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Newborn Posing

Lesson 10 of 24

Photography Posing Bean Bag Shoot


Newborn Posing

Lesson 10 of 24

Photography Posing Bean Bag Shoot


Lesson Info

Photography Posing Bean Bag Shoot

Today we're gonna start with my post-processing ways with Photoshop. I wanted to actually, before I start, just quickly say how many people had sent me messages yesterday. It was phenomenal, I was blown away. So this is just something, you know, this is my little business from Brisbane that I've been able to bring to you and I feel so grateful to be here and and share it with you and the amount of questions that came through, I wish I could sit and answer every single one of them but I think a lot of them I covered yesterday so if you get an opportunity to go back and watch yesterday, a lot of your questions will be answered during that but yeah, post processing. I like to keep things pretty simple when I'm working in Photoshop. I don't use Lightroom. I mean, there's nothing wrong with Lightroom. It's an amazing tool to have and so many people use it but I just find, for me, I've got myself into a bit of a habit with the way that I edit and I just seem to get through it quite quickly a...

nd everything I can do in Lightroom I can do in Photoshop and I use Photoshop for so many other things that I can't do Lightroom. So what I've done is I've gone through and selected a handful of images from yesterday's session that we're gonna edit and show you how I sort of do a few things and then we're going to put these two composites from the day before together that I took to show you how the baby was supported and we can get get a final image without any hands in it which is great but when comes to downloading my images, like I said that I shoot in raw and JPEG so then when I bring my images and I download them onto my computer, I go through and I will select the 20 best images that I think are the strongest images that I've shot that day and then I'll put them into a separate folder and I'll edit them from there. When I'm choosing those 20 images, I try not to pick any particular images that look the same. So I want them to be different because I really want my clients to buy every single image that's in their gallery. I don't want them to have to choose between three that look very similar. So my list is best kind of modal is right through my entire workflow from communicating with the parents to my final post processing. I then bring my 20 images across and I just work through each image. I will touch up the exposure a little bit if I need to. I will soften backgrounds. I will crop the image. I will enter add a little vignetting, smooth the skin. Do all those sort of things to the images. I'll then save those images as high-res image and then save a much lower version, lower-res image that will go into their online gallery and it's always watermarked because obviously, I don't want them to take screen captures and use them for social media. I want them to purchase the image and when they purchase their digital files along with the packages, they actually get social media files that they can use. So I don't want them to use, I mean they can if they feel they need to. It's got my watermark on it which is great for social media but they're purely for their online gallery. So this little image, I've actually picked today to edit a variety so it shows you a few different techniques that I use. So I've done a blanket one and the wooden background one. Another one where, with the wooden background with the twins and I picked this one because you can tell that one of the little babies has a yellow tone to their skin. Maybe because they were quite young and might just have a little bit of jaundice or something like that, I don't know but we can match up those skin tones so it looks really good and then the next one was another finger one, to be able to remove that finger and add a little bit a lightened shadow. Another thing that I do when I'm selecting my images, that I look for when I'm choosing them is to make sure that the focus on the eye-line is nice and sharp and that's why I do take a couple of images because I've noticed that with our cameras, they pick up the highest contrasting point so I really wanna nail that focus so I'll make sure I get a couple of images and I also look at the angle and that nothing is looking too distorted or anything like that. If I'm shooting too wide, the baby's head can look quite large. We can fix that in Photoshop but, I try to select those images that need minimal adjustments as well, that I've nailed the exposure, nailed the focus and the... Is nailed a word that I can use that's understood? I've used quite a few ways that don't seem to be going well for me but I'm I actually always crop an image but when I'm cropping an image I don't set my resolution. So I'm using CS6 here at the moment. I'm still filling you to see a six and my Photoshop background is not great. It's not my strongest point. I'm not gonna lie to you. For a long time I was always so scared to ask people for help. I was embarrassed about my images and I would look at other people's images and go, "Wow, they're amazing. How do I do that?" So I just spent hours and hours just buying magazines and watching online tutorials and attending as many workshops and soaking in as much information about Photoshop as possible. So that's how I've learned my process; through a combination of many different, different ways and techniques but when I do crop an image, we'll go back to that, I always leave my resolution free. So you can see up here there's some pre-selections but we'll go down to size and resolution and you can choose, you can leave this blank or you can set your resolution. I want to be able to leave as many pixels in this image as possible but I wanna crop it to either a 12 by eight ratio or a 10 by eight ratio. So all of these images that are on the wall, that are blown, they were all cropped to a 10 by eight ratio but the resolution was left blank so that there is a maximum amount of pixels could stay within the image so that I can blow it up and enlarge it as quite big. If that makes sense. Please ask questions if I'm not explaining something clearly enough. I'm just gonna put in my 12 by eight resolution size-- You said you upload both raw and JPEG and I was wondering what the