Recently Patricia from Petitie Life Photography asked me for some feedback on one of her recent newborn sessions in my photography business success class. The class is of course more focused on building a successful business but I do try and take the time every now and then to help those that are in the class with their post processing. After reviewing what the original image looked like I realized it would be the perfect portrait to use to demonstrate some quick and easy steps to edit a newborn portrait. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in complex edits and forget that sometimes our images just need a few little steps to complete the look. You can see that the steps I took were simple and are there to enhance the already beautiful portrait that Patricia took.
Here is the Before:
And here is the After:
Steps I took:
Curves Adjustment to brighten the image a little bit.
Clone Tool to remove wrinkles in blankets
Sharpening Details such as the eye line, hands, toes, mouth, hair. Everything I want nice and sharp gets sharpened by using the sharpening tool.
Color Balance to add some more warmth to it. I added a little bit of red and a tiny bit of yellow.
Level Adjustment to add a little more white light around the edges and bring the shadows up a little bit.
Special shortcuts I use:
Merging all layers
Making a copy of the layer
- Command+A (select all), Command+C (copy), Command+V (paste)
Making the circle bigger or smaller using the brackets
- [ ] Makes it quick to change the sizing when you are using the brush, eraser etc.
Changing opacity percentage
- Just use the numbers on the keyboard 1-0 (1=10%, 2=20%, 3-30% etc.)
Holding down Option and clicking
- This will switch you over to the eyedropper tool and is a quick way to select a new color.
- Hitting X will allow you to toggle between two colors that are selected. Super quick to switch between white and black while working on a masking layer.
Love working in Lightroom?
I have an entire Lightroom Preset Collection designed specifically for newborn photographers and this kind of style. It comes with 6 brush adjustments to help handle everything from smoothing skin, sharpening, red remover, Jaundice Remover and removing purple hands and feet + 13 presets to help you create beautiful portraits!