The Beach | Miami Family Photos

The orange glow of sunset mixed with the cool blues of the ocean… does it get any prettier than the beach? This mama wanted to capture a few moments with her gorgeous toddler son. It isn’t easy to photograph children at this age, but it’s very rewarding. They don’t pose, they don’t follow directions, they don’t give fake smiles or stand still. What you get from a toddler is genuine, weather it’s a tantrum or a laugh. It makes those smiles and moments really special, because you know they are real.

Family photos at the beach, in pretty light, with real connection…

miami family photos beach

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mommy, the record keeper, the photo taker, the memory maker. She’s always behind the lens, making sure to capture those little moments. She knows they are only little once, and for such a short time. She feels them grow, change. She sees it before anyone else. She tries to capture each milestone the best she can, any way she can. Her heart is full of pictures.

Today, make sure mom gets in the picture. She wants to remember this time, this day, and her babies do too.

Moms, take selfies! Hand the camera to someone else. Snuggle your babies close and snap some pictures. You deserve to be in the frame. Your little ones will thank you one day when they look back through the albums and see your funky clothing and hairstyle, your smile, that look in your eyes. They might not remember being little, but they’ll love seeing the joy in your face, knowing how happy you were to be their mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

photos of moms


p.s. Photo sessions make great gifts for moms! Moms, photo sessions make great gifts for yourselves (and your babies).

The Beach Vacation | Miami Family Photographer

A few weeks ago my family and I spent a long weekend at the beach near Melbourne, Florida. We rented a lovely beach house right on the sand and got to spend a couple of days as close to the ocean as we could get. There’s really nothing like waking up and being able to walk on the beach at sunrise. It gets into your soul. Don’t you think so?

miami family photographer beach

As a photographer, there’s nothing I like more than motion and light at the beach. As a person, there’s nothing I like more than being relaxed with my family. We need to get to the beach more.

Anna-Liisa Nixon - Beautiful images! Makes me realize we should really
get to the beach more often!

Editor - Thank you! We should too. We try to go often but it’s not often enough!

One Year Photos | Miami Baby Photographer

I had tons of fun doing an indoor/outdoor session with this little one-year-old baby! He is lucky to live near the beach, so we started out on the sand and then walked back to his house for the indoor photos. It doesn’t get much better than that!

I always love taking pictures at the beach. You can’t beat the light and the beautiful colors of the ocean. But, being at home is so much more relaxing for little kids. It was great to see the baby relax and get comfortable with the camera. I think he had fun too!

miami baby photographermiami baby photographer

Indoor/outdoor photo sessions are awesome! Especially here in Miami where we have such beautiful outdoor spaces 🙂

Photoshop Tutorial | How to Use the Graduated Filter Tool

When you’re shooting at a location with bright sun and a big open sky, like the beach or an open field, it can be difficult to expose your subject correctly without overexposing everything else. I don’t enjoy replacing skies or doing heavy edits in Photoshop so I often use the graduated filter tool in Photoshop’s ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) to deepen the color of a sky without affecting the exposure and color of the rest of the image.

The below tutorial will work for you as long as you shoot in RAW and your sky isn’t completely blown out (check your histogram if you aren’t sure).

Here’s How To Use The Graduated Filter Tool in Photoshop ACR.

Here’s my original image, straight out of the camera, opened in ACR:

photoshop tutorial graduated filter

As you can see, the sky is nice and blue, but a bit washed out. I want to create a nice vibrant blue without affecting the rest of my image, so I’m going to add a graduated filter to the sky only.

First thing’s first, I will straighten my horizon.

Then I’ll select the graduated filter tool and drag the filter from the top of the image to just below the horizon line. The green dot should be at the top of your image and the red dot should be at the horizon.

Now you’ll see the graduated filter sliders on the right side of your screen. Adjusting these sliders will only affect the area from the green dot (top of graduated filter) to the red dot. You’ll notice that the area at the top of the image, closest to the green dot, are affected more than the area closest to the red dot. This is because the filter is graduated. This makes the tool really great for skies, as color is naturally more faded closest to the horizon.

Move the sliders until you get the color and exposure you want for your sky. You’ll also be able to increase saturation if you’d like. If you find that the vignette is too heavy or that the top of your sky is getting too dark, you can move your green dot up or your red dot down until you get the filter in just the right position.

Click into the HSL tab if you want to change saturation, luminance or hue.

photoshop hsl panel

You can do subtle adjustments to exposure, or go crazy and change the color of the sky. It’s up to you and your creative vision to create the look you want. I wanted to go really bold for the sake of example. I’ve decreased the exposure, increased the saturation and changed the hue of the sky using the graduated filter.

Now I’m going to click off the graduated filter by clicking the zoom tool (or hand tool). This will bring me back to the whole image and the main sliders.

Now I can make global adjustments to get the whole image looking just how I want it to look. These global adjustments will also affect the area where I just applied the graduated filter. I’m going to increase contrast and vibrance and decrease exposure, as well as adjust the white balance of my image.

As you can see from the final edit below, I’ve chosen to really push the vibrance of the sky. The day I took this photo was bright and sunny with a bright blue sky. This is how I remember it, even if it’s not exactly how it looked in reality.

Remember, it’s your photo and your edit. You can keep it true to life or be creative. The important thing is knowing how to use the tools that can help you achieve your vision. Using the graduated filter tool, I was able to take a nice image and create a whole different feeling.