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Welcome to MICHELLE HERRICK | the blog!

I am a fashion editorial and high school senior photographer located in sunny Arizona. I love everything about producing fashion shoots for magazine editorials or the fun & vibrant graduating senior or for clients' promotional/campaign material...this really is the best job ever. Oh, and I'm a mom to 3 awesome kids with an amazing husband and the coolest german short hair pointer dog!

Posts Tagged 'photography business'

September 18, 2013

So this is a post for all my photographer followers, friends, peers. If that’s not you, consider yourself warned…it’s going to get a bit geeky for awhile! :-)

Almost 2 years ago I did a quick little blog post [HERE] reviewing the newly launched VSCO Lightroom presets. Oddly enough, that post is still one of the most popular posts on this blog. Well I recently got my hands on the newly released Lightroom presets called Replichrome from Totally Rad, as in Totally Rad Actions. On the TRA site they make no bones about who they are up against… (VSCO) and how/why their presets are far superior and the better choice. I suppose if you didn’t have either set you wouldn’t know the difference or how/where to compare. So let me do that for you…here’s a quick breakdown of what I have noticed at first glances.

Literally the first thing I noticed was a BIG thing to me because it’s probably my #1 pet peeve about the VSCO presets. With Replichrome ALL the B&W presets are organized very neatly into their own folder. That’s HUGE to me. I love it! If I want an image(s) to be B&W I know right where to go; with VSCO all film emulation presets are thrown into one folder…nothing to distinguish which is B&W and which is color…you just have to trial and error it.

And the next thing I noticed were how AMAZING the black and white presets are. Like as in shut-the-front-door-I-think-I-have-finally-found-what-I’ve-been-looking-for-in-a-B&W-conversion-preset-and-it’s-about-freaking-time!!! I have not been shy about the fact that I do not have a B&W preset or even a Photoshop adjustment that I really like. But I am soooo excited about these. I think all their B&W presets are pretty great ‘out of the box’ so to speak; very little adjustment needs.

TRA replichrome film compare BW 1

TRA Replichrome | Kodak Plus-X 125++ [above & below]

TRA replichrome film compare BW 2

If you have no experience with any film effect presets (Lightroom or Camera Raw) then these will probably frustrate you and/or make you think you wasted your money. That was how I felt at first with my VSCO set. It’s just the nature of the “film” look. Skin tones tend to go deep in either an orange/pink or a green/blue. I’m not a purest by any measure so I can’t say one way or the other how true to life these emulations are, but I will say that they do take some getting used to and tweaking to your own liking.

I like my images to have a pretty “clean” look…colors and tones to be as close to how they were actually captured, no big deviations from the original. I found that the Kodak Color set from Replichrome to be the better “film set” and I thought those presets had more to choose from that helped me maintain the coloring, toning and overall feel of my images as close to how they were captured.

Favorite from Kodak Color: Kodak 400 Noritsu [below]

TRA replichrome film compare Kodak400Noritsu w tweaks

On the contrary, I found the Fuji Color set not at all to my liking. It may just be that there’s some getting used to because I really love my Fuji set from VSCO, so I’m going to keep playing with them to see if I can keep tweaking to my liking. Putting it simply, everything ‘out of the box’ with the Fuji set was just TOO much. Too dark, too deep, too orange or too green…it feels like everything needs to be dialed back a bit.

From Fuji Color: Fuji Pro 800z Noritsu [with NO adjustments - below]

TRA replichrome film compare Fuji Pro

From Fuji Color: Fuji Pro 800z Noritsu [WITH adjustments - below]

TRA replichrome film compare Fuji Pro with tweaks

And then just for kicks and grins here’s another Replichrome preset from the Kodak set…

Kodak Ektar 100 Noritsu [below]

TRA replichrome film compare KodakEktar100 Noritsu w tweaks

Other insights and overall impressions:
The other thing that I noticed with Replichrome is that when I ran a preset it was obvious where the adjustments were being made in the Develop side panel; you could see which sliders were changed. I like seeing what is being adjusted and tweaked so that I can fine tune that slider to my own taste. With VSCO presets the tweaking isn’t always easy to find or pin point in order to make your own adjustments. I also love that when you run a preset the shadows and blacks are almost spot on where they should be; with the VSCO set those are consistently the sliders I have to adjust the most. The one thing I would like to see on the TRA site, however, are the names of the presets used on their “sample” images. It’s great to show the photos processed, but to me it’s more helpful to know which preset was used to achieve that “look”. All in all I am actually quite impressed…if nothing else the B&W have completely won me over.

