Prop Insanity

Prop Insanity

Creative Artist Collection ~ Editing Webinar with Stephanie Krupicka, Kansas Pitts, and Stephanie Pana


Watch live, as three exciting and unique artists, all with their own creative editing techniques and genre, edit one of their favorite and most recognized images… start to finish via Photoshop.  Learn the secrets behind their hand editing techniques, and favorite actions, used to create the finished piece of photographic art.

>>> CLICK <<<


One Night Only…. THURSDAY JUNE 25TH, 8PM (cst)

Stephanie Krupicka will show you a gorgeous newborn composite…
Kansas Pitts will complete a delightful family beach image…
Stephanie Pana will showcase a stunning beauty edit.

**NOT AVAILABLE for those within zipcode 83501

>>> CLICK <<<

Details & Restrictions:

  • Class will last approximately 60 minutes… .
  • Details and login will be sent to attendees day of webinar.
  • This is a “silent” class, though each artist may select 1-2 questions (via message box).
  • Class is held via GoToMeeting.
  • Non refundable, though if you are unable to attend you may sell your seat.
  • Seats are for (1) person, and sharing by multiple persons (watching screen etc) is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
  • Videotaping is forbidden, though hand notes are encouraged.
  • Prop Insanity may refund and cancel any purchase made, if a viable reason for termination is found by administrators.

Due to the digital nature of this product there will be no refunds issued.

Location Scouting – Part 2… Done E.A.S.Y.


I am always on the hunt for a new location… something unique, and hopefully where no other locals have shot at.  Not to be greedy… just to simply be unique as I can for my images.

So on a run the other day… I found a gem, right in the open.

See that spot below… and yes, thats my stroller too (lol)… it’s nothing special, smack dab in the middle of my neighborhood… but guess what… IT’S MY FAVORITE LOCATION for spring!


You know that old saying “Choose with your heart, not your head”…
Well… that couldn’t be more true.  I let my photographic eye do the scouting, and kept my “head” and any negative suggestions quiet.

Needless to say… I couldn’t be happier with that decision.


It’s 1 block from my house, just along the side walk… outside my childrens school… left side is tennis courts & playground, right is a house & full neighborhood.

All you need is a bit of imagination, and some genuine creativity. Small spaces are just as fabulous as those larger “barn like” locations.  There might not be as large a shooting area… but the quality of that small spot may surpass anything you could imagine.


The fun part… right behind those pink blooming trees, is a small soccer field, with a row of trees and small patch of violets… I used that last week for a family session… it was PERFECTION!

(see those violet & family shots at the bottom). 
TJP_4950 TJP_5021v2 TJP_5050v2 TJP_5402v2

Ready for a family session? Right outside a soccer field… and the tiny patch of violets that made my heart sing, and this lil guys 1st birthday picture uber special?


TJP_3879 TJP_3902 TJP_3987

My point…
Keep your mind open, and when you are scouting for shooting locations, look in your own back yard (sometimes literally) before you venture out.

You might find a special hidden gem where you least expect it.


~Tracy Joy

Photography by mj, LLC… Interview!


Here is a super fun little follow up interview, to last weeks session share with
Photography by mj. LLC!

Enjoy… these images are stunning and super fun.

1) What is your photography site, blog url , and any other sites you own that you’d like to share with us?

Main site:
Twitter: WHAT’S THAT?? lol
IG: @photographybymjllc


2) What sparked your interest in the photography world, and when did you start first professionally shooting clients? Plus, where are you located?

It all started for me when my youngest was about 6 months old… I bought my first DSLR… I had NO CLUE what to do with it! I shot on auto (the horror!) for a while, but when I would post pics of the kids on FB, people would tell me I had a good eye and that I should carry on.. so I did….. I immersed myself in everything photography! SOME photographers were willing to help.. others.. not so much :( I was criticized and beat down.. but I kept on dreaming. I started shooting in manual mode and just shot EVERYTHING in sight! I am SO glad I did not stop dreaming for those who did not believe in me. For that, I try to pay it forward to other newbie photogs :)
I shot for a good solid year before I ever collected money from anyone. I did all sorts of free sessions for portfolio building. I remember my first paying client still. I was a nervous wreck!
And oh yea… I’m in the 757… Chesapeake, VA- right outside of Virginia Beach :)


3) And we have to ask, our typical question…… WHAT DO YOU SHOT WITH, and what is your favorite lens?
Talking gear: have 3 camera bodies. ALL CANON, baby!!! I have a 5D MarkIII and a Mark II and I have a 50D that I use as backup to my backup, lol :) My FAVORITE lens that is almost ALWAYS on my camera in my 70-200mm L 2.8 I LOVE it!!!!! Use it at EVERY session, except for newborn. For newborn it’s my 50mm 1.4.


