• Hello & Welcome!

    My name is Corina Nielsen and I am so happy you stopped by. I provide custom photography services in San Diego, Ca., mainly specializing in newborn portraiture and I also run a separate graphic design business helping photographers define their business identity. You can see samples of all my work right here on my blog... both of my photography and design portfolio's are located right in the above menu! Please take a look and if you are interested in either booking a session or getting on my design wait list, you can use the contact form to get in touch! I look forward to talking with you soon!

Baby Amelia & Baby Ben: San Diego Newborn Twin Photographer

As if photographing one baby wasn’t already the best job in the world… how about TWO of them?  Amelia & Ben were absolutely gorgeous… they might have had the most perfectly flawless skin ever!

Normally when photographing one baby, you get a little bit of a break sometimes while they fill their bellies.  However, with twins, when one is eating, you are photographing the other!  No down idle time allowed for a twins session:) Baby Ben was up first while his sis was having a little snack!

When Amelia finally finished with her feeding we tried doing a quick shot with them together… unfortunately it was now Ben’s time to eat and wanted no part of his sister laying on top of him!  Luckily, I was able to kind of get this shot!  Not perfect by any means, but sometimes you have to take what you can get!

Then while Baby Ben filled his belly, Amelia was ready for her close up!  She did amazing….

Ben needed a bit more time eating than his sister so we went ahead and did a few more poses.

Finally… both were content for a little at the same time and were ready for some shots together.  Are they not perfect pair?

Special thanks to Ben & Amelia’s parents for letting me capture this amazing time in their lives’!

pam - June 1, 2012 - 5:27 pm

So cute! Love the hair!

Sophie - June 6, 2012 - 8:54 am

So sweet and tiny. :) The basket shots of both twins together are unbelievable. Amazing work!!!

Lauren - June 6, 2012 - 9:13 am

Amazing!!! Beautiful! How did you get so dang talented at photography? You need a job with a popular baby magazine.

Baby Ethan: San Diego Newborn Photographer

The model newborn baby… every now and then a baby comes into the studio who is happy as a lark regardless of what I try to do with them, how I position them, what props I use, or how often I have to move them.  Some babies are perfectly content being warm and fed.  Baby Ethan was all of that goodness and cute to boot!  He even gave me a few smiles here and there which I am thankful I was able to catch!  Prepare to be overloaded with cuteness….

I adore neutral set ups that allow me to swap hats and things super easy!  Perfect for testing new hats & props out…  you always have to start with the “money” shot though.  Try to get the shot as perfect as you can to start.  No fun and games or bells & whistles, just natural amazingly gorgeous baby!

Then you change things out and add the “extras”!  You are able to provide clients with a lot of choices with their images with minimal effort to reposition the baby.  Just make sure you shoot from a variety of angles so not only do the props change, but the whole feel of the image does as well!

Hats by EarlGrey Designs.

Sigh….

pam - May 31, 2012 - 4:35 pm

I love the smiles you were able to capture!!

Baby Brooklyn: San Diego Newborn Photographer

This little beauty is absolutely perfect!  When Brooklyn was first born, she had to stay in the hospital for a few days for a minor complication.  After scaring her mommy and daddy half to death, she was given strict orders from the doctors to stay HOME!  Obviously that poses a little bit of a problem for my newborn pictures because I only work out of my studio.  However, I made a very special exception for Brooklyn since I adore her mommy so much!  Luckily, she was a complete angel for me and never made a peep.  Brooklyn was totally on her best behavior!

This was an extra special shot since Brooklyn’s daddy made this hat himself just for his brand new baby girl!  Didn’t he do an amazing job?  I totally wanted to keep it!

 

Sigh…. she was sheer perfection!

Baby Ashyln Faith: San Diego Newborn Photographer

Sometimes you just can’t help but fall in love with your clients and know you have established a relationship that will last for years to come.  Ashyln’s family came into my life this year and I don’t think I ever want to let them go… I actually found it difficult to shoot during her newborn session because all I wanted to do was talk to mom and dad and get to know more about them!  Such a sweet family and now they are complete with their boys and precious new baby girl.

Meet Ashyln Faith

 

Are they not the most gorgeous trio ever?  Bummed their boys were in school when we did the newborn session, would have been wonderful to catch everyone together for a couple of shots!

You can understand how difficult it was for mom & dad to put an order together, but in the end, we figured it out and I was finally able to hand all of this gorgeousness over to the rightful owners!  I definitely had to sneak some pictures in before dad picked it all up though….

16 x 20 canvas, a digital file collection, a slideshow, and, a 10×10 coffee table book= the perfect order to cover all of your bases!

This is just a little goody I throw into all of my orders… a set of the family’s favorite image from the session and then I also put in a little magnet with my business information on it. Of course I need to tie in my branding into everything I do, so there are hand punched hearts attached to every bag and stamped with one of my custom rubber stamps!

Here is a closer look at the front of the album and slideshow/DVD cover.  Adore my custom designed MOO mini cards!  I think I made 10 different designs total and you get 100 in each box.  Each one has a unique little quote on the front and then my logo/business info. on the back.

