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Editing for Composites

Lesson 17 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

Editing for Composites

Lesson 17 from: Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

17. Editing for Composites

Photographing the composite is only half the battle. Finish the photo from the live session and walk through the process for editing a composite in Adobe Photoshop, including essential techniques and keyboard shortcuts.


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


Flow Posing


Kelly's Home Studio


Day 2


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Planning


Day 3


How to Set Up Your Home Studio in a Week: Foundation


Lesson Info

Editing for Composites

probably went finish this image to the point where I would show it to a client but what because we've got a full editing section in this course we're going to go through every single step in more detail but for the purpose of doing a composite I'm going to show you how I would put those two images together drag those into photo shop so my exposure is a little bit off which means that looking up there now I can see that the sun must have come out a little bit brighter or something like that because it didn't actually change my my exposure unless I accidentally did but I don't think I did I didn't aim to you know we're not we're not all perfect so t get that exposure right um what I would possibly do is just use my levels of my curves to bring up the area that I need to or dark and it down so here's what I'm gonna do is just used my last suit I could have used the marquis tool it could have used anything and that's the thing with photo shop is that there are a million and one ways to do ...

anything so it just selected that area I'm gonna feather it just to soften it a little bit now if you wanted this to be absolutely perfect you could have your camera set up on a tripod and that way you know the height that you're at taking the shot is not going to change with either because you know we had so much attention focused on getting her to look at the camera that you know I could have been slouching I could've been sitting up I could have moved back I could have done anything because I'm not like a hundred percent aware of my body movements while I'm taking the image but I am at the same distance on dh I'm shooting at the same aperture and all of those things so it shouldn't be too hard to put it put it together so I'm just going to take a copy off this selection so command see I'm going to get back to my other file and I'm gonna command the to pace that selection in there there it is you can see my exposure's is fairly different I'm just gonna hide my tobar and what I'm gonna do is ten year opacity of this lie a damn can you see my tuba oh yeah there we go I've spring it over a bit more so I can see underneath and just where I'm studying team match it up so obviously I did change in the hype the perspective that I shot that that's fine because it's an easy fix so because this is a new copy layer that we've added to the image we hit command tea to transform and then we can change the perspective or change the size so if you hold the shift key in you can change the size of your selection really easy if you don't hold any key and you can change it in any direction but that obviously is going to create some distortion if you hold the command key and you can change the perspective off that selection and bring it back around but in doing that you know you have to be careful off the face and any other body parts and making sure that you don't distort those in the process so we just start to mention up a little bit I don't get it on my laptop very very often only when I'm travelling so I think it's just got the snap on here we go just take snap off that was stopping me from moving it where I actually wanted to move it so we'll go back to command t transform and now I'm going to slightly rotate it just to kind of get that bucket I want the bucket to settle lineup a little bit there increase the size of a little bit more erica so I can see underneath and I can see above so now what we can do is start to either a race back that layer where we don't need it all we can atomize comm painted on or painted off however we want to do it there's so many different ways to do things and photoshopped and you know if you actually know a bit away or foster where an easy way that's great this is just how I do it and I found it to be fairly quick fairly simple hasn't taken too long what we might do before your race anything has just come to the back ground lamb I'm gonna create a copy layer command jay and I'm gonna just go into my curves and I'm gonna lift my mid tones my exposure here a little bit just in my history graham taken see here these your highlights these your blacks and in here you've got all these mid tones which is where the majority of that information is so we want to lift those and bring that exposure up to our close match here okay go back to our top layer and checking the hardness of your brushes well because if you are racing anything you know ifyou've got hardage and it's not meant to be a hard edge it's not going to fit well together so just changing the the hardness of your brush will make a big difference bring the capacity down just a little bit more where we can see it coming in around the fingers you're gonna have to increase the hardness so it fits but with a small brush you've got some hard a ridge with a larger brush you've got a softer ridge and I'm just using my bracket key case to sort of increase the size and decrease the size of my brush as well so might actually just take that back there blend this a little bit better compositing images is something that I do it a fair bit off when I'm working on like my award prints and things like that for like the portrait category or the illustrative categories and things like that you know being able to sort of practice on more personal projects helps it to teach you different ways on howto how to do certain things have a little fun stuff like that I was going to do this really quick but you could sit and you can really spend some time you know going around those inches quite closely and if you want to come in to the background where we contend that top layer and we can see where the bucket is underneath a bit better but then if we come in here to the top layer bring they rapacity a way up you can select the foot and then invert that as well and a race around it or if you're nice and steady with your hand you can come in with your brush making sure the hardness is very similar quiet fine using the tablet so much easier um to do things like this than using a mouse or trackpad gives you just that little bit more control so just turn that opacity down just again so I can see underneath started blowing this inn so I made my brush a bit bigger there because always it's gonna have a softer age so those two layers can come together not gonna worry about it down there because when we turned that rapacity off it looks like a blends together anyway and then justin around here just to be nice and soft so when you re moving shadows and things like that you could see that her leg had created that shadow underneath you can leave them in if you can get it to match up perfectly or you can just darken it down a little bit later once you've