Creating composite images: A behind-the-scenes look at how it’s done                 

Hello everyone! This week I’ve been busy in the studio creating a fantastic Mr fox photo, once again working with children and animals (I must be mad, ha ha!).

As you may know I’ve photographed dogs and ducks before but this was the first time ever that the KW photography studio had been visited by a pair of chickens! Kindly brought in by my pal Laurraine, these lovely clucky feathered friends, Thelma & Louise became the co-stars of a photograph that’s due to be published in an up-coming edition of DORSET magazine in conjunction with CobWebKnits.

Because I like to do things differently every now and then, I wanted to capture the hens alongside a sleeping newborn baby wearing an adorable fox hat by CobWebKnits; our very own ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ and his clucking friends!

fantastic mr fox

Here I’m going to explain how I took the concept from a vision to reality, and how I achieved the final, composite, image; what I’m calling my ‘clucking creation’!  Suffice to say that it involved a lot of chasing chickens around the studio (!), all the usual newborn baby soothing and posing, and then some magic in Photoshop.

Most importantly, at no time was the baby actually in the studio at the same time as the chickens, as I am absolutely committed to ensuring a baby’s safety at all times. (You may also be interested in my recent blog post about safety in newborn photography here). Im also a member of BANPAS.

The chicken session

Stage one was the chicken shoot! They came in the day before baby was due to be photographed, and kept Laurraine and I on our toes, as we followed them around the studio and repeatedly placed them in position (they weren’t very cooperative!). Honestly, you should have seen us! We had such fun. It was like the famous Benny Hill sketch with the chasing chickens – we just needed the music to be playing in the background to match the mood in the studio that day!

chickens and a basket of eggs

The baby session

Next up was gorgeous baby Arlo, just eight days new. He came in the following day, once I’d thoroughly cleaned up the studio, leaving no trace at all of the feathered fun that we had had.

Positioned safely within the basket with his mum carefully holding and supporting him at all times, Arlo was such an adorable, obliging subject. He slept well while I took the shots, including this one of him in the ‘head on hands’ pose

baby being held in a basket

It’s magic!

The final stage, the post-production stage, is when I was able to combine the two images together. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop it appears that Arlo was posed without support, and that the chicken and Mr Fox were photographed together, but as you all now know… they weren’t.

Check out the video of the shoot here

to take a closer look at how it was done. I hope you enjoy!

Until next time,

Karen x