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How to Edit Newborn Photos for Your Clients

Last updated on May 28, 2024 by Brenda Barron

Want to know how to edit newborn baby pictures? We’ll show you right here today.

Even for an expert photographer, newborn photography can be quite the challenge.

Taking the perfect photo of a young baby with no idea when to stay still or pose for the camera presents a unique set of obstacles to overcome. Even if you manage to get the setting and the images just right, there are still steps to take to make the finished product look as professional as possible.

If you want to learn how to edit the ultimate selection of baby pictures, then we’re here to help. In this article, you’ll discover:

  • How to make babies look pristine with photoshop
  • What you need to do to correct skin and background color
  • How you can create creamy textures with Lightroom sliders
  • How to set up your own Lightroom presets for quicker edits in the future

Step 1: Use the Photoshop Airbrush

Although all babies are flawless in the eyes of their parents, you might need to do a little tweaking to make your images match what your clients see in their head. Most photographs of pristine babies are photo-shopped, as babies naturally have various skin conditions, blemishes, scratches, and blotchiness that can pull away from the impact of the image.

Ideally, the images you offer to parents or show as part of your WordPress portfolio gallery should include some largely un-edited photos. This will help you to capture the unique characteristics of each baby in your newborn photos. However, for those flawless shots, try the airbrush tool on Photoshop.

Remember to keep the opacity of the brush low to begin with so you can edit the image without making it look too unrealistic. The more natural the image looks the better.

A newborn baby laying in a basket

Step 2: Adjust the Colors

Most newborns have a slight redness to their skin tone. Some will have shades of yellow that you may want to soften before you hand the final pictures over to your clients too. You can reduce unwanted colors by carefully overexposing certain parts of the photos. Once again, when it comes to editing newborn photos, remember not to go over the top. Only certain parts of the skin should look pristine.

Taking out patches of color will help to hide scratches, blotches and other marks. However, it’s worth leaving birthmarks in to keep the uniqueness of the baby in the image.

Another option you might want to consider is desaturating parts of the photo with Photoshop or Lightroom. Don’t go as far as black and white, but play with the image until it looks soft, without being old-fashioned. If you do want to create a vintage effect, try using our guide to creating black and white photos in Photoshop.

A black and white photo of a baby laying on a blanket

Step 3: Playing with Sliders

To create the smoothest skin tones for your newborn photos, use the clarity and contrast sliders in Lightroom. When you reduce the contrast on an image, you’ll achieve smoother skin, and eliminate unnecessary spots and shadows. The goal of most baby photography is to create a soft appearance, instead of harsh or contrasting images.

Reducing clarity with the clarity slider will also help to create that soft appearance, but don’t go too far. Keep the range between -10 and -20. Alternatively, you can try checking out some of the Lightroom presets available for babies, like the SLR Lounge Newborn selection.

a newborn on a pink fluffy pillow in a basket

Remember to Save Presets for Consistency

If you do find any looks that are perfect for your newborn photo edits, make sure that you save it to a preset on Lightroom, so you can use it on future photos as quickly as possible. Presets can save you a ton of time and will help you to create a more consistent look within your portfolios when you’re selling your services to new clients.

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And there you have it, some simple tips for editing newborn photos in a matter of minutes! What are your top tips for editing baby photos? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips.

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