Thank you to everyone who asked questions!  This was a lot of fun!  I am simply amazed that so many people come here to peek in on our little lives.  I want to give one great big thank you for all your comments and wonderful compliments… guys know how to make a girl feel good!  I tried to stick to answering the questions but wanted to say thank you for making me feel so loved 🙂

A little disclaimer…..I’m no expert!  Many of these questions relate to how I do things, and my answers are honest and it’s what works for me.  But that doesn’t mean it’s "right", just right for me, so take it with a grain of salt!

Ok, grab a drink and kick up your feet, cause here we go!


I loved your Blurb book. I would like to know if you designed the text pages in Photoshop first and then uploaded them to the book. Any other details in creating such a beautiful book would be appreciated.

Posted by: Melissa  | June 05, 2008 at 03:06 AM

My Blurb book is a great big mish mash of design.  I did several things, I purchased Jamie Schultz baby book templates ages ago, so I used some of those, then I designed some of my own pages and I used some of the ones the Blurb software provides.


me again. i would like to know your typical workflow – do you use a program like lightroom (what i use)? you seem to be very good at getting pictures uploaded and edited in a timely manner! I read one time on a few actions/presets that you used, anything else that’s a must in getting that crisp, light and clean picture?

Posted by: -joy | June 05, 2008 at 07:51 AM

Ugh, honestly, my workflow needs help!  While I’m willing to share my steps and what I do, please know that this is of course not the "correct" way to do things.  Many, many people do it better than I do, so you should listen to them above me!  I’d love any suggestions anyone has to speed things up a bit.  My problem is that I get awfully set in my ways.  I am really good about downloading though.  I get nervous leaving images on my cards for too long.  I like to have all my images in at least two places.  I have my computer set up to save images by the month.  I have a folder for each month (inside that folder I keep my final image copies once processed and then I have a folder inside that folder for RAW files and another one for WEB files for sharing) and keep the images from that month on my computer for that month only.  At the end of the month, I upload them online and share with friends and family.  This end of the month deadline keeps me on track and helps me from getting too overwhelmed.  I’m usually pretty good about it but am a little behind this month.  Once I upload I then backup everything again and transfer it all to an external drive so that my laptop has plenty of room.  5D RAW files are big so it fills up quickly.  I do all my proofing, everything on my laptop.  We don’t even own a desktop, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Jason bought me a flat screen monitor to proof on and it’s sitting in the closet…sad, but true.  As for my workflow in PS, well, it’s fairly simple.  I upload to my RAW folder for the month, then open Bridge and rate my images in ACR.  I don’t rate in Bridge, not sure why, I just never have.  I’ve tried, but it doesn’t work for me.  I think its because I never figured out how to really zoom in close in Bridge, and I can do that in ACR.  Anything rated 5 star gets proofed, 4 star gets at least ACR adjustments and opened and 3 stars I don’t open, but keep.  2 or 1 star gets deleted.

As for editing in a timely manner, well, to that I say HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Seriously, I take SO MANY images and proof very few of them.  I have thousands I haven’t proofed.  I usually download, rate and then open a few favorites and proof those.  Someday, when my kids are grown I’ll have time to thumb through old images that never got any love.  Until then, capturing some favorites to document our lives has to be enough.  My goal when Teagan was born was to shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more.  I wanted to capture as many as possible while he was tiny, even if I don’t have time to touch them for years, at least I’ll have them when I finally do find the time.  I have lots of folders of untouched RAW files, even all the labor and delivery pics from when Teagan was born.  I figure when I’m old and gray, instead of buying cats and learning to knit, I’ll proof 🙂

General workflow once the image is opened into photoshop, I always play with levels, curves and sometimes contrast (lots of times it doesn’t need additional contrast because I’ve got it set to either 25 or 35 in ACR).  I’ve got my own piddly little actions set up to speed up all these steps, which is nice.  I’ve found a great way to tweek stuff is to go through the steps of other peoples actions and pick out what works for me, ditch what doesn’t and go from there.  You can learn a lot about photoshop that way.  Sometimes I add a little color, burn a few edges and maybe dodge a few eyes (careful with the whites though).  Anything I do, I do on a duplicate layer, so if I mess up or need to undo something, it’s easily fixed without the extra steps of thumbing through my history screen.  I also like the added bonus of being able to adjust the intensity of any changes I’ve made by adjusting the opacity of the layer.  This is especially helpful when using the clone tool, touch up scratches or areas on the skin.  Then I sharpen (but I never sharpen for web, not sure sure why, just never do) and if noiseware is necessary, I do that on a separate layer and reduce the opacity as much as I possibly can to get a please effect.  Thankfully, the 5D handles noise quite well so it’s not as big of an issue as it was with the D50.  While on the subject of Noiseware, I highly recommend THIS.  If I run an action on an image, I always duplicate the image and work off of the copy so that if I don’t like it, I haven’t compromised the original image, or what I do A LOT, is drag and drop the image I ran the action on, over to the original and reduce the opacity until I like the effect.  This is great if an action is working on the photo and you like it, but it’s a bit too strong.

Once I’m done with my edit, I then save the image uncropped so if I ever need the full sized image to make edits, etc., I have it and don’t have to re-edit.  Then I duplicate that image and start playing with varying crops.  I like to mix it up with crops and try out different things.  Many times, I’ll have one image and 3-4 versions with different crops.  When cropping, keep in mind the rule of thirds.

As for crisp, light and clean, Exposure!  Exposure!  Exposure!  Learn your camera and learn to nail exposure.


