It's times like these that require editing knowledge, and use of software to make a happy image as close as you can get it to the original blueprints in your head.
Our girl, Lilah, had a birthday this week, and I had a tentative plan for a birthday photo. It included flower garlands, a subdued little pose in the studio, and an addition of texture to soften the photo. Here's what really happened.
Lilah was not happy with a flower garland wrapped around her neck. That was problem number one. The minute I moved away from her, she would try to remove it. So I quickly decided the garland had to go, but I did manage to get one shot with the garland placed there, and luckily, that shot was pretty clear in terms of the flowers. Once I removed the garland, I was able to get Lilah to relax amid the flowers strewn on the floor drop, enough to get a pose I could work with digitally. Here are both photos ("I hate the garland" and "thank God the garland is gone").
So I searched the web for a free backdrop photo and found this one of a garden arch.
Next I pieced together the flowers from the photo around Lilah's neck in the "Yes I moved" photo over to the posed photo of Lilah by using the rectangular marquee tool, along with edit-copy-paste, and masking off what I did not need to remain of the transferred flower images. I also used the clone tool to take out some of the plastic stems from the floor garland because they were unsightly and drew the eye in their direction. I then did some minor adjustments to brightness, white balance, and levels.
Finally, I added a top layer texture called iridescent brush to the photo (again, by placing it over the top of the finished product as an overlay), and reduced its opacity to 57%. I brushed the texture away from the parts of the image that I wanted to reveal more with a brush set at 78% opacity. Below is the final image.