How to Safely Create Whimsical Composite Photos of Your Baby

September 25, 2012

in Photography Session Tips, Photography Tutorials

How to Safely Create Whimsical Composite Photos - Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com


I love taking fun and creative pictures of my children and my clients. It goes with my personality and how I view life. My particular style requires a lot of composite shots for safety reasons. (There is no substitution for safety when it comes to taking pictures. I would never put a baby or child in harm’s way!) I want to show you how to take these fun photos by giving you a step-by step tutorial so that you, too, can be creative.

How to Safely Create Composite Photos

Step 1 – Base Picture:

How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com

First, I set up the crib to get the base shot of my photograph. This will be the main picture that I will use. I have an Alien Bee 800 Strobe in my 4×6 softbox to my left. Flash freezes motion so this helped out a lot for this particular shot.

Steps 2 – Throw Stuff and Snap Away:

How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com
How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com
How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com
I combined all these steps for this tutorial because they are all the same. I would suggest having an extra set of hands to get these shots, but they can still be done if you don’t. I would set up a tripod and a remote in order to do capture these shots solo.

I had my photographer friends in town help me with this process. Bless them for being in front of the camera just out of the shower–Kelsey Anderson Photography and Melissa Jacks Photography; both well known in the IHF community :). I had both girls throw random stuffed animals while I fired off the strobe.

Step 3 – Bring Baby into the Picture:

How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com
How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com

Now for the most important part of this picture. I had Melissa hold my baby in such a way to make it look like he was jumping. I didn’t like the look on his face so I took another shot of him smiling to do a head swap later in Photoshop.

Step 4 – Post-processing:

How to Safely Create Composite Photos - Free Photography Tutorial via iHeartFaces.com

I brought all the images into Photoshop and used layering masks to edit the stuffed animals and my baby onto the first image. I had to do some cloning, and as I mentioned before, a head swap as well. I then did my usual editing that I apply to all my photos and poof, just like that, I have a baby jumping out of his crib. Magic I tell you!

 

Trisha Sheehan Profile PictureTrisha Sheehan is a maternity, newborn, and children photographer in Chesapeake, VA. She also has a full-time gig as a mother of 4 and Navy wife. She loves everything baby, chocolate, & has no self control when it comes to shoes. You can find her work at Trisha Sheehan Photography or like her on Facebook.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin Bodnar February 22, 2013

I decided to try this out for my little guy’s one year picture – take a peek at how it turned out on my site!!

http://www.kristinhopephotography.com

thanks for the tutorial!!

Reply

Liana Brooks December 10, 2012

I think @InkyLaurens needs to see this. http://t.co/hgET8KIE #iHavePlans

Reply

Scott Wyden Kivowitz October 2, 2012

How to Safely Create Composite Photos of Your Baby http://t.co/dsIlVLBu

Reply

Damien Franco September 27, 2012

How to Safely Create Whimsical Composite Photos of Your Baby http://t.co/fQwML176

Reply

shootnshop September 26, 2012

Thanks for this ‘behind the scenes’ post. It is very useful for upcoming projects.

Reply

angie {the arthur clan} September 25, 2012

Here is a link to our Head Swap Tutorial (written by Dana): http://www.iheartfaces.com/2012/02/how-to-swap-heads-photoshop-tutorial/

Thanks for sharing your process behind this cute photo with us Trisha!

-Angie
co-founder of I Heart Faces

Reply

Snekcip September 25, 2012

I sooooo love this!!! Truly adorable!!! I’m with Rebekah….how do you combine?

Reply

Amy Locurto September 25, 2012

This is great! Thanks for sharing and loving the towel wrap:-)

Reply

Dana September 25, 2012

Rebekah, if you look at the “HEAD SWAP” tutorial here on IHF, they give a step by step for how to swap heads in photoshop. It’s the same general thing. You copy from one photo and paste it into another one. LOTS of fun! 😀

I LOVED this tutorial!! So creative!

Reply

Rebekah September 25, 2012

But how do you do the editing?! I’d love a tutorial on how to combine all these shots into one image. This stuff boggles my mind.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: