Impactful Art & Stylization | Gel Lighting Glamour Photography by Phoenix Photographer Reality Reimagined

Regardless of your genre of photography, I believe it’s vital to learn new techniques and tools to create visually impactful art and stylization. Why? Because in business you want to be able to tell your clients “yes and” rather than “no I can’t.”
An image of a bride is a lot different than the gel lighting glamour photography image below. So why learn something new that “only” applies to stytlized art like gel lighting glamour images? Because the client has an imagination and wants to collaborate with you (the artist) to bring their expectations to life. Exceed those expectations and provide them with stunning art.
gel lighting glamour image
Special thanks to my dear friend Kiarra who is incredibly talented and always a blast to work with!
Part Two of this full tutorial is now available on my YouTube channel and you can download the base image of Kiarra and an action to follow along with the tutorial.
Model: Kiarra Anais
Photography: Reality Reimagined
Glow effects: Oniric by Composite Nation
Photoshop art: Reimagined Art Plugin for Photoshop (
Gear: Canon ROS R, EF 24-70 F2.8
Lighting: Adorama Flashpoint
Modifiers: Strobepro
#photoshop #tutorial #glamourphotography #gelphotography #colorfulart #art #reimagined #neonglow #colorgrading #realityreimagined #oniricglows
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Return To Storytelling | Natural Light Boudoir Photography By Phoenix Arizona Photographer Reality Reimagined

The main reason I’m choosing boudoir as the genre for my return to being a portrait studio, is that it lends so well to storytelling.  As I’ve covered in the previous blog posts and part one of a three part series in Shutter magazine, storytelling is the key to all of my artwork.  It is how I visualize each image, how I know where to guide the client (or have them guide me) and how to present the art to the client for the best sales experience.  In many ways, I believe that the money is already spent, before the client walks through the door.  Given the special nature of this type of photography, the process for the client to determine that they want to do this and who they want to curate the art for them, is mostly made before they contact you to inquire.  As I market this business, storytelling will be one of the key factors I show to potential clients.  The artwork is beautiful, the pricing is a necessary hurdle to understand, but the chance to tell their story?  That’s what will separate my brand from the others around me.

natural light boudoir image
This is my favorite image from the series and one that I waited until the very end of the shoot to guide Janelle through.  I’ve had years of portrait experience and no matter the level of comfort the subject says they have, being in front of a camera causes a little anxiety in everyone.  That lessens as the shoot progresses and one of the best ways to help that process along, is to give the subject a story to play out.  Before we talk about the story, let’s talk about the structure of the photography.  In this scene, I’m using the Canon R5 with the Canon RF 50mm 1.2 (thank you James Napier, again, for motivating me to buy that beautiful lens) and it was shot at F1.2 | ISO 50 | Shutter 1/160.  No other lights (aside from the natural light in the window) and all that is left is to curate the clothing and the story.

Since I knew that we would be dealing with a very neutral background, the subject then becomes all of the visual color and thus the audience will stay with her for quite some time.  Janelle brought a whole closet of beautiful clothing, but I went immediately to this gorgeous piece because of the palette of black and rose red.  It was the perfect compliment to her black hair and the roses augment the palette and story.  We often associate a rose to matters of the heart and romance, so why not include that little subliminal message in the scene?  To set off the rest of the palette, I had her put on a set of costume jewelry that I bought at JcPenney a couple of years ago.  The blue stones mix wonderfully with the rose red and the black lingerie sets a great foundation for them both.  Now that I knew the visuals were set, it was time to pose and that is where the story came into play.


I gave her a simple narrative to follow.  This place, this room is sacred to both her and her lover – and I used that term knowingly.  Rather than identifying the object of her affection in whatever state categorizes their relationship – I chose to call them a lover, so that Janelle could let her imagination take the story wherever it might have a connection to her.  I told her that she and her lover meet in this sacred place when they need to just be intertwined into one another – when their hearts and souls are in need of communion with the other.  “You are waiting for them to arrive, ready to drink them in and let the passion that can only be felt by your unique love for each other.”  That was the first image above.  “As you hear them approaching this sacred, sensual space, your skin becomes alive – your heart races and your body burns for a simple touch.”  That was second image above.  “They walk into the room and upon your instruction, you tell them to sit down in the comfortable chair in the corner of the room because all good things come to those who wait – and you want them to wait so their pleasure burns as brightly as yours does.”  When I said that, she grabbed the strap of her piece, pulled it forward and gave that little smirk.

I couldn’t hit the shutter button fast enough. 🙂


Far too often photographers approach a shoot with a bunch of technical precision in their minds.  They have the latest gear, the best practices for it, new poses that fit the technical and new stuff from Pennies that they want to feature.  Photographers rush with too much speed, carrying all of this information in their minds and the one KEY element to the shoot is far too often, over looked.  Find the story.  Build the story with your client and the brand experience will lead to a greater success all around.


Model: Janelle McCain

Hair and makeup art: Alvin Moyer

Photography and Photoshop art: Reality Reimagined


#boudoir #naturallight #photography #art #beauty #story #canon #photoshop #janellemccain #realityreimagined

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Return to Portraits | Boudoir Photography by Phoenix Arizona Photographer Reality Reimagined

In the recent article for Shutter magazine, I presented the path I’m taking to return to portraits and sales with the genre of boudoir. The brand experience has a lot of facets to it (many of which I will cover in part 2 and 3 of the article releasing in April and May) however the beginning of it all are the styles I’m choosing and why they are important to me.  Storytelling is the key to a lot of my work; it’s where I know how to begin, where I’m taking the images and what I hope the impact will be about when the client views the work.
natural light style
Storytelling can be augmented by the styles you choose to present as possible roads to travel, with your client.  They can “choose their own adventure” so to speak and access this artwork in the ways the are prepared for.  So to that end the first style I’m offering is natural light photography, where the clothing looks should all fall into the realm of lingerie or “comfort clothing.”  The potential client has surely taken in images of subjects in their finest and best lingerie/underwear that immediately communicates sensuality.  The word sensuality doesn’t immediately need to connect to the word sex or the act of.  Sensuality is that deep feeling of the simple comfort of being in your own body and knowing (in some way) that it’s being taken in by another or just yourself and the joy of your own comforts.  So if this is how the client wants to engage with my storytelling brand, then I have an immediate road for them to follow and we begin the journey.  But if they want something a little more (their own take on this look if you will) then that’s where the comfort clothing comes into play.

Comfort clothing (in this context) is about what feels good to the subject.  Does the flow of the fabric against their skin, entice a small breath of pleasure?  Do they feel more secure about their body image, by using a sweater, coat or larger piece of fabric to direct the audience’s eyes to other places within the art?  Or do they just simply wear the blue sweater and matching panties, because they know this will drive their significant other, wild?  This simple process of understanding what these clothes can represent, isn’t hard to do.  You (the photographer) put yourself into their shoes?  Not just the anxiety of being photographed, but WHY you would want to be photographed and HOW you want to be seen.  If the intent is to share a story about your sensuality and sexuality, then what factors like clothing can build that story?

I have an anchor point that I’m working into every style, every session of this type of work that I’m bringing to Reality Reimagined in 2022.  It speaks to the heart of storytelling and is a valuable resource to the whole brand experience.  However, that’s something that we’ll discuss at a later time when I’ve refined it into great examples for the teaching moments found therein.

Model: Janelle McCain

Hair and Makeup art by: Alvin Moyer
Photography and Photoshop art: Reality Reimagined
#boudoir #photography #naturallight #beauty #sensual #storytelling #realityreimagined
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Dramatic Portrait Editing Tutorial | YouTube Photoshop Tutorials By Reality Reimagined

In the latest Photoshop tutorial to go live on my channel, I continue the journey of showing how to edit a dramatic portrait and bring the story to life.  A friend reached out to me seeking advice on taking the image further in Photoshop, to enhance the story.  She captured images of her daughter in a historical building, that housed soldiers from the Civil War in the United States.  She created the narrative of, “I wanted the story to be a child who basically looked like she was the last alive in a battle…not necessarily bloody — just scarred, dirty, but beautiful and strong. The last one left to take over in a brutal world.

That’s a story that I believe is all too familiar in our world today and my heart is heavy for any child that must endure the ugliness of war.  My wife recently gave birth to our son a few months ago and being a father now, has opened my eyes so much to our troubled world that he will inherit.  However it is through artwork like this, that depict this stories, that gives us a chance to see our world and hopefully change it.  As we did in this image to change the base of the subjects face, to reflect the battle scars she carries.

Using the powerful retouching technique of Frequency Separation, in Adobe Photoshop, we can add the dirt, scars, stains that implies this horrible journey.  Frequency Separation separates the details of the image, from the color so you can work on them independently.  This is most useful in doing a basic retouch to a human being and their skin.  However it goes so much further and can be utilized in an artistic way to alter the image and create the vision.

In the tutorial I use a set of custom brushes in Photoshop to add in the dirt and scarring effects, within minutes to easily and simply transform the image to align to the artists vision.

Here is the original image:

And here is the final artwork I created in this tutorial:

Photography by: Shannel Bledsoe Photography (website )
Photoshop art by: Reality Reimagined

#dark #story #portrait #editing #retouching #photoshop #photography #adobe #frequencyseparation #battle #war #storytelling #art #reimagined #shannelbledsoephotography #realityreimagined

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What Makes Me Unique – Boudoir Photography by Reality Reimagined


I’ve started a three part article series featured in Shutter magazine, covering my new journey into boudoir photography.  This series is documenting where I’ve come from as an artist, my take on the genre and how I’m going to (essentially) start a new portrait line from scratch using my 20 plus years of experience to get it off the ground.  The article features the first set of images I’ve captured to build the portfolio (for marketing purposes) and will reflect on the three styles of imagery I’ll offer to my future clients.  Let’s take a look at the work and review some of the excerpts from the full article available in Shutter magazine’s March edition.

From the article:

“Storytelling has been a guiding force to my work as a photographer, for ages.  When I first started, I was honestly crippled by posing, lighting patterns, what to do with their hands, etc.  I learned rules of composition, I had a flip book of poses, I had all the anxiety of not knowing what to do (while the paying client stared at me waiting for me to produce magical images worthy of the dollars of my top package offering.)

The day that I learned to TRUST my instincts and I asked myself “what makes me unique; what’s my value?” was the day that I actually broke free from the label of “I don’t know what I’m doing” and started earning those top package dollars.  My answer to that proposed question was “I think cinematically, theatrically and I want to tell a story with each session.”  Suddenly posing wasn’t an issue any longer, because if I knew the story of this location (that I labeled in my mind as a scene) then I knew how to guide the subject to move and pose in that scene/location.  Suddenly branding and client experience elements were born.  Instead of telling seniors to pick two locations with their chosen session fee, we told them to pick two scenes.   That domino falling lead to clothing choices, lighting choices, post-production choices and ultimately helped finish the experience in the sales room.

Continuing from the article:

“How I’m Doing It Again

Storytelling is still my thing and definitely is going to be the cornerstone to this boudoir portrait sales endeavor.   However, I know more “things” now and one of them is to define the genre in relation to how it fits into my brand.  I’ve been doing glamour work for a little while now, stylized glamour with gel lighting patterns.  The clothing the models have worn is definitely on the revealing side, but it isn’t what I would expect the general public to envision when they think “boudoir photography.”  But it’s not just about clothing – it’s about the experience too.  EmpowermentCelebrate your beautyUnapologetically Sexy.  These are key words/phrases that current working boudoir photographers are using to define some of the experience a client will find with their brand.

Continuing from the article:

“None of these fit my perceived value to my client. 

StorytellingArtYour Story.  These are the key words that define my brand offering.  How do I build the experience around these words?”

You can read the full article by visiting the Shutter magazine website  Each edition is free to read online and the magazine is filled with amazing educational content for photography and digital photo-editing.  It is the best educational magazine for this industry in the United States and houses such great artists and voices.  I’m proud to be a writer for the magazine and equally proud to share my knowledge and art with the world!

More of this article and images will be shared to the blog later this week.

Model: Janelle McCain
Hair and Makeup art by: Alvin Moyer
Photography and Photoshop art: Reality Reimagined
Gear: Canon R5 with the RF 50mm 1.2 prime lens
Lighting: that thing we call the sun 🙂

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