4) Let’s have fun… any extraordinary talent, or obsession, that you’d like to share with us? IE: can you touch your tongue to your nose, or do you snowboard, maybe run marathons or like to mow the lawn in your bikini ? :)
Who doesn’t cut their grass in their bikini??!!! lol
Funny question bc I was just sharing that at the age of 36 I can still do the splits.. my friend freaked when she heard this news. I’ve practiced Yoga for years, so I keep that flexibility. And… this is dead sexy.. I am severely double jointed in my arms.. I can just about turn them 360 degrees without moving my palm from the table.. told you… sexy….
But seriously… I’m getting ready to cut my grass in my bikini :)


5) Now this will be fun, seeing that you have worked with so many amazing vendors that we love & adore as well… it will be a hard one for you, but do you think you can give us a TOP 5 list of prop shops that you love “GO TO”? Please share (and include url)… in no order:

1. My Little Loopy Monsters- she makes MOST of my newborn stuff!!!
2. Snap Happy Boutique… a lot of newborn props come from her… I’ve bought from her for years and her props have grown so much :)
3. Fancy Fabric- For maternity gowns and fabric. I only buy theirs for newborn sessions.
4. Roses and Ruffles- Love their Maternity gowns too :)
5. Swaddle Me Baby- LOVE her wraps!!


6) Do you shoot on location, or do you have a studio that you work out of?
I shoot newborns in my home studio :) Wait.. can I say that?? 😉
All other sessions are done outdoors. I sometimes do maternity in studio… which I LOVE, but other than that… we are outside!!!


7) Do you use actions (have a favorite?), or do you process on your own? We’d love to hear about your #1 processing technique that you seem to use on every edit.
I’m a little of both these days.. I used to NEVER use actions, but now I like using them for CERTAIN images… for newborn, I do not use actions. I like them to be real and timeless.

I have special sessions that I call Into the Woods… these are an artistic approach and I do use actions and sometimes even overlays :) Paint the moon and Greater than Gatsby offer some great actions :)


8) Share with us your ALL TIME #1 FAVORITE image in your portfolio.
Oh wow! that’s tough… all time… I don’t know… I JUST did this one recently. This is SUPPOSED to looked edited and dramatic. While I do natural images.. there is just something about this one. It looks more like a painting to me, and that is what art is, to me… taking a plain image and being able to create in post processing is HUGE.. with the right image :)

9) Do you have any other photography based adventures planned for the near future? For instance, your mentoring.. w’ed LOVE to hear more!
I do offer mentoring :) I’d love to do small group mentoring for newborns. So far it’s just been a handful of one-on-one mentoring, and I’ve made some wonderful life-long photog friends doing it :) If any togs are interested in newborn mentoring, you can always email me for info!!


10) Any fabulous formative info you can “share” with fellow photographers ? Just starting out or seasoned professionals… we could always use inspiration… so we’d love a “pep talk” !
For me… I TRULY follow my motto: “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I was MEANT to do this. I can feel it in my bones. It took a while to figure out my style and my likes/dislikes…. if you’re just starting out.. HANG IN THERE… just keep shooting what makes YOU happy. If you don’t LOVE it.. drop it and shoot until you find what you LOVE… what makes YOU tick? I never want this to feel like “work”. I mean, of course I have days where it’s so much “office work” so it DOES feel like work, but when I start creating, I become ALIVE like never before and it makes it all worth it. Love what you do :)


Scouting Locations – Part 1… in your own neighborhood!


I had a single photographic  & business mission this spring…


Burnt out by all of the local spots, and tired of fighting for a turn to shoot… I opened my eyes, and looked closely.  Closely at my own surroundings and spots that have been right in front of me at all times.  In addition, looking into areas, that are very popular at other times of the year…. and finding hidden shooting gems within them.  Places & spaces I took for granted, thinking either :
1) they are dull & boring, or
2) they arent “seasoned” yet. 

I was wrong… so wrong.
I just needed to look with my creative eye, closely, and with an open mind.

A few weeks ago I happily joined my friend, Cherise Kiel, for one of her local workshops.  We headed out to a local park to scout for a spot for the maternity portion of the workshop.  First, we eased into the local path for shooting… then spotted, back further into the brush (where would regularly be grown in with thick brush later in the year), and found a spot that was more than magical.

TJP_2174 TJP_2224v2 TJP_2305 TJP_2265

With that thought (and gorgeous location) in the back of my mind… I started to think of new ideas for my own photography & clients.

Listening to my creative heart, and thinking outside my comfort zone, I became inspired. It’s early spring. The buds and blossoms are just sprouting, and the forests are not lush & thick yet.  I usually shoot here only in the late summer and fall season.  However, I took a drive through my local forest preserve thinking maybe I may have missed something… and found this.

Deeply hidden by the summer & fall foliage, I never even knew this lil bog was in the thick.  Only about 50 feet from the road, a spring pond & sweet golden evening light.
TJP_3688v3 TJP_3787v2

Inspired by that location and the exhilaration it gave me…  I remembered a small area in my local park… like STEPS away from my home.  I could literally walk there barefoot, it’s that close.  With some great clients, who trusted my instinct… we took this sweet little man down for his 1y pictures.  Needless to say… my intuition was right, and the spot (even though tiny) was perfection!

TJP_3930v2 TJP_3987

With a little bit of work, and a whole lot of imagination & inspiration, I found a few gorgeous spots that felt untouched by other artists and completely “mine” for the shoot.

And love photography in 2015

xo Tracy Joy

Ps, find me at

So think like one. See the world through your artistic soul and not with the average eye. You WILL surprise yourself. Take a leap on a location that makes you a bit “meh”, but something about it keeps dragging your mind (and lens) back to it.