FAQ Archive

New in the shop: Purple and Pink Floral Styled Stock

“I must have flowers, always and always.” – Claude Monet

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We couldn’t agree more Monet! Since this is basically our motto in the SC office, we thought it was only fair to share our floral love with you, your shop, website, and social media feed!

You can find several of these stunning purple floral options right now in the SC Stockshop! Don’t forget, only 10 downloads are available for each image. You’ll want to hurry and shop now so that you don’t miss out!

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PS: Wondering how to use these floral styled stock images? We have pulled some great examples to give you inspiration and listed them below! Don’t forget to share how you are using your new florals by tagging the #scstockshop on Instagram!


The SC Team


Use your floral stock for…Social Media Announcements

Catch the attention of your viewers on social media by overlaying your announcements like @simplysouthernweddings!

valentines sale 2016

Or advertise your blog posts like @dearsweetheartevents!


Use your floral stock for…Your Website Header Image

Use your floral styled stock for the header image on your website like Simply Southern Wedding Boutique and make a bold brand statement right on your homepage!

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Use your floral stock for…Overlaying Your Products

Floral styled stock pairs so lovely with prints and stationery! Just ask our friend Simply Jessica Marie who paired her lovely invite with our pink floral image!


Stock Shop FAQ: A Video!

We had so much fun connecting with friends on Periscope last week! We answered tons of questions regarding the SC Stockshop, including “what is styled stock?” and “how do I use styled stock?”, along with many others. If you weren’t able to catch us live, we have a treat for you today! We have made the full video replay available for you to watch. Simply click below to watch the complete Q&A!

We hope that you enjoy getting to know more about the heart and history behind the shop and that you find the content helpful in answering all of your styled stock questions! Please email us if we didn’t cover something that you would like answered and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Periscope to catch our next live ‘scope!


How to make your passion profitable (free Ebook!)

If you subscribe to my newsletter, then you know how much I love talking about the business side of being a creative business owner. I really love sharing resources I find helpful and I am especially excited to share this one with you today! The sweet ladies from Creative at Heart have put together a wonderful ebook on How to Make Your Passion Profitable and the best part is, it’s 100% FREE! I was so honored to have been asked to contribute to this resource. I think working through how to turn your passion into a profitable, thriving business is a wonderful conversation to have and that it is something many are afraid to explore.


In my opinion, the key to a successful and profitable creative business is finding that thing that you are uniquely best at AND that solves a problem or fills a need for your potential client.  It is sort of a magic formula that takes trial and error and deep thinking to solve but when you do, the growth and success begins to happen organically.

Without any preconceived notions, ask yourself the following two sets of questions.

Set 1:

  • “ What do I LOVE doing that comes naturally to me? ”
  • “ What do I feel uniquely gifted at? ”
  • “ What could I do all day and never tire of ? ”

When you can answer these question you are halfway there. Then you have to do the hard work of answering the second set of questions:

  • “ What is my ideal client ’s biggest struggle and burning need? ”

Ask them what their biggest frustrations are and listen to what they say.  Ask yourself how you can create a product or service that solves a real problem in a way that is in line with what you enjoy and are gifted at.  Answering the first set of questions uncovers a life-giving hobby.  When you answer the second set of questions you have discovered a potential business!!

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To read more tips on how to make your passion profitable from several other inspiring boss ladies, download your free copy of this ebook today!

Tutorial with Scarlet & Gold

Hooray! This post has been a long time in the making and I am SO very excited to be sharing this with you today!!  So many of you have asked for a tutorial on how to best overlay your product designs onto SC StockShop styled stock images.  Well, since I am actually not a Photoshop expert (gasp!) I enlisted the help of the wonderful and super talented ladies over at the Scarlet & Gold shop to create a tutorial for you on how they achieve such a consistently gorgeous look with all of their Stockshop images! Today I am excited to share this amazing tutorial with you and I hope you find it helpful! For this tutorial they used an actual photograph of their product but the same principles will apply when you use a pdf or other flat product design file. Enjoy!

baby bear


To get started, it’s important that the image you are working to incorporate into the styled image is from the same view point and has similar light direction.  This is the original image that we are starting with. You can see that it is a straight on, downward looking view point with light coming in from the top of the image and creating a shadow towards the bottom right of the card. It is important to select an image that also has a light, clean background similar to the styled image. Trying to place an image with a dark background within an image with a light background will never look natural.The shadows and highlights will appear differently on a dark background than they do on a light one. Our image is on a light cloth background. This works because it is relatively clean (aside from the cloth texture) and it is light in color so the highlights and shadows will act similar to what they do on the white background of the styled shot.


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– Open the stock image in Photoshop.

– Place the card image into the stock-shot file.

– Size the card image to the appropriate size relative to the other elements in the photo.


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– In the layers panel, select the “multiply” layer option from the drop down.


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– Move card into the location that you feel works with the image layout and composition. I chose to rotate my card a bit in order to make it look more playful.

– Place and duplicate this layer. Hide one of the layers by selecting the eye icon to the left of the layers panel thumbnail. I like to always do this so that you can always go back to the original if you mess up the second layer you are working from.


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– Rasterize the smart object layer by selecting Layer < Smart Objects < Rasterize. Make sure you have the correct layer selected in the layers panel before doing this step.


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– Select the Eraser tool (Command E for Mac)

– In the top left corner, select the eraser size drop-down and make the eraser size fairly large. You can play around with this setting until you get the right size for your image. Change the hardness to 0%. We want a very soft eraser. Also, pull down opacity of the eraser. I am using 60% opacity.


