I love a good before and after, especially for more creative edits, so this month, I decided to share some of my own edits and brief descriptions of how I did them. Not every photo I take has edits as extensive as these below, and in fact, most don’t, but I wanted to show that sometimes what I see as I final product in my head, isn’t always exactly the scene I’m capturing in front of me.
For this first photo when I saw the big bush on the left, I knew in post that I wanted to mirror it on the other side. I duplicated the image, inverted it, added a mask, and then using a white brush, painted it on the other side. It never occurred to me to flip the image and mirror something like this until I saw another photographer show it in a before and after! It inspired me, and I hope this will inspire you! After, I had the image the way I wanted, I did some color adjustments, added a vignette, a little spotlight at the top, and a light matte.
This photo is actually a self portrait that was taken in my apartment at 28 weeks. I knew I wanted a soft backlit photo, so I set up my tripod and stood in front of our sliding glass doors. I cropped the photo, and added some more negative space above my head, but other than that, I just used a white brush on a duplicated layer to paint out the rest of the door and room. I always work on new layer, in case I don’t like what I’ve done, and want to go back and try something different.
For this photo, it’s just as much about what I did when I took the photo as how I processed it. For this photo I used a technique called the Brenizer method, or bokeh panorama. There are tons of tutorial and videos on how to do, so I won’t go into the details here. Essentially, you take a lot of photos, the way you would a normal panorama and then merge them together in photoshop. What you end up with is a beautiful photo with an incredibly shallow depth of field!
For this photo, I was simply in love with the expression on the little boys face, and really wanted that to be the focus. I darkened down the back ground, converted to black and white, added contrast and a matte finish!
For this photo, I loved the flower patch they were sitting in, but not the over all green color of the photo. I did various hue/saturation adjustments to get the colors where I wanted, warmed the photo up, added a vignette and light spotlight. Like almost all my images, I finished it with a light matte.
This photo is another example of playing with the colors. I used hue/saturation adjustments inverted and painted in to change the color of their shirts, then again to warm up the whole image. I spent quite a bit of time, warming up their skin, removing color casts from the original colored shirts, and balancing the purple and magenta in their skin. Finished with a light vignette, spotlight and matte.
For this photo, I was completely obsessed with the mom to be’s tulle skirt and really wanted to focus on it. I cropped the photo in, and then used the clone tool to extend her skirt. I selected a pink color from the skirt and lightly painted in along the edges to blur out the details and any obvious cloning. Lastly I warmed the photo up, and added a light matte.
This photo was done just for fun. It had snowed the week of this mom to be’s maternity session, and she was really hoping that there would still be snow on the ground by the time of her shoot. Unfortunately it had all melted, but I spent a little time researching how to create a snowy image in post, and came up with this! It’s not perfect by any means, but it was fun to play around with! Again, there are tons of free tutorials and youtube videos that show how to create fake snowy images.
I hope some of these photos and edits have been inspiring to you! I would love to see some of your creative edits too. Please post yours in the comments, or leave a link where I, and others can be inspired by your work too! And as always, you can connect with me on Facebook or Instagram, as well as see more of my work at www.rachelkphoto.com.