How Do You Get a Family Portrait?

Question: How do you get a family portrait when your family is spread all over the country?

Answer: Take multiple photos and merge them with a photo editing program.

The solution is easier said than done. When I was back home in September, I had everyone get together for a family photo. The only family missing was my middle brother’s. When taking the picture, I left some blank space in the background:

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I then asked my brother to send me some photos of his family against a blank wall. Unfortunately, one of his photos was way overexposed. Being a novice photographer, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I started fiddling with the exposure and other settings in Lightroom and Photoshop. The photo was not coming out well, so I put my photo project on the back burner.

Just a few weeks ago I was looking for some new scrapbooking blogs to read that have tutorials regularly. I found Mye DeLeon and her post here about fixing underexposed photos in Photoshop. At the end of the post, Mye also talks about how to fix overexposed pictures by duplicating the layer and changing the blend mode to multiply. So easy and made my picture usable!

Before:

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After:

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After a lot more layering with adjustment layers to equalize the color and lighting in each photo so that they would blend, I finally have a finished product. A little late for Christmas, but just in time for Easter.

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