Photography - Photoshop

Personal photography to professional photography that I share with my husband at Enver Fisher Photography


I have big dreams of traveling the world


I love the world of fashion, and I love to share my discoveries


A pleasure in life, I love collecting recipes and information about food


General thoughts, ideas, complaints and meditations

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New Model Guide - How to be a more Sucessful Amateur

Where to start….I waited too long to blog so now my mind is full of ideas.

This particular topic has been on my mind for the past few days though. As E and I continue through our journey of the business of photography, we learn a lesson with each and every shoot. Being the perfectionists we are, we realize that we have a long ways to go to become as great as the famous photographers we follow.  Money is tight, and as much as we’d like to charge as much as joe-photog down the road, in the professional photography business you have to pay to play. And I mean both monetarily and pay your “dues”. So for the love of our craft, and the continued search for “the” image, we continue to reach out to our creative community for collaborations.  Once we feel our portfolio is strong enough, and hopefully busy, our collab shoots will dwindle down to a select few.

Don’t get me wrong, I love networking. It’s absolutely required if you want to grow as a photographer. What I wouldn’t give to have this amazing Rolodex of contacts. But who has time? It’s so difficult, especially when you cannot delegate duties to others. Networking forces you meet ALL different types of people. It’s a learning curve to know how to navigate effectively when you’re trying to put together a group of people for a shoot. Especially tests and collaborations, because money does not exchange hands – it’s all about portfolio, creativity and the love of your craft. Throughout the process of trying to find your team (and keep it together) you go through many emotions from excitement, to frustration, to panic, acceptance, back to excitement and so on and so forth.  Depending on my needs I’ve had to learn when to push people and keep on them, and when to let them go.

This whole subject can be broken down into many different topics, but the one I wanted to concentrate on is for new models. So I’ve created a little list of tips to help models brand NEW to the industry, to help them work more effectively to build their portfolio and their networking circle. I’m not a modeling agency, and I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes with working towards becoming a world-famous model – but this is coming from a perspective of a photographer and editor who has worked with many newbie models, and what makes MY job easier (therefore making me happier and more likely to think of you for future shoots, especially paid ones), makes your images come out better, and making you more highly recommended. My aim is more toward those who are still in the collaboration and test-shoot stage of their modeling career, but want to grow and learn more about the business. There are a million guides out there on how to become a model (thanks America’s Next Top Model), I even read a book from Jennifer Nicole Lee a famous fitness model, and I thought she gave great tips. I’ve also started reading Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s book about The SupermodelDiet. So, like I said, LOTS of resources out there.
So this brings me to my first recommendation:

1)      Do your research on your industry and your craft. As you can see from above there are books out there, and lots of information on the internet. Modeling is about so much more than just showing up. It’s about your work ethic, your attitude, your ambition, and your know-how. In a shoot everyone is working, including the model. Look at magazines, books, blogs, and anything you can find that relates to modeling. Study the images that publishers decide to use. Practice in the mirror and learn your good angles and faces. Know the difference between all the different types of photography, so when a photographer contacts you about a specific concept you know what they are talking about, and whether you would be a good fit. Always be open to advice and any tidbits of information that other may feed you, work experience brings new perspectives so learn from them! Ask questions. Research the subject/genre of your next shoot to give you fresh perspective. The more you know the more confident you feel, and the more intelligent you sound to your peers. I love having a conversation with models about what they know, what they’ve learned, etc.  

2)      Be professional. You’re brand new to the industry, first impression is everything. Respond to emails and texts ASAP. Don’t make people wait 24-48 hours for your every response, or fall off the map after having a back-and-forth conversation with the coordinator. Be sweet, open, excited for the opportunity, and as flexible as possible. If this is not your natural personality – work on it. You won’t make it very far without it. Within the first few emails I can usually tell the type of person I’m working with. A lack of communication, and those that reschedule consistently or at the last minute, makes me believe that they are not taking the situation seriously or as a priority. I take it seriously and I want the people I work with to do the same.  If those models don’t eventually fall off (I willingly let them), and we actually do the shoot, we will more than likely NEVER contact them again nor recommend them. The only girls I’ve seen get away with flaky-ness even a LITTLE bit are those that are lucky enough to be pretty and translate well on camera and still be willing to collab. But even those girls don’t make it very far – too much competition in the big leagues to deal with models like that! And I’d hesitate to put them on a paid gig for fear that they would be the same way.
Make a physical portfolio and tearsheets as soon as possible. Whether it’s an actual printed portfolio or on your iPad – have all your work with you. We photographers love to see what experience you have, and see what we think are your best angles and strengths so we can plan the shoot.

