Black Friday SaleFriday Pinks

Upper Left:  Rose Photo Pendant

Upper Right:  Whiskers

Lower Left:  Peony Still #5

Lower Right:  Peony Photo Pendant

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 50% off Black Friday Sale art cat flower flowers holiday jewelry macro necklace nose photo pendant photograph photography pink sale https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/black-friday-sale Sat, 30 Nov 2013 02:30:00 GMT
Im thankful for https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/im-thankful-for I'm thankful for so much.  I don't post it daily for a month on Facebook but I do have gratitude.  I'm grateful for the following and so much more!

 

  • My loving husband and cool 13 year old.
  • Our three snuggly cats
  • The roof over my head
  • My day job, even if I complain about it sometimes
  • All of the wonderful friends I've made over the years
  • That we have such great technology that I can share my photos and thoughts easily with so many
  • For all of you who visit my blog, my page, me on Facebook.

 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?  Cherish it!

 

sunflower pop art photography printSunflower Sun

Happy Thanksgiving!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Thanksgiving art brown gratitude nature photography sunflower thankful thanks yellow https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/im-thankful-for Thu, 28 Nov 2013 16:45:00 GMT
BIG 50% Off SALES https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/big-50-off-sales Both The Shutterbug Eye and Dark Raven Photo are running a 50% off sale Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.  But wait, it's only Tuesday and the sales have started.  As a follower of me you are one of the first to see the announcement.


Check out the savings here:

 

- Sale Photos

All photos ordered during these sales will be ordered from a professional lab on December 2, 2013 and then ship approximately 3-7 days later.  Photo pendants will ship December 3, 2013.  During the sale, no custom orders will be accepted including but not limited to custom cropping, custom colors, etc.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) 50% Etsy black friday cyber monday discount holiday sale photograph photography picture print sale https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/big-50-off-sales Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:30:00 GMT
Antlers in light and dark https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/antlers-in-light-and-dark I have been playing around with some still life photographs of the antlers I picked up while in South Dakota.  Also, I will have some exciting announcements about both of my photography shops soon so stay tuned.

 

Enjoy the antlers in Light

photography print of deer antlers and mint green butterfly.Antler and Butterfly 2

Deer antlers with butterflies and lotus pods.  Home decor fine art print.Antler and Butterfly 1

and Dark!

fine art photography print of deer antlers and butterflies on black background.Antlers #2
Deer antlers and pods against black background.  Holiday home decor.Antlers #1

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Christmas antler antlers butterflies butterfly deer antlers fine art print holiday home home decor lotus pod photograph photography still life https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/antlers-in-light-and-dark Mon, 18 Nov 2013 12:18:09 GMT
Catelope https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/catelope That's right, "catelope".  I'm working on a new series that I'm sharing in my Dark Raven Photo collection that includes catelope, or shall I say antlered and pronghorned cats.  I may expand this series into other strange and unreal creatures but for now, I thought I'd start the week off with my humble beginning.

First we have a pronghorn cat, which combines the antlers/horns of the Pronghorn Antelope.  The Pronghorns are neither antler nor horn but a unique combination of the two.  I think they go perfect with this calico cat's intense stare.

Pronghorn cat photographPronghorn Cat

Next we have a cute catelope combination of a brown tabby cat with antlers from an Elk.  I think he could be in line for pulling Santa's sleigh.

Portrait photograph of a catelope.Catelope

Have a great Monday and stay tuned for the third catelope who will be coming hopefully sometime in the next week.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal antlers calico cat catelope composite feline horns photograph photography photoshop pronghorn tabbey https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/catelope Mon, 11 Nov 2013 11:51:59 GMT
Thoughts on the time change https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/thoughts-on-the-time-change I am finding the time change to be very hard to adjust to.  Even after almost a week, I still wake up in the dark and now when I leave work it is also dark.   I know the shorter days eventually lead to this anyway but I have felt tired and out of sorts all week.  So to brighten up my mood and hopefully yours, I'm sharing some colorful flowers and a bumble bee as we enter into the weekend. 

What are your thoughts on the time change?  How long does it take you to adjust?

 

Nature photography print, autumn bumble beeAutumn Bumble Bee

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal autumn bee bumble bee fall back fauna flora insect photo photograph photography picture pink time change https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/thoughts-on-the-time-change Fri, 08 Nov 2013 12:14:52 GMT
Three Reasons to Love Autumn https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/three-reasons-to-love-autumn Autumn and spring are my two favorite seasons.  It's generally not too hot and it's generally not too cold.  And the trees are beautiful. Autumn brings forth beautiful color everywhere.  That color I share with you today, before the leaves all blow away.

autumn photography, nature photographsThree Reasons to Love AutumnAutumn Color in Chicago.<br/>2013

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Chicago autumn color colorful fall fine art photography gold green leaf leaves nature orange outside photography red seasonal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/11/three-reasons-to-love-autumn Tue, 05 Nov 2013 02:50:12 GMT
Happy Halloween https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/happy-halloween Happy Halloween!

Portrait photograph of woman in sad opera clown maskInsanity Speaks

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) grungy halloween insanity opera clown photograph photography portrait portraiture textured https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/happy-halloween Thu, 31 Oct 2013 10:41:35 GMT
Mums https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/mums I thought I'd share some mums I photographed a couple of weeks ago.  I think I'm about 2 - 3 weeks behind in all editing.  Anyway, I think this shoot may be the last flowers for the year but I have way more to edit so they won't be the last flowers for me this year.   Enjoy.

 

autumn mum flowers pink, purple, Oh Mum Dreamy purple mum macro photograph with water droplets.  Fine art photography print for sale.Dreamy Mums Fine art photography print of orange mum flower. Autumn decorAutumn Flower Colorful mum fine art photography print for saleColorful Mums

 

Have a safe Halloween!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Fine art photography art autumn autumn garden color color photography fall flower garden mum mums photo photograph photography picture seasonal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/mums Tue, 29 Oct 2013 11:15:45 GMT
Happy Friday https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/happy-friday Selling photographs on the internet is weird sometimes.  You always are thinking a season ahead.  So right now we are almost at Halloween and I am starting to load Christmas and holiday photos at The Shutterbug Eye.  I've never been a fan of pushing holidays further and further forward and still am not but when you exist in that world it's hard not to if you want your work to be found.  So here is to retail Christmas slowly beginning.

 

bright red berriesHoliday Berries Christmas tree bokeh fine art photography printChristmas Tree Bokeh

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Christmas The Shutterbug Eye bokeh christmas fine art print green holiday nature photography red square https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/happy-friday Fri, 25 Oct 2013 11:12:16 GMT
Layers and Masking in Photoshop https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/layers-and-masking-in-photoshop Today I thought I'd share a quick tutorial on how to add a texture layer and use a mask so you don't have to erase anything in Photoshop.  To do that I edited a photograph I took last weekend and used Quicktime to record my process of adding a texture and using a mask.

Layers and MaskingVideo tutorial on how to apply a texture overlay, and use masking to blend it in Photoshop.

 

Here is the final picture.  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.  If you need some textures, I have a variety of free downloads in my Textures and Backgrounds gallery.

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Adobe software Photoshop how to use masking how to use textures mask masking overlay photo editing photography texture tutorial video https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/layers-and-masking-in-photoshop Sat, 19 Oct 2013 14:09:10 GMT
Garden Bokeh Textures https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/garden-bokeh-textures I enjoy sharing textures with my readers as a way of giving back.  Today I am releasing my quarterly texture pack; yes I know I have shared two other texture packs in this quarter but this is the official one.

It is called Garden Bokeh and contains five photos from the gardens for you to use in your own original photography work.  If you do use any of these, I'd love if you shared a link here in the comments or on my Facebook page DK Miller.  And if you like the textures, please be sure to Like my page and to tell others about my work.

Here are the textures.

bokeh texture overlay free photoshop texture2013 GardenTexture - 1Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.<br/><br/>You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website. Free bokeh photoshop texture overlay2013 GardenTexture - 2Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.<br/><br/>You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website. Free bokeh texture overlay for Photoshop2013 GardenTexture - 3Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.<br/><br/>You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website. free photoshop bokeh texture overlay2013 GardenTexture - 4Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.<br/><br/>You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website. rose garden bokeh texture overlay2013 GardenTexture - 5Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.<br/><br/>You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Photoshop Photoshop texture bokeh bokeh texture free free texture garden photography texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/garden-bokeh-textures Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:00:00 GMT
The Harbor in Boston https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/the-harbor-in-boston Last month I got to visit Boston, MA as part of my day job responsibilities.  While I was busy and did not get nearly as many photos during my visit as I would have imagined I did manage to eat a lobster roll, take a haunted trolley tour and walk a good part of the freedom trail.  My photos, however, were mostly limited to the Harbor.  Here are a few and I hope you enjoy.

Boston harbor sailboat photography fine art photographOn the HarborSail boats out on the water. sea gull bird photography Boston HarborGull at the HarborSea gull at the harbor Air and SeaSailboats and an airplane. Sea GullPortrait of a gull.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Boston bird boat gull harbor photography sail boat sailboat travel travel photography water wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/the-harbor-in-boston Tue, 15 Oct 2013 10:30:00 GMT
Zombie Bride How To https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/zombie-bride-how-to macabre Halloween zombie portrait photographDead BrideFinal zombie bride image I love Halloween and I love to combine that with my photography to create rather macabre and creepy images.  Today I thought I'd share one with a zombie theme called "Dead Bride"

The image to the left I created using a self portrait and a variety of textures.  I am not going to go into every detail of the steps I went through in Photoshop as there many and I used at least 3 different texture layers for the background and overall texture.  I will share with you how I create the textured skin with the cracks and offer up some textures that you can use with your own photos.  You need to already know how to use Photoshop and work with layers.

To get the cracked or peeling skin look, an overlay texture of peeling paint, cracked walls, earth, etc.  Some texture that resembles the look you want for your image.  Once you have chosen your layer, drag it onto your photo so it will form a layer above the image.  Click on the layer and try a few blending options such as "soft light", "multiply", etc.  Depending on the photo and the layer the setting may vary.  You can also adjust the opacity some.  After this step, you should see your image showing and the texture blended into it.  You now will add a mask to the texture and mask out the texture on all of the photo except the skin.  This includes the eyes and lips as they would not normally have that texture on them.  At this point the texture is on the skin only and it has been blended.  It likely will look a bit flat still.  To really mesh it with the skin you will want to mask out some of the texture over the skin.  For this image, I masked out the texture almost everywhere except the actual cracks and holes in the skin. 

Once you are finished masking, it should look pretty good.  This is when I play with color.  You can select sections using the lasso tool and then adjust the color of just those sections.  I reddened the cracked areas and yellowed the skin.  I selected the lips and made them dark and red. 

To finish the image I added some grungy textures and replaced the stone brick wall with a grungy wall.  The texture photographs were taken in Cabrini Green and in Gary.

Here is the before and after image and following that are some textures and a link to where you can download textures.  To download the textures you need to purchase them but there is no cost to do so.  I only set it up like that to attach a license and track how many downloads there are.

before and after photographs zombie bride photoshop techniqueDead Bride before and afterThe before and after photographs of the photo Dead Bride.

 

And now for some of the textures.  You can find all of the textures in the Cracked and Peeling Collection.

Peeling Texture 1Peeling Texture 1Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.

You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website.
Peeling Texture 2Peeling Texture 2Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.

You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website.
Peeling Texture 3Peeling Texture 3Free Texture/Background for use with original photography.

You may use these as textures or backgrounds in your photography, including commercial but please do not post them as is and claim as your own or sell. You may post as is if you link back to the original download on this website.

Have fun creating your own monsters this Halloween!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) dark art macabre photo editing photography photoshop texture tips tutorial zombie https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/zombie-bride-how-to Sat, 12 Oct 2013 13:30:00 GMT
What's my style? https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/whats-my-style Some photographers have such a singularly well defined style.  I am always reading that it is essential to have that to succeed.  I strive for that but find it incredibly difficult.  My passion for different subjects always wins.  The influence of current emotions is often too strong.  As soon as I decide to focus on one area, I immediately have an urgent need to photograph something quite different.

Why do I photograph what  I photograph? 
- I photograph animals because I love their free spirits and innocent nature.
- I photograph flowers and nature because they give me a sense of peace in a chaotic world.
- I photograph myself because I still love to play dress up and make believe.
- I photograph emotion because I find it highly therapeutic.

So what is my style?  I'll leave that answer to the viewer.  So let me know in the comments what you think.

 

Photo CollageA collection of my photography work from the past few years.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal autumn cat halloween horse nature pets photography portrait portraiture scary seasonal spring still life summer wildlife woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/whats-my-style Thu, 10 Oct 2013 00:33:41 GMT
Lost and finding my way back https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/walk-away It sometimes feels like a lost year for so many reasons. I actually accomplished a lot both in my compliance career and my photography but the year felt scattered and chaotic in my mind.  A constant sense of overwhelm, never feeling like I had time to enjoy the process or stop to smell the roses.

I've made some hard decisions. Walked away from commitments I can't fulfill for a laundry list of reasons and pledged to pay more attention to self care.  Hopefully I can shed some stress and pounds and rediscover the joy on the process and the journey.

 

Fine Art Portrait Photography, Surreal PortraitureAn Enchanted Forest

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) autumn fall forest photograph photography seasonal self portrait woman woodland https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/walk-away Wed, 09 Oct 2013 10:44:21 GMT
Insanity https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/insanity  

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results
- Albert Einstein

 

Portrait photograph of woman in sad opera clown maskInsanity Speaks

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Halloween October Opera clown clown Mask creepy insanity mask portrait quote quotes scary self https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/10/insanity Tue, 01 Oct 2013 11:10:08 GMT
Shoot what you find https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/shoot-what-you-find Today, I'm going to talk about the photo outings or photo shoots that don't go as expected.  I went to a place where I pretty much always can find lots of egrets and herons and I wanted photos specifically of those birds.  Well, I went to the spot, it was late in the day and I got exactly zero good shots of egrets or herons.  I did see one egret and one heron but they stayed at the far end with the busy trees as the background.  Even though I didn't get elegant flying egrets or herons, I found a wealth of wonderful photo opportunities at that waters edge and I thought I'd share them with you today.

So, next time you are looking for a specific shot and you get to the site and realize that it isn't going to happen.  Don't give up.  Sit still, observe your surroundings and you might be happier with what you find than your original plan even.

