Take The Lead 2017 | Women's Leadership brunch

Killeen's Annual Take The Lead - Women's Leadership brunch is Hosted By Tandia Mullen. Professional women of the Central Texas area and beyond are invited to Take the Lead. Sponsored by Hilton Garden Inn and Maurices, the event aims to educate, empower, and provide resources to enhance the working woman’s professional life to the next level for 2017. 

Take the Lead is a must for any career woman, from the young professional to the seasoned veteran, who’s trying to navigate their professional lives in an ever-changing world.

Each year  I have had the pleasure of photographing headshot's for these beautiful & powerful woman.  Every year Tandia books amazing guest speakers and don't get my started talking about the confidence and knowledge you will leave with.  So come out and join us next time.  Take The Lead - Women's Leadership brunch is a good opportunity to network and make new friends with likewise interests.

New Mother Andrea

Congratulations to the new parents; of princess Rylea. This Session was magical in more ways than one.  Andrea and Ryan are the perfect match; and their relationship truly is an inspiration. We manage to get the shoot done just days before exception baby girl; lol talk about just in the nick of time.  Planning with Andrea for the shoot was a blast.  I love getting to more know about my clients and bonding over special moments. I wish you two the best; I can not wait to meet baby Rylea! 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from our session. I hope you enjoy them as much as i do. 

God's Paintings

     For the last two years I've spent quite some time photographing the skies.  When I am down and at my lowest I find comfort when I look up to the heavens. I instantly feel relieved and full of God's joy.  I believe that on the days I need him most he makes sure the skies are exceptionally beautiful. As if he painted them just for me.  It's silly but sometimes I can even feel him touch my face threw the rays of sun-kissed light.  This would change my focus on photography, as I knew it. Every day I wake eager to take the perfect picture so i can convey the peace and serenity landscape photography gives me. Through the duration of this series I find myself growing stronger with God's word daily.    

   "We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls." - Mother Teresa

Meet Sarah Klement

Age: 19

Hails from: Dallas, Oregon

Style: Street Photography

  What is your style of photograhy ?

     "I love street photography. If it's candid and actually portrays someone's soul, then it's like the Mona Lisa to me. A perfect example is Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York Project."

  Where did you get your start ?

     "We'll, I got my start two different places. My love for photography began when I was really little and was taking pictures at my grandparents wedding with one of those Kodak disposable cameras. I just loved the thing! I chased around bugs and took far too many photos of walls. Then when I was in high school I got a Canon T1i -that I use to this day-and began interning with a small shop owner. He taught me everything I needed to start with."

What process do you undergo to create your images? 

        "It's pretty simple really. Most of the time I just see something I find unique or beautiful and I adjust my settings and photograph them/the scene. Of course, after that I edit the images... But I try my best to keep the image as true to the original as I can while trying to improve it. I'm not sure if that makes any sense."

 What inspires you to make images? Why did you choose photography as an outlet?

       "Okay, so this question hits close to home. I will try to keep it short.

When I was young I was adopted and never got to know what any of my biological family looked like and for some reason that was pretty hard. I mean, who doesn't want to know what their bloodline looks like? Right? Well, regardless, it was important to me. Then when I was older, my favorite uncle passed away shortly after I met him. It hit really hard that I only had one photo of him so I vowed to do my best to take photos of those I loved and things I wanted to always remember."

How do you make your photos stand out from the rest? How do you stay fresh and current ?

    " I think I stand out because I don't keep myself in a box. By this I mean I use what I have around me as props and inspiration. I learned from watching Visual Acoustics, a documentary about Julius Schulman, that using props to spice up a photo is important."

      "I stay fresh and current by reading blogs and maintaining my own. I just love seeing different perspectives and trying to nurture my own. You can follow me here."





Composite Photography

    I'm sure by now most of you have tried to attempt a composite. I know when I first started to piece them together I was left with what could only be described as a cheesy mess that should not even be called a photograph. There are so many intricate details that go into making a believable composite. Perspective, color matching, how good a selection you made,ect... all play a important role in having a finished product. After several failed attempts at composites I gave up completlty untill i stumbled across some amazing tutorials on youtube. Check out the the links below to take your composites to the next step!


