Danielle was the winner of my Black Friday photo session giveaway, and I was so thrilled to photograph her adorable family in Downtown Salt Lake City!  Here’s just sneak peek from what is one of my favorite and laid-back lifestyle family sessions ever.

     I want to tell my fellow photographers about these amazing presets from Mastin Labs.  I had never heard of them until I randomly came across them via Facebook, but as soon as I visited the website I was hooked and dying to give them a try – once I had these, any and all other presets went out the door.
     Here are my images from a styled shoot I did back in March with some amazingly talented people, edited with a tweaked VSCO preset: http://www.atwistoflemonphoto.com/wild-free-styled-shoot/   And here is a re-edit of a few from that same shoot using Mastin’s Fuji Pack: http://www.atwistoflemonphoto.com/a-second-look/
     My opinions on making the switch: the aesthetic Mastin gives is very much the style I’m attracted to, love, and want in my own work.  I’ve only just started experimenting with film, so I’m on my way to my goal of being a hybrid photographer.  It definitely takes some adjusting, especially if you’ve been using and have perfected your technique with VSCO.  Several gals from a local photography group on Facebook have already tried Mastin and they really didn’t like the results on their own images; they can chime in with the why’s and why not’s if they would like to.  It is definitely a refined and distinct style, and if it doesn’t match your aesthetic and branding, I wouldn’t recommend switching.

Here are my opinions on VSCO vs Mastin:
-Mastin gives you 3 film emulations in each pack, with easy one-click adjustment options and grain options (35mm or medium format film), not to mention crop presets to match actual film dimensions.
-VSCO gives you many different film emulations in each pack, so you do have a lot more variety from the beginning, although my experiences with them required extensive tweaking to get them to look the way I wanted.
-VSCO also gives you versatility in your images, catering to a wide range of styles and preferences.  Mastin is clean-cut, I haven’t even tried tweaking it to different styles yet, but it’s because I’m so happy with the initial result.  Plain and simple, Mastin Labs looks like film.
-Mastin presets preserve the detail in the images, giving you brilliant whites and rich blacks while maintaining depth and dimension; my VSCO images always looked flat.
-Mastin’s presets work with both Lightroom and ACR, and come with presets for both Canon, Nikon, and Fuji X-series users; I love this, because if I have a second shooter at a wedding who shoots Nikon, I’m not left having to tweak their images to match my own in post-processing.
-Mastin’s customer service is excellent, and there is a Facebook group for users where Kirk Mastin himself, along with a handful of other longtime Mastin-masters, is involved and able to answer questions, critique, and support.  This group is much, much smaller than the other VSCO groups I’ve been a part of, offering a tighter knit community of photographers and artists.
-Mastin Labs absolutely has the closest film emulation presets on the market, and contrary to what the digital era is telling us, film is not dead; in my opinion, its look is utterly timeless.
Here are a few side by side comparisons using my images (edited with the Fuji pack):

Determine the Style You’re Drawn To

The site http://www.lookslikefilm.com/ is all VSCO users; if you’re attracted to this style, I’d recommend VSCO.
If you’re attracted to work from those like Erich Mcvey, Jose VillaJeremy Chou, or Kirk Mastin himself, then maybe think a little harder about Mastin Labs.

Comparing the Packs/Before & Afters

I now own all three of the Mastin packs: Fuji, Portra, and Ilford.  I use the Fuji pack for 95% of my outdoor shoots, the Portra pack for 95% of my indoor shoots, and Ilford all the time, because it’s gorgeous.Mastin Labs Comp (1 of 1)P I N this to pinterest

Before & After Portra 400

| A Twist of Lemon PhotographyP I N this to pinterest

Before & After Fuji 400H

| A Twist of Lemon PhotographyP I N this to pinterest

Before & After Fuji 400H (this photo was edited with TWO CLICKS, one for Fuji 400H Neutral and then I added medium format grain)

Mastin vs VSCO (4 of 2)

Final Words

I know I should shut up already, “they’re just presets.”  Sure, but they completely, 100% changed my business, and I am incredibly passionate about them!

With Mastin:
1. My editing time has been cut down to a third.  Yes, it takes me 1/3 as much time to edit my photos now than it did when I was using VSCO or my own presets.
2. I am no longer afraid of less-than-ideal lighting, be it noon-day sun or a dark reception where I need to use OCF.  Mastin works gorgeously well on all lighting situations.  I used to nearly hope for a slightly overcast wedding or shoot day so I wouldn’t have to deal with shadows on my subjects’ faces; now I relish and lust after full sunshine.
3. Thanks to the techniques I’ve learned from the Mastin labs user group, such as Jeremy’s efficient wedding workflow guide (thank you PhotoMechanic!), my business is more productive than ever and I can spend more time with my family while still being excited and thrilled with my own work.
4. Working with Mastin Labs has taught me even further how to get my shots correct in camera, which again, saves me oodles of time and stress on the back end.