 

Red Winged blackbird with wings outstretched.Flight on the Water's Edge Orb Weaver garden spiderOrb Weaver Spider Dragonfly photographDragonfly at the waters edge 20130901 Cormorant 820130901 Cormorant 8

I hope you enjoyed the waters edge.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal bird birding blackbird cormorant dragonfly nature orb weaver photography red-winged blackbird spider https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/shoot-what-you-find Fri, 20 Sep 2013 15:45:33 GMT
Where the horses run free https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/where-the-horses-run-free While I was in South Dakota, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.  This is a place that rescues mustangs that would otherwise be euthanized or kept in confined spaces and gives them hundreds of acres of pastures and land to run free as they are meant to be.  These are America's luckiest wild horses.

 

America2013 Horse Sign 1

Below is a sampling of my full series from that day.  Enjoy, visit the full album if you want to see more or stop by The Shutterbug Eye to purchase a print.

Paint Horses on the prairie in South Dakota, wild horses, American mustang2013 Wild Horse - 12 Wild horses, mother and child, wildlife photography, South Dakota2013 Wild Horse - 15 Wild horses galloping, Wildlife, mustang, birds, nature photography2013 Wild Horse - 11 mother and child horse, horse photography2013 Wild Horse - 07 Wild horses, abandoned building, Fine art photography2013 Wild Horse - 20

I hope you enjoyed the series.  It was absolutely amazing.  Check out the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary for more information.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Black Hills Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary South Dakota animal horse photography horses mammal mustang photography wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/where-the-horses-run-free Sat, 14 Sep 2013 13:30:00 GMT
Thoughts on Autumn https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/autumn While the weather is still summer, autumn is right around the corner.  I love that feeling when the humidity leaves the air and the air cools slightly.  Autumn and spring are my favorite seasons.  The winters are too cold and the summers are to hot but spring and autumn always feel like a welcome change that never last long enough.  I also love the colors that the changing seasons bring.  Soon I'll have colorful trees.  No more of the late summer browning grasses. 

What is your favorite season?

 


The below photos are a couple takes on fall.  The first a little sad, thinking of the carefree days of summer coming to an end.  The second a little more fun and whimsical playing with a collection of pods and branches.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) autumn branches fall fine art photography fine art portrait photography pods portraiture portriat seasons self woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/autumn Thu, 12 Sep 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Where the buffalo roam https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/where-the-buffalo-roam I will be honest, I'm still going through photos.  I have a whole collection of wild horse images to figure out where and how to release first.  Today though, I am going to share the Buffalo, or American Bison.  Both Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Monument maintain herds of wild bison that roam free on their land. 

This is where the buffalo roam.  Enjoy!

 

Bison at Custer State Park in South DakotaSD 2013 - 02Buffalo - 09 Wildlife photography, portrait of a big bufalloSD 2013 - 01Buffalo - 30 Mother and child bison portrait, wildlife photographySD 2013 - 01Buffalo - 28 Mother bison herding her baby.  Wildlife photography, Black HillsSD 2013 - 02Buffalo - 11

All of these images are available as prints from small to large at The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Black Hills South Dakota animal bison buffalo nature photograph photography wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/where-the-buffalo-roam Tue, 10 Sep 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Overwhelmed https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/overwhelmed You know those days, weeks, months where everything feels like too much and your head just wants to spin.  Well, that's kind of how I feel right now with so much going on.  I struggled a lot to figure out what this image was saying.  I had pictured this idea but what does it mean, what is it saying.  But I get a sens of overwhelm when I view it.  Do you?  I know I have a busy week at work and in my volunteer world ahead of me.

 

 

Below is another photograph of this amazing landscape in the Badlands National Park. 

Yellow mounds, Badlands National Park, Landscape photography2013 Badlands - 4

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) landscape overwhelmed photography portrait portraiture surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/overwhelmed Mon, 09 Sep 2013 01:24:49 GMT
The Textures of Sioux Falls https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/the-textures-of-sioux-falls I had a goal of sharing some new free textures quarterly but this will be an extra.  When we were traveling one of the places we stopped was Sioux Falls, SD.  We had to go see the falls, which were beautiful, and I was mesmerized with the textures in all of the surrounding rocks.

You can get all six of these textures in both color and black and white for a total of 12 different files in my album Textures of Sioux Falls.

Enjoy!  Here are a few examples.

Free texture download, black and white graniteBW Sioux Falls Rocks - 2 Colorful rock texture overlay.  Free texture downloadSioux Falls Rocks - 5 Black and white rock texture downloadBW Sioux Falls Rocks - 4

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Sioux Falls background free download free texture granite photography rock texture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/9/the-textures-of-sioux-falls Thu, 05 Sep 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Float away https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/float-away I've long wanted to do a floating balloon shot.  The idea came to me during a recent photo shoot in Naperville but why use a Naperville landscape when I was about to go on vacation where there were far more interesting scenes.  I photographed the model and balloons near home.  I had her on a hill so I was looking up at her and we took many photos of her jumping with the balloons.  I had to combine two to achieve what you see in this image.

The landscape is the Badlands National Park in South Dakota.  It seemed the perfect landscape.  Dramatic, contrasting with her outfit and balloons and unwelcoming enough to offer a sense of anxiety at the thought of being carried over them by a bundle of balloons.

This also fits with the fear of heights I mentioned last post and my fears while at the badlands.  What are you afraid of?

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Badlands National Park South Dakota badlands balloons clouds composite conceptual contrast dramatic float fly green landscape photograph photography portrait portraiture sky square square format surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/float-away Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Chicago Photography Center Needs Your Help https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/chicago-photography-center Dreamy white horse photographLone Horse Today I'm going to talk a bit about an organization that means a lot to me.  You may have seen me mention the Chicago Photography Center before.  I have taken classes there, had the opportunity to have my work hang in their gallery and am proud to serve on their board of directors.  But Chicago Photography Center is so much more than a place to take classes or view photography exhibits; Chicago Photography Center, the only not-for-profit photography organization of its kind in the Midwest, has a variety of other offerings including an outreach project to teach under-served communities and hosting a film photography and darkroom class for Chicago high school students through the After School Matters program.  The Chicago Photography Center utilizes photography as a means to help others better their lives through photography, to better the neighborhood and to give back to the community.

Like many not-for-profit organizations, Chicago Photography Center relies on contributions to be able to offer their programs.  Funding is a struggle for all not-for-profits, but right now there is urgent need due to a variety of challenges ranging from unexpected expenses such as broken air conditioning, water heaters, etc.).  The good news is with your help, Chicago Photography Center can pull through this tough time.  I'm not asking for much but if you can do one of the following, it would mean so much to me.

Last, please help spread the word.  That costs nothing more than a few minutes to share our mission and needs with those you know or on your social media pages.
 
If you have any questions or want to know how you can help beyond what is mentioned above, feel free to contact me directly and I'd be happy to talk to you directly about the Chicago Photography Center and our needs and programs.
 
Above is my most popular photo from the Dubious Quintette Exhibit in July 2012.
The top right was also showcased at that exhibit.
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Carlos Javier Ortiz Chicago Photography Center anniversary celebration donations exhibit fundraiser party photography request for help https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/chicago-photography-center Fri, 30 Aug 2013 20:24:58 GMT
On Rocky Peaks at the Badlands National Park https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/on-rocky-peaks-at-the-badlands-national-park The Badlands, with their rocky peaks and spires, dry barren landscape and gorgeous colors, literally scared the crap out of me.   From the ground looking up, they are simply beautiful.  But as we got higher and were on the top looking down I discovered a fear of heights that is really quite profound.  My son, on the other hand, loved it.  He loves to climb and scared me with every turn.  If I ever go back, I will bring shoes with more grip and try to enjoy the climbing and view with him.  Here are some of my photos from the Badlands National Park, at least those I was brave enough to take.

 

Badlands National Park, deserty landscape2013 Badlands - 1

Badlands National Park, landscape photography2013 Badlands - 3

Landscape at Badlands National Park in South Dakota.2013 Badlands - 6

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Badlands National Park South Dakota badlands beautiful dramatic fear fear of heights landscape landscape photography nature photo photograph photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/on-rocky-peaks-at-the-badlands-national-park Thu, 29 Aug 2013 11:00:00 GMT
It's a Bighorn! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/its-a-bighorn “It’s a bighorn!” she yelled, excitedly pointing out the window of the car.  To the sound of squealing brakes, Dad quickly stopped the car so they can get a closer look.  My sister and I buried in the toys that were on the back ledge of the car, barely able to dig ourselves out before it runs off into the woods.

That is an excerpt from my childhood family vacation memories of traveling to the Black Hills with my family when I was a kid.  My parents were both all about the wildlife and this was the best place to see it.   This particular Bighorn was found in a much calmer manner with my husband tapping my shoulder and saying “honey, look up there.”  But it was still a wonderful experience to see and photograph this magnificent animal.

I made my family go to the Black Hills, SD and surrounding areas this year partly because I wanted to photograph wild horses at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary and partly out of nostalgia for childhood vacations with my family.  Having lost my father just over a year ago to cancer, I needed to reconnect with that part of my life.  We did the trip in our own family style and it was everything I’d hoped for and more.

What vacations from your childhood stand out in your memories?  Please share in the comments.

bighorn sheep on rocky bluff at Badlands National Park2013 Bighorn

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal badlands bighorn bighorn sheep cloudy fauna fine art photography mammal memories nature nostalgia photograph photography vacation wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/its-a-bighorn Mon, 26 Aug 2013 10:40:42 GMT
Self Portrait Week - Five https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---five Last but not least is a self portrait by Jessica Chevalier of Lost in the Valley Photography.

Self portrait week, Squirrel on a LedgetopSquirrelOnALedgetop

www.lostinthevalleyphotography.com

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) dreamy photography portrait portraiture self https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---five Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Self Portrait Week - Four https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---four Today I am featuring the work of Stacy Frett of Stacy Frett Photography.

Self Portrait Week, Stacy FrettStacy_Frett

facebook.com/StacyFrettPhotography

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) monochrome photography portrait portraiture self self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---four Thu, 22 Aug 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Self Portrait Week - Three https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---three Today's self portrait is by Daniella Fishburne.

Self portrait week, Daniella FishburneDaniella_Fishburne

www.daniellafishburne.com

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black and white monochrome photography portrait portraiture self https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---three Wed, 21 Aug 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Self Portrait Week - Two https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---two Today, I am featuring the work of Alex Celani of Celani Art.  Her work can also be found on Facebook at Celani Art Page.

 

Self portriat week, Alex CelaniAlex_Celani www.celaniart.com
facebook.com/celaniartpage

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black and white monochrome portrait portraiture self self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/self-portrait-week---two Tue, 20 Aug 2013 11:00:00 GMT
Where the Buffalo Roam https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/where-the-buffalo-roam I have been on the road traveling with my family this past week.  We went to the Black Hills in South Dakota and it was amazing.  The scenery and variety of landscapes and abundant wildlife all made for fantastic photography opportunities.  I have started working through my images and thought I'd share a few highlights before I get to deep in the editing.

 

This first image is a self portrait where i held a buffalo skull we purchased in Custer.  It is a composite and a humble attempt to sum up the key elements that made up the trip.  They were, 1) scenic landscapes, 2) wildlife such as buffalo, and 3. stormy weather.  This is a composite but all of the photographs used to make up this image were taken in Custer State Park during our stay.  I do want to point out that I did not get out of the car and stand so close to a buffalo.  They are huge and have horns and I value my safety. 

Self portrait photograph with bison skull, buffalo and stormy weather017 Buffalo Roam

Below are more highlights sharing landscape from the Black Hills National Forest, The Badlands National Park, Pronghorn living on the land at Wind Cave National Monument, Prairie Dog, Devil's Tower and a horse at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

Landscape of rocky peaks in the Black Hills National Forest Landscape photograph of The Badlands National Park Wildlife photograph of pronghorn antelope Prairie dog photograph in Wyoming near the Devil Landsape photograph of Devil Baby horse at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

I hope you enjoyed this preview.  There will be so much more coming but first I will be sharing self portraits of some of my Facebook followers starting Tuesday in my second ever Self Portrait Week.

Have a great week!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Black Hills Devil's Tower South Dakota animal antelope badlands bison buffalo cliff color fauna foal grassland horse landscape photo photograph photography picture portrait prairie dog pronghorn red rock skull tornado travel weather white wildlife https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/where-the-buffalo-roam Sun, 18 Aug 2013 17:50:25 GMT
Review of onOne Perfect Photo Suite 7.5 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/review-of-onone-perfect-photo-suite-7-5 So I purchased onOne's Perfect Photo Suite 7.5 this past week.  As I qa prepping for vacation I haven't had much time to work with it but I thought I'd pull out a photo I'd given up on due to difficulty separating the background from my hair in PhotoShop.  Perfect Photo Suite 7.5 contains the following products in one convenient package and can be used as a stand alone or as a plug in with Photoshop, Lightroom and more.
 

  • Perfect Layers - allows you to work in layers without Photoshop
  • Perfect Masks - allows you to easily replace backgrounds and claims it works even on hard to separate areas like my hair.
  • Perfect Portrait - allows easy portrait retouching
  • Perfect Effects - contains a large number of effect presets for both color and black ans white, including some textures and borders.
  • Perfect B&W - allows for a variety of black and white conversions
  • Perfect Resize - enables quality enlargements of photos.
  • Focal Point - allows you to add selective effects similar to what you would get with a lensbaby or adjust depth of field after the photo was taken to get a shallow depth of field effect.

So far i have used the Perfect Resize, which is great and enabled me to list photos on select stock sites I wouldn't have otherwise been able to.  I did a 30 day free trial and it is what led to this purchase so suffice to say, I was very happy with it.

In the below photo I used the Perfect Masks to remove the white background so you could see the vintage wallpaper layer; Perfect Portrait for some quick edits to my skin, eyes and lips and then Perfect Effects for finishing touches.

self portrait with black birds attacking, composit photograph016 Blackbird Attack In this image I started with a white background and just me.  I had previously tried to remove the white background in Photoshop.  Despite many tries I could not get the area around my hair to look good.  The color selection removal was removing too much or too little and it just didn't look right.  In Perfect Masks I was able to choose from a variety of brushes and select big or small areas to remove.  The feature for areas like my hair worked fantastic and being able to select colors to keep (along the border) and colors to remove allowed for relaxed use of the brush, compared to the pixel by pixel type of masking I usually do in Photoshop.  Perfect Masks was a success and I felt I could continue on with this piece.

