If you’re a photographer, I’m sure you remember the day you first got your new camera. And if you’re anything like me, in the beginning the camera seemed to control you more than you knew how to control it.

I upgraded from an entry level DSLR to the Canon 5D Mark III before I had a solid understanding of the various elements of a good portrait, such as framing and how aperture, shutter speed and ISO all work together to affect the exposure and image quality. Pair that lack of knowledge with a snap-happy shutter finger, and a squirmy uncooperative three year old who refuses to look at the camera as your test subject, and you’re bound to wind up with a plethora of unusable images. Back then, I kept and edited the few photos that turned out and quickly moved the others into my archives where I haven’t revisited them in almost a year.

A few days ago, I decided to test my photoshop abilities by editing some of the photos that I had deemed “unusable” earlier in the year. I found four images from a test shoot with my friend’s three year old son that I thought had potential, I only needed to mask the fact that my subject was distracted by something out of range of the image. (and that the framing on some were utterly atrocious.) Because I am the proud owner of a set of butterfly overlays, I decided that I might be able to utilize those in order to somehow bring my subject’s focus back into the image. As I was working on my second image, a theme begin to emerge.

And so, I humbly present to you my mini series entitled Butterfly Seasons.

More info: Instagram

BEFORE

Clearly, this is not an impressive image. Half of his body is hidden and he’s staring at nothing! The sky is overexposed as well.

AFTER- SPRING

BEFORE

When this was taken almost a year ago, I wouldn’t have had the guts, or the skills, to even attempt to save this image, but when I recently found it in my archives, I loved the background and the way the grass is blowing in the wind.

AFTER- SUMMER

BEFORE

I always loved his excited expression in this image as he threw sand in the air (and at my camera, bless his heart!) Problem is, you can’t really tell he’s throwing sand and it looks like he’s excited over something invisible. Like a ghost maybe. But we all know by now that there’s nothing a butterfly can’t fix!

AFTER- AUTUMN

BEFORE

Love this image too, but his stance would have been awkward if I were to leave the image as is. So naturally, I slapped a butterfly on it, and all of my problems were solved!

AFTER- WINTER

This project showed me that my editing techniques have definitely improved and sometimes even the most unlikely photos can become a piece of art.