Inside: Editing a newborn photography session can be a huge undertaking, especially editing newborn skin. Here is the Ultimate Guide to help you successfully edit newborn skin in Photoshop and get smooth baby skin tones.
Editing newborn skin can seem daunting at times, but once you find what works and how to combat the red and yellow skin, newborn skin editing can be a breeze. I am going to show you step by step of how I edit newborn skin in Photoshop with every session. I have included images of my process to help show you (I happen to be a visual learner) my process and the difference from start to finish.
Baby Photography Tips and Lighting Set up
To begin I do believe getting your image right in camera is the first and foremost important thing you can do when editing newborn skin. I use an AB400 and an 86” PLM that creates a beautifully diffused light perfect for newborn photography. I angle my light between a 45 degree angle and a 90 degree angle. The light is set to 1/16 power, ISO 160, shutter speed 1/160, and I shoot at F3.2.
Guide to Editing Newborn Skin
Once the images have imported into Lightroom I do a quick Camera Profile correction to every image and then open them up into Photoshop to begin my edits.
The first step I do is an overall curves adjustment to the whole image. I have an action I made set to Input:122 and Output:136.
Then I use my Laso tool to select where I need to fix the blanket, once selected I hit delete and return and it samples my image and fills in the missing blanket.
I then run Portraiture that is a plug in for Photoshop. You can purchase it here http://www.imagenomic.com/pt.aspx. I have mine set to Smoothing: Normal, Warmth -1, and the Brightness +2.
How to Get Creamy Skin Tones in Photoshop
Next I will make a layer mask to brush off the hair, lips, nose, eyes and the eyebrows at 100%. My brush is a soft brush.
Sometimes as I edit I will flatten my image but the way I have layered these steps in my workflow, I am able to layer them on top of each other.
I then do an overall Contrast adjustment from the Greater than Gatsby The Innocence Workflow collection at 15% opacity. You will see that I use most of my actions from Greater than Gatsby. You can see their actions here https://www.greaterthangatsby.com.
My next action that I run is the Final Skin Glow Brush from the GTG Newborn Collection II. I will paint it on the baby’s skin at 50% opacity.
The best actions to date are the ones I run next. They will combat the red, yellow, orange, grey and purple skin that can be the hardest to tackle! These are again GTG from the newborn collection called the Skin Tone correctors. I set my brush to 40% and start with reduce red splotches and brush over the baby where I need to take the red out. I will do the same with the jaundice, pluck the purple and any other skin colors I need to fix.
I will then run the facial features from the GTG collection and apply the lash enhancer, rosy cheeks, and rosy lips at 40% opacity, as to not overdo it.
Next I will zoom in to clean up the face and skin using the healing brush tool. Cleaning baby skin flakes is subjective and optional for each photographer. I like to clean up mine, and only leave it if a client requests I do.
Then to finish off my image I add a little warmth from Erin Tole’s Paint Box collection and adjust to taste and add a gradient to brighten baby. And that’s it! You can see the before and after image and notice with just some basic adjustments you can go from one to the other!
Emily Lucarz Photography has a pretty heavy but good read on getting creamy skin tones in her photos.
FINAL Newborn IMAGES:
If you are looking to do pictures at your home, here are 8 DIY Newborn Pictures you can do at home that are oh so sweet and easy to pose.
GUEST BLOGGER: Michelle Taylor of Precious Encounters Photography
Michelle Taylor is Colorado Springs’ premier newborn, maternity and child portrait photographer. She has a quaint studio downtown at the Old Train Depot.
Michelle is first and foremost a mom to three beautiful children. She knows how precious it is to be able to watch her children grow while pursuing her passion in photography.
When you look at an image created by Precious Encounters Photography, Michelle wants you to remember the experience and attention of a custom portrait photographer.