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10.10 February 2017

February 9, 2017
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m o n t h  s e v e n

I have been so excited to share with this talented group of ladies this photography project that takes place in a monthly basis. On the 10th of every month, we will document our lives with 10 images recently taken. We will link each other’s blogs to share a little bit of our lives with all of you. So after checking my post out, do not forget to go through the round to see the amazing work of my talented friends =)

What is special this month? My nephew who I is like a son to me. He came to visit for the first time by himself and we have been spoiling him since the day he arrived. It was yesterday when he was a baby and held him in my arms. Months later I left Argentina because my work send me to assignments to different corners of the world. I went to Brazil, Mexico and USA. Traveling for months and coming to Buenos Aires a few weeks here and there. I loved my job and not knowing, I “was being trained” to learn to live apart of who I love the most: my family. I saw him growing up through photographs. I hugged and kissed him once a year for so many years but I have loved him like my own kid. I have missed him with my soul and body and I had no choice to learn to be far away from him celebrating his success at the distance and his pains in silence. Not being able to do much but always praying and thinking of him. This month my tens are for him. Celebrating his 17 years and feeling proud for the young man he became. This is Augusto.

After seeing checking these images out, join me going through the round starting with Charlotte. Her work is beautiful and her tens are always so inspiring!

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Thank you for stopping by!

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CrisStephens | Workshops in February 2017

January 24, 2017
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2 0 1 7

Next Dates: February 5th and February 12th

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f o u r  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  w o r k s h o p

2 0 1 7

“Creating Art from the Simplest Things – B&W photography” with Cris Stephens

.Duration: 4 weeks.  Cost: $250             Next Class: Feb. 5th – March 5th.

enrollment is NOW OPEN through PayPal (*)

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“When creating art and capturing moments that are important to me, I make sure I pay attention to all the elements that are silent but can speak so loud in photographs. Things that the naked eye can miss but that are so strongly part of the story being told. This workshop is planned to share with you all what I do when working in my black and whites. From the moment of the shoot till the moment of the post processing. Giving you the tools to create strong monochromatic captures. Being able to translate the simplicity into a piece of art. From the simplest things and in the most ordinary places”. Cris Stephens 2017 | Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA.

Walk away from this workshop with information related to how can light speak in the image, how external elements can bring variety and drama in a capture. How to work on your intentions while shooting and while editing. Walk away with photoshop actions to edit strong black and whites, enhance light and shadows, bring dimension and work with detail. Develop skills that can make a big difference when capturing personal images but also when working with clients.

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“I have throughly enjoyed this workshop with Cris. I felt I had reached a plateau with my black and white images and ,after this workshop, I have fallen in love with Black and whites all over again. Cris is one of the most enthusiastic teachers I have had the pleasure to study with. She not only holds your hand but she encourages you to embrace your craft. Her commitment to helping you grow is beautiful. I am grateful for all of her hard work during this workshop. Thank you so much” Cindy Cavanagh  2016 of the LongWayHome

Feel welcome  to read more testimonials from past participants and to check the content of this workshop. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to let me know.

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(*) if interested to enroll, please send me an email to crisstephensphotography@gmail.com and I will send you the invoice to pay via PayPal. Spots are limited. Thank you!

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t w o  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  w o r k s h o p

2 0 1 7

“Bringing life to all the grays in between” with Cris Stephens

.Duration: 2 weeks.  Cost: $130              Next Class: Feb. 12th – Feb. 26th

SOLD OUT as of Feb. 7th – Next Class will be in March.

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This B&W editing workshop is put together with the goal to bring through the editing process those “flat” black and white images alive and to be able to  create a three dimensional feeling, where textures and details are protagonists of the stories being told. This is what I call “bringing life to all the grays in between”. I created this “one to one” concept to be just “you and me”. To be able to connect with you and your work during these two weeks. Adjust to your editing needs, and work with your editing strengths and weaknesses.  During these two weeks we will work on how to make light pop and how to work with shadows to make them speak in pictures. We will work on how to enhance light in natural ways in post processing through what I named the “cross” “half moon” and “X” techniques. Working on transitions to make editing adjustment look as natural as possible. We will work on how to bring all the details alive and make our audience see what we want them to see. “Intentions” is the key word for me. I will teach you how to work with intentions in the editing process. It meaning and the power that “intentions” have when it comes to transform your straight out of camera’s. This class is offered for who wants to bring their black and white’s to “the next level” focusing on the editing process.  All my secrets, tools and techniques will be shared here and I can not wait to start!

