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Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 23 of 31

Photoshop: Edit Live Shoot Images


Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 23 of 31

Photoshop: Edit Live Shoot Images


Lesson Info

Photoshop: Edit Live Shoot Images

So let's go into Photoshop first for you Photoshop people. I'm gonna just pull these into Photoshop. Okay these are the ones I've chosen. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do similar images in Photoshop the same lighting situations as we did for LightRoom, okay. So let's go and start with Photoshop. Now. Oh, everything's tiny. I'm gonna tell you guys that I use my own actions to edit everything. I'm gonna show you both ways, I'm gonna show you how to hand edit, and then use the actions if you want to have a quicker way here. I'm used to having a bigger.. Hold on, let me get situated here. Okay, why is everything so tiny? Okay, so let's start with this one. As you can tell right over here, we need to brighten all this up. Also what I want to do is I want to get rid of some of this extra space over here that was going on. Can you guys see my mouth okay? I think I'm a little bit delayed, am I? A little bit? So I'm gonna crop this, and to crop I just hit the C and I hold down the shift key. R...

ight now what I'm doing is compositionally fixing this to where I want it to be. If you hold the shift key down when you crop it keeps everything the same perspective. So that's a little bit better crop for me. So the first thing that I'm gonna wanna do is I'm gonna wanna kind of brighten some of what's going on back here. So you guys can see that. So what I'm gonna do is, I do a lot of curves layers, so I'm gonna go ahead and do my curves layer. Pull up curves. We're gonna brighten the mid-tones. I normally edit on my iMac, so.. So you pull this up a little bit. And I'm gonna pull this down a little bit. Little bit tiny bit of an S curve, okay? So what that did was it brought the color up a little bit. Another thing, you guys are gonna notice in homes that have beige walls, a lot of homes pull green, so what I like to do is pull some of that yellow and turn it a little bit pinker to get somewhat rid of that green hue. So what I'm gonna do, and I'm gonna go down to the hue saturation, and I'm gonna go to yellows, and what I'm gonna do is I'm not gonna change the saturation and lightness, which a lot of us like to do. I'm actually gonna make the yellows a little bit pinker. So I'm gonna pull these to the left. You see how that warmed them up? Let me show you before and after. There's the before, and the after. You see how it got ride of some of the green? And you guys are gonna run into this a lot with lifestyle sessions for whatever reason. Especially Nikon cameras pull green. So this is a really good trick to pull that hue layer over in the yellow. So I'm gonna go ahead and take a picture of this. I'm gonna go to my history panel and take a picture. I'm gonna flatten this. And then I'm gonna go ahead and add a little bit of haze to this and some matte finish and call it a day. I live in curves, literally. So let's get a little bit of a matte finish. So what I'm gonna do is make a little anchor point right here in this bottom left-hand quadrant and pull this side up. It gives a little more of a matte finish. I'm gonna get another curves layer, and this is why I love my actions, I don't sell for elements, 'cause you don't have curves. Let's get another curves layer. And I'm gonna go ahead and I'm actually gonna take this down a little bit. That gives it the filmy look, and I kind of like that. Or we can pull it over, you know, brighten it that way, too. So that's pretty much all I would do to this image. I like to keep things pretty natural. There's before and after. Okay, it's clean. Now let me show you what we would do is if we were gonna use one of these, what I do typically. Typically I edit in Lightroom. This set I'm about to use is in Lightroom as well. So for something like this I would probably do, so this is from my clean set, I just wanna show you this. I'm not trying to sell actions on here, I just wanna show you guys what I do typically. There are two sets in here and I have this made specifically for that pink hue. So you'll see everything has Clean Start one with a neutral, Clean Start two with a neutral, so if you guys have this set already, the first one adds that pink for you for those homes that have a little bit of green in them, or if you have beige in them so you don't actually need to go in there and fix that hue. So I'm gonna go ahead and do filmy matte, I like this action. I'm gonna pull that down, and now what it did, is it brought too much highlight back over here, so I'm just gonna go ahead and mask that off and be done with it. So this is how I edit, this is how I edit so quickly. But I do this in Lightroom 'cause I have this set for Lightroom, so it's easier. That brush opacity was too hard. So wanna see the before and after? Before, after. One click. So this is what I do for everything pretty much, is use this clean set of the beautiful light set. Let's just do another one from this one and then we can move over. Anybody have any questions so far? Yes. Emily, can you just see where your settings were and where were you focusing in the photo? Right here, on her face. And i think I was at 3.2, let me see. Let's see what we were at, I think we were at, yup, 3.2. That's crazy I remembered that. That gave us a little bit of wiggle room 'cause the son kept falling backwards a little bit. Did you guys see when I was shooting I