Making of Mondays Episode 5: Surreal Composite Photograph Edit

In this episode we edit the photograph we shot last week.

If you're interested in seeing how to composite images together in order to make a surreal photograph, you will enjoy this video.

I go over color correction with curves and hue saturation layers, making selections, and creating realistic shadows, as well as the importance of getting it right in camera!

To stay up to date on video releases, join my mailing list here:

Making of Mondays Episode 4: Surreal Composite Portrait

It’s finally here! The next episode of Making of Mondays!

In today's episode my husband Patrick joins us. You may recognize him from our second episode in which we created an image based on a short story he wrote.

This time we will talk about my photo series Phantasmagoria and begin shooting a new installment in that series.

If you’re curious about my thoughts on the series and the ideas I’m trying to communicate with it, you will gain a little insight here.

I have decided to break the making of this image up into two parts. In this video we cover the shooting process and next week we will go in depth into how I edited the image.


Godox SL-60W:

Natalie Arriola
Making of Mondays Episode 3: Creative Studio Portraits

In this episode we change it up a bit and I take you behind the scenes for a portrait photoshoot.

You will see my incredibly simple portrait photography lighting setup. Spoiler Alert: I use one light!

And I will talk about a creative lighting setup I'm trying out, which I also accomplish with just one light and some cinefoil.

We combine lighting and some simple props in order to produce creative portraits with a slightly surrealistic bent.

I hope you will see how easy it can be to set up a photoshoot of this kind and that you really don't need a ton of lighting equipment to put together creative lighting setups.

If you're interested in learning more, join my mailing list!

You will receive a free guide to finding inspiration with 5 assignments to get you going just for signing up!

Natalie Arriola
5 Ways to Display Photography Prints in Your Home
All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

1.     Make your book cases double as display cases.

Whether you like a vintage look or prefer the symmetry of modern minimalist design, book shelves are a great place to display art work. Intersperse photo prints in ornate frames with books and natural objects like sea shells for a vintage or even gothic vibe. Use solid colored rectangular frames in different sizes to create a more modern arrangement.

You can even take it one step further by hanging framed prints from the partitions or shelves of your book cases, transforming your book shelves from holders for books into stylish displays that show off your impeccable taste in both art and literature.

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

2.     Hang it up poster style using binder clips.

Maybe you have an unframed photograph and you don’t want to shell out for professional framing. You can still hang your artwork in a visually pleasing way without the frame.

This super simple art hanging solution can still be elegant with a little forethought. Use copper (or rose gold colored) nails and binder clips for a visually pleasing and ultra minimalist art display. Keep the focus on the art work, while creating a casual, effortlessly cool vibe.

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

3.     Build a DIY art mobile.

Add a personal touch to your room with a DIY art mobile. Art mobiles are an unobtrusive way to spice up your décor. You can hang them on the wall or from the ceiling. You can even rest them on a shelf, dresser, or table.

For art mobile design ideas, hop over to Pinterest where you will find plenty of inspiration. You can use a piece of drift wood, metal, or even a simple wooden dowel. If you feel like getting creative, build your own base. Hang small prints from your mobile using string and a little strong yet easily removable tape (like painter’s or gaffer’s tape).

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

4.     Create a wall art collage.

If you have several complimentary pieces of artwork, you can arrange them together on the same wall to form a collage. This will work best if you have several prints that fit together in content and style. You can achieve this by purchasing several pieces in different sizes from the same artist or by gathering together a collection of artworks with a cohesive aesthetic and color scheme.

Not sure what will make a good arrangement? Try tracing each piece onto lightweight paper like kraft or tracing paper. Cut the pieces out and use painter’s tape to temporarily adhere them to the wall. This allows you to try out different arrangements and choose the most visually appealing option. If you’re hanging portraits draw arrows on the paper to indicate which direction the subject is looking. Select a configuration which provides a sense of balance.

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

All images ©Natalie Arriola 2018

5.     Let it lean.

Don’t want to worry about hanging at all? Just let it lean. For this option you will need photographs that are either framed, printed on stretched canvas, or mounted. Mounted prints are far less expensive than framed ones and you can even mount them yourself. Pre-cut mats can be purchased online or at your local art store. If you feel like taking on a small project, you can buy some matboard and cut it yourself. All you need is the matboard, a ruler, pencil, sharp blade or knife, and some adhesive to mount your print in a matter of minutes.

Lean your artwork against a wall or the back of a chair. This will also work well on wall mounted shelves in any room in the house. Lean a few prints on the mantel or over your bathtub. This is the easiest, quickest way to display artwork!

Making of Mondays Episode 2

This is the second installment in my new series, Making of Mondays. In this episode I am joined by my husband, Patrick Merrick.

We create a surreal, conceptual photograph based on Patrick’s experimental horror short story “Six O’Clock at the Saturn Canal.”

Here’s a quote from the story:

“I dreamt myself as a dream of a thought produced from no core, no seed, wandering through nothing, repeating a single useless bit of expression that was at first a laugh, then a cry of despair, and finally an impassive proclamation of extinction trying to fill the surrounding empty eternities with the infinitesimal speck of itself.”

This is a super fun episode and the image we create is one of my absolute favorites!!

I hope you enjoy watching and look forward to hearing your feedback.

What do you think about the image we created?

Do you have any questions about the process?

Please feel free to comment or send me an email!

If you love this image as much as we do, you can purchase a print here!

Making of Mondays Episode 1

Welcome to the first episode of Making of Mondays!

In this series I will be giving you a window into my creative process by showing you how I make an image from start to finish.

Today we will take a look at how I created the newest installment in my Phantasmagoria series.

As you will see, I shot this image in the living room of my tiny LA apartment with minimal equipment.

I hope this will help you to see that you don’t need anything fancy to make great images.

I also hope it will be just plain fun!

Please let me know what you think, I would love to hear your feedback! :)