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I am a multimedia designer and aspiring writer from Central Illinois who dreams of bigger things. You are entering the hub of my online world. Welcome. Make yourself at home, read some stuff, click a few things, maybe check out my online portfolio. And of course, if you enjoy your stay, please subscribe.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

A practical use for Photoshop

As part of my job I am the staff photographer. I always clearly communicate the portrait dress code, but sometimes people either don't listen, refuse to comply, or as in a couple of cases, don't have the required attire in their wardrobe. Here's how I deal with that.

First, I thank my lucky stars that there are people who do comply. It gives me plenty of source material for the project. Then, I simply do a wardrobe transplant.

Here the gentleman to the left did not bring a jacket for the shoot. Now, we have some spare jackets lying around, but this guy's a stout dude--his neck's like a tree trunk, for crying out loud. I have nothing that will fit him. The other problem complicating things was that he is a remote field employee. He hardly ever visits the home office--maybe once a year. There was no way to reschedule a reshoot; I had to get his photo this time or there was no telling how long it would be before the opportunity presented itself again.

Lucky for me I had plenty of source photos to comb through and look for a jacket to match his ensemble. I chose one from the photo of another gentleman with broader-than-normal shoulders, but I still had to do a fair bit of transforming to make it match the contours of the first man. Then just for the heck of it I decided to lighten the color a tad to more of a charcoal.

Anyway, this wasn't my first time at the rodeo. In doing employee photos I've also had to composite up to as many as four shots into one final product, add a necktie, tighten a necktie, remove wrinkles (from clothing and faces), color hair, whiten teeth, add color to dead-looking, sunless, pale faces, remove cold sores and other blemishes... You name it. That's part of semi-professional portrait photography. You have to hope for the best but expect the worst and be prepared to address it.