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Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 2

Lesson 31 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 2

Lesson 31 from: Family Photography: Capturing Connection

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

31. Post Production: Book Concept Shoot Part 2


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 2

What I'm doing is putting my elements in the background then you know this whole grady until past thing that's the kind of stuff I would do with the very end to really make things tie together, then apply a texture over the top of it to then really make things come together. It's a it's a process it's not all at once it's an artsy fartsy kind of feeling as you move along so I'm going to go ahead and just take the one that I extracted already so that we don't go for that entire process of extracting again so here's the daddy little girl there a little bright hot obviously we're gonna have to fix that compared to the image so let's, go ahead and bring them in in chi but I remember when I first did this with richard and he was bringing his subjects into the background and I was like, oh, good mind looked like that too on the other there's one more thing I did that I didn't show you guys here, let me do it real quick. So the other thing I did is I, um, extended the background. I wanted thi...

s to be really tall, okay, now notice I'm working on just the background layer, so I kind of did a content aware thing, but then I also did, uh it was starting to look a little mean it works but I was starting to look a little stretch to me so I duplicated the cloud layer and then inverted it okay and then masked it out in certain areas where I wanted it and you gotta be careful doing this because you make sure you're lighting direction is good and don't don't mess with your lighting direction and I just kind of created mohr clouds where I needed them does that make sense? So I'll go and get rid of that topaz layer since we'll have tto redo that I would just leave it as if there is ok so dad and little girl now need to be put in their respective spaces correct go and remove where is that book that I this is the problem is that you lose your range like federally wherever about that that's my actually asking and sometimes what you'll notice is where my dad my girl there they're up here what'll happen is happy accidents will happen and you'll be like oh that's really cool how'd I do that and you'll have to like go back in your history and dissect it and then sometimes you'll just like reduced capacity of one layer and it all start coming together like just so guys this is what I mean when I say creativity is a journey this is a whole heck of a lot of fun just play around trying not to get for us too frustrated with things, what you'll discover is oh my god, I don't know this technique well enough, I need tto learn this a little bit more. I need to understand blending modes little bit more the top things that you're going to need to know to learn how to do this. Are you laywer masks selecting cutting things out of the background, blending modes? If you know those things, the hardest part when you're doing this whole process is using photoshopped enough that when you have a problem, you know what to do to fix it. That's the biggest struggle with compact when you're learning how to composite you sit here like, oh my god, I know this doesn't work, but I don't really know what to do or what tool to use or how to make it blend, you know? So when you get in that in that state, when you're compositing, ask yourself if either blending modes laywer, masking or reducing the opacity of a layer or all three in one layer will help you fix the problem, because I have found when I composite that those three things are usually where I havent issue something's not working because one of those three, three things is not coming together. Okay that's why I say those things are so important to master and photo shop because those are your that's your basic tool kit okay so let's go ahead and bring it down I'm gonna go ahead and paint in ups wrong wrong do hickey you had to do hickey right? We can call it nickie you know who just I love who teaches photo shop is two million cost I don't know if she has a class on just have a class in creative life ah she's just funny as heck she makes me laugh every time she teaches and she says the same jokes over and over again and they're still funny every time you hear me like uh okay so I get it I know this isn't perfect but I don't do that daisy nasty sauce I just came up with that one you have to bring that into the er into the arsenal so there's dad hope we got a little issue appear paint that in there what I'm doing is looking at my thumbnails over here and kind of want to make sure my mask is really well applied because you can see from the books I still have a white line there do you see that right there you gotta watch out for those especially when you print it it'll kick in the booty okay? So obviously here's where size does not apply I'm breaking a rule books are not that big okay, this is a fantasy this is a fairytale piece so you can get away with that if it's purposeful okay, just be careful about that always think about sides so I'm gonna go ahead and duplicate this layer so I preserve my my master player and I need to come back to my mask again I'm going to go ahead and apply this mask okay, which is a little bit destructive but that's okay I'm gonna make a few copies of it sometimes you don't need all the copies that you make so keep that in mind and here's the first layer so now I'm gonna convert it to black and white okay I'm gonna go ahead and give it a little bit of curves adjustment because I think that it needs to darken down a bit okay I'm going to go into adjustments shadow highlights okay, we do this and this is where you just play okay guys, this is where you just want it to look like a line drawing so you want lots of contrast between your highlights in your shadows but not so much that it like blows things out of it, so I really just kind of play with these settings um I don't