Conceptual Art Involving Child Models – Fine Art Photography Step by Step

For those of you who have been on an art shoot with me (all 10 of you out there, haha) , you’ll know that I almost always go into the session with an image already in my mind.  What this means is that, if all things go as planned, I can finish a shoot in about five minutes. However, the shoot itself is only one half of the process.  The post work that must be done for some photographs to be complete will often take considerably longer.  What I wanted to illustrate to my blog’s readers is how I go through and transform an ordinary image into something more.

For this projected I worked with local Chicago child actress/model Berkley Clayborne.  Despite being a baby photographer, this was my first time using a child model for a passion project so I was really anxious to see how it turned out.

Here’s my starter image.  The key here was to try and light the scene in a relatively flat manner.  In this photo, we have somebody holding a light approximately 5 feet behind Berkley.


The next step was to adjust some of the colors to give it a more dynamic feel.  There was a lot done in this following photo below,  but generally speaking I increased the contrast while adjusting the toning towards a sharp blue/beige combo.  I also increased saturation in the Blues, Greens, and Yellows to give the colors a richer look.  You’ll also notice at this point I started removing certain aspects of the hallway (the 4D on the door, exit sign, etc).

The next step in the process was to change the setting of hallway to give the photo a more surreal experience.  In this, we did a simple mirror of the left side of the wall and pasted it onto the right side.

The next part was another pretty big adjustment.  On top of applying some major curves adjustments, we also had to mask some of the hair to make it stand out despite increasing the blacks.  At this point, we can start to see how the final image will be shaping up.  Despite the improvements in the image, I still find the door a bit distracting.

In the final image we remove any semblance of the background, creating a more “alluring” effect.  Additionally, we mask the hair a bit to help make it stand out despite the sea of black behind little Berkley.


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