Oh, the joy of playing dress up! There’s just something about slipping on a costume and pretending to be someone else that holds appeal for all ages. So it didn’t take much persuading to get this crew of sweet kiddos to indulge me and my idea for an Alice in Wonderland themed styled session.
I knew I wanted the kids to “dress up” for the session, but I also wanted to try “dressing up” my images with Pretty Photoshop Actions. Could they really provide that extra boost of color and light to bring my images to the next level? I wanted to put these Photoshop actions to the test. (Spoiler alert - I wasn’t disappointed!) But first, a little more about the styled session...
To bring the session together, I spent some time visualizing what I wanted to convey with each character. I thought about what subtleties would work to differentiate each character from the next. I wanted to bring the characters to life without hitting the viewer over the head with it. So, starting with Alice, I knew I wanted to use a gorgeous, blue, couture gown from Butterfly Closet. I’ve used the gown in sessions previously and there is nothing overtly “Alice” about it (other than it being blue), but I felt that when worn by a pretty blonde model and grouped with other subtly dressed characters, the effect would be unmistakable.
I knew distinguishing hats would be essential for the Mad Hatter, and the March Hare as well. These from Miss Fitt and Co were exactly what I needed. Add in some lush velvet jackets by Chasing Fireflies - and ears for the Hare - and my ensemble was coming together. All I needed was a queen in a gorgeous black and gold gown, also by
With wardrobe decisions complete, I turned my attention to the setting and props. A wooded location at the Art Barn provided the perfect backdrop for our little tea party. Elegant chairs around a table set with colorful cakes and tea cups created exactly the look I wanted. With some classic props - a deck of cards, a pocket watch for the Hare, an oversized rose for a pop of color, and a few live “hares” for fun - my styling was complete. Now for the magic…
The kids played their parts perfectly - enjoying the theatrics and having fun with my requests for both playful and serious poses. I think the only thing that could have made them enjoy it more was if I’d let them dig into the cakes
when the shoot was over! (They weren’t real!)
I was truly pleased with the way the session went, so my hopes for the images were high. When I went to the computer to see the results, I wasn’t disappointed, and yet, I suspected the images could be better - even more magical - with the help of Pretty Actions. So, this is what I did next…
In Lightroom, I just quickly warmed the images a bit and then exported the raw files to PS. The primary recipe for these edits included the following use of Pretty Actions - they were used in a mostly consistent manner on all of the images (in some cases there were a few additional edits):
Pretty Color Base x2 - 20%
Pretty Color Base - 100%
Histogram Fix - 100%
Sparkle and Shine - 20%
Romantic - 70% brushed off of face
I was thrilled with the results and look forward to trying out new combinations on future images. For me, these edits speak for themselves! What do you think?
Styling : Jennifer McCarren, Kristin Fuller, Theresa Stone
Location : The Art Barn
Hair and Makeup : Theresa Stone
Models : Ava Redick, Alice, wearing Butterfly Closet Kylie Fuller; the Queen, wearing Butterfly Closet; Sebastian McCarren, The Hare, wearing Chasing Fireflies and MossFete; Harrison McCarren, the Mad Hatter, wearing Chasing Fireflies and MossFete; Lulu Dobson, our double (Queen and Mad Hatter) wearing Tutu Du Monde, MossFete and Chasing Fireflies.