benefits of doing both are and are you editing raw right now? No, I'm editing a JPEG right now. I've imported the JPEG into a folder and now I've opened it in Photoshop to work with it. It's quite a large file so... The reason I do shoot with raw and JPEG is I always wanna keep a backup of people's images so the raw files are stored. They're stored as raw files and they're always there so that if something happens to someone's images or if something happens to God forbid, my hard drives or computers, I save my raw images in different locations so that I've always got a constant backup just as a lifesaver because things can go wrong as people know so they're there if anything happens. I've had clients come back to me, we had floods in Brisbane and they lost some of their photos so I was able to help them out because I've always got a backup of those images. I'm working in the JPEGs but I got the raws if those JPEGs aren't high enough quality but yeah. So I've set my 12 by eight ratio and I've left the resolution free so once I sort of crop this in a little bit, I don't wanna crop it in too much but just to show you that when I do crop it in, and we can turn it and rotate. You can see how you can change the, the angle of your shot. I like to leave things (mumbles) So you can see when I go now up to image size that I still got quite a large resolution in that image at that crop so there's still enough pixels in there to blow that image up quite large for my clients. A lot of people when they're printing, say a 12 by eight, they will print at like a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. So that is the best resolution, like the best amount of resolution to print at that size. I have left the resolution blank to leave like as many pixels, as much information as possible in that image so that I'm not canceling them out. So when I crop the image, it's not setting the resolution to just 300, it's leaving as much information in there as possible so that it can be blown up much larger than a 12 by eight without losing any of that resolution and getting that pixelated look that you can get, so does that make sense? So when you're and just one more because now people are asking a lot of questions, the raw versus JPEG, This is quite a lengthy thing and I've only got a few because I knew there'd be so many questions so, Okay. And I'll try and answer them as best as I can. Just to get everyone straight on the raw versus JPEG right away so you are shooting raw and JPEG when you shoot and then you are just saving the raw and you're using that JPEG. So you're not starting with the raw and doing some stuff to it, editing and then exporting it as a JPEG. If I need to, I have got that option. If I need to and I'm looking at this JPEG image and you can see my histogram at the top of the screen over here and I have more than enough information in this particular image; my resolution, my brightness is good. It's not underexposed, it's not overexposed. With the raw images, if an image is terribly underexposed or really, really pushing that overexposure, you can use that raw image to save a lot of that information because it captures the raw image has everything in it. The JPEG is a compressed image but this particular JPEG and all the JPEGs that I got yesterday because our exposure was right and you know, we've sort of composed the images, we can work with the JPEGs and they're still large enough files for our clients. I'm all about having a backup and a safety net which is my raw file and it's there if I need it in those situations but I am so uncomplicated when it comes to post-production. I like to keep everything really really simple and my life is hectic. I have three children at home and I wanna get through these images as quickly as possible so I've managed to find a way to know my camera, know how to use it properly and get the photo right when I'm choosing my exposures and my settings and my lens choice and all those things. It's a massive combination so it's really important that you do know your tools so that when you are working with an image, you are not destroying it and you don't need to have that backup, like you don't need to be working with a raw file and doing this, this and this before you can get to the stage, so-- Get it right in camera. Get it right in camera. (laughs) Thanks Kelly. So I'm gonna start with, I'm loving the color here of the background. The monitor up here, looks very different to my screen so I'm gonna look at my screen. (laughs) The only thing I would do to start with, is perhaps lighten the baby's face just a little bit because that's where we want our eye to be drawn and then what I'm gonna do is smooth out the background. I'll show you how I fade the background and blur it by painting on and then I'm gonna smooth the baby's skin and add a little bit of a color tone and take out some red and all that kind of stuff. So the first thing I would do is adjust my exposure and over here I have a million actions. Everyone asks me often about where I buy my actions, what actions do I use and they're such a lifesaver and I have all my favorite actions in one folder so I can go to them without having to scroll back-and-forth between and I just drag my favorite ones, I create my own actions but there are lots of places that I buy them and I just can't remember the majority of them but for anyone out there that wants to know some great places to buy actions, definitely Flora Bella, I love her actions. They're beautiful, everyone has heard of them. I don't use all of them but I use a lot of them like her sharp and defog action is absolutely amazing, things like that. MCP actions; there's Paint the Moon. There are, Itty Bitty by Bob Yule Jinky in Australia has amazing actions and she has a beautiful action set purely for babies. They're beautiful; they're called Itty Bitty and I also use, to smooth the skin, an action called; Pro Retouch from Totally Rad. A lot of people ask if I use Portraiture on the baby's skin. I used to but my computer system used to crash every time I ran it. I now have a new computer system which can handle it but I actually much preferred the effect on the skin that Totally Rad has. It takes a little bit longer and I paint on over the skin but I actually love the texture that it leaves in it and I can really bring back the opacity so that I'm not like making the baby look