The next thing I tried was Perfect Portraits.  When you open it up it automatically finds your face.  The eyes and lips are already selected and with the quick move of a dot here and there to perfect that selection, your ready to go.  Next you use a simple brush to tell it what is and isn't skin and then use the sliders to the right to make adjustments.  The adjustment sliders do everything from remove blemishes, refine skin tone, reduce shine, and more.  There are also sliders to brighten and sharpen the eyes some and to add some saturation to the lips.  Last the left column has a variety of presets you can use for super fast edits.  You can save combos as a favorite to reuse in future edits which would make editing a portrait session super fast and easy.

Now that I'm happy with my background separation and skin, I added a few blackbirds.  I used Photoshop as I was running out of time to play with new software and find this task easy in Photoshop.  After that I opened Perfect Effects and that is where the fun really began.  It has a long list of effect presets and you can scroll down the left column and click on them to see what they do.  If you like you can play with intensity, select an area to not have the effect applied and so much more.  You can add more than one effect to a photo.  In this one I used a vignette, a glow and a border.

And to the left is my final result.  You can visit onOne to see all of their products.  They offer 30 day free trials so you can test drive before purchase and there are lots of video tutorials on how to use their products.

 

I hope this was useful.  Don't forget to submit your self portrait to my Facebook page as part of the August Self Portrait Challenge.  Details and rules can be seen here.  i will begin featuring others self portraits the week of August 19.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Perfect Effects Perfect Masks Perfect Photo Suite Perfect Portrait Perfect Resize editing onOne review onOne software portrait review self portriat software review https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/review-of-onone-perfect-photo-suite-7-5 Tue, 13 Aug 2013 14:30:00 GMT
Rachel https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/rachel I had the pleasure of working with a model last weekend named Rachel.  Today I'm going to share a few images from that shoot.  Don't forget to submit yourself portrait to my Facebook Page by August 18 to be featured on my blog.  More info in my blog post It's a Self Portrait Challenge.

Now for the photos.

Woman laying on back in grass with flowers20130803 Rachel - 44 Portrait of woman with red lipstick and green leaves in background20130803 Rachel - 27 Lensbaby portrait of woman in blue dress outside smiling20130803 Rachel - 03 Portrait of woman with sassy smile outside at the park20130803 Rachel - 25 Woman laying on ground with yellow wildflowers20130803 Rachel - 43

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) beautiful brunette flowers model nature outside park photo photograph photography portaiture portrait session portriat summer woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/rachel Thu, 08 Aug 2013 10:50:37 GMT
It's a Self Portrait Challenge https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/its-a-self-portrait-challenge In the past I've done a "pet week" and I've done a "self portrait week".  Given discussions in some of my groups, I thought it would be fun do to another self portrait week.  I will be traveling August 9 through 17 and starting now through Sunday, August 18, you can submit your self portrait to be published on this blog by posting it on my facebook page DK Miller.  Please include the following:

1. Your photo - can be watermarked, no bigger than 800 px on the long end.
2. Your name as you want it to be published
3. Any link you would like to go with it - can be your website or if you don't have a website, maybe a cause you like.

This is not a curated or juried publication.  All portraits that follow the rules will be included in the blog at some point between August 19 and August 30.

Rules:

1.  Submit your image as described above
2.  It must be a self portriat
3.  It can not be a "long arm" shot where you are holding the camera when you take the picture.

If you have not done any self portrait work before or if you are not a photographer but want to give this a shot, I created a quick video to talk a little about how to.  My son was kind enough to video this unrehearsed, one shot video (sorry but time ran out on me to spend more time on it).  Here is the video and below it I type out instructions and tips as well.

Self Portrait Tutorial

Self portrait how to video

 

How to do a self portrait instructions:

Supplies/equipment required:

1.  Camera that has a timer setting (this can be a dslr, a point and shoot or even a phone if you have an app that allows a timer.  Camera+ on the iPhone allows for timer settings of 5, 15 and 30 seconds.)
2.  Remote shutter release (optional but easier than a timer.  You can take several shots before looking at the camera to increase the odds of having one you like.
3.  Tripod or stable surface to put your camera on for the shot.
4.  An object to focus on (can be an extra tripod, a light stand, a chair, a tree, or anything else that you can use to focus on and then stand in it's place OR stand next to if it's a tree or some other object in the environment that you can't move.
5.  Yourself. :-)

Steps to take the portrait.

1.  Get the camera set up on the tripod or stable surface.   Take a few shots and make sure you have your exposure correct.  I prefer manual settings but you can also use automatic exposure settings if you prefer.
2.  Set your focus using the object.  The focus object should ideally be placed where you will stand or sit or lay.  Or in the same plane of focus (so a tree you will stand next to could work.  Set your focus. Once you have it, if you can turn it to manual as well.  Otherwise the camera will refocus every time you touch the shutter release.
3.  If you can't do manual focus you will want to set your timer and press the shutter release while focusing on your object.  Then run into place and move the object.
4.  Otherwise go to your spot, move the focus object and use a remote shutter release to take some pictures.
5.  Mark your spot or replace your focus object and go see if you are happy with the result.  If not, take more photos until you do.

I hope that is clear and gives you the confidence to give it a go.  Being able to take a decent self portrait is useful for social media profile photos, art projects, just getting yourself in the picture for events, if you find that you are the type always taking the picture but never in it.

Below on the left is a test shot I took to make sure I really was happy with my exposure and focus and on the right is the final, edited image.

Selfo portrait before and after.Selfbeforeafter

Have a great week!  I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) challenge how to instructions photo challenge photography photography challenge portraiture portriat self self portrait self portriat challenge tutorial video https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/8/its-a-self-portrait-challenge Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:04:44 GMT
Summer Prairie https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/summer-prairie I live in Illinois and there are lots of forest preserves that are largely tall grass prairie.  I must say the prairie is in bloom with Queen Anne's Lace and Black Eyed Susans.  I thought I'd just share a little lace on this Monday.  Enjoy!

Queen AnneLace

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Queen Anne's Lace cloudy flower flowers nature photograph photography prairie summer https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/summer-prairie Tue, 30 Jul 2013 00:11:36 GMT
What are you afraid of? https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/what-are-you-afraid-of

What are you afraid of, not the serious fears but the unrealistic phobic fears?  For me it would be bees, to the point where sitting in traffic on I290 headed into Chicago with my windows down I got panicked just thinking about a bee getting in the car.  What would I do??  Normally jump out of the car but one can't do that on the expressway, can they?

Well, I went out to a small nature preserve to do some photos last weekend.  My goal and vision was to interact with the flowers to the point I almost was a flower.  It didn't quite go as planned.  I forgot where there are abundant flowers, there are abundant critters who like flowers.  Some of the bumble bees even came to check out the irises I brought with me.  Yikes!  How am I going to do this????

Above I am holding the irises by the tall grass.  I did not go into the grass as it was too full of life and the wasps scare me even more than the bees.
I did get some images with flowers and I incorporated the bumble bees into a couple for fun and because they seemed to better illustrate the emotions of the experience.  Don't worry, they weren't actually giant bees.

I also took some images with just the flowers, which I share below.  The bees liked the irises and I was brave and still put them in my dress to form a neckband of irises as I had wanted. 

In the upper right is a self portrait with me staring down a giant bumble bee.  Below I am holding a bouquet of irises and there are giant bumble bees flying around me.

 

portrait, woman surrounded by bumble bees holding irisesOuttake - 20130721 Self 3

Photography composit portrait of twins with flowers in a giant garden.Outtake - 20130721 Self 4

 

Above I combined three images to create twin me's and a giant garden.  To the left I have a collar of iris and a bouquet of iris.  I stepped into the shade to be away from the bees since they liked the iris so much.

My plan backfired as all of the mosquitoes were in the shade and now I am covered in bites.  Next time I need to wear bug spray.

 

 

So what are you afraid of, let me know in the comments?  Have you incorporated your fear into any creative work?  I'd love to hear!

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Iris anxiety bee bees bumble bee creativity fear flowers insect photo photograph photography portrait portraiture self self portrait sunflower woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/what-are-you-afraid-of Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:21:48 GMT
A Day in the Life https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/a-day-in-the-life Last week Monday, I participated in "A Day in the Life" project for one of my groups.  I have edited the photos, which were all snapped quickly as I went through my Monday.  Now they are edited and I thought I'd share the results.

 

I get up way too early.  This was taken when I remembered it was the day for the project.  I had already been up for an hour.

alarm clock at 6:22 am, black and white photography I like to start my day with some coffee while I check on my Etsy store, Facebook or posting blogs like I am working on right now.

Dark black and white, computer mouse, coffee mug Then it's time to head to work.  I don't make enough from photography to do it full time so I head downtown Monday through Friday where I work as a Compliance Officer.  Here's my train station.

Metra train station in Naperville, Illinois I work in the Civic Opera Building in Chicago, Illinois.  I do not work for the Opera though.

Civic Opera Building, Chicago, Illinois, Black and White Photography And here is the view from my office.  It's the best part about where I work.  Well, that and the lunch options.

Chicago cityscape, Chicago River, Black and white photography I work in a small, but private office and I tend to deal with  a lot of paper in my compliance job.

Office Stacks of paper At the end of the day I take the train home and make some dinner, or sometimes go out to eat with my husband and son.  My husband was traveling so I made pork chops for my son and I.

Cooking pan, stove top, black and white photo Before bed, I relax with some TV.  I must be on the lookout always as the cats will go after whatever I have to eat or drink.

Cat looking in water glass.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look into a typical day for me.  Have a wonderful week!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Chicago Civic Opera Building black and white cat cityscape commute day in the life metra monochrome photography train urban https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/a-day-in-the-life Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:50:44 GMT
Overcoming fears https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/overcoming-fears Today I want to share that I am incredibly self concious when taking self portraits.  I always feel silly, I try to avoid areas or times with lots of people and there have been times I skipped the photo altogether because of it.  Well, I'm trying not to let that stop me.  I wanted to do a photo in the water by the river.  It's at a popular park and was a beautiful day and the tripod was on the bridge right from the parking lot.  I pushed through my anxiety and set up the tripod and got everything read and then climbed down the rocks and waded into the water.  And you know what, it was fine.  It is good to step out of ones comfort level from time to time.

As I was packing up, I took my phone out to get a photo of water ripples caused by the fish for an Instagram photo challenge and I dropped my iPhone into the water.  It sunk clear to the bottom.  I rushed and pulled it from the water and dried it.  I left it in rice overnight and to be honest, it is as if it never happened.  Everything seems to be working just fine.  Whew, bullet dodged.  That was not the kind of anxiety I had planned or hoped to experience or to ever experience again.  But if you drop your phone in water, dry it good, turn it off (don't use it even though I did) and put it in rice.  It really works.

This photo I took before the phone incident as I was coming out of the water after my shoot.  I was standing in the same spot I had to stand to fish out my phone.  Premonition????

Photograph of woman covering hands with water and reflection behind her.Lost Phone

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Dupage Illinois Naperville Naperville Illinois butterfly green iPhone photograph photography portrait red redhead river self square water woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/overcoming-fears Tue, 16 Jul 2013 00:07:09 GMT
Scouting for locations https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/scouting-for-locations It couldn't be a more perfect summer day so I went out looking for interesting places for portraits.  I also had a nice nature hike while I was out there.

Here are some of the locations I came up with.  This is all at Knock Knolls Park in Naperville.  I might have to go tomorrow morning.  

 

Nature locations Knock Knolls Park Naperville Illinois

 

I also took a nice hike through the forest and prairie.  My favorite was the coneflowers.  They just make me think of summer.

Nature photography, prairie, wildflowers, purple coneflower

I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Dupage river Illinois Knock Knolls Park Naperville coneflower flower forest location scouting nature photography prairie purple tree water wildflower https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/scouting-for-locations Sat, 13 Jul 2013 22:21:43 GMT
Arcangel Images https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/arcangel-images I'm excited to share that I am now a contributor on Arcangel Images.  You can see my portfolio there with a search of my name Diane K. Miller.   Being accepted has reminded me not to give up just because I hear "no" from one place or person.  In this business the word "no" seems to happen more than "yes" sometimes but if you find a good fit, then it starts to come together.  So today's post is really just to remind you not to give up on whatever it is you are trying to do.  Keep trying, you will likely have failures along the way but that is part of the path.  If you stop the journey, you are guaranteed not to reach the destination.

 

Enchanted

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) arcangel images dream journey photography portrait portraiture stock stock photography surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/arcangel-images Wed, 10 Jul 2013 11:01:41 GMT
Dramatic Skies Ahead https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/dramatic-skies-ahead I know I shared my free sky backgrounds/textures in a post about a week ago but I thought I'd share some recent images where I used sky backgrounds from the same shoot to give you an idea of how you can use them. 

 

These two images were photographed indoors against a white background (a wall can work for this) using a single speedlight flash for lighting.  The sky was inserted in photoshop.

portrait photograph of woman praying against a sunset010 Pray Pray

Surreal portrait photo with stormy sky and blue butterfly009 Hidden Hidden

 

I also used the background in a couple of my recent butterfly photos.  Here is one example.

Surreal butterfly portrait, face, woman covered in butterfliesButterfly Girl 1 The Butterfly Effect 1

 

I would love to see what you have done with the sky backgrounds/textures.  If you have used them, share them on my Facebook Page DK Miller.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) background butterfly clouds free free texture portrait portraiture self sky sunset texture woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/dramatic-skies-ahead Sun, 07 Jul 2013 13:42:35 GMT
Happy Fourth https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/happy-fourth Masked women in front of fireworks and a carnival at nighttre carnevale follia I remember when I was a kid, going to fireworks on the fourth of July with my family.  Laying on the ground staring straight at the sky in wonder as the fireworks went off, seeming so close that embers might land on me.  Now I go with my grown up family consisting of my husband, me and our son.  I remember the first time my son saw fireworks.  He was a baby and fussing because hew as tired and it was late.  The first boom and his eyes widened, mouth dropped open and he just stared like that until the show was over.

This year, I have been working hard at finding and rediscovering the wonder in everything.  Taking time to look at things from a different perspective.  This fourth, take time to look beyond the routine of your day, even the routine of customs like going to fireworks on the forth and try to see things as a child again and discover that wonder in the world around you.

