The trick to doing artistic photo retouching effects is to keep them simple.
In this image, I used an An image from my Organic Vignette package to bring a slight dreamy quality to the image.
I knew what I was looking for when I started, but let me outline the art theory principles behind what I ‘saw’ in my minds eye before I completed the image.
First, hue I knew that I wanted to blend and tie in the warm yellow skin tones, and the blues/purples of the grooms suit and boutonnière. The dreamlike quality of the image comes from the blended and smudged look of the tonalities so their close relationship in Hue is very important. The clever part of my texture sets is their interrelationships within the close Hue relationships-here that close relationship is yellow to orange, with a vignette in the complementary color of blue. Here is the sample image form the texture set for you to see what it looked like:
If you notice carefully there is a rim of natural light on the bride’s right cheek – the sunshine was coming through trees near sunset, and the bride and groom had their backs to it. So the overall contrast in the luminance of this photo is not very high – that’s good for applying a lighting effect or texture…because you can trick the viewer more easily. So it’s important to note that I’m starting with an image basically lit by open shade…nice and soft. The Hue of the overlay image is important because I want a unified color theme – but also because it creates a brighter spot of sunlight (of sorts) on her dress. That dapple of bright highlight where her hair ends and the semicircle of her necklace dips rounds out the counterpoint of her smile in the composition. The rest of the image’s contrast is burned down by the vignette pushing the viewer’s attention to the warm emotional embrace, and the warm sunshine dappled across their embrace.
The simple steps to getting this done in Photoshop is to use a “Hard Light” layer of somewhere between 15-25%. You want to look to smudge the tones, but not make the texture file in any way prominent to the main image’s subject matter.