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Families use Photoshop to craft unforgettable memories

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› Families use Photoshop to craft unforgettable memories
  • Published on March 10, 2014

Whether you're trying to add a little bit of fantasy to your annual Christmas card or just throw a creative spin on your newborn's portrait, there are many ways Photoshop can help you make your photographs more fun. With the expansive variety of tools available on the software program, you can manipulate images any way you please - from altering the perspective of a photo to inserting a person who was not originally in the shot. Several photographers have taken advantage of this tool by enhancing pictures of their children, earning them recognition and respect from the public.

Swedish photographer's family pictures featured on TODAY show
Emil Nyström, an advertising photographer from Sweden, was recently highlighted on the TODAY show for his series of photographs featuring his young daughter, Signhild. The girl, who is now 2 years old, has been Photoshopped into an array of adorable scenes, ranging from hovering over her sleeping mother while dressed as the Tooth Fairy to being digitally imposed on a portrait of George Washington. Nyström told the TODAY show that he never intended to start a Photoshop project, but that the idea stemmed from a comical pose.

"The first picture I took was when I tested out some new gear," he said to the source. "Signhild was my test subject and she did a funny face and held her hands in a weird way, and I loaded the pictures on my computer and did some editing in Photoshop. Since then I've been giving my crazy ideas life in photos."

The photographer added that he has a number of ideas floating around in his head at any given time, and his young children are the perfect models. After his wife gave birth seven months ago, Nyström has had another person to star alongside Signhild. He posts his photographs on both his personal website and his Facebook, which has nearly 3,000 fans. He adds captions to each image that help viewers to understand the setting. For example, one portrait that features his infant's head on the body of an 18th​-century general reads: "This picture was painted only a few hours after her biggest massacre, that's why she looks like she needs some hot milk, a pacifier and a nap."

Father makes portraits for his sick mother
Nyström is not the only photographer who uses his daughters as inspiration. Jason Lee, a wedding photographer, began using Photoshop to creatively enhance pictures of his two girls in 2006. In an interview he conducted with My Modern Met, Lee explained that the project began as a way for his mother, who had been diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma, to digitally watch his children grow. He began posting creative pictures - such as a Christmas portrait of the girls poking out of their small stockings - to allow her to stay in touch with the children since she could not see them. 

Similar to the Swedish photographer, Lee gets inspiration from events that occur all around him. He told the source that while he plans his photoshoots well in advance, his ideas can come at any moment.

"Most of the ideas come from the girls, from observing them play or hearing the funny and outrageous things they say," Lee said. "Their day to day life also plays a big role for my inspiration."

Photoshop can add creativity to any photograph
While these two men are well-versed in digital photography, enrolling in Photoshop classes at the American Graphics Institute can help anyone to enhance their photo manipulation skills. Adding a bit of flair to any image can prove to be both fun and exciting for everyone involved, whether parents are transporting their children to magical realms or individuals are adding a bit of extra shine to their professional portraits. With Photoshop, you can create lasting memories, or provide a little creativity to your pre-existing ones.

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.