What is a Photillustration?

What is a Photillustration?

Standing out in a world with so much visual pollution is difficult, which is one of the biggest reasons I’ve developed the style of Photography I call a “Photillustration”.

So, “What is a Photillustration?”

The easy answer to that question is, it’s a cross between a photograph and an illustration, but there’s more to this story, which I’d like to share with you now.

dallas portrait photographer defines what a photillustration is

Creating a Style

Before leaving the world of Professional Photography back in 1998, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest didn’t exist, which meant Professional Photography meant something.

Social Media has changed the way we look at photography.

Since the rise of the internet, giving us unlimited access to imagery, being a Professional Photographer has been redefined, and literally anyone with a camera can call themselves a Pro.

This inundation of photography has led to a dilution in the market, resulting in what I call “Visual Pollution”.

At the beginning of 2015, when I decided it was time for me to once again follow my passion of photography, I was faced with a world where great photography, and great photographers, were a dime-a-dozen.

So, I thought to myself, “Self, how the heck are you going to get noticed?”

Looking at the photographers like Joel Grimes, Michael Herb, and Robert Cornelius, I quickly realized the only way I’m going to build my brand and make money, is to develop my own STYLE.

I chose to plant my flag in Composite Photography with a Caricaturized, Illustrative look, which I have consciously worked to develop.

By taking traditional photos, blending them into a Photo Composite, Caricaturizing my subjects, and giving my work an Illustrative look, I have developed a style I now call a “Photillustration”.

Why Photillustration?

I’ve always considered myself a photographer first, but since jumping into the world of Composite Photography, I found myself spending substantially more hours in Photoshop creating images that captured the imagination.

Could I still call myself a Photographer?

Photographer purists will say “NO”, which is one of the reasons I went through a rebranding from Factory8 Photography to Photillustrator.

Early on, I was speaking to a friend of mine about my dilemma, and said, “I don’t feel like I can call myself a photographer because most of my time is spent in front of a computer creating work that tends to look like an illustration.”

His reply? “You’re a Photillustrator!”

And that’s what led me to become a Photillustrator who creates Photillustrations.

So, “What is a Photillustration?”


composite photography graph for a photillustration

A “Photillustration” can be defined as a blend between a photograph and an illustration.

Think of it this way, on one side of the spectrum we have a photograph, while on the other side of the spectrum we have an illustration.

Images that fall anywhere between these two sides of the spectrum may be considered a Photillustration.

Some Photillustration Samples

To help you visually understand what a Photillustration is, let’s take a look at some Photo Composites I’ve created.


composite photography of my twin boys


composite photography representing the texas dream


photo composite by jason ulsrud of photillustrator

As you can clearly see from the samples above, my work is anything but traditional portrait photography.

The Photillustrator Flag

My Photo Composites, or Photillustrations, aren’t for everyone, which allows me to really dig in and create truly unique work.

Who are my Photillustrations for?

My Photillustrations are for Creative Thinkers, those who Think Outside the Box, and the trend setters who are fist in line to buy the newest iPhone when it comes out.

If having a traditional portrait is what you’re looking for, then I’m not the photographer for you, but if you want your portrait to capture the imagination, my Photillustrations are perfect for you.

What do you think of my Photillustrations?

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