I LOVE your work!!! It so inspires me! I see on the side that you went from the Nikon D50 to the Canon 5D… can you explain what made you switch to Canon? I have the D40 and am ready to upgrade, I’m thinking of going to the D200 or D300, but I know Canons are awesome too and have seen so much wonderful work with Canon. Just curious if there was a specific reason.  Also, how did you start photographing others besides your own?? Do you just ask around to build portfolio and then a reputation builds?  Can’t wait to read your Q&As!!! =)

Posted by: Shawna | June 05, 2008 at 08:17 AM

Ah, the inevitable canon vs nikon debate!  Well, both are excellent choices, so you can’t go wrong.  There are several reasons I switched.  I knew I wanted to upgrade and when I made the decision, Nikon hadn’t come out with the D300 yet.  I chose the Canon  5D because it got great reviews for low noise, I wanted the full frame sensor because at that point in my journey I was really, really struggling with seeing the "big picture" and stepping back in the scene.  The full sensor forced me to do that and it’s just what I needed to push myself.  And I was just amazed seeing sample images.  It also wasn’t horribly tough at that point to switch because I hadn’t heavily invested into purchasing a lot of lenses.  I decided to keep one Nikon lens and sell the rest.  And “L glass”.  Sweet, sweet L glass…can’t say enough.

As for starting to photograph others, I did just ask around.  I did some photos for a few friends, a few neighbors and my name just got out there.  I was very lucky that my first clients were amazing and I got pretty busy, pretty fast.  Skill building and portfolio building are so so so important!  Part of me wishes I would have done it longer before building the business.


I’d love to hear the response to joy’s question above, and in addition to photography questions (which I’m sure you’ll get a ton of), I’d love to hear a little bit about you. 🙂

How long were you a single mom with Ty? When did you meet your husband? You seem like such an amazing mom, and I’m just in awe. Congrats on your beautiful family!

Posted by: Lauren | June 05, 2008 at 08:32 AM

Several years.  My first husband left us when Ty was a year old.  I met Jason right after Ty’s 4th birthday in the Spring of 2001.  We got engaged a few years later and then married 18 months after that, so Ty was 7 when we got married.


Okay I’ve been wanting to ask you a question! You take sooo many pictures of you’re family what do you do with all of them? I’m struggling with what to do to preserve my family memories. Photo books, albums, scrapbooking, etc.?

Also I LOVE when you say print it BIG, I want to know how BIG? and where you hang these said BIG prints? LOL! I would love to see your photo layouts throughout the house!  OH Also…you promised us pictures/instructions on Teagan’s photo cube/blocks! Did you forget???? (I know you’re busy…but thanks for taking the time out to do this and for giving us a glimpse into your life, and so much family inspiration!)

Posted by: Sheena | June 05, 2008 at 08:50 AM

Oh wow, you have no idea!  I take so many more than I share.  I’ve been doing pretty good here lately with printing, which makes me happy.  I have 6 months of last year that haven’t been printed, yikes, I need to get that done.  My normal process is that anything I proof gets printed as a 4×6 and goes into an album.  Right now I’m just doing family albums.  I wish I had it in me to do separate albums for each kids, but my mind can’t go there, it overwhelms me.  I’d like to do yearly photo books for each one (more on this in a question below)…adding that to my to do list!  I print everything as a 4×6 and put it in an album because it then if it gets printed larger and hung in our house, I don’t feel guilty taking it out and replacing it down the road because it’s still represented in the album.

Ohhhh, I do love to print big.  And we’ll be doing a lot of that coming up as we start making our living area in our house pretty.  We bought some big beautiful frames at an auction recently and I need to fill them, big as in 40 inches plus, a big 34×34 square and a bunch of others.  I do also have a lot of 8×10 (which I don’t personally consider big) hung up in groups around the house, all with good sized matts around them.  I also have 11×14’s, 12×18’s, 12×12…but I don’t consider those to be all that big either.  The gallery wrap canvas’ we have are 16×20, and in the future I would hope that would be the smallest size hung on our walls.  I LOVE big photos.  I’ll be sharing the arrangements we have in our house soon.

The cubes, nope, I didn’t forget, I worked on them today…just for you guys.  I really should post about all my unfinished projects so you guys can light a fire under my butt.  I’ll post pics once I’m done with the last few final steps….swear.


Oh man, I could go on and on……..

I love your site, I love your work, I love your words (as I am a mom too and love to hear someone else feeling the way I do) By the way the cookie dough conversations is priceless!
When you first started out what did you charge?
What were some mistakes you made that you have fixed?
Best advice to an aspiring photographer?
I too would like to know what processing you do?
Your photographs are SO CRISP and CLEAN and CLEAR!  What is the secret!?
you are awesome for doing this!
thanks!!!  I know you are super busy so this means a lot to all of us blog stalkers!

Posted by: abbey | June 05, 2008 at 08:59 AM

Pricing – I have done a ton of research on pricing yourself for your particular market, which is very important in this business.  I strongly believe that if you have built your skills and your portfolio and you are business minded, then pricing shouldn’t be too difficult when you research your market.  It’s when you “aren’t ready” it gets tough.  Price yourself where you need to be “eventually” and then discount while you build your portfolio.  Otherwise it’s difficult to recover when you are ready.  I am certainly no pricing guru, but I strongly believe that not being priced correctly can depreciate the value of what we all do.

Mistakes – I’ve definitely changed the way I shoot, how I see things and getting things right in camera.  I also try not to crop in camera any more after it bit me a few times when needing more wiggle room in an image for gallery wraps, etc.  I wish I would have sat down with a seasoned pro and gotten some advice before going into business, both to critique my work and to give me a good dose of reality on what it takes to thrive in this business.  I have also put a lot of time into forms for my clients with the new business.  I’m super proud of them, I poured my heart and soul into the new info packets!  I wish I would have done them sooner!

Advice – Take your time, come into your own style and learn “the rules”.  Once you know em, it’s only then ok to break em.  Find inspiration, but put your own twist into it, be yourself.  Don’t rush, this photography thing is a journey, not a race.  Oh, and see beauty in little things, for me, it’s about the details and I can see those details much easier if I stop and take a big breathe 🙂

Processing – See above.

Secret – A good lens, L glass, love it.  And exposure.  Then the PS techniques mentioned above.


