Thursday, October 8, 2015

If the Design Fits, Wear it!

I am a member of Clickin Moms, an online site featuring forums, contests, classes and more for photographers. Yeah, it’s mostly made up of mom-arazzies, but there are many professionals, too, who participate in the contests, online classes and conferences.

Each year they feature a t-shirt contest, and here are a few of the designs I submitted. (Still hoping they get the like button fixed on my entries so people can vote for them! ;D) You have to be a member to vote for the designs, so I thought I would post them to my blog so that everyone could see the ideas.

If you are a clickin moms member and like any of these designs, vote for them using this link to the 2015 contest. Thanks for your support! Who knows, you may just be seeing one of these on a t-shirt real soon!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Creating Portrait Artistry One Pixel at a Time

In this day of turbo charged cell phones and an abundant means of sharing images on social media, standing out in the photography field is a new challenge for photographers. 

The typical criteria that customers use for selecting one photographer over another 
(location, experience, talent, personality & reputation) still have value, but today, 
many clients make their choice based upon a photographer's style or a specific 
artistry that they want to achieve with their  own portrait/photos. 

It is a wonderful opportunity for photographers to find their uniqueness and 
to express the talents that make their photography special...their brand.

For me, I approach photography with an extra creative eye, looking at lighting, 
the blur of colors, the patterns or shapes created in posing, striving to 
create MORE than a photo, something I refer to as portrait artistry.

Sometimes the opportunity just happens, when light falls magically upon the 
subject creating an image that looks more like a painting than a photograph, 
but other times I choose to create the magic through digital means. 

How is this done, you might wonder? Through advanced programs 
such as Lightroom and Photoshop, photographers get the opportunity to 
shine like artists and bring their vision to life through blending layers, 
masks, textures, the merging of multiple images, etc

Below is an example of an impromptu photo I took of my daughter Ashley 
with her puppy, Zoey. You can see how the before image is super sweet and 
evokes an emotional response, however I saw the potential to take that to a higher 
level and create real portrait artistry, as shown in the after result below. For me, 
creating portrait imagery that takes whoever is viewing it on an emotional 
journey is the ultimate goal. Leave them breathless and wanting more. 

Make your portraiture a priceless treasure that each customer wants 
to repeat and can't resist sharing with the world.

For more examples of my photography, click here 
to visit my website or facebook page.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Some people view art; others live it.

“Some people view art; others live it.” - Cheri Wenger

For you creative types out there, you get this statement totally. Art is not just something we look at or create, our whole life is a continual process of appreciating beauty, collecting inspiration and translating that into everyday experiences and art. So it is with great joy and excitement that I can say that after a two year interruption (divorce and other life events just happen), I feel like I can return to the "art" of it passion and my creative self. 

Life sometimes takes us on detours, some of which I have yet to even encounter, but I refuse to allow it to take from me the one thing that gives breath to my life. I create. I need to share it so others can enjoy it, too. Don't get me wrong, I never stopped creating, my enthusiasm and passion dim were merely dimmed. Through the process, I learned a very valuable fact — never let another person dim that light, and make you question your talents.

So here is my welcome back to blogging...I am beyond excited to 

...once again.


Most of you know that my creative roots started way back in kindergarten with my love for drawing and painting, which later evolved into a career in graphic design. After an introduction into digital photography and much encouragement from friends, my passion and interest for photography grew. So why not offer customers a more unique product combining the best of both worlds?

The image above was taken during a beach shoot, and the photo by itself is precious, but why not take it one step further to create a unique work of fine art portraiture? 

How did I do this?

This was created combining other photography images and textures on layers in photoshop with some design brushes to create an expanded background suitable for a large gallery wrap (canvas). 

My customer didn't have quite the wall space for this 16x20 version, so I reworked it in size to fit an 8x10 canvas board wrap which they chose instead. Below is a quick cell phone shot of the it.

Quick tip: Always work in a larger size than you think you might need cause you can always shrink but quality is effected when you try to enlarge.

The smaller finished canvas board wrap

Keep an eye on my blog for upcoming tips and even some tutorials on art portraiture and other DIY creations! I plan to share the chalk paint restored vanity that is now my new desk.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Your Chance to Enjoy the Tropical Lifestyle

Ever imagine what it would be like to live in Florida and experience those beautiful surroundings 24/7? Here is your opportunity! We just listed our home for sale by owner. You can get a sneak peek inside by viewing some of the photos of our 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage tropical paradise.

You can view more photos and  house information on Zillow.

Imagine yourself poolside or enjoying the backyard...

If the winters up north have gotten to you, this is a gorgeous 
property that would also make a wonderful second home.
Contact owners at 321-243-3051.

At $249,900, this one won’t last long!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Photo-Texture-Word Art

The combination of three things...a photo, a texture and some inspiring words, can bring about new art.

I started with a photo of some clouds that I had taken on my iPhone that I later edited in Snapseed...

