Merging Past and Present

Merging Past and Present

We live to create, and we love that “Ta-Da” moment when our clients see the final result of their project. As a creative, it is special and personal for us to take someone’s vision – a vision they aren’t always sure is possible to attain – and turn it into a reality.

One of our longtime clients had a wonderful idea. He wanted to take a photo of his father behind the counter of their family business and merge it with a photo of himself as an adult. His father was his best friend and had passed away a few years ago. He didn’t have a photo of both of them in their family business, and going to work reminded him of his father every day. He grew out his mustache to match his father’s and scheduled a shoot.

web originalOur goal was to “recreate” the look of the original photo as close as we could using modern camera equipment. John worked to create a similar lighting style to the photo of his father and built a few compositions that would enable us to easily merge the two photos.

All of the digital work on this project was done by hand. It wasn’t about slapping two photos through an algorithm and seeing what popped out. Tremendous thought and prep work went into the photo shoot to ensure a realistic end product. John photographed our client several different ways, and Mary Lou presented him with a few mock-ups to review.

web DSC_2876After the final photo created, we turned to framing. Mary Lou suggested incorporating the company branding, and our client wanted to include the original photo in the frame. The final piece is compelling. This is more than a sentimental photo. It is a piece that illustrates the relationship between father and son both personally and professionally.

If you want to create an image like this, there are few things to know ahead of time:

Bring as many photos as possible. You may have a photo that you love of a person, but it isn’t a technically “good” photo. We can often use another image to enhance the photo you love. It’s also good to have a back-up image in case the image you originally chose is not a good fit for the project.

Be prepared for multiple drafts and conversations. If you were commissioning an oil painting, the artist would take their time to ensure perfection. As artists, we subscribe to the similar methods. A first draft may not be exactly what you had in mind, but a project like this is a journey that requires multiple edits and conversations with the artist.

Understand that there are limits. There are ways to improve an image, but a poor quality original photo can only be improved so much. We will always do what we can to restore an original, but a photo missing information (faded, fuzzy, too dark or light, etc) will always miss that information.