Tarryn Lewis

I came accross Tarryn’s work on Instagram and knew she was one of the people I just had to work with. Luckily we lived in the same city which made it easier to set up. 

She’s a self-taught make-up artist from PE, whose work speaks for itself. You can check it out on her Instagram pages. For personal work, @07tarrynlewis and for client work, @ivybeauty07

We had a concept in mind but lacked the props to pull it off as soon as we would’ve like to. So, we chose a look and did our own thing with what we had. Tarryn is easy to work with and so damn good at what she does. All of that and more is what made this one of my favourite sets. 

For those interested, I used my D750 + 35mm. We shot indoors so I used artificial lighting (Godox TT685 + 120cm octabox) which worked real nice. 

Here’s some of the images we got out of it. 

PS : No flowers were harmed in the making of this set. 

Deenah’s maternity shoot

It was pretty much an unspoken agreement that I’d be the one doing Deenah’s maternity shoot. It’s not a service I offer, but I couldn’t refuse. Not that I would’ve.

With a little bit of research, I found out that the best time to do this kind of shoot is around 30 weeks. This was the plan until that little hospital incident clashed directly with it. We had to postpone, making Deenah around 32 weeks pregnant around the time of the shoot.

The plan was to do a shoot in natural light, around sunset/sunrise (although the former ended up being the better choice because of the cold winter mornings), at a forest-looking location. Then an indoor shoot in addition to that. A friend of ours was kind enough to help out with a dress, so we set the date and headed out to do the shoot.

Here are some of the shots.

Gear used : D750 & 35mm lens

Dad life loading…

There’s so much happening in life right now that photography is almost the last thing I think about…. almost. I did just purchase a sweet 120cm softbox for some moody looking portraits. More on that in a different post.

Backtracking to April, easily the most insane month of 2019 thus far. I thought I’d be inspired to write about it, instead it just revealed how much of an introvert I really am. “Do these people even want to know?” is a question constantly on my mind. If I’m being honest, it’s happening even as I’m typing this. Just me?

It’s been a good month since, so I can sum it all up. I’ve had a health issue that neccesitated a 2-week hospital stay. This happened shortly after my wife was admitted for an issue of her own. At this stage we’ve been in the new place for less than a month. If you were to visit our new home at that time, it would’ve been very apparent by the boxes that were still unpacked and piled up in the lounge. We’ve brought that down quite a bit, since. Because of that stay, I’ve had to cancel three shoots that I had lined up for one of those two weeks. Some latent defects starting showing face in our home, some that needed attention ASAP.

None of this, however, could overshadow the abundance of joy that comes from knowing that one of these days…. a month from now if all goes according to plan… we’ll have our little one earthside.

So far, nothing but love and support has been shown by those who knows Deenah and I. He’s been showered with gifts and neccesities that took a load off our backs and makes welcoming him to his new home a lot easier.

Now that the storm has seemingly died down (at least temporarily – because there’s also a supposed poop-storm ahead), we can focus on preparing for him.

I don’t think there’s “Dadvice” that could fully prepare me for his arrival, but like a lot else in life, I look forward to treading in the unknown and learn along the way.

Sidney’s Farewell Shoot

Hey, Cyber Person! Between moving house and getting things in order for the little one, I feel like I haven’t done a photo shoot in ages. At least not just for the fun of it. I’m at work daydreaming about whipping out my DSLR, slapping on my favourite lens and just go trigger happy on everything around me.

I’ll have to settle for the next best thing for now, which is reliving my recent work. Which brings me to this awesome farewell shoot. When I look back at it, there were no shortfall of challenges. Time, location, weather… you name it.

We found ourselves jumping over a locked gate at one point and battling with PE winds at another. All of this while trying to move between 3 locations within a short space of time.

With that being said, I really enjoyed this shoot. Sidney looked stunning and they (her and her partner) just brought their best to the table in a very natural way.

Here’s some of my favourite shots.

Gender Reveal Party

I’m still getting to terms with the reality that I’ll be responsible for someone’s upbringing when inside, I feel like I’ve still got so much to learn about life. Needless to say, the best way forward is to grab this bull by the horns. Or, this baby by the diapers… or whatever.

If you’ve watched my last video, you’d know by now that we’re expecting a little boy. We can’t wait to have him with us and are counting down the weeks.

We had a Gender Reveal Party at Stir Coffee Co. and I wanted to share some of the images with you. Fun was had and we’re so happy that baby’s already loved even before making his appearance.

I couldn’t really commit to taking pictures, but luckily one of our friends just took initiative. Not bad for a first time, Niven. 😉

I went with a cooler look by using my blogger preset on this one.

Hope, is that you?!

We’re living in one of the most joyful and most challenging times of our lives at the very same time. One of my favourite authors references this as the line between order and chaos. Right there, smack-bang in the middle, wehre there are things you can control and things you simply cannot.

Joyful because of baby that’s on the way and because of our new place of course. 

With the new place, however, we’ve been sent into a debt spiral, fast. Baby’s on the way and we don’t have any apparent way to change our financial situation. 

Did you read that in a panicky voice?

In the midst of all this, somehow, my wife uttered these words “I just know that our situation won’t remain the same and that it will change“.