placed a pillow behind him on purpose to bring him forward for that focal point. Let's do, which one do you guys wanna see? Let's do this one. That. Okay, same thing with this you guys, I am a big curves user. Big time curves user. Curves, let's bring this up. This is a shot I loved 'cause the tongue-licking right here, right? Pull up that mid-tone look it just sticks just by doing that. Go in curves layer. This is why if you have elements you really need Photoshop. Just for curves. Literally you guys, this is what I would do for every image. Come in here, hue saturation, I'm very simple. Yellows, get rid of some of that green tone in their face, you see that, look at that. Before and after. It's a time saver you guys with this. Because I don't know what it is with beige, but man, it really pulls green. And you know when you're fixing your temperature in your camera you're fixing the warmth of the cool, not the magenta or the green, so we always get that issue. Let's go into another layer, we'll do matte finish. Put a little knot right there. Pull this puppy up, we got some matte finish. Sometimes they'll do this more and then mask it off their face, you know, a little bit. Then I might come in here and pull my curves up even higher just to pull those shadows down, or the mid-tones up and the shadows down. Same thing with this, we would use one of these probably, and do.. I'll show a different one, Clean Start, maybe. Just a clean set, pull it down. I have these set so you can pull down the whole thing and then mask off what you want. I still like this filmy one on this session for some reason. I just like the film look. Before and after. And I don't mind this being bright. I kind of like that being bright around there, actually. It looks different for you guys than it does in here, but let's do this one. Because what do you see large and clear in that picture? My foot, and that happens all the time. So the first thing to do for this picture, obviously, command J, and I like to use the content aware tool over here so you're gonna get your little lasso tool over here, the polygonal lasso tool. Make a different layer. And obviously this is not like an editing workshop, so I know some people might be kind of lost, 'cause to talk about how to do each layer could take a lot of time. So I'm gonna go ahead and content aware this out. So I'm making little tiny clicks right now, as much as I wanna see my foot. Then you click fill and it's gone. And I probably clone stamp this and fix that a little bit to my liking. All right, flatten this out. Curves, I'm very predictable. Curves, okay let's make a little S pop, but I don't like to do my S over here, I like to do it more in the mid-tones. And then over here, let's flatten that. Let's do a different king of haze, I'll show you guys. Levels, then you guys can actually pull this over. I'm so used to editing on my big computer. See how that goes haze, there's some haze right there. Now, let me show you something. Included in your set, or included in your class is an action called Bring it Forward. Bring it Forward is also renamed, oops. Bring it Forward is also named Cut the Haze in the Hazy Dreams set. You can find it in Dream in Color. I wanna show you guys something. It might be hard to see for viewers at home, I'm gonna zoom in. Do you see how it's kind of hazy around the edges, right there? And that's what people don't like about haze, so I made this action, what it does, is it actually pulls your subject out of the haze. I'll show you. Ready? Here we go. It's very exciting stuff. Bring it forward, here we go. Boom. Ready I'm gonna show before and after, watch his eyes. Before and after. Before.. And obviously you can turn that down if you want to. Let's bring it forward. So if you have any hazy images and you wanna just bring out the crazy edging on people.. Do you, as you're delivering to the clients, do you deliver in sort of one image style, look and feel for that session or that family, or do you have.. That's like maybe your signature style. Or do you have, using different actions, different sets of things that look a little bit different? All of my action sets match. You'll see more in Lightroom, 'cause I batch it in Lightroom now. You can batch in Photoshop as well. I just recently have become addicted to Light room. And I can do everything I want. You know, if I'm in Lightroom and I need to clone things, I'll bring it back here obviously and get the cloning done. But everything looks similar, how I edit. And I only use my actions, we can hand edit too, it looks similar, obviously. But yeah, it's kind of my look. I try to keep it all similar so whenever I'm creating.. I created these for myself before I decided to sell them. Real quick I do wanna show you this one. So this is one of the ones we saw. With this one I believe I used from the new, I think I used filmy matte. And I wanted to show you how this looked.. Isn't that cool looking? So the reason I wanted to show you this is, a lot of people would be scared of blowing all that out right? There's a lot of detail lost in that background. For me, I love it. And I might have photographers out there doing this to me right now. (hands smacking) but I love that look, and there's nothing blown out on their skin, so I'm okay with that. So if you guys are editing something, if this happens, and you love the way it looks, let some of those rules go, it's fine. Like, you guys need to be you, you know? Just, the rule of thumb is just down blow out skin. And if a little part gets clicked, you can patch tool it and fix it, you know? So don't worry about that.

