My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a photographer, writer, graphic designer, model, and former journalist who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. This is where I share my life daily, as a creative professional.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I enjoy traveling, home improvement projects, sewing and gardening. This is a glimpse into my life and work and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

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Lens flare.  Some like it, others don’t.  For some photographers, it’s a happy accident due to backlighting and can give images a light and airy look.  For other photographers, it can be annoying.

Once I realized lens flare would cast a gray hue on skin tones, I immediately cut back and corrected my stance while shooting to get another shot.  However for some shots, I like it. Let’s take a closer look at when I like it and when I don’t.

What is lens flare?

Some might refer to it as sun flare.  It’s a reflection, ring, or glare that happens from the sun/light at an angle directly bouncing light around your lens resulting in the visible scatter of haze or artifacts on your image.

But does it mess your shot, or does it help your shot? Let’s look at some examples.

boynton-canyon-vortex-sedona-diana-elizabeth-phoenix-magazine022See left of image has green.  I like the sun, but I don’t like the green lens flare.


Lens flare can be used to emphasize drama or make something look more to life – like in television shows JJ Abrams overused it a lot in the last two Star Trek films.  I like it during movies.

For some editorial shots, I am requested or suggested to capture lens flare, so this shows that lens flare is relevant.

When I like lens flare

  • When I captured a moment and couldn’t avoid it – moment wins (but there are other factors)
  • When I can use it to add a feeling – I love it in cinematography
  • I’m trying to make it look like we’re in heaven.  Kidding.
  • It’s an airy look that doesn’t wash out skin tones and/or focuses on a product and compliments the series of photographs

Examples of when I like it:


This cutie above wouldn’t stay still as most his age don’t – so I just kept snapping.  I couldn’t tell mother or child to move but the moment captured, sun was there, I’m fine with this image.  It also barely washes out his skin tone.

This next one is details of the groomsman. I prefer the one with flare because I see more detail with their boutonniere but it adds a more airy look to the masculine wardrobe.  It’s a toss up – the second frame I tried to correct it but I cut the detail so that didn’t work.


I like this because the flare isn’t disrupting my scene – it’s all in the sky.  It doesn’t mess with my subject or landscaping and instead of a distraction it warms up the shot and gives more personality.

These two are debatable if they are lens flare since you don’t see actual particles or reflections but I still consider it, but suitable in a way I like.

diana-elizabeth-portrait-couple-engagement-ideas-photography-posing-ideas-angela-saban-design-farm-shoot-gilbert-arizona-couture-farm-rent-the-runway-chickens-goats-062diana-elizabeth-portrait-couple-engagement-ideas-photography-posing-ideas-angela-saban-design-farm-shoot-gilbert-arizona-couture-farm-rent-the-runway-chickens-goats-064Above works because of color, doesn’t affect skin too much. Again, it’s about preference.

When I don’t like lens flare

  • Portraits – show me an actor’s headshot that has lens flare
  • When I want to see the pretty person but I’m distracted by what looks like pollution
  • When it washes out skin tones/makes them gray
  • When it distracts me from concentrating on the real subject

Examples when I knew I had to readjust my shot, see the second one is better:


And back to the first image that started this post.  The one on the left doesn’t give her pregnancy glow any justice, I could still incorporate lens flare but have avoided muddling her skin tone.  I still gave my clients a few in between and what I think are decent lens flare photos because it’s all a matter of taste or my client can feel connected to the feeling or moment.  I have seen some lens flare where the skin tones look different but it focuses on perhaps a piece of jewelry, bouquet, or object that makes the person less important, so I believe it can be a great compliment to an image.

Solutions to avoid lens flare

  • Use a lens hood
  • Move – readjust your position and/or have subjects move
  • Have a green dot?  It can be filter flare – I don’t use filters

Lens flare isn’t for everyone but it can be your style too.  What do you think? Do you like lens flare?

For Photographers, Photography

#shop#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias


A little story about my first real introduction to tea -

I was 21, fresh out of college and was living in Los Angeles on my own. My college friend Dan swung by to visit, having already been in town for another occasion. He later went grocery shopping, couldn’t find much to eat at my bachelorette pad and returned with a large box full of tea packets.

“Are you going to drink all of that?” I asked, “I don’t think I need that much tea.”

“It’s not for you,” he answered, “It’s for your guests. You need tea to be a good hostess.”

Dan and his big brother behavior. In college we went to lunch and when we were being seated, we reached for the same chair. I let go, moved to the next seat over, pulled out my chair out and sat down.  He remained standing by the first seat and stared at me in silence.

“What kind of guys have you been dating?” he asked.

And that was the start of life lessons from Dan.

#ad #teaparty

Since then, tea has become a bigger part of my life – themed bridal or baby showers, my favorite is vanilla chai, and loved a recent introduction to Thai tea. Of course I now have tea options at home like a good hostess. Dan would be so proud. I also married a man who opens my door and when appropriate, pulls out my chair – I have drastically upgraded since college.

#ad #bigelow #teaparty

You know that moment when a guest asks if you have something on hand and the answer feels like a resounding yes?  That’s how I remember feeling when my first guest asked if I had tea – like I won the Hostess with the Mostest award.

Since then, I’ve expanded my hosting beverage options.

For those who prefer not to drink caffeine, not all teas contain caffeine.  The back of a tea box will tell you how much caffeine is in a drink.

#ad #teaparty #tea #bigelow

I stopped into Walmart and on my list was to refresh my hostess supplies, tea included. These past few months we have had a revolving door of guests and we have been enjoying it.

#bigelow #tea #ad

Additionally if you’re a Keurig owner, I saw Bigelow tea pods as well in several flavors.

Do you like my pink sugar Eiffel Tower?  I picked it up at the Paris airport on my way back from the French Riviera and had to get rid of my remaining euros.  Speaking of euros, now would be an excellent time to travel with the exchange rate.


One box has 20 individually wrapped packs. Bigelow prides themselves on being all American, three generations owned since 1945.  The tea is made in the USA at the Charleston Tea Plantation which is America’s largest tea garden.  You can visit the Charleston Tea Plantation for music festivals, tours and host a wedding there!

#ad #teaparty

I also have some exciting news – Bigelow has limited edition Girl Scouts cookie flavors in Thin Mints and Caramel & Coconut flavor! You can find them on stands at groceries now, if not soon.

Visit Bigelow Tea’s Facebook and follow them on Twitter. What’s your favorite tea?

Easy Recipes, Home + Garden, Product Reviews


Cami - $39, Slip - $49, 16″ half slip - $34
Your choice of colors and v-neck or scoop neck!

After Kokoon saw my post about why every women needs a slip in her wardrobe, they agreed with the importance of slips and wanted to gift one of you with a collection of Kokoon slips!

This is a perfect gift for Mother’s Day – or for yourself!

See more of Kokoon’s Spring 2015 line here. You may recognize a gal modeling a few of the outfits.


As always entering my giveaways are easy – simply leave a comment.

You will receive in the slip set (1) a cami valued at $39, (2) a full slip valued at $49, and my favorite (3) the 16″ half slip valued at $34 all in your choice of colors and in v-neck or scoop neck.

I certainly love reading your comments, so tell me a story about your favorite lesson your mom taught you, or if you are a mom, perhaps what your child(ren) have taught you as a mom – let’s celebrate all the mothers!

Open to US residents only – winner announced Friday morning.  Good luck!

Lifestyle, Style


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