My baby turned one this week! (Does that mean I have to stop calling him my baby?) I'm going to skip the part where I go on and on about how I can't believe a year has gone by, I can't imagine my life without him, etc. (although I'm sorely tempted) and hop right ahead to the part you might actually care about--one of his birthday gifts . . . sort of. Okay, fine, it was mostly a gift for me, but hopefully he'll appreciate it someday. And if not, at least it'll be put to good use when I gaze at it and cry remembering his sweet mushy baby years when he's a big sullen teenager who hates his mother.
I saw this picture a while back on Pinterest and really loved the idea--a yearly photo of the birthday kiddo with a description of their personality that year. Wouldn't this make a cool album someday? All of his birthday photos together as a little tribute to his childhood and growing years?
So I decided to stretch my limited photo-editing skills to their limit and try to start a tradition of birthday photos for my little one. Unfortunately, in all the hustle and bustle of our wild partying, I didn't end up with any photos of the little guy with his cake that really seemed just right! In every picture I snapped, something was happening--he was caught mid-chew (not his most flattering look), or gazing blankly off into the distance, and the ones where he was smiling sure weren't perfect either. So it turns out, the photo editing that was going to be a stretch to start with turned into a reeeeeeally biiiiiig stretch!
I decided that this picture was my favorite--this is how it looked straight out of the camera:
What a cutie! I'm going to make a separate post later about his cake--it seriously needs its own moment, because it just might be the only attractive-looking thing I've ever baked. Truly. I'm a disastrous baker.
Anyway, that photo obviously needs some help. He's precious, no doubt, but it's awfully dark, plus there's a balloon string coming straight out of his head, purse handles in the corner, and a kitchen chair taking up a whole side of the shot. I figured I could crop out the purse and chair, but I didn't really want to--I wanted to keep as much space as possible for the words I wanted to add.
I started with editing the color in Lightroom. (So many of you suggested it in this post when I asked for your editing tips that I downloaded the 30-day free trial, and once again you have proved yourselves fabulous. I love it! Just have to collect my pennies so I can buy a copy to keep.) I wanted it to have a faded, washed out look, and ended up here:
I have to admit that as a total novice at photo editing, I was tickled pink with the coloring I ended up with on this. Nobody better make fun of anything, now . . . don't burst my birthday balloon, thinking I did a good job.
I still had to get rid of those pesky background objects (balloon string, purse, chair, chair's shadow). After spending a ridiculous amount of time on gimp trying to figure out how to make that happen, success! It's not perfect, so don't look too closely, but I finally got them to disappear! Add in a little text, and here's what I've got:
Yay! Now all the focus is on my cute little goober enjoying his birthday cake--no distracting objects in the background--along with some things I hope I never forget about the way he is right now. It isn't perfect, but it's just what I wanted--a sweet tribute to my little guy on his first birthday. (Oh, and in case the text doesn't make sense, his all-time favorite movie is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs . . . that was his party theme. I'm pretty sure if he had to choose between that movie and me . . . well, never mind. I'd rather keep deluding myself.)