Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Life is Good (or the tale of Steve and Stacy)

Last year I needed to put together artwork for an ad that was being ran by Antonio Villárd Premium Electronic Cigars (a company that I am part owner of) that was going to run in a seasonal travel magazine. When I started thinking about what to create for imagery I thought that I would go with the theme of a man smoking a cigar and a woman sitting with him, and the only way that she was still sitting next to him was that he was enjoying an electronic cigar instead of a tobacco cigar which she hates. I also wanted to show the scene indoors where electronic cigars are most beneficial to both the user and those around him.

So the idea I came up with was a theme of Life is Good featuring a couple, Steve and Stacy. Steve likes cigars (they're cool), Stacy doesn't (they smell like dirty socks); but they both are happy with the electronic cigar because Steve can enjoy his cigar and Stacy doesn't have to smell it. (If you want to know more about electronic cigars go to www.antoniovillard.com).

The problem I had was that I was on a tight schedule and trying to find just the right models and location plus do the shooting would take up a lot of time. So I looked thru a stock photo site (I use Bigstock) to see if I could find a picture (or pictures) that I could use and then tweak them on the back end to get what I wanted. I found two images that I thought I could use to get what I wanted (see below). It knew it would take some work in Photoshop, but I also knew it would ultimately be easier in the end.
Steve (with friend)

So what I wanted to do was combine the the guy on the right in the one image with the girl in the other and in the end make it look like they were together having a grand time.  Below you can see the progression that I took to get the image that I wanted.

In the end I was able to get the image I wanted ( although my wife tells me that Stacy looks a little more pissed than sultry but oh well) and the final ad turned out well and only took me about 4 hours to create.
There are many keys to making an image like this work out but I think the biggest things are: 1) Make sure that the lighting on both subjects match 2) Make sure the brightness and contrast levels match on both subjects 3) Make sure there are no hard lines where you cut out the subjects and lastly 4) That all transitions look realistic.

So that's it, hope you found this post both entertaining and useful and as always I would love to hear your thoughts, tips or if you just want to shower me with praise then that's OK too!


  1. I am hoping the same best effort from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me. Padron Cigars

  2. Thanks for sharing the info, keep up the good work going.... I really enjoyed exploring your site. good resource... elektronik sigara