Feel welcome to check the content of this workshop and to contact me if you have any questions.

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“When I saw this workshop being offered I had missed the first run and was excited to put my name down for the second time it was going to be offered. I’m so glad I didn’t think twice before registering. I have always been a color photographer and edited my B&W images without much brush work. Cris has taught me to study the image I have in front of me and create a customized edit according to my intended message. Cris is an fantastic teacher. She explained her process step by step in a very clear way. She went above and beyond editing by going through her thought process as she’s editing every step of the way. The structure of the workshop being one-on-one was so unique that it eliminated all other visual feed which made the interaction more focused and to the point. Her workshop material and content is excellent and very organized and above all this she is the kindest person to be taught by! ” Reem Alshaikh 2017

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(*) if interested to enroll, please send me an email to crisstephensphotography@gmail.com and I will send you the invoice to pay via PayPal. Spots are limited.

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Twenty Sixteen is almost over

December 31, 2016
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s a y i n g  g o o d b y e

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Every year I become very nostalgic when the 31st arrives. I think about all what we lived in that year that is getting to an end. I feel the kids are growing up way too fast and I find ways in my mind to slow down the years that pass like if they were months.

I do thank a lot. I thank a lot to God for all the blessings that always, are so many. Twenty sixteen gave me some of the hardest moments of my life. It was tough but all ended up fine so I just have the bitter taste of the journey when those events happened. I am ready for the year to be over but also, I am ready to thank for all the good things that happened that for any means, they were forgotten and left in the shade due to other stuff.

I will be very brief: Thank you God for our health, for my family safety, for our unconditional friends, for the love we share, for the work that did not abandoned us and for so many other things. Thank you to my photographer friends, participants of my workshops, and for every person that loves what I do and has shown me their support. Even in moments when I feel nobody is on the other side of the screen, there is always love coming back and my heart is so thankful for that.

Big love to all and I wish you a new year full of good things to you and your family. Besos, Cris.

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Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Felices Fiestas – Happy Holidays

December 24, 2016
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t h e  ma g i c  o f  c h r i s t m a s

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Once again Christmas arrived way too fast but also, we enjoyed every second of it.  Navidad is one of my favorite times of the year. It is full of magic fed by the power of faith. Love to see my kids smile and the family getting all together.

This year we are blessed to be with our best friends. Friends that shared so much with us in the last ten years. Years where family was far away but the became aunt and uncle of my kids, best friends of mine and my husband. Unconditional love that has been present even when you got separated again by the tricks of destiny. Godparents to my kids and so many more beautiful words that only can describe them.

With my heart I thank every each of you that have stopped by my humble site during 2016. Thank you for always being there. Besos, Cris.

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1 0 . 1 0 d e c e m b e r 2 0 . 1 6

December 9, 2016
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m o n t h  s i x

I have been so excited to share with this talented group of ladies this photography project that takes place in a monthly basis. On the 10th of every month, we will document our lives with 10 images recently taken. We will link each other’s blogs to share a little bit of our lives with all of you. So after checking my post out, do not forget to go through the round to see the amazing work of my talented friends =)

This month my plan was to work around Christmas theme. But this year, beginning of December surprised me with tons of work. I launched my “bringing the life to all the grays in between” class and I have been happily busy with that. Plus my record in photo shoots that made me ultra busy with all the edits. I do not complain at all but truth is, I have gone to sleep very late every night to make sure all my clients receive my best and I have been so busy since beginning of November that I had to leave personal photography projects on the side. Yesterday was the day were I planned to work on my December 10-10 project and it was impossible. I was very close to say “I will skip this month” when I realized that I had already my ten ready to go! I realized that here I am to document my monthly tens and what better way to show you “december 10-10”! than my  c l i e n t s  s h o o t s. I had more shoots than ten so here I picked one of each and share some of the moments that touched my heart from the moment of the capture to the moment of the edit =).  Thank you to all my amazing clients.  Special thanks to all my clients in Houston that when you knew I was coming for a weekend, you made a two days trip become four days long and you gave me the chance to work with you again. And even more special Thanks to my new clients. I always LOVE to meet amazing people. So it has been so great and I feel so blessed and thankful right now * big heart *

After seeing this, do not stop here. Join me going through the round starting with Evelyn. Her work is beautiful and her tens are always so inspiring!

