WELCOME TO MY BLOG!
To simplify, I'm a cowboy's wife, ranch-kid mama, rural living home-maker (hallelujah Amazon Prime!) and traveling photographer capturing the love & life stories of our western culture.
This is where I share my recent weddings and couples but also.... everything else. From running a business to the every-day shenanigans of ranch life.
More about me here...
How I transfer, edit & print everyday photos. Wirelessly and effortlessly.
But first, backing up…
I wrote a blog about: Top 3 Cameras for Ranch Life Photography
Then in this blog, I focused more on the: Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera for Western Lifestyle Photography
And THEN I recorded an IGTV video about: Canon M50 Setup, Settings & Tricks
Now everyone is loving their new cameras and taking lots of pictures…and my DM’s are full of questions like “Now what?” “How do I edit?” “Where do I print?” “What do you do?”
So here we go.
I’m approaching this from a start-to-finish process of my everyday ranch life and kiddo photos with forever in mind. But this will work for brands/makers/influencers who are frequently taking/posting photos of products/styles that they want to share.
Or even if you don’t have a camera and just want to edit/print cellphone photos…start in section 2.
(For the sake of keepin it real around here…there’s an affiliate link disclosure/explanation etc at the bottom!)
After capturing images that I know are gonna earn “Family Album” status I…
On my phone, I hop on the free app called CameraConnect (for compatible Canon models), connect the camera. Then right there on my phone, I can see what images I took. Select the keepers. Drop them wirelessly to my phone! Hello future!
Doing this does not delete/remove the images from the memory card. You’ll need to use a computer to later empty your cards and backup any of the files you wish to keep. Or not. See the “accessibility” section of an article I linked below. I still back up on external hard drives.
Homework: The first time you use the CameraConnect app it will provide some step-by-step help to getting everything talking wirelessly. Or you can watch a youtube video like this one. Actual menu settings will vary based on the model, but it’s all the same general idea. Once it’s done, it will remember all the settings, and you won’t have to do this every single time.
Once the images are on my phone, (they just save to the regular camera roll) I open images in the Lightroom CC app for mobile devices. The app is free if you use it on mobile only, but doesn’t have the cloud/backup feature and will take a ton of space. It also won’t let you import and use presets, mentioned below, you’ll have to have the paid desktop version for that.
OR if you want to access it on your computer and have cloud storage and be able to use third-party-editing presets, it’s $10 a month (as of 2018 anyway). Paid is worth it IMHO. Here’s the Adobe’s FAQ Page about it all. For all this…I recommend the Lightroom CC Plan (1TB). You can compare the plans here.
If you don’t have a wireless capable camera, you can do all this in reverse. Just go ahead and get the paid Adobe Lightroom CC for your computer and download your card. Then load the images into your desktop software. If your computer is connected to wifi, in no time you’ll be able to see all those pictures on your phone because…Adobe Lightroom CC seamlessly syncs across systems, software, apps, and devises!
Homework: For more about understanding Adobe Lightroom CC read this article. It tells you everything you need to know (as of Dec 2018). Especially check out the part about “Accessibility” where it’s talking about the cloud-based features and auto backup. Did I mention the future?
Edit from scratch. 9 times out of 10 this is what I do with my personal photos. Change exposure if needed. Maybe shift the white balance a little. Sometimes a little more contrast. But usually NOT MUCH. Also, keep in mind I’ve had 19 years of practicing, so a lot of my photos are going to be pretty good right out of the camera.
Or apply presets. Only works with the paid Adobe Lightroom CC because you’ll have to have the desktop software to import/sync any presets. But once that’s done you’ll be able to access/apply those presets mobile as well.
Homework: Use a phrase like “how to import presets to lightroom cc” (or just click that) in google to find a billion tutorials on how to do that. I’m not linking articles directly because it will change and no telling what the current process will be when you read this article down the road.
Presets are basically a pre-fab edit (filter) that you can apply to your images to give it different looks. You can buy presets from a million and one different people because everyone wants to make a buck. Some are great. Some are meh. And no preset is a “apply and done” fix to an image. The better your in-camera exposures are, the better presets will look on your images. Regardless. You’ll still need to tweak it to make it work with your photo.
