August 13, 2013 by Mod
A few weeks ago, a poster on one of my Yahoo groups posed a question about the limits and possibilities of Photoshop. Specifically, she was wondering if an artist could “easily” put a regency costume and hairstyle on a contemporary stock photo model. I told her that I occasionally alter clothing and hair in stock photos, and while it’s not exactly easy, you can get pretty good results with a bit of work.
Here’s an example: I found this vaguely Regency looking image on Deviant Art:
I loved the color, the lovely drape of the model’s arm, the backdrop – everything. My only issue was the dress. The color is lovely, but the spaghetti strap is not authentic to the era I was aiming for.
So I added a little lace sleeve. After cropping and titling, this is the cover I came up with:
So what about hair? Recently I pitched a concept to an author whose pale skinned, blue eyed heroine had a long black braid. I didn’t have time to search the stock images, so I went with one I already had. This one:
As you can see, she has brown hair and eyes and is rather tan. Never fear, PhotoShop to the rescue. I found a braid, did some adjustments, added a little magic smoke and voila – dark hair slave girl lives:
After all that, the client rejected my pitch! Oh well, now this cover is going up for sale in the pre-made covers. Want not, waste not.
Photoshopped stock images are a great way for indie authors to get a customized look for their cover without having to pay for a photo shoot. Don’t be afraid to pitch me something very specific. Chances are with a little Photoshop magic I can make it happen.