COLUMNS,  News,  Portrayal

Portrayal – ‘Missing Home – By Jennifer Bracewell

We’re delighted to published Jennifer Bracewell’s first article to her brand new Portrayal Column with us. Portrayal focuses on Portraiture and incorporates a mix of tutorials, including heavily apped ones and art but also includes portraits that tell the story of the people within the portrait and relate to the expression, ‘faces are windows to our souls’.

In this article Jennifer moves us with a beautiful image and the story of her little girl and her feelings when they moved houses and the memories that were recalled. Jennifer also provides a tutorial explaining how she edited the image. Don’t miss this… over to you Jen (foreword by Joanne Carter).



“We moved a few months back. Though my daughter is only four, she has some very strong opinions about this. She loves her new room but misses our old yard. She likes the big kitchen at the new house but hates that our cat won’t come inside (we share that opinion). We happened to drive by the old house. It’s only a mile away. She looked out the window and started crying. She was crying for our old tree.

The new owners, a young family, had cut down her favorite tree. It was a beautiful brush tree with pink furry blossoms that shed all over. Everywhere. On our lawn, the neighbors lawn.. It was obnoxious, but it was our beautiful, Seussical friend. We loved it and sat under it since she was born. The shock of not seeing it there, just the giant pile of pink fluff and the stump made her burst into tears. We drove to the new house and sat on the couch for a chat. After she’d calmed down I took her picture, like I do. I could see in it what she was feeling, her sadness, her relief at the idea that we had a new place that we’d make our own, her great sensitivity and what a beautiful person she is. You have to love a girl who cries for trees, don’t you? You might want to check out tree trimming service in Austin.

I’ve included a tutorial for this image that I have called “Missing Home”, see below:



Step 1



Here’s the original, taken with Hipstamatic, Tinto 1848 Lens and D-Type Plate Film, which I was and am still kind of obsessed with:

My next step was to open the Diptic app, the simple square and use a photo I had of a paperweight with butterflies on it for the left half of the photo, her face for the right.

Step 2



I used the slider to remove the border, rotated the paperweight to my liking and then used the “Keyhole” Filter to make it monochrome to blend with her portrait.


Step 3



I exported the image at full resolution using the arrow in the upper right and then opened it up in Magic Hour. (you’ll see a little butterfly in the lower left corner. I had done some Juxtaposer experimentation with this but it ended up not showing up in the final image so I left it out.. one of those things that happens).

Step 4




In Magic Hour I used the Black and White in 1962 Filter and also the Tilt Shift. I played around with curves until I got something I was pleased with. I also removed the frame.


Step 5



Okay. Almost done. My last step is ScratchCam. I usually hit the random button until I come up with something I like.



Final Image



I’m always a bit critical. Now seeing this I may have done fewer scratches in retrospect. That’s how it always is for me. I could do 25 versions and maybe like something about each one but have a hard time choosing. I’m moving away from scratches more and more lately.

All in all I love the vintage look of this portrait, the texture and color. My old soul baby girl who is always thinking, loves everyone, and misses her favorite tree”.



Jennifer Bracewell is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, she is a mother, an artist, a photographer, an iPhoneographer, and music lover. Much of Jennifer’s work is an exploration of self and image: the manipulation of self-portraits to bring out elements of humor, angst and beauty. Jennifer’s other works are an eclectic mix of country shots, animals, and captures of ephemeral moments in everyday life. Her images have been featured and displayed at Pixels at an Exhibition where she was featured artist for July, 2011 as well as other sites like Mashable , featured artist on iPhoneogenic in September, 2011, and major iPhoneographic blogs. Her work was recently featured in an article about iPhoneography in the Sydney Morning Herald. her work has been exhibited at the Adobe Shop in San Francisco, the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley (September 22 – October 30, 2011), ArtsEye Gallery in Tucson in October-November 2011 and was featured at the Stephane Vereecken Gallery in Belgium in November, 2011 through January, 2012, a solo show with another scheduled for July, 2012, and at the SoHo Digital Art Gallery in New York City in December of 2011. Jennifer’s work was included in the iPhoneography Miami 2012 show in January, 2012. Five of Jennifer’s images were selected for display at Miami’s cutting-edge Lunchbox Gallery in their “iPhoneography: Updated Visual Dialogs” show, hanging from March 8 to April 7, 2012. Jennifer also has pieces in gallery shows this April at Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts and a three-month show this spring in San Francisco at the prestigious ArtHaus gallery, and these were recently featured in the San Francisco Examiner and the local CBS News 7.


  • Lola Mitchell

    What a great first article! Cannot wait to read more. Thanks for sharing Jen!

  • Gerry Coe

    Like the way you have blended the two images together, nice use of Diptic. I agree about the scratches. Thanks for the info.

  • Amy Leibrand

    Love learning the process, especially of those who multi-app. And I enjoy the background story of this image. Tugs at the heart. 🙂

  • Catherine

    What a lovely article! Beautiful portrait, and such a poignant, bittersweet story. Great first article Jen!

  • Elaine (Luxtra)

    A wonderful article, Jen, and I was sad along with your little girl about the chopped-down tree. Beautiful image …

  • Janine Graf

    Oh Jennifer . . . I’m typing this with tears in my eyes. Yes, how could you not love a girl who cries over trees (I cry over trees too btw)? Thank you for sharing this wonderful, albeit sad, story with us AND for sharing your workflow / process with us! I’m such a crazy fan of your work so it’s fascinating to watch you step by step! oxoxo

  • Candice Chidiac

    Lovely Jen! So touching. Children have an amazing sensitivity which we sometimes take for granted! Your daughter is beautiful, she’s a lot like my son, he feels everyone’s pain. My daughter on the other hand is one tough cookie!
    I really enjoyed the tutorial, thank you for sharing this with us! xox

  • Robert Lancaster

    Beautiful story and a beautiful image. Her emotion is carried across sublimely.
    Thank you so much for sharing your workflow and processing with us.
    I have a son who cries over trees and animals too!

  • JQ Gaines

    Jen, this is a fabulous article and tutorial! Thank you for sharing this very touching and beautiful moment… xox

  • Brett Chenoweth

    Great first. Sad for your daughter and her tree! … but so sweet. (i’m partial to storys of 4 yr old daughters)

  • David Graham

    I loved everything about this post–great story, very useful tutorial, and the image itself is striking. Thanks so much for featuring this. Look forward to more in the future. And what a great blog this is–one of my top five that I look at just about every day. Thanks.

  • Maryjane Sarvis

    Love sweet C. So wide beyond her years. So sensitive and very special, indeed. I do give you the credit here too!

  • Jennifer Bracewell

    Thanks to all for the wonderful comments. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the column and wish I had seen these and responded to each of you individually. I apologize for the group message. Thanks to Joanne for everything that you do xxoo
    Better go plant a tree 🙂