Hi! Can I ask what camera you started with? I’m ready to buy my first DSLR and I am really thinking of going with the Canon XTi. I’m also thinking of buying from a camera group/forum where they resell their equipment when they upgrade. Any forums or groups you’d recommend buying from? Thanks!!

Posted by: sarah | June 05, 2008 at 09:55 AM

The Nikon D50.  We still have it.  Ty shoots with it and it goes in my purse / diaper bag a lot.  Sad, but true.  I need a point and shoot.  I only purchase from Beach Camera or BH Photo and Video.  I once bought from another place and it was bad, bad, bad.  So I went running back to the two mentioned above, my safe, happy places.  And there I will stay.  I would however buy used equipment from another pro if the right opportunity came about.


Hi, Lyndsay!  Long time lurker, first time poster, here.  Fellow Louisianian, too!  🙂
Just two questions . . . I have three kids, too, so I know how limited your computer time is!  LOL!
I’d love to hear how you did the blurb book. It’s beautiful and making one like that for my children would be a wonderful project.  And how do you get the great shots like in the bluebonnet fields and in the recent "Quote of the Day" post??? I LOVE the lighting in those but need some pointers on just how to work that.

Posted by: Lisa | June 05, 2008 at 10:10 AM

I created the pages in PS (see question above).  I then uploaded using the Blurb software (free on their site) and it was super easy!

Bluebonnet and field photographs – Backlighting!!  Tough for me to get right for a long time and honestly, I only just now feel like I’m really starting to get it right.  I always shoot backlighting in manual, even with quick little toddlers.  I’ll be posting more about backlighting later.  Promise!


Wow Lyndsay, you have an amazing talent. I love everything about you. When I first came across everything you have went through with Hurricane Katrina on the nest, your story stuck with me. Now that I have a very high interest in photography, I stalk your blog and read it everyday. You’re a great mom and Taryn must just have one heck of a personality, I love hearing everything about her. As I am pregnant with our first, I love seeing your family grow and get lots of ideas from you. Everything from your BEAUTIFUL house to creative ideas, I’m in awe. Please just keep everything going and aspiring all of us.

I had some questions, but I think most people hit them already. I want to know, how did you learn? I know you first started right before hurrican katrina with Taryn?!? Right? Did you take classes, or was it just read online and learn as you go? Also, do you use cs3 or lightroom more? And why? Oh, I too, am DYING to know about the cubicle things in Teagan’s room….

Thanks, and blessings!

Posted by: Mindy | June 05, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Well, sorta.  Taryn was a month old when the storm hit.  We got our first DSLR around February of 2006 if I remember right.  Taryn was around 7 months old maybe?

No classes.  I studied and researched and stayed up all hours of the night (insert Jason snorting “she sure did” here).  The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.  When I first started using our camera, Jason looked at the images and said “Wow, did you know you could do that?”  I didn’t.  Composition came easy to me, but the technical side, I had to study.  And study a lot.

I have CS2 and Lightroom.  I use CS2 more.  I’ve never learned lightroom and have no good reason why not other than I get really set in my ways.  I am sure I’ll get a wild hair one day, learn it and love it.  It would likely speed up my workflow, you’d think that would be a motivator.  For some reason that’s just how I do things.

Photo cube pics coming soon, swear.


What did you do before kids?

You are one of the few women that I know that is a mom and has it all together. Most moms scare me, but you give me hope that mommy-world isn’t totally overwhelming and like a black hole that some women disappear into. I’m totally impressed by your wonderful mom-skills, but also your ability to peruse you career and keep on top of life outside of your kids. How do you do it? Why are you different than other mommies?

PS- Love the work, you do some great stuff!

Posted by: Amanda D | June 05, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I had quite a few very different careers.  My first real job out of school was working in the legal field.  Then when I had Ty, I was a stay at home Mom.  Then I had an amazing boss and co-workers when I was a single mom….couldn’t have done it without their love and support.  When Ty and I moved closer to my Mom when he was 4, I worked in mortgage lending and then later at a title company.  That work was stressful and I eventually left the field and worked as a VA Certifying Official for a University.  I loved the work, but not the employer.  There are still days I miss working with my students, many of whom were deployed and working on their degrees online from IRAQ.

Oh wow, thank you for the compliment.  I don’t think I’m that different from other mommies.  My husband would probably say that I do loose myself into the black hole of motherhood and the kids consume me sometimes.  I also think that I’m a whole lot more easygoing having 3 kids than I was when I had just one.  Busier, but by the time you get to your third, every little thing isn’t a big deal anymore.  Motherhood is humbling, just when you think you’re good at it, they throw you a curve ball.  I wish I could have settled into motherhood much sooner, cause I really do enjoy this.  Keeping your sense of humor is HUGE, otherwise, it’s likely the kids will eat you alive.  Totally kidding.  Sort of.

I never intended on having photography as a career, it just kind of happened.  I think the key to “having it all” is doing what you love.  My career doesn’t feel as much like work as it does a guilty pleasure.  My husband is jealous of how much I love what I do, cause I really do love it that much.  I think that’s the difference.


What did you do pre-photography? When you were first starting your business, did you keep a second job?

Posted by: MC | June 05, 2008 at 11:26 AM

See above.  No, I was staying at home with the kids and rebuilding our lives post hurricane Katrina.


In a couple of your recent posts you have talking about working on backlighting in your images and I think they are turning out amazing! Any tips that you learned or exercises that you did that you learned a lot from?

Posted by: MicheleLouise | June 05, 2008 at 11:29 AM

I’m going to do a separate post on backlighting very, very soon!  I’m hoping to have a blog guest come give us good juicy details 🙂


Do you only use natural light?

I love the style of your website and was curious if it’s through a template (and if you had to build it with HTML). Our current website is from a template through winklet and it’s so time consuming… looking for other alternatives. (My husband and I have a wedding photography business).

Keep up the awesome work and good luck with the grand opening of your business in Austin!

