Your “Invisible” photo went viral a few years back, what’s the story behind that image?
What I quite liked about when I first did it was everyone was like, “Oh, is it Photoshopped? Is it not Photoshopped?” And I like that kind of excitement, that talk, that kind of intrigue; it made me feel really proud. But yeah, it is Photoshopped. It is a mirror and I used a little self-timer remote to take a photo of me sitting down holding the mirror, then I took another picture without me in it, so just the background. I masked that photo on top of the one with me in it, so that the background was in the frame and that filled in the gap and it gave the illusion that I was invisible.
I never thought that that image was ever going to go anywhere. I mean, I took the photo in early summer and then it got to September and I thought, “I’m going to have a little go at editing this one.” And then I did it and I was like, “Oh, this is all right. I’ll post that.” I remember going out and when I got back it had about 2,000 shares on Tumblr and I was like, “Oh, my God. That’s amazing!” And then I refreshed it and it had gone up to 3,000!
Are people still freaking out about the photo four or five years later?
Yeah. Often it does get circulated around again and shared. And that’s cool!
Do you have any particular habits that are a part of how you begin your creative process?
I quite like to be organized with my editing. I generally have probably about 200 layers on a lot of my photos. I like everything in groups. I like adjustment layers, masking, lots of masking on my adjustment layers. I never flatten anything either until right at the end. I’d flatten it and then I’d put that layer right at the top and not get rid of anything else. I always shoot in RAW as well, you have to shoot RAW.
Did you teach yourself Photoshop or did you take any classes?
I never took any formal classes. Lots of YouTube tutorials. PHLEARN tutorials.
How has PHLEARN impacted your work? How has it helped you to evolve as a photographer?
Just sort of following along with the tutorials really, and all the resources. It’s always been really handy. I’d get my little picture and I’d just follow along with the tutorial. It’s been really helpful.
Do you typically do all the modeling yourself?
Yeah, generally. Which means a lot of running back and forth to my tripod, which is fun especially when you’re in a lake.