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Stay up to date with the projects we're currently working on by following our blog!  

Amazing Airdrie Women Composite

April 7, 2018

I had the interesting task of creating a large composite image of 31 women for airdrielife magazine's Amazing Airdrie Women. It's such a neat contest that recognizes the determination, leadership, courage, heart, and promise of the women in our community. Every year I am blown away by the stories of each of these women and they are always so humble about their accomplishments.

Bringing 31 women into my studio at once was just not a possibility.  For one, it's very hard to get that many people's schedules to line up and have them all available at the same time.  And secondly, my studio is very small.  Really, I can't photograph more than 6 people at once.  So we decided to photograph the ladies in 8 groups and stitch the photos together in post.  This was no easy task and it took a lot of pre-planning!  Here is the whole process:

1. The composite was storyboarded (drawn) with stick people beforehand.  I needed to make sure that the poses of each group fit and flowed into the next group seamlessly so each pose was planned out.

2. Next, I photographed the background.  It's a 20x10' backdrop that's too large to hang the whole thing horizontally, so I photographed the first 10x10' section, then cinched it over like a curtain to photograph the next 10x10' section.

3. The 2 background photos needed to be stitched together in photoshop to get 1 seamless looking backdrop.

4. Photoshoot days!  The women were photographed in groups on two different evenings in half an hour time slots.  This is always the most fun!  There was lots of laughing and a great vibe.  They were photographed on the same background, but it was hung vertically and onto the floor for the photoshoot.

5. Image selection.  After the photoshoot, I needed to choose the best frame of each group.  This is always difficult because there is always a photo where everyone looks good except 1 looks better in another photo!

6. Retouching.  Everyone wants to look their best!

7. Compiling the composite.  This was the part that took the longest!  Each group photo was cut out on top, meticulously lassooing each person in photoshop.  I was able to leave the part of the backdrop that was on the floor in, which is always great to keep the shadows on the ground.

8. I needed to extend the background a bit more to fit all of the groups on, so there was some more cloning in photoshop.

It turned out pretty neat and ended up being a 4 page pullout cover for the spring 2018 issue of airdrielife magazine.

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