Commercial Photography – Feria de Abril

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Feria de Abril in Sevilla is a week long celebration with food, drink, and dancing. This April, FlamencoTulsa is putting on a Feria de Abril celebration at a local restaurant, where there will also be food, drink, and dancing. FlamencoTulsa is run by my wife, so that makes me the marketing guy for FlamencoTulsa! In this post I will go over the process I took to get to this final product, including the concept, execution, and post processing of the photograph. I hope you like it!



Lexi wanted a poster inspired by the posters made for the feria in Sevilla. Every year it is a new poster, and always flamenco inspired. Historically, they were paintings, and more recently, digital art. My vision was to get a picture of her in flamenco costume in downtown Tulsa, and then make it look like an oil painting in photoshop.

Having a flamenco dancer in the photo is kind of a given if you have seen the past pictures. I wanted the setting to be downtown Tulsa to inject a little local flavor. The oil painted look is a throwback to the older posters that were paintings and drawing. Blurring our the details of the portrait also add emphasis on the text, which is what we really want people to see.


We headed downtown with Lexi in costume, and bringing an entourage including my 1 year old daughter, my brother Luke, and his fiancèe Krista. They came to assist with the shoot/take care of the baby. My idea was to get a shot of Lexi with the Tulsa skyline in the background. We got some decent shots, but nothing that I loved. After we packed up from the first location, Krista mentioned that they found a great spot some time ago and showed me the picture they got (Luke is a photographer too). I loved it, so we went there, and that is the shot I ended up going with.


For this shot I set up a flash, which is pretty obvious by the shadow to Lexi’s left. We were in the shade, so I needed a little extra light to match the background. The photo above is straight out of camera. I shot on my 18-55mm lens at 18mm, F7.1, 1/250 sec, ISO 800. As you can see, the color temperature from the flash is all wrong, and I knew it would be. The sun was getting low and the light was very warm. I planned to adjust for that in Lightroom. You can see the Lightroom edits I made in the image below.



I painted some adjustment layers to correct the color temperature, and lighten the shadows cast by the flash and building. I also increased the overall contrast and clarity of the image.


Photoshop has this handy “Oil Paint” filter. So making this photo look like a painting was pretty easy. I also applied a slight posterization before the oil paint effect.


For the finished product, I added all of the text in Photoshop. Boom. Poster done… Let me know what you think, and check out if you want to find out more about the event.

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