Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Freebie - Instagram Photo Booth Prop

by Tina Case Photography

I've been negligent with my free photoshop templates.  You'll find similar Instagram templates like this on Etsy, but we're providing it free for our readers.

To download this Photoshop template you will have to go to my business Facebook page and 'Like' it to obtain it.  There are several other cool templates I created too :)

Link here:, like that page and it will link to the download page.

This is sized for a 20x30 inch poster that you can have printed at your local Costco.  If you select the posterboard option at Costco then you just have to get an exacto knife to cut out the frame.  You may also want to adhere it to a second foam board for extra support.  Have fun with this at your next photo booth!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Personalized Rings and Necklaces by CentimeGifts

As posted from Parent Grapevine - our sister blog

What’s one of the most personal gifts you can find for anyone no matter the age?  At the top of that list is personalized jewelry.  Gifts that are personalized with a significant date, name or milestone are simply unique and will become your most treasured family heirlooms.  Personalized jewelry makes the perfect gift for graduations, birthdays and weddings.  CentimeGift creates custom works of art that you can wear, stack and cherish for years to come.

As the mother of 3 daughters it becomes more difficult with time to find gifts that stand out.  But with CentimeGifts there is an array of beautiful and fun designs that is endless.  I had the chance to order the stackable rings with the nicknames of each of my daughters.  The rings are made out of 925 Sterling Silver.  The handmade construction is remarkable and beautiful.

Beyond the ring design you see here, there’s a wonderful selection of whimsical, classy and timeless pieces of bling that you will cherish from the moment you open the box.  The only problem with CentimeGifts is choosing your design.

What to get for your Bridesmaids?  How about a personalized necklace nameplate?  You can include a name and date or thoughtful word to live by.  Whatever you fancy you can personalize it to make it your own.

Best graduation gift ever:  What about a necklace that marks a graduation milestone with their name and date?  Or a custom ring or necklace with their favorite words to live by?  CentimeGifts are unique to you.

The New Mom:  Hey Dads, be a hero and present a CentimeGift for the mother of your children.  Moms will a piece or two of jewelry that keeps their children close to their heart and what better way than a necklace or set of rings for each child? 

Be sure to double-check your sizing especially when it comes to rings.  Since these are custom made you’ll want to be completely sure your rings will fit over your knuckles but be snug enough not to fall off.  For necklaces you’ll want to figure out the length.  There’s a great size chart in each of the necklace photos on the CentimeGifts Etsyshop. 

The prices for are very affordable.  These beautifully crafted, handmade works of art will become your favorite pieces of jewelry.  CentimeGifts goal is to create handcrafted, personalized silver jewelry in timeless, dainty designs that you can wear everyday.  They are created to last a lifetime and to hand down as family keepsakes. So what are you waiting for? Check them out and get your holiday shopping done early this year!

Check out some of my favorites designs: perfect gifts for mothers and grandmas, bridesmaids gifts, graduation gifts very special, sentimental gifts. You can turn your own signature or someone's signature to the pendant of a necklace.

CentimeGifts can be found here:

Disclaimer: I was provided with 3 custom rings.  I can attest that the quality and workmanship is beautiful.  I only endorse things that have a high quality and CentimeGifts is outstanding.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Decorate Your Walls with Removable Wall Decals

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out the wall from  They have a variety of different vinyl wall decals that can transform any room.  I love the idea of using vinyl decals because of the flexibility you have in your decorating options.  With removable wall decals you don't have to commit.  You can change your mind and change your design.

As it so happened earlier in the year we had redecorated my daughter's room.  The one area that we were still looking for something to fill was the space above her bed.  Because we live in California and therefore experience the occasional earthquake, we wanted to get some kind of wall decal to fill that space.  So this opportunity was perfect!

After browsing the decdecal site, we decided on the Photo Frame Tree they are a part of the Magic Tree Sticker collection.   It was just the right size and we loved the look.  Plus we loved the idea of being able to incorporate photos into this design (gotta display those photos!). Hanging this wall art was easy.  What was very helpful was the mini design on the sheet that showed you how to place the branches and frame.  In just a matter of minutes we were able to transform the space above my daughter's headboard.

One word of caution, while the decals are easy to place and adjust on the wall (they remove easily without tearing or leaving a residue) the frame decals do stick to the photos.  You want to make sure that your images are cut to size and that very little of the decal sticks to the photo.

Here is a photo of the decals before we added the photos......

And here it is after we added the photos......super cute! 

For those of you looking to spruce up a nursery (check out these cute jungle stickers), children's room (love the chalkboard art), or really any room in your house (wall quotes are always great!), you'll find a variety of different looks and ideas on their site.