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l i v e  &  l o v e

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c a p t u r e  &  r e m e m b e r

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h a p p y  h o l i d a y s

2 0 1 6 – 2 0 1 7

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December’s News | CrisStephensPhotography

December 6, 2016
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T W E N T Y  S E V E N T E E N  C L A S S E S

classes-both

t w o  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  c l a s s

“Bringing life to all the grays in between” with Cris Stephens

.Duration: 2 weeks.  Cost: $130              Next Class: Jan. 8th – Jan. 22nd.

enrollment is NOW OPEN through PayPal (*)

class for photographers

click here for more info

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f o u r  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  w o r k s h o p

“Creating Art from the Simplest Things – B&W photography” with Cris Stephens

.Duration: 4 weeks.  Cost: $250             Next Class: Jan. 15th – Feb. 12th

enrollment is NOW OPEN through PayPal (*)

class for photographers

click here for more info

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t w o  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  c l a s s 

C O M I N G  S O O N

“First steps in editing – B&W oriented” with CrisStephens

.Duration: 2 weeks.  Cost: $130              Starting TBD.

enrollment is CLOSED

class for beginners

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(*) If interested to enroll please send me an email to crisstephensphotography@gmail.com so I can send you an invoice with the pay pal link for you to proceed with payment. Thank you for your interest in my photography. Can’t wait to have the chance to work together!

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four weeks one-one online b&w workshop

December 6, 2016
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f o u r  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  w o r k s h o p

2 0 1 7

“Creating Art from the Simplest Things – B&W photography” with Cris Stephens

.Duration: 4 weeks.  Cost: $250             Next Class: April 2017

enrollment is NOW OPEN through PayPal (*)

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“When creating art and capturing moments that are important to me, I make sure I pay attention to all the elements that are silent but can speak so loud in photographs. Things that the naked eye can miss but that are so strongly part of the story being told. This workshop is planned to share with you all what I do when working in my black and whites. From the moment of the shoot till the moment of the post processing. Giving you the tools to create strong monochromatic captures. Being able to translate the simplicity into a piece of art. From the simplest things and in the most ordinary places”. Cris Stephens 2016 | Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA.

Walk away from this workshop with information related to how can light speak in the image, how external elements can bring variety and drama in a capture. How to work on your intentions while shooting and while editing. Walk away with photoshop actions to edit strong black and whites, enhance light and shadows, bring dimension and work with detail. Develop skills that can make a big difference when capturing personal images but also when working with clients.

Feel welcome to read the testimonials related to this workshop. Thank you for stopping by, Cris.

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(*) if interested to enroll, please send me an email to crisstephensphotography@gmail.com and I will send you the invoice to pay via PayPal. Spots are limited. Thank you!

 

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“o n e  –  o n e”

What does “one to one” mean?  During this workshop, I would like to have a one to one relationship as teacher – student. The platform to be used will be a Facebook group just for my student and I where we will discuss and talk about his/her images and his/her assignments’ questions and inquiries. There will be a constant communication where I will be able to assist my participants individually.  The student can ask me questions and I will be answering and preparing my CC Videos right away. It will be a black and white workshop but also, each student will receive my direct mentorship related to their own monochromatic work. My goal is for each student to get the most out of these four weeks. From the material, the videos and from me.

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c o n t e n t   o f   t h e  c l a s s

