Recently a client shared with me some projects she completed using images from our fall photo session. I LOVE THIS! Only to be topped with actually walking into a client’s home and seeing my images hanging on their walls, email’s of the next best thing.

Original images by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography

How beautiful is this calendar! I think I might need to have her make calendar’s with my pictures next year. The grandmother’s would LOVE that.Original images by Resa Troyer for Resa Design Photography

I haven’t yet figured out how she did it, but I think there was some glue involved. What a creative way to display family photos in just one frame. Perfect for those of you who don’t like to take last year’s photo off the wall, or are just short on space.

Thanks Beth for sharing these great final products with me. I’m so inspired to go do something with the zillion photos I have of my own family.

Have you done something fun with your photos? Or just got them out of the computer and on display? Share in the comments or on our Facebook Page.

(Photos courtesy of Beth L.) 

Posted in DIY

Children's Photography in St.Charles, Missouri by Resa Troyer ©2013 Resa Design PhotographyStill catching up on sessions from last fall/early winter. These ADORABLE sisters were my last outdoor session for the year. We got an “almost” warm day in December to squeeze a downtown St. Charles session in.

Hauser2Sometimes kids just show up ready to make the perfect images with you. This is SO RARE! But this adorable little girl did just that. These images of her sitting down were the first photos of the session. She just sat there and looked right at me and posed all on her own. This again is NOT NORMAL. Most kids need lots of encouragement and I use all my tricks to get great images. Even then, it’s not always as successful as you might want it to be. This is why I take LOTS of pictures. ((Even my own kids are not amazing at photo shoots, just so you know.))

Children's photography by Resa Troyer ©2014 Resa Design PhotographyChildren's Photography by Resa Troyer ©2014 Resa Design Photography

Big sister was not as thrilled that day to have her picture taken. We bribed, played games, you name it. She just wasn’t feeling it. When all my tricks fail I back off. This can be tricky because your client might feel like you aren’t engaging or solving the problem of the situation. In reality, I feel like the child needs a break from being the center of attention, so I pretend I am busy doing other things (or taking pictures of someone else) and let the difficult child do their thing. With the equipment I have, I am able to stay far off and still get photos of the child who thinks I’m not paying attention them. Does this make sense? Basically I “sneak” pictures. In the spread below, she was walking down the sidewalk with some attitude. I also just focused in on her cute boots. I even got her being naughty and going around the corner to get away from us. Children's Photography by Resa Troyer ©2014 Resa Design Photography Hauser5

Finally, don’t be afraid to get a photo without a “smile”. My style and aim is to capture “personality” over a posed smile when it comes to children and families. This is something you have to work hard at overcoming if you are used to “say cheese”. I also like to take crying photos, because, well babies cry a lot. It’s real. Hauser6

What are your biggest challenges photographing children? -Resa

©2014 Resa Design PhotographyHere is a look behind getting this shot. It’s not as hard as you might be thinking. You can even do it with your phone!

STEP 1: I laid the blanket out in an area of the yard with even light. This session was purposefully schedule towards the end of the day. I usually allow 2 hours for family sessions. In the fall it’s tricky scheduling them because the later in the fall it gets, the shorter the days get. One year I made a HUGE mistake and forgot about day light savings time and schedule all my sessions after that day at the wrong time. I won’t do that again! NOTE: I faced their chins toward the sun. I did this because I didn’t need their hair lit as much as I wanted their faces lit.

STEP 2: I put the littlest head in the middle. Well relatively in the middle, since there are four kids. Then I planned to put the “biggest” head on the outside, and well I didn’t want the boys and girls together so I staggered them. I wanted the littlest head in the middle so I could get a little bit more angle and pull them closer together by differing the hight a little big. I also didn’t want her head to fall off the side and throw off the proportion of the composition.

HDUGTS_kidsHeads_bSTEP 3: Squish them together. You can see there are a few shoulders overlapping. My goal was to get their heads together as close as possible. This will feel uncomfortable, so if your clients are not into closeness, save the squishy part until the end.