3)      Know fashion. This is a given especially if you want to be a high fashion or editorial model. Maintain a good wardrobe. I don’t care if you shop at Marshall’s for your clothing – you can still be fashionable on a shoestring budget. If you have your ‘own style’ that’s fine, and most photographers love that, but sometimes on jobs they will want you to look up-to-date with current fashions. Know it. As a brand-new model working on collabs there will not always be a fashion designer or a wardrobe specialist at the shoot, and you will have to bring the clothes. Be amazing. Showing up in ratty jeans and a t-shirt gives a bad impression. Bringing ratty jeans and a t-shirts for the shoot is even worse. If a shirt is worn and old, it looks worn and old on camera too.  ALWAYS ask your photographer about wardrobe, and if you need to bring your own clothing. Have these items with you because you never know (even if there is someone taking care of clothing); different color bras including strapless, different color layer-tanks, strapless and one-shoulder shirts (neutral colors and black/white are all best for emergencies), a good pair of skinny jeans and leggings, and a couple cute pairs of shoes.  If you bring a cute outfit the photographer will probably be open to taking some shots of you in it if there’s time. Always bring makeup for touch-ups just-in-case, and few things for your hair. Knowing how to do your own makeup doesn’t hurt either, sometimes there’s no MUA on set, or they don’t show – so learn the basics at least!

4)      Hygiene is everything. I hate that I have to say this, but unfortunately I do. Not saying I ever really worked with a stinky model, but there are some that have showed up almost as though the shoot was an afterthought. They have a 24 hour shadow under their arms and legs and it looks like they stayed up late the night before. Show up polished! If you read up on how to become a model, they always talk about taking care of yourself. Beauty is everything (hello, model??!).  I don’t care how skinny or cute you are, you show up with hairy armpits I think you are so ignorant I cannot stand it. You wouldn’t believe the things I say when I’m trying to edit hairy armpits. Homework assignment – learn everything beauty. Hair, skin, nails, lips, eyes, diet, etc. etc.  Easier said than done, but for the love of God get a good night’s sleep before a shoot! If you want this you have to be professional.  Lotions, face wash, waxes/hair removal, nail care, hydration, exercise and diet, and so on and so forth – get your freakin PhD in it. You glow in person, you will glow on camera. The less work the photog/editor has to do on you the more they love you. Bring out your inner diva and always be ready to shoot.

5)      Be a team player. As time goes on there’s nothing more annoying than doing all the work yourself. Team players make me happy, and help me with the burden. Unfortunately, newer models seem to be allergic to having to work for a shoot. They seem to believe that they just get to show up on set and be pretty like they’re the next Tyra Banks and say ‘thanks see you later!’ Tyra Banks can do that….YOU cannot. Now – don’t get me wrong, there are SOME situations where all a photog wants is for a model to show up and be pretty – they have THEIR concept and have complete control. But in collaborations where everyone is just trying to network, create a concept and bring it all together – teamwork makes the process so much easier and so much more successful. Not every shoot is going to have a set manager or coordinator, so the burden is usually left to whoever came up with the concept to put it all together. It would be refreshing for once to bring someone on the team (who expressed interest in working on it) to say, ‘what can I do to help?’ All I get is ‘when do I need to be there?’ I know you have a life, but hello, so do I. If you want it too, let’s make it happen. Even when I ask in a group email for those to bring ideas/props/location ideas/etc I mostly get, “I don’t have any ideas, or I don’t know.” Lame. Who knows with multiple heads put together, all our contacts, etc what we could have access to and come up with! People with cool houses, land, pets, farms, stores, etc – know them and keep their number handy!

6)      On that note…network network network. Get business cards (yes make your own business cards) and keep them somewhere. Keep numbers and emails. Photographers and their assistants, MUA’s, hair stylists, coordinators and anyone else whose info you can get your hands on (florists, crafters, bakers, seamstresses…the list goes on and on…). Don’t be shy. Keep in touch.  Knowing people makes your life so much easier in so many ways. You can also become the go-to person for contacts, making you an asset to those you know! Be friends with other models too, word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising and marketing. Be on all the social media networks.