Have a safe and happy fourth of July.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black composite dark dress ferris fireworks fourth of July golden mask night photography portrait venitian wheel wonder https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/7/happy-fourth Thu, 04 Jul 2013 15:11:53 GMT
Thank you https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/thank-you Peony photograph, pink flower, thank you.

 

I wanted to take a moment to say a deep and sincere thank you for everyone who contributed to my fundraiser.  While the workshop filled up fast and I had to end the fundraiser early, it warmed my heart to see the support I had from friends and family and even some I don't know.

If you still wish to claim your reward, I am happy to offer the images at that price as a regular print sale.  Just contact me and I can arrange it.  If you are still looking to donate, consider donating to the Chicago Photography Center.  I am on the board there and they provide a variety of photography programs including classes, an outreach program for those who have less, a summer camp for high school kids and a gallery showcasing upcoming artists, established photographers and students.

 

While I am not attending the workshop, I will continue to work on my photography and share it with those who wish to see it.  Some projects I have this year, in addition to the portrait project include a butterfly project and a trip out west to photograph the wild horses.  

Have a wonderful Sunday and fourth of July week!

 

Surreal portrait of woman with butterflies under a full moon.011 Moonlight

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) butterfly moon night peony photography pink portrait portraiture self thank you https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/thank-you Sun, 30 Jun 2013 19:54:00 GMT
New Sky Backgrounds and Textures https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/new-sky-backgrounds-and-textures Last week after a storm, I noticed amazing color coming through the window.  It was the sky and it was pink.  I grabbed my camera and rushed to the prairie where I could get a good view and come back with a lot of nice sky, cloud and sunset images that I thought would be good for backgrounds or sky replacement.

I decided to offer a small group of them as free downloads that you can use in your work, both personal and commercial.  All I ask is that you do not post them as is and claim as your own.  You may post them as is with credit and link backs on your own blog, Pinterest, Facebook and anyplace else you can think of.

Last, I have been fascinated by the sky and looking for good sky images to use as stock after the CreativeLIVE Brooke Shaden workshop.  I recently found out she is doing a 10 person weekend retreat/workshop not far from where I live.  I am running a short fast and furious fundraiser to try to raise funds to go.  It can be found here:  Photography Workshop Fundraiser.  If you use and enjoy my free textures and/or backgrounds, either these or items from my other two sets, please consider helping me further my photography education and contributing a little to my campaign.  Even a few dollars can make a difference.  I'd also be grateful if you shared it with your friends and family, posted to your facebook, twitter and other social sites and generally shouted it from atop a mountain. 

 

Donate NOW - it ends July 3!

 

Ok, now to the sky backgrounds for you.  They are all available to download in the Sky Backgrounds gallery.

Stormy sky background free downloadMoody Sky 1 Moody Sky 1

Blue and pink sky background free texture downloadMoody Sky 2 Moody Sky 2

 

Photography background dramatic sunset sky cloudsMoody Sky 3 Moody Sky 3

 

Storm cloud photography, free digital texture background downloadMoody Sky 4 Moody Sky 4

 

Free Texture download sky photography backgroundMoody Sky 5 Moody Sky 5

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) DK Miller Diane K Miller Free photography background background blue cloud free free download free texture grey orange photography pink sky storm sunset texture theshutterbugeye https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/new-sky-backgrounds-and-textures Fri, 28 Jun 2013 00:05:34 GMT
Fast and Furious Fundraiser - Help me out! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/fast-and-furious-fundraiser---help-me-out A couple months ago I attended a free CreativeLIVE workshop by Brooke Shaden and found it beyond inspiring.  Now Brooke is headed to Chicago in September for a small 10 person workshop/retreat.  I would love to go and feel it would help push my current portrait project to the next level so I am having a fast and furious fundraiser to raise funds.

So, please help me out by visiting the Fundraiser Site and contributing to my campaign.  I'm offering the three images that follow the video as prints in various sizes depending on contribution as a thank you ($25 minimum contribution for prints).   I'd also be thrilled if you shared the fundraiser with your friends and family.

Here is a short video about it.

Here are the three images.

Fine art portrait photograph, woman, green lily pads006 From the Lily Fine art surreal portraiture, woman, forest, red Woman with bird, Nature, environmental portrait, Fine Art, blue001 Indigo Blues

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/fast-and-furious-fundraiser---help-me-out Thu, 27 Jun 2013 02:06:49 GMT
It's summer https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/its-summer It's summer and it's finally getting hotter and humid.  We have been having lots of rain so everything is super green which I love.  I have been working on several projects and full of ideas but struggle when it comes to the written word and what to share here.  If you are reading, what do you want to hear from me?  Do you want me to just share pictures?  Talk about what I do each week?  Share my process or how to's?  I'm curious to know.  I'd love to make this blog a regular part of my routine but I often sit and stare at blank, don't know what to write and then just post a picture or abandon.  So please let me know.

 

Since I am a photographer and this is my blog, I must share some photographs. :-)  This is from yesterday.  I noticed the pond had lily pads in it and had to go back to photograph.  A storm was coming so I didn't have any time to plan out hair or makeup.  It was grab the gear and go and I'm glad I did.  Yu an se how green everything is, which is a stark change from last years heat wave and drought when everything was brown.

fine art portrait photography, woman, lily pads nature, green006 From the Lily From the lily pads

 

 

And to stick with the green theme, here is a photograph from last year that I recently re-edited as my editing style and skills are continuously changing.  Always be learning, right?  The top is the before and below you can see the new version.  I darkened the greens, removed the distracting foreground plants and made the light more interesting.

Portrait photograph photoshop before and after exampleRe-Edit

That's all I have for today.  Let me know what YOU want to see here.  Have a fantastic week!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) editing environmental portrait green nature photoshop portrait portraits portraiture self self portrait summer https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/6/its-summer Mon, 24 Jun 2013 11:22:28 GMT
Prelude to a Butterfly https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/5/prelude-to-a-butterfly It's no secret that I love butterflies.  I can spot a butterfly flittering in a field while blasting past on the highway at 65 mph.  Recently I photographed some butterfly specimens.  While not as relaxing as sitting in a butterfly garden, I have become quite interested in all of the different species and specimens that you don't find in my region.  It has spurred an idea for a longer term grander project that I hope to start working on in the second half of the year.  For now, here is a prelude to a butterfly.

Monarch Butterfly macro photograph20130512SButterfly 00006 Butterfly specimen20130512SButterfly 00007 Macro photograph of showy blue butterfly specimen20130512SButterfly 00005 Butterflies and bug speciemens20130512DButterfly 00010 Surreal photograph of butterflies20130512DButterfly 00009 Photograph of orange butterflies with other insects20130512DButterfly 00011

 

I hope you enjoyed the butterflies as much as I do.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal butterfly entomology insect photo photograph photography picture square square format still life https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/5/prelude-to-a-butterfly Thu, 30 May 2013 14:30:00 GMT
Updates and New Self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/5/updates-and-new-self-portrait Today, I'm excited to announce that this site is now named after me, Diane K. Miller.  I am moving theshutterbugeye.com to my blog and it will focus solely on The Shutterbug Eye's Etsy and other online shops, much like my darkravenphoto.com is focused on the dark online stuff.  This site will have some of both and it will be the place I share some of my non-Etsy projects.  This blog will share not only new projects but a little bit of process.  It might still share photos that wind up in The Shutterbug Eye and Dark Raven Photo but it will be all encompassing of everything I do as a photographer and artist.

I also wish to announce that I am no longer offering portrait services.  I have thought long and hard about inspiration, doing what you love and because I already balance this with a career in compliance, I wish to focus my photography purely on what gives me passion and not worry so much about what is most likely to make money.   All of that said, if you like my new portrait work, are local and would like to model for one of the photos in this series, please contact me. I am always looking for models.

That brings me to the fun part.  I created a new piece this weekend.  It is a self portrait and I thought I'd share it here and talk a bit about the process.

Fine art self portrait photo, Indigo Blues, Woman, blackbird001 Indigo Blues Indigo Blues

I took this photo on Friday and edited it yesterday.  It is a self portrait and was taken not far from my house.  What you don't see are the suburban buildings off to the left, out of frame so I look like I'm in the wilderness.  It involved walking through prickly bushes and some allergy attacks but I was able to set up.  I wanted to hide my face and create a more artistic portrait.  There was wind which moved my skirt.  There were also blackbirds flying around everywhere so I was able to get some photos of them and insert one into this photo during editing.
 

To focus I use a light stand in my place and then I take a few test shots.  Below is one of those images with me and the stand after I had focus set, just to make sure before I start taking lots of pictures.

Self portrait test photoZ Indigo Blues Focus Test Taking one last test shot

Once I have the focus, I get in my outfit, in this case, removed the leggings under my skirt and hoodie, and start posing and taking photos.  I use a remote shutter release for self portraits and sometimes even with models.  Once i have a photo, then it's time to go home and open photoshop.  I edit in photoshop and for this image I used the curves to adjust the light and colors, I used some liquify (hey, I'm not a model) and I used a texture overlay.  Here is the before/after.

Before-after self portrait photosZ Indigo Blues Before-After Before/after editing

 

That's the basic process.  I have plans for a couple of series this next year or two.  One is a portrait series, of which this is the first of many.  The others will be announced at a later date, once I've started actually working on them.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blackbird nature photo photograph photography portrait portraiture prairie self square square format surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/5/updates-and-new-self-portrait Sun, 26 May 2013 13:31:03 GMT
Happy Mother's Day https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/5/happy-mothers-day Spring  blossom photograph, Red Flower photoPhoto 9

 

Spring has finally sprung and the sky and ground are filled with beautiful May flowers.   Enjoy the sights and smells this spring and a very happy Mother's Day to all of the mom's out there!

Today I'm sharing my view of this spring.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Tulip photography, nature photo, Garden flowerTulip Series 5 Tulips from the gardens at Cantigny (above and below)

Yellow Tulip Flower, Fine Art Photography, Red TulipTulip Series 3

Below are blossoms from the Weeping Cherry Tree

Spring Photography Print, Cherry BlossomsVibrant Cherry Blossom

And last a flower about to open

White Flower Photograph, Spring Nature Photography Print

Happy Mother's Day from me to you!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Cantigny blossom cherry cherry blossom flower garden green photography pink red tulip white white flower yellow https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/5/happy-mothers-day Sun, 12 May 2013 10:00:00 GMT
Flood Waters https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/4/flood-waters Naperville River Walk, Covered Bridge, Flood Waters, Photography

 

The storms started Wednesday night and there was rain and storms that did not stop until sometime while I was sleeping last night.  This morning the river was so high that the bridges all had to be closed.  Since I couldn't get to work, I walked down the road to the river to see for myself.  This is what I found.

Flooding in Naperville, Illinois, Carillon, park, water20130419 Flood - 2 Above is the Carillon.  This is usually a big grassy area but was more of a lake this morning.

Below is the bridge cards normally would use.  It was closed due to the flood.  As you can see the water is higher than the road.

Naperville photography, flood waters, Dupage river20130419 Flood - 4

Naperville Municipal Building, Flood Waters20130419 Flood - 5 Above is the Naperville Municipal building with sandbags and the flooded street.

Below is the flooded pedestrian bridge which is also closed.

Naperville Photo, covered bridge, flood water20130419 Flood - 6

I can only hope the clean up will not be too bad.  I am so grateful I live up on a hill and feel bad for those whose homes have been damaged.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Carillon DuPage Illinois Naperville Naperville photography The Shutterbug Eye bridge covered bridge flood park river water https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/4/flood-waters Sat, 20 Apr 2013 03:17:21 GMT
New Kitten and New Motivation https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/4/new-kitten-and-new-motivation brown tabby kitten, fine art pet photography920130413 Spidey - 2

We adopted a kitten, two days ago.  His name is Spidey and he's a brown tabby, though I think much of him is grey.  He's adorable.  I thought I'd share a few photos of him as I try to get back into a routine of blogging.  It is hard to balance life, work, and online presence.  But I want to try to get in a weekly routine of posting here, even if it's a brief sharing.


To start, here are some additional photos of Spidey.  Animals and pets are one of my favorite subjects.  I use my own animals as models often but I also enjoy meeting and photographing other people's pets.  Visit my Pet Photography page to learn more.

 

Pet photograph, Cute brown tabby kitten, cat photography1320130413 Spidey - 6 Brown tabby kitten playing, Naperville pet photography 1220130413 Spidey - 5 Cat photography, brown tabby, striped kitten, curte pet photograph1020130413 Spidey - 3

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Chicagoland Naperville photography animal brown cat cute furry gray green grey kitten pet pet photography photograph photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2013/4/new-kitten-and-new-motivation Sun, 14 Apr 2013 15:43:02 GMT
Happy Holidays https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/12/happy-holidays Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Holiday, whatever holiday you celebrate!

Christmas Tree Bokeh, Happy Holidays by The Shutterbug Eye Photography201212 Christmas - 1

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Christmas Tree bokeh green happy holidays holiday seasons greetings https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/12/happy-holidays Sun, 23 Dec 2012 23:11:31 GMT
Happy Halloween https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/10/happy-halloween I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Halloween images from this year and prior.  Enjoy and have a safe and fun Halloween!

 

Doll Face Masked Portrait Halloween PhotoDoll Face with Cat

Doll Face

Halloween Still Life photographyHorror Horror

Portrait photogrpahy, horse mask, fine art printHorse aaround Horsing Around

Black and white masked figure photography printRain Rain

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Halloween black and white color halloween decor masked portrait portrait portrait photography portraiture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/10/happy-halloween Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:11:08 GMT
Fall is in the air https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/10/fall-is-in-the-air I have returned from a vacation that lasted over a week.  A week away from work, to spend with my husband and son.  We saw the Chicago Bears win at Cowboy's Stadium, much to my husbands disappointment.  We went to a wild animal park (photos from that coming soon!) and we checked out the Austin scene.  I am settled in and thought I'd share some of the autumn color that was waiting for me upon my return. 

