This is Ayla, she is the adorable newborn girl showcased on my home page. I am using one of her photos to demonstrate how I edit, and in particular, how I edit newborn photos. My goal is to maintain a natural complexion whilst highlighting tiny details.
She has a unique hair swirl on her forehead that I’ve never seen before. I don’t know if or when she will grow out of it. That’s why I feel so happy her parents came to me when she was only a couple weeks old.
1. RAW IMAGE
This is the original image that was taken straight out of the camera. The white balance is set using a grey card to get the colour temperature as close as possible. It’s important that we have all the settings and composition correct at this stage. Our post-processing steps are then just minimal changes to enhance the image and to suit our style.
2. LIGHTROOM EDITS
The first step of post-production is to apply my preset in Lightroom. I worked hard to develop and perfect them over the last couple of years. It mainly adjusts settings like the colour and exposure. What I love about having an indoor studio is the consistency allows for my preset to work across most of my photoshoots.
I then go into each photo individually and tweak smaller details. Every photo is composed differently and I might need to increase shadows in one while decreasing the highlights in another.
3. PHOTOSHOP EDITS
Photoshop is where I do most of my editing work. In the photo above, you can see that I removed tiny dots, dry skin on her hands, the distracting hair strand at the top of her head, and cleaned up the background. I also slightly sharpened and smoothed where needed, giving her defined eyelashes but smooth cheeks.
I try to do the bare minimum to keep newborns looking as natural as possible. I actually love seeing dry skin on hands and feet, but I removed it this time at the mother's request. This is a conversation I like to have to make sure the end result is what you prefer.
The perfectionist in me will make sure every image is up to my standard and something I'm proud of. Newborn editing does take the most time out of all my photoshoots, but the captured memory is always worth my effort and I know parents most treasure it.
Click here to see more photos in the Newborn Gallery!