Where do I even start?

I am inspired to write this blog because of a random question, I am not sure the author really wanted me to answer the question or was just hypothetically asking it.  So here it is

"Where do I even start!?" 

That's a tough question, because I started my compositing somewhat accidentally with an image in 2013 where I had a model jumping to create some dress movement.  I was happy with the shoot at the time, yet when I got the image into post I felt it needed 'more' dress and 'more' movement.  

That was my first composite - small and seemingly simple but so complicated in my world at that time.  I recall that little edit taking me hours to complete.  Truly, I started with cloning the cloth, that didn't work, then I thought I could use liquify to move it where I wanted (EPIC FAIL) then I tried to warp it.  I mean how difficult can this be!  Finally, I found a youtube video on cutting and copying and masking  Oh MY GAWD the light bulb moment - it feels absolutely ridiculous admitting how long it took me to create that piece but I was so proud when I got it accomplished.  

(Side note, trying to find a youtube video on something you know nothing about or what to call it is a little like that needle in a haystack - I think I cussed for about an hour.  I feel your pain for anyone who's tried that.  I am in enough groups now I just ask them for help but in the 'good old days' I had no one.)

 Anyhow, that how to video opened my eyes to the power of compositing, and creating something from nothing.  I was hooked...oh yea.. give me more of that please.  

Fast forward about 2 years and I had learned alot, all by hours and hours and hours of trial and error, of youtubing, and drinking loads (both coffee and wine).   Up to that point, my compositing skills were limited to having the ability to 'build" dresses in post (basically bringing extra fabric  to shoot multiple fabric tosses on site so I could match light, and color etc), create moody skies with an overlay or add in additional foliage to images (as long as it was along the edges of the image). :)  

This video below was from a session that I had to push my skills and abilities.   The idea I had come up with for this client required a landscape that I had to create in the digital world, taking multiple pieces and making something out of nothing. (Yikes, I had the basics but this pushed it).  It took me about 2 days to work through since I had to learn so much from to adding shadows, matching tones, masking using a pen tool (OmGOSH that was a full bottle of wine that night) creating a  better horizon where it looked right and dealing with light direction.  I cannot post the clients session but this is the environment I put her into and it was complicated.  I am still proud of this piece... I guess that is why I create - but I digress.  

The question is as a photographer, artist, creative.. where do I even begin?  To that I say start small and practice, practice, practice.  When I started I had no idea about stock images you could use or sites like Deviant Art  where you can get all sorts of images to play with.   They have a great selection, and the community is helpful if you ask.  Find creative groups on FB, I am in a few like Ava Ryan Community Group and Mentoring, Digital Arts for F**n Grown Ups with Renee Robyn, and Conceptual Magazine's Artist Group, they all offer inspiration and feedback if you ask (just make your request meaningful.  I will create a blog on this topic next month).  Ask people who's work  you admire and feel free to ask me, I would be happy to help  if I can. 

Just start by trying something small then work up from there.. small for you could be like me... building a dress, or adding moody clouds...or it could be adding an animal to a scene.

What ever it is.. just try it.  I mean what have you got to lose?

If you have any other suggestions on Stock sites, or groups that are helpful, please leave a comment I have more but It would be great to share with anyone looking for a list.  

Have a blissed weekend, and happy editing.