7)      Keep your port fresh, and ask opinions on your photos. Opinions can vary, but ask people who know the industry, or who know beauty or advertising. Asking your friends and your mother is not a professional opinion. Not even other models, unless they’ve been in the business for a good while and are successful themselves.  First, your friends and mother will love almost everything because it’s you, and also because they don’t know the difference between a pretty picture and what your portfolio needs. Your portfolio needs to reflect YOU and who you are, your diversity, abilities, and what type of jobs you want. As a newer model there are not a whole lot of photographers willing to pay you unless maybe you have an amazing look they absolutely must have. Some girls are lucky – others have to work harder. So you will have to do a lot of test shoots and collaborations. Which is not necessarily a bad thing – it gives you a chance to try different genres of modeling and see what you excel at. Just because you have NO photos doesn’t mean you have to go with the first photographer that comes your way. Check the photographer’s portfolio…carefully! When I look through model portfolios that have terrible pictures it makes it harder for me to decide whether I want to work with them. If you’re just helping a new photog friend and you’re modeling for him/her that’s understandable – but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put the terrible images in your modeling port. It’s better for you, at the very minimum, to have someone take some headshots of you against a white wall with your hair nice and little makeup to cover blemishes and mascara. Then a body shot the same way. Or, the best thing for you would be to hire a professional whose work you really admire. Work with someone who can give you the basics plus a little extra to show some of your diversity, and they at least ‘touch up’ your final images. If they can give you the digitals for your website, plus prints or permission to print at least up to 8x10 prints that’s a great start.
And I have to say this too – just because you’ve done a few runways and a handful of photoshoots does NOT make you ‘experienced’ and a ‘for pay only’ model. You would have to have an absolutely amazing look and port to claim you want to be pay only – and if that’s the case then I would hope you are signed by an agency. Sometimes when I’m searching for models I’m amazed at the horrendous portfolios and they claim they want to be paid only. Do I think models should not be paid? Absolutely they should be paid – if they’re worth it. But just like anyone else in the industry you have to prove yourself with your port and network with the community. We want to be inspired by you. I cannot wait for the day that I will be able to pay models to do shoots for me, but when I pay, the model’s port is going to be amazing – and you my dear, do NOT have an amazing port. Keep it moving.
This does not apply to the models that show their cha-cha’s and other interiors in shoots – that’s a different type of ‘art’. I'm talking nudes, not implied. I think they should be paid every time. Otherwise the goodies should stay in the jar. Just my personal opinion.

8)      Love on your photoshoot team!! Not your personality? Get over it. Everyone loves to be loved. Many thank-you’s should be given out, hugs, excitement, social media shoutouts and most importantly FEEDBACK. Be humble. Don’t leave the shoot and just disappear into thin air, and when your photos are posted just retweet, or re-post on FB without a word. Not only is this disheartening to the photographer, it shows you have no class or interest in being a real model. It was a ‘thank you for the free hair/makeup and pictures’ and bye-bye. It’s a deal-breaker. The more shout-outs you give people, the more soft they become towards you. Trust me. I think you can take this concept above and beyond just the modeling world and place it in your everyday life.
I think this is a good starting point. Let's leave dreamland and do some real work! :)

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Keep it Moving Keep it Motivated

I could tell you about another successful shopping deal I got, but I really wanted to talk about something else this time....

One of the big things going on with me right now is getting back into the exercise routine. I'm now in week three of working out about 5 times a week. And by work out, I mean I'm trying to do it the RIGHT way, so it includes stretching, resistance training, and then at least 30 minutes of interval cardio.

I've lost about 3 lbs so far, which I know is normal because I'm also building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat...blah blah blah.... But I know that my biggest problem is my MOUTH.
I watched my sis-in-law lose almost 40 lbs just by changing her eating, and not working out at all. Of course it was a very strict diet of no sugar, very little carbs and lots lots n lots of salad with grilled chicken. But she lost weight while eating at the same time. She quit before she reached her goal weight (she had another 25 lbs to go or so), but still I think she did a great job getting that weight off.

So I'm just going to concentrate on my eating and see what I can do. Maybe I will have to start Almased again. It works great....when you do it like you're supposed to ;) It's just the whole liquid diet's not easy on the psyche


My goal beach bod......*sigh*

I need all the support and motivation I can get! It's too easy to give in! Although I WILL say I have improved in the past 3 weeks. But I can do better.
I'm going to make a list...I cannot lose this list, it's on my blog lol
1) Eat smaller meals
2) Drink lots of water (must try to get to 96 oz a day! I think I'm at 32-64 oz/day)
3) If I must snack, make healthy whole-food choices, no Chex Mix...or snack sized candy bars (darn you candy ladies at work!)
4) Minimize carbs, try and get carbs from whole food choices
5) Workout everyday...or at least 6 days a week......

