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Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 1

Lesson 30 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 1

Lesson 30 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

30. Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 1


Class Trailer

Day 1




Psychology of Parenthood


The Power of a Story


Composition and Color


Psychology of New Parent and Connecting


Pre-Session Questionnaire


Posing Basics for Connection


Lesson Info

Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 1

This is what you need to remember when you composite the class acronym I learned this from ben shirk who is an amazing composite er the guy's a genius he's like a richard start of aunt color light atmosphere and size you must nail all these things to make it look like it belongs. Okay? The biggest challenge people have is when they bring the subject into a background there like this looks awful how do I make it fit in the background in the frame just they totally looked like they were photographed separately right and it always looks like that when you first drop it in but then you're gonna take the next steps to make it blend and look correct according to the background that you're putting the subject into okay so you need to make sure the color of your subject or all the elements that you're putting into your image match the background so if it's a warm background you need to warm up the subject correct light the lighting direction must make sense remember yesterday when I was talkin...

g about the frozen image and I was like ok the lighting on the backgrounds going this way and the lighting from the subject is coming the other way it might look a little weird but we're going to go for it okay on a composite it's incredibly important that the light fits if you've got backlight and the subject is four lit or vice versa. And you know, it'll look funny like where's the light source the light source is not does not make sense in the image and it will confuse the eye and the left brain will go. What was not right? This is not right. It looks like junk. Okay, so light is you must think about lighting when you're shooting atmosphere. If you ever noticed in images like even when you just take a landscape image there's dust and missed on the things that are far away the eye, the atmosphere has justin particles in it. And when weather geek me coming in, when the sun and the light refracts off that stuff, it reflects in the atmosphere and creates this haze. Okay, that hes implies distance so the hazier something is the further away it isthe so that's dealing with atmosphere in perspective so you can use fog and hayes and clouds. Tto help make help your image, make sense and help your subject blend into the background. Because if that subject is farther away, you're going to want to make sure that they have the same level of haze that the normal naked eye would see to make it seem real. Does that make sense? The same thing goes with perspective, you know you want to make sure that you're shooting at the correct angle so that your background your subject were both at the same angle you don't want to shoot something up from up high and then put him on a background were shooting from down low I mean that just doesn't make sense so when you're shooting the biggest things you need to remember our lighting and camera angle you have to nail those before you do the composite if you screw that up your composite is not gonna work okay then when you get into photo shop color has to be correct lighting has to be correct so if you don't have a light source where yourself will you show your subject? You better make one in photo shop so it makes sense okay an atmosphere, distance and perspective and size your subject has to fit the size of the background you're putting them in now this image here is surreal it's a little bit of fantasy butterflies aren't that big? Okay no man can stand on the books like that so it's a little bit fairy tale that's ok it's on purpose you're I knows that your mind knows that and you could do it but if it looks off because you didn't know what you're doing, the viewer of the image will go that something's wrong I don't know what it is but something's something's not right okay so make sure you're really thinking about that acronym class have some class and your images color lighting atmosphere in size all those things have to fit in order for it to work as a final image okay and that's where people get hung up is usually when they're composite doesn't look rights because one of those elements is not working okay so that might help you look at your work and say what's not right here oh yeah my atmosphere is not right I don't have a sense of distance in my image okay so if you look at this image here thie the trees in the background are fog here missed year than the foreground which tells you they're back there okay does that make sense you following okay so let's talk about how we did this everybody's like okay we're ready to go daddy daughter okay so these are the images that I used to do this I pulled this background ofthe shutter stock okay I don't always do that sometimes I photographed my own backgrounds it's just a foggy day that somebody just shot a foggy day and that was it and I kind of liked it and I thought oh it's at the right angle the lighting is relatively flat so I can get away with lighting perspective okay and I can place the books in the foreground it's at the right angle for for what I shot and it has the kind of the atmosphere and mood that I was after when I first envisioned the image so and there was another image I was thinking about doing that was like all blue sky and green grass and really like help you happy happy you know, very night that was when I was tempted to use but then this one kind of spoke to me a little bit more, so I just picked it okay? So stock photography sites are fantastic for using this kind of thing, especially if you can't go out and get it on your own some people are purists and refused to do anything that they didn't shoot, which is totally fine it's up to you it just depends on my mood really, but sometimes I'll see a great background and someone was asking me yesterday if I'll ever do a shoot outside heck yeah, I'll do this kind of thing and bring in aa a model with or a mom with a baby and you dress her up real cute and do something pretty outside as well, but but then I'll come back to photoshopping probably add things to it, but like I said yesterday studio is so incredible because