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:
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:
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:
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:
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 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.