Portraits by Cynthi bio picture
  • Hi! I'm Cynthi (yep, it's short for Cynthia). I'm a wedding and portrait photographer serving the Treasure Valley in Southwest Idaho. I'm a lover of beautiful light, sweet glass (nerdy photographer lingo for camera lenses), and the whole creative process that each and every session brings!

    I have a casual and relaxed approach to sessions. I'm a pretty mellow kind of girl...until I nail a really killer shot...at which point I've been known to squeal and/or scream. :) Have a look around and if you have any questions or are ready to book a session, just click on the "Contact Me" form above!

Explaining what a DSLR is to grandpa | Boise Photography

We enjoyed a great visit and conversation with Grandma and Grandpa a couple days ago when he asked me, “Where do you take your film to be developed? Or do you develop it yourself?” …after I recovered from the shock, I commenced trying to explain that the photos are recorded on this tiny card in my camera, I then put them on my computer and tweak the exposure and contrast (among other things), then if I want them printed I send them over the internet to a photo lab across the country and they ship them to me…you should have seen his face…wow…this is a pretty incredible age we live in! #mindblown
Nikon D800

My Editing Style | Retouching in Lightroom

I recently posted this Before and After photo on my Facebook page, and got a lot of great response. This is not a typical kind of blog post for me, but I decided it would be interesting for my clients to see a little example of my retouching work.  I always prefer a natural, clean edit.  No one should look like they have porcelain skin!  It should be such a subtle edit that no one would ever know it wasn’t completely straight out of camera. Now, this is a little more retouching work than I normally need to do with most portraits, but I thought it would be a good demonstration.

This is my little Marshall (whom we affectionately call Marshmallow).  :)  He’s always had super dry skin, eczema, and redness no matter what over-the-counter cream we try. Well, today was actually a really good skin day so I took the opportunity to take his 4 month pictures.

The next part gets into all the particulars and is purely for the photo-nerds that may be interested.  It’s about to get geeky! You’ve been warned!

Editing in Lightroom, Clean EditI do the majority of my editing all within Lightroom 4, and only take a photo into Photoshop CS6 if it needs extensive cloning or (heaven forbid) a head swap. :)  And true to fashion, I was able to do all the edits on this particular photograph completely in Lightroom.  Now, the ‘Before’ picture has already been color corrected and given a little boost of contrast and exposure because I wanted the focus of this ‘Before & After’ to be on just the retouching.

All these edits were done with an adjustment brush so that I could concentrate on the areas that needed it and not on the whole photograph.  I started by reducing Clarity in order to slightly smoothing some of the skin. I then removed the redness under and around his eyes. I do this by bringing the Tint away from red (this time by -25) and reducing saturation also by -25.  You can see that he managed to scratch himself under his right eye so I took care of that with the Spot Removal tool. I also took away a bit of the shine on his forehead and cheek from all that lotion he’s slathered in by reducing Highlights by -80.

I know that some people find it difficult to understand why you’d want to retouch a perfect little baby. Well, as his mother, I want to remember him, not the redness and sensitive skin we battled today or the little scratch he accidently gave himself while trying to suck those sweet little fingers. There are plenty of everyday pictures of him, but these are the ones I will put in albums and hang on the walls of our home.

Thanks for reading! Please leave me a comment if you’d like to see more Before & Afters like this in the future.

March 11, 2014 - 6:37 am

Vaughn Barry Photography - Nicely done, nice work around the eyes :)

March 11, 2014 - 11:24 am

Rebecca Anne - What a great blog! I find clients always appreciate when you explain the process to them. I like how simple your editing style is!

March 11, 2014 - 11:24 am

Karidan - Awesome explanation!

March 12, 2014 - 11:27 am

Tracie Howe - Great job! And what a cutie-pie!!

March 18, 2014 - 6:44 am

sarah gee - love a nice, clean edit. how awesome to share this information with everyone! it’s really great for clients to know just what to expect:)

The R Family | Children and Family Photographer | Nampa, Idaho

Three years ago, I photographed big sister just after her 2nd birthday and she was so shy and clung to her mama so tightly.  For the first time, I actually wondered if I wasn’t going to get a smile out of a child.  (By the way…I did get a couple smiles…they were fleeting, but I got them).  Then I was able to photograph the family again a year later to do a family AND maternity session.  Let me tell you, Rebeca looks gorgeous with a baby bump!  (You can check that session out HERE).  Then I was lucky enough to get to snuggle and photograph little sister when she was just a few days old.

It really is such a special thing to have such loyal clients and especially to be able to watch their family grow!  That being said, unfortunately this was my final session with the R family.  :(  They are moving out of state and booked their session right in the midst of packing.  Idaho will miss you guys!  Good luck in all your new adventures!Nampa Family Photography 01Nampa Family Photography 02Nampa Family Photography 03Nampa Family Photography 04Nampa Family Photography 05Nampa Family Photography 06Nampa Family Photography 07Nampa Family Photography 08Nampa Family Photography 09Nampa Family Photography 10

February 21, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Milena Velba - May I publish this on my twitter feed?

The H Family | Boise Family Photographer | Fall Photos

I don’t know about you, but after the first few snowfalls of winter…I’m so over it.  I just miss that sweet sunshine too much!  So I’m going back through these fall photo shoots and trying to vicariously warm up. :)

The H family was so much fun, and check out their outfits! I love the coordinating fabrics and color scheme.  We headed out to one of my favorite spots along the Boise River for their family photo shoot and got the kids warmed up to me right away with some jumping and silly games.  And they can sure give a great silly face (’cause with kids this age there has to be at least one silly face picture. Usually they’re the ones suggesting it!).  :)

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March 14, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Chantal - An absolutely beautiful family!! How cute are they!!

March 15, 2014 - 11:39 am

Arica - What a gorgeous family! Perfectly coordinated. Great job on capturing there personalities and genuine smiles!

March 18, 2014 - 6:53 am

sarah gee - your posing of them is really spot-on! what a gorgeous family!

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