Posted by: Melissa | June 05, 2008 at 11:30 AM

As much as possible.  I do own a speedlight, which is great for snapshots at home at night or in low light situations.  I very rarely use it during a session.

Website – I have a Bludomain site called “Jinky”.  I’m dying for Jason to build me a site from scratch, but it’s going to take some convincing.  I’d like to add you should do your research on “Blu”….I’ve had limited problems with them that I won’t go into detail about, but it wouldn’t hurt to google before making a purchase, a lot of photogs have had problems with them.  I do not host with them and I wouldn’t recommend it based on the reviews I’ve read.


Hi, Lyndsay. Thank you so much for doing this. Despite that fact that you don’t think you offer much in the form of mentorship, I think that by maintaining this blog you’re not only speaking to potential and current clients, but you’re also opening yourself up to us fellow photographers who would offer up their right knee cap to have the skill you have. (I offer my knee cap because without my right arm I wouldn’t be able to hold my camera… haha!)

I struggle with coloring. Images in both color and black & white, I’m stuck. I don’t want to rely on actions to get the job done… I want to do it my way (and correct). Your b&w images are amazing, and I’d love to know how you get them so dreamy and delicious! 🙂

Posted by: Kelly | June 05, 2008 at 12:04 PM

I’m pretty set in my ways (have I mentioned that?!)  I have tried to do my own black and white conversions for years and they just don’t work as well or as quickly as the few actions I use the most.  A lot of photographers refuse to use actions and that’s ok.  I figure if someone is great at PS and willing to share their talent, why not?  They know more about it than I do and it works.  I use them sparingly and I always tweek them, so they feel like me and not the creator.  I love Brenda’s BW2 action and Jinky’s Light BW, it has several color layers so you can tweak it.  I gave up on doing my own BW conversions.  I love Brenda’s and use it the most, but always tweek it to fit the image.


How do you keep your house so clean and uncluttered. I love some of the moments that you catch around your house – especially those of taryn…if I caught hannah reading a book, playing with her babies or playing in her kitchen, she might look cute but the background would be a disaster! You inspire me!

Posted by: becky | June 05, 2008 at 12:14 PM


I’m patiently waiting anyone who knows me in real life to come in here and bust out a big BWAHAHAHAHA!  I’ve sworn friends like Alli to secrecy when it comes to just how messy my house is!  Seriously, I have three kids and a clutter hungry husband.  My house isn’t clean, I’m just good at kicking it out of the way before snapping a shot.  One of these days I’ll post a fun “what you see” vs. “the reality” so you guys can see our “real” house.  LOL!


Hey Lyndsay.  I don’t have any big questions.  Just wanted to see how YOU are doing. 🙂

Posted by: Mary Carstens | June 05, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Good Mary, thanks for asking!  For those that don’t know, Mary is an amazing designer and just completed the design for my new client thank you cards – they are gorgeous!  Mary is a rock star!


My questions revolve around how you do everything you do with a young nursing baby (I have a 2 1/2 month old son that I’m nursing and a two year old daughter, and I feel like I have very little free time to devote to learning more about photography). Is Teagan a good sleeper? Is he sleeping through the night yet? Do you take him with you on photo shoots or do you have sitters or a nanny? How do you have the energy with a two year old and a young baby plus a ten year old to do all that you do?

Just wondering because I too am impressed at all you’ve accomplished and your energy level with keeping up with your kids, house and photography business (and documenting it with your camera every step of the way). With my kids, most days I can’t even make it through the day without taking a nap. I love photography (I have a Canon Rebel XT and Speedlite) and am inspired by your work but my kids keep me so busy it seems like it will be a long time before I can get back into it. Any words of advice to keep me going?  Also, do you use Flickr?

Posted by: Ellie | June 05, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Teagan would be a good sleeper, if his sister didn’t wake him up constantly.  Either by using her outside voice, or to tell him something about Dora, or “just because he’s soooooo cute”.  Frustrating, yes.  Poor kid can barely get a moment of peace.  Especially with Ty home for summer and in and out allllll day long.

He sleeps great at night.  He’s down around 8:30 and only gets up once to nurse around 3:30 am and then down again until around 7:30 or 8:00 am.  I don’t mind the middle of the night feeding, maybe I’m just one of those crazy mommas.  Someday he’ll be big and won’t need me anymore, so I love it that he does now.  I get to cuddle with him and Jase gets up to go get him, so it’s not that bad.  Plus several naps a day, yeah, he’s a good sleeper, thankfully!

Nope, no nanny, he stays home with Daddy.  I only schedule sessions on evenings and weekends because that’s what works for my family.  The only exception is birth photography because babies come whenever they are good and ready.  In this case, Jason takes off to stay with the kids if it happens during the day/middle of the week/middle of the night type scenario.  I’ll also have to bring my pump or Jason will bring the baby to me when he’s ready to eat, depending on the situation.  I don’t like the pump and it’s my biggest complaint at the moment.

I don’t sleep a lot.  I think that stems from my single mother days.  I would spend all of Ty’s waking hours playing and interacting with him, then after he was in bed I would cook, clean, pay bills and do all my other duties.  It was overwhelming, but my body got used to getting little sleep.  I don’t require much.  And there are certain times of the day that I do tons of multi-tasking.  Usually when the kids are occupied with my husband or playing with one another.  For example, when I’m cooking dinner, I usually proof a few family pics or go through some blogs, play some music, send a few emails and load the dishwasher, all while cooking.  I love doing more than one thing at a time.  I am also pretty good about getting the kids to join in on whatever I am doing, put those kiddos to work!  They help me do household stuff like laundry, T helps me with the dishes a lot, etc.


Will you be my friend?   😉

Posted by: Sandra | June 05, 2008 at 12:50 PM

Yes, because I adore you.  😉


Ok…so my question is: When are you going to fly me out to Austin to play?  I could only imagine all the FUN we would have!!!

Posted by: Brianne | June 05, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Can you come today?!?!  Jason may be coming your way later this summer and I soooooo wish I could go along and hang out with you and Livvy!


