Why Composite?

There are several reasons why many photographers have turned to composite photography. In certain cases, it might be because of a client’s budget or the amount of time you have with the talent, or should I say, lack there of. It could be due to the weather or uncontrollable circumstances. Sometimes, it's just difficult to get all of the stars to align, so to speak. As for me, in most cases, it’s a way to craft an image the way my mind sees it; to evoke a mood or feeling of my expression.

Compositing is a way to make everything come together when otherwise not possible. It allows me to problem solve by adding or taking away elements. It also enables me to focus on each element of the photograph separately, and combine them to give an image more impact in order to make it better or more interesting.

At times, it’s as simple as adding a sky to a photo to add drama. In other cases, perhaps adding someone or something that wouldn’t be possible in real life. Compositing allows me to explore, and not limit, my creative vision.

This post was inspired by Erik Almas. He is not only one of my favorite photographers and composite artist, but he is also one of the top commercial photographers in the business. Thank you Erik for your inspiration! Your work is truly one of a kind.


"Save the Date" with a Movie Poster Twist

Several months ago, I received an email from Ashley and her fiancé Andrew. As I read through the email, I discovered Ashley is the daughter of one of my dear old friends from my home town. She was interested in hiring me to shoot their engagement photos as well as an image to use for their "Save the Date" announcements. I regretfully informed her that I didn’t really shoot engagement or wedding photography however, I did offer her an idea I would love to do for her "Save the Date" announcements if she was interested. Funny, turns out, not only was she interested, but she was able to talk me right into shooting her engagement session as well.

Save the Date Announcement

The idea for the announcement was to create a movie poster starring Ashley and Andrew. They would pick out a theme or genre, and then we would come up with the concept and title to the movie. We all agreed we wanted the movie idea to be original, and not something already done before and just recreated. They decided to go with a romantic comedy. Ashley told me she was a bit of a country girl and that Andrew was a skater. They wanted to somehow incorporate those two personalities into the poster. After several emails and phone conversations, we came up with a great idea and concept! A concept, that after meeting them, I thought fit them perfectly.

The Concept

We started out by coming up with a movie title. My thoughts were, once we came up with a title, then we could base the idea for the photo shoot off of that. After listing several names to be used, including the obvious ones like “Tie the knot” and “Hitched”, we decided to go with a movie title called “Roped into it”. It was different. It hadn’t been used before, and it just worked.

Above: These are the original shots taken before post production.

Already the ideas were flowing. What we came up with was to have Andrew, with an “Oh Crap!” expression on his face, tied up with his skateboard. Ashley would be standing very confident in front of him wearing her cowgirl outfit holding a smoking gun. The final touch was to add the dart to Andrew’s forehead to bring it all together. A subtle but funny little detail. I shot each of them separately against a white backdrop so I would have a little more control for placement and positioning later when putting it all together. The smoke for the gun was also added later in post production as well.

Above: This is how the the finished poster turned out.

The Final Result

So this is it, the final result. I was very pleased at the way it turned out. Ashley and Andrew were great to work with and a lot of fun. I think it’s safe to say we all had a blast shooting it. Thanks guys! I want to wish both of you the best and God bless you in your future together.