STEP 4: Stepped behind the kids heads. I know! You thought I was right over their bellies right? Tricky, tricky. I was standing behind their heads (see my toes here). Why? 1- no chance of any shadows on their faces. 2- I got them to look a bit more because they almost had to look backwards. 3- it’s more comfortable for the clients, usually, if you aren’t standing “on” them.

©2014 Resa Design PhogotraphySTEP 5: Photograph! I took quite a few pictures in this pose. Them looking right at the camera smiling. Not smiling. And finally I got them to laugh. I’m not sure how, but a fart joke usually does the trick with kids. Also, threatening to tickle can do it sometimes too. Honestly, I usually start with, “Give me your best fake laugh.” If that doesn’t work, I move to the previous suggestions.

HDUGTS_kidsHeads_eSTEP 6: Rotate in editing software and edit as needed. In this case I had to take my toes out of most of the images. I also brightened them up a little bit and applied my favorite filter, all in Lightroom.

©2014 Resa Design Photography HDUGTS_kidsHeads_c

Cheers to happy posing! -Resa


Billings5What a BEAUTIFUL girl! I had such a great time with Anna Maria during our fall Senior photo session.

Fall Highschool Senior Photos by Resa Troyer ©2013 Resa Design PhotographyShe styled herself for this session and, as most girls her age, did a fantastic job. Don’t you think? I wish I had been so stylish when I was a high-schooler. (Please DO NOT dig up any old photos of me please!)

Billings7 Billings6

She had her makeup done for the session, and although she is gorgeous to begin with, I can’t encourage my clients enough to take the time to have professional hair and makeup for their portrait sessions. It makes such a difference in the final product. Natural makeup is what I most highly recommend. Keep the colors neutral and most-true to your daily routine. Billings4 Billings3

We had one of the windiest days I have every experienced in St. Louis. We didn’t get to shoot exactly where we wanted because we searched for cover and escape from the wind, but I think we ended up with great images. I know her mom was thrilled. Billings2

©2013 Resa Design Photography

Happy Graduation Anna Maria!

Free Valentine Facebook Cover Preset for Lightroom ©2014 Resa Design Photography

I made this bright Lightroom print preset for Facebook for upcoming Valentines Day. ©2014 Resa Design Photography Facebook Cover layout

Please share with your clients, but you may not sell or take creative rights for the layout and image.

©2014 Resa Design Photography Facebook Cover Layout for Lightroom

Download this Lightroom Print Preset –  FB-Valentine-2image.lrtemplate

Download the Heart Love Background – facebook_background_valentineLOVE_byResaTroyer.jpg

Leave a comment if you download it and what you think.

Happy Editing- Resa


Family Photos in St. Louis by Resa Design Photography ©2013I have been playing with photography for years. My parents always had a camera around, and they now have thousands of photos. As a child I loved looking through my parents photo albums. There were some standard photos of people smiling, but there seemed to be a lot of “real life” photos. People singing, cooking, cleaning, playing, sleeping… Those are the ones that always kept my attention. St.Louis family photos by Resa Design Photography ©2013

St.Louis family photos by Resa Design Photography ©2013As a family photographer, I try to do this with my clients. It’s sometimes difficult in such a short time period, to capture a story of a family. This sweet family is always so much fun to photograph. They have so much love between them, and now with a new sister, even more joy.

Family Photos in St. Louis by Resa Design Photography ©2013

St.Louis family photos by Resa Design Photography ©2013The better you know a client, and the more comfortable they feel with you, the easier it might be to get the emotion you want out of a session. With this family, we had worked together before and were very comfortable together. I did bring along some props that I thought would engage the children.