 

Autumn Home Decor Photograph, Red Maple LeavesChange Change

 

Dreamy nature photograph for sale, Golden fall leavesColors of fall

Colors of Fall

 

Autumn photography print, vibrant yellow treeGolden Autumn Golden Autumn

 

Red Maple Leaves, Fine Art Photography Print, Maple Maple

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) autumn fine art photography fine art print golden maple nature nature photography photograph photography red yellow https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/10/fall-is-in-the-air Wed, 10 Oct 2012 02:50:23 GMT
From the twittersphere https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/10/from-the-twittersphere This is my last recap post from the GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge, at least I think.  The celebrities who visited The Artisan Group and received the gift bags were tweeting about the great collection of work that The Artisan Group puts together.  My photography was included in the bags gifted at the GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge and I had photo pendants and a photo at the GBK Academy Awards Gift Lounge.  Here are some of their comments.

 

Jessica Clark tweets about The Artisan GroupCelebrity Tweets Stephanie Drapeau tweets about The Artisan GroupCelebrity Tweets

Ed Weeks tweets about The Artisan GroupCelebrity Tweets Jim OCelebrity Tweets Wayne Knight tweets about The Artisan GroupCelebrity Tweets Shanola Hampton Tweets about The Artisan GroupCelebrity Tweets Navid Negahban tweets about The Artisan GroupCelebrity Tweets

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Ed Weeks GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge Jessica Clark Jim O'Heir Navid Negahban Shanola Hampton Stephanie Drapeau TAG The Artisan Group Wayne Knight celebrity gifting suite gift bag gift lounge swag twitter https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/10/from-the-twittersphere Mon, 01 Oct 2012 05:30:00 GMT
Highlights from the gift lounge https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/highlights-from-the-gift-lounge I have posted a lot about The Artisan Group and the GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge that was last weekend.  Well, here are some of the celebrities that visited the table and viewed my work.

 

Actor Jim Carter with cardinal photograph by The Shutterbug Eye, DK MillerJim Carter

 Jim Carter

 

Reid Scott holds &quot;In Branches, fine art photography print, red cardinalReid Scott Reid Scott

 

Barry Corbin with home decor ttv print of cardinal on blue sky by The Shutterbug eyeBarry Corbin Barry Corbin

 

Gregg Binkley with photography print by DK MillerGregg Binkley Gregg Binkley

 

Have a great weekend!  I'm heading on a long awaited vacation for the next week and hope to return with new inspiration and photographs.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) DK Miller Diane Karas Miller GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge Primetime Emmys TAG The Artisan Group The Shutterbug Eye celebrity gift lounge celebrity gifting decor fine art photography home luxury gift lounge photography theshutterbugeye through the viewfinder ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/highlights-from-the-gift-lounge Fri, 28 Sep 2012 14:15:00 GMT
2012 GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge with the Artisan Group https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/2012-gbk-primetime-emmys-gift-lounge-with-the-artisan-group The 2012 GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Loung is finally here and I'm so excited to be participating as a member of The Artisan Group, an exclusive juried group of artisans and artists.  I thought I'd share a few photos taken by Betty Miller, a leader of The Artisan Group who is there helping the founder, Valerie Guerrero, represent the many talented artisans who are on display, included in celebrity gifts, press gifts and industry mixer gifts.

Here is the amazing display table that showcases the groups work.  I'm so honored to have my photograph "In Branches", a photograph of a cardinal on a barren tree, included with so much talent.  My photo is on the top shelf to the viewers left.

The Artisan Group 2012 GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge DisplayThe Artisan Group Display Table

Here is a closer view of my piece and those near it.  So many beautiful pieces.

Closeup of TAG member handmade jewelry, art and photographyThe Artisan Group Display close-up

And closer up is my photo next to a stunning necklace.

TTV Photograph standout display cardina by The Shutterbug EyeMy Photo on Display

This is what the bags look like:

Celebrity swag from The Artisan Group for 2012 GBK Primetime Emmys Gift LoungeThe Artisan Group Gift Bags

And a quick peek inside at what attending celebrities will receive inside their bags!  

Celebrity gift by The Artisan Group, Handmade, jewelry, bath, art, photography and moreCelebrity Swag

 

So far it's been exciting to hear about the celebrities who have visited the table.  I will post a follow up after the event has concluded with some of the celebrity photographs.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) DK Miller Diane Miller GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge TAG The Artisan Group The Shutterbug Eye celebrity celebrity swag handmade luxury gift lounge photography swag theshutterbugeye https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/2012-gbk-primetime-emmys-gift-lounge-with-the-artisan-group Sat, 22 Sep 2012 17:55:43 GMT
2012 GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge Event Guide https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/2012-gbk-primetime-emmys-gift-lounge-event-guide
Open publication - Free publishing - More artisan group

 

I can't believe it's here.  Check out The Shutterbug Eye on page 13.  I have a photograph that will be on display on The Artisan Group's table at the gift lounge and a photo will be included in the gifts the celebrities receive.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) GBK Gift Lounge Primetime Emmys TAG The Artisan Group celebrity celebrity gifting https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/2012-gbk-primetime-emmys-gift-lounge-event-guide Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:36:33 GMT
Dreamy https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/dreamy Last weekend I went to Cantigny Gardens and Park, which is one of my favorite places to photograph.  They have beautiful gardens and maintain bee hives.  I have worked with the photos this week and found that my creativity with editing seemed to have returned after quite some time where it felt like a chore.  Here is a sampling of some of the photographs from the trip.  I'll come back another day and share the bees with you.

 

Dreamy Nature Photograph, Pink Flowersjardin douce

Jardin Douce

 

Pink Painterly Flower Photo, Dreamy BokehPink Pink

 

Lavender Art Print, Modern Home DecorLavender Lavender

 

Macro Photograph, Pink FlowersAutumn Burgundy Autumn Burgundy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) fine art photography flower macro nature painterly photo photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/dreamy Mon, 10 Sep 2012 00:20:30 GMT
Celebrity Swag https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/celebrity-swag Here is the gorgeous gift bag that The Artisan Group will be giving to celebrities that attend the GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge.  My photograph is included in the mix.  This should be a great event and I"m so excited to be a part of it.

The Artisan Group Gift BagCelebrity Swag

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge Primetime Emmys Tag The Artisan Group art celebrity celebrity gifting celebrity swag handmade photography swag https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/celebrity-swag Sun, 09 Sep 2012 14:45:55 GMT
Autumn Preview https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/autumn-preview Labor Day is past, it's officially September and business casual has gone by the wayside.  Fall may still be around the corner but in some mental way, I feel like it's starting now.  Here is are some of my favorite fall photographs to get you thinking about autumn.

 

Autumn landscape photograph, ReflectionAutumn Reflected 1

Autumn Reflected

Painterly Photograph, Autumn Seed PodsSeeds Seeds

TTV Photo, Red Oak LeavesAutumn Decor, TTV Photograph, Fall Leaves, Amber, Golden, Blue Sky Red Oak Leaves

White Horse Photography Print All the White Horses All the White Horses

Dreamy nature photograph, Autumn flowersEven in fall, Autumn Flowers

 

I hope you enjoyed todays selection and have a fantastic week!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) autumn autumn photography fall fine art photography print home decor nature nature photography photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/9/autumn-preview Tue, 04 Sep 2012 11:17:39 GMT
Summers Lasts Moments https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/summers-lasts-moments With the kids back at school, and those lucky enough not to be are enjoying their last few days of summer, I thought I'd share some photos that make me think of the end of summer.  Enjoy.

 

Photograph, goldfinch in the prairie, late summer nature photogrpahyGolden

Golden, a pretty goldfinch in the prairie

 

Macro photography, fine art photo, bee, lavenderSummer Bee Summer Bee, enjoying the late summer blooms.

 

Painterly photography, nature photography, yellow flowersSummer Remains Summer Remains, sunflowers on a summer day

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) bee bird fine art photography fine art print goldfinch lavender macro macro photography nature nature photography photograph photography prairie summer sunflower https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/summers-lasts-moments Wed, 29 Aug 2012 00:18:18 GMT
Photography From The Shutterbug Eye On Display At GBK's Primetime Emmys Gift Suite https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/photography-from-the-shutterbug-eye-on-display-at-gbks-primetime-emmys-gift-suite Original fine art photography from The Shutterbug Eye will be on display and in celebrity gift bags at GBK's Primetime Emmys Gift Suite on September 20-21 in Hollywood, California, in association with California-based The Artisan Group.

Read more about it on my official press release.

This is the lovely image that will be on display.  It will be a 10x10 standout display and is available here in a variety of sizes and from regular prints, to stand out displays, framed or unframed, canvas wraps.  You can even get it as an iPhone case!

Fine art photography, Celebrity display piece, Primetime EmmysIn Branches Stand Out

See "In Branches" for more info on sizes and ordering.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Primetime Emmys The Artisan Group celebrity gift lounge celebrity gifting luxury gift lounge photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/photography-from-the-shutterbug-eye-on-display-at-gbks-primetime-emmys-gift-suite Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:15:26 GMT
Starved Rock https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/starved-rock Photograph of water on a rocky beachThe Water

Starved Rock is one of my favorite parks.  Living in Illinois, most of the landscape is flat and rather uninspiring, at least near Chicago and the middle part of the state.  We grow a lot of corn and soy and that's about what you see.  Starved rock features sandstone cliffs along the rivers edge, deep canyons and lovely hiking trails.  Here are some photos from a recent trip there. TTV landscape photograph for sale, Starved Rock sandstone cliffSandstone Cliff

Sandstone Cliff

 

TTV Photo, Sandstone Canyon, Starved Rock, IllinoisCanyon Inside a canyon

 

Pinecone TTV Photograph, Nature PhotographyPinecones Pinecones

 

Insect photograph, Damselfly, Damselfly Journey There are lots of Damselflies

 

For a real treat, check it out in the winter when you can catch dramatic frozen waterfalls.  Last winter was too warm but I took the following photos in February 2011.

 

Surreal Nature Photo, Frozen WaterfallWinter Falls

Frozen Waterfall, Winter PhotographyFrozen Falls

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Illinois Starved Rock damselfly frozen waterfall landscape nature photography pinecone ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/starved-rock Tue, 21 Aug 2012 01:31:27 GMT
Back to School https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/back-to-school Yep, the kids here, including mine, are back to school.  I can't believe how fast the summer break passed.  I thought I'd share a few images that make me think of this time of year when summers almost over.  Late summer scenes and thoughts of fall which, while not here yet, is in our minds.

 

Autumn photo in the forest, woman with red balloon.Anonymous

Anonymous

Nature Photo, Late summer prairie grassesNature Photograph, Amber, Golden, Yellow, Illinois Prairie, Tallgrass, Fine Art Print Tallgrass in the prairie, late summer

Bee on Late summer flowers, fine art photography printSummer Bee Late summer bee

Sports photo, football And a time when football begins

(this is my son several years ago when his team one the youth football leagues Superbowl)

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) autumn back to school fall fine art photography football macro photography photography seasons sports summer https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/back-to-school Fri, 17 Aug 2012 10:38:57 GMT
My new Epiphanie Bag https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/my-new-epiphanie-bag After entering many contests for an Epiphanie bag, I decided to just order one as I really needed a camera bag that could actually hold all of my equipment I carry around, including my 70-200 f2.8 lens and having a bag that is stylish is a huge plus too.  I ordered the Lyric bag in plum and was impressed off the bat by how quickly it was shipped.

I received my bag last Wednesday and gave it a trial run on Saturday on an outing with my family.  Here are some photos I too (all were taken with my iPhone) and my comments about my experience along the way.  Enjoy and I hope you find it helpful if you are thinking of buying one of these bags.

This is the box I received, it was clear who it was from and I was super excited to open it up and take a look inside!

Epiphanie camera bag box

Epiphanie Box

 

Once I opened it up, there was a nylon bag in the same color as the bag I ordered.  It contained my bag.  For a sec I thought, wait, that doesn't look like leather at all and then I realized that was not my actual camera bag.  Nice to have a dust protector for when I'm not using the bag often (hmmm, will that even happen?)

epiphanie bag straight out of the box

Just out of the box

 

Now for the good stuff, at home, I opened it all up, ok, I did that at work but I waited to photograph it.  Here the bag is Saturday, in the daylight, filled with stuff.  It has the following items in it and shut fine and looks fine:  Nikon D90 camera with Tamron 70-200 mm f2.8 lens attached, a 12-24 f4 lens, my Dreamy Diana Lens (I should have brought my 50 mm for this trip instead and it would have fit just fine).  It also has my big wallet, my glasses case, my keychain with keys, lip balm, my iPhone, 2 extra camera batteries, a remote shutter release and I think that covers it.  Not in the bag but could have fit in the bag include one of my Speedlight flashes and my iPad but the flashes are in New York right now and the iPad wasn't needed for the outing.  So, here is the bag full and fully zipped closed.

Epiphanie lyric bag in plum filled with stuff

Epiphanie Lyric bag in Plum, mostly loaded

 

Here is the view looking down into it.  You can see that even with all of my stuff in it, there is room to spare.  I also apologize for the garbage on the floor of the car.  This photo was taken on the way to Starved Rock.

Epiphanie bag with room to spare

Looking inside

 

Here is a final photo of me wearing the bag.  I'm taking my camera with the 70-200mm f2.8 lens out of the bag.  It's easy to access when you can fit it pointing down like that.  You will see I used the longer strap since I had heavy stuff and we were going for a light hike.  If I had not brought the big lens and was just around town, I'd keep the braided strap on.  It's super cute.  I removed it as I prefer only one strap on at a time.

Woman and the Epiphanie Lyric bag in plum

Me with the bag removing my camera with the 70-200mm f2.8 lens on it.  I have it a touch over 1/2 way out.  

My son was kind enough to take this photo for me.

 

I hope that helps anyone who is considering the bag.  I really like it and see it becoming my go to every day camera bag.  You can find out more about Epiphanie bags on their website.  There are also lots of giveaways so check out their blog or do a google search for current ones running.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Lyric bag bag camera bag camera bag review ephiphanie epiphanie bag plum https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/my-new-epiphanie-bag Mon, 13 Aug 2012 11:18:24 GMT
In a field of blooming sunflowers https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/in-a-field-of-blooming-sunflowers I took Monday off of work and traveled to the northern suburbs where a friend had tipped me off that there was a field of sunflowers in bloom.  It was beautiful.  Here were the highlights of the trip.  All of these are available for purchase as well.  Just click through the photo if you are interested.


Here is the field, not all of it but much of it.  A warm golden yellow greeting and welcoming me.

