New Workshop: Photographing Group Portraits!


How to Build a Composite Commercial Ad with Tim Tadder

By fotosiamo on October 17th 2013

We have been big fans of Tim Tadder’s highly creative personal projects. If you have not heard of him, you should check out his Bizarre Portraits of People Poking Their Heads Underwater series or his Awesome Water Wigs photoshoot.

When not working on such cool projects, Tim is actually a full-time working commercial photographer based near San Diego. One of his recent campaign shoots was with LifeProof for their all-protective LifeProof Samsung Galaxy S4 Life Proof case. The goal is to highlight how the LifeProof case is the perfect case to use with the Samsung Galaxy S4 for those enthusiasts who love the active outdoor lifestyle.

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 01

The Step-by-Step Composite Build

Tim is no stranger to compositing his images together, and he used this approach to shoot the LifeProof campaign. In order to keep a consistent look for the product, Tim shot the model’s hand and the Galaxy S4 in a studio with a green screen and combined it with clean plate shots of each environment.

To help us see how this was done, Tim created the animated GIF below that demonstrates each step of the composite process. Pretty cool, right?

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof

Although we can’t see how big of a production was involved in this campaign, Tim’s approach does show that by planning your shots ahead, you can create a series of high-quality images with the consistency and control. Using composite images effectively can also help lower production cost.

Here are the rest of Tim Tadder’s LifeProof images.

The LifeProof Samsung Galaxy S4 Case Campaign Images

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 02

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 03

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 04

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 02b

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 03b

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 04b

Tim Tadder Samsung S4 Life Proof 05

Be sure to check out the rest of Tim’s work on his website: Don’t forget to check out his creative projects: Bizarre Portraits of People Poking Their Heads Underwater series and Awesome Water Wigs photoshoot.

What are some of your best composite image work?


Joe is a rising fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs. Be sure to check out his work at and connect with him on Google Plus and on Facebook


Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Rob White

    Ideally you can take exceptional iphone images, just ask all the writers who replaced staff photojournalists with iphone coverage, or the numerous award winning iphone images that fall closely to the fine art work of Nadav Kander or Michael Kenna Landscapes.

    | |
  2. Octq45e

    The two replies above left me scratching my head. Strange opinions are out there.

    | |
  3. Mike Carson

    I like the process and he’s very good at it, but I feel it’s incredibly dishonest on the part of the advertiser and he is being a party to that dishonesty. A good photographer should take the product and try to represent it in the best possible light, this is just fraud. Technically gorgeous fraud, but still ethically (also possibly legally) wrong.

    | |
    • Dennis Stevens

      An advertising photographers job is to make you want something that you don’t really need. It’s not claiming the product has features that it in fact does not, that would be false advertising. The photographers main objective is making the product look better than it really is. This is how 95% of product ad work is….get with the program.

      | |
  4. Nick Pallezuelos

    I would have never guessed it takes 50 image for those single shots. Also I think it’s misleading when phone companies put DSLR shot, professionally retouched images on the phone as if the image was captured using the phone

    | |