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The Photographer's Notebook





Getting creative with hearts this February-Here's how!

It's always fun to infuse a little heart detail into February's photos. February is heart month, and infusing hearts into your images shows support for heart health and, of course, embraces all the love-filled themes surrounding Valentine's Day.  

I recently had several requests asking if I could share how I incorporate heart bokeh into my images. Today I'm sharing two different ways I infuse hearts into my February and Valentine's Day captures so that you can give these techniques a try too! 

1. Foreground heart bokeh

The first way I like to infuse hearts into my Valentine's day images is through foreground heart bokeh. Foreground heart bokeh requires that hearts are placed between your camera and your subject. It's also best if you choose a wider aperture to blur the foreground hearts. 

To create foreground heart bokeh images, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1:

Gather up your materials. You'll need red and pink cardstock or another...

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Inspiration for Valentine's Day Themed Images

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and who doesn't love a day filled with extra smooshy kisses, candy and smiles?! I felt like I needed a little inspiration this year when I was brainstorming for fun Valentine's Day-themed images the other day, so I thought you might too! Today, I'm sharing a few ways you can embrace the sweetness of Valentine's Day within your everyday moments and capture the fun within childhood on Valentine's Day. 

1. Details 

Do you have any little Valentine's Day traditions? At my house, heart-shaped pancakes sprinkled with icing sugar and candy are always required during the weeks before Valentine's Day. This is a must capture photograph for me in my home, and I love capturing the details of this sweet breakfast from above.

Perhaps your Valentine's Day details are handfuls of candy or carefully decorated sugar cookies. Or maybe your littles are crafty, and you enjoy creating a special Valentine's Day card or collage...

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How to make Valentine's Day Heart Bokeh Overlays

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Love, hearts and sparkly bokeh are in the air! In this week’s article, I’m sharing steps for how to create your own Valentine’s Day heart bokeh overlays. It’s a fun and creative technique photographed separately then infused into your images by way of an overlay. Let's get creative and have some Valentine’s Day fun!

1. Preparation

Gather up your supplies! Here’s a list of what you’ll need to create your heart bokeh overlays.

  • Camera and lens hood
  • Black construction paper or card stock
  • Scissors
  • Heart-shaped hole punch (optional)
  • Tape
  • A string of fairy or Christmas tree lights (not LED)
  • A black backdrop (You can use a black trifold or a black blanket)
  • Photoshop

ISO 640 35mm f2.8, 1/200SS

2. Cut out your hearts

It's time to create your heart-shaped lens covers! Detach your lens hood from your lens (if it’s attached) and draw a circle on the black construction paper or cardstock. Cut out...

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4 Ideas for Valentine's Day Themed Images

Valentine's Day is a couple of days away, and I always enjoy being creative when it comes to themed images. There are a ton of creative ideas out there that can be incorporated into Valentine’s Day images, but I do have a few favourites!

1. The Paper Heart Project

The Paper Heart Project is an incredibly important campaign that was started by a fellow photographer friend, Danielle Awwad. Danielle’s son, SJ, was born with ten different Congenital Heart Defects and Heterotaxy. He has undergone significant surgeries and extensive medical procedures. Currently, his heart has only one pumping chamber. 

Danielle explains,

“The Paper Heart Project is a campaign to spread awareness about Congenital Heart Defects, also called CHDs. Congenital Heart Defects are the most common birth defect. The severity of CHDs can range from mild to deadly. One out of nearly 100 babies is born with Congenital Heart Defects yet it is one of the most underfunded childhood illnesses in...

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