Rachel Owen is a photographer living and working with her husband and son in the Chicagoland area. As an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert she often merges photos of her subjects in the studio on greenscreen into miniature objects or even combines multiple photographs to create a new setting that does not exist in the real world.

Rachel is a Portraits Master accredited Master Photographer, WPPI Double Master, PPA Master Photographer, consecutive Diamond Photographer of The Year, and has represented the United States in the World Photographic Cup.  Rachel was ranked the world’s number one portrait photographer in 2022 by One Eyeland and has numerous first place awards in international professional photography competitions.

Rachel’s primary goal when photographing anyone is to make the person in front of her lens feel empowered, and to have that empowerment show up and provoke the viewer.  Her images are often described as surreal and whimsical, and they take the viewer into a fantasy to blur the lines of reality and fiction. Rachel describes her own passion for creating as, “A fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones.  I grow weary of holding it back, until I cannot.”

Rachel approaches her images much the same way a classical painter approaches a painting.  She starts with a basic sketch and then constructs an inspiration board so the model, makeup artist, myself and anyone else involved can be on the same page.

Rachel  uses a variety of symbolic elements to portray a message then lays out the elements using a dynamic symmetry grid. She chooses a color scheme and draw out lighting diagrams.  She finds the right model and chooses when and how to photograph each element be that together or used separately.

Once the proper elements have been photographed Rachel begins digital compositing while always keeping my dynamic symmetry grid and color palette visible.  This is the most time consuming part of the process. Once complete, she shows it to friends in the industry for feedback.

Rachel sit on the feedback for at least a week before making final refinements to the image.

Then it’s ready for an audience!

Program One: The Power of Pre-Visualization and Knowing Your Why

In this insightful talk, we’ll delve into the critical importance of pre-visualization in composite photography. Understanding the “why” behind your creative vision is the cornerstone of successful shoots and seamless compositing. Learn how to conceptualize your ideas effectively, anticipate potential challenges, and strategize solutions before ever picking up a camera. In addition we’ll dive into a live shooting demonstration, where we’ll showcase techniques for compositing. Witness firsthand how pre-visualization informs every aspect of the shoot, from lighting and composition to directing your subjects.

Program Two: Composite Editing

Join us for a full composite edit session using the previous day’s images, where we’ll bring our vision to life using advanced editing techniques. Learn how to seamlessly integrate subjects into digital backgrounds, refine edges, and add realistic details to achieve stunning final compositions.