I’ve been seiving through some old archive work recently and I came across this image that I created at a workshop that Rosie Hardy held in 2013. There were some amazing photographers on the workshop that day and I had such a good time. It was so inspiring to see Rosie and the other photographers get really involved and how different everyones worked turned out from the same concepts. The workshop really has impacted my work greatly over the past couple of years. I was extremely new to photography then, and I would definitely recommend attending one of her workshops because it was a real eye opener into the world of conceptual photography. So thank you Rosie!

Anyway, I wanted to show you this image of the beautiful Chelsea. Looking back on it now after much more experience and time has passed I can see so many mistakes that I would resolve. However if I had not created this image, I wouldn’t have bagged my first destination wedding, which happened to be my second wedding ever. (Crazy right? I don’t know how it happened fully myself) But I do know that putting in the effort made all the difference. When it came to booking that wedding, they mentioned this image and stated that this sealed the deal for them and they knew they wanted me on board. So for that reason I wanted to share the before and after, and how just one image can make a big difference in your career.





We all now how amazing Rosie’s skills are at styling, so when Rosie mentioned this black widow concept to us, it was something I really wanted to delve into. It was windy (and extremely rainy) on that day and therefore the dress was amazing to photograph. It flowed in the wind so beautifully (I wish I had more shots I could show you but as it so long ago I think I may have lost the originals, I do have the photoshop file though so I can run through the editing). Always over shoot, you can never go wrong with more than enough!


I started by expanding the frame, I did this by using existing wider angled shots and the original base image, and cloned them together to create a neat square image.


I added the flowing dress from another image by using the lasso tool and erased around the edges to blend it into the image.


I then added the sky from another image I had previously taken. 


I removed the rogue black object (think its part of her dress?!) because it was slightly distracting in the frame. 


I then sorted the sky out by changing the opacity to around 50% (I think it was 49% if you really want to get precise) and then blended the sky into the sand by using a layer mask. I slowly erased it using a extremely soft brush to create a clean seam between the sky and the sand.


I added a vignette on the outside to create amore dramatic effect.


The next thing I did was add a curve layer, and as you can see from the image, I usually start with a ‘S curve’ then play around with opacity.


I played around with the exposure layer to create duller blacks and deeper tones. 


Finally, I added the black smoke using blend modes!

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And there we have it! I hope you enjoyed reading through this simple tutorial. I will be doing more in-depth tutorials very soon so bookmark my blog for regular updates!