5 Tips for Amazing Newborn Edits in Photoshop

Awesome newborn photo editing only requires a few easy steps in Photoshop.  Let the girls from Digital Darkroom Secrets show you how!

1.  After opening my newborn image in CS4, I run a curves layer by clicking on  Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves.  When the curves dialog box comes up, pull the middle of the line up to brighten the midtones of the image, paying attention to how it is affecting the skin.  You want to brighten and lighten the skin, but not too much.  I use the layer mask in the curves layer in the layers palette and a soft, black brush to “erase” the curves affect off of the background.  I want to keep the background a little darker.  Then I flatten.

2.  Next I use the clone stamp tool at about 40% opacity to remove blemishes, red spots, and flaky.

3.  Newborn baby skin is often red.  I need to reduce the reds in the newborn’s skin.  I add a Hue/Saturation Layer by going to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation.  I then use the pull-down arrow to select “reds” and reduce the saturation of the reds slightly.  I then select “magentas” and reduce those slightly.  Then I flatten.

4.  Make a duplicate layer.  Next I will add a gaussian blur layer to smooth the skin.  Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.  When the dialog box comes up, I change the radius to 8.0.  Now I have to invert the layer to “paint on” my blur affect.  I click on the white layer mask box in my blur layer in the layers palette.  Then I push Ctrl+i on my PC to invert the layer.  The layer mask box will now turn black.  I choose a small white brush at 100% opacity and “paint on” my blur affect over the skin, making sure to avoid the eyes, nose and lips.  I can decrease the opacity of the blur by reducing the opacity of the layer.  This will give my newborn soft, smooth, beautiful skin.

5.  Now I want to add creaminess to my newborn in Photoshop.  I click on the half white/half black adjustments layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette.  I select Color Fill.  I choose a peachy pink color.  I change the blending mode of that layer to Soft Light.  I reduce the opacity of that layer to about 36%.  I then click on the layer mask and choose a soft black brush at 100% opacity.  I then “erase” that effect from the background of the image.  You can also choose a soft yellow color and repeat the color fill layer.  Don’t forget to change the blending mode to Soft Light and reduce the opacity.


If you follow these 5 steps, you will create a soft, sweet edit for your newborn images.

Krista Campbell of Krista Campbell Photography and Rachel Nielsen of Rachel Nielsen Photography are two good friends who met in a photography workshop back in January of 2010. We both own our own photography businesses, and of course know the importance of getting great images right out of the camera. As we got to know each other even better, we discovered something else we have in common besides our love of photography… we both love fabulous post-processing and are now joining together to share what we have learned over the years with our Digital Darkroom Secrets Workshops. We are dedicated to helping other photographers (whether you are a hobbyist or a professional), have the tools and knowledge to be able to create gorgeous edits, find your own editing style and your own time-saving workflow. All while making your images absolutely amazing (of course)!!!

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