CJ Wilkes

About CJ Wilkes Photography

Capturing Your Dance In The Rain is such a thrill and joy to me. Being able to look back on those special times through beautiful artistic imagery makes it a worthwhile challenge.
Learning to Dance in the Rain has been very easy for me. I am drawn to Water & Life! The exciting part for me is to teach you to enjoy your moment in the dance as I capture it from behind my camera.
Looking forward to Capturing Your Dance In The Rain
CJ Wilkes

Color Changes Everything

I was going to just post on Facebook a small write up and then decided this deserves a more detailed explanation. I find the blog

is much more suitable for such things. I have been training between shoots. Working on new techniques and honing in on my

skills. (New techniques to me). In this quest to better my work I have started a new collections titled CROSS MY HEART

COLLECTION . It all started with a concept I had (Inspired by Nicole Wells of Australia, work. More specifically, her piece

done of her daughter without a mouth).  I am continually telling my one son to try not talking so much and watch his

surroundings. By watching he will be able to perceive so much. Listen with your ears and not judge with your eyes. Use your

senses and not always your mouth. So my idea was to create a composite where I placed an eye in the place of his mouth and

then his ears where the eyes are supposed to be.


Well, the piece turned out to be a bit on the freakish side and there were mixed reviews. Let me say – in this piece – he is NOT

intended to be any sort of demon. The mouths to me represent beings with no bodies just spewing whatever. The person with

the misplaced mouth and ears was more whole because they utilized some very vital parts of their body – Ears and Eyes. Not just

the mouth. Now everyone will interpret the image for themselves, I am sure. But this was my intentions when creating this piece

with my son.


In creating this piece I took extra careful measures to make sure that the face did not have hard edges – but soft smooth

transitions. All because I did not want it to appear as a monster, so to speak. I also altered his eye color to be a blue color and

added a tear that ran down his chin, because words can be hurtful too.


I was shocked at the response received from this piece. Everything from admiration to deep distaste. Emails, private messages

and so forth. So I decided to re edit it into a more suitable piece (even though this was not anything but a learning – practice

piece for me).  I took the image originally used and did not alter any features. It still had a dark element to it, but it was all in

fun. I altered my son’s eyes to be blue again because brown just looks Darker in images, and it was good practice for me to play

with color.



This piece was titled         CROSS MY HEART” 

Again, surprisingly enough, this piece received great response both positive and negative. The positive outweighed the negative

so I decided to try adding to it. Since I have 5 children that are all willing to help me with my crazy ventures I was easily able to

work on the very next one to this series. This one is titled “Tug-O-War”.


Just a bit of background. My children have vastly different personalities. The titles of these images may not makes sense to you,

but they really do to me. This child has the hardest time making decision. She is quirky, fun, sweet – but decisions are very

difficult for her.


This piece was interesting because my biggest struggle was with color decisions. She had on a red sweater. Anyone who knows

me knows that RED is my very very favorite color. I will lean red when a choice is at hand almost always! That is, until now. I am

going to walk you through my process in color choices.


The first choice I came across was actually with her eyes. Her eyes are a gorgeous dark brown. I love them. The problem I had

though, this piece was so dark in the shadows that her eyes would not be seen. I had taken pictures of her and then of her eyes

opened widely. This particular shot, her eyes were not so open – so I swapped the eyes for an image where her eyes were opened

to my liking. The clarity was gorgeous – so then came the transformation using color. I had altered my son’s eyes to be blue, and

since this was going to be part of the same collection it made sense to alter her eyes to be blue.



As you can tell – her eyes are lovely! The blue was great. The colors seemed great…..   BUT my eyes just kept looking at the

gorgeous red. It is lovely and compliments the scenery perfectly. What is the problem then? The problem is that my daughter

was lost in the scenery. I did not even notice her eyes. I was so mesmerized by her sweater color.


I could have chosen any number of colors. Green, Yellow – but in the end I decided on purple. She loves purple and yellow, but

purple lent itself to the image nicely. I also altered the lips slightly to have a purplish hue to them vs the oh so red like in the

above image.


Little details really do matter when playing with images like these. It can make the image or break it. After getting the lovely

purple how I wanted I looked back and saw that my eyes enjoyed the color, but even more importantly, my eyes were drawn to

her face and her eyes. That is exactly what the aim was in altering colors in the first place.


Here is a quick practice to train yourself in the affects of color. Here is the image with both versions. Purple and Red. Place your

hand over the purple image. Look at the red. Stop and honestly ask yourself what your eye is drawn to.


Next – Do the same but this time cover the red image. Ask yourself what your eye is drawn to when you are looking at it.


Do you see the difference? For some it will have a great impact, for others, well, you may think it is a useless practice. Either

way, thanks for participating. This was just meant as a small look into my minds eye. Stay tuned for the next few images to this

series. :)




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2 Responses to “Color Changes Everything”

  1. Morgana says:

    Beautifully done and thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Ed Ward says:

    Great blog, Cindy. Thanks for the insight into your workflow. :)

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