  • Swap heads in a family portrait
  • Make people fly
  • Have dinner with yourself
  • Action shots with stages of motion
  • Appear to jump really high
  • Push yourself on a swing……

The possibilities are endless!

5 Lessons for new photographers


      There is no need to be afraid of manual mode.  Just turn it on and start playing–you’ll figure it out quick.  If you understand what shutter speed, aperture, and ISO do, you’ll quickly learn how to shoot in manual.  Perhaps the biggest mistake beginning photographers make when starting to shoot in manual mode is that they expect to nail the shot the first time.  Manual mode is a process of trial and error.  You’ll get faster and faster at judging the correct settings, but you have to accept the fact that it will take a few tries for each set up.  (Bronnie Thompson)



       I read this hard-earned lesson sent in by Troy Browder and I had to laugh, because any pro photographer who has been around for a while has been burned.  I learned the hard way, too.  Get a deposit and get a contract before ever putting a client down on your calendar.  It’s just good business.



      I have strong feelings about the importance of using digital image editing in our photography.  In fact, I had a conversation with Dustin Olsen (who is working with me at Improve Photography now), about digital image editing a couple days ago and was glad to hear that he feels just like I do.  My photography is not news, my photography is art.  Just like a painter can put whatever she wants in a painting, I feel that I can do whatever I want to my photos in Photoshop as long as I don’t lie and tell people it is a representation of the actual scene. 




   Most photographers buy a flash with their new camera, but most beginners just aim the flash head right at the subject and shoot.  If you point the flash at the ceiling or a side wall and bounce the flash onto the model, you’ll get significantly softer and more flattering light.  It’s incredibly easy to learn, but many photographers are afraid to try it for the first time.



       For most (but not all) photography, I recommend using a single autofocus point rather than allowing the camera to choose several points.  When many photographers learn to use one focus point, they often use only the center focus point.  To do this, they focus on the eye of the subject or on the correct place for a landscape, and then recompose the picture while holding the shutter button half-way down.  After composing to the correct composition, the photographer then finishes pressing in the shutter button. If you sit down for a minute with your camera manual and learn to change the focus point, then you will likely get a much larger percentage of your shots in focus

New in Lightroom 6!

If your a photo head then you probably know about all the new features and tricks in 

this release of Lightroom. If your not dont fret i have done all teh had more for you. In your new to light room welcome; you couldnt of started using this program  at a better time. Below i will list what i think are the coolest of the cool new feautures in light room 6. Take a lot of HDR images and panamora so im stoked about this. Also excited that i can added images to pre existing quick collections!

HDR photo merge

You can merge multiple exposure-bracketed images into a single HDR image. Lightroom lets you preview the merged file and adjust the amount of deghosting before adding it as a DNG file to your catalog.

In the Library or Develop modules, select the images and then choose Photo > Photo Merge > HDR.

Panorama Merge

Panorama Merge is extremely simple as well and finally brings panorama creation to Lightroom without the need for Photoshop. This saves time not only in application switching, but also in removing the need to create another copy of the file(s) from which to actually create the panorama. There’s also no need to have perfectly edited images before the photomerge since Lightroom 6 will automatically exposure match for you in this case. Three different panoramic merging treatments, including spherical, cylindrical, and perspective, are offered to help create a great-looking panorama for any scenario from landscape images to architectural stitches that require maintaining straight lines. And an auto-crop feature rounds out a great way to create new Panoramas. All of these features worked quite well in my experiences throughout the week. And just as with the HDR Merge feature, panoramas are also saved as raw DNG files -- pretty sweet.

Facial Recognition

The only reason I still use Apple’s Photos (formerly iPhoto) is for facial recognition for my personal photos that come off of my phone. Facial recognition is something that really should be everywhere now. It’s also incredibly underrated as a search/filter tool – more so than GPS-tagging, which I think has much more of a cool factor than an actual use for most people (action/adventure photographers likely excluded).

