I get emails all the time asking about photography tips…so I thought that I would give ya a little glimpse into a generic work flow of editing a newborn photo. This is how I make them babies look like how their mommies see them…absolutely perfect 🙂
Here is the straight outta the camera shot…
Not too shabby. I’d kiss that baby 🙂
I used Pioneer Woman’s actions…and applied the lighten action at 50% opacity.
Then I use CoffeeShop Baby’s powder room. I used the smooth skin (usually I paint this just on the skin – not the edges or lips or eyes or nostrils or hair). I usually change the opacity to about 30-50% but in this case I was in a hurry and just left it at 100% so you can see how smooth the skin gets. You can make this more subtle to your taste. I also lighten the skin about 10% and add skin glow only on the cheeks (10% opacity again) and eye define only on the little baby eyes.
Then I add Pioneer Woman’s warmer action (30% opacity) since babies are generally not cold looking.
Do you see the bluish background above Weston’s head? Time to take that out. Under the Hue/Saturation adjustment, I completely take the saturation of cyans down to -100 so that he no longer has a weird nuclear glow.
Then I sharpen, lighten another 30% (I like to lighten in stages so that the image never gets overly washed out), and make my reds a little more yellow under a hue/saturation layer.
Then I like to take out a bunch of midtone shadows by using a level layer and adjusting the middle tone to a little lighter and the dark tones to just a little darker (to boost contrast).
After a little crop, here is our finished product. Granted, I probably would have been a little more careful to not have the skin this ridiculously smooth but since I was in a hurry, I can always go back and reedit the original to give it a little more realistic texture. Some folks like the ‘babydoll’ smoothness, some don’t…so this is how you get it…and you can always scale back if it’s not your thing.
So the before and after:
And there you have it…a quick little tutorial on how I edit my newborn babies (yes, I consider each baby I shoot as MINE. They are all so delish and squishy and perfect and I want them all!).
p.s. I used my Mark II and 50mm 1.4 lens for these pictures and Photoshop CS4 for editing.
p.p.s. Obviously this tutorial is more geared toward non-beginners when it comes to photoshopping. There are tons of tutorials on how to upload, use and apply actions if you are a beginner and I encourage ya to google them! That’s how I learned and they are written much clearer than I could ever achieve. Happy shooting!
If you are interested in pinning this tutorial…I’d appreciate it if you’d pin the labeled picture below since the little guy is mine 🙂