really even know what they'll do to all the time but just go ahead and your shadows is where you're really going to get the best and you could use topaz here, too, if you wanted to apply toe passes layer to really get it kind of crispy looking that's. All we're doing is making it look crispy. So when, say that's a default. Okay, so there's, my first layer are gonna go ahead and test between overlay and soft light mode. Let's do overlay this time. Okay, that looks pretty good. So now I'm going to go ahead and do the same thing to the second layer shift command you I'm gonna go ahead and apply my shadow highlights. Okay don't want to do anything different. Looks ok then I'm gonna put this into soft light mode and then I'm going to kind of start playing with layer math. So I want to be careful here because I don't want to make his feet to like, see through because he obviously still needs to be like he's. Still he's a subject you don't want to see the books behind his feet doesn't make sense because he's he's standing on top of and this line that goes to the books, you want to make sure that that that stays intact, but I always masked things just just to make them blend a little bit better to the background. Okay so get my brush tools that around twenty percent and start just feeding him out a touchdown here at the bottom this works really well like if you're putting somebody in the tall grass you know the woman the shepherd of her heart image the one we're the mom standing in the lavender fields with sheep that one really erased a lot down at the bottom so that she could blend better into the background because the grass help to do that okay but this is a field thing a lot of the times it's it's uh not something that is a set number the other thing that you can do this is a black and white image but it's very cool I could apply a solid color layer over the top of this and clip it to just this mask and turn it into more of a c p a tone to make it match the background a little bit more so the black and white version of it starts to take on the color tone of what's in the background does that make sense so that's another technique for making things appear blended or so to speak so I'm gonna go ahead and copy that layer and bring it to the other one as well and put that in a soft light mode here we go that's gonna be an overlay mode okay so you can see how daddy's sorry internal brown okay that's because I add those color fill layers on top of those uh black and white layers okay then I'm going to go ahead and start working in my color so I'm gonna put dad in soft light mode and start reducing the opacity blending him out just to touch from one of my leather mask so yes, I do know that I'm losing half of you at this moment and I apologize I know that this is advanced photoshopped right here this is this is advanced stuff but it's not to say that you can't learn it you all know what a layer is most of you know what a layer mask is and how to use them most of you know what a blending mode is and what it does okay, so it's just a matter of combining all these things and thinking how to use these tools in different ways okay, once you understand how the tools work that all of a sudden you can say oh, I need that to blend into that how do I how did I get so I'm going to be using a blending boat, right? Okay, so sometimes I'll do normal and then I'll do it soft light on top of one another just to get the feeling coming through that I want to come through that's a little bit like that trash that and sometimes I'll do the normal mode underneath the the soft light mode to even get mohr richer color here honestly I don't have to play around with it a little bit to make it feel exactly what I wanted and now it's feeling mohr blended I need to get the shadows down by his feet I would do the exact same thing I did with the books okay but you can see why you can easily get to it one big file really fast because your layers start adding up even though I'm not even doing everything fully not destructively your layers will start to teo go together we'll start we'll start making your your file size very large I'm gonna go ahead and apply a curves layer go ahead and do that to a group so and think about how you khun group things it's always possible teo group and then clip a um clip a curves layer to a group so I can reduce the overall kind of it's doing everything but if I just wanted to do it to the to the child I can clip it to a group and then be able to have access to my curse and just even though I have all those layers of my child and my and my dad I can group them all and they act as one so then I can apply curves layers and adjustments and things like that I might even do a huge saturation layer on here to tryto my color's a little bit what happened to my properties? Properties probably broke three of her produce the saturation a little bit and things were starting to look more like I want them to, okay? And then if I start putting in those radiance like I did earlier and darkening my background even more everything's going to start to blend even more, okay? And then I can add and like those butterflies, those came in, but I had to burn and dodge certain areas of the butterfly in order to make the lighting direction come in the same direction, okay? The other little trick that really makes things start to come together is adding your fog and you're missed your atmosphere. Okay, so I want some fog and mist both in front and behind my subject, so I'm going to put the fog layer background fog background back here, go to my brush tool, open up my brush presets okay? And I have a couple of fog brush cloud brushes in here that I use these you could get these free all over the all over the internet, they're they're everywhere I'm going to pick a foggy color from the background, okay? And then maybe a twenty percent capacity just start painting and falling, I can't even go higher like I'm doing it on a separate layer so I can always um tone it down later that's a little bit right and play with different colors okay, you can see I'm startinto ad in fog everywhere obviously it's too much computers but now we're