Photo Stories | Here Kitty Kitty

I graduated with an Art Degree from San Jose State. My favorite art class was watercolor - I love the way that medium allowed you to create dreamy paintings. It was also frustrating in that it was hard to fix mistakes...or maybe that was just me ;) 

I had no illusions about how I would make a living creating watercolor paintings. Many of the Master students' artworks were exhibited in the hallways and they humbled me, that's for sure. One artist was able to create a realistic watercolor of downtown - it looked so real that I had to look up close to see that it was actually a watercolor and not a photograph. 

The image below is from a shoot I did in Newcastle CA a couple of years ago. Their cat followed us everywhere we went. I captured this photo towards the end of our shoot - Kara wanted to hold him for a picture. He decided otherwise, if I remember correctly, so it turned into a dance around the picnic bench (!) The before and after shots are pretty funny with her clambering all over trying to catch him. We settled for sweet photo of her by herself. The light was beautiful, so neither of us minded. 

Girl leaning over a bench looking at her cat

When I first posted this on Instagram, someone mentioned that it reminded her of an old Renaissance master's painting. I remembered this comment as I tried out Topaz Lab's Impressions Plug-In. I liked the effect but I missed the sunrays from the original photograph. I lowered the layer's opacity to get a subtle hint of the setting sun's rays. 

While this technique may not work for all photographs, I appreciate that I can use it for images that have an artistic quality to them. There are a few more photos like this that I will be sharing with you in the future!

Claire Toney is a professional photographer located in Rancho Cordova CA. She is a Christian, a wife, a mother, and an artist. To book her for a session, send her a message at She may also be reached at (916) 769-5482.