Golden Sunflower Field, nature photograph for saleSunflowers 1

 

Here are some closer up shots of the flowers in varying stages of bloom.  All of these are ttv style using my Duaflex IV Texture in Light Amber.

 

TTV Photograph of Sunflower blooming, Modern Home DecorSunflower Blooming

Above:  Starting to bloom

 

Nature Photography, Yellow sunflower TTV fine art printSunflowers 3 Above:  Pretty yellow sunflowers

 

TTV Photograph, field of sunflowersSunflowers 2 Above:  From behind

 

I'll conclude with this pretty photo from behind one sunflower, so close you can see the fuzz on it.  I hope you enjoyed this series.

Sunflower photograph, close-up nature photographySunflower from behind

 

 

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Chicago Photography Chicago suburbs dreamy nature photo field fine art photography flower free texture golden home decor nature nature photography photo photograph photography summer photography sunflower through the viewfinder ttv yellow yellow flower https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/in-a-field-of-blooming-sunflowers Wed, 08 Aug 2012 22:44:25 GMT
Now offering textures overlay downloads for FREE! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/now-offering-textures-overlay-downloads-for-free I'm excited to be offering my first batch of free texture downloads.  They may be be found in my Free Downloads gallery.  This first batch features textures made using my Kodak Duaflex IV.  They are basically one texture in different tones to work with a variety of works.  These are great layering textures to use in photoshop.

To get the textures, click "Buy" above the texture and then select "Free Downloads", which is the only product that will show.  The price will show as 0.00 and you will get a license for use. 

You don't need to provide a line of credit or link when you use these in your work but if you use them and like them, I'd be thrilled if you shared them with your friends by posting the links to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  

Here are a few of them for show but visit the photo gallery to see and download the full selection.

 

In Cool Blue:

Free ttv texture overlay in light cool tones.Duaflex IV Texture: Cool Blue

 

In Light Amber:

Free Texture Download, Warm Toned Kodak Duaflex TTVDuaflex IV Texture: Light Amber

In Dark Greenish:

Dark TTV Texture, Free download, photoshop overlayDuaflex IV Texture: Dark Greenish

 

To finish, here are a few of my photographs where I used these textures in my post processing.  Hopefully that will give you an idea of what can be done.

TTV Photograph, Green Dress and Flowers, Summer Day Yellow dandelion ttv photograph in yellow and greenYellow TTV Photograph, red cardinalThe Red Beauty

I'd love to see what you do with the textures.  Share them or links to them in the comment section or tag DK Miller on them on Facebook.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Kodak Duaflex downloads free downloads free texture overlay photoshop overlay texture texture download through the viewfinder ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/now-offering-textures-overlay-downloads-for-free Mon, 06 Aug 2012 23:17:14 GMT
The Face https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/the-face The face, it's the focal point of most photos and the key to most portraits.  Getting close often produces the best portraits when you really want to share who a person is.  

Here are some ideas and examples to try whether in a portrait session or just taking some pictures of your kids.

 

Get Close

Close-up portrait photograph12-10-11 Paprocki - 03 closeup

 

Try a unique crop

Black and white portrait photoKatherine

 

Try a profile:

Profile portrait, children06-25-11 Aviana 24 Profile Portrait photograph, autumn 10-09-11 Wendy - 26

 

 

Find a fun background that still lets your subject shine:

Portrait photograph, Senior pictures, carnival bokeh05-06-12 Meghan2 - 45 sq

 

Try a different angle:

Portrait photograph, young child06-25-11 Aviana - 03 Black and white closeup portrait photograph06-23-12 Paprocki - 47 BW

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black and white color photography face girl photograph photography portrait portrait photo portraiture profile woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/8/the-face Thu, 02 Aug 2012 11:17:25 GMT
Chrysalis https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/chrysalis Another weekend has come and gone.  I spent quite a bit of time working on my site.  I have updated the homepage to focus more on the images.  I have also updated my blog sidebar to include pretty navigation buttons.

This past weekend I took a little time to go to Peck Farm Park and visit their Butterfly House.  I certainly wasn't disappointed.  In addition to the many butterflies, there were several emerging from chrysalis and many recently emerged.

My favorite photo from the entire visit is this one, of a white butterfly that had recently emerged from chrysalis still perched on them.  

Butterfly macro photograph, emerging from chrysalisChrysalis

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Peck Farm Park butterfly chrysalis macro nature nature photograph nikon photography teal the shutterbug eye white white butterfly https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/chrysalis Mon, 30 Jul 2012 11:10:56 GMT
Comfort https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/comfort I'm not going to lie and say the past week and a half has been easy since the loss of my dad.  I've been sad, angry, trying to go about my routine and wanting to pull away hand just hide for some time.  My wonderful cat has been therewith me, offering comfort and unconditional love throughout.  I know that I post a lot of pet and especially cat photos, but I hope you can tolerate just one more.

Pet portrait photography, gray cat, green eyes, face close-upLucky

On a non-cat subject, I am hoping to go find butterflies to photograph this weekend.  Getting out of the house to photograph, immerse myself in creative task, is also so helpful.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) cat comfort gray green green eyes loss mourning pet pet photography photography sad https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/comfort Tue, 24 Jul 2012 11:15:31 GMT
Thoughts after the opening https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/thoughts-after-the-opening The opening for The Dubious Quintette at the Chicago Photography Center was fantastic.  We had a great turnout and I received really nice comments on my photographs.  I sold a few small prints and one larger print, which was by far my most popular image for the evening.  Here is that photo "In Branches".

 

Photo for sale of cardinal in branches, ttv photography printIn Branches

 

All of the images will be up through the end of August and can be viewed at The Chicago Photography Center, 3301 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657.  You can purchase my prints here on my website as well.  In addition to traditional prints, you can receive standout displays, specialty products such as iPhone cases (look in the price list under "specialty") and more.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Through the viewfinder cardinal exhibit iPhone case opening photography photos for sale trees ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/thoughts-after-the-opening Sun, 22 Jul 2012 18:38:03 GMT
The Dubious Quintette: A Photography Exhibit https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/the-dubious-quintette-a-photography-exhibit I am excited to be a part of The Dubious Quintette, a group of five photographers who will be having an exhibit at The Chicago Photography Center July 20 through August 31, 2013.  The opening reception is July 20 from 7-9 pm for those who can make it.  Details about the show are below.

Photography Exhibit at Chicago Photography Center

The Dubious Quintette Portrait Photograph

Above:  The Dubious Quintette

From left to right:  Diane Miller (that's me!), Kent Bamberger, Warren Perlstein, Jim VanBibber and Jodi Alempijevic

 

Here is a preview of the photos of mine that are in the exhibit:

Dreamy Horse Photography, White HorsesHorse redo 4

All the White Horses

Nature photography, BlackbirdBlackbird's Calling 1 Blackbird's Flight

Pet portraiture, tuxedo cat in black and whiteMustache cat Mustache Cat

Macro Photograph, Orange Butterfly on flower, TTV Photo Sweet Nectar

TTV Photography of Red Cardinal in branchesThe Cardinal In Branches

Horse photograph, white horse in field, fine art photography11-28-11 Lone Horse Lone Horse

 

I sincerely hope you are able to make it to the show.  Photography really is a different experience printed, framed and displayed on a wall than it is in the more common web views of today's world.


Have a fantastic weekend.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) CPC Chicago Photography Center Dubious Quintette exhibit photography photography exhibit, five, https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/the-dubious-quintette-a-photography-exhibit Fri, 13 Jul 2012 10:59:02 GMT
Cats and Dogs https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/cats-and-dogs Today I'm going to share a few of the favorite cat and dog photographs I've taken.  Some of these feature my cats and others are from pet photography sessions I have had.  If you are interested in pet photography, click the "CONTACT" button and send me a note.  I offer services in Naperville and the Chicagoland Area.

Now, here are the photos.  Enjoy the cuties. 

Pet portrait photograph, gray cat with green eyes.Lucky 3 Black Labrador Retriever Puppy Portrait Photo06-18-11 puppy - 3 textured Cat portrait photograph, Pet photography, Tuxedo catCat 4 Winter Dog Portrait Photograph, Shiba Inu, SnowDSC_0012 Cat02-18-2012 Cats - 5 Closeup Dog Portrait, Face, Pet Photography, White, Cute05-08-11 Dog 27

I hope you enjoyed these cats and dogs.  Check out my portfolios for more.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Shiba Inu black lab cat cute dog furry gray cat labrador retriever pet photography pet portrait puppy tuxedo cat https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/cats-and-dogs Wed, 11 Jul 2012 11:24:05 GMT
A portrait session https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/a-portrait-session I had the extreme pleasure of photographing my friend Amy's daughter last weekend.  This is my third shoot with her and she is just delightful and so photogenic.  Here are a few of the photos. My friend Amy did the hair and makeup.

 

Natural light portrait photograph06-23-12 Paprocki - 13

Looking pretty on the porch.

Black and white studio portrait06-23-12 Paprocki - 06 Black and white with flowers.  Taken using of camera flash and a backdrop.

Close-up portrait photograph in black and white06-23-12 Paprocki - 47 BW A pretty close-up in black and white.

Portrait photograph06-23-12 Paprocki - 33 On the bridge, over the water.

Portrait photograph against a tree.06-23-12 Paprocki - 41 At the park.

 

Last, but not least, my friend Amy!

Black and white headshot photograph06-23-12 Paprocki - 19 BW

I'll be sure to share more on Amy once her website is up and running for anyone in the area who needs a make-up artist.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) black and white color girl natural light photography portrait studio light woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/7/a-portrait-session Thu, 05 Jul 2012 03:20:33 GMT
Preparing for an Exhibit https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/preparing-for-an-exhibit I am taking the class "Preparing for an Exhibit" at the Chicago Photography Center and finding it to be quite good.  We will conclude with an exhibit and it has been a big challenge for me to narrow down to four photographs.  But I did and I'm sharing them here with you.


There will be more info about the exhibit closer to the date.

 

White horse photography, dreamy nature photoAll the White Horses

All the White Horses

 

Photograph, Cardinal in tree branch, TTV PhotographyIn Branches In Branches

 

Macro Photograph, Orange Butterfly on Purple Flower, TTV PhotoEye is on You Sweet Nectar

 

Pet Photography, Mustache Tuxedo Cat Portrait PhotographMustache cat Mustache Cat

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal photography bird butterfly cardinal cat horses nature photograph orange butterfly photo photograph photography tuxedo cat white horse https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/preparing-for-an-exhibit Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:57:28 GMT
A bit of me conclude self portrait week https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/a-bit-of-me-conclude-self-portrait-week I want to thank everyone who shared a self portrait for this week.  It was fun seeing everyone.  I thought I'd conclude with a few of my own.  To start, here is one of me with those lovely horses in the background.

24 of 52 Something Borrowed

This is also on my "Goodbye thirties, hello forty" blog where i am sharing my year long self portrait project.

 

Dance, self portrait ttv photographDance Dance - this was taken in a nearby nature preserve I like to go to.

Urban decay self portrait, City Methodist Church, Gary, Indiana, urbexTea Time I like to explore abandoned buildings.  This was taken at City Methodist Church in Gary, Indiana.

Black and white self portrait photograph, mustacheLe Mustache - 2 Playing around with mustaches.  I love buying props during Halloween season.

 

I hope you had as much fun as I did with self portrait week.  Stay tuned here or "like" me on Facebook at DK Miller to keep up with my latests and to be in the know for my next fun sharing event.  Last time it was "Pet Week", this week was "Self Portraits".  I'd love to hear ideas for what you'd like to share in the future.


Have a wonderful weekend!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) photograph photography portrait self self portrait through the viewfinder ttv https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/a-bit-of-me-conclude-self-portrait-week Fri, 22 Jun 2012 22:00:00 GMT
Self Portrait Week: Day 4 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portrait-week-day-4 It's day four of self portrait week. I'm sharing photos readers and Facebook followers have submitted.  This is the last day of reader submitted work and then tomorrow I will conclude with a few more of my own self portraits.

 

Artistic self portrait photographChelsea

Today's photo is a neat arty reflection by Chelsea.

Below is a black and white macro by Allie.

Black and white self portrait, macroAllie

That concludes the photos so kindly shared.  I'd like to thank everyone who submitted a photo for this week.


I'm going to finish today with some close up horse images.  Tomorrow I will share some of my self portraits.

Close up horse photography, ear, sparkly bokehHorse 7 Horse photography, Closeup photo of nose, brownHorse 6 Portrait photograph, horse photography, face, eye, brownHorse 5

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) bokeh close-up photos ear eye farm horse horse photography nose portrait reader submitted reflection self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portrait-week-day-4 Thu, 21 Jun 2012 22:00:00 GMT
Self Portrait Week: Day 3 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portrait-week-day-3 This week I'm sharing photos submitted by my readers and Facebook followers.  I asked for people to share their self portraits to be featured on this blog.  It's great to see peoples faces.  Here are this weeks portraits.

 

Black and white self portrait photo, woman, moody, emotionStacy

Above:  My friend Stacy, who I know from college days!  

Below:  Nicole from Nicole Lampron's Photo Studio

Self portrait, relaxing, outdoorsNicole

 

I'm going to finish off today's post with a couple more butterflies.

Butterfly portrait photo, macro photograph, ttv, natureMonarch Portrait TTV Photograph, Butterfly on flower, orange, purple, nature photographyDrink the fine Nectar

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) TTV Photo black and white color macro monochrome nature photography portrait reader submitted self portrait through the viewfinder ttv woman https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portrait-week-day-3 Wed, 20 Jun 2012 22:00:00 GMT
Self Portrait Week: Day 2 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portrait-week-day-2 It's day 2 of self portrait week, where I am sharing reader submitted photographs.   This weeks self portraits were submitted by fellow photographers.  Enjoy!

 

self portrait photography, reader submitted,Diana EyeShuttertoThink

Above:  Diana from Eye Shutter to Think

Below:  Claudia from Images by CW

Self portrait, tile, reflection, black and white, colorClaudia

 

Yesterday, I shared some butterflies.  Today I am going to share some horse photographs I took on Saturday.  These are my friends horses and she was kind enough to loan them to me for photos.

