Archive › September, 2013

Don’t pose people with trees or garbage cans

As I was pondering an appropriate photo tip for today I came across an amazing group photo from Digital Photography 1 in Manitou Springs earlier this month. Today’s tip: Never pose people with trees, garbage cans or sun spots. You can see why…

Jocelyn, this one’s for you! Love, from all of us. :-)




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Feature Friday // Jamie’s Famous Cookies

I take you away from our regularly scheduled photography Feature Friday to give you: Jamie’s Famous Cookies {aka. Conzatti Chocolate Chip Cookie}

For those of you who were at the live workshops the last two weeks … You know what these are. Many of you have asked for the recipe and I thought, “well, maybe other people could enjoy the greatness of these cookies too!”

So. I took out my iPhone {because to me, iPhoneography is art … ;)} and I took pictures of the cookie making event. Here is a play-by-play of how to make Jamie’s Famous Cookies. Let me know how YOUR recipe turns out! Any modifications you make are welcome too!

Set oven to 375 or 350. I have tried both temps and right now, I like 375 better. :)

You must make sure that you have a mixer large enough to hold all of the dough this recipe makes. It makes a lot. Like, 4 or 5 dozen! I use our Kitchenaid 6 quart mixer with the regular paddle. I used to use the whisk part to get my butter and eggs fluffy enough, but the regular cookie dough paddle works great. Just takes a little more patience.

1 cup of soften butter {room temperature is good}

1 cup of Coconut Oil {we get ours from Costco}

Then. You whip. Whip. Whip. I have found that using coconut oil that is a liquid works better than when it is solid. {I also know that in some parts of the world, coconut oil is always liquid. Here in the Northwest, it’s pretty much always solid, unless you melt it in the microwave.}

2 cups of white sugar

2 cups of  brown sugar

Whip. Whip. Whip. Basically leave on high for like 1 or 2 minutes.

1 tsp vanilla {I always seem to stub my toe when adding vanilla … So it ends up being 2, 3, or 4 tsp of vanilla … I never measure. Just dump :)}

4 eggs

Whip. Whip. Whip. So it looks like that.

Ok. So. I know traditional cookie recipes will tell you to combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and then add to the wet part of the dough. But  me? I say, “As few dishes as possible!” And it works to just add the baking soda and salt first and then the flour.

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp salt

Mix in.

4-5 cups of flour {I think it depends on how much vanilla you ended up adding}

Personally, I would rather my cookies be a little soft and doughy instead of “cakey”. So, I try and err on the less flour side. However, not enough and they will be a puddle in the oven. So keep adding flour until it’s still a little wet but not sticking to your fingers too bad. You’ll have to figure out what you like best.

2-3 cups of chocolate chips {or more if you want}

1-2 cups of walnuts {or nuts of your choice. These are optional.}

Your dough might look like that. That is good.


Once there is enough chocolate and nuts to make you happy. You get to bake these cookies. Sometimes I just put them on a sheet and in the oven they go.  Like this.

Or you can do what I call, Pazookies, and bake the dough in pyrex dishes and when they are almost done, pull them out of the oven and throw a scoop of ice cream on top. It’s dangerously good. {This is why I CrossFit people!}

They take about 8-10 min to bake. This is what you do while you wait.

{Thank you to Mr. Knightley for modeling the “patiently waiting” pose so well}

You’ll know the cookies are done when they are a little brown on the edges and pretty white in the middle with a couple cracks. Like this awesome picture. {Taken by yours truly}

You MUST pour a glass of cold milk and eat them HOT. They are pretty much the bomb that way.

The incredible Kay Tanner took a picture during Portraiture and Lighting in Colorado. So you can see another super awesome image here.

So there you have it. Please make and enjoy. And let me know how they turn out for you!

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Thursday // Alumni Feature – Ben McElmurray

Ben McElmurray

Growing, Unique, Artistic





IPS gave me the tools to launch me into my photography career and a vision of how i could use my photography

I went back to finish my last 2 years of college at Bob Jones University as a Cinema Production major, and got a job as a student photographer with the campus photography department. I’ve had a fantastic learning environment from shooting year book portraits to business head shots, sports to candids, recitals to graduation, and had photos published online and in the yearbook. I’ve had the opportunity to learn on the job and experiment with all aspects of my photography.

Want to be featured on the IPS blog? Click here to submit your photography information!

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Weekly Gallery Images // September 25, 2013

This week’s images are from our Digital Photography 2 class in Manitou Springs, CO last week. During this live workshop, our students have 3 shoots with actual portrait clients. Here are four of my favorites!


Matt – Photographed by Betsy Reich

Kristen – Photographed by Melissa Machado

Seth – Photographed by Stephanie Book

Annaliese – Photographed by Betsy Reich


Leave me a comment to let me know which one is your favorite and why.

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Digital Videography 1 Now Available

I’m really excited to announce that our Digital Videography 1 class is now available online! I know that there has been a lot of interest in this topic throughout the IPS community as the lines between video and still photography continue to blur.

This course has been several years in the making, and reflects a lot of careful study, research, and a fair bit of beta testing as well. Our first class starts soon – October 7, and lasts until early December. We’ll start another one January 6, 2014.

For more information about the course, visit the Digital Videography 1 page.

[EVENT_ESPRESSO_CATEGORY event_category_id=”digital-videography-1″]


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