Archive | September 2009

Wish granted for local Warminster family through “Wish Upon a Hero”

image_Family Portrait_Wish Upon A Hero

It was 3:00 p.m., on Monday a afternoon and I received a phone call from a woman who described herself as a wish granter.  Her name was Marie and she volunteered for a group called “Wish Upon a Hero”.  I typed in their address as we spoke ( and saw this…

My father was diagnosed 1 month ago with stage 4 advanced colon cancer.  This was so difficult because our family has never been through this battle before.  He started his chemotherapy this past Thursday and had a rough weekend.  My mom and dad want a professional family portrait with my 3 siblings and I.  I’m 30 years old now and we have never had one done with our parents and us kids.  We would love to get this picture done before he looses his hair and loses more weight.  The only problem is that he has no income coming in now since his work company doesn’t provide them with short term disability, so my siblings and I, are trying to help out with all the bills.  Helping out like this is really tightening everyone’s budget, and because of that we can’t afford to get this picture done.  We live in Warminster, Pa which is about 1 hour from Philadelphia, and I would absolutely love it if someone would be able to take professional pictures of us.  It would absolutely mean so much to my mom and dad!  Thank you for taking the time to read this!!!

~Brandi Walton

WOW! (This was a no brainer for me as I understand the importance of family and professional photographs.)

My dad, right now, is going thru something we never had to go thru before too.  He was diagnosed with an aortic dissection and aneurism.  It’s been 10 weeks now and the longer he has been in the hospital, the more things seem to happen.  We do have family portraits of all of us; after all, I have just celebrated my 25th year in the portrait studio business!  I do have to say I find it sad when families never take the time or money for this investment into their lives.

A professional portrait captures people with proper lighting to help emphasize their good points and diminish their flaws.  Of course, we all want to look our very best.  Family photos taken at home are nice but rarely are you going to have the entire family in the portrait, after all someone has to take the picture and rarely is everyone going to look fabulous with their best smile forward, stance and best lighting scenario.  A professional studio can do that for you. I’m not talking mall store studios with summer help to take your family portrait.  Look for a well established, experienced family portrait artist.  This is who you want to leave this important task up to.

Create Panels

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How to cut your photo into panels

Adobe Photoshop CS4

1.  Get a well exposed photo to start with and decide how many panels you wish to break your photo into.  Then you need do a little math to divide it evenly into sections. With a digital format photograph equal to 4×6 dimensions I chose the marquee tool in Photoshop and set the option style bar to a fixed ratio of 1.99 width and 4 height.  This will give me three proportionate sections.

2.  On the background layer, start in the left top corner and drag the marquee tool across to the bottom of that guide line.  This will create your first panel.  Now before moving on, drag a guide line (from the left side of the rulers bar to match the far cut line of your marquee.  Copy then paste (Control J on PC, command J on Mac for shortcut) and you now have your first piece cutout.  It will be on layer one.

3.  Go back and make the background layer active and now start with the marquee tool at the vertical guide line you last created making sure to start from the top of it and drag down to the bottom of the horizontal guide line.  Now before moving on, drag a guide line from the rulers bar on the left to match the far cut line of your marquee.  Copy then paste and you now have your second piece cutout.  It will be on layer two.

4.  Go back and make the background layer active and now start with the marquee tool at the last vertical guide line you created making sure to start from the top of it and drag down to the bottom horizontal guide line. You now have your third piece cutout.  It will be on layer three.

5.  Click on the background layer and turn off your eyeball on this layer.

6.  Click on new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette and an empty layer four comes up right above it.  Here is where you will decide what color to put on your background.  With your default colors to B&W, reverse so white is your top color by hitting the x key on your keyboard.  Now using your paint bucket tool, click inside the photo to dump the white.

7.  Now you need to make your canvas larger or make your photo smaller so I will opt for the 2nd scenario.  Click on your top layer one and holding shift, click on layer 3 and all 3 layers will be highlighted.

8.  Drag two new guide lines horizontally, top at 2 ½ ” and bottom at 36½”.  Control T (transform) and holding shift and alt (option-mac) drag the arrow at the top left corner inward to your liking to leave enough room to spread out your images.  Hit enter.

9.  Now take only the left layer and using your move tool, space it out evenly to your liking.  Make sure to hold shift while moving it to help you keep it on the same plane.  Drag it over so the right side of this panel meets your original vertical guide line.   Do not move the center panel.  Now repeat for the right layer and go to the vertical guide line on the right side.

10.  Drop shadows are what will give this relief.  Choose layer one and go to Layer Style Box at the bottom of the panel (fx).  Click on the word Drop Shadow for the options to open.  Choose your distance 28, spread 15 and size 24.  The Angle should be set at 135.  Click OK.

11.  To add this drop shadow to the other two layers, hold down the shift and option keys and clicking on the fx word to the right of layer one, drag it down to layer two and it will duplicate your drop shadow results.  Do the same to create it on layer three.

Your piece is finished.

I find that sometimes it works better if you leave the middle panel a little bigger than the two side panels. So keep your image in layers till you find the best look.

Another option is to turn the background layer eyeball on and make this layer B&W.  Now set layer four (white color) to 70% opacity to give it a nice effect.

Good luck creating and hope you enjoyed this project by Katydid.

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