w e e k  o n e
Introductory PDF and 5 intro videos.
40 pages PDF material: Close ups, subject-camera connection, “hands that talk”.
8 – Course videos: behind the scenes and editing in black and white videos.
Week 1 assignment with personalized CCVideos.
Week 1 recorded class.
Week 1 Q&A scheduled chat.
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w e e k  t w o
30 pages PDF material: How to put together diptychs and triptychs. How to couple images to convey your story
2– Course videos: Editing and putting together a diptych “the pair”.
Week 2 assignment with personalized CCVideos.
Week 2 recorded class.
Week 2 Q&A scheduled chat.
BONUS ASSIGNMENT 1: capturing skies in black and white.
14 pages PDF material: Capturing skies and editing in black and white. Making the ski protagonist of the story. How to shoot and how to post process them.
2– Course videos: Editing skies in black and white. What to consider. What to avoid.
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w e e k  t h r e e
50 pages PDF material: external elements that bring so much to black and white images. How to work with: Shadows, Silhouettes, Reflections, Distortions, Textures, Movement and others.
6– Course videos: behind the scenes and editing in black and white.
Week 3 assignment with personalized CCVideos.
Week 3 recorded class.
Week 3 Q&A scheduled chat.
BONUS ASSIGNMENT 2: creating in camera blur. Focusing in shutter speed and having fun.
PDF material: what to consider and examples.
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w e e k  f o u r
20 pages PDF material: shooting in one location and creating variety in your final shots. Creating different feelings with he usage of different perspective and angles, different lenses and moving around.
2 Course videos: behind the scenes.
Week 4 assignment with personalized CCVideos.
Week 4 recorded class.
Week 4 Q&A scheduled chat.
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M a t e r i al

150 Page PDF Workbook
18 Videos

Personalized CCVideos.
Four recorded classes with Cris.

F r e e b i e s

3 sets of CSP black & white photoshop actions
R e q u i r e m e n t s

Knowledge of shooting manual is a plus but not a must
Cris will edit in Photoshop and ACR. Must own or have this program available to get the most out of the editing tutorials. If you would like to see me editing in ACR and PS but you are interested to do yours in another software, you are also welcome to do so. I will be CCing in your final edited images and working on your SOOC’s.

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T h a n k   y o u
crisstephensphotography@gmail.com

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two weeks one-one online editing workshop

December 6, 2016
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t w o  w e e k s   o n e – o n e   o n l i n e  w o r k s h o p

2 0 1 7

“Bringing life to all the grays in between” with Cris Stephens

.Duration: 2 weeks.  Cost: $130              Next Class: Feb 12th 2017.

enrollment is NOW OPEN through PayPal (*)

>>>

This B&W editing workshop is put together with the goal to bring through the editing process those “flat” black and white images alive and to be able to  create a three dimensional feeling, where textures and details are protagonists of the stories being told. This is what I call “bringing life to all the grays in between”. I created this “one to one” concept to be just “you and me”. To be able to connect with you and your work during these two weeks. Adjust to your editing needs, and work with your editing strengths and weaknesses.  During these two weeks we will work on how to make light pop and how to work with shadows to make them speak in pictures. How to enhance light in natural ways in post processing through my techniques (“cross” “half moon” and “X” techniques). We will work on how to bring all the details alive and make your audience see what you want them to see. “Intentions” is the key word for me. I will teach you how to work with intentions in the editing process. What does it mean and the power that it has when it comes to transform your straight out of camera’s. This workshop is offered for who wants to bring their black and white’s to “the next level”.  All my secrets, tools and techniques will be shared here and I can not wait to start!

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(*) if interested to enroll, please send me an email to crisstephensphotography@gmail.com and I will send you the invoice to pay via PayPal. Spots are limited.

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Thank you very much!

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>Photos by Cri

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w e l c o m e

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“o n e  o n  o n e”

What does “one to one” mean?  This is a class where I want to have a one to one relationship as teacher – student. The platform to be used will be a Facebook group just for my student and I where we will discuss and talk about his/her images only. I will share all the material, videos and ps actions via dropbox and we will be communicating via the FB group during these two weeks. The student can ask me questions and I will be answering and preparing my CC Videos right away. It will be an editing class but also, each student will receive my direct mentorship related to the work presented. My goal is for each student to get the most out of these two weeks. From the material, the videos and from me.

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c o n t e n t  o f  t h e  w o r k s h o p

  • Three sets of Actions:
    • CrisStephens Photoshop Actions
      • B&W tools
      • Dramatic B&W
      • B&W variety package.

Note: these are my actions and are the only tools I use when working in my black and white edits. All these actions are the ones also given to my participants in my workshop “Creating Art from the Simplest Things”.>

  • Material:
    • Introduction section about how I shoot. What I do and what I consider. How I prepare myself for the editing process that is coming.
    • Exposing and cropping in camera. Adjusting in post processing.
    • How to work on intentions while working in the editing process.
    • Embracing imperfections. Who is in charge.
    • How to enhance the light and the shadows bringing everything alive. Cris’ “half moon” and “Cross” techniques.
    • Creating strong black and whites: usage of light and shadows, perspectives and details.