Homework: Exposure is the mix of changeable shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings that tell your camera how to use available light, your camera, and your lens together to capture a properly exposed image or create varying effects. Click those links for some fantastic articles I’ve found for you that will break each facet down for you.
If you must have presets checkout the Soulmate and SMAL presets by Sven Malojlo or Mastin Labs. They are going to be the best across the board, but don’t expect them to be cheap/free. Both of those are going to have support FB groups and a TON of fantastic tutorials everywhere if you know how to use a google search bar.
Nope. You can’t buy presets from me. My current presets are ones I bought from multiple places. Granted, I customized them like crazy and tweaked the snot out of them…I even blended two different presets from two different brands. But it isn’t MY from-scratch-designed-preset. A LOT of presets out there are just “tweaked” versions of a preset someone bought from someone else, made a few changes to, slapped a price tag on and started selling. Shame on them. That’s also how we get a lot of really “meh” or downright “Ugh!” presets out there.
Just be aware: A lot of trendy/modern presets thinks it’s great, for some dumb reason, to crank up the “grain” in an image. Maybe I’m just old-school but in my generation grain meant you didn’t know how to properly expose your images or you were trying to edit a low-resolution file too much. Kids these days think it’s cute and “film-like.” If you are like me and hate it…it can be 0-ed out in settings (under “Effects” in Lightroom CC Mobile). End rant.
You can also Copy/Paste Edits or Make a User Preset
If you’ve got a series of photos all shot in the same lighting/situation, then you can easy peasy copy one edit and paste it to another photo. I’m not going to tell you where that button is because Adobe is continually updating/improving the app/software and no telling where that nifty little thing will be next week. When in doubt. Google.
Say you find yourself doing the same “from scratch” style edits on your photos or you’ve tweaked a preset (like removed the dadgum grain, see rant above) then within the app/software you can create your own “User Preset” for quick and easy edits. Cause mama don’t got much time.
If you aren’t going with the paid version of Adobe Lightroom CC that will allow you to import third-party presets through the desktop software, making your own presets is a great way to still have creative, quick and easy edits!
Ohhhhh Chatbooks. I discovered them about the time Paisley was born. I am a busy woman taking pictures and designing albums for everyone else. But I WAS REALLY STRUGGLING to keep up with my own stuff. Printing my own photos demanded more time, focus and energy (oh and money) than I had left to give it.
Chatbooks isn’t the best in the world from a snobby professional standpoint, but it’s good enough, and it’s the best I’ve got time and money for most days. I love love love love it! If you’ve been a guest at my home, you’ve probably seen my chatbooks on the shelf or proudly and strategically placed where you might happen to pick it up…because I just know everyone is dying to see alllllll my kid pictures.
How it works. After every new 60 photos I post to my linked Instagram account, I receive my I receive my next installment of my 5×5 “Family Albums Collection” in the mail. For like $8 or something ridiculously cheap.
If I want to add/remove photos or change captions before it goes to print…it gives me fair warning.
If you use THIS link to signup, you’ll get the first book free!
My favorite, affordable, non-pro lab. It’s also the little sister to my favorite, really expensive, pro lab I’ve used for 7 years. So I know it’s quality.
Their Mpix Tap To Print App removes all the excuses you may have as to why you haven’t sent grandma a pile of recent prints for her fridge. Grandma wants prints.
Also, you can order anything you could want or dream of, even framed options, from mpix.com on your computer.
That’s how I get my priceless everyday-life pictures from capturing it in the moment to preserving the memory in a way that you can hold in your hands for generations to come.
Ps. While I use this process (minus chatbooks) for quick sneak-peeks. This isn’t how I process my professional work. But that’s another blog for another day.
*Disclosure: Keeping it real around here. Sometimes (not always) the links in my posts are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. You will never get charged extra through affiliate links…and sometimes you’ll even get a discount! BUT you can always trust that I link these products or companies only because I BOUGHT them with real money and USE them in real life…and not because of any commission I may or may not receive from your purchases. Whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.