Horse portrait photograph, chestnut coloredHorse 2 Horse photography, sorrelHorse 10 Portrait photograph of paint horse

Come back tomorrow for more reader self portraits.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) animal chestnut horse horse photography paint photography portrait reader submitted roan self portrait women https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portrait-week-day-2 Tue, 19 Jun 2012 22:00:00 GMT
This week is all about Self Portraits! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/this-week-is-all-about-self-portraits That's right!  This week is Self Portrait week.  I will be sharing this Monday through Thursday self portraits that have been submitted to me through DK Miller on Facebook.  Be sure to "like" my page to be informed of future opportunities as well as what I'm up too and more.

Each day I will share two self portraits and then one of my recent works.  I have reworked some butterfly photos and am really excited about how they turned out and I had the pleasure of photographing some horses and cats over the weekend.

The focus is YOU so, here is the first guest self portrait!  I love the creative use of mirror here.

Self portrait photograph.Shattered

This is Christina from Klings and Things.

 

and  below we have a beautiful photo by Mundanal Ruido Photography.self portrait photographPrimeras veces

 

 

Before I go, I would like to share a couple of my favorite butterfly photos.  I actually took this a couple years ago at Peck Farm in Geneva, IL.  I was on a break from promoting myself and just put them on Flickr and moved on.  I rediscovered them and re-edited them and am releasing them now.

 

Monarch butterfly macro photograph, dreamy natureDream in Monarch TTV Nature photo, butterfly, dreamy, surreal photographyReawakened Dream


I hope you will visit tomorrow to see some more self portraits!  And I wish to thank everyone who shared a portrait with me.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) butterfly dreamy macro macro photograph nature photograph photography portrait reader submitted self portrait surreal https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/this-week-is-all-about-self-portraits Mon, 18 Jun 2012 22:00:00 GMT
Remember the Peonies? https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/remember-the-peonies Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Today I'm remembering the peonies.  As my garden hits a dead zone for the moment I will remember how pretty, if short lived, the peonies. were.

 

First there are the buds, which in their own right inspire me.

Peony bud macro photographBrilliant pink

Pale pink peony budPatience

And then they bloom

Pink peony bloomsBloom Bright pink peony blossom flower photo.Abundance

 

Don't forget to share your self portrait on my Facebook page DK Miller to be featured on my blog next week.

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) Pink Peony bloom blossom flower garden green macro photo nature photography peony photograph photography pink pink flower https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/remember-the-peonies Thu, 14 Jun 2012 01:11:16 GMT
I want to see YOU! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/i-want-to-see-you In my last post I featured a bit about my self portraits, why I take them and some tips on how to take your own.  Now I'm reaching out to you and asking for you to share your self portraits.

Before moving blog locations, I had "Pet Week".  People shared on my facebook page DK Miller pictures of their pets.  I in turn had a week where I featured those photos on my blog.  I would like to have a "Self" week and share YOU!!  

If you would like to participate, just post your photo on my facebook page no later than Friday, June 15 and I will share it here the week of June 18th.    The photos can be staged self portraits, quick phone photos you took, it's up to you!

self portrait with sparkling bokehSparkling

By submitting a photo for sharing, you grant me permission to post your photo on my website and blog.  You will retain the full copyright to your image.

Any questions, CONTACT ME!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) blog featured portrait self self portrait send me your picture https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/i-want-to-see-you Mon, 11 Jun 2012 11:17:50 GMT
Self Portraiture: why I photograph myself https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portraiture-why-i-photograph-myself  

Big World, Little Me

People often ask why I photograph myself, or what started me photographing myself.  I sometimes feel odd when taking the photos or sharing them, like it's the ultimate act of self absorption.  The truth is when I first started photographing people I had no confidence working with people.  I had ideas, photos I wanted to try, but I didn't feel up to trying them out on others and that was assuming I could find someone willing to model for me.  So I started off experimenting on myself.

Since then my confidence and skill has grown and I do photograph others.  I still like photographing myself for a variety of reasons.  

  • No idea is too weird or odd for me whereas I've had some questioning on poses I've had others do, basic poses at that.
  • Unless someone agreed to model specifically for art photographs, I feel uncomfortable with applying the level of post processing that I normally would do.  Some of my more arty photos hide or obscure one's face as well.
  • Sometimes I want dark or ugly and most people want to be pretty in their photos so for those, I'm a sure bet.
  • I still like to experiment with new techniques, posing ideas and more on myself before trying them on another person.
  • Last, I've found it to be therapeutic in a way.  It's helped me see myself from outside eyes and a different perspective.

This year, as a tribute to turning forty and an effort to take more photos for me, I decided to do a 52 week project.  I am documenting that on blogspot at "Goodbye thirties, hello forty".  I am using a Flickr group "Me Again Monday" for weekly themes in an attempt to stretch myself artistically.  Feel free to visit there to see the project.  I am posting my weekly shots along with extras, outtakes and other self portraits I may take during the period.

 

Do you want to learn to take your own picture?  Here are my tips:

  • Use a tripod to keep the camera steady.  If you don't have one a table or counter can work but a tripod can go anywhere.
  • You can use the timer on your camera and run into place but if you plan on doing self shots with any regularity I recommend a remote shutter release.  I use a combination of the remote shutter release and the timer so I have time to finish my pose before the picture is taken.
  • Focusing is the hardest part.  Have an object to put where you will be and focus on that.  Then set focus to manual so you don't mess it up and you're good to go.
  • Don't be shy.  If the picture doesn't turn out, it's between you and the camera and you can hit delete so experiment, try new things, weird expressions.  Have fun.
  • If you have an iPhone, there is an app Camera+ that also has a timer and I've been experimenting with it for some self portraits.  It adds a new challenge but also makes it easy to take a photo when I might not otherwise have my camera.  So long long arms.

I hope those tips help.  Here are a few shots I've done over the past few years that illustrate the variety I'm willing to try on myself.

 

Altered self portrait photographThe Snake Woman

The above photo is an example of post processing I would not want to do to anyone's photo but mine.

 

Emotive self portrait photographDisgust Here's one where I'm not going for pretty.  Most people want to be pretty but I wanted to share raw emotion.

 

Masked self portrait, black catCats meow Who even is this person behind the mask.

 

Macabre portrait photographA Pretty Nightmare The darker, more photoshopped work is best left to photos of me.

 

I hope you enjoyed the photos, learned a bit about me and go out and try your own self portraits.  I love reading your comments and would love even more if you linked them to your own self portraits if you take any.  It would be fun to share other's photographs in a future post.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) DK Miller The Shutterbug Eye how to photography photography tips portrait portraiture self portrait https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/self-portraiture-why-i-photograph-myself Fri, 08 Jun 2012 10:52:44 GMT
And the winner is . . . https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/and-the-winner-is The winner of one of my ferris wheel pendants is . . . . . Abra Alani!!!  Congratulations!!!  Abra is a fellow photographer and you can learn more about her on her blog.

She will receive my bronze ferris wheel pendant shown below finished and in production!

I want to thank everyone who visited my blog and entered my contest.  Stop back Friday to read about my 52 week photo project and why I take pictures of myself (self portraiture).

Bronze Ferris Wheel Photo Pendant Photo Pendant Production

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "The Artisan Group" "photo pendant" "the Shutterbug Eye" Ferris wheel MTV photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/and-the-winner-is Wed, 06 Jun 2012 00:44:44 GMT
Giveaway Thank you! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/giveaway-thank-you  

Ferris Wheel Photo Pendants

 

A thank you for those who entered my giveaway.  I will be drawing a name today and announcing the winner tonight in a post and contacting personally.


The GBK MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge went wonderful.  The Artisan Group has gotten so much good feedback on the gift bags and display both as a group and individuals.  The celebrities have been so kind with their comments, photos and more.  I think this may be the event I choose to participate in on a larger scale next year because they are all so nice.

I'lll be back with a more substantive post and a winner will be announced.  Until then, have a wonderful day.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "Celebrity gifting" "The Artisan Group" "photo pendant" "the Shutterbug Eye" MTV MTV Movie Awards ferris wheel giveaway photography https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/6/giveaway-thank-you Tue, 05 Jun 2012 11:16:56 GMT
Giveaway in honor of the MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/5/giveaway-in-honor-of-the-mtv-movie-awards-gift-lounge I have lots of news.  First, I am moving my blog from Blogspot to here, well, I might still post some photos from Flickr over there since I have so much history with that blog.  But going forward, my main blog, my main place to share will be here, right on my website.

I'm also excited to announce that the MTV Movie Awards are this weekend.  As a member of The Artisan Group I have the wonderful opportunity to gift members of the press the below photo pendant at GBK's MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge.  These are available for sale, in limited quantity, in my Etsy store here:

Not only am I gifting the press but celebrities attending will all receive one of my business cards too.

To celebrate, I want to give away one of the below pendants to a lucky reader.  The contest ends Monday at midnight central time.  The winner will be announced here, on Tuesday.   To enter the giveaway, please do the following:

  1. Review my photo galleries on my main website and choose a favorite photograph.
  2. Post a comment here with a link to your favorite picture and which photo pendant you would want and how I can contact you if you win.
  3. Take just a moment to like or follow me on either Facebook at DK Miller or Twitter @DianeKMiller
  4. That's it!  Do that by Monday, June 4 midnight central time and you will be included in a random drawing. 

 

Photo Pendants being gifted to the press at the GBK MTV Movie Awards Gift LoungeFerris Wheel Photography Pendants, for the MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge

 

The fine print:  This contest is not associated, affiliated, or endorsed in any way with MTV, GBK, The Artisan Group, Facebook or Twitter. 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading!  I hope you stop by regularly.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "Celebrity gifting" "MTV Movie Awards" "The Artisan Group" "photo pendant" "the Shutterbug Eye" contest free give away give-away photography prize https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/5/giveaway-in-honor-of-the-mtv-movie-awards-gift-lounge Fri, 01 Jun 2012 01:36:59 GMT
Prairie Walk https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/prairie-walk Living in Naperville, Illinois, I sometimes like to go walking at Springbrook Prairie.  Sunday was one of those days.  The weather was perfect, even though it is still March and the prairie was alive.  Here is a preview of some of the images I took.

 

Photograph of a red winged blackbird in flight over the prairie.Blackbird's Calling 1 Plants in the prairie.Enchanted prairie

 

The weather has been so unbelievable; 80 in Chicago in March!  Our daffodils and crocus flowers are starting to bloom, the windows are open and I'm seeking my summer clothing.

This image was taken last year of the crocus.

Photograph of purple crocus flower in bloomUntitled - crocus flower

Have a fantastic day and enjoy this warm weather while it lasts!

 

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) March avian bird black bloom bulbs crocus fine art print flowers home decor landscape nature photograph photography prairie purple red red winged blackbird spring wildlife yellow https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/prairie-walk Thu, 15 Mar 2012 10:57:17 GMT
Sarah Jessica Parker to receive my work and MORE! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-s-a-r-a-h---j-e-s-s-i-c-a---p-a-r-k-e-r---t-o---r-e-c-e-i-v-e---m-y---w-o-r-k Thanks to The Artisan Group, I have the privilege of having the pendant to the left, be included in an exclusive gift bag that is being sent to Sarah Jessica Parker.  I'm thrilled beyond words.  I will be sending this beautiful pendant featuring a photograph of a delicate rose in bloom.  This photo was taken in the beautiful rose garden at Cantigny Gardens and Park in Wheaton, Illinois.

In addition to the pendant, she will receive a wallet sized print of the rose and my business card, which is also wallet sized and includes my photograph TORCWORI on the back.



In addition to this opportunity I have also gotten the chance to have my business cards included in a special Mother's Day gift bag that will go to celebrities including, but not limited to Hilary Duff, Beyonce, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Simpson and more.  The business cards I will be sending for this opportunity have my photo Shine on the back.  Shine was also taken at Cantigny Gardens and Park.
 
TORCWORI
 
Shine
 
Check out my work, including some new bottlecap pendants, at The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy.  Fine art prints and large prints can also be purchased on my photography website.
 
Have a wonderful day!

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy
 
 
 
 
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "Sarah Jessica Parker" "The Artisan Group" "celebrity gift" "photo pendant" "the Shutterbug Eye" Cantigny green photography pink rose https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-s-a-r-a-h---j-e-s-s-i-c-a---p-a-r-k-e-r---t-o---r-e-c-e-i-v-e---m-y---w-o-r-k Tue, 13 Mar 2012 03:39:00 GMT
Butterfly https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-b-u-t-t-e-r-f-l-y Butterfly by The Shutterbug Eye™
Butterfly, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Photo taken 02-25-2012
Hair and makeup by Amy Paprocki.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-b-u-t-t-e-r-f-l-y Mon, 12 Mar 2012 03:33:00 GMT
After the Awards https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-a-f-t-e-r---a-w-a-r-d-s The Artisan Group that were gifted to celebrities at the luxury gift lounge hosted by GBK Productions, preceding the Academy Awards.

Here's a list of some of the celebrities that received a photo pendant and photograph from The Shutterbug Eye in connection with The Artisan Group at the Oscars Gift Lounge Louis Gossett Jr, Penny Marshall, Kevin Nealon, Penelope Ann Miller (The Artist), Iqbal Theba (Glee), Gil Birmingham (Twilight Series), Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Descendants), Mary Birdsong (The Descendants) and Holly Robinson Peete.

This is the booth with all of the lovely display items by members of The Artisan Group and the event guides that are passed out. Photos taken at the event are copyright by The Artisan Group.



While The Shutterbug Eye was not on the display table, I did have items in the swag that was gifted.  My items included are shown below.  They can all be purchased at The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy.





I will conclude by sharing a few of the celebrity photos from the event.  

Top: Dermot Mulroney with The Artisan Group Founder Valerie Guerrero of BeezKneezDesigns
Bottom:  Richard Middleton with The Artisan Group Managing Partner Nikki Cutro of 13BlackCatDesigns

Josh Sussman and Tess Hunt posing with Oops I Knit It Again

Top:  Laurie Holden poses with a creation from Atutudes
Bottom: Melissa McCarthy with the works of Hearts of Stone

It was a fantastic experience and honor to be included in the swag gifted at this event.  I am so excited about future events, including the gift lounge preceeding the MTV Movie Awards where I will be gifting members of the press and providing business cards that include on one side a wallet sized print.

Visit The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy to view and purchase my work, including the items that were gifted at this event.  Visit the other artisans to see their wonderful work as well.

If you are an artisan and would like a chance to have your work in the hands of celebrities, visit The Artisan Group for more information.


