When your youngest wants to be a fairy...

You start by setting up a green screen photo session in your living room, because the studio is currently not available for use. This isn't a common practice, but you work with what you've got.

So first thing's first, move everything out of the way, get a step stool and a bean bag and tell her to jump. In hindsight, I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not. Numerous times I was a little worried she'd miss the bean bag or that she was going to punch the key light I set up in front of her. In the last picture below, she outright face planted right into the bag, got up and told me she wanted to do that again.

And we have a winner!

After much trial and error, mostly error, we finally got a photo that will work perfectly. Although looking at the original photos, I may have to do a Princess Peach composite with her bouncing off a mushroom, full Mario Bros. style.

Next thing to do is find the background and the various overlays needed to put the final photo together. Below are the additional images I used in the final render. Some were used as texture overlays, others were to add depth to the image.

Putting it together

I'm not going to dive too deeply into everything I did to create this image, but I can give a TL;DR version. If you want to know all of the details, feel free to contact me.

  1. Crop her out from the background
  2. Place her onto the castle background
  3. Remove the green splash in her hair, dress, and on her skin.
  4. Add in overlays to give the image texture as well as depth.
  5. Color grade the image
  6. Draw wings
  7. Use the Camera Raw filter and finalize the photo

The image to the left is a screen shot of all the different layers created for the photo.

Speed edit video

If you'd like to watch how it's done, all 60 minutes down to only a minute, it's just a click away. Below is the final edition of the photo.