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  • Eleven +  Videos
    • Editing video of a close up connection.
    • Behind the scene video of a close up connection.
    • Editing video of the BTS shoot.
    • Editing video about an underwater image.
    • Editing video of a “soft” image.
    • Editing video of an element as the protagonist of the story.
    • Editing video of an image with strong sun flare and haze.
    • Editing video about two images with elements.
    • Editing video of a backlit image.
    • Editing video of a sky capture.
    • Editing video changing cropping and thinking of composition.
    • Each participant will receive four personalized CCVideos (of each of their edited images and their SOOC).

Requirements:

  • You will get the most out of the editing tutorials if you have photoshop.  Having PS is a plus but not a must.
  • Dropbox account.
  • Facebook.

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Considerations:

  • All the edits will be done in ACR – Camera Raw and in PS- Photoshop. The actions that I will be sharing are for PS exclusively.
  • Each participant will present a total of four images edited in black and white. I do not mind the editing software used by the participants to have these images edited. But I will use ACR and photoshop when preparing the respective CCVideos.
  • The images to be CC’ed by me could be new or old. I will not be CCing images taken for other workshops or classes.
  • This is an editing workshop intended for an intermediate/advance level of participants. How to create layers, masks and other basics of photoshop will not be taught in detail. Shortcuts will be used to continue with the flow of my editings. If you are a beginner in the editing process please contact me to talk about my beginners editing class.

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Ex Participants Reviews of my workshops:

  • If you would like to read about testimonials from participants of my workshops, please click here.

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Enrollment:

(*) Enrollment is now open via payment through PayPal. Please send me an email to crisstephensphotography@gmail.com so I will be able to send you an invoice for you to proceed with the enrollment. If proceed with enrollment I will also need from you: your name, your dropbox email, your FB, your FB page and/or website. All this information is needed for me to get ready to have everything set up and ready to go.

 

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underwater before and after CLASS

Example of “Creating Art from the Simplest things” and moments. This is a before and after shot that you will see it editing process in a video during this two weeks class. PhotosByCrisStephens 2016.

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t h a n k  y o u

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10.10 november 20.16

November 9, 2016
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m o n t h f i v e

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I have been so excited to share with this talented group of ladies this photography project that takes place in a monthly basis. On the 10th of every month, we will document our lives with 10 images recently taken. We will link each other’s blogs to share a little bit of our lives with all of you. So after checking my post out, do not forget to go through the round to see the amazing work of my talented friends =)

The older I get the more I appreciate the little moments in life. Just an afternoon enjoying the day. With the feet feeling the texture of the grass and the nice breeze of a wintery afternoon in Colorado. Love to feel the air caressing my hair and the energy that only being outside can bring to our hearts. This was a simple walk with my kids. When the sun was coming down and just moments before we would run to get our jackets. This was a very simple moment with my kids and my fur baby just around the corner. Sharing the love. Cris.

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Let’s go now to check the fabulous ten of my talented friend Bethany. Can not wait to see her beautiful work and to spend through her images a day with her and her family.

 

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November’s News

November 2, 2016
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n e w s

Print

Mini Session Houston, Texas: $150.-  November 12th – Sold out.

Mini Session Highlands Ranch, Colorado: $150.-  November 19th and November 20th (new dates just added).

New Editing Class – For Photographers: $120.- (Price will be $130 going on)  First Class:  November 27th through December 11th – Content of the Class to be posted on November 10th!

 

Can not wait!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monthly CrisStephens News

October 19, 2016
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u p d a t e  o n  m i n i s

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Houston mini sessions have been sold out. Thank you from my heart to all my unconditional Houstonian clients. I love you!

Colorado minis – still spots available!! I can not wait to make my work known here and to have the chance to meet amazing people! c a n  n o t  w a i t !