And I just have to add this because I just saw it. Could Kim look anymore NORMAL in this photo? I'll admit I have the guilty pleasure of watching the Kardashians reality series, and I find them quite entertaining most of the time....but wow I was not expecting this from Kim!  Her sis was such a cute preggo..... And to be honest, I'm horrified at the thought of Kanye procreating....I find him too egotistical to bear.....


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Tips on Becoming a Deal Shopper for Clothing/Accessories/Cosmetics

Although I would love to be able to just walk into an Anne Taylor, Banana Republic, Coach, or Bebe store and just buy whatever I want – my paycheck only stretches so far.  I love fashion, but I am on a budget. With time I have learned that deal shopping is all about being informed and patient. Since I'm not rich I cannot have everything from every deal I see, but I have to use my judgment to pick and choose which deals are worth investing in depending on my current needs. I’m focusing more on online shopping here, since that is where I tend to find the best deals, although you can find great deals in-store too....

1) Create an email address ONLY for store/vendor newsletters/blasts/emails. The number of emails I get in one day is amazing. Between the clothing stores/cosmetics/travel/restaurant/groupon/sweet jack/etc  emails I get, I wouldn't be able to function out of my personal email address - stuff would get lost! Also, when I feel like browsing/shopping I just go to that specific emails address and see all the current deals and offerings. With time you will learn what is the "standard" deal for each store, so you know whether or not they're really offering something special.

2) Do a lot of "window shopping". There are a lot of times I will click on a deal and start shopping, adding stuff to my cart and such. In the end I make sure that there's no coupon codes I'm missing (check my email, the home page of the site, and do a quick google search (there are some great coupon websites with codes). In the end I look at my basket and see my total, tax plus shipping (if there is any). I will then literally walk away and do something else for awhile and come back with a fresh mind. 9 times out of 10 I close the window and never buy anything because I'm out of the 'shopping zone' and realize....'eh - I don't really need this, or need to spend the money'. However, I'm learning about the pricing of items, how each store works their site, the coupons out there and what types of merchandise each store offers.  Will there be times that you walk away and when you come back an item will be sold out? Yes. This is especially true with sale and clearance items. But that’s just a part of my strategy, unless I really really love something and must have it, I need to clear my mind before giving my card number.

3) End of Season sales are always best. This is the one that hurts me because I know at the beginning of every season I check my closet and realize I need more clothes, I definitely do not feel like buying for the previous season, but the deals can be amazing. Boots that were originally $169 can be marked down to $69, a scarf that would’ve cost you $30 in December, is now $9.99. Deals like that will start to pop up as the season draws to a close, and it’s just too good to pass up. I know you will probably end up putting them in a closet until next season, but trust me, when you will be so happy when you get to pull out a brand new pair of boots, scarf, or sweater at the start of winter!

4) Double check stores return policies. Most big clothing stores have a risk-free return policy, which is what I require to make a purchase. I’m not a perfect size 2 pants or 32B bra, so sometimes things don’t fit the way they should. I remember trying 3 different pieces of clothing from one online clothing store, but each one had something that didn’t work with my body, I ended up settling for an accessory and a refund, and now know that their clothing doesn’t work for me – but I didn’t lose out! Kinda sad because I think their clothes are really cute! ;)

5) I am very anti-shipping charges. If I can help it I will try to reach their minimum for free shipping. If they’re offering free shipping on any purchase amount I love that. Almost 100% of the time if I’m window shopping and I cannot get free shipping, or the cost is what I feel too high for shipping, I usually pass it up. It would have to be a 70%+ off sale with some amazing merchandise for me to consider paying exorbitant shipping costs.

6) My hot shopping spot – hello?! It’s the clearance! Do I stop on the home page and ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhhh’ at their beautiful new clothing and shoes? Oh yes. But do I want to pay retail? Nope.  So I do all my real hardcore shopping in clearance.  They don’t always have great stuff in clearance – so this is just something you have to check periodically to see the new stuff they’ve marked down. I will sometimes add items to my cart that are not marked down for sale if I must absolutely have it and it’s reasonably priced, but that’s not very often.

It’s really up to you what you want to spend on certain items and what you consider a real deal. Everyone’s opinion, priorities and paycheck are different. It takes time but it’s very worth it if you love shopping like me, but can’t spend your entire paycheck on clothing, perfume and all that other fun stuff! One thing that has really helped me develop my eye for my style-preferences is Pinterest. As I’ve continued to collect my favorite looks from Pinterest I’ve realized all the possibilities I have with certain pieces of clothing, and what I should keep an eye out for because it’s not in my closet. I’m more aware of my preferences rather just aimlessly shopping around for random sale items.  I hope this helps, and have fun shopping! I love to hear about good deals people get!

