“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.
~Frank Crane

Despite my having been deceived on a high level more than I care to admit, I always choose to believe the best in new people. Until they prove me wrong. But then I still hope for them to change and mend their ways.

We all have faults, some more detrimental than others. I am unorganized and speak the truth more than others wish to hear at times, sometimes not so gently. I have never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings yet have done so without intent plenty of times. Part of the beauty of being human, though, is that we can constantly strive to perfect ourselves, to improve our faults as often as we can.

Snow's Apple

Snow’s Apple

I ask God almost daily for guidance on being a better person, photographer, wife and mother. That I can help others heal with other skills that I have. And of course, I fail at times. Yet, like a stubborn puppy with a new chew toy, I hang on to the hope that I will become better, stronger. And constantly strive for betterment despite everything I do wrong. Once we become complacent with ourselves, there’s no bothering with improvement. So we should always work to improve our skills or demeanor or organization or whatever it is we lack.

This image didn’t start out as a concept in the least, nor was it even planned as a portrait. In fact, my model and I had just finished our planned shoot when she decided to roll about in the leaves in my old rusted wedding dress. (Rust courtesy of a leaky attic roof).
Once I had finished the editing of  Don’t Lose Your Head , I browsed through the few photos I had left from this shoot. They looked a little more like a Trash The Dress session than what I normally do, so I thought I’d change it up a bit.

Here’s where flexibility with an idea comes in. Originally, Mariana was horizontal, and I started rotating the image just so I could color the dress better. Voila. Better angle. Added in leaves (from another photo) where the frame was now empty.

Because the wedding dress is ivory, I don’t think it can be changed in curves to another color much different, so I painted it blue and then messed with curves. Much better, more interesting.

Then I realized that it looked like she had dropped something as her hand lay a bit open. An apple! She’s fair, so I made her the “fairest of them all”. Now the problem was that I didn’t photograph an apple at the time, and I had no red apples at home.

But I had a red marble apple that someone had given me years ago. A few bites out of the green apple, and I overlaid it in Photoshop over the red apple and made myself a red apple with bites out of it.

What better person to portray one who’s been deceived than Snow White?

So far, so good. I laid that out by Mariana’s hand, but it was hard to see in the leaves. She suggested moving it to the dress, and we decided together where to lay it.

Then I looked up Snow White in a Google search and discovered that her dress was yellow on the bottom half. So I outlined it (it took 3 attempts because I’m not very good with the lasso), duplicated the layer and started playing with the color balance slider. And kept playing until it looked right.

Alas, now the rust on the dress really showed through, so I spent a bit of time cloning out the rust. I added a texture (courtesy of Brooke Shaden) and brought down the colors of the leaves in curves. I also added in a black and white layer to add contrast but changed the opacity and layer style.

Technical stuff:
Camera: Nikon D 600
Lens: Tamron 28-75 2.8
F 6.3, 1/50
ISO 1250
Apple shot at f 7.1, 1/30 ISO 1600 (under my dining room light at night)

Edited in Photoshop CC 2014