“All three of these images are of my daughter, and illustrate the different degrees you can take fine art (subtle, to extreme) using photoshop.
In the image with the child laying on the mattress with the butterflies all around her, I wanted the viewer to feel as if they were looking down into this ‘surreal’ moment of a child sleeping and getting a glimpse into her dream – which is to fly, as most children dream of doing.
I added the texture of the roots holding the mattress down as the symbolism that we must let go of things or people that hold us back, break free of negativity in any form, in order to be able to let our dreams take flight.
In the session with the girl sitting in the chair, I wanted to capture the innocence and childlike features that are starting to mix with the young woman attributes that my daughter is becoming.
Time is so fleeting, I look at her sometimes and I can literally see the woman that she is becoming. Other times I am easily reminded of her young age when she needs tucked in at night or the look in her eyes when someone hurts her feelings.
The last image I am showing is a simple black and white that I added textures and overlays to give a “Wet Plate” effect.
Wet plate photography dates back to the 1800’s when photographers had to insert a new glass plate each time to take an image, then as soon as it was taken they would have to place it immediately into their darkroom tent while still ‘wet’, which would oftentimes create this ‘condensation’ effect around the edges of the photograph.
I hope this gives a bit of an insight into what I do at my child fine art sessions. Each photo is very different, and unique to my vision or the clients. They are carefully crafted and thought-out before I ever pick up the camera; from the inspiration, clothes, and even the post-processing, I know what I want the end result to look like.”
Tara’s Photography Tip:
When I first started doing fine art photography with my daughter it was a struggle – she would get bored posing, and didn’t understand why we were doing these weird things, etc.
But once I started to explain the end results of the image and that if she sat ‘this certain way’ I can then turn her into a mermaid (for instance) with my ‘magical program’, everything changed.
Now she begs me to do photo shoots with her and often times she comes up with some brilliant ideas for shoot on her own.
It all comes down to the fact that when working with children for fine art shoots, you have to make it fun! If you can do that, more often than not, they’re more than happy to cooperate for the duration of the shoot.
So I make sure to tell my daughter or my client that is posing for me the story that I want to tell with the shoot and how fun and magical it will look when it’s done.
A tip on editing: In my post-production I use Photoshop CS6 and in almost every fine art image that I create I add some kind of textured overlay.
Where do I find these textures?
I find my textures everywhere. Everywhere I go I am constantly looking at sidewalks, sides of buildings, the wood on floors, everything around me, and then I will take a day and go out and shoot these textures that I have scouted.
If you cannot find any textures or do not have a way to go out and shoot, you can find some amazing free ones online to play around with and get a feel for what they can do.
Also, remember when adding textures that there are many different types of layers you can make it.
I commonly use “Multiply, Soft Light, or Overlay” and then I play with the opacities and add sometimes up to 8 or so different textures! It all depends on the look you are going for in the image.
If you want to take your fine art image to the next level, I highly suggest you just start playing around with different textures at different opacities and layer modes.
And don’t be afraid to add more than one either – layer them up and get creative! On the image with the butterflies for example I believe I used somewhere around 15 textures!
I challenge you to add just one to your next image and see how different it can make the whole composition and feel of your photograph.
Tara used a Canon T4i with a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens to capture these images.
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