Class Description

  • Capture authentic lifestyle family images
  • Plan for a successful lifestyle session
  • Create genuine interactions even with the littlest family members -- and pets
  • Edit for beautiful skin tones and stunning portraits
  • Build a successful lifestyle photography business


If you're looking for a portrait photography class to master studio lighting and perfect posing -- this isn't the class for you. Ditch the stiff, boring portraits and create genuine smiles and real family moments in Lifestyle Family Photography with Emily Lucarz. Learn how to create memorable images of real family moments.

From planning the shoot to post-processing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, dive into the world of lifestyle photography. Learn how to tour a home while looking for light sources, then use window light for bright, beautiful images. Gain techniques to create genuine smiles from kids. Determine the gear you need, from great portrait lenses to cameras.

Whether you simply want to take better photos of your own kids or you want to build a career in lifestyle photography, this class provides the foundation. Learn lifestyle portrait photography alongside one of the Midwest's most in-demand family photographers, the engaging and fun Emily Lucarz.

For photographers turning a passion for family photography into a business, gain valuable insight into creating portrait packages, setting prices, and displaying your work. Learn how to build your portfolio and how to manage a photography business.

  • Budding photographers ready to turn a passion into a profession
  • Parents that want to capture better images of the everyday moments
  • Professional photographers ready to do more with lifestyle images


Like many family photographers, Emily got started after her first son was born. Now nearly a decade later, Emily is one of the top family photographers in the Midwest -- booking often nearly a year in advance. She's known for the way she works with young kids and families to create genuine interactions, along with capturing fun perspectives. Emily's charisma and easy-going teaching style has allowed her to lead workshops across the U.S. Learn from Emily right where you're at in one of CreativeLive's top-rated lifestyle classes.


  1. Class Introduction

    Learn what to expect in this class in this quick intro lesson. Get to know your instructor and dig into why authenticity -- and lifestyle portrait photography -- matters.

  2. What is Lifestyle Family Photography?

    An easier way to think of lifestyle photography is life-inspired photography, Emily says. Dig into what lifestyle family photography is, why it matters to the client, and why the genre is beneficial to you, as the photographer.

  3. How to Get Started in Lifestyle Photography

    Photography's which-came-first-the-chicken-or-egg question is this: How do I get started if I don't have any images in my portfolio? Emily walks through the essentials to getting started in this must-watch lesson for beginners. Learn when it's okay to use photos of your own kids, the best ways to practice, and why you don't need a Pinterest-worthy home to create great lifestyle images.