starting to see that perspective come in and I could even do it again up in front of my subject fog foreground paint in front of my subject to make things like seem even more ethereal so adding that atmosphere really um help things blend even mohr and give that sense of perspective okay that makes sense and then your final things that you would do on your image would be to do things like the topaz layer in the background so I just duplicated my background I'm going to go ahead and apply the topaz just five filter to it kill it for you there we go it applied it okay so see how that made things really kind of surreal looking I can reduce the opacity of it it's too much but it always makes the clouds looked like a little bit more dramatic and deep okay and then I could do the same thing and add a grady in't layer so I'm just gonna add a new empty layer put a grady in on I'm going to go ahead and do it black because I think that I'm going to go ahead and put in overlay mode afterwards what happens it's not on not on top of my everything there so there we go. And if I put that in, like over layer soft light mode all of a sudden things were starting to look, wu, we get really dark and kind of mysterious going to reduce the capacity we could start to make things look a little bit more together. Atmospheric. Okay, whether it's a wonderful thing use it. The other thing that I did in this image is I used the pen tool, the freeform pen tool, which I'm not going to touch on a lot. But the freeform pen tool allows you to draw lines anywhere you want them so I can like take that line and then move it into her hand and then mask it off so I can change the color and the, uh the going to brush tool here so I just go by brush presets gotta go back to buy the brush we're gonna go where they go, where they go. Uh so go back to my soft round brush and I can, um, go ahead and mask it off the front of her. So looks like it's going behind her and in her hand, etcetera, etcetera, I can then turn it should I want you know these anchor points to with the pencil allow you, teo, if you press command, you can move an anchor point you could move an anchor point and then you can also play with the handles on the anchor point so that allows you to make it curve you're around or wherever you need it to go okay, so the pencils a nice little I only used it for that and I'm not even that I don't use the pencil very much at all only for these kind of squiggly lines you get is a brush tool too if you want on a new layer it's just kind of up to you there's someone like I said there's a thousand ways it's gonna catch on and then I put the butterflies in there and that's kind of how it how it worked and that's really the way you blend and I'm not happy at all with the way dad and child are here so if it were me and I was by myself and it was two o'clock in the morning, I'd be playing around with this a lot more. But those were the techniques the the concept of using a line drawing the way artists used to and building the layers on top mass came out using different blending modes to make things come together. You're not going to get this the first time out peeps you're not I didn't it took me several times of doing it before I actually felt like okay, that actually works practice with that practice with that color overlay mode like the's layers where you put a color film layer over at the top of a subject and then and then like put it in a different blending mode and then play with europe ass it ease mask things out that's what's going to make it blend it is an art form that's half the fun question I know there's a lot of questions I'm trying to kind of round one million questions one million questions actually one question that I have I think you kind of touched on it but when you're piecing all of these components together and you want to do the curves it just let's say on the um the daughter in the dad but you don't want the rest of the image to be adjusted do you add a curve slayer and clip it to the layer that you want to adjust? Yes, I'll always like I apply and then a mask it off of everything else in the know and what are you doing when I clip here's here's the fun little part you press option on your on your layer area option c that little thing that pops up when you go between the layers if you have a first option and then hover over this and then click it'll clip it to the layer below a short wayto clip or anything like it again it'll unclip it you can right click and go clip player right but the shortcut is to press is to press all option and then click between the layers and clicked clipped the top layer to the bottom one okay, all these little short I mean there's so many little hidden things about photo shop it's almost intriguing to see what you can figure out next at least it is to me and they will be like six or eight months it'll go by and I won't do anything new and photoshopped at all like I won't and then all of a sudden, like it was just last month I was watching dave cross I had him on on creative live in the background and he's saying I write that down, you know? I mean like you guys I think that's all he's genius of photo shop and there's there's always a shorter way to do it so I encourage you to have those kind of class is on in the background while you're working and listen to what he's doing that he'll say something and you'll be like, oh my gosh that's great rewind what is that? Let me see it I'm saying you'll hear it like you'll be working and you won't even watch him this is what I do, I'll be working, I won't even watch him and he'll say something that we're the clipping master you got to do is to this of what was that I got that's brilliant and I'll write it down and use it and the thing is to use it right away practice it right away because then it will solidify in your brain, okay, any other questions? I know I went through this stuff really fast and I knew that what happened? I went with the topaz layer topaz is just a filter it's it's ah it's something topaz labs makes it and it's a serious that filters they're actually kind of cool there's lots of neat stuff it's a way to make it's a way