Nick approached me with this project and a short deadline, needing 12-15 1x1 images to use for a social media push to build excitement for a crusade that the Schambach Foundation is hosting in Costa Rica. In all, I had about two weeks to finish this, and in the meantime we had a full-blown ice storm that put my kids out of school for an entire week and generally didn't help my work flow, but I still managed to barely beat the deadline.
For the record, I do almost all of my work in Adobe Photoshop, because I've been using it off and on (although at a fairly low level) since 1998. I am able to use Illustrator to get done with I need to get done generally, but I'm not nearly as well versed in it.
That being said, you don't need expensive software and a decade of experience to accomplish the same goal that we had with this project. The goal for any social media push is to announce, build anticipation, and raise awareness. There are a number of free programs available, not to mention iPhoto and others that can get you to where you want for something like this.
So: I started by taking a bunch of screenshots from videos that Cadre 31 has produced for them over the past year or so. Luckily, Nick shoots very high quality videos with lots of great color.
I started with this shot first. I already had the idea for what I wanted, big, bold, white text over the top of the images.
The first thing to do it find the right crop. On this one, that's pretty obvious, considering how the focus on the hands is basically already framed by the shadows in the foreground.
Easy, right? Ok, so my original idea, with direction from Nick, was to overlay the image pretty simply and let the pictures do a lot of the heavy lifting, since the dynamics and the color was so good in the screenshots I had gathered. This is what the first attempt looked like..
...with the idea being that the Holy Spirit was going to break out of the bounds and boxes and do something awesome and bigger than we could do. Nick was concerned about that concept landing fully, and I wasn't in love with the opacity of the text because it felt pretty amateur.
During the next draft, I hit on something.
A lot of the images I had gathered were very...depth-y. They had big foreground and far off backgrounds. They had a lot of depth to them, is what I'm saying.
Given that, I felt like I could play with a little dynamic distance effect, giving a feeling of real presence. I still didn't like the text opacity, so I went to 100% there to make it pop more.
After changing the font at the bottom and mixing up the text content, this is the final image that we presented to them, and that they approved.
I ultimately gave them 16 final images to use for the social media push and I'm told that they loved them.
I really enjoyed the mechanics of doing this project. The aspects of finding the right framing, picking the crop, and cutting out the masking for whatever was the be the foreground was a lot of fun, and pretty good practice.