The inside of the custom CD-DVD case… LOVE LOVE LOVE these cases.  How could I ever hand a client over a CD-DVD in a generic plastic jewel case?  That would be a shame when you have products like this available to you!  Definitely costs more BUT this is a keepsake that will last your clients a lifetime… can’t put a price tag on that so I will happily invest that $$!

And my digital files on my SA-WEET custom USB drive….

Slideshow, digital files, thank you card, file care card, and wallets all packed up and ready to go!

And here are just a few images of the album I made.  Can you tell which image was our favorite?  Needed to use that one everywhere we could!

A lot of my clients will just purchase the digital files and will choose to create their own canvases, albums, birth announcements, etc. which is 100% fine with me or else I obviously wouldn’t offer digital file collections.  However, I have said it before and I will say it again… you cannot beat the quality of the pro photography labs!  The craftsmanship is outstanding and most importantly, everything is created to last a LIFETIME!  Sure, clients can save a few $$ here and there going to places like Costco, Target, and Shutterfly, but they do not specialize in these items so the quality won’t ever be the same, ever!

Take a look at the pages on this album.  This is a 10 page (20 side) album.  Look at how thick EACH page is.  Swoon….

And this is the spine and back of the book… simple, sweet, and perfect!

And last but not least, I also made Ashyln a sweet little mini accordion album/calendar using the free Facebook fan exclusive I made last month.  I love how these turned out.  They make great gifts for your clients to give to Grandparents.

So happy this order has gone out to Ashyln and her family.  I hope it brings them lots of smiles and memories for many years to come!

Susan - May 21, 2012 - 7:46 am

Just beautiful Corina! I haven’t ordered the mini moo cards yet because I wasn’t sure what to put on them. I love that you put different quotes on them. Great idea. The photos are just gorgeous!

Lindsay - May 21, 2012 - 8:31 am

Beautiful images and love all the goodies! Can I ask which lab you order the mini-accordians from? It seems as though most labs want a minimum of three at a time. Thank you so much!
Lindsay
{Rock Paper Pictures}

Corina Nielsen - May 21, 2012 - 9:20 am

Accordion albums always come in sets of 3 (at least from the labs I use) as well!

Sophie - May 21, 2012 - 6:48 pm

Oh. My. Goodness. What a precious baby, and her cheeks are the cutest!! Love the images and your branding is stunning. I’m sure that album will be passed down for generations. :)

Jackie - May 21, 2012 - 7:38 pm

Beautiful images and products! Wondering which album company you use?

Mandy - May 22, 2012 - 5:34 pm

I’m wondering where you order your custom USB drive….

pam - May 25, 2012 - 5:32 pm

Gorgeous! Love all the goodies!

Ali Peterson - June 15, 2012 - 3:41 pm

Where do you get the large albums printed? Those are great!

Nancy - August 7, 2012 - 7:44 am

Hi, I’m writing from Canada –– I’ve been having such a hard time trying to find a lab that prints photo books as nice as the one you show a sample of here. Would you be able to share the name of the lab you use? Also, the cd cases –– is there a website you recommend? Thanks so much!

Ps. Your work is incredibly beautiful.

Stamping 101 & Quote #16

With the first batches of rubber stamp orders now being received, I thought it would be a good time to go over a few general stamping tips.  I have gotten a couple of inquiries regarding the stamps in regards to what stamp pads to use and troubleshooting and it’s always easier to illustrate things as opposed to attempting to explain over emails!  Hopefully this will help a couple of people out!

Stamp Pads

I’m use a brand called StazOn (in black) and I haven’t had any issues with it.  The main reason I chose this over the countless other brands is because in a lot of my packaging (both for photography clients and rubber stamp customers), I’m using a few different types of surfaces (plastic bags, paper, muslin, and glossy boxes).  StazOn is perfect to use on all of these since its fast drying and good for “EVERY SURFACE”!  The downside to using this particular pad is that it will stain your stamp.  The ink is permanent!  However, as long as you still clean your stamp every now and then, especially right before you use another color, the black should not transfer at all!  My pad is actually a few years old also so in all fairness, I don’t know if the product has changed at all. My guess is a newer one would be even better because its nice, fresh, and full of ink!  I desperately need a new pad, but even the old one is working good.

I bought 3 other brands: Memento in gray, Memories in brown Papertrey in sorbet.  These worked OK but I found that the quality of the stamp result wasn’t nearly as good as with the StazOn in black.  I’m not sure if the color has anything to do with it, but I for one am thrilled with the results of the darker colors.  I have to test out a few others to be sure though!  The lighter colors seemed to bleed a bit more and smudge easier.  The black and brown both gave nice crisp stamped images!

A couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a pad: think about what type of surface you are going to be using.  Different stamp pads have different uses so be sure to read the label correctly before purchasing.  Unless you are embossing, avoid pigment inks  and pads specifically for heating.  These will all take much longer to dry because they need to absorb into the “surface”, you will run the risk of inks bleeding and/smearing.

