I get asked if I have any tips for editing newborns quite a bit, so here is what I do to make those adorable little ones into a beautiful portrait :)
First I will have to say that for newborn pictures it is all about the lighting, even lighting will give you a more even skin tone and you will have less editing to do. Also shooting in RAW is a must! At this session this adorable little girl gave a smile, just 1 smile.....and my strobe, camera left didn't fire so the lighting is not at all what I wanted.
This image is straight out of my camera in RAW format.
When I open up the RAW image in PSE I bring up my exposure and fill light until it is brighter and more evenly lit.
Of course next I run CoffeeShop baby powder room :) It is fantastic!
I don't use the red skin layer, so I start with the soft skin layer (I changed the blend mode so you can see where I brushed) I avoid the detail areas.
Then I use the gaussian blur at a pretty high amount so that it is nice and even.
The result from the soft skin layer after adjusting the opacity.
Next the lighten skin layer, you can see the areas I brushed over, avoiding the detail spots again.
Gaussian blur just as with the soft skin layer, and bring down the opacity.
Result after adjusting the opacity.
Next is the skin glow layer, I cover every inch of skin (changed blend mode to show where I brushed). Gaussian blur just like the previous 2 layers.
Result from skin glow after adjusting opacity
Then we have the eye define layer, I brush over the eyes and little detail areas I want to showcase.
Gaussian blur less this time, just enough to spread out the brush line to a more natural look.
Flatten the image
Now to remove the red tint from the skin. Add an adjustment layer and select hue/saturation.
Once you come to the adjustment layer menu, use your drop down menu to select reds. Use your dropper and select a red area of the newborns skin.
You want to increase the hue, which will turn the skin more yellow. Decrease the saturation thus decreasing the amount of yellow. Lighten a little bit too so that it makes the skin more creamy. These numbers are not the same for other photos, adjust them as much as you need to get the desired look.
Next duplicate the layer 2 times.
With the top layer set the blending mode to multiply, this will add more contrast to your image.
Adjust the opacity down, where it is a little dark but not too much.
With the middle layer set the blending mode to screen, this will brighten the image.
Adjust the opacity down so that the skin is nice and creamy and you still have good details.
Flatten the image
Duplicate the image
Run a high pass filter on the top layer.
Set the top layer to soft light, this keeps your details sharp.
Finally you want to run a reduce noise filter on the bottom layer.
Again the numbers are not concrete, it is completely adjustable to your taste.
Then you flatten and you are done!
Final image :) Isn't she adorable!?
Lastly you can compare the image straight out of the camera with the final image.