Maybe she didn’t realise, but at that moment she spoke right into my heart. It was godly, really. Words that I still hold onto while we’re seeing this through. We’re pressed, but somehow we’re at peace. 

I had the opportunity to speak at church one Sunday morning and I took a principle out of the book of Philippians. 

“…Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”

This really ministered to me because what stood out was that emphasis is placed not on finishing, but on the continuance of this work.

If there was ever a challenge to continue… this was it. And we embrace it – fully. 

Blogger-like look.

I might have a slight obsession with creating presets. I’d take anything that would streamline my post-processing and this definitely does that. 

I had a busy day yesterday…my kind of busy, where I do things I actually enjoy. Wifey and I spent most of the day together, hitting the malls early and running some Christmas errands. We stopped over at Vovo Telo for breakfast. The place is set up in a homey fashion, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. 

We sat outside and enjoyed the smell of the lavender garden, but not that bees that were roaming around it. Anyway… this is not a food post, because I’m kinda hungry as I’m typing this and might just go into a downward spiral if I continue in that direction.

Having planned to vlog a little, I took my camera with me. I took a few photos and decided to edit them a bit differently in post. First of all… PE was extremely cloudy on the day and the soft light was so flattering. I mean, the clouds were basically big, natural light diffusers. WIN!

The look I had in mind was “blogger like” (whatever that means…because bloggers are so versatile with their images). I think bright and soft would be a fair description, as opposed to the punchy images I put out on the regular. 
So, I created another preset in the process. Here are the results. Let me know what you think. Would you use this?

Saraye – Dancer shoot

I met Saraye in the church circles and have come to know her as a sweet spirited, kind person. We’ve been planning to work together for almost a year but never got around to it until sometime in November.

Her style leans heavily toward hip-hop but she’s a very versatile dancer who can interpret any song given to her in a way that I still struggle to explain, but that makes you wanna get up and join in…even though you know for a fact that you cannot even 2-step to save your life. I’m always amazed at how some of the best artists make it look easy. 

We didn’t want to over-analyze what we’re gonna do but we did plan to show off some moves in a tom-boyish dance outfit and incorporate the old buildings found in Central, PE. I used different styles of editing in the images and the new “Muted Saraye” preset was born out of it. You can download it here for free.

November was such a crazy month that I only got around to finishing some of the edits this week. You can check out the uploads on my Instagram, but here’s a few of my favourites below. 

As always, all comments are welcome. Thank you for reading! 🙂

We (creators) should talk about this more…

Last week I asked a question in an attempt to gain some advice from other creators. I wanted to know how, as part-time creators, they balance their creative life with the corporate world. I honestly struggle with this from time to time (less now than I did before) and out of all the people who saw the post…only one attempted to answer it.

I manage to push out content and update my social media pages as regularly as I can and even though it’s not as frequently as I’d hope to, it’s far from dormant. 

I found something that works for me and that I can advocate for…that is GETTING UP EARLIER. 
Yes. This simple adjustment helped me up my productivity in a normal day. Who would’ve thought, right?

Dis you right now?

You see, once I clock off from work, it is all uphill from there when it comes to creative work. I’m in such a slump that I just want to eat and sleep. 
In the morning, however, I feel fresh and ready to take on a new day. I capitalize on this by ticking some creative tasks off my to-do list. Whether it be editing a few images, continuing with a blog post, sending out emails, reading or WHY.

This creates a spark that seems to flow over into my mundane, 8-5 work responsibilities. In the back of my mind, I just feel much better knowing that I did something meaningful before having to sit down behind a desk for most of my day.

That being said, this works FOR ME. You may have better productivity during the evening if it suits your lifestyle. In fact, I ran an Instagram poll and these were the results :

I ran this Instagram Poll to determine people’s most productive time of day. 

The thing that I had to realise was that we all have the same amount of time in a day and you just HAVE TO learn to prioritize your time. You cannot do everything… but you can do something meaningful. You just have to choose what that meaningful something is to you. 

Out of frustration, I ranted about the predicament of time earlier this year but that left me right there, flat on my bum, feeling kind of helpless. I would’ve stayed there for the rest of 2018 if I didn’t learn to make this one adjustment. 

So, try it out… who knows, you might just finish that creative project you’ve been postponing since JZ was still serving his first term. 

The real JZ!

How to import a custom Lightroom preset + FREE PRESET!



If you’ve checked out my YouTube video about how to best apply this preset, just skip right to the bottom where you can download it. If, however, you want to know how to import this and any other custom preset into Adobe Lightroom, continue reading. 


So presets are basically a set of adjustments that you can apply to your images in Lightroom with one click. They are convenient for batch editing or just to keep a consistent look through that Instagram feed. Lightroom has some native presets but you can download custom ones or save your own.


Once you’ve downloaded and saved a custom preset, you need to import it into Lightroom in order to start using it. This can be done in a few simple steps. Here’s how.


  1. Open Lightroom


2. Click on any image in the “Develop” module



3. Right-click on User Presets and choose “Import”


4. Open the downloaded preset’s destination folder and double-click on the preset



And that’s it!


Your preset should now show up in the folder you chose to import it to. Enjoy my free Muted Saraye preset and remember to tag @lifeafter8_5 and #lifeafter8_5 on Instagram so that I can see those images.