How I do my Post-Processing on Newborns

Hey guy's! I decided I wanted to share with you, the steps I take when editing my photos in Photoshop: Post- Processing. This is a major thing that a lot of photographers keep hidden and secret- this always flustered me. So for anyone wanting a couple new tips, or just curious in seeing how I edit a basic photo, well here ya go!

First things first...
I always shoot in RAW.
 [Go to your camera right now and do yourself a favor. Go into your menu: settings-image quality- NEF (RAW). There is also an option to shoot in RAW + JPEG. I shoot in this one, I don't know why. It just makes me feel safer I guess. ]

 It makes a major difference in editing- but that's for another post. 

1. Camera Raw:
I open my photo in Camera RAW. CR is my best friend when it comes to editing. It's so critical in my editing process. This is where I get my lighting levels to be even and pretty. A clean RAW photo. In this particular shoot, I had to crank my ISO to an ugly 800 due to my lack of fancy lens and lower lighting. Camera RAW allows me to get rid of the yucky "noise" that is caused by my high ISO. Under the detail tab, I slide the luminance bar to about 40, and it gives my photos a nice soft look. No more grain!

Once I like the even tone of my photo, I open it up.

2. Color
A RAW image is just that- raw. So I'm in charge of boosting color, contrast, and all that fancy stuff. So I start with duplicating my layer. I change the layer from "normal" to "soft light". I adjust my opacity to how I like it. This gives my photo a boost, so it's not so bland. Then I add a hue/saturation layer, color balance layer, and curves layer. Mess around with these until you like the color and lighting balance. I don't like a lot of contrast in my photos, I like them to look very smooth and more natural. You can adjust contrast in curves.

3. Sharpen
Once I like my color, it's time to sharpen my photo. I use an action from MCP called High Definition (because it's free, fast and awesome). Or you can use a filter: sharpen, unsharp mask, and adjust to your liking. Don't over sharpen! Or your photo will start to look grainy.
I love a little bit of sharpen on newborns (and all of my photos) because it defines those perfect little features.

4. Soften/smooth skin
I just run another action, this time from Coffeeshop Blog called "Baby Powder Room 2". This allows me to quickly soften the skin, brighten eyes (if they're open), and enhance the eyes. This is a great blog and has a ton of free actions. Make sure not to blur features like eyes, nose, and lips. I do let the hair blur a tad, but blur in the wrong spot will start to make the subject look fake.

5. The Patch Tool
This is such a cool tool! I use this to take away the blemishes. Simply create a circle around where the blemish is, drag that circle to a clear spot on the face, and the blemished area will be replaced with a clear spot.

That's it!

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