merged those together it's fun working with total is like that and creating some different kind of things but you saw in my images before we started photographing that you get that really great connection with those toddlers and when you were in the studio it's just you and your client so there's nothing else to sidetrack them we've had a little bit of an opportunity to get to know each other shown them my toys my dolls all those things and we've built that relationship also with the clients and when children sense that you know your their parents have gained their trust with you it's easier for them to trust you as well so now what I'm going to do is turn off these layers he'd have a look at where I've missed erasing if you were using a mosque he would just use your backslash k to bring on your god um but you've got to do it the way that it's easy for you and you know in our industry it's it's funny how many people are told to do something a certain way and I mean unless it's the wrong way and you're clearly doing something grown um you know figuring out a way to do it for yourself and making it yours is really important but I had do also sort of highly recommend learning the right way well learning the rules of anything photography photo shop and then breaking the rules so it's out there and we can sort of put those together in a little bit but there we go that's pretty much how I would composite two images together and I could crop that is a square I could extend the background but I'm probably going to make this like a ten by eight ratio because if I made it a twelve by eight I'm gonna have a lot of negative space on one side and I'm actually going to bring down the space above her head well both of their heads and I would love to have a little bit of free space above them so doing attained by it ratio is actually going teo to suit this set up really well but I'm also looking in my composition here because we've got a little bit longer I can go for my horizon line is slightly off so just fixing that command j committee and I can just rotate that slightly and then I can start to blend in my backdrop and I'm looking at the bucket and making sure that it's level horizon lines can have quite a big impact on an image and if you having a few issues with getting it straight you know you can turn your guides on all of those things or quite simply drag that top layer over to the edge of the page and have a look at those lines compared to the edge of the image and in the same with the horizon line that way drag it to the bottom of my horizon lines straight or crooked so you can do anything you know that's quick and easy for you that you you know is gonna work straighten that up there then you can turn the background layer off it was here a racer a bit of a soft age just to race those lines back their top to blend your backgrounds together and then I would come in and crop that at a battle timber and then I would just clone that background where I need to see you any questions while I'm fiddling here have one of those studio audience do you recommend using an eight by ten crop or what's your independence on the image I think it'll always depend on the image like I was saying about that twelve by a ratio you know it's quite long and when you've got a you know set up like this that's kind of like square in the way that it's composed it's if you did that is a twelve by eight you would bring thie crop down let me do you personally go in and change every image aspect or do you just like batch crop um no every image has its own crop because every image is styled and set up for a specific image so yeah some images look better is a twelve by it and some look better is a tim by it but if this was to be cropped at a twelve by this's kind of what it would look like you know I would be really pushing the top of the frame to the little girl's head it's not bad but if I wanted to give it more space but I'm gonna end up with a lot more negative space in that frame as well said that was just to give you an idea and when I am cropping on living the resolution blank um so that photoshopped leaves the maximum amount of pixels within that constraint so it's just the race here that I'm going for right here so where we were going to climb in with me but previa what the final final would be like without dad right so when you're climbing you know you're going to get that repetitive niss you can see just there that area that I just did see the little line there and there I'm if you continue to do that in your image you're gonna end up with some really yucky areas and blurry areas as well so when I'm climbing in the background like this there's a few ways you can do it you khun you can take part of the backdrop from another area and put it on their butt you know when you're shooting with these light sources like natural lot and continuous lights part of your image is going to be late more than the other side so is selecting from um an area that's lit the same way we'll will help but we don't have a lot to work with him so when I'm cloning I'm always selecting from a different area so that I'm not going to get that repetitive nous and the opacity is quite high up there near the ninety percent um but we've got like you know this beautiful texture in this backdrop so I want to keep that in there so I'm gonna I'm gonna kind of sample from different areas so cloning is not something that you know I like to spend a lot of time doing especially if you've got a blanket were talking about before when you were a moving arms and things like that because you end up with just you know areas of the image that don't look right and you can see it back when I was judging the print comp awards you know a lot of images you could see some of those cloning issues that were there I already know that I'm going to be spending a bit of time said adding a vignette in softening those edges but I still don't want to make sure that I've got a hape of repetitive nous going on with my climbing as well yeah dear fine by pre cropping down to like eight by tens that when you have to do print orders you've cropped too much and that you can't can't quite fit the same everything that you want to on the final print product you have to go back and kind of get creative on extending and things like that you know a really good question when when I hand out my my president information it is actually states in there that each image is creatively and artistically edited by may so what they getting is how I see the image to look and it also says when they purchase a package for me and they also get the digital files they get an information shape that explains to them that you know printing this in a different ratio will alter the image and that if they one to two please contact me and I would be happy to guide them through it but the majority of the time like my products that kind of set up in a way that if for example those choosing between the thirty by forty canvas and it they couldn't decide between two images and one was a twelve bio ratio mama's a tim buyout ratio you know that I would be able to talk them through the process and they are to say okay well thiss particular image might not print that ratio but it will printed this ratio which is very similar so we can either do it at that size at no extra cost because it's just changing that ratio and the majority of the