My wife and I had an idea for an amusing photo of the two of us in preparation for our return to China for her parent’s 50th wedding anniversary next year. We have two traditional Chinese figurines that were given to us as wedding presents by one of my wife’s friends in China. We wanted to put our faces in the figurines. The finished result ended up looking like this:
We fired up the studio lights and got to work taking some photos in my new portrait studio that I got for last Christmas.
First we took photos under the studio lights of the two figurines using a 60 mm EF-S Macro lens on my Canon 7D camera. It’s important to try to get the same light on the figurines as will be used to photograph our actual faces later. So I made sure to set the light power and the aperture and exposure on the camera consistently for the figurines as for our photos.
Next came the hard part. We each had to get down on our knees and pose our head and neck at approximately the same angle as that of the head of the corresponding figurine.
My wife got the brilliant idea to use a stocking cap to create a slight shadow on the face like on the figurines from the head dress. The stocking cap also held our hair up so it would be easier to edit later on in Photoshop.
I took the RAW photos and transferred them into Lightroom 2 to retouch the skin. Next I opened the two photos of the figurines and carefully erased the faces out of each image. Then I used the lasso tool to roughly select around each of our faces leaving about a ‘1/4-inch’ margin around the face. I dragged one of these selections into one of the figurine images with the face erased. I then resized the real face image and moved it behind the layer for the figurine. After careful precision erasing zoomed in, I was able to get a pretty good result (see the finished image above). I repeated this process for the second figurine/face.
The whole process took about 2.5 hours and was a ton of fun.