Tire Swing Fun // Lightroom Workflow {Photo Fridays}

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // LIGHTROOM WORKFLOW USING PRESETS AND SLIDERS

Hands-down, this is one of my all time favorite photos! My girls were on a playdate with their best friend, and they were loving the tire swing! I’m really lucky, all three girls are soooo good about indulging my shutterbug ways. Their BFF (code name: Super-D) has on many occasions asked “can you take my picture?” – love that girl! She’s like my third baby girl : )

For the longest time, I loved the rectangular image, with the little boy in the bottom corner. I thought he added a lot of character to the image, but now I’m kind of liking the square format. I’m always so indecisive when it comes to completing a project, hitting print. Do you struggle with that too? Yeah, lots of options out there!

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // LIGHTROOM WORKFLOW USING PRESETS AND SLIDERS

So, I thought for this weeks Photo Fridays, I’d “dissect” this image and show you my workflow. Obviously, I’ve done some heavy editing. Here’s what the image looked like Straight Out Of (the) Camera (SOOC):

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // LIGHTROOM WORKFLOW USING PRESETS AND SLIDERS

Once I uploaded the images from our outing, I knew I loved this photo. But I also knew I wanted to bump it up. I wanted a brighter, more playful image. Something that POPPED (imagine a Batman-ish POW)! So I opened up Lightroom, and decided to play.

Some of the very first presets I ever discovered were from onOne Software. Best part? They’re FREE! and they’re GOOD!

For this image, here’s what I did in Lightroom 4:
1. Adjusted the exposure to be a touch brighter
2. Added onOne’s “Glow-Vibrance”
3. Added onOne’s “Vignette-Framed”
4. Brought down the highlight slider a touch to the left (there was a big spot on her shirt that was getting blown out)
5. Increased the shadow slider to the right (kinda backwards as that decreases the shadows on your subject)
6. Increased the vibrance slider a bit more (I did say I wanted playful!)
7. Slid the temperature slider just a touch to the blue side to increase the blue skies and lessen the yellow tones in their skin just a touch.

Connie Hanks Photography // ClickyChickCreates.com // LIGHTROOM WORKFLOW USING PRESETS AND SLIDERS

And I was done. Seriously, that’s it. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy!

Besides onOne, the other presets I LOVE to play with are from My Four Hens. Sarah (the owner / photographer / creator) at M4H is a sweetheart and her presets are ah-ma-zing! Are there any presets you love working with? I’d love to hear! And of course I’d love any quick decision making tips you’d like to share! As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!

Red, White and Blue!

I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks… between moving (from a home we’d been in for 13 years, so lots and lots of stuff!), celebrating baby showers for my sister, paper crafting like crazy for one of the showers, end-of-school celebrations for my daughters and keeping them entertained while unpacking… let’s just say I’ve missed the quiet, calm, solitude of writing! So, since tomorrow is a big celebratory day in America, I thought I’d come back and write a post with a bang! Or at least I thought I had some fireworks photos, which I’m realizing I don’t. So, I’ll write a post filled with red, white and blue!

The fourth of July is a definitely a family favorite, just steps behind Christmas, Easter and birthdays. Celebrating with friends, food, fun, and fireworks, what’s not to love?!

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Patriotic breakfast waffle with red strawberries, blue blueberries and American flag

My girls like to start the day with a patriotic breakfast, so this easy (frozen) waffle with strawberries and blueberries usually does the trick. Add a little flag on a stick, and my girls are ready to kick-off an all American day!

{I once learned to get good food shots you’ve gotta get close, like you’re ready to take a bite. Um, I guess I really took that tip to heart considering I noticed all my food shots are really up close and personal!!}

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Patriotic platter of strawberries, cherries, blueberries and marshmallows

We usually meet up with friends and share in a potluck of yumminess. Red, white and blue food? Absolutely! More strawberries and blueberries, and throw in some marshmallows for eventual roasting, and we’ve got our patriotic platter. And what 4th of July celebration would be complete without cupcakes? I swear that pack of toothpick flags was completely worth the few bucks!

Connie Hanks Photography  //  ClickyChickCreates.com  //  Patriotic cupcake with red white and blue sprinkles and an American flag

We’ll be celebrating America’s birthday tomorrow, and my goal is definitely to capture some fireworks photos. My friend Katrina Kennedy offered some great tips on the very subject. I plan on studying up tonight and can’t wait to see what I can capture tomorrow!

What do you love best about the fourth of July or other summer holidays? I’d love to hear!

Happy early birthday, America!!!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!

PS. I’m loving My Four Hens new presets (Life Inspired) on these photos. That Sarah, she’s pure genius : )

Going, Going, Gone {Photo Fridays}


I knew my settings weren’t right, but I had seconds to get the shot before the car was gone and the opportunity missed. Here’s my original shot:


Yup, just a tad blue! But again, I knew I had a brief window, and I could work with the image in Lightroom to change the coloring. So using the presets that came in Lightroom, along with some favorites from onOne Software and My Four Hens, I took that original blue image and converted it to these black and whites, and sepia toned images:

2013-03-11_2116_bw-look2   2013-03-11_2116_winded

2013-03-11_2116_Paris_Montmartre_retro-warm   2013-03-11_2116_gritty-warm_tint-brown_grit-med_vignette-2lt_vintage-antique-2

Add a little grit, a little vignetting, and all is right with the world. Is it the greatest shot ever? Absolutely not. But no staging, no re-do’s; just a brief slice of time to capture this and play with it in Lightroom. Using the Develop mode sliders and presets gave me some beautiful options for this image. I’m a happy camper and can’t complain!

So the moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to get a bad shot. Don’t miss a moment because your settings aren’t right. We’re lucky enough to have incredible software at our fingertips to help us take a leap with those shots. You won’t be kicking yourself for a bad shot, but you will be kicking yourself for a missed shot!

Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!

Using Presets on the Eiffel Tower


I’ve just returned from a fantastic girls trip to France. After spending 4-1/2 days in Paris, we headed to the South of France where we spent a few more days exploring before heading back home. I’ve been friends with most of my travel companions for over 20 years. I’m so lucky to have friends like these and to be able to share such an amazing experience with them!

Our first day in Paris was filled with beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds. We were expecting lots of rain, so it was quite a pleasant surprise! I wish I could say the entire trip was sun, blue skies and pretty clouds, but alas, the rain did come, as did snow! Yes, snow, in Paris! It was lovely. Cold and a bit gray, but lovely! More of that to come in a future post.


But for now, I’ve uploaded all 2200+ images into Lightroom. I’m in the process of rating, key wording and editing my images. The one above is one of my favorites so far, so I’ve used it to play with to see what style / look I want to go with. I used some of my favorite presets from My Four Hens (M4H) – Sarah has developed some of my favorite go-to presets, and onOne Vintage presets – I’m loving the looks created with this Eiffel Tower shot.


I know I’ll be posting lots more from this trip, but I’m having fun with the presets and wanted to share. Any Lightroom presets you use and love? Please share!


Thanks for stopping by and have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!
Live creatively!

My love of Natural Light {Photo Fridays}


Super-Secret Hanks Family Chili – my daughters favorite!
1/40, f/2.8, ISO 250, 28mm, photographed in cool morning light

Unless you’re set up with studio lighting, I find it is so important to use natural light when photographing, especially food! The above photo was taken with indirect, cool morning light. It’s clean, bright light, but not direct, not harsh. In my eyes, it’s yummy light, perfectly complimenting a yummy recipe below!  Continue reading