Basic Stamping

#1 ensure you are stamping on a clean/hard surface
#2 use a firm ink pad that you know has a good amount of ink
#3 press stamp firmly onto your stamp pad a few times (especially when you first use your stamp).  Do NOT rock back and forth too much or you may ink the sides which will in turn leave an impression as well
#4 stamp FIRMLY without rocking or moving in any other direction except down.  If you do not apply even pressure and/or rock the stamp, your image will appear smudged and text/graphics will not be as legible.  In some cases, if your stamp has fine details and small text, you may not have to press quite so hard to ink OR stamp.  Practice makes perfect!
#5 clean your stamps as needed.  Use a stamp cleaner and follow the products care & description.  Allow stamp to dry completely before using it again!  Any excess liquid will definitely cause the stamp to bleed.

Let’s put some of these things to use shall we?

Since quite a few people purchased Quote #16 last week, I figured I would order one for myself and test out a few packaging ideas!  So here is my stamp, my StazOn ink pad, a nice hard work surface, and a plain piece of paper.

Apply FIRM & EVEN pressure to the stamp, pressing down ONLY.  Do not rock back and forth or side to side.  Again, if the pressure is not even you run the risk of smearing, smudging, as well as getting ink on any edges.

Pick up the freshly inked stamp and take a quick look to ensure you have inked the entire image/text… reapply if you have missed any spots.  Then stamp your surface… again, apply FIRM & EVEN pressure straight down.  If you happened to get any ink on the edges (due to rocking when you inked), those will transfer to your stamp impression as well.  I think the key to stamping is applying just the right amount of pressure based on your particular stamp!

If you seem to be having difficulties getting ink on the sides or corners of you stamp, you can also try inking upright.  Doing this may allow you better visibility and ensure you are applying even pressure while inking.

** Please keep in mind YOU will be using TWO hands while doing this… I had to take the picture to show you what I meant!  One hand will be holding the stamp pad and the other hand will be holding the stamp, applying the pressure to ink **

Practice BOTH methods… hopefully one will work better for you and produce a better “stamp”!

Another problem you may encounter with a few stamps is if you left a lot of blank spaces on your custom stamp file you provided me.

** Please note I offer a file prep service for ALL custom stamp orders.  Having this service will ensure the stamp is made properly from the very beginning.**

Here is an example of a stamp that was made incorrectly the first time around.  ”Photography” was accidentally left off the first time around before production but its a good example to use to illustrate a possible issue!  As you can see, the rubber was trimmed as it would be with any of the stamps with a lot of blank space.

In the process of inking the stamp, if you rock even a little bit, you may get your ink along the edges.  Then if you rock again while stamping, that ink will obviously transfer when you stamp like below.

However, if you follow the directions and practice using your stamp properly… you can achieve a nice, clean “stamp” like this!

In the meantime… if you are still having troubles with the accidentally inked edges, there is an easy (but slightly messy) fix.  After you ink, turn the stamp upside down and simply wipe the edge a bit to ensure that it won’t transfer!  Kinda of annoying to do with every stamping you want to do, BUT it will work until you get the hang of inking & stamping!

The most important things to remember are for your custom stamp: #1 apply firm, even pressure when inking/stamping & #2 size your file/graphics properly.

Now how about a little practical use for Quote #16!!!  When I created this design, I had a very specific idea in mind for a packaging idea!  The last time I was at Staples for shipping labels, I had seen these adorable 2 1/2″ circle stickers.  I immediately knew I need to make a circle stamp and since so many people had requested a “do not bend” stamp, thats the direction I went!

These Avery stickers come in a package of 225 (9 to a sheet) in both kraft (YUM) & glossy white.  My Quote #16 is actually only 2″ in diameter but I somewhat did that on purpose when I designed it because there are a lot of other labels and tags that are smaller than these guys… this way there are plenty of other options for using the stamp!  I for one am a sucker for kraft and natural packaging… and these stickers are too cute!

The tricky part about using these is that you have to try and find the center of the sticker while you are stamping!  After one or 2 mess ups, I got into the groove and figured out the placement!  A little room here, a bit of room here… perfect!

And here they are in use!  For those photographers who may send prints through the mail to clients and haven’t invested in any boutique type packaging/boxes, you can grab some plain envelopes at your local office supply store (they sell manilla, kraft, and white at my Staples), sandwich your prints in between 2 sheets of sturdy cardboard, then slip them inside the envelopes.  Then seal it with one of the sweet stamped stickers or simply stamp directly onto the front of the envelope!

Or if you have invested in upgraded packaging, use your stamped sticker either directly on the box OR fancy it up with some ribbon that coordinates with your branding!

Hope this helps some customers!  Be on the lookout for some more packaging & stamping ideas in the near future:)

Cheri Root - May 7, 2012 - 9:13 am

Corina-I have purchased a custom stamp and quote stamp and did buy a Stazon stamp pad in brown. The ink has stained the stamp. I attempted to clean with soap and water and it did not come clean (as it usually does when I use other stamp pads such as Colorbox.) I know I need to use a cleaner-do you recommend one?

Corina - May 7, 2012 - 9:31 am

Hi Cheri! I love the StazOn BUT it will stain the stamp permanently. As long as you clean the stamp though (if you want to use another ink pad) the black should not transfer :)