Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Silhouette Portraits--LOVE!

Seriously, I have been wanting to make these since my kids were BABIES!  I don't know why it took me so long or how it kept getting put on the back burner, but I guess now I need to just be happy that I finally made them. And I'm SO happy with how they turned out and they look exactly like each of my girls (that is the purpose, right?)  I read tons of blogs and things online on how to turn a photo into a silhouette, but most Photoshop tutorials were way beyond my expertise and knowledge. So I set out to figure it out myself.

I still operate Photoshop Elements 6.0-Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!  I'm sure the newer versions have all kinds of new doohickies, but I'm happy with this one.

I took a profile picture of each of my girls against a blank wall.  I then opened the photo in PSE and converted each to black & white. This made it much easier to accomplish what I was about to do.  I then selected the Paint Bucket tool and and used the dropper to match the background color and filled it in to cover any shadows I had.  Then I selected the Paint Bucket tool again and picked black as my main color and began filling in the profiles of my girls.  This definitely took some patience and time since it would sometimes fill in the background or areas I didn't want black so I had to undo it.  But this worked pretty well!
Now, print your photo out onto cardstock. Mine looked like this after I cut around the silhouette:
See? Don't they look like little people?? I'm in LOVE!
I then took those cuts and traced them onto actual black cardstock and cut them out with the smallest scissors I have to preserve every detail (hair, eyelashes, it's all there!)
I had picked up a couple frames on clearance at Michael's but wanted them to be black as well, so I took a can of spray paint to them. Ten minutes later, Whala!!
I adhered the black cardstock cuts onto another new sheet of white cardstock, placed them in their new frames and this is what I have:
I really am SO happy with them! My 3 yr old is on the right and even though I took their pictures in the exact same spot, exact same spacing, you can see how much chubbier her face is than my 4 1/2 yr old. These reflect them PERFECTLY and I'm so happy to have them done!
I hope I've been able to explain the Photoshop actions I used. I'm still learning myself but I'm amazed at its capabilities!
Now go take some profile pics of your little ones before another day passes and they change some more. Doesn't it go by way too fast? :-(

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