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10.10 o c t o b e r 20.16

October 18, 2016
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m o n t h f o u r

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I have been so excited to share with this talented group of ladies this photography project that takes place in a monthly basis. On the 10th of every month, we will document our lives with 10 images recently taken. We will link each other’s blogs to share a little bit of our lives with all of you. So after checking my post out, do not forget to go through the round to see the amazing work of my talented friends =)

I always start my posts saying how fast time goes. It does. It is kinda of scary. This month is very special to me: October. Even though in my mind is spring (after so many years it feels still odd that September is not spring and that my birthday now is in winter – January. Funny thing of coming from the south hemisphere), I am beyond happy to be celebrating a real fall after so many years living in Texas. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Texas and it will always be home. But having the four seasons so beautifully defined is something that reminds me of my roots: Argentina. I grew up in Campana where summer is summer. Where spring is full of colors and flowers. Where fall turns everything yellow, orange and red; and where winter is bald and cold.

Love the textures and details that fall have brought to the neighborhood. Love to see my kids playing with the dried leaves. Love seeing them running and jumping outside. Love the constant sun that is always present in Colorado. Yes. It is true! it is pretty much all year long sunny =). Love the energy, the nature, and the love all around.

Sharing some of the images that represent our afternoon enjoying nature and the colors of October.

Please join me to see the amazing work of my photographer friends that are working on their own personal ten. I can not wait to live the stories behind their wonderful work =). Let’s start with Sarah!

l i v e . c a p t u r e . r e m e m b e r

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Portraits in B&W

September 10, 2016
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w o r k s h o p

Creating art from the simplest things

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One of the things that I love from this workshop, is the fact that I can share what I do with people that love black and white photography. How from simplest moments we can create a piece of art. How with black and white editing, we can bring details to another level. How to create that three dimensional feeling in your images. I love the thoughts behind the shooting and the thoughts behind the editing process. Thinking of your intentions as an artist. Making your audience’s eyes go where you want them to go. Being able to accentuate what is important and make “invisible” what it is not.

If you are interested to know more about this working, please click on the “workshop” tab and please let me know if you have any questions.

Sharing some love in black and white. XO Cris.

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p h o t o s b y c r i s s t e p h e n s

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10.10 s e p t e m b e r 20.16

September 9, 2016
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m o n t h  t h r e e

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I have been so excited to share with this talented group of ladies this photography project that takes place in a monthly basis. On the 10th of every month, we will document our lives with 10 images recently taken. We will link each other’s blogs to share a little bit of our lives with all of you. So after checking my post out, do not forget to go through the round to see the amazing work of my talented friends =)

The third month arrived even faster that the second. It scares me how fast time passes. The last weeks were very emotional to me. We found out that my son had a tumor right above one of his knees. We were blessed to know that it was benign so the surgery was done two weeks ago and his recovery has been great.  So great that now I have the stress to calm him down because his bone is so fragile after surgery that can fracture very easily. Six weeks of no physical activity for a nine year old boy sounds almost impossible. But thank God, all is good * huge smile *

During these three chaotic weeks, I realized that my focus was on Lucas and I left my daughter “on the side”. I have always spent a lot of quality time with my children since the moment I left the corporate world. I enjoy every little thing they do and I am those moms that sits and waits for them to finish each of their trainings, their sports, their piano classes, etc. I felt many times the fact of “wanting to be there” and I was not able to while working full time, so I give so much value to the fact that I can do it now. Anyways, I realized I needed to focus more time with Julia and for her I prepare my September’s ten.

We went to the mountains a few days ago to see the sun setting. Just Julia and I. We talked, laughed and enjoyed each others company with tons of “te amo’s” and smiles. We decided to come home pretty quick though because the sun went down and it was getting cold. September in Colorado is definitely different than in Texas and we are loving it very much.  She is growing up very fast. She is not my little girl anymore. She grew into this beautiful young woman. She is getting more independent by the minute. Way too fast I often think. I can see how her wings are getting ready to fly and my heart just dies a little.

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Please do not stop here. Go through the round clicking on Sarah’s link. I can not wait to see her fabulous ten!

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the mud shot

August 29, 2016
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memories from childhood

* a late muddy afternoon *

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This shot is one of my favorites. Love the drama of the textures of the mud on his skin. The mood of the light and above all, the story behind.

I was inside the house knowing that the kids were playing in the backyard. But suddenly, there was that kind of silence that worries any mom. That kind of silence that makes you wonder “what the heck are they doing now?” So I went outside. The white curtains of the back covered patio where not letting me see what exactly was going on, but I could see their silhouettes playing. Not moving much but enough to let me know that they were having fun. Suddenly I saw a very little pond full of mud right under Julia’s feet. They were playing with the hose and there was so much water in the grass that it was starting to get muddy everywhere. But even more in this tiny space where I could see Julia sitting down while Lucas was standing right in front of her with his arms in the air. Julia was literally painting his body with mud and telling him what to do. He was there doing what his sister was saying. I run inside and grabbed the camera. Got my zoom lens and shot making sure that they did not know that I was there. I wanted to capture the moment right as it was. Raw and pure. I wanted to capture those faces. They clearly where having fun *smile*.

