Friday, August 27, 2010


I admit that I have become a photographer that absolutely loves using textures to enhance my portraits. My absolute favorites sets come from these amazing women: Shana Rae of Florabella Photography, Colleen of Chasing Dreams Photography and Jessica, from Jessica Drossin Photography. I must say I haven't a clue how they do it, but I know it takes lots of time and talent to sit down and create "art" that will look unique and give photographs that wow factor that in some cases often represents a painted canvas.

With some creative vision and persistence, using textures can actually help salvage certain photographs. For example in this portrait of my beautiful model Macy, I purposely over processed and over-exposed the RAW file in photoshop. Of course there were several steps I took in the before photo to get it that way, but for the purpose of this tutorial I am going to stick to why I did it.

I changed the colors in the backround using some selective coloring, curves to give it a warmer glow. Now Macy's skin is flawless and her color on the pale side so I could have used just a warm filter that would have done the trick, but for me it just didn't have enough depth nor the right hue I wanted for this image. By adding Chasing Dream's "Sun" Texture in an overlay blending mode I was able to create a nice warm hue and even cast a natural shadow effect on her arms. It also warmed up the entire photo and made it more eye appealing to me.

I don't like to erase or mask out the textures on the face and hands so I usually grab my lasso tool and select the areas around her, go to Select>Modify>Feather (setting the feather radius between 10-20) and then with the marching ants still visible, select Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur (I like the radius set at 98) hit okay and this removes the marching ants.

The result is a lovely portrait that maintains the color of the texture without the textured effects, in other words if the brushes are a netted look, grunge or other design element it won't be apparent in the final image.

Not bad huh? Plus in this particular image I really didn't need to do any skin tone adjustments as this texture worked perfectly!!!

Please feel free to try this and just have fun.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome Baby R

I must say that photographing newborns can be the easiest or most difficult sessions to work (depending of course on babies schedule) but this little guy and his lovely parents were just naturals in front of the camera and after several hours, these fav's proved that a little  feeding and patience got the job done!