you could do anything your freedom to create is unlimited because all you need is a light is the light source okay? So and that was a question julia that had come up about where you get these background images and the butterflies do you have teo do you license thumb do you have to do that? You just when you're making this stuff for clients or for personal use, you just have to purchase the stock image, you know, some of them could be pretty expensive, but that's your license so on and you can't get the image without paying for it. And that's how, you know, shutter start makes its money so yeah, google has a thing now where you khun search it's like, can be used for you for altering. If you're going to search tools, you can find stuff that you could use for free like stock averages. So cool, so freestyle and then there's also creative commons dot org's. I think you can go on there and it will search for you. That's. Awesome he's all the time. Very cool, that's. Great. Especially if you're on a budget that's. Fantastic! I just have used better stock my my whole time. So I stock is great too. There's. Another one that's like a dollar an image all the time. I forget photo something or other I seem anyway, for those of you who, um I want to study further photoshopped user magazine and advanced photoshopped from the united from the united kingdom, I have subscriptions to both. Those and read them all the time they're absolutely fantastic forgiving you techniques my walk home it's not working again maybe someone from maybe steal can come help me on c on his way okay, I'll just do my trackpad until he's right um so I was looking at a couple of these images, ok? And what happened was is I really liked this expression and daddy on the girl but I wanted those darn books in her hand. Okay, so what I ended up doing is I took the books from this image and put them on this on this one and just like I showed you earlier okay? And wound up with the image that I was happy with her looking up at her butterflies. Okay, so then I pulled the books off shutter stock as well, ok, and then extracted those out the background so I wantto thes came off of shutter stock, okay? And to select these off the background there's lots of different ways you can select ok? And if you don't it's just really hard for me because I have an hour and a half to teach you what I learned over two years, so I'm not able to touch on everything, but selecting images off their background is a skill that you need to learn if you don't know how to do it you know, I'm going to show you here a couple of techniques, but I'm going to encourage you in further detail to go to some of the other classes on creative live the compositing class. I know aaron nice has a great compositing class here. Dave cross has an incredible photoshopped classes on c l, so I encourage you to go take a look at those and really hone your skills on how to select because you need to learn that skill if you want a composite very well, like I remember I said, richard sort of aunt made us do it in thirty seconds or less, okay was scary. Anyway, one of the best ways to do something like this is to go up to select color range, okay? I'm not going to select the books, I'm going to select the background of the books and then inverted because the white is so much easier to select, then the actual books themselves, so I can just touch the white and I'll say, okay, I could increase my fuzziness t get myself where I want as faras the edge is concerned and press ok, so you could see I've selected the white around the books, so then I simply have to go to select inverse, and now I've got the books crazy. Especially when things on a white background why do you think I should stuff on a white background all the time ok I just slipped my wife background and then go go move from there yes bring the background eraser tool never used it no never used it sure it's awesome I should probably learn about it because I don't know about it and if it's cool I want to know how to use it awesome doesn't really very cool like I said there's twenty ways that's going to cat and photo shop but I'm constantly learning how to do it and you know it's funny because once you just once you learn a technique you just I kind of keep doing it that way and then if someone will tell you a faster way to do it your soul that's awesome go well tech geek in me comes out okay so I can use the refine edge tool if I wanted here this seems like a pretty good selection to me it's doing a pretty good job but I am going to go ahead and just pop into the refine it because what I do is I with hair their fat refine edge tool is amazing with a strong lined object like this I just want to contract it a little bit to make sure I'm getting all my pixels okay so I'm not getting any white I don't want any white around the edge so I'm gonna go ahead and press refine edge and then I'm going to get a shift my edge by about minus five or so for seven that'll work okay and then I'm going to tell it to make a new selection make a new layer with a mask okay, so it goes ahead and does that and now my books are selected off my background okay? I could drag them into my scene I opened up my scene I don't think I opened up my scene let's go ahead and open up my scene so we're gonna open up our background okay? Now comes the time we get to bring the books out of the background right? So I'm going to go ahead and select my books by just moving I'm selecting the layer by simply highlighting the layer using my move tool when you're in tabs like this you could just drag it where you need to go and go ahead and pop it on my scene okay looks terrible, doesn't it? This is just half your battle, so I kind of want him right there. I think that looks good. Now comes the time when you get to start belinda ing it into your background okay and making it fit light creates highlights but what else does it create shadows so you have to build your shadows you also have to make it color balance with the scene clearly, the books don't match the scene. It may seem like they kind of do, but they don't. So let's do a couple things when I want you to understand is painters when they paint a subject, they first draught out in black and white in charcoal to get the line drawing, and then they start shading and toning it, and then they start adding color, slowly layer after layer after layer after layer, and once they're done, the painting has a richness to it and a depth because of all those layers behind it. That's exactly what we're about to d'oh. Okay, bear with me. I might lose