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Home, Knoxville, TN

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
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This isn't at all photography related, but I wanted to share a couple of my favorite food tips. These are going to seem really stupid if you already know, but if you don't...

1. Crisp Lettuce. Leafy lettuces are much better for you than the round iceberg variety. Unfortunately, lettuce doesn't take well to being cut and shipped, but there is a way to perk it up. Once I get it home, I pull off all of the leaves and wash them thoroughly before placing them in a bowl. Pour out excess water (I use a mixing bowl with a handle to make this easier) so the leaves aren't sitting in water, but the leaves will still be wet. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When you take out lettuce to use, shake off the water (or use a spinner if you have one).

I'm always amazed at how well this works and how long the lettuce will stay good like this. If you don't use it up in a couple days then you will want to add some more water and flip the bottom lettuce to the top. Just pour out any excess water and cover again.

2. Frozen grapes. These are a great summer snack, and you can get grapes for a really good price right now. Buy seedless grapes (I like the red), pull them all off the vine, and wash them thoroughly in the strainer. I then keep half in the fridge and put the other half in baggies in the freezer. Once the fresh grapes are eaten, I have frozen grapes to snack on. I really like to pour out a bunch in a bowl and eat them as they thaw. They're even better half frozen than completely frozen.

Not long ago I had a bag of green grapes experience freezer burn. Freezer burn is caused by the food being exposed to the dry air in the freezer. To prevent it, I bag the grapes while they're still wet from washing (pour out excess water so you don't get ice) and squeeze out as much air as possible before closing. Use individual baggie servings so you don't have to open and close the same bag over and over.
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Holston Hills Country Club, Knoxville, TN

Monday, August 27, 2007
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Crystal & Mark just celebrated their one year anniversary. The wedding was held at Washington Pike United Methodist Church in Knoxville, and Crystal carried a bouquet of calla lilies. Afterward, the wedding party rode a trolley to the reception at Holston Hills Country Club. Elaine Mason of I Do Cakes served up a delicious cake with chocolate icing. The groom's cakes were cheesecake with sugared fruit on top.

The couple's engagement photos were done at the UT trial gardens on Neyland Drive.
Rosser/Parsons Wedding Anniversary August 26
Rosser/Parsons Wedding Anniversary August 26

Rosser/Parsons Wedding Anniversary August 26Rosser/Parsons Wedding Anniversary August 26

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Farragut, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, August 23, 2007
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If you don't already know, photoshop is a huge part of digital photography. I think it's part of why a lot of film photographers held out for so long and didn't (or still won't) switch to digital. If you master photoshop then you can take good photos and make them amazing. Sometimes you can even take bad photos and make them good.

I'm sorry to say that most of my photos don't come out of the camera looking like the ones on my site. It just isn't possible. Of course you need to start with a good photo to end up with something amazing. The tricky, time-consuming part is going from good to amazing with a little photoshop magic. 

Of course it makes us regular folks feel better to find out that celebrities aren't really as beautiful as we're led to believe so check out the iwanex site. Click on the portfolio link at the top for some cool, mouse-over examples of photoshop magic applied to celebrity photos. Of course these people had already been worked over by hair and makeup professionals and photographed by some of the highest paid pro photographers. It just shows that everyone (I admit that Halle Berry is just about perfect even without photoshop) can benefit from a little photoshop help. I'm not quite as heavy-handed with it, but I apply the same sorts of touch-ups to my portraits.
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Farragut, Knoxville, TN

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
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If anyone picks up a copy of the magazine "I Do" for Tennessee Brides then you can check out their write up on one of my 2006 couples, Mandy & Johnathan Sitzlar.

Mandy's parents own Butterfly Gap, and she helps run the place with her sister Laura. It's really a gorgeous venue, and their whole family will go out of their way to make your wedding perfect. I highly recommend checking them out for a wedding, event, or just a romantic weekend get away. Marcus and I have spent the night in one of their guesthouses before, and it was very relaxing.

Also, I just received a great review in Clarksville's The Leaf Chronicle. After you check out the review, read more of Melissa's blog. She obviously has great taste since she declared my work officially hot. However, I have to say that it's my couples who are truly hot, and they make my job so much easier.
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Hidden Mountain Resort, Sevierville, TN

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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On Sunday, I photographed an engagement session for Diana & Zach who will be married in November. These two are just adorable. Although the heat can make it more difficult to be affectionate, they did a great job. Diana is a natural in front of the camera, and I'm excited to see what we come up with on their wedding day.

The wedding will take place in Sevierville with a reception at Hidden Mountain Resort Lodge, and that is where they chose to do the engagement photos.

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
With this last photo, the sun was behind them and hit the front of my lens. Instead of just trashing it, I experimented with some textures and colors. I think it's one of those things you either love or hate, but I like to mix things up once in a while.
Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
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Welcome!
Welcome to the Nancy Hellsten Photography blog! This is the place to be if you’re looking for wedding ideas and photography promotions or if you just want to view some great photos and see what I’ve been up to. If you or someone you know are getting married, having a baby, or just want some relaxed portraits with the family, please visit my website or contact me for more information. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting and check back often to see what’s new.
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