I lied. I just thought of a question. I also have a Typepad blog. What setting do you have your blog on…what I am getting at…my columns are so much smaller than yours. I have it set to 2 columns, right. Or something like that. You? I love how wide yours is. Is it my banner? Is it too small?

Posted by: Mary Carstens | June 05, 2008 at 01:12 PM

I had to upgrade my account to Pro so that I could customize the CSS.  ITo make the change, go into Weblogs>Design>CSS Code

This is the code I used for the 2 columns right template:

.layout-two-column-right #container { width: 900px; }
.layout-two-column-right #alpha { width: 700px; }
.layout-two-column-right #beta { width: 200px; }

I played around with several combinations, and this one worked without messing up the columns.

My current blog header is sized at 865×319 (the latter number can change but make sure your width is at 865px when combining it with the above code.


I have a few!
#1 What did you get your mom and Jason’s mom for mother’s day?I remember one of your tweeter updates saying that you had "ordered something cool" so i’m dying to know!

#2 So you guys just "up and moved to Austin!" We would love to be brave like you guys and plant new roots somewhere but we are big chickens. How is it being away from your mom (I’m ubber close to mine too)? And starting all over in a brand new place?

#3 Kind of relating to #2, what does Jason do in Austin?

Posted by: Kimberly | June 05, 2008 at 01:24 PM

Blurb books!

It would have been hard for us to move away without a good reason.  We knew we wanted our kids to live outside of the hurricane zone.  We lost so much.  It was the second total loss for Ty and I who went through tropical storm Allison, and I just couldn’t do it again.  Being away from my mom is really, really hard.  But, we all know that we moved away because it was what was best for our family and our children.  I didn’t want to pass on the burden of Katrina to my kids.  I didn’t want them to have a “Katrina normal” that came to be where we lived…..I wanted them to have a real normal.

Jason works as a computer programmer in GIS (Geographic Information Systems).  He does maps and stuff.


You are such an inspiration! 🙂 I had to get the sucking up out of the way…hehe! My question is regarding the color intensity and clarity in your images…how do you do that?! My color always seems to lack that punch that yours (and others) have! Thanks!!

Posted by: Jennie | June 05, 2008 at 01:27 PM

Honestly, I miss Nikon color sometimes, but I do love my Canon.  Exposure is key to getting good color, getting it right in camera.  Underexposed images appear dark and trying to fix them in photoshop changes the color.  I struggled with under exposed images and yellow shadows for a long time.  Nail your exposure and it gets a whole lot easier to have great color in your images.

I also recommend doing your homework on color space.  I can tell you that there was a point I was ready to throw my computer out the window due to color space issues.  If I could have hired someone to come in and fix the issues I was having, I’d have paid big money for that service.  Make sure you are working in the same color space from start to finish (camera, ACR, PS, etc) Oh, and calibrate – that’s huge!  Gotta calibrate!

I personally like to proof my images to perfect and enhance skin tones and then add a little color to areas of the image.  I personally use Jinky’s "new color level 1" action on some images, but not all.  I have found the sponge tool set to saturate at a low opacity on a duplicate layer is a great way to have a lot of control over the color in your images!


One more question, what camera bag do you use?

Posted by: Jennie | June 05, 2008 at 01:39 PM

Totally embarrassed to answer this, but I presently use an old ratty big, laptop / computer type bag.  I really, really, really need a new one.  Like in the worst way possible.  It was on my Christmas list and I didn’t get a new one but I’ll add it to my birthday list this year….someone clue in my hubby ok?


I thought I asked my question but it’s gone! Oh well – here it is again. What’s your favorite lens that you own right now? What’s the lens on your wish list?

Posted by: Kerri | June 05, 2008 at 02:02 PM

My 50 mm 1.2 L USM is my “go to” lens.  It never fails me.  It’s tack sharp and I just love it.  I can’t even tell you how different it is than the regular 50 mm 1.8 I have for the Nikon.  There is no comparison.  Moped vs. Harley.  I also love my 24-70 mm 2.8 L because of the great focal range.  It’s not “as” reliable since Ty dropped it last summer, but it’s still a great lens and I use it a lot, especially lately for some reason.

I’m presently drooling over the 85 mm 1.2 L and the 70-200 2.8 L.  Oh and the 24 mm.  Yumm-o.


Hi! Long time lurker, first time commenter.
Where do you print your large prints? I live in Austin too and used to always use Holland photo. I went there today and the entire building is just gone. They must have closed and now I don’t know who to use. Thanks,

Posted by: Amanda | June 05, 2008 at 02:26 PM

I use WHCC (White House Custom Color).  For family snapshots and stuff I want to share with grandparents, etc., I use MPIX because I can send a link and share.  Like you, I’d love to find a great local printer.  Although I was in PostNet near our house the other day and saw a Canon printer the size of my couch….I must admit, I am intrigued by anything that size with a big Canon logo on it.  The sample images hanging on the wall next to it were impressive.


How do you manage to get your husband and older son in the photos? DH HATES to have his photo taken by anyone other than a pro and 13 yr. old step son started the same thing. Because of this, there are NO photos of DH with our son and few of DSS and son together. To top it all off, I can’t get anyone to even get ME with my toddler.

Posted by: Karen | June 05, 2008 at 02:39 PM

I just asked my husband to answer this questions and he said “my wife is a pro”  LOL!  Honestly, I just expect it.  Kinda like I expect the kids to brush their teeth.  Being photographed has become a part of their lives and we often joke that when they grow up and move out they will wonder why the papparazi doesn’t follow them around anymore.  It also helps when I’m working that I photograph other people and get it out of my system and stalk my family a little less.  They like me working!  Ty avoids the camera the most, even more than Jason.  I wish I had some suggestions for you though.  In the beginning I just ignored their complaints and kept shooting, eventually, they got over it.


My question is about your fab canvases. I want to get some honeymoon landscape shots printed, but I don’t know where to go to get them cheap. Do you have any suggestions?