Facial recognition in Lightroom 6 works almost identically to the way it does in Photos, but unfortunately not without a few extra…should we call them, “special personality traits?”

In general, finding faces works incredibly well. Lightroom even found rather dark reflections of faces in windows that a model was standing next to. However, while the preview of the “face” was indeed often an actual face, it was also occasionally a preview of another part of the image. The person that it “guessed” was in that image was guessed accurately, but I didn’t want to confirm it was correct out of fear that I was confirming this random part of a wall behind that person was really that person’s face. This was quite frustrating and just confusing since the person was actually in that photo. But it’s also something that will hopefully be fixed in the near future.

Filter Brush

Ever want to use a graduated filter on a sky in an image where the horizon is broken by an object in the foreground (like a rock or a person standing, smiling in the middle of the desert)? Previously, the graduated filter would also affect that object in the foreground if any part of it were to have poked above that horizon line. And it still does, of course. But now there’s a fix for these scenarios that doesn’t involve trying to brush your way into a graduated filter with the brush tool to avoid that spot.

The Filter Brush is as simple as it is necessary. Working as more of an eraser (though you can add a filter back into an area that was erased with it or brush that same filter into entirely separate areas of the photo, too), the Filter Brush lets you brush away the effect of a graduating or radial filter from a specific part of the image. There’s nothing more to say about that feature other than to reiterate how nice – if simple – it is to have this feature. Adobe was quite vocal about the fact that this, along with a number of other features in the Lightroom 6 release, was created directly in response to multiple customer feature requests.

Advanced Slideshows

This is something that’s nice, but perhaps not so useful or applicable to everyone. Personally, I use other programs (read: video editing applications) to create slideshows more than I use Lightroom. Even though I did create a quick, silly slideshow for a friend within Lightroom back in the day (and it was fairly easy), these programs simply give me a bit more control.

For those that like to keep everything simple, however, Adobe has now included several new features that make the slideshow functionality much more useful.

“Sync Slides to Music” automatically syncs slide changes to beats in the music that are analyzed in every song. A Pan and Zoom slider adds motion to slideshows. An Audio Balance setting lets you choose how loud the music volume is compared to the volume in the video (essentially diegetic vs. non-diegetic sound for you movie buffs). And finally, users can now add up to ten

songs per slideshow.

Lightroom on mobile

As we mentioned earlier, Adobe also updated Lightroom on mobile, giving it support to work on Android tablets. Adobe has included native DNH support on Android too, meaning Lollipop will allow you to shoot photos in raw, then save them as DNG files, and import them from your device.

You can also specify local storage to an SD card in your Android device rather than internal device storage, according to Adobe. Apart from Lightroom for Android,Adobe has also improved the crop experience in Lightroom for iOS.


      Everyone’s been waiting for Lightroom 6 for quite some time. For those coming from a standalone application version of Lightroom 5 or earlier, is it necessary to update? Is it everything we hoped?

      It’s not like you have a choice – Lightroom 6 still is the best all-in-one image catalog and editor – but even if it does provide enough reason to upgrade, it also leaves plenty of room for improvement.

I thought about what’s reasonable to expect and what’s not for quite some time. I don’t want to rain on the entire Lightroom parade (and I hardly think my complaints could be characterized as "rain," let alone even as a light sprinkle), but I do think we can expect just a little more from Adobe with respect to everything from performance improvements to improved editing ability within the mobile applications. As I said, it’s great to have an update to some already great software; and the improvements that I personally would like to see are relatively minor.

      The increased performance that is included certainly makes it a necessary upgrade for anyone. The HDR and Panorama Merge features don’t hurt either alongside Facial Recognition and the new Filter Brush tool. But I’ll be not-so-patiently waiting (while using Lightroom 6) for some further performance updates come Lightroom 7 (and hopefully earlier) in addition to my very own, special, personal wish to merge images into multiple exposures and add text without having to leave for Photoshop.