Suddenly I called his name, and when he looked at me, I got this shot.

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And once they realized that all was good, that the mess was OK, that this is one of those cases that you have to embrace and lived,  it was an afternoon of laughter and tons of smiles. It became the day of the fun mud builder of unforgettable memories. Another fun day spent in our house in Texas.>

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my photoshop actions

August 28, 2016
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cris stephens B&W tools

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In my workshops I have shared everything I do when capturing black and whites. All what I consider since the moment the image is captured till the moment I edit in camera raw and photoshop. All the edit secrets and all the editing tools are shared with each participant. And it is the best feeling ever to share with people that really want to know how I do my black and whites. What I consider, what I avoid and what I always keep in mind.

Below I am sharing some SOOC and edited images using my photoshop actions. Love to see the potential on the RAW’s and love to see what can be created in post processing. Try and have fun!

XO, cris.

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p h o t o s b y c r i s s t e p h e n s

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cris in color

August 27, 2016
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finding myself in color

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color collage 2

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As you all know, I am a B&W artist. B&W has spoken to me since the very first moment. As an spectator I have always felt so curious and fascinated by B&W photography. Loved the feelings it  always provoked to my heart. Loved the intrigue and the drama. Loved the conversion of simple things and moments into pieces of art through the blacks, whites and all the greys in between.

I started my photography journey a little more than five years ago. Despite during all this time I found myself as a B&W artist, I was not able to find myself as a color artist. Which is totally fine with me but at the same time I wanted to be able to express my stories that spoke to my heart in color, in color! The problem I had is that despite I did many color edits, I found myself liking many of them and appreciating the beauty in the bright colors but it was never me! as the artist behind. The worst thing was feeling that I knew exactly the color artist that I wanted to be but I just was not able to materialize it in my post processings. Very frustrating when you know what you want, where you want to be but you just do not have an idea how to arrive there.

I knew I wanted my images in color to be as dramatic as my images in B&W’s. I knew I wanted to be consistent with the feelings that my photographs provoke in my audience. I love the mystery, the drama,  the intensity and even the infinite stories behind that I find in many of my black and whites, but what about my colors? It was not the same feeling that I felt was coming from them. I found myself expressing my soul so deeply in my monochromatics but not as much in my color conversions.

And this is what I did just a few weeks ago:  I went out of my comfort zone and decided to make peace with LR (I have worked only with photoshop for all these years and have been so intimidated by the unknown in new editing software)  and I got presets to make my life easier and play with steps already created by other artists in order not to feel intimidated by a whole new post processing world.  I purchased many of them. I played with many presets. I took my time to see which represented what I wanted to portrait and which did not. I disregarded some, and I embraced some others that were amazing tools to personalize with my work and my editing skills. I used curves in PS and played in LR. Still do not know how to work with it but little by little I will get there. It has been a fun process. It has been like exploring new land and stopping in those places where I felt in peace.

Love the drama in the color as much as I love the drama in B&W’s. Love the roughness of the dimmed colors. Love the mystery on the greys, the matte and the grain. I knew i wanted to relate my color photographs with film looking edits. Rough, artsy, imperfect. I knew I wanted those edits that look as old as the stories behind – even if they just happened. Wanted that unique look where many people would say “why did she do this?” “why did she killed this light?” “why did she preferred this wash out color and not the brightness behind?”… all those whys behind a piece of art is what i find make it even more interesting.

So I am still in the pursue of my soul in color. And I wanted to share this with you because for some reason many people think that I have it all figured out as an artist and after so many years, I am still trying to translate my ideas of my photography in color in my actual work. I am sure I am not close where I want to be yet, but I have loved the idea of finding myself and I know is a great beginning.

I am taking risks to let my heart speak. And it feels sooooo good. Sharing the journey.

XO, cris.

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Below are some of my images which were already edited by me in photoshop, and just added some steps in LR using presets purchased in the Blissful Maven site.

It has been fun and I love the artsy dramatic feeling in them. Hope you like them too.

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COLLAGE COLOR 5 COLLAGE COLOR 6 COLOR COLLAGE 7

 

 

Color Collage 3

 p h o t o s b y c r i s s t e p h e n s

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Nostalgy

August 26, 2016
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n o s t a l g y

“a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of

some past period or irrecoverable condition”

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t w e n t y  f o u r t e e n

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I know I went through a rough couple of weeks.  I know my heart has been squished and squashed. My thoughts have been thrown to the past and to the future many times. I lived the fear of losing what I love the most in this world: my kids. I spent nights not sleeping… just thinking and thinking.  And loved those moments where my thoughts brought my heart to the past. To happy moments.  To when they needed me and I was able to help. I was actually be able to do… To fix.

It is so amazing to be able to see smiles and moments that passed through photographs. To feel your spirit raised in those moments that are tough and the heart is just a big knot of pain. So here I was, enjoying every little moment. Remembering. Feeling peace just flying through time. Seeing happiness. Re living through my images the smiles of my kids while growing up. Regular moments. Simple times. All captured to give us happiness during those days where the clouds could be so dark.

Sharing the goods and the bads. Living life. Having faith. Loving God.

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Live. Love. Hug. Always.

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10.10 a u g u s t 20.16

August 9, 2016
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m o n t h  t w o

I have been so excited to share with this talented group of ladies this photography project that takes place in a monthly basis. On the 10th of every month, we will document our lives with 10 images recently taken. We will link each other’s blogs to share a little bit of our lives with all of you *big smile*.

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The second month arrived very fast. The summer vacations are passing faster and faster every year… which makes me feel a little sad seeing the time getting older on my own skin and my kids getting closer and closer to fly away. It is very important for me to make sure we are living each day to its fullest and I am so thankful to have the chance to document every little moment.

As many of you know I left my family many years ago. I left my home because I bet on love. Met my husband while working on an assignment and we fell in love in the most beautiful way. It was the most romantic and magical thing but behind the scenes was so hard to make it happen and to be where we are now. There was no other reason than true love to leave my nest which, no matter how imperfect it could be, is the only place that explain who I am from the roots and made me feel so safe. It was very hard leaving the hugs and kisses of my parents. The support of those friends that grew up by my side. The warmth of the homemade food of my grandmother (who never had the chance to meet my kids because she passed when I was pregnant of my first one *sad*) and the unconditional support of the so many cousins, aunts and uncles who I love so much. I missed to see my nephews growing up. I missed to be there when my sister gave birth or my parents got sick. I missed so many birthdays and found myself going back home to bury family that left this world before those pendings hugs were given one more time. But no matter how many times I have cried, how many times I have missed and how many times I felt lost, I would do it all over again.

God makes you stronger and he is always there to make life better. He brought happiness and many blessings. He gave me the most beautiful kids and an amazing husband. And as a plus, he crossed my path with amazing people that became family to me.  Friends that became like sisters filling that emptiness in my heart for not having mine. Friends that became like aunts and uncles to my kids and their kids became those nephews and nieces I left behind. We had the chance to live life as we should live it. With love towards others and unconditional love coming back to us. With love ones close to have the chance to take care of.

Last week we had the blessing to receive this friends-family to our new home in Colorado. They came to spend some time with us. Rainy or sunny we enjoyed every day with tons of love and laughter. With music and dances. Playing games and discovering new places. Driving around. Hugging and kissing showing each other how much we care. And the day came that they left – gosh I hate good byes! sixteen years saying goodbye… it just does not get better. We hugged and made promises…  we cried.  The pain is always awful…

I am so happy to have captured some of the moments spent together. And here are my ten to share with you the love that we feel towards each other. Towards our friends. I am so happy to share that no matter how cloudy and rainy, we had a great day by the mountains enjoying a picnic under the shelter of the rocks.

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To my friends:

Thank you for your visit! Thank you for your love. Thank you for making every little second count making them unforgettable. It is always hard seing you go but it is always comforting knowing that you will return. We love you with every little corner of our hearts =)

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To all:

Enjoy my ten and after this do not forget to click on Amanda’s link to see her amazing work and have the chance to see the stories being told in her ten.

Thank you for stopping by. Besos, Cris.

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