An Airy and Pastel Hand Edit

hand edit Jan 15, 2020

Hey everyone!


For this image, I wanted to give the image a light, airy, and pastel look.

If you’re a premium member, I did something a little different. I am including a PSD file with all of the layers. You’ll be able to go in and tweak them or play around with them however you want. It’s up to you if you want to just follow along with the tutorial or delete all the layers and do it for yourself! Are you interested in becoming a premium member? Sign up for the premium membership to get instant access to this tutorial.

For this tutorial, I went over all the layers in the file. If you’re the user of an action, a lot of time you’ll see layers in the actions. It’s a great idea to double click on all of them and see how the artist made the actions. You’ll be able to learn a little more with it. You should also look at the layer styles as well.


This image is great to experiment. You can play around with all the layers that are...

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The Mermaid Look - Adding Hair Tutorial

compositing tutorial Jan 08, 2020

Hey Everyone!

For this image, I really wanted to highlight the mermaid look of the model by giving her thicker and more voluminous hair.

Whenever modifying model features, like hair, it is very important to make sure that the editing looks natural and realistic. In this tutorial, I didn’t want the additional hair to look like an unfitting block pasted on top of the model’s natural hair, I wanted for it to blend nicely. 

For this, I used the Mask and Warp tool on the imported stock pieces. I played with the tools until the additional hair fitted the model’s head shape perfectly. If you want to see exactly how I made this natural blend, you can sign up for the premium membership to view the full tutorial.

Finding the perfect color for the imported stock hair is key to making the composite look great as a whole. I worked with the lighting and started to play with the highlights/curves tool to make the model’s new hair blend well with her natural hair....

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Dreamy Book - Gradients, Solid Color Layers, and Brushes

compositing tutorial Dec 23, 2019

Hello everyone, today’s tutorial will be a bit of a throwback! I dug through my hard-drives and pulled up this fun RAW for us to work with today! This original image was shot in a completely dark room with just a flashlight and her book.

We’re going to be giving this image a bit of a fantasy look with plenty of gradients, solid-color layers, and brushes.

 The first thing we’re going to do is work with our camera RAW, tweaking our exposure and shadows just a bit. We’re going to mess around with the details menu and make a few more adjustments before opening up our image in Photoshop. It can get a bit confusing, but following along with my full video tutorial (available through my (premium membership) definitely helps!

We’re going to straighten and crop our image before we go in and clean up some of the bruises on her legs. From there, we’re going to flatten our image and run our frequency separation! You can use this feature in...

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"Oh, Christmas Tree" a nostalgic Christmas composite

photoshop basics Dec 13, 2019

Hey, guys! Happy holidays to all. Today’s tutorial is more of an advanced one. There’s going to be tons of stock image adjustments as well, so then we’re going to use stock image websites like Pixel squid and Deposit photo. Now, I did complete the same composite last year so I will be flipping back and forth using it as a guide. You can always check out my previous tutorial along with many more with a premium subscription!

We’re starting with a base image with an empty room. I already prepared in advance so I have images masked & cut out. We start by just adding our already cut layer, I prepped a little girl with her cat and little brother.

To set the warm holiday setting, we just add our cut out of a flame and change its perspective to get things toasty! We continue with a rug, and a couch, table and a tiny gingerbread man. Most of my images are from pixel squid, which I love, it saves me so much time. It’s so much easier than trying to find the...

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A Very Vintage Little Girl

photoshop basics Nov 27, 2019

Hey guys, today we’re giving this little girl a vintage painterly feel. To start off, we resize the image ratio so that fits for anything we might be printing.

The first thing we’re going to work on is our skin! We use the lasso tool and a blur filter to smooth it out, this gives our little girl a smoother and more dramatic look.

In order to add textures, we need to add some vignette.  The contrast really gives us that dramatic feel we’re looking for. I like to turn the layer I’m editing on and off to see the difference it makes, this is just so I don’t get too crazy with my edits!  

From there, we’re going to load up some stock from my hard drive, at this point I’m just looking for a nice texture. You guys can literally find textures anywhere, so don’t be afraid to explore and get creative!