plastic or anything like that as well. So there are a million and one ways to do things in Photoshop; I watch other people and I'm an absolute awe of the way they do things so I'm gonna keep this really really simple because my flow is simple and I do recommend attending any type of Photoshop class or online tutorial because it's so worthwhile and I'm so glad I did and I just picked up all the little things that I did. So what I've done-- But there are certainly are a few of those around here at CreativeLive. Yes. I mean gosh, Ben just had the most amazing few days, teaching a Photoshop class next door and I didn't have time to pick his brain but I would have loved to so I'm definitely gonna be buying his course and watching that when I get home, definitely. So my little action set over, well, it's actually not little so you can see how many I have and I have lots of little favorites all the way down to the bottom. They keep going. (laughs) So my exposure, when it comes to exposure and lifting the exposure of that image, when I turn that particular action off, you can see I'm kind of in the middle range so I've got room to move and to make those skin tones nice and creamy which is what we want on a newborn. I can bring up the exposure in that. So I've just hit play on my action called Exposure Fixer upper row. Do not ask me where I got that from but most action sets you buy, have an action in there that will lighten an image so all you can go to, let's turn that off and we'll go back to our background for a quick way to lift your exposure and lighten that image. I use a lot of shortcut keys on my keyboard. If I say Command or Control, they mean same thing. I'm an old PC person so I'm still getting used to the whole command business but to create a new layer, is just Command + J and that's just a copy layer of your background so I'm gonna work in that and then to bring up your levels is just Command + M and that you can see here the information in your image. I'm not lifting this. I'm not actually cutting out or deleting any of those pixels and I'm not pushing my exposure too much but I'm bringing up those mid-tones in the image there and you can see that it's the majority of the image is a fairly neutral color. All of this here is this information here in the image so I'm gonna bring that exposure up there and what I can do is, from there I can add a layer mask. So is everybody comfortable with masks and things like that? So I can just add a mask and I can invert it by Command + I and I can use a paint brush, a white paint brush so by clicking X, I can switch between my black and white brush and my bracket tools will increase my brush size. In that pair you've got your opacity. (giggles) And I'm just gonna, I can paint this on where I need it, just to lift that. You could paint it on over the entire image, it's fine. So that's a way to lift, lift obviously your exposure. I'm gonna go back to my original Exposure Fixer upper layer because I'm used to working with this one. So I'm just gonna click on that layer and then I'm gonna bring my opacity back to where I want it and because that particular action comes with a mask, I can now take off where I need to, that particular layer, oops. I'm just gonna fix my brush up because it's... Yeah, that's better. So you can see, just by taking Exposure fixer upper off there, I'm gonna darken that back down in there which is probably just a little bit too much but we bring the opacity of that back a bit as well. And any of these... Any of these really bright highlights that are on the baby's wrist or anything like that, just so we get an even skin tone, we don't want any bright... Bright bits and on the baby's foot there, it's a bit brighter. So just painting that layer off the baby's foot there so I'm not having an overexposure. I'm speaking softly because it's like I have a baby in the room, it's so quiet in here. So Kelly, this is sort of your general process; is looking at all the little nooks and crannies in there, zooming in, making sure that... I don't know what I did there. Okay so by turning you can see, I'm not used, this is not my computer so all my brushes and everything are a little bit different but I'm getting there. (laughs) Bear with me. So yes, I've... I can paint actually back on here because it's a little bit dark and we'll bring that back up. So I just switch between my brush and I'm now just brushing that back on there just to lift it and make it a bit more even. Okay, so to merge those two layers, it's just Command + Shift + E on my keyboard and I've left from, if I take a... I use snapshots in my history pallets so I can go back to any of my process at any time. So I always take a snapshot. It's a habit thing that I do but you can see my original image is little bit darker and we've lifted that exposure just gently in there so it's not too overexposed. Now the reason I didn't light it all the way to maximum is because when I bring out these reds, I'm gonna lighten those skin tones a little bit more when I bring out those red tones. This baby had beautiful skin so I was really, really lucky with that. There're plenty of actions out there to take the red out of the skin. I like to do it manually with hew and saturation and I can see just by looking at this baby that it is a more sort of magentary red so the opposite of that would be cyan. I'm gonna say a lot of these names incorrectly, I apologize but you know what I mean but if this was a really yellow-based red then I would be sort of going to my yellows. So what I'll do is go to create new layer; Command + J, copy layer and then Command + U for hew and saturation and what I'll do is, I can see where all the red problems and areas are but if I go up here to my tool box and come down to cyans because it's the opposite in the color spectrum, and once I've clicked on that and once I bring my mouse off there and over here it becomes an eye dropper so I can click on my problem area and you can see, down the bottom, all this and it's brought out reds too. So you can see the different reds. This magenta's in there that we wanna get rid of. So this would all come back to, you know, your exposure and getting your white balance and everything right so we shot pretty quickly yesterday. The majority of it is the reds too, all this magenta's in here so we'll get rid of that first but you can lighten that, you can