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Everything But the Kitchen Sink Salad

After work yesterday I came straight home and met my hubby after his quick farmer's market shopping trip. He does really good shopping for fruits and veggies!
Now - why did I have to go home to meet him? Because he doesn't like to sort the refrigerator and make room for stuff! I have to laugh with that. I needed to be home to put the groceries away.

So for dinner we just cooked up a tofu stir-fry, a staple in our house when we don't know what to make. He had bought broccoli and I was just excited to eat it. I'm not very good a 'flavoring' the food. I tend to go on the bland side. E is waaaay better at seasoning than me...and he didn't disappoint last night. Although I prefer my tofu a little bit more browned, it was still really good. The broccoli was al dente and purrrrfection...mmmmmm
I also threw some jasmine white rice in my new rice cooker. LOVE that thing - so easy. E and his family can cook rice in a pot over the stove, and it's delicious! But I try and fail horribly 90% of the time cooking rice over the stove. It's not cooked enough...or too much....or I forgot to add salt. I now can compete with those Dominican housewives and make some pretty decent rice.....
Moro on the other hand....well...I don't know if you can make that in a rice cooker..... and that's amazingly yummy...
I also wanted a salad (surprised myself on that one!), but seeing that we didn't have any lettuce I decided to make a more preferred salad for my palate - one WITHOUT lettuce.  So I think I would consider this a type of 'everything but the kitchen sink' type of salad.
It included:
Red Pepper
Green Olives
Chick Peas
Lemon Juice
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

I just basically threw what sounded good together in a bowl, and yes, E helped me season it. Not as good as "Geek Charming"s 'everything but the kitchen sink sundae' for sure - but it turned out pretty good.
Crappy iPhone picture ;)

Oops...did I just mention Geek Charming? Well yes I did. And I liked that movie...... super-dork moment.

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Let's do this!

There's no better time to start than today!
Would Friday have been better? Who knows...
This is going to be a very dynamic blog, touching on all sorts of different aspects of my life. My life in the south, away from my Midwest home-sweet-home. My interests are many and there's never enough time to do them all!

I started this blog after encouragement from my sisters, and I look forward to reading all about what's going on with them too!

My interests (off the top of my head):

~Photoshop & anything Adobe Suite related
~Exercise/Weight Loss
~ Social Media
~ Books
~ TV Shows/Movies
~ Nature
~ Shopping (Deals!!)
~ My hubby (I thought he should make the list - is it sad he's #12?)
~ Funny Stuff

And that's not an exhaustive list!

I thought of the name Sarah Captured when I was creating my google info. I thought it had many different meanings that were interesting: the word 'Captured' has meaning to photography and also it's like having me "in the moment", and a snippet of me and my life here and there. I now find it also appropriate for this blog :)

So where to start?

I bought some new fashion for my closet! :D
I got paid today, and I can't resist good deals, especially went it involves an amazing sale PLUS free shipping....oh yeah....

First off I returned some boots and exchanged them for a couple of accessories that were on sale. Since I'm trying to lose weight I'm not going to crazy on clothes until I get where I want to be.  I also decided I need to add some COLOR to my wardrobe, as I peruse my closet I notice I have a lot of black, white and I've forced myself to remember this (although I catch myself looking at black stuff all the time!)

Knee High Socks
 I'm thinking paired with some cute brown boots and an amazingly cute brown skirt? Not sure yet, just loved the color.
I also have been obsessed with scarves this year, I feel like I don't have enough or enough color variety, so I grabbed this too. Still getting a bit of a refund too ;)

So then at Dots, I went crazy because I'm really loving their additional 50% of clearance. Although it can be a frustrating search sometimes for sizes, I guess that's part of the fun right? Kind of like digging through TJMaxx racks.....

This scarf will actually be a fuschia red...

And I really wanted these leggings and these pants, I always see these super-cute outfits with oversized shirts and leggings, and I cannot wait until I'm able to pull the look off!! And yes....PINK skinny jeans. Oh the excitment.... They actually didn't have my size in the jeans so I ordered a size smaller, so there ya go motivation!

All together I spent: $57.03.  Oh yes.... 
That's my excitement for today! Looking forward to getting my package in the mail!