From there, I’m going to flip my texture clockwise and have the whole texture fit in nicely and repeat with a second texture....

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Should you be doing Free photo shoots? Here is my Opinion...

To shoot for free or not to shoot for free, that is the question.

There is a longstanding debate among photographers about whether or not it’s ever appropriate to do photoshoots for free.  

Many photographers argue that doing any sort of free photo session devalues your work and the profession. Others say that shooting for free is necessary for building up a portfolio and getting pictures for your website. 

In my opinion, you should shoot for free, but the reason why it may not be what you think.

Sure, I will agree that at the beginning of your photography career it’s beneficial to build up a portfolio by offering a few free photo sessions to friends and family. I often used my kids as models, and I still do to this day. I’ve also asked my neighbors for permission to photograph their children for composites and provided free photos in exchange. However, this is not the only reason you should offer gratis photography services.

Often, as we grow as a...

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The Forgotten Puppet Tutorial

Hey guys, today we’re going to make a bit of a creepy puppet composite image! We’re going to develop our puppet composite with both pictures I took myself, and some downloaded stock images. I’ll show you where I grab all my stock in my full tutorial offered through my premium membership.

We’re going to cut out our subject and place her onto our background before we resize her. Then we’re going to place our chains and play around with them to make them look as realistic as possible. When we're done doing that, we're going to group them into their own layer.


Then we’re going to bring in the bottom of her bottom skirt and resize/ distort it to match our body. We’re going to tweak it a tad bit in RAW, bringing up our shadows and warming up the image slightly. To make the top of our subject match the bottom just a little more, we’re going to make a copy of it, adjust it in Camera RAW, mask it, and brush it where needed (we want it...

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The Headless Doll Tutorial

composite tutorial Oct 23, 2019

Headless doll tutorial 


Hey guys,


Today we’ll be going through a pretty creepy tutorial in the honor of Halloween being right around the corner. In this tutorial, we’ll be creating our very own headless doll! Since this tutorial is more advanced, I will be moving a bit faster. If you’re a beginner, you might want to warm up with some of our easier tutorials before diving into this one.

We’re going to be using stock images for the neckpiece and wig. Next, we use the quick selection tool to select the head and hands for a new layer. Then we blend the head and hair from the image to make it disappear before we repeat with the upper body and hands of our subject.


Now things are really starting to become spooky, we can bring out our upper mannequin half and blend it up, it should look nice and smooth. Our doll is dead, so we need to color her skin grayish and pale. I go into more detail about how to give our mannequin a more lifeless in...

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03: Legally launching your photography business: Interview with Sean Tshikororo of DIYtheLAW

contracts podcast Oct 16, 2019

Starting your own photography business from a legal standpoint can be tricky. 

Case in point: 

Do you know what stock images you're allowed to use in your work? 

Is a watermark enough when it comes to protecting your images? 

Are model releases and client contracts necessary to running a photography business? 

The good news is, you don't have to find the answers alone.

Here to help you is Sean Tshikororo, the experienced attorney behind DIYtheLAW. In the free mini class above, we discuss the answers to these questions and others to help guide you as you work on launching your photography business. 

During the interview, we'll cover everything you need to know about legally launching your photography business and protecting your precious content. Other topics covered include: 

-Things you should keep in mind as you're getting your photography business off the ground. 

-How to determine whether you can use images you find online and how to...

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Best Halloween Photography Tips and Tricks for 2019

compositing photography Oct 09, 2019

Pumpkins, leaves, cool breezes, and cozy fires...autumn is my absolute favorite time of year! So it goes without saying that Halloween is my most-loved holiday. I am that crazy chick that starts digging out the decorations mid-September (or earlier ), and the one you see stalking all of the local stores after Halloween for the awesome sales on costumes and decorations to add to my already insane collection for next year’s photo ideas and home décor.

Fall is also my preferred time of year for outdoor photoshoots. You just can’t beat the beautiful colors, all of the leaves covering the ground lending more depth to your images, and not to mention the weather where you and your clients are neither sweating nor freezing your booties off (at least, that's how it is in the little area of the world where I live).

There is also no other time of year that I get more inspired to create composite images than Halloween with all of the costumes and props floating around and...

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