Socially Distant Group Portraits – Stuffed Animal Family

This photoshop exercise is very, very 2020. A big topic in the world of photographers is creating group portraits when being physically close isn’t possible. Before I get a chance to test this out on a wedding day I wanted to create a scenario to demonstrate how Retouch Help can make this possible…. of course with my three lovely assistants: Eddie, Andy & Chloe.

Picture me telling my boys to gather up all the stuffed animals on their beds and drag them outside my condo and asking them to arrange them like we’re creating an extended family portrait. So it’s pretty funny 🙂 First with Eddie and his beloved enormous bear and Lego Batman. Clear that out. Then Andy sitting with is large whale shark and his famous “go everywhere” Hedgehog blanket. Clear that out. Get my dog to sit with the help of some treats. I got a better, happier looking face in a different shot and composited the happier face onto the nice sitting pose. Because in the world of retouching we can strive to get closer to perfection than we ever could in reality.

What was retouched?
  • Start with a base image: Eddie standing with large Bear and small stuffed animals
  • Silhouette or create photoshop mask for dog from another photo
  • Isolate Andy sitting with small stuffed animals
  • Fit new pieces into the base image
  • Refine masks to blend edges, especially where edges are soft or meet the grass
  • Clean up dirt spot on the right
  • Clean up seed pods on the left
  • Minor clothing cleanup for lint and drawstrings on pants

What works about this is that I was shooting on a day with very even lighting, the whole group was shot on grass that is uniform in texture. I gave some thought in advance to the arrangement of the individual groups and how a final shot would look.

I’m always excited to show people what respectful retouching can do to solve problems. If you need help creating groups like these, please reach out.

What was retouched?
  • Swap a “smiley” face of Chloe from another pose on to full length shot
  • Remove collar
  • Clean up eye crusties

Here’s what a Photoshop Mask looks like. The white area is the part of the image I clipped out. Sometimes using a hard edge to make the subject “pop” and in other places like the grass using a soft feathered brush to blend the textures.

Related Posts