Posted by: Deanna | June 05, 2008 at 03:20 PM

I use a pro vendor (Pixel2Canvas)and honestly believe that you get what you pay for – P2C ROCKS!!!!!  That said, I have tried out quite a few different non-pro vendors in the past and the top couple were WHCC, MPIX and Canvas on Demand.


A while back you post a picture of Taryn and her new backpack.  Can you provide the details of where you got it.


Posted by: Adrienne | June 05, 2008 at 03:56 PM

My mom bought it at a local store but you can find lots of them HERE.


Hey Lyndsay,
I thoroughly enjoy lurking around and reading your blog.  I am so happy that Ty’s picture won the contest!

Anyway, my questions is also about workflow. What is your typical workflow like. Especially for your gorgeous black and white pictures. They are fantastic and your conversions and just spot on! Please share! LOL!

Posted by: Tiffany | June 05, 2008 at 04:54 PM

See above post about workflow and Brenda’s BW2 conversion.


I am dying to know where you got that rug in Taryn’s room and the dimensions of it!! Please share.

p.s. we met way back on the knot days when planning our weddings so I remember your pics of Ty back then and way before you got your business started. He is so big now, wow!

Posted by: Gina | June 05, 2008 at 06:15 PM – you can see it HERE and we ordered the largest size.  Shipping wasn’t bad at all either, less than $15 if I remember right.  That thing is comfortable too…..I think we’ve all slept on it (except for Ty, he’s not a random sleeper) at some point.


i am new to the blog world, and trying to get my groove on with settings, lists, and blogs. My question is what is your blog workflow? do you tag pics for use later, or do you post after each session?

Posted by: melissa | June 05, 2008 at 08:34 PM

My dirty little secret….I sometimes hoard blog posts.  I usually have a few in my back pocket for later use in case I get really busy, but its always something I want to blog within the week.  I usually proof a bunch of photos that will get me through a few days of the week and then add in a few as we go.  I don’t like to miss days, blogging is my therapy and gift to my children as it documents their lives.  I sooooo wish I could go back and read my mother’s thoughts and experiences from when I was little.  Sometimes I will blog more than once a day if something new comes up or I’m productive and want to share.  Then there are days I’m looking for something to blog and come up with nothing.  Totally depends.  It really isn’t all that time consuming though, maybe 5-10 minutes a day (well, except for today!!!)

As for blogging client images, I usually post a sneak peek within a few days of their session but before the image gallery is released to them (which is generally within 2 weeks of the session).


Okay, 1 more:

I have a blog and can’t figure out how to get a great header like you. I have photoshop elements, but don’t know where to begin in creating a header. Any suggestions.


Posted by: Adrienne | June 05, 2008 at 09:44 PM

I think it really depends on what blog company you host with because that determines what size it needs to be and how you upload it to your blog .  If you use Typepad, I can help, otherwise, I’ve totally wiped all things blog related with Blogger out of my mind (any old timers remember my Blogger days?).  If anyone wants to post Blogger instructions I’ll be happy to add them into this post.

For Typepad users, just search the help menu for “header” and it will pop up with the dimensions you need to use when creating a new image in PS or PSE (unless you alter the CSS, in which case, see post above with the question asked by Mary).  Create a new image with those dimensions, drag and drop your image of choice onto the new one and then add text/boarder, etc.  Then as long as you have an upgraded account and can control your design you can add it into typepad under “custom design”.


Hi Lindsay!
If you’re still taking Q’s I have one, is there anything about the Canon 5D you don’t like (besides the price tag)? I’ve heard people (well just Ken Rockwell who’s blog I also stalk) complain about the LCD. I tried out the Nikon D300 in the store today and my oh my was that 3 inch LCD niiiice (with Live View)!! Oh and your fave lens?? (I guess that was technically 2 questions and a couple of random thoughts!)

Thanks soooo much
Mary V

Posted by: Mary V | June 05, 2008 at 09:50 PM

I don’t hate the LCD on the 5D, probably because I’m used to the fact that it’s mildly (in my opinion) unreliable.  I rarely delete shots in camera though.  I keep it all, just because you never know.  I would say in the beginning, the weight of it really bothered me.  I use a battery grip and when you combine that with the heavy L Glass and sometimes a speedlight, it’s easy to get a backache in the beginning.  I don’t hate the placement of the focal point button, but it’s not very comfortable for me.  Otherwise I love it.


I’ve got another one, too. Have you and Jason ever discussed how old Ty will need to be before he starts dating? Seems he’s getting a lot of attention from the girls lately 🙂

Posted by: MC | June 05, 2008 at 09:57 PM

No, and you are evil for asking!  Can’t think about it, don’t want to talk about it and I’m just going to sit here with my fingers in my ears singing LALALALALALALA and move onto the next question.


OK….a non-photography question.  What is the sneakiest thing you ever did that your Mom doesn’t know about?

Posted by: Gee Gee | June 05, 2008 at 11:34 PM

Ohhhhhhhh, I thought MC was evil for the above question but GeeGee is even more evil!!!  Are you suuuuure you really want to know?!  Cause usually when I answer these types of questions you tell me you didn’t need to know.  But, you asked!  When I was around 15 I took your car out for a spin around the block while you and Larry were at the movies.  No license and I had no idea how to drive a stick shift then.  You should have seen me trying to get it in and out of the garage.  Me and my hypochondriac tendencies, I swore I had whiplash when I got home and went straight to bed.


How much sleep do you get a night?! My guess would be that you don’t sleep as much as other people, you are so productive!