time my canvas company when I either increase the width or decrease the height t make it fit it's not a huge price difference and I'm willing to do that for my client's differently would you actually take for an image like this for a composite that's what's your average time probably about five minutes kind thought I have been doing this for a while so I'm talking at the moment I'm explaining all my steps if I wanted to come in and you know it's always a bit of a funny thing with photo shot because you know when we're starting out and we're learning all the different techniques we don't really want anyone to know the mistakes that we make it's like anything it's like sitting and watching doing an exam and having someone follow you over your shoulder you don't want anyone to know what you've done so being I would sit here and show you you know like this is it this is what I do that's a big thing for me because for a long time it took me a while to get you know my editing down pack to where I wanted it to be like years and years ago I would sit there and look at my images and go why don't they look like such and such a cz images or I wanted to look like that I don't know how to do that um and it wasn't until I was actually hired is a re toucher for a wedding photographer that I learned lots of things and I learned what not to do and what to do and then I I developed my own style from there so lots of short cuts in photo shop is such an incredible tool to know how to use because you know there's a million and one wise to do everything so do it your way um know how to do it properly before you break the rules but develop your own style and don't ever be afraid to say you know look I'm editing in j pig fall like if my jay pig file is shot with my five day mark three and the exposure is perfect the composition is perfect bailey need to crop a single millimeter off it and all I need to do is just touch up skin and stuff like that that image is perfect for my clients and it's going to enlarge to a really big file but I don't like need to justify myself to other photographers because that's how I do it it's none of their business what I do I can get it ajay pig fallen entered into a print award and get a gold award and the judges wouldn't even know but that's my business it's nobody else's so don't ever feel like you have to do something a certain way because somebody said no you've got to do it this way that's wrong like you know what I mean it's it's something that you have to learn with time and freddo shop is just one of those things that um you know there's still so many things I don't know how to do and I play on here all the time and I'm still learning you know I love which england's the adler's workshops on creative live and learning all of her techniques so that you know when I want to try something different I know what to do we have a question that are through the audience I just had a question about like your canvases since this one is so tight in do you generally for your keen this is like most of games is our soldiers are wrapped caymus would you just add an edge for your canvases that are the same color as the backdrop or would you d'oh um something else would you have like a solid black or sell it white or how do you work your canvases when they're tight like that that's a really good question actually because I've been asked that before and the canvas company that I used in australia called brilliant prints unfortunately don't they don't ship internationally but if you are in australia they do incredible canvases that offer a seventy five year lifetime guarantee they offer a mirrored image so when I go in and I select it's actually mirroring the three inches are only three inches sorry that the three to four centimeters around the frame so if you've got like something that's hitting the edge of the frame I would select a color but if you've got a little bit of room like we have here we could clearly mirror this image and it would sit beautifully on the wall so the the actual edge of the frame is married from from the inside of the frame so yeah it does look good but the majority of the time I would go with like a white but that's something that if I was having an issue I would contact the client and say you know what color your walls because if they're a dark color like this I wouldn't put a white edge around unless I was going for a specific look I'd go with more of a charcoal to get that information from them yeah definitely so you're going back on the crop when you said that eight by ten and for example declined when something else why doesn't gonna look as good as that would you tell them and even though they still wanted their actual fies that they've got in mind would you see years or you would you say but that's just not going to look right at all what would you do because you're image after all on their wall and then it would look bad for you because doesn't look right it's our job as a photographer to guide our clients you know we have to tell them how it's going to look and you're right in saying that because a lot of clients if they do get digital files like years ago when I used to do more digital files and less products because I didn't value myself for all the products that I was selling I was like all the clients this one the digital files that's easy so what I did was you know I would give him say in eight by ten or a twelve by eight of a ratio not that it's not crop to that size is just that ratio so I remember doing a little boy with his twin baby brothers and he was laying down and he had a twin in each arm so it was a twelve by eight because it was quite a wide image but she had ordered a canvas from a like a cheap company online and she ordered it because it was on sale at pacific size and when it got delivered both of the twins were cut off halfway through their heads and she was mortified so she contacted them and they said oh just order another one so she wanted another one and it was just a bad and then she ended up contacting me terribly upset and I said you know on the information sheet that you were provided with thei r crop to a specific ratio if you want to print outside that ratio like if this is a ten by eight and let me just bring up my crop again so if you want to print it as a twelve by it that's you gonna cut all of that rips that um extra part of the image off so you're gonna alter it so I explained that to them any information but it is surprising how often people don't read all of the information that you provide them with so it became a really costly expense for her so it's just a part now in my business that products are a huge part of what I do because I want my work displayed in their home and I want it displayed the way I intended it to look which is really important I intend for certain images to look a certain way a square crop so someone said I love this square crop but I want to order this package but the campus is only coming this size then or just talked them through that process and go right waken printed as a square crop of this size what what size wall do you have that we can do that we have to talk to them we have to communicate and find out as much information about what they want and find the best product to suit them so yeah I'm really really strongly advocate you know printing and making in presenting your work the way you want it to be