you. Okay, so one of the first things I have here is I have a mask, and what you'll notice is see this little line right here, that's from the mask. So oftentimes because my image of the books was smaller than my background image. I gotta fill that mask so I can use the brush tool. Nice hard brush tool in black at one hundred percent kind of pain in this mask to get rid of this line. Do you see this lying right there? And it looks like I got didn't you see the white line around my books to see that? So I didn't make a good enough selection, but so if that was the case, I would go back and contract that edge a little bit more, okay? But in the interest of time, I'm not going to do that today, so I'm gonna go ahead and paint that in. You see my mask changing over here in the upper right? I'm just painting in black because what I'm going to do is I'm going to preserve my mask here, but then I'm gonna apply it, so I have my book separated on the background, okay? But I can always go back to this mask should I want to? So I'm going to go ahead and duplicate the layers, so I have both here I'm just going unchecked, this this is my security blanket right here, so I can hang on to it showing to come back to it. But then when I'm going to do is I'm gonna highlight my mask and say, apply mask so it's gonna apply it to the background so I no longer have a mask, so now I can start playing with this and blending into the background easily. Bear with me. I know you guys were the guiding always confused looks on my faces. Now what I'm gonna do is make multiple copies of this because what I'm doing is I'm creating my paint layers I'm going to make the bottom one black and white, the next one, black and white and a blended into that one that I'm going to put the next one in color on top of that and put that in soft light mode to just start shading my color and then I'm going to do another one on top of that and fade everything and make it so that it blends into my background. Okay, so bear with me. I know I'm losing a lot of people I can tell bree over there's going to be so all I'm going to dio is make multiple copies of this because I know we'll need a few uncheck um and I'm gonna start with my first one, the one on the bottom. This is the black and white initial drawing this is we're just shading in like like a piece of art I'm gonna take a pencil and start drawing my books so I could make them blend into my background okay, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make it black and white shift command you makes things black and white okay you could also go up to image adjustments and do that too but I'm a shortcut guru is you all know so shift command you will make it black and white but it's just kind of black and white there's nothing really special about it's just a grady introduction right blah boring I want to make it look like a drawing like really contrast in hd are looking so that it starts to blend into the background okay because then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put it in soft lighter overlay mode and make it truly blend of the background will look like a charcoal drawing on their okay so what I'm going to do to make it look kind of grungy and ht are going to go to image adjustment shadow highlights okay? And here in shadow highlights I can start playing with my shadows deepening them so I just kind of play back and forth and go ok what is that doing my radius? I really just play around in here what I'm looking for is things teo get dark and rich and high contrast okay so I will increase the contrast to create something that looks very sharp almost like over sharp I'm saying hdr is what I'm after so I play with my shadow highlights until I get what I want and usually I make the first black and white layer a little on the dark side okay now what I'm going to do is put this in either overlay mode look, it looks like a drawing doesn't it or in soft light mode soft light looks pretty good. Okay, so does overlay this is where you get to play I'll do the first one in soft light the second one in overlay okay, so I have a little bit of a line drawing that's blending into my background correct so now I'm going to apply a mask to it and just at thirty percent just kind of take out the bottom a little bit this is going somewhere I promise. Okay, now moving up to my next layer I'm going to again make that black and white go up to shadow highlights play again with it I'm just building layers I'm a painter I'm building layers to make it look like it fits into the scene okay same thing kind of play around with it a little bit really this is a field thing you'll do it more is you go overtime as you go okay and again, this time I'm going to put it in overlay mode. I'm starting to shade in so I did my line drawing now I'm shading in where the colors going to go okay, apply a mask to it, blend it out a little bit so you start seeing the drawing below okay then I'm going to start putting color in but I don't want to put color in it normal mode I want to put it in it like soft light mode so I'm just building in color slowly do you see where this is going to see how this is really blending the subject of the background now this is a very complex way to do this most people do this a lot simpler but I wanted to have a richness and a depth to it that makes it look like it's a painting like that belongs I'm totally a geeky right brain artist and richard sturdevant taught me this technique this is what he does and he's a regan master at this his stuff looks amazing every single time so I'm like if he's going to do it like this then I need learn howto like this too because when he when he explained to me the whole concept of the line drawing that's what I'm like well yeah that's what's going to give it that depth that feeling of richness to it that does that follow where you just slap something on the background it's just go out just got slapped on a background with who I wanted to look real okay so I just put this in south flight mode I'm going to reduce the capacity a little bit so that everything down here comes into play and go ahead mask a little bit just to kind of fade that color somewhat. Okay, then I'm gonna go ahead and do it again. You can see I'm kind of building things over time then the last one is a normal mode and I just reduced the opacity of touch to see how all of a sudden the books they're starting to look like they belong. They don't belong, but there's no shadows, they look like they're floating in midair. Okay, but when I group all these together excuse me, uh, accidentally grouped