I’m thinking of doing a side-by-side compare of the Replichrome vs VSCO in one of the next upcoming blog posts…the presets won’t exactly be apples to apples, but may be close enough to see the difference.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback about what you have found with the Replichrome and/or the VSCO sets. Contact me using the link below, or leave a comment.


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September 4, 2013

Among all the website updating and branding revitalizing I have failed to officially ANNOUNCE and LAUNCH my brand new MENTORshop website! I am so excited to formally have a place dedicated for all things MENTORshop.

MENTORshop, Michelle Herrick, photography mentoring workshop, arizona

So, what is a MENTORshop? Well, it’s something I came up with as a cross between MENTORing + worksSHOP.

I love mentoring and I love guiding new/beginner photographers, but I don’t always love large, overwhelming group settings where you never really walk away feeling complete. There is just so much information circulating out there and it can be tough to decipher between it all…well, that’s where I come in. We spend some amazingly productive one-on-one time together dissecting your photography, your business, your goals, your style…seeing a pattern here… it’s all about YOU!

I know being a beginning photographer and/or a new business owner can feel, well, like A LOT to take in, but rest assured you will walk away from your MENTORshop session with a plan in place, goals to tackle first, and more importantly the confidence needed to move in the right direction. So, visit the site and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Oh and PS…MENTORshop is only available in AZ…for now ;-)


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July 26, 2013

So excited to finally, and officially, launch my new website and new brand/logo look! I worked with the amazingly talented Susan over at Silverbox Creative for the logo and icon design. It was so helpful to go through that process, from a brand and visual perspective. I’ve always done my own logo and graphic work, which has been fine. However, for awhile now I’ve been feeling it’s been time to hire out for this…I just didn’t have the time to do the work, the research, and frankly I knew I wanted something I would LOVE, and every time I’ve ever did my own logo & graphic work it’s always come out as something I could ‘live with’.


It was very clear early in the process that the M H in my name would play a big part in the design of my logo, but I did not want a traditional M & H just stuck together. To me it needed to stand out, be different, and be able to stand on it’s own as a clever icon. I also want my name to be able to stand on it’s own…it’s my dream and goal to be known as a photographer and so as the design started to take shape it just didn’t make sense to include the ‘portrait & style photography’ context.
homepage opener shot

If you haven’t yet, head over to the newly updated website at michelleherrick.com…

homepage screen shot

And I love how my new MH logo makes the coolest looking pattern…ugghh…so cool!!

MH logo pattern_web1

I am so happy with all my new graphics and logo and fun things!! There’s still more to come and will be introducing more elements and graphical pieces, but for now this is the new MICHELLE HERRICK! :-)

Also, head over to the Silverbox Creative blog for a fun interview/feature they did on me for their BRANDING WEEK!! Such an honor and so much fun!!

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July 22, 2013

blog website tease

New website and other fun announcements coming this week!!


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October 31, 2012

I know I’m crazy behind on my blogging of all the fabulous high school seniors I’m photographing lately and I promise those blog posts are in the queue. However, I just had to share one little thing first…this is the fun goodie bag that each of my AMAZING senior model reps receive shortly after their session.

high school senior portraits

I adore each one of my reps and it felt really weird just mailing them a stack of referral cards saying ‘just hand these out’. I really want them to know I appreciate all their help in building up my business with me; I mean, who wouldn’t love to get a fun goodie bag like this in the mail! And honestly, it’s just as exciting to package these babies up and send them out as it probably is to receive them.

So, let’s talk contents…

1) the BAG! When I was brainstorming packaging ideas and how I was going to wrap all these items together it hit me like a ton of bricks… a t-shirt bag. I cannot get enough of these great t-shirt bags…I make them all the time. It’s a great way to recycle an old t-shirt and it’s always a lot of fun to hunt for the coolest shirts to make into bags. HINT: hit up Goodwill and their 50% sales…you can get shirts for $.50…total bargin!

2) the NOTEBOOK! I’m a sucker for journals, notebooks, diaries, anything of that sort. I found these adorable notebooks at Target with a bunch of different cover designs. Bought a bunch in every style…true story!

3) the ACCORDION! Not going to lie, these little puppies are AMAZING. It’s a 3”x3” mini accordion picture book. Custom designed with images on the front and back. Perfect to carry in your purse/bag or to give to the grandparents as a gift.

4) the BUSINESS CARDS! Gotta add just a few of those…you never know when they come in handy.