Posted by: Kelly | June 06, 2008 at 09:35 AM

More now than in the past.  I used to sleep around 4-5 hours a night.  I get so sleepy when I’m nursing though and sleep a good 5-8 hours per night right now, sometimes less, depending.  Jason gets up earlier than I do, usually gets up with Taryn and fixes her breakfast and I kinda feel guilty about that.  But Teagan is a big morning eater, so we lay around and he nurses while T and Jason eat/get dressed.  Isn’t nursing a great reason/excuse to lay around?!  I took 3-4 hour naps with Taryn almost every day when I was pregnant with Teagan.  But I can’t get the two little ones to nap at the same time, so for now, naps for me are out.  But that’s probably why I’m sleeping later.  Anyone else like that?….Sleepy when you’re nursing.  Any other time in my life I can survive on very little sleep and be happy.


You are an inspiration, when I read your postings I say to myself "I can make it! Having 2 kids is wonderful and I have to enjoy the moment" I can feel that you have such a positive attitude towards life.
My question is:  How would you print (books) your family pictures: would it be by child, by year, family all togheter? themes? what do you recommend?

Posted by: Valeria | June 06, 2008 at 10:23 AM

My ideal and what I’m presently doing are very different.  Go figure.  Right now, everything gets printed as a 4×6 and goes into a family album.  And I only order one family copy of any books I make.  My ideal would be to have a family album and then do a yearly coffee table book for each child, ordering two copies, one for me and then one for them to take when they leave home.


Ok here are my 2 questions…

In the I am addicted to him post where did you get that hat?!?

Also what processing did you use on the photos?  Was there a specific action?

Posted by: Joey | June 06, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Hanna Anderson….I have it in several colors and several sizes.  It’s so cute!

Those photos were meant to be a little test for a pocket of light in the walkway in my livingroom.  But the little monkey is just so darn cute I kept the test photos and fell in love with them.  As for processing, its a mish mosh of stuff.  First I used Jinky’s “Lighten Up” action, reduced the opacity, then a little Lilyblue "honey" and then I tweeked it to play off the yellow tones a bit.


Love this Lyndsay. How fun! My question: with the slideshow you posted today of Meredith, did you purchase the rights to use that song or is it ok to use it without doing so b/c it is just a slideshow and not on your actual site? I’m having such a hard time finding royalty free music that I actually like.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Kim Zay | June 06, 2008 at 02:23 PM

I purchased the rights to use the music from Frances England.  She’s amazingly talented.  And while we’re on this topic, if you are selling a product, you can only use royalty free music unless you have permission from the artist.  Of course copyright laws are complicated, but you can’t go wrong with sites like, and


I second the question on your workflow. Your pictures always have a clean, fresh look that I love. What was your career before photography and what gave you the push to do photography full time?

Posted by: Scarlett | June 06, 2008 at 04:39 PM

See above for all!


Okay, a couple things:  (by the way your work is B-E-A-utiful!!!!!!  Thank you for posting for the lurkers out there!)

1. For outdoor photos, I know to place the subject in the shade, and the edge of the shade is best, but where should the subject be facing (ie. the sun behind them, in front, etc.) in order to get all that nice light reflection in their eyes? I’ve found I can get great light in my daughters eyes when i shoot her on our screened in porch but I can’t figure it out when I’m all the way outside.

2. What do you know about the Tamron 28-75mm 2.8? that’s what i have but I’ve struggled with getting super crisp eyes. I focus on the eyes, but maybe I’m not focusing quite right. I do the whole focus on the eyes, then move the camera to frame the shot, then click. I have a feeling that’s not best though. So my question is how to achieve those super crisp eyes.

In my opinion if you have sharp eyes, the rest is gravy! Sort of. Oh, and can you tell me about your Blurb experience. It’s taking me FORVER to complete mine. Did you use "autoflow"?

Thanks sooooooooo much for this opportunity to pick your brain. I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE comments on my blog if you ever have 2 free hands for more than 2 seconds when you’re exhausted! ( and my photography website is Thanks so much!

Posted by: Christie Sweet | June 06, 2008 at 05:08 PM

I wish I had some really good, technical advice for you, but it really depends on the individual location and settings.  Are you shooting in manual?  What are you metering off of?  This is a tough question for me to answer as each lighting situation is different and it also depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the photograph (depth of focus, etc.) on where you should start with your settings.  Sorry, I know this isn’t a very good answer.  My best advice is to shoot in manual so that it can be properly exposed under challenging lighting conditions.  See, I’m not a very good teacher, I am a hands on person, I could show you how I would place the subject and shoot better than I could tell you under a hypothetical situation!  This is why I have chosen to mentor locals 🙂

Sorry, I know nothing about that lens, it’s not one that I own or ever used.  I highly recommend using your focal points on your camera if you are having trouble focusing then recomposing.  I am horribly guilty of recomposing more than I should.  The focal point button on the 5D is the one Canon function that’s doesn’t fit me and I struggle with it.  But focus and recompose works for me, it doesn’t for everyone, so if you are having trouble I would select your focal points manually, rather than recomposing or allowing the camera to do it for you.  You might also want to consider Back Button Focusing.  Just google it along with the model of your camera and you will find some instructions – I would do it for you and hyperlink, but I don’t know what kind of camera you use!

I did not use autoflow, I added each page individually after I created them in PS.  For the pages created in the software, I just added the pics I wanted individually.


I haven’t read the other comments so I apologize if this is a duplicate question but here goes:

How do you present image galleries to clients? Do you meet with clients for a consultation first or do you just give them the link and password to their gallery and let them do it independently?

Also, in a more recent post you shared a link to a client slideshow. Is that through your Jinky site with Bludomain (we have the same one…great minds think alike!)? I love the idea and am trying to figure out how it was done. Thanks!

Posted by: Annie | June 06, 2008 at 07:42 PM

Ohhhh, good question!  I do several things.  First, a few days after the session I post a teaser on my blog.  Once their images area ready I do several things, first, I send them a link to an online slideshow set to music that I create with ShowIt Web Pro.  I also send them a link and password to their online gallery set up through my website that includes a shopping cart so they can select their package and products.  I firmly believe in being 100% available to my clients during the ordering process.  What is the point of having beautiful images if you’re unsure of what to order or what to do with them?  I offer photo wall designs and do a lot of consulting on what to print, how to print and offer suggestions on how to display them.  When I was in business in Louisiana, I did it several different ways, trying out different things and seeing what was effective.  If the client lived out of town, I did online proofing, if they were close, I did in person proofing, but that was when I was selling a la carte prints, which I no longer do.  I sell digital high resolution images in packages with the new business.

