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Friday Photoshare – Choices

So much of my art is about empowerment. Or, at least, that’s what it’s about to me! It’s about growth and self discovery, choices, and the power that lies hidden inside each of us. Unsurprisingly, these themes feature yet again in this week’s photo, “Choices.”

Apart from the actual message of the image, the main thing I want to share today is that you absolutely do not have to have elaborate, expensive things to make beautiful photos! It’s so easy to look at pictures and say “Well, I could take great photos, too, if I had access to that location/dresses that cost thousands of dollars/etc.,” but lovely things can come from humble beginnings. The main elements in this photo are:

  • one dozen roses (yes, one dozen, not the three dozen or so you see!)
  • a fabric scrap (the linen wrapped around the roses)
  • a yard of fabric that isn’t even hemmed
  • a key that’s part of a decorative set I found for $4
  • a piece of lace I ripped off some burlap and lace ribbon
  • a top I got at Ross for $7

I didn’t buy any of the pictured props specifically for this image – I created the image around what I already had at home. {{Yes, I’m also wearing a wig, but I could have changed my hair color (I made myself a red head -in a photo once, do you remember?) in Photoshop so I’m not including it on the supplies list.}} As usual, the image is not exactly what I thought I was setting out to create, but I let the process adapt and flow.

As mentioned above, I had one dozen (unexpected) roses (thanks, husband!). This is the completely straight out of camera shot I used for my upper body:

Because I wanted a more abundant feel, and something a bit more exciting for the “skirt,” I tossed the roses on the ground and took a few more shots. This is the one I ended up using for the skirt and surrounding flowers:

After I felt confident about my main shots (and photographed another image I’ll be sharing soon!), I moved the roses around. I took roses from the middle and moved them to the left, making sure to keep a few on the right side of the frame the same so I could easily line the photos up. I rotated the camera slightly and grabbed this shot:

Then I did the opposite – moved the flowers over to the right, panned right, and took another shot:

In Photoshop, I combined the layers to make it look like I had a super abundance of roses! Because I took the time to plan my shots, editing was quick and I completed the image in an afternoon. I spent far more time removing wrinkles from the background than I did compositing!

I showed a little of my compositing workflow in the behind the scenes video a couple of weeks ago, but I’m hoping to share a basic compositing tutorial soon. Right now I’m super busy putting the finishing touches on/double checking everything for Re-Story Your Life! {{Quick reminder – the class goes live on February 20! Monday morning, Hawaiian time, I’ll be sending out a fabulous discount code to everyone on my email. If you even think you might be interested, go ahead and get on the newsletter list now so you don’t miss out!}}

As always, I’m curious: what do you see in this image?

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Duni February 18, 2017, 07:01

    For close up styling shots I use what I have at home, but sometimes I do wish for larger rooms and more light – I can never really get a good enough interior shot.
    Your self-portrait is beautiful and those are gorgeous roses!

    • Natashalh February 18, 2017, 12:55

      I just shoot really wide open and use the ISO as needed. I also wish we had more light inside, but I’ve learned to make do! For this photo I had f 3.2 and ISO 500. I know people frequently prefer a tighter aperture and lower ISO, but that requires far more light than I have. The main hindrance is our light yellow walls. They are very unflattering! To make up for them, I try to be in front of my grey backdrop or my blue wall tapestry.

  • BeadedTail February 18, 2017, 14:40

    There’s so much going on in that photo to me. The gray hair, young (beautiful) body, the worried look on your face, touching the key around your neck and the roses all seem to me to be about time and if it got away. It’s really a striking photo and certainly thought provoking. Don’t know how you put it together in an afternoon either!

    • Natashalh February 18, 2017, 16:21

      Oooh, I really like your take on it! That’s fantastic. Thank you for sharing! (The wig is an ombre purple, but you can’t really tell in this photo)

  • Marieken February 21, 2017, 01:02

    Gorgeous shot, nice to have a little look behind the scenes. Also great to see that (besides a lot of work!) you didn’t spend lots of money to make this photo. It shows that you don’t need a lot to make, do, or experience something special!

    • Natashalh February 21, 2017, 06:56

      Thank you! A big reasons I love one of my favorite artists is that she’s created so many beautiful pieces with basically nothing. It’s really inspirational!

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