  4. How to Market to Your Ideal Client

    How can you market your work? In this lesson, Emily goes through different marketing options, starting with your portfolio. But, don't just market to anyone, learn how to market to your ideal client. Dive into putting out model calls to build your portfolio, and creating the type of work to attract the ideal client.

  5. How to Book Your First Client

    Happy clients start with realistic expectations. Emily walks through how to set those expectations from the start -- the booking process. Walk through what Emily tells her clients at the booking process. Then, go through the process, from that first client email to add-on sessions.

  6. Pricing for Lifestyle Photography Sessions

    Tackle the dreaded price list. Learn what works and what doesn't without making those mistakes yourself by following Emily's pricing guide. Find out where to set your prices, and when to raise your prices.

  7. Steps to Book a Client Using Iris Works

    Managing lots of clients takes time and organization -- learn how to use studio management software Iris Works to help manage the workload. Walk through the process of using the software to book new clients and keep track of new leads.

  8. The Client Questionnaire

    Every family is different. The client questionnaire helps you walk into that family's home prepared to work with that particular family. From learning what that family likes to determining the best time to schedule the session, dive into the essential client questionnaire.

  9. Why Use a Family Guide?

    Spend less time warding off frequently asked questions and more time ensuring the session starts off on the right foot by using a family guide. Learn why the guide is essential and what to include. A sample guide is also included in the class' bonus materials.

  10. Live Shoot: Family In-Studio

    In the first live photo shoot, go behind-the-scenes for environmental portraits in the studio with a family, using soft light from a window. From working with young kids to creating genuine interaction between siblings, gain valuable insight into the process of capturing authentic lifestyle portrait photography.

  11. Live Shoot: Introduce Fun Activity

    Introducing a fun activity creates authentic smiles and interactions. In this live shoot, watch Emily create a feather-filled pillow fight in the studio. Learn how to plan ahead for a fun activity -- and how to get a sharp focus when there are feathers flying in the air.

  12. Image Culling Process in Bridge

    Go from shoot to cull in this lesson using Adobe Bridge. After the live session, sort through all the photos and pick the keepers. Learn what to look for when choosing which photos to edit -- and the easiest way to sort through all those images.

  13. Gear Recommendations for Shoots

    Dive into camera settings for lifestyle portrait photography in this lesson, including ISO and shutter speed, along with using a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. Then, jump into camera gear, including cameras and lenses. Learn why a fast, wide-angle lens is often great for lifestyle portraits and what focal lengths for prime lenses are best.

  14. Tips to Create Authentic Shooting Sessions

    Jump into lifestyle portrait photography tips to create authentic images. From letting go of perfection to arriving early, pick up on essential tips to create a fun session with great images.

  15. Plan an In-Home Shooting Session

    Going into an unknown location -- someone's home -- and getting great shots requires planning. Walk through the process of planning a lifestyle portrait session and learn what to plan ahead of time. From deciding what rooms to shoot in, to talking to clients about clutter, learn the essentials to planning for a successful session.

  16. Activity Tips for In-Home Shoots

    Planning a family activity helps create that genuine interaction. Generate some ideas for in-home activities, then learn how to tailor those activities to that particular family instead of creating a cookie-cutter formula.

  17. Develop Your In-Home Session Flow

    What happens when during a lifestyle portrait photography session? Learn how to get started with your session and how to keep the session moving. Read through Emily's shot list to build your own.

  18. Live Shoot: Find In-Home Natural Light

    Evaluate a home for the first time by walking through the home with Emily as she plans where to shoot in the session, eliminating the locations with harsh light. Learn how to work with natural light instead of artificial portrait lighting by considering what direction the windows are facing -- and turning off all the lights.

  19. Live Shoot: Engaging Children in Fun Activities

    Watch a live shoot as Emily interacts with the youngest clients. Learn how to keep the shoot moving by introducing several short activities that create genuine smiles and interactions between siblings.

