Sally Composite Tutorial

compositing tutorial Oct 04, 2019

Hey Guys! For this spooky tutorial we will be making a fun Nightmare Before Christmas themed composite. I will provide you with the background, and we can build from there.

The image we’re going to use for our subject was already edited. Most times I use a RAW image, but in this situation I wanted to show you how we can still use an already edited image in a composite piece.

We’re going to cut out our subject and paste her onto our background and resize her. You’ll notice just how out of place she looks right away! Not to worry, we’ll blend her in by using several background layers and filters! To see exactly how I do it, you can check out my full tutorial, available through my premium membership.


After we finish blending her, we’re going to use “Match Color” on our subject using our background as the source to make her luminosity a little more like our background.

Since we want her to look like she’s sitting in the grass,...

Continue Reading...

A Complete Guide to Compositing Basics

compositing Sep 25, 2019


The very first step in your composite photoshoot will be conceptualizing what you would like to accomplish. I always recommend talking with your clients before the shoot to get an idea of what they are looking for. Ask them questions, find out what their interest is. What activities do they enjoy as a family, what are their children into…anything of significance to the particular family that you are working with? From here, you can collaborate and really make the family a part of the shoot from the beginning.

Once you have decided on ideas and themes for your shoot, start planning an outfit and prop choices. If you do not provide a wardrobe for clients, send them links to outfits that will best fit the ideas that you have planned. Be sure to give your clients plenty of time in planning and ordering before the shoot takes place.


Next, you'll want to start thinking about locations. If you already know that you would like to use existing scenery and add...

Continue Reading...

4 Lighting Principles I wish I knew when I started Photography

When I first started photography, I struggled a lot with lighting. In the beginning, we are often told to shoot our subjects in open shade. If you don't know how to do this properly, then the results can be disastrous: faces with dark shadows, eyes with no depth, overexposed backgrounds, etc. 

To be able to create composites using your photos, you must first know how to take a properly-lit image. If the lighting in your foundation photo is off, your composite will not look right, even with heavy editing. The following are four basic lighting principles I wish I knew at the beginning of my photography career and that I've personally had a lot of success with:

Lighting Principle #1: The subject is the brightest object in the photo. Unless you are shooting a silhouette, the subject of your photo should always be either the brightest object or equal in brightness to the other objects in the photo.  

Lighting Principle #2: The photo should be free of overexposed highlights....

Continue Reading...

Artist Inspiration: Norman Rockwell Series

compositing Sep 11, 2019

Every now and then, as artists and creative people, we run into someone or something that truly inspires us down to our core.  If you’ve been lucky enough to experience this feeling, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll sort of stop in your tracks and sense that butterfly in your stomach feeling—that excitement where everything stops for a moment and you just think to yourself “wow.” Or, if you’re anything like me, you may even say out loud to no one in particular, “That is freakin’ awesome.” 

As a child, my grandma would take me to these large flea markets that were set up inside of old barns. It would take us hours to drive there, but I loved every second of it. Most children would find this flea market to be extremely boring, and to be honest, I could have cared less about the actual items being sold there—I simply relished in the “feeling” I got in that place. Grandma liked...

Continue Reading...

Which comes first, the Concept or the Shoot?

compositing Sep 02, 2019

Compositing…which comes first, the Concept or the Shoot?

This is something that I get asked every single day from photographers all around the world. “Where do I even start?!  Should I come up with the idea for my composite and choose my stock first, or shoot my subject and come up with ideas on how to use my model and choose what stock I want later. For me personally, the answer is both.

It is always a good idea to have some inspiration in mind when you go into the shoot on what you would like to create from your session. Especially when working with clients, it’s always ideal to ask them if they have any ideas or input as to what they would like for their children, what they would like to see hanging in their home. After all, these art pieces will be displayed in their home and should ideally have a special meaning for them. Consulting with your clients before the shoots also allow for you both to plan on outfit and prop selections.

Just the thought of...

Continue Reading...

Oh Christmas Tree

photoshop basics Dec 21, 2018

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.