that topaz labs thought they could make photo shot better it's really all it is they developed the software plug in that goes with photo shop and it allows you to add all these interesting effects it'll it'll make high definition stuff for you make your layers like high death and crispin cleaning and they're painting effects and all kinds of cool things that go along with it. But as I say with any filter use sparingly, I don't use the strongest thing that topaz five does I use crisp, mild details things that add something but not a ton and then I scale it back I always reduced capacity because it's usually always too much okay being the fact that I wouldn't have that filter topaz and say you wanted to do more oven hdr look I do use hdr lodge to have that pop yeah and I know when you go teo hdr it flattens everything. What would you do in that respect? I don't know because I hate it and not be able to answer you, but I haven't used the hdr setting what I might if it flattened everything just for lack of because I don't know what to do I probably do it on a single document then bring that document is a second layer and then reduced capacity is probably what I would do with that work you think I noticed that I still have to work on it. I make sure I saved a copy on my desk top so I can go back to it if I have to go back to it that's what I would do, I'm sure there's a shorter way, but honestly, I haven't used the hdr in photo shop again there's so many things that program that yeah, yeah so I'm sorry I can't but that's what I would do maybe a long work around, but at least it's a solution. So, julia, when you buy your shutter stock um pictures what do you buy the log? The largest file? Usually yeah, I think it's the same price no matter which size you you get not sure, but I think so yeah, I just have a subscription where I get five images for, like fifty bucks. I think it is, and every time that five I run out of five, it charges me again fifty bucks, too re up my five image subscription because I don't like I said, you know, I only do composites when I've got free time to do them. So you know, in my I don't want to pay a monthly subscription is something I'm only going to use two months out of the year, so shutter stark is nice because they haven't adds needed type of of setting, so you don't have to pay an annual fee. You don't have to pay a monthly fee, you just paper image that you purchase. So the questions from the internet, everything just a couple of questions about prince and basically irene and for folks voted on this question as well by doing an artistic crop, how does that affect your final print? I was out shot when we went off screen here, and it does affect it, and I mean any time you free crop or is a matter of fact, even if you use a cropping ratio it's going to affect me if you always crop it five by seven and you have to make a sixteen by twenty it's going to chop off the sides of it no matter what, because a five by seven ratio doesn't fit into the sixteen by twenty ratio, which is technically an eight by ten ratio. So you're gonna chop it off no matter what that's kind of why I free crop, because I want the image toe look how I envision it, and then if I need to crop like, for example, this one here, I don't even know what this is. I think I just kind of what is it such an artist sometimes it's a twelve by twits kind of twelve by twenty four okay, so it does have that one to two ratio thing kind of going on for it. So if I really had to crop it, for example, in a like a attended, I probably wouldn't print this as a sixteen by twenty, because that's, not the creative composition that I was going for, so it would always have this long, skinny format. The question is, would it be a five by ten? Would it be a ten by twenty twelve, twenty four, twenty by forty, you know, would it go up in that increment? Yes. So if I had teo to crop this as a twelve by twenty four, I would simply do twelve by twenty four lose a little bit of it, sacrifice that to get what I needed does that make sense like that? But you get my point. Okay, so just, you know, my feeling is I free crop because I'm going to crop anyway, when I make a final print for the client, you know, they may say, oh, you know, twenty four by thirty six is going to fit perfectly in our space so that's what we want okay, well, I better know that before I start creating a long skinny, but if I'm creating just, you know, a free crop image that kind of has a regular horizontal standard, you're going to lose something anyway, so you kind of have to just deal with that, and you either extend your background to make it fit or you chop off, so and yeah, I just kind of sacrifice it and you can get custom print size is well, don't don't crop it for you cut it for you, you make a great point, I could totally do these customs eyes if I want, but I kind of think that's a bit of a waste of time for what you gain or lose, right? So take that, you know, and you guys know me by now, it's all about time management question from from side what media do you print these on? You're fine art prints, it depends if we're going to show that in the next segment way are going to look at what I print on the biggest things I print on our watercolor, paper and canvas. I love fine art textured paper, that really watercolor, bumpy style paper and one of the reasons I like it is because I can tear the edges of it really easily, and we're gonna actually learn how to do that next segment after lunch. But I really love matt papers. I've all and it's just a personal preference. I always loved that feeling of the richness. The colors, like the color like sinks into the paper is like sucks it up, and it has this very deep feeling to it. Where is the glossy print seems to have a very surface it's just all about the surface and to me that's distracting toe what truly is in the image, but it depends on the image to some images scream for glossy metallic paper, I mean, but that's, not my work, so I think you have to find what suits your work the best and print according to what the image needs.

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!!

Student Work