Written By: Lisa A. Williams
When I began shooting newborn sessions three years ago, I would spend hours editing the sessions. This became tedious and tiring and I honestly dreaded editing them! I learned fast that I needed to change things. Over time, I worked hard to get my lighting and color balance as spot on as possible IN camera so once it became time to edit, I only had minor things to fix.
Here is an image I took of my daughter Ella at five days old, straight out of camera. Just a tad bit underexposed, and a few skin issues to fix. I made sure to do a custom white balance before the session to ensure good coloring.
The first thing I do is add brightness and contrast to the image. I just do this in curves to keep things simple.
The next step is smoothing the skin. Ella's skin was pretty average as far as redness/flakes go. I use a Photoshop action called "Mama's Powder" and paint it on with my mouse at about 80% opacity. There are a ton of skin smoothing actions out there and I've found that they are all pretty similar. Any will do! I just make sure to not smooth over the lips, nose, and eyes so I don't lose sharpness. I don't go too crazy on this part - the key is to just smooth out the skin a little bit - NOT create a plastic looking baby. ;)
I then use the healing spot brush to eliminate any flakes or baby acne spots. Zooming in a ton helps a lot. I try to really take my time on this part, because I have found that once images are printed those tiny little spots really stand out. I'll also take this time to zap out any little fuzzies on blankets, etc.
Next I take out some of the redness in the skin. I do this by going to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. I click on "reds" under Masters and increase the lightness to about 20 (give or take a few depending on the baby's redness).
Another thing I like to do to really perfect the image is smooth out any blanket wrinkles/shadowing. (You can see a shadow in the bottom right of this image.) I sometimes get lazy and forget to smooth blankets out during the actual sessions, or forget because I'm too busy posing cute little babies. I decreased the shadow on the bottom right with the dodge tool.
Ta da! About five minutes in Photoshop and I'm ready for the next photo to edit.
Hi there! My name is Lisa Williams and I'm the photographer behind Lisa Anne Photography. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and we have three little girls. I've been in business for three years now and have enjoyed every second. I specialize in newborn, baby and toddler photography. I decided to pursue photography after having my second baby. I would get so frustrated when my pictures from my camera being set to "auto" would come out blurry or not show how bright and blue my daughter's eyes were. I taught myself how to shoot in manual, how to work with lighting, and from there went on to teach myself studio lighting - it was instant love! I loved taking pictures of my daughters so much I decided to open my business. It's been incredibly rewarding to bring joy to parents by capturing their loved little one's milestones and memories.
To see examples of Lisa's work or learn more about her business visit: www.lisa-anne-photography.com