I find that I’m always subconsciously looking for my next photo idea or at least something to be used in editing. Even when I don’t think that I’m thinking about photography, the creative side of my noggin is always waiting right at the edge of my brain to strike when it sees something of interest. One of the things that I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for are great textures. They can definitely be overdone but when used correctly can add a lot of to an image. Plus, it’s just fun to bring bits and pieces from all of my adventures harmoniously together into one image. For example, in “The Unobtainable Kiss” (that’s the image seen above), I used pictures of steam leaking out of a clothing steamer in the studio, an old beat up baking sheet from my kitchen, the side of a shelf at an Anthropologie store in Baltimore, a sidewalk in Philadelphia, clouds taken from a plane somewhere over the middle of America, and of course a frog on a face from Silver Lake, New York.

Oftentimes I’ll set off on a “texture walk.” I put on my headphones, turn up a well-crafted playlist and wander aimlessly in search of anything that could come in handy one day. I have quite the library of interesting texture images built up. It’s funny though – once I started doing this, I found myself noticing great textures ALL OVER THE PLACE all the time. It’s like I’ve trained my eyes to see good textures and tell my brain they’re important.

My friend Kory is clearly always on the lookout as well, because he was the one who noticed the tiny frog that I used in this image. We were meandering through the woods during the Silver Lake Flickr Gathering, scouting for good locations, and he spotted this little critter and scooped him up. After a few minutes of admiring his delightful froggy-ness, Kory was about to set him free when this idea hit me. What if I did a mini fairytale crossover between Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince? It tickled my fancy that both of these characters just needed a kiss but neither could get it from the other; yet there they were, so close but unable to break either of their spells. Interesting, right!? Well I thought so…..

After Kory passed Mr. Frog over to my care, I promptly approached Cierra to see if she would allow me to put an amphibian upon her pretty face. Due to the fact that she is one of the most amazingly fun, hilariously awesome, easygoing, fantastical people to ever know (ever), she naturally said, “of course you can!” Well maybe it was a bit more like, “….Um, yeah … I guess so?” but either way she allowed it to happen and it was a gloriously grand old time.

While editing, it was really fun to stack up a bunch of different textures from all over the place with different blending modes and opacities to craft some magic and atmosphere. If you find that you don’t have a lot of time to gather your own textures, there are countless INCREDIBLE textures to be taken advantage of over in the store. These hand-painted backdrop images could obviously be used to add in a beautiful backdrop to a portrait shot on a solid wall (without having to fork up the cash for an actual hand-painted backdrop), but could also be used to add some overall texture and interest to an image much like the one I created and add a bit of a “storybook” feel. So wether they are your own or some high-quality textures snagged from the store, have some fun and apply some textures!

Recommendations from the Pros


Alice’s Garden


Tim Burton style background at 10,000px x 5,625px
12 lighting moods, mix and match freely
Depth and sky channels


300 files in over 11GB
Perfect for smaller photo studio
Backgrounds, Textures, Ambient Effects & Stocks
Everything for creepy, gloomy & morbid composing

Out of stock


Retouching Toolkit

Rated 4.67 out of 5

Retouching Tools for Professionals
Photoshop CC+
For both Mac and PC


Elements Bundle

Rated 5.00 out of 5

Over 900 files and textures
Up to 36 MP resolution jpg files
Commercially licensed

Average rating of all bundled packages:
Rated 4.8 out of 5

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