Fun Friday | Photography Tips | Layers, Textures, Silhouettes & Before and Afters

Ok, if you’re a fan of my Facebook Page you’ve seen some of the images below .  If you’re not…you oughta be! 😉

I had a few questions messaged to me about the images so I thought I’d share some of the before and after details.  If you want ALL of the before and after details and how to get the results yourself…well…you’ll just have to come see me at my upcoming workshop so contact me to get on the list! 😉

My Bride-to-Be found some SUPER cute scenes done in chalk on asphalt on Pinterest. She wanted to recreate one for their Save the Dates. Now, as a photographer we all know that copying verbatim is NEVER cool and won’t win you any friends, so I was challenged with how to spin this so it wasn’t going to be an EXACT replica.   This was important to me as I’ve been copied before and I know it bites.  The good news is that most of the time when I’ve been copied verbatim it’s been a happy (for me anyway 😉 ) sloppy second! Whooo! Oh well, that’s for another time.

So, we set off to downtown Chattanooga, TN  for the second half of their Engagement shoot.  “Where are we going to find a space big enough in downtown Chatty to pull this off?” I pondered in my head.  I asked the couple and bless em’…they’re HUGE lovers of downtown Chattavegas so they knew right where we could go!  Then SURPRISE! We get there and it’s “Music in the City” night on the waterfront…where we were…People…EVERYWHERE! “OH DEAR!  No pressure now at.all!!” I thought.

We stopped and looked over a balcony under the Market St. Bridge… there it was…a large expanse of concrete right by the water where boats come in to downtown and dock, and right below the cool stair step fountains and wade pool.  We headed down the steps to start our creation. I took the heart balloons, Andrew took the “Roadway” and Brittany took on the writing.  Which I must say writing in chalk is MUCH more difficult than drawing in chalk….WHEW! A few inconsiderate, thug wannabe, skateboarders messing up my “balloons”, but other than that everyone was very careful to not walk on our precious drawing.

I headed back up the steps to the balcony and leaned over…with quite an audience…to begin shooting.  Now, the important part here is that when we first stopped and looked over I looked through the viewfinder on good ole “Connie”, and mapped out the location and boundaries of our drawings using the things below…the round lights, the lines, the trash can, etc…  Oh how I’m happy I did that little step of prep!!! If I’d have missed doing that given the LIMITED shooting areas I had up top then ALL of that work would’ve been a waste.

I was ECSTATIC at how it was turning out, and to put my BJP tweak on it that I’d already concocted to spin this differently than the Pins we’d seen. 😉  I was shooting admist “oooh’s” and “aaaah’s”, and a cool older British Couple who were mesmerized at the simple chalk scene we’d drawn up in the middle of downtown Chattanooga.  WE.NAILED.IT! Or so I think anyway…and I’m my own worst critic so, whatever!

Here it is in it’s actual glory…..

BEFORE: Note the old nasty gum dots, the lights on the right, and the rail posts on the left…

And here it is all prettied up…a few layers and some “texturizing” with clouds…

AFTER: No gum, no lights, and no posts…I added actual CLOUDS!  I LOVE clouds & have numerous cool cloud images in my stash so it was only natural that one of those images would wind up HERE!

Still tripping over how “real” it turned out…and yes…I left the lines on purpose…I think they look like Power Lines!

Here’s the Before and After side by side… so you can see what a difference a little Photoshop, ok ok A LOT of Photoshop, knowledge makes.

Ok and one more little Fun Friday plug.  I’m working out details for an upcoming Workshop, because my pet peeve is “photographers” who don’t know how to work the camera outside of Auto and/or with a Flash and have no desire to learn….Why? Because well 1) You can always tell when someone’s using Auto/Flash. Especially if they don’t know how to NOT make it look like they’re using a flash, it creates unnecessary shadows and glares (especially indoors or in eyes), and 2) Most Importantly: if you don’t know how, or take the time to learn, you’ll miss out on taking GORGEOUS images like this for yourself or for PAYING clients who deserve the best you can give…

AFTER: No flash and adjusted settings in Manual…just a pretty sweet Sunset Silhouette! Now, don’t get me wrong the Before image below, that I snapped in Manual with minimal Flash is good, no doubt I love it too, but THIS is MAGIC!!


Before isn’t bad at all, but that Silhouette is THEBOMB! See how big a difference the Sunset has? It’s so pale and washed out 😦 The couple looks GREAT..Sunset not so much!

So, enjoy the tidbit Fun Friday images, and contact me if you’re interested in learning more about how to take great images in not so great areas or lighting situations and make them into MAGIC!! I promise it’ll be worth it!!!

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