5) the GUM! I’m completely smitten by this cute mini packs of gum. Seriously people, fresh breath is super important ;-)

6) the LIPSMACKER! I mostly photograph females (boys, I’m here for you too if you need me ;-) ) and us girls can never have enough lip gloss, chapstick, lip balm, lipstick, etc. That’s a fact. Am I right, or am I right?!

7) the CANDY! Now that’s just some good, clean fun right there. What’s a goodie bag without a little edible goodie?!

8) the REFERRAL CARDS! Ahhh, the lovely referral cards. This year I changed up the print size to be a bit bigger for the senior model referral cards. And let me tell you, it makes a difference. These sizes are probably less likely to get lost PLUS they show off my models picture (and my photography) so much better. On the back is contact info to my senior site, my Facebook page and my rep’s own custom website WITH a special offer for anyone who books from this rep’s referral.

Oh, and one more thing. A hand written THANK YOU note, of course.

So that’s it. Fun, easy with a TON of heart!


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February 15, 2012

I love it when other photographers show their before and after images, don’t you? And not just in a curious, voyeuristic kind of way (like you’re peeking into their secret lab or something), but I also find it helpful to get a better idea of who the photographer is, what’s their style, and from a client perspective it’s more about what can the images expect to look like when a photographer is hired. I really can’t say it enough, the best way to guarantee longevity in this biz (and really ANY biz for that matter) is consistency. It’s so important to have consistency in the way you shoot and in the way you edit. And you’ll see below, that it’s just as important to get the shot right in-camera.

So, when referring to the before image I’m referring to the straight out of camera image and the after image being the absolute final edited image with all the post processing magic, but the during image is what the photo looks like inbetween…which for me means what comes out of Lightroom. I definitely have no problem admitting that I use actions and presets and ANYTHING that helps speed up my workflow. I’m a big believer in spending more time behind the camera and less time behind the computer. My go-to actions are the TRA sets and most recently I have added the VSCO Lightroom presets to my workflow.

So, let’s get to it… here is a BEFORE-DURING-AFTER image of a photo set I’m currently in the process of editing.

photo editing before and after

In the BEFORE photo, settings were: 85mm lens, f/2.8, 1/400 & ISO 250 (shot in RAW)
In the DURING photo, I used the VSCO presets: Kodak Portra 800- with slight adjustments to exposure, white balance and hue/saturation.
In the AFTER photo, I used the TRA’s: Oh Snap @ 40%, Cool as a Cucumber @ 20% and an action I created myself for adjusting the green tones with that action set to 30%.

You can see the evolution of the BEFORE image to the AFTER image and how all 3 photos stay pretty true to the original tones of the photo…nothing wild, no extreme adjustments. For me, if I’m having to make extreme adjustments (i.e. exposure +/-) then it’s probably not a photo I should be trying to salvage. I just move on and scrap it. You never want to spend too much time trying to “fix” what should have been done in-camera… it will drive you bonkers… believe me, I know. ;-)

Another thing to note is the very subtle differences between the DURING and AFTER photo. I think if it’s just not the right time financially to take the leap into Photoshop then Lightroom is a great way to get started. More and more I get questions from photogs as to where to invest their software $$. I personally love and promote having both Lightroom and Photoshop (I currently have CS3) for me it makes the most sense. However, it did take me some time to get to where I could afford the steep price tag of Photoshop, so I made the most of using Lightroom for as long as I could.

There you have…my 2 cents on editing with some before, during and after photos.

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January 27, 2012
filed under: business, other

Oh how I have been dreading this post. For me, setting new goals usually means looking back at the old ones…and I hate feeling like I fell short of what I set out to do. But then I did something. I looked back at a previous blog post I wrote around this time last year in which I laid out my 2011 goals. I wrote something in that blog post that I actually needed to hear right now. Funny how that worked out… ;-)

“There’s absolutely a sense of self accountability when you document your goals. In a good way! I mean I truly want to be able to say YES I achieved that goal, or that I’m just X number of steps closer to that goal. I put my goals out there… into the universe… and I’m very glad I did.”

It really is true. It would be so fantastic to say YES I completed that goal, but for a lot of my 2011 goals I made some serious progress and I am just that much closer to checking it off. I truly feel like having something to measure yourself against (i.e. personal/professional goals) keeps you on track and moving in the right direction.

So, here I am, a full year later and I’m ready to put my 2012 goals out there into the universe.

Michelle Herrick photography & business goals

Well, with lots of projects and work on the horizon I hope to achieve as many goals as I can…but I am quick to remind myself that the journey to the goal is the ultimate learning experience and that is what I am really excited for!


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