Learn to edit newborn photos as Kelly Brown discusses her time-saving Photoshop editing workflow. In the article and video below, Kelly shares her go-to tools for retouching portraits of babies, as well as her favourite techniques for handling newborn skin tones and more.
First.. Get It Right In Camera
During the session, I capture in RAW file format to ensure I have the maximum amount of image data. But don’t just rely on the RAW file format – it’s also essential to Get It Right In Camera. Controlling my direction and quality of light, and referring to my histogram, help to capture a well exposed image with nice clean shadows and detailed highlight areas.
Capturing RAW and Getting it Right In Camera combine to help me create the highest quality prints possible, and minimises the likelihood of excessive noise or banding, and other quality issues.
Editing Newborn Portraits – Before You Start
In Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) I make any necessary adjustments to white balance and exposure, including highlight and shadow properties. Setting these adjustments to the RAW file in ACR ensures I’ll be working with the best quality information when I begin editing.
Make an Editing Plan
Before I begin retouching, I take some time to assess my image and identify the editing task ahead of me. Consider retouching tasks in terms of global and local changes. Global changes apply across the entire image. Local changes apply to a specific area, such as correcting problem skin or filling a shadow area.
Working with a clear plan will help you stay on track and reduce the amount of time you spend editing.Workflow Tip
Newborn Editing Workflow
Following is the process I follow each time I edit newborn photos. It’s a workflow which suits me and which has become a habit to help me work efficiently. If you are struggling to find your rhythm when editing, try following mine..
- Background – Do I need to correct my background?
- Composition – Do I need to crop or adjust the angle of capture?
- Exposure – Consider global & local adjustments such as shadow fill, dodge & burn, etc.
- Skin Tones – Which areas need correcting?
- Contrast – Is additional contrast needed, locally or globally?
- Details – Are there any distractions such as blemishes or issues with styling?
- Sharpen – Consider facial details / main focus of image, as well as global sharpening if needed.
Watch me edit newborn photos in Photoshop in this video.
You’ll see how I apply my workflow, along with my preferred tools for editing newborns. You’ll also find some tips for evening out skin tones and reducing reds in this video, along with ensuring baby’s features pop.
Learn to Edit Newborn Photos in Photoshop
One of the biggest hurdles many find when they begin working with Photoshop is that it is filled with a massive number of tools and features. The software is highly versatile to suit a huge range of users from photographers to designers to 3D artists and more.
In truth, as photographers, you only need to know a selection of these Photoshop tools. The key to understanding Photoshop is knowing the RIGHT tools for the job, and WHEN to use them.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
- People who are new to Photoshop, or
- People who feel overwhelmed by the software
In the Photoshop Fundamentals tutorials, I’ve chosen the core tools and techniques which will help you edit newborn and family photos efficiently.
This class contains a range of bite-sized videos, to help you understand the best tools for editing newborn and family portraits, and when to use them.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
- A good follow-up from Photoshop Fundamentals, or
- For people somewhat familiar with Photoshop‘s interface and tools
Newborn Editing Workshop focuses on putting all the essential portrait retouch tools and techniques together to achieve complete image edits. You’ll see me edit 6 beautiful babies, each with different editing needs ranging from fixing fabric and timber backgrounds, correcting red and dry skin, and more.
Speed up your editing with Photoshop Actions
Once you are familiar with the essentials of Photoshop, you can speed up your editing with Actions. Photoshop Actions are pre-recorded steps which let you apply a sequence of edits with the click of a button.
To optimise my own editing, I created a range of Action Sets to help with my image corrections, skin smoothing and corrections, colour toning and more.
In the video above, you see me use my Soften Skin action from my Beautiful Skin & Details Action Set. This action is a game changer for my workflow, reducing the time I spend in front of the computer, and giving me more time for family and other aspects of my business.
When it comes to editing newborn and any other genre of photos, practice and having a solid workflow are both vital.
While you can use Actions with little Photoshop experience, I believe the more practiced and comfortable you become with the editing tools, the better. And of course, controlling your light and other elements to ensure the best possible capture goes a long way towards image quality also.
When you understand WHAT you can achieve and become better at applying the tools, the more seamless and efficient your editing process will become.