Today's tip: Make it BLACK and WHITE. Maybe it's nostalgia, maybe it's from those high school photography classes, but I love black and white. I always have. I adore it for children's photos and most of the boys are all in black and white. It's the only way, besides the fridge, that I display their pictures. That is something I have been meaning to do since we moved up here. I used to have a gallery down the walls of the hall at our old house, but since we've been at the rental, not so much.  To-do list, you just got a wee bit longer. I have been toying with the idea of integrating black and white into my DIYs.  You might have seen the FOSSIL ones or the triangle garland.

It works really well for high contrast patterns, especially when you have strange color combinations. At ALT, I was lucky enough to take three photography courses. The first was How to Get Studio Lighting Without the Studio with Jason Hudson and Ryan Marshall. I really wanted to take this because I need to start being able to take photos at night, while the boys are asleep.  If you have ever done a DIY, you know it takes a lot of time to shoot all the steps.  If I could somehow whisk some of that time into the evening hours, I would have more time with the boys. I will share more about lighting later, I can't give away all my secrets in one post.

One of the hints they gave, was that if you are in a situation where the color isn't ideal or you have a really low light area, use black and white. This made a lot of sense, especially at ALT in the peach colored rooms.  Pretty, but wow that was a lot of peach.

Case and point: my sis-n-law's baby shower at a local tea room. We were lucky enough to get the room with cool black and white wallpaper.  I was braced for the worst with burgundy painted walls. *tip: avoid the whole problem all together and get a venue that's not so complicated.

I headed their advice and decided to amplify the contrast with some black and white decorations. I added a striped tablecloth, which is really just a yard of fabric with the edges trimmed. I used the same fabric to make the balloon tassels, my white trash version of a Geronimo balloon. I also added some black crepe paper tassels, too. A before and after:

These are just a quick click to switch to black and white in Picasa. I had complete control over the very first photos above, and you can see there is high contrast. I am going to try to amplify it when I do the edits for her shower, which I will do in Photoshop. While I couldn't control how many of the colors are in the same grey range, switching to black and white sure helped.  I just hope next time I am brave enough to set the camera to B/W from the start.

One of the most important lessons from that entire Saturday?  Take a good picture to start with, then edits are minimal or nonexistant.