The Making of a Hero Image

The Making of a Hero Image

Baseball portrait


Everyone seems to love these magical pictures of their kids being their own heroes. Many of you have asked to see how it’s done. I thought I’d walk you through a rather simple composite.

(Note: I get permission to share pictures, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing names of these kids online. For the ease of writing this post, we will call this boy Chuck.)

It starts with a planning session. I meet with the parents and we talk about where the portrait will be displayed, their child’s is passions, what they love about their child, and what they want their child to see in his/her portrait. From there we develop a concept and plan the wardrobe, props, and setting. It is important to consider where the artwork will be displayed when considering the concept. This way we can make sure it really fits into the family’s style.

Chuck’s mom and I decided to make this a baseball portrait. We already had the uniform and bat so that was easy. We scheduled studio time to capture the portrait. Chuck came in with his two brothers—AKA Spiderman and The Pirate (see below). Within about an hour, we had portraits of all three to use in their composites.

The more challenging part is always the background. I called some universities and then finally thought of the Augusta Green Jacket’s Stadium. This background has a more vintage look and is special since the Green Jackets are moving to a new stadium soon. The management was quite willing to let me come out and shoot the background. I spent a beautiful morning in Augusta with my camera and tripod and made this panorama.


Augusta Green Jacket's Stadium

I thought this was perfect with one exception, the color. I wanted a more monochrome look the attention will be on our baseball star and not the green walls and seats that contrasted with Chuck’s blue uniform. It took some time, but I was successful in changing the color from green to blue.

Augusta Green Jacket's Stadium colored blue

After I changed the color, I removed Chuck from my studio (this part can often be very difficult) and placed him into the scene. I darkened the sky, added a texture, increased the contrast, and performed other nerdy Photoshop modifications to finally get this result.

I encourage you to set up a consultation for a hero portrait of your child or yourself (I will be sharing an adult hero portrait portfolio very soon). Call 803-443-8526, complete the contact form or email

While Chuck and his brothers were all in the studio, I grabbed a quick group shot of them.

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