Note:  I was provided with this tree decal in exchange for my review.  The opinions are entirely my own.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BEHIND THE LENS: Nikki Gardner of Art & Lemons, Western Massachusetts

I am so excited to feature the beautiful work of Nikki Gardner of Art and Lemons on our Behind the Lens series this week.  Some of you may be familiar with Nikki's work as she is a contributor to the very popular photography blog Mortal Muses and she has an e-course Develop Your Photo Habit & Style:  10 Minutes a Day for 31 Days. 

As you can see from the images below, Nikki's images really make you feel like you are a part of the scene.  Her work is so inspiring. Thank you Nikki for sharing your lovely images and story with us today!

Your Name: Nikki Gardner
Your studio/business name: Art & Lemons
Location: Western Massachusetts

Your Style

In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? I think my style would be described as narrative, honest, engaging, and spontaneous with a bit of wit thrown in every once and while. When I’m working with people, I want them to trust my vision and to forget the camera is present.

Are you self-taught or classroom trained? Classroom trained, but I’m forever a student of the medium.

How many years have you been a professional photographer? I’ve been a fine art photographer since 2001. Over the past five years, I’ve expanded into editorial photography as well.

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? I want to shoot more editorial and lifestyle features for books, magazines, and newspapers.

Is there a photographer who inspires your style?  Yes, there are so many. I feel like my list of influences is always evolving…

Who would that be? Currently, I’m into Saul Leiter’s color street photographs, Alex Prager’s cinematic narratives, Brian W. Ferry’s artist and designer profiles,  and Erin Kunkel’s food, lifestyle, and travel photographs.

Favorite location to take photos? Wherever there is light though I love to photograph New York City. It’s vibrant and in constant motion, even at night.

Favorite vacation spot? Cape Cod.

Your Business

What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? In my early 20s I moved to Portland, Oregon to attend a graduate studies program in International Business. A few weeks into the program, I went out to dinner with some of my classmates. One of the guys, I can’t even remember his name anymore, asked me what I wanted to do after graduation. Truthfully, I said, I just want to take photographs. He replied, then why don’t you. After that, I left the program and started taking pictures. I wish I could remember his name to thank him.

What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Be bold. Constantly put yourself out there. Make friends and genuine connections with people on social media and in person. Promote other people’s work. Share what you do and your process. Be interested and interesting with what you share online. Above all, keep pitching your ideas and projects.

What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? During a solo gallery showing of my fine art work, someone asked if the photographs in the series were real or made up. Both, I replied.

Favorite print lab? For fine art photography, I use a local lab, Pivot Media. I can go in a proof the prints, and make adjustments to ensure the prints are spot on.

Your Gear

Are you Canon or Nikon (or –other): Nikon

If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens

What brand bag do you carry your camera in? My digital bag is a small practical Lowepro. For film cameras, I carry a large Tenba bag with a Polaroid Spectra, Nikon f100, and Hasselblad 500 cm.

What gear would we find in your camera bag? Nikon d7000 (although I hope to upgrade to a Nikon d800 soon), Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens, Nikon 24 -70mm f/2.8 lens, Nikon Speedlight SB/600.

Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light all the way.

Are you PC or Mac? Mac

Your Tips and Tricks

What post processing tools do you use? For digital images, I use Lightroom 5.6 and adjust my photos manually. When I do use LR Presets, I like Totally Rad’s Replichrome Film Presets, both I and II. For film images, I get the film developed at a local lab, and then scan them with an Epson v700. Minimal editing is done in Photoshop CS5.

Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? Raw

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? Trust your heart. Work on your craft. Don’t worry about whether you have any talent or if you’re good enough or not. Think about whether or not you are capturing something true, in yourself and in the moment. Also, learn how to be a keen editor of your own work. This takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself. You’ll make mistakes along the way. It’s okay. Pick yourself up and start again.

Best advice you would give a new photographer? Shoot constantly. Make photography your obsession. Decide what you’re passionate about photographing and practice. Give yourself assignments. Practice under varying conditions so that when you’re in the field, you’ll have experience to fall back on. Do it until you tire of it, then keep going. Push through until you make the kind of photographs you admire.

What site do you use for your photography and why? (although my portfolio site is currently under construction.)

And just because we want to know you better, fill in the blanks

Three things I can’t live without…. Coffee, books, my yoga mat.
I wish I had more…..time to travel and make photographs. I have a long list of places I want to photograph. Now I need to make it happen.
The best thing about being a photographer is… finding truth in everyday moments.
The most important lesson I ever learned was….Say yes, even when you have no idea what you’re doing, just say yes, then figure out how to accomplish what needs to be done.

My favorite time of day is…early morning.