 

Kirk Mastin, just take all my money.

It’s interesting to see how your perspective changes over time.  I was inspired by a fellow photographer to go back over a previous shoot and look at some of the photos I originally passed over.  As a team, we were trying to get this shoot published on a wedding blog (it was published on 2, yes!), so we were very selective of the photos we were going to submit.  However, I can’t help but love some of the ones I originally thought wouldn’t make it into a published post.  Sometimes a shot or a pose that’s a little less traditional can be the shots that keep the story of your post moving and fresh.

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Gown: Simply Bridal
Model: Annie DeSantis
Hair & Make Up Artist: Versa Artistry
Ring: Heidi Gibson
Fellow Photographer & Videography: Claire Marika Photography
Design, Styling, Florals & Paper Goods: Martha Hatfield Design
Cake: Chantilly Patisserie 

When Morgan wanted a snowy mountain scene for her family photos I was all over it, and being that Morgan is a photographer herself she had the perfect location in mind.  This cute, giggly family was very fun, not to mention Morgan’s beautiful princess-like hair; pregnancy looks great on her!
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  • Tara Hilsmann

    These are absolutely beautiful! I love the location and the colors the family chose. Perfection!

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  • This session is too cute!! That little girl has some serious style! Lovely images!ReplyCancel

Wild & Free Styled Shoot | A Twist of Lemon PhotographyP I N this to pinterest

Helloooooooo!

Can you tell that I’m excited?!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been working with the amazingly talented and wonderful Jess Kasteler of Jess Kasteler Design Studios, who has helped me redesign my business branding!  She’s truly stellar; if anyone is looking for a designer look no further than this beauty who works and tweaks until it’s exactly the way you want it, and correctly represents your aesthetic.  Seriously, check her out, I can’t say enough good things about her!

So let’s celebrate my excitement, shall we?

 

Black Friday Sale!

From now through Black Friday weekend (November 29th – I know that’s not actually Friday but who cares?), these promotional prices are live:

Enjoy 25% off of any individual session price (engagements, bridals, groomals, even family portraits)

OR

Enjoy a complimentary engagement or bridal session with purchase of any 2014 wedding package! ($325 value!)

A signed contract and non-refundable deposit (that goes toward your total price) is required to reserve your wedding date.  Wedding date must take place by December 2015.

 


Giveaway!

As if that wasn’t good enough, I’m also giving away a free photo session, no contract required!  This can be used for engagements, bridals/formals, or individual/family portraits.
-90 minutes of shoot time
-50-70+ high resolution, beautifully edited images
-Online gallery & personal use print release
-Shoot must take place in Davis or Salt Lake County (otherwise client pays travel fees.)

How to enter (don’t worry, they’re fairly easy):

(+1) Like “A Twist of Lemon Photography” on Facebook.
(+1) Comment on giveaway post on Facebook.
(+3) Tag 3 friends in the FB comments who you think would want to get in on this sweet action!
(+1) Follow A Twist of Lemon Photography on Instagram, and comment the giveaway image, “I hope I win!”
(+1) Repost this image on Instagram, tag @atwistoflemonphotography, and use the hashtag #atwistoflemongiveaway
(+3) Pin the above image to Pinterest AND follow A Twist of Lemon Photography on Pinterest.
(+3) Follow Jess Kasteler Design Studio on Facebook and comment on her page, “A Twist of Lemon Photography sent me!”
(+2) Leave a comment on this blog post telling me your favorite thing about winter!  Make sure you don’t post anonymously or I won’t know who entered.

Bonus entry: If you refer anyone to me and they book a session, even at this special promotional rate, you’ll receive a bonus (+10) entries as well as a $25 print credit that can be used even if you don’t win the free session!  Make sure you give them your name so I can be sure to give you your entries!

You can earn as many entries as you’d like, but each option can only be used once in a given day – but hey if you do all of them, that’s 15 entries in just one day, not including the bonus entry!  The winner will be drawn at random on Saturday, November 29th.  Happy entering!


Branding

My new website including the branding from the magnificent Jess Kasteler (all hail!) will go live on Black Friday, November 28th at 12:00 AM!  Be sure to stop by to see all the beautiful goodness!

  • I love when Winter comes and the view of the mountains suddenly has snow.

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  • Nicole Morris

    I love Winter because it means family, delicious food, warm socks, and Christmas!

    Nicole Morris

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  • Camilla Binks

    Ah man whoever wins that giveaway will be super lucky!

    And my favorite thing about winter…soup, hot drinks, christmas!

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