No, you are referring to a slideshow created through ShowIt Web.  Worth every single penny.


Oooh thought of a couple more (this is fun!) Where’d you wind up ordering your business shirts from? What’s your client photo workflow consist of? What settings do you use to sharpen your photos for print? Do you run an action or just certain usm settings (and what are they?)? And where do you get your inspiration? Can’t wait to read all the answers!

Posted by: Kim Zay | June 06, 2008 at 09:14 PM

Land’s End business outfitters – you can add your logo and everything.  Pretty snazzy.

Workflow – see above!

Sharpening – This depends on several things, mostly, what camera and lens I’ve used for the photo.  The D50 and 50 mm 1.8 require much higher numbers for sharpening than my 5D with USM L Glass.  I do not run an action, my current numbers are:  52/4/0.  Not sure why, but these numbers seem to work for me.

People that inspired me very early on….
Anna Jones, Erin Cobb, Frederique Maplethree, Holly Brimhall, Amanda Andrews

And a few more I’ve come to really admire….

Marta Locklear, Tara Whitney, Jinky, Stacy/Bluecandy, The Image Is Found, Amber Nichole.  I’m sure there are so, so many more.  I also love checking out blogs if they have babies the same ages as mine.

Oh, and my childhood friend Heather.  She’s a wonderful person, a wonderful mom of three and someone whom I really admire.  We became friends when we were not much older than Taryn, her mom babysat me after school and fed us peanut butter and pickle sandwiches (which I still eat to this day).  Heather and I walked to school together, had sleepovers together, brushed each other’s hair, played transformers and dolls and she taught me how to spit (HA!  I knew you’d love that!).  I wish I had a photo of us together as kiddos…cause we were cute, if I do say so myself.  Maybe she has one??  I really wish we were closer because I would LOVE to capture her family with my camera.  Even though I’m not nearly as good at keeping in touch as she is, her faith and her kindness inspire me.

On the topic of personal inspiration, my mom.  She’s the strongest person I’ve ever met.


okee dokee, I don’t think these were asked before, but if they were, sorry!

1. Do you ever just print out some 4X6 snapshots? and if so, where? I get pics that look great on screen, and then print them out wherever and they never look all that good.

2. How do you handle storage of pics? and are you really good at deleting the ones that aren’t that good? I ask b/c I take a ton of pics (beware of this Mom with a camera!), and I have so much trouble deleting any pics of my girls but my computer I believe is starting to slow down from the weight of too many pics on the hard drive. (I organize them with PSE4)

Hope the SlingEzee works well for you and Teagun!

Posted by: nanann | June 07, 2008 at 03:55 PM

I store one month worth of photos on my computer at a time.  But I back those up too.  I have two external hard drives.  One 500 GB and one 250 GB.  The 500 houses all my pics and current client pics that have not been archived onto disks.  The 250 one houses my computer backup.  I also have a case of disks that hold client archives and some of my old raw files.  I do pretty good at rating my images and deleting anything under a 3 star in Bridge.

Oh, and we LOVE the sling – THANK YOU!


Hello….not on a photog swing, but rather more personal- what religion do you practice…if any? How did you meet your husband? What was your wedding song? What happened to Ty’s father? I see he has the last name Stradtner, so I assume he’s been adopted….?

Your work is amazing, your seem like the best mother and so on the ball. You are so creative and articulate. Oh….and when is Jamacia!!?? Was it really all expenses paid? Can the whole family go?
Great post, Ask me anything… seem like a great person!

Posted by: Jeannine | June 07, 2008 at 09:06 PM

I am Baptist and Jason was raised Catholic but has gone to a non-denominational church in his adult life.  We are presently searching for a new church home.

How did we meet?  We were next door neighbors and have a great love story.  I promise to tell it one day.

Our wedding song was Love of My Life by Jim Brickman and Michael W. Smith.  Well, that is what played during our first dance.  But we had tons of music we hand picked for our reception dinner.  We still play the CD almost every time we ride in the car.  Love it.

Ty’s father left us when Ty was around a year old.  I woke up one morning and he was gone.  My whole world changed very quickly.  We were divorced later that year.  He took his own life about 4 years ago.  That event was the single most difficult thing I have ever had to face.  Honestly, it haunts me.

Kevin saw Ty only a handful of times after he left us.  Prior to Kevin’s death, we had agreed that Jason would adopt Tyler after he and I got married.  The adoption was finalized about 2 weeks after Taryn was born in 2005.  And a few weeks after that, Hurricane Katrina hit us.  Yeah, it was a busy month!

Jamaica!?  Not sure yet!  We need to pick a date!!  All expenses paid for two people (trip, airfare/resort stay).  Our whole family is going and we will pay the difference.  Oh, and we can’t wait!!


And last but not least, Joy’s question that started it all….my list of preferred vendors:

Prints, I love WHCC but sometimes use MPIX for snapshots and family stuff.

Canvas, I’m a Pixel2Canvas girl all the way.  Roxanne rocks!  Their customer service is above and beyond phenomenal.

Albums, I love J.Lee albums and CD/DVD cases!

Music, great royalty free sites include, and (if you know of others, please fill me in ok?!)

Slideshows, Showit Web Pro.  Photodex/ProShowGold drives me crazy that it’s not Mac compatible.  Who doesn’t like Mac.  Geesh.

Gear, I buy from and


Woooooo-wee.  Record for longest blog post ever?!  And not one single photo…sad sad sad.

Here is one out of my not-so-secret-anymore-stash….I was gonna title it "The perfect height" later on this week…LOL!


Thanks to everyone for your wonderful questions…..what on earth will I blog about now… guys know everything about me!  HA!