DK Miller

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) etsy "the Oscars" photography "gift lounge" "the Shutterbug Eye" "Academy Awards" celebrity Artisan celebs "The Artisan Group" https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-a-f-t-e-r---a-w-a-r-d-s Sun, 04 Mar 2012 08:15:00 GMT
Moody dreams 1 https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-m-o-o-d-y---d-r-e-a-m-s---1 Moody dreams 1 by The Shutterbug Eye™
Moody dreams 1, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

One of the more arty shots from my photo shoot February 25. This was taken from outside looking through the window. The trees and house is reflection from the outside, the girl is on the other side of the window.

Via Flickr:
Photo taken 02-25-2012

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye"
< a="" href="http://theshutterbugeye.etsy.com">The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/3/-m-o-o-d-y---d-r-e-a-m-s---1 Sat, 03 Mar 2012 19:51:00 GMT
The Commuter Life: skyline from the train https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-c-o-m-m-u-t-e-r---l-i-f-e---s-k-y-l-i-n-e---f-r-o-m---t-r-a-i-n The Commuter Life:  skyline from the train by The Shutterbug Eye™
The Commuter Life: skyline from the train, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

This was taken this morning looking out the window.

Have a lovely Wednesday.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-c-o-m-m-u-t-e-r---l-i-f-e---s-k-y-l-i-n-e---f-r-o-m---t-r-a-i-n Wed, 29 Feb 2012 07:27:00 GMT
The Commuter Life: Seagull in Chicago https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-c-o-m-m-u-t-e-r---l-i-f-e---s-e-a-g-u-l-l---i-n---c-h-i-c-a-g-o Seagull in Chicago (the commuter life) by The Shutterbug Eye™
Seagull in Chicago (the commuter life), a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

I am going to do a series sharing photos taken from my phone on my commute. I know people seem to comment a lot when I post on Facebook about riding the commuter train, or the crazy people in the "Quiet Car" and other such adventures so I'll post periodically here about the commuter life as it's a slice of my life.

This photo was taken after work on my walk to the train. The building on the far right is where my office is. In the Lyric Opera House. I'm not involved with the opera though.

Last, stay tuned for updates on my participation in GBK's Oscars Gift Lounge that took place last Friday and Saturday. I had gifts in swag bags given out by The Artisan Group. I will update on the event soon.

DK Miller
The Shuttuerbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-c-o-m-m-u-t-e-r---l-i-f-e---s-e-a-g-u-l-l---i-n---c-h-i-c-a-g-o Tue, 28 Feb 2012 16:19:00 GMT
The Academy Awards are this weekend https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-a-c-a-d-e-m-y---a-w-a-r-d-s---a-r-e---t-h-i-s---w-e-e-k-e-n-d The Shutterbug Eye is participating, in connection with The Artisan Group, in the luxury gift lounge hosted by GBK Productions.  Approximately 100 gifts will go to attending celebrities.  Each gift includes one of my photo pendants and a photograph.

Here is the event guide.  There is a nice little write-up on me in there.



Stay tuned to @DianeKMiller on twitter to see updates as the weekend progresses.  Visit me on Etsy to purchase some swag for yourself.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "photo pendant" Oscars photography "Cyber Monday Etsy" "Celebrity gifting" "the Shutterbug Eye" "Academy Awards" "The Artisan Group" "GBK Gift Lounge" https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-a-c-a-d-e-m-y---a-w-a-r-d-s---a-r-e---t-h-i-s---w-e-e-k-e-n-d Fri, 24 Feb 2012 20:42:00 GMT
Millers https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-m-i-l-l-e-r-s 12-25-11 Abilene TX - 01 by The Shutterbug Eye™
12-25-11 Abilene TX - 01, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
This was perfect. Old rusty and my last name! :-)

Taken in Abilene TX on 12-25-2011

Copyright 2011 Diane Miller/The Shutterbug Eye

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-m-i-l-l-e-r-s Mon, 20 Feb 2012 17:41:00 GMT
<no title> https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-l-u-c-k-y---l-o-u-n-g-i-n-g---o-n---b-e-d Lucky lounging on the bed. by The Shutterbug Eye™
Lucky lounging on the bed., a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

My beautiful cat Lucky lounging on the bed. I have been posting a lot of phone Instagram photos lately. Being so busy and trying to figure out what is wrong with my film camera, paired with doing more client photos; I am finding this to be a way to just have fun with photography.

My cat was on the bed and the light was just gorgeous so I took this photo.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-l-u-c-k-y---l-o-u-n-g-i-n-g---o-n---b-e-d Sat, 18 Feb 2012 18:59:00 GMT
My Sweet Cat https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/lucky-lounging-on-bed Lucky lounging on the bed. by The Shutterbug Eye™
Lucky lounging on the bed., a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

My beautiful cat Lucky lounging on the bed. I have been posting a lot of phone Instagram photos lately. Being so busy and trying to figure out what is wrong with my film camera, paired with doing more client photos; I am finding this to be a way to just have fun with photography.

My cat was on the bed and the light was just gorgeous so I took this photo.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

 
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/lucky-lounging-on-bed Sat, 18 Feb 2012 18:59:00 GMT
Have a great weekend! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-h-a-v-e---g-r-e-a-t---w-e-e-k-e-n-d Green sign where I work. Outtake for Elle Moss
Green sign where I work. Outtake for Elle Moss's 30 Day Photo Challenge. Day 11 theme Green, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

This is sign where I work during the weekdays. It is at Wacker and Madison in Chicago in the Opera House building. I am not involved with the opera in any way though.

Where do you spend your week? How will you spend the weekend?

This is an outtake for Elle Moss's 30 Day Photo Challenge.
Day 11: Green

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-h-a-v-e---g-r-e-a-t---w-e-e-k-e-n-d Fri, 17 Feb 2012 03:37:00 GMT
Remember film? https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r---f-i-l-m Remember film? by The Shutterbug Eye™
Remember film?, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

My Pentax film camera, complete with old school strap. :-). To think my dad was going to throw it out.

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r---f-i-l-m Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:31:00 GMT
Celebrity Swag - Available at The Shutterbug Eye https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-c-e-l-e-b-r-i-t-y---s-w-a-g---a-v-a-i-l-a-b-l-e---a-t---s-h-u-t-t-e-r-b-u-g The Artisan Group which is an exclusive group of artisans selected through a juried process to ensure quality.

Below are my items that will be gifted before the Oscars and then I will follow with some additional swag available in my shop from other gifting opportunities and upcoming events.

Solitary Specimen 4x6 Metallic Print
$13.50 in my Etsy shop.

One of the following four pendants will also be included in each bag with the photograph.


All of these are available in my Jewelry Section for $25.00 each.


The following bottelcap pendant was gifted direct to Jessica Alba and can be purchased in my shop for $15.00.
 Bottlecap Pendant


You may ask, what is next.  Well, I am excited to announce that The Shutterbug Eye will be participating in the MTV Movie Awards and gifting square photo pendants to members of the press.  These pendants are already available for $35 each.



Find all of these items and more at The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy!

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy


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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "photo pendant" "the Oscars" photography "celebrity gift" "MTV Movie Awards" "celebrity swag" "the Shutterbug Eye" "Academy Awards" "Jessica Alba" "The Artisan Group" MTV https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-c-e-l-e-b-r-i-t-y---s-w-a-g---a-v-a-i-l-a-b-l-e---a-t---s-h-u-t-t-e-r-b-u-g Sat, 11 Feb 2012 13:49:00 GMT
Day 4: Water https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-a-y---4---w-a-t-e-r Day 4:  Water by The Shutterbug Eye™
Day 4: Water, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

The frosty window
water frozen
cold and crystalized

Taken as part of Elle Moss's 30 Day Photo Challenge

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-a-y---4---w-a-t-e-r Thu, 09 Feb 2012 12:53:00 GMT
Day 2: Linen/Beige/Taupe https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-a-y---2---l-i-n-e-n-b-e-i-g-e-t-a-u-p-e Day 2:  Linen/Beige/Taupe by The Shutterbug Eye™
Day 2: Linen/Beige/Taupe, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I call it Office taupe

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-a-y---2---l-i-n-e-n-b-e-i-g-e-t-a-u-p-e Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:47:00 GMT
Day 1: White/Cream https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-a-y---1---w-h-i-t-e-c-r-e-a-m Day 1:  White/Cream by The Shutterbug Eye™
Day 1: White/Cream, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

I want to thank Elle Moss for the 30 day photo challenge. We'll see how far I make it. I'm doing this for fun and taking and posting all the images with my phone using Instagram.

I will be posting all of these at A Cat's Life and on Flickr. I know "A Cat's Life" is a weird place to put them but it is my main tumblr and I can't figure out how to post them to "The Shutterbug Eye". How is that for honesty?

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-a-y---1---w-h-i-t-e-c-r-e-a-m Tue, 07 Feb 2012 04:09:00 GMT
Aviana https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-a-v-i-a-n-a 01-29-2012 Aviana - 20 t by The Shutterbug Eye™
01-29-2012 Aviana - 20 t, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

I was lucky enough to get to do another photoshoot with the lovely Aviana, who is now two years old. This is one of the photos from the day.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-a-v-i-a-n-a Sun, 05 Feb 2012 16:43:00 GMT
DO IT https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-o---i-t DO IT by The Shutterbug Eye™
DO IT, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Just do it,
go for it,
take a chance,
inaction has never achieved anything!

Via Flickr:
This photo was taken at Times Square during my trip last August, yes, still editing some of those).

New York, NY
08-06-2011

Have a great day!

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/2/-d-o---i-t Thu, 02 Feb 2012 03:37:00 GMT
the light https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-l-i-g-h-t the light by The Shutterbug Eye™
the light, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
WSCF Portrait Jam
January 8, 2012

Model: Haley

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-l-i-g-h-t Tue, 24 Jan 2012 04:06:00 GMT
Fire Sky https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-f-i-r-e---s-k-y Fire Sky by The Shutterbug Eye™
Fire Sky, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
January 2012
Arizona

Dramatic red sky!

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-f-i-r-e---s-k-y Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:27:00 GMT
Vultures Peak https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-v-u-l-t-u-r-e-s---p-e-a-k Vultures Peak by The Shutterbug Eye™
Vultures Peak, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

This is Vultures Peak. My friend and I hiked up to the area between the two big rocks.

I spend the weekend in Arizona visiting a friend. Stay tuned for more photos from my trip.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-v-u-l-t-u-r-e-s---p-e-a-k Mon, 16 Jan 2012 07:16:00 GMT
Gift Items are all on Etsy https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-g-i-f-t---i-t-e-m-s---a-r-e---a-l-l---o-n---e-t-s-y The Artisan Group is at the Golden Globes gifting events, I wanted to take a moment to share that I have shipped all of my gifts for the Academy Awards Gift Lounge yesterday.  These items are also available for sale in my Etsy shop as well.  I have limited quantities of the necklaces as most of them are being gifted to celebrities.

Solitary Specimen
4x6 print on metallic paper

Pendant necklace with pink peony

Pendant Necklace with yellow daffodil

Pendant necklace with purple flower

Pendant Necklace with grape hyacinth

I am off on a weekend vacation and will return next week.  Have a nice weekend and if you are in the path of the snowstorm, be safe.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbugeye on Etsy


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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "the Oscars" photography "nature photography" flower "Academy Awards" "The Artisan Group" "Golden Globes" "photo pendant" TAG etsy "metallic print" "Celebrity gifting" Butterfly https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-g-i-f-t---i-t-e-m-s---a-r-e---a-l-l---o-n---e-t-s-y Thu, 12 Jan 2012 03:58:00 GMT
The Golden Globes are almost here! https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-g-o-l-d-e-n---g-l-o-b-e-s---a-r-e---a-l-m-o-s-t---h-e-r-e The Shutterbug Eye is having an opportunity to participate in the gift lounge preceding the event.  My business cards will be included in swag bags gifted at this event by The Artisan Group.

This is my first gifting even as a member of The Artisan Group.  The Shutterbug Eye will have business cards included.  After this, my next event is the gift lounge preceding the Academy Awards (Oscards) where my photo pendant necklaces and a  4x6 metallic photograph will be included in gift bags.

See the program here and find my name under business card participants:




DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) TAG "photo pendant" "Golden Globes" "DK Miller" photography "Celebrity gifting" "gift lounge" "the Shutterbug Eye" theshutterbugeye "Academy Awards" "The Artisan Group" https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-g-o-l-d-e-n---g-l-o-b-e-s---a-r-e---a-l-m-o-s-t---h-e-r-e Tue, 10 Jan 2012 03:49:00 GMT
Remember Summer https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r---s-u-m-m-e-r 07-31-11 Cantigny 20 by The Shutterbug Eye™
07-31-11 Cantigny 20, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Dreamy blossoms
Cantigny Gardens and Park

I kind of miss summer, even though the weather has been warm. I miss the flowers and the color there is in summer.

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r---s-u-m-m-e-r Sun, 08 Jan 2012 07:52:00 GMT
New Self Portrait Project https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-n-e-w---s-e-l-f---p-o-r-t-r-a-i-t---p-r-o-j-e-c-t
Good by thirties, Hello Forty!
Hello Forty

I would be honored if you 'd check it out and maybe follow me there.  I'm hoping to be behind the camera more this year than last year, even if that means a little less marketing and promotion.

Thanks for checking it out and a Happy 2012 to all!

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy
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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) "self portrait" blogger blog forty woman self https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-n-e-w---s-e-l-f---p-o-r-t-r-a-i-t---p-r-o-j-e-c-t Wed, 04 Jan 2012 20:04:00 GMT
Pendants for Gifting https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-p-e-n-d-a-n-t-s---f-o-r---g-i-f-t-i-n-g Pendants for Gifting by The Shutterbug Eye™
Pendants for Gifting, a photo by The Shutterbug Eye™ on Flickr.

Here they are: The four pendants that will be included in the gift bags given by The Artisan Group at the luxury gift lounge hosted by GBK Productions preceding the Academy Awards.

I also have each of these listed in my Etsy store.

Have a great week everyone!

DK Miller
The Shutterbug Eye
The Shutterbug Eye on Etsy

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info@dianekmiller.com (Diane K. Miller, Naperville Portrait Photography) https://www.dianekmiller.com/blog/2012/1/-p-e-n-d-a-n-t-s---f-o-r---g-i-f-t-i-n-g Tue, 03 Jan 2012 04:17:00 GMT