this one and I didn't mean to come on, pop out of the group. Don't you hate it when it won't do what you want? Uh, let's. Just go. Come on, come on going? Ok, I will just go ahead and un group one group players. There we go. Pam okay, so that's what it looked like before when I just dragged him in. Now, it's starting to look like it belongs. Okay, if I add a color layer adjustment layer on top of it. The group okay, I'm going just adam, I'm just putting a solid color layer over the top of my entire image. Okay? So I'm gonna just pick a color for now because I can't see what's going on, I'm gonna clip it just to the books okay, that's not the color I want to use because that's not the color of the background okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and just the background color to be something like the grass that fits a little better maybe a little darker. I can change this as I go here. Okay? Press ok. Put that in soft light mode and now all of a sudden it's a little bit strong. Go ahead reduced capacity things are starting to look like they belong in the scene a little bit more. I have this white line around the edge which is really irritating the heck out of me because I didn't do my extraction very well, but that it's now starting to look like it belongs. So now because the lighting situation I have to put shadows in now this side of the books is brighter than this side, isn't it? It looks to me like and because my subject the light is coming in from you know this side you remember the father daughter image, the light's coming in from this side? Well, the books the highlight is over here, so what that made me do is it made me go and I should probably flip all these guys and horizontal so that we have books that go this direction that suits the lighting of the image, okay so then what I did is applied a curves layer over here on this this side to darken this side of the books okay, so I could do that or I can use my history brush tool, art history, brush tool and burn it in if I wanted to shadows are also extremely important. So what I do to create shadows I'm kind of a hash job with shadows I could do shot us a lot better, but I just create a new later layer at the bottom of my books, then set my history state using the history brush tool that I just talked about earlier in multiply mode and around twenty percent I'm a total painter, so I start painting in my shadows excuse me, I do it not on that later that track rivers instead of using our history brush tool I use the regular brush tool in multiply mode I select the color of the grass because that's the shadow where the shadow is falling and then I start painting there we should be multiply mode right and it's not dark enough so I'm gonna go ahead and pick a darker color from that grass below I start painting in my shadow, okay, this is really hack job, okay? I don't care what it looks like right now shadows are darker is that closer to the object so I faded out over here as as I get further away. Okay, then what I do is I put that shadow in, like, overlay mode or into soft light mode so that it blends in with the grass. I want to just cover the grass up. I want the shadow to blend in down with it, and obviously my shape is not correct here, but then I'll go ahead and dark in the area, right next to the books because I know the books are going to be. That area is going to be the darkest of all, where the shadow is closest to the to the object. And then I start masking that in and taking it away where it wouldn't necessarily show up. This is where it gets artsy. Okay, my background is a little light for my taste. I want things to start feeling richer, so to do that, I might apply color layer over the entire thing or grady int you could do a cool grady in so let's make a new layer usar grady in't tool pick a dark color in the image so picked this grass again. Drag your cursor down to create that grady int okay, and then apply the grady and overlay mode or in hard mix just to give it that ethereal essence. Okay, and then you can increase your a passage e you can add morgue radiance if you want make it even richer and darker. Now things are starting to blend in with one another. I will even unlock my background layer duplicated and apply tto pass to it, so proud of just five one of my favorites and give it a really like detailed look, okay, kind of that high definition look and then reduced capacity should I need teo? But I just, like, made that all of a sudden, a lot more surrealistic by just getting that crisp tone in there. So now the books are beginning to look like they meld. It looks a little bit different in my screen than it does there. Guys, the books are beginning to melt. My lighting direction is starting to look accurate, and I do the same thing with the dad and the girl that hole charcoal drawing, add color soft light overlay mode. Mask it out to make them blend from the bottom to the top up into the image.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

BD Design Cards
Butterfly ClamShell Lighting Set Up
Newborn Posing Design
Newborn Prepartion Sheet
Standard Lighting Set Up
Studio Gift Card
Gear Guide
Downloads with RSVP

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

This is the second course with Julia I have seen. And it's amazing and very inspiring in so many ways! I appreciate so much the honesty of Julia, her spirit for doing things she loves. Like a photographer and artist myself, I feel identified with her perception of world and the passion for artistic and family photography. This course is about never give up, it's about hard work, and also it's about cultivating creativity and honesty. I highly recommended this course to every photographer who want to grow and understand himself and the business of professional high-quality photography. Thanks, Julia and Creative Live, for this one!

a Creativelive Student

So glad I bought this class - well and truly worth the investment. This course has helped me realise why it is so important to make an emotional connection and how to use it to my advantage {while giving my clients the very best too}. I cannot wait to try some new printing/mounting glad Julia was kind enough to share this! I got a lot out of this course and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take their newborn photography business to the next level.

Jenny White

This class was amazing!!! Julia does a great job of showing her process, how she captures beautiful images from start to finish. It was worth every dollar I spent!!

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