St.Louis family photos by Resa Design Photography ©2013When they arrived at the location I was all set up and ready for them. After we met in the parking lot and adjusted some clothing, we got right to it, playing! Sometimes parents are concerned the children are “messing things up” but I try to assure them it’s fine. I let them explore the toys and props and actually try to get some shots right away.Family Photos in St. Louis by Resa Design Photography ©2013Family Photos in St. Louis by Resa Design Photography ©2013

St.Louis family photos by Resa Design Photography ©2013


Newborn photography is not my specialty. There are so many amazing professionals out there that do AMAZING work. BUT newborns are so yummy, and when a friend has one, well I run over as soon as possible to cuddle them up. This little guy was no exception. Patten_2Newborn photos for Resa Design Photography ©2013

And what a pretty mama! Four boys in tow, she is one of the best mothers I know. (I was so not trying to rhyme there.)


Facebook Covers with images by Resa Design Photography ©2013FacebookCover Are you a photographer looking for ways to spice up your image delivery? Last year I started delivering a Facebook cover image to my clients along with their digital flies. They love it! Most people don’t have the ability to collage their photos, therefore only posting one image at a time.

FacebookCoverI have a few different templates I have used, but currently JL Photography’s FREE Facebook Templates for Lightroom are rocking my world. They are FREE! Easy to install, and so quick to use in Adobe Lightroom. (By the way, if you are a photographer and haven’t tried Lightroom yet, DO IT! I’ll write more on my big switch and how much time Lightroom has saved me another day.)

FacebookCoverBe sure to mark your custom Facebook cover with your company name. This will not only give you well deserved credit, but acts as a marketing tool for anyone seeing your beautiful images.

Happy Editing! – Resa


UPDATE: check out this free Lightroom Facebook Cover presets and backgrounds.

Fixing Teeth in Photoshop by Resa Design Photography ©2013

My beautiful client was just days away from getting braces when we shot her Senior Pictures. I went out on a limb and fixed the one obvious tooth to gently improve her smile. The client was so excited she asked me to do a few more of the photos.

Step by step tutorial on MOVING TEETH in PHOTOSHOP: (I use PS5)

Senior Photography by Resa Troyer ©2013 Resa Design Photography

STEP 1: Lasso the tooth with a feather set at 4.

Photoshop Tooth correction by Resa Design Photography

STEP 2: Copy (CTRL C)

STEP 3: Create new layer. Then Paste (CTRL V).

Tooth_2_transformCTRL T to Free transform. I moved my tooth down into position during this step since it was so high up. You can see the double layer of tooth here. If you need to twist, or adjust your tooth shape in any way, it’s easy to use with the WARP tool.

To use the WARP tool, right-click on your selected shape while it’s in FREE TRANSFORM. (See below) You can then move each point in the grid box until you get the tooth shaped the way you want it.


STEP 4: When you are happy with the tooth position, FLATTEN the image (in layers box). You will still see where your new tooth meets the old tooth at this point. Now it’s time to clean up the gum area, and finish fixing the tooth area. Duplicate the layer and name it Tooth Fix.


STEP 5: You probably want to zoom in nice and close to do the rest of this edit. I jump around between the HEALING BRUSH TOOL, SPOT HEALING TOOL, and CLONE STAMP to get the gum just how I want it. Here is some progress using only the HEALING BRUSH TOOL. I like this tool because I can select the skin really close to where I need to fix it, and it will keep sampling the original area for me. This usually gives me the most natural healing/fix.


While you are editing you can click back and forth between your original image and the layer you are editing on to make sure you are keeping things looking natural and getting the final effect you desire.

STEP 6: I touched up her skin in a few spots on a new layer I named Skin. You can also brighten the teeth if needed using the DODGE tool under 10%.


STEP 7: I have a fantastic portraiture plug-in that is really worth getting if you do a lot of portraits. I erase the effects of the Imagenomic retouching off the hair because it makes it too soft for my taste. Tooth_7_portraitAction

STEP 8: Finally I do a High Pass filter with a radius of about 4. Then change the layer to Overlay or Soft Light and then I adjusted the opacity to 63%. Tooth_8_highPass63p

STEP 9: Flatten entire image and save. Yay! You are an Orthodontist now. Well maybe just in Photoshop, but your client will be thrilled that you’re fees are cheaper than the local orthodontist.

Let me know if you found this tutorial helpful by leaving a comment below.

Happy Editing, Resa