How 44 Images brought “A Day in the Life” to Life

One of the coolest things about being a Portrait Photographer who specializes in Composite Photography, is I get to bring LIFE into Portraits that would otherwise be boring.

Today, I’m going to show you how 44 images brought the Photillustrator Portrait, “A Day in the Life”, to Life.

Portrait Photography up to this point has largely been approached from a very traditional mindset, where you take one, or a couple of images, and create a nice Portrait representing the likeness of the individual in the Portrait.

While this does serve a purpose and a market, it’s kind of boring.

Now, let’s break down the Glazer’s Family Portrait so you can see what I’m talking about.

“A Day in the Life”

When you’re incorporating more than a couple of images into your Amazing Family Portrait, it requires a large degree of planning and production.

glazer family portrait by dallas portrait photographer, jason ulsrud, displayed in home

That’s why your Creative Family Portrait will start out as a Sketched Concept.

the concept sketch for the glazer family portrait

The Concept Sketch serves as the foundation for your Family Portrait and allows us to identify each of the many Photographs we’ll need to capture for your Amazing Portrait.

You may have noticed that Glazer’s Concept Sketch doesn’t look exactly like their finished Family Portrait?

The reason for the difference is because your Concept Sketch serves primarily as a baseline, and once we get into the actual creation of your Portrait, the composition will frequently lead your Portrait in a slightly different direction.

I frequently tell clients when starting out, “I will create a Sketch of your Portrait, you’ll then approve it or make any changes you’d like to see, then I create something completely different than your Concept Sketch.”

Trust me though, you will LOVE your Creative Family Portrait as much as the Glazer Family did.

Breaking Down “A Day in the Life”

For the Glazer family, I was commissioned to create a Creative Family Portrait with Unlimited Images, and my Hidden Touches option.

To my knowledge, no other Portrait Photographer anywhere offers anything like my Hidden Touches.

Ok, let’s get into the 44 images it took to create “A Day in the Life”.

a breakdown of the composite photography of the glazer family portrait by dallas portrait photographer, jason ulsrud

#1 L. Glazer: Such a talented girl, Leya’s positioning in the Portrait was changed at the last minute due to composition reasons.

#2 Steven Glazer: Steven is such a funny character I thought it would be perfect to have him falling into the pool.

#3 Denise & H. Glazer: Denise is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, and Harley reminds me so much of my son Niko with his crazy expression.

#4 Phyllis: Phyllis is Stevens mother and truly is a bigger-than-life character who is an environmental activist.

#5 Frances: Denise’s mother, Frances was so cool, and didn’t hesitate one minute to get into character for this portrait.

#6 Barry: Denise’s father, Barry is such a sweet man and was worried about doing “pictures”, which you couldn’t tell in this portrait.

#7 & #8 Scooby & Magic: I’ve learned through doing many portraits with dogs in them, you’ve just got to let dogs be dogs, and not try to make them do a specific thing or pose.

#9 Wilber: Wilber the cat was photographed inside their house and was intended to be sitting in the window, but again, the composition dictated something different for Wilber.

#10, #11, & #12 House: To fit the house into one entire frame for the Glazer’s Family Portrait, I needed to take several different images and Composite the house together.

#13, #14, & #15 Pool: Same as the house, the pool had to be chopped up into 3 different pieces to be Composited together and get the right perspective.

#16 Rock Ledge: Because of the excessive warping of the pool, I used a separate photo of the rock ledge.

#17 Tree: This was an actual tree that lived in their yard and I used to add some foreground elements.

#18 Bush: The bush was actually a stock image I have of a tree I used for another Composited Family Portrait.

#19 Palm Tree: The palm tree was again another stock image of a palm tree I used for a Family Portrait called “Say Increase”.

#20 Bug: I love adding small little details into my Portraits, and this bug is just one of many for the Glazer’s Family Portrait.

#21 Anole Lizard: From nearly the beginning, I had the idea of placing a small green lizard in the foreground, which is one of my favorite parts of this entire portrait.

#22 Tennis Ball: Because Harley plays tennis, we had him holding a tennis racket as though he just hit dad in the head with the tennis ball.

#23 Tree House: Some of the wood in this treehouse comes from Steven’s Dad, so it had to be included in the Portrait to symbolize his life.

#24 Rainbow: One of the Hidden Touches, Leya loves rainbows.

#25 Grill: Denise’s parents own a spice company and Barry frequently grills, so this just made sense.

#26 Shoes & Shades: A small little detail that makes the entire Portrait more believable.

#27 Guitar: One of the 10 Hidden Touches for the Glazer Portrait.

#28 Dog Bowl: One of the 10 Hidden Touches for the Glazer Portrait.

#29 Diet Dr. Pepper: One of Denise’s Hidden Touches for her Portrait.

#30 Harley Pillow: A Hidden Touch for the Glazer Family Portrait, and one of my favorite placements because it blends into the Portrait so well.

#31 Bernie Barrel: A Hidden Touch for the Portrait.

#32 Roses: Phyllis is a bit of a flower child, so this makes sense.

#33 Rose Pedals: I wanted Phyllis throwing flower pedals, so it was roses.

#34, #35, & #36 Chair Seat, Stuffing, and Leg: The concept called for Magic the dog to have chewed up one of Steven’s chairs, so I found a chair someone was throwing out, grabbed it, and busted it up for this Portrait.

#37 Pool Light: I have found the best way to light a pool is to do it in post with a separate photograph.

#38 Pool Water: The pool water is actually Composited from several different photos of the pool.

#39 Violin: One of the 10 Hidden Touches.

#40 Sale Sign: One of the 10 Hidden Touches.

#41 Chair Leg: Steven had to be holding one of the chair legs to show he caught Magic red pawed.

#42 Stuffed Tag: One of the 10 Hidden Touches.

#43 Patent Plague: Fun Fact for you… Denise invented drinkable yogurt and this Patent Plaque is one of her 10 Hidden Touches.

#44 Grill Fire: Couldn’t be grilling without a fire in the grill.

Behind the Scenes Photos

To give you a better idea of where “A Day in the Life” came from, here are a few of the RAW images I used straight out of my camera.







That’s a Wrap

There’s a ton of Portrait Photographers to choose from, and a handful of them are damn good Portrait Photographers, but unfortunately, even the good ones still offer the same Traditional Portraits as everyone else.

If you want a Portrait that’s completely different, and one you can proudly say fits your family perfectly, then consider Photillustrator.

I guarantee your Photillustrator Family Portrait will be the best investment you’ll ever make.

Just ask the Glazer family.

How many images will it take to bring your Photillustrator Portrait to life? There’s only one way to tell.

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