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Home Studio Checklist
What To Expect At Home
What To Expect In Studio
Preshoot Prep for Mothers
Marketing Plan
Pricing Guide
Posing Guide
Prop Guide
Resource Guide
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


What an awesome class! I actually started watching this, not because I was interested in newborn photography, but because I thought I could pick up some good ideas for photography in general. Kelly is such an inspiring person and so professional and such a good communicator that she has a lot to offer any photographer. I actually have been inspired to try newborn photography and can't wait to implement the multiple ideas Kelly has so generously given. I think it is wonderful for the profession of photography that she has the spirit to freely share what she knows to help those who are seeking advice and knowledge. Thank you!

Jennifer Traylor

I cannot say enough to relay the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for this class. I was very fortunate to be chosen as a studio audience member for this course and what I have taken away from this class will never be forgotten. Kelly pours herself into this class both on the head knowledge of photography and the heart knowledge of building a business and making it work in your life. She is such an amazing soul and I will treasure this experience always. This class is so thorough and works amazingly both all on its own or as a supplement to her other classes. You will not be disappointed. Her knowledge, her demeanor, her care, is brilliant. She pulls you right in, and even as an online viewer/purchaser for the previous two classes, I was able to feel her connection with the audience. She is an amazing teacher!!!! Kelly rocks, Kelly amazes, Kelly loves! Buy it today!!!! You will not regret it!!!!!! And don't forget, purchases get TONS of amazing bonus materials including extra videos and PDF's and manuals. This class is a bargain!!!!!


I really have been so happy & blessed Kelly to learn from you! You are gentle and I love your spirit in which you share your "Art". I am a Nurse and worked Hospice for many years. Many of my co-workers and I recently lost our nursing positions due to department integration and have decided that my passion and love for taking photos of children and babies is something I would like to pursue. I am learning so much Kelly from the way you take the time to gently get the baby in position, follow the baby's lead and enjoy the parents and each moment of the creative process. I am not at all a professional and am just really learning, but am enjoying practicing on my friends children and babies and of course my 4 month and 4 year old grandchildren. Thank you for providing free classes as I would not be able to afford any classes at this time in my life. You have a beautiful gift. Thank you for sharing so eloquently! You have made a difference in my life. Patty from AZ

Student Work