The Seamless Composite

  • Instructors:
    Drake Busath

    PPA Members:


    Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In this video class, Drake Busath shows you how that quote can be true in family portraits as he creates a seamless composite that would make Aristotle proud!

    Why might composites be the way to go when you’ve got a large family to photograph? Well, it’s a lighting nightmare and how often do you get 15 or more family members to smile perfectly at the same time? So roll up your sleeves and get ready for Drake’s step-by-step instructions for photographing the big family in segments. You’ll learn about…

    • The best type of lighting and poses to capture for each group with the final image in mind.
    • Making measurements for all aspects of the setup so you can get images sized and positioned just right for the final composite.
    • Handling the computer and Photoshop part of the composite, which the techies will love and even the non-geeks will understand, thanks to Drake’s easy explanations.
    • Guidelines for creating that composite image that you’ll want to write down and save!

    Next time you get that big family portrait request, you’ll be ready. (And hey, think of all the other ways you could use these compositing skills for your different photographic needs!)

    We value your feedback and want to know how we can improve. Please share your thoughts about the class here.

  • Duration: 0:34:32 Expand video to full screen for best view.

      • Drake Busath


        Drake Busath says he “grew up in a darkroom” as a second generation photographer.  He now owns Busath Studio and Gardens, a vibrant portrait business with five photographers, three of which hold Masters Degrees from Professional Photographers of America.

        His portraits have been the subject of numerous articles in photographic journals, three times on the cover of Professional Photographer Magazine.  Drake has taught portraiture to professional photographers world wide, from Australia and Asia, to Europe and in 35 U.S. states. He’s been a regular platform speaker at Imaging USA.

        Since 1999 Drake has also operated, a photographic village-tour in Italy.  Hundreds of photographers have attended what Drake calls a “personal renaissance” in Tuscany, Umbria, Liguria Coast, Venice, the Lakes District and Val d’Aosta, all regions in northern Italy where he has lived and worked.

        Recognitions include:

        • Masters and Craftsman Degrees from Professional Photographers of America
        • Charter member of XXV, a society of Photographers world wide
        • Numerous Loan Collection (PPA) honors
        • Exhibited in Epcot and the Photographic Hall of Fame
        • Best of State 2010, 2011, 2012 for Photographic Portraiture in Utah
        • PPA National Award

        Drake and his wife Liz are based in Salt Lake City. Two sons, Richard and Bromley Busath currently manage the portrait business.

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