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– Use the eraser tool to go around the card (with the correct card layer selected). This should get rid of the hard lines around the card. You may have to go around the card a few times because of the lower opacity but this ensures that you are left with a very soft shadow-like effect.


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– At this point you will want to zoom in closer to the card so that you can get a better view of what you are erasing.

– I am starting with the top left part of my card because this is where the light direction is coming from. Use the eraser tool and go in closer to the edge of the card. However, pay attention to how much is being erased. You still want a very subtle shadow.


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– Repeat this step on the lower right darker shadow portion of the card. Try to match the shadow lightness or darkness as well as shadow size with the shadows of the other elements in the photo. For example, take note of the shadow coming off of the pink box or phone case.


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– Zoom back out to check your image in its entirety.

– Check to make sure the shadows look natural and mimic the shadows of the other objects in the image.

– I then adjusted the opacity on my card in the layers panel to about 88% to lighten the layer. Multiplying the layer tends to darken the colors slightly.


Baby Bear Tutorial

- Ta Da!!! All done!

Tutorial by Scarlet and Gold.  Be sure to go check out their gorgeous shop and show them some love!

FAQ: What kind of lenses do you recommend for wedding and portrait photography?


Before you think about investing in new camera gear read this first. If you pass that test then welcome back!  Here, I am going to walk you through my personal opinion on what photography gear is needed to run a basic wedding and portrait photography business.  I will also share with you what I have in my own camera bag to prove that I practice what I preach – that the gear does not make the photographer!  Let me just warn you, if you love gear and love to accumulate gear just to make yourself feel like a better photographer then this post is not for you!  I am very much a minimalist in the way I run my business. I try to ensure that my overhead costs stay very low and that my financial investments go more toward improving my skill and knowledge than it goes to gear.  Again, this is just my opinion and others will differ based on their artistic style and personal preferences.  I have been shooting weddings, portraits and commercial work professionally for about 8 years now with this gear setup, so if nothing else, I hope that it at least encourages you, knoing you can do a lot with very little!


Basic must-haves for wedding and portrait work:

  • 2 camera bodies (See below for what I have. I shot my first two years of weddings with a Canon Rebel and GREAT lenses! Thats right…a Canon Rebel. Gasp!) If you are shooting portraits you can probably get away with just one camera body for a little while but if you are shooting weddings (i.e something that cannot be rescheduled if your camera breaks then you MUST have a backup if you are going to call yourself a professional.)
  • 24-70mm lens (preferably 2.8f if you can afford that investment) Just an all around great lens to have on hand and especially necessary during weddings.
  • 70-200mm lens (again preferably 2.8f if you can afford that investment) Needed for weddings where you may not be able to get close to the couple on the altar. Also can be helpful with getting a nice blurred background at a comfortable distance with portraits.
  • A remote flash (a flash that you mount on the top of your camera to bounce off of walls and NEVER directly at people!)
  • Memory cards. Opt for owning more smaller cards 2GB and 4GB then those massive cards. If that card gets damaged you only want to lose one small part of the wedding and not the whole thing. Same thing with portraits. Smaller is smarter. 4GB is my go to.
  • Extra camera battery or two (True story…when I second shot my very first wedding with Casey Templeton I only owned only one camera battery. And it died. Half way through. So I spent the rest of the night sitting and watching the action instead of being a part of the action. So sad.)


Additional basic lens investments when you can afford it:

  • 50mm 1.8f (for portraits and details and all around most awesome lens ever)
  • 85mm prime lens (for portraits/weddings)
  • I suggest renting wide angles and macros instead of buying them unless you are using them frequently enough to justify the purchase


Additional gear investments for your basic wedding set up:

  • Two light poles that reach at least to 10ft high
  • Two more remote flashes so that you can create a beautiful 3 light set up at wedding receptions
  • A bag with wheels and a lock to carry and store your gear – especially if you are getting into wedding photography where you will need to leave portions of your gear unattended for periods of time at the venue.
  • After shooting with a 3 light set up you may decide that you need to invest in pocket wizards. I somehow never did, but my life would have been much easier if I had. If you don’t know what these are then you don’t need to worry about buying them :) haha


What is in my camera bag currently:

  • Canon 5D Mark II primary camera
  • Canon 5D backup camera
  • Canon 24-70 2.8 L
  • Canon 50mm 1.2 L (aka “my baby” and the lens that I use 95% of the time especially for portraits)
  • 580EXII Speedlight (for on top of my camera – to bounce off of walls/ceilings when needed)
  • 2 430EX Speedlights to use as remote flashes in my 3 light set up when I shot weddings

THATS IT!  I used to own a Canon 70-200 2.8f L series when I shot weddings but once I made the switch to commercial and portrait work I sold that lens and invested in upgrading to the L series of the 50mm that I use the most heavily. Any other lens that I need, I rent on a case by case basis which is not very frequently!  Also, the majority of this gear is the same gear that I have had since I started my photography business 8 years ago! Proof that you don’t need to latest and greatest gear to make great images and money!

I hope that this was helpful!

Don’t forget!  Today is the LAST day to register for the largely discounted Early Bird rate for the Branding and Business Essentials workshop for photographers being held this summer in Richmond, VA.  If you are on the fence about coming shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly talk you through whether or not this is the right workshop for you.  It is going to be AMAZING! As one of the attendees from the last workshop put it…

“…I felt like a lightbulb was going off in my head at every part of the workshop!”

I love that!  Get one of the last few seats here! Happy Friday friends!




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