Image © 2013 Cheri Wenger Design Photography

Next I overlayed one of Kim Klassen’s “just a touch” textures found here.

Original Image © 2014 Kim Klassen (This is just a screenshot to reference 
the image. Go to the link above to download the texture and to register 
to receive other textures created by the talented Kim Klassen.)

Recipe: Used kk_just a touch2 texture with linear burn overlay at 78% opacity on a layer stacked above my cloud image, shown above to get the blending of image with texture.

Final step in Photoshop was adding some words in assorted sizes and colors on separate layers in Photoshop. These have to be stacked on top of the texture and photo layers so that they are visible.
It is always good to save your layered Photoshop file for future editing before flattening and saving your composited final image as jpg, tiff or other file format for sharing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Shoot, The Vision and then, that Smile

The day began with a simple shoot objective: to build a portfolio of modeling images for Ashley with a fashion feel to them. The morning was foggy and overcast so I was excited to see what we would get. The first shot was meant to be a test. In fact, Ashley said she wasn’t even aware that I was ready to shoot photos. I love the calmness and mystique. I believe that Ashley took on the mood of her surroundings and it showed in throughout this modeling shoot.

You can view the entire Modeling in Melbourne gallery of images from this shoot on my facebook page.

The vision: to capture some high-fashion images with a variety of moods and poses taking advantage of the props that mother nature was providing naturally admist the backdrop of the river and train trestle. The trestle was the perfect location. The colors and textures contrasted with the background, but beautifully complimented Ashley’s hair and skin which lead to some beautiful shots.

After a serious of very striking, moody poses, I coaxed out of her a smile, and I knew at the moment I clicked this shutter that it would be one of my portrait favorites. As photographers, we see smiles of all kinds, some cheesy, forced and even some over the top ones, but when a true natural one is captured it is pure magic. After taking a series of such serious shots all morning, this smiling one stood out even more! That is why I couldn’t resist entering this image into the Smile Photo Challenge contest. You can check it out or enter your own submission on their site.

Photo Challenge Submission

Saturday, November 23, 2013

’Tis the Season for Custom Christmas Cards & Holiday Gifts

Are you in that crazed and dazed stage of the holidays where you are about to attack your shopping list, prepare the turkey, get the house decorated to impress everyone you know and then, oh yeah, squeeze in that holiday family photo session AND order your cards? I can relate to the big flurry of tasks and sleepless hours ahead, my friends. So as a girl who always likes to help her friends out, I have partnered with to make the holidays just a tad bit easier for each of you...and honestly, me too! Yes, you may know that I have designed many a Christmas card, invite, etc. myself, but I was searching for a way to offer more awesome options for my family, friends, design and photography customers and found it here. So check out my new CWD SHOP, the place for fantastic and fun custom photo products, cards and more!  Click on the image below to check it out.

You will find great, customizable cards for Christmas, Hannukah and all of the other holidays of the year. This can be your shop for birthday invites, moving notices, birth announcements and other great life celebrations. Here is just one of the trendy new designs they have, ready for you to customize with your family’s name and photo...

Three EASY WAYS you can order cards & other photo products:

1. My Cheri Wenger Design Photography customers can select up to 3 images from their photo session. Fee is $15 for upload service. ( I am waving this for all new shoots before Dec. 15th, so book your photo session now!) 321.243.3051. I will add you as a client on my gift shop site and send you an email link to the storefront where you can shop and use the photos from your photo tray to customize the products. As this is a busy photo season, allow some time for me to do this which takes a little while for the high res files to upload. Contact me for pricing if you want more than 3 photo added to your tray. Customize your products and complete your order online. Be sure and let me know what you thought of your shopping experience by emailing me at

2. DO it YOURSELF cards with YOUR IMAGES - Start at Use the tabs to select the style you want, photo or product you want to order. There are pet cards, Christmas cards, ornament cards and more! Have fun choosing.  Here is one example of one of the cute ornament cards available. Talk about an extra treat for the recipient!

3. Order First, Upload Later - For those of you who know what design you want, know which photo(s) you want from your customer gallery, you can complete your order, send me the order # and I will upload the photo. Once I submit, you will receive confirmation that your order is complete along with a client proof to review. Pretty easy, huh? Just $15 fee for any previous photo shoots. Any new shoots booked from now until Dec. 15th will receive this free of charge.

Still need to accomplish that family photo shoot?
Book a session today, spaces still available for family mini and full sessions. Call 321.243.3051.

Friday, September 27, 2013

A girl and a horse and beautiful farm

As a photographer, part of the process of capturing truly memorable images and considering the location for the shoot, the time of day that will convey the lighting and vision you have in mind, and of course figuring out how to utilize the lighting, posing and scenery to your creative advantage.

Through the generosity of my friend, Holly, I was able to indulge Ashley’s fantasy to do a farm/western style photo shoot with her. Since she was little, my daughter has always loved horses and has always known how to play to the camera and pose. So much of my work was pretty simple, however the technical aspects of on location, natural portraiture brings challenges in capturing the images you sometimes have in mind.

Here are my top 12 favorites from the session...

 If you would like to view more of the images, check out my fan page on facebook where I have posted the album or view the gallery directly on my Cheri Wenger Design Photography website. If you aren't a fan of the music, just hit mute while you browse the site, and if you want to see any of the photos at a larger size, just hit the slideshow button in the upper right and hit escape key to exit when done viewing.

Please leave me comments, suggestions and inquiries if you are interested in having me take photos of you or your family. If you are on the facebook fan page, be sure to like my page and help me expand my fan base. Thanks! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oh, The Sunlight in Your Hair!

There is something so simple and beautiful about the sun painting a radiant glow along the edge of flowing locks of hair. This is something that can be so beautifully captured as the sun begins to set. It is the perfect kiss of color of nature’s purest highlights that can turn an ordinary portrait into a brilliant result. You can literally watch the sun work it’s magic to breathe life into the frozen frame of a portrait.

This technique of hair lighting works with any color hair, but with lighter shades, it is often most striking. For these casual senior portraits, the location was the side of the road, yet you can see how the sun against the dark green palette illuminates, Kylie in her photos.

We later moved to a brighter location away from the trees to allow some brighter light to shine down. And for these shots, I really wanted to showcase her long beautiful hair so I asked her to turn away from the camera and tilt her head up. Then I asked her to bunch up her hair and play with it. These shots were a mix of dramatic and playful images...and ones that became our mutual favorites from the evening photo session.

Photo Tip: When you feel like you are running out of ideas and poses to try. Ask your model to touch or play with her hair. Since it is ultimately attached to the person, there becomes some type of emotional attachment that unveils itself before the camera. It also helps to loosen up their hands and get them more comfortable with posing. Depending upon their hairstyle, you might want to introduce a clip, a headband, a hat or some other prop. Try this out at your next shoot and share with me your results!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Impromptu Sessions - Just Grab Your Camera and Shoot

During our recent vacation in the Florida Keys an unexpected photo opportunity arose when we stopped off at a cute little oceanside park just past the 5 mile bridge. My daughter’s boyfriend starting climbing a tree, and soon after, she followed. With camera in hand, I snapped some photos of them climbing, sitting and posing for a few couples shots. We had to work around the wind, but I have to share with you this tree shot that is just priceless of the two of them. Here is the sepia-toned image followed by the color version. There are a few others, but I love how her hair was flowing in this amidst the backdrop of the twisty branches.

And here is the color version (below)

If you choose to do a similar tree shoot. Compose your shots to work with the branches rather than fighting them. Below, the widespread branches acted as a support for James in the background, while the larger trunk made a great ledge for Kylie to be seated in the foreground. Another perk of shooting from this angle is that you also get the beauty of the blue sky peeking through the branches.

Seated and smiling, they look very happy and relaxed sitting in the tree. Be sure when shooting from below to utilize a zoom lens to enable you to get close to the couple, and be mindful of their clothing and positioning of their legs so the shots aren't overly revealing or awkward.

Also pay attention to how the light is falling to avoid harsh shadows or harsh patches of sunlight across faces. Unfortunately, I did not have my flash along with me to use a fill flash, however, I think we still managed to pull off some great images considering these were mid day shots, not the ideal time for lighting.

Getting a very natural portrait of a guy, especially a teen male, can be challenging since they aren't typically as into having their photos taken as girls their age. That is why I seized the moment to take some quick portraits of James, having fun and looking very relaxed.

On the ground, the wind proved to be a big challenge (part of the reason we started exploring other areas and shooting by the trees). I did manage to snap this solo beachside shot of Kylie by the tree post.

The lesson learned from this impromptu photo shoot is that when your subjects feel relaxed and in their element, it will show in the portrait session. With family, or even clients, you can stage and pre-plan portrait sessions, but sometimes you have to just throw caution to the wind and work with great opportunities as well as nature’s wonderful props. Forget that they may not have on the perfect outfits or makeup, and just roll with the real life experience. You may be surprised with some of the best, most natural portrait sessions yet! Happy Snappin'!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Entry for Chic Critique's Cover Contest

When I heard about Chic Critique's Cover Contest, I immediately thought of one of the images I was editing from my shoot the other night. It fit the criteria, 3/4 pose, serious expression, creative layout that would allow for headlines and featured articles, so I thought, WHY NOT?

Why shouldn't this great image of Ashley showing off her hot new lacey dress be the one they chose to grace the cover of the next issue. It is the perfect goodbye to summertime fun and moving on to the road ahead.

Be sure to stop by the Chic Critique site and check out all of the enteries. Feel free to leave comments of support, if you like. I will be sharing other great images from some recent shoots, however moving two kids off to college in one week has us a bit busy.

Look for my entry...

Thursday, August 8, 2013