  20. Live Shoot: Introduce In-Home Activities to Shoot

    After introducing fun activities with the just the kids, create interactions among the entire family with this live shoot. Follow Emily as she works with the family in the master bedroom for some snuggly family portraits, from lens choice to composition. Learn how to work with the family together -- including the dog -- as well as how to create one-on-one images.

  21. Live Shoot: Implement In-Home Shooting Flow

    Flow keeps the session moving and the family from getting bored -- which is especially important with any families with young kids. Go through the essential shot list and then dig into the last live shoot, working with the family in the living room. Then, examine the images from the live shoot, from colorful compositions to emotional black and white, to see the results.

  22. Tips for Engaging Clients

    Engagement is key in lifestyle portrait photography. Gain valuable tips for creating that engagement, beyond the live shoots. From the details to look for ways to build that engagement, this lesson contains valuable lifestyle portrait photography tips.

  23. Photoshop: Edit Live Shoot Images

    Getting the shot is far from the last step. Learn lifestyle portrait post-processing using Adobe Photoshop. From perfecting skin tones to eliminating color casts, watch essential editing techniques for polishing lifestyle images while maintaining that natural look.

  24. Lightroom: Edit Live Shoot Images

    Moving that post-processing into Adobe Lightroom, many of the ideas are the same -- but where all those tools are located may be a bit different. Learn basic Lightroom edits using curves, HSL and more.

  25. The Importance of Photo Composition

    Composition keeps the viewer's eye on the subject -- and it's essential when working with an in-home session to eliminate distractions. Build compositional techniques like negative space, leading lines, texture, and juxtaposition into your lifestyle portrait photography.

  26. Get Clients to Connect Naturally In Photos

    Lifestyle photography prioritizes natural connection over getting every detail perfect. Explore techniques for creating a natural connection in the images, from connecting with kids to developing a relationship with the parents.

  27. Example: Successful Family Shoot

    Go beyond the live shoots and walk through the results of this real-life session. From preparation to the results, take a look a full lifestyle family portrait session and everything that went into making those images.

  28. Example: Perspective in Shoots

    Perspective carries power in portraits. Learn how perspective changes an image -- and how to quickly decide during the shoot what perspective to use. From capturing that close-up to shooting from a tall angle, dig into how perspective plays a role in lifestyle portraits.

  29. Incorporating Pets Into Family Photos

    The four-legged family members were often the families first "kids" -- and are important to the session. Gain valuable insight into working with different types of pets in a lifestyle family session.

  30. Sales Techniques That Work

    With the session finished, how do you maximize the income potential by selling prints? Find valuable insight into easy, actionable sales tips for lifestyle portrait photographers.

  31. Sellable Products and Packages

    Build a pricing list for lifestyle portrait packages. Learn why your middle package is often the best seller and how to build the best packages for your business.



Emily reignited my passion for lifestyle photography and gave me the tools that I needed to give my business a creative and profitable boost. Seeing how effortlessly she interacted with families and the efficiency of her workflow was inspiring. I'm excited to shake things up and make some positive changes in my business that I know will lead to success. Thank you Emily and thank you Creativelive for this fun and informative class!


Watching Emily on CL - I rarely comment, but wanted to pop in and say what a great class it is! Full of helpful information and good content. One of the first classes that moves at a perfect pace, keeping things interesting & engaging. I tend to lose interest quickly when classes drag, but she really does such a fantastic job, which is refreshing. Makes watching the class really enjoyable! Thank you!


I was just hoping on here to post how much I loved this class. I used to be a portrait photographer, veered away for a bit to focus on more conceptual art photography but i still am interested in lifestyle photography. Emily is very inspiring, her bubbly personality was a joy to watch how she interacts with families especially the kids. Her work is phenomenal! (in response to one of the bad reviews, about her cutting off children shooting on a live workshop while tethered and teaching can easily explain this away as you can tell from her portfolio that she always has compositionly beautiful images) This class has renewed and inspired my love of lifestyle and i have been shooting so much since the class! Definitely used her tips and tricks to improve my pictures! highly recommend this class!