She called him "Bear"


My remarkable client was a mom of three with one on the way, but now a widow.


The story is sad, as it was an unexpected sudden loss of her husband, yet she forges on with incredible strength.


She had the wonderful idea to get a maternity image that included her husband as a bear - since she used to call him Bear. She said he was he was "so strong and macho" and described him as a provider, protector and the best dad her children could ask for. She wanted to create an image of herself and the new expected baby with a bear and hang it above the the baby's crib.


Unlike in Russia, where some photographers actually photograph with real bears(!), I didn't have a real bear for this photo session. So she hired me specifically to make this composite image for her.

It Starts With a Base Photograph


We did some in studio and some outdoor. She brought a large stuffed bear so we could have some texture and shadow to work with against her skin.

Add Elements to the Base Photo


Finding the right stock image of a bear was tricky. She wanted him to be extra large. I was able to find an image of a bear on Shutterstock that I felt would work. I took a forest photograph at Fox Run Park in Monument, CO to use as the backdrop for the image.

Color Grading and Lighting


If you've ever tried combining photos, you'll quickly realize that the colors and lighting don't match and it looks very pasted on, like it doesn't belong. With many adjustments, adding of textures, lighting, colors, and blending... it comes together as a final image! It takes several hours, even several days of coming back to look at the progress and seeing things that need to change.

Other Images We Created


This one included making her reflection in the water with some blur and movement and making sure it was in the correct place to look real. I lit her from the back with an external flash so that it had the same blown out back lighting as the bear.

Composite image of bear and maternity image of client with green dress near lake reflections by Storybook Images
Composite Image with three different photos blended into one. Woman in maternity gown poses with a bearStorybook Images.
A wife posing with a bear, the nickname she called her late husband. Woman and bear in forest. Storybook Images

Do you have a creative idea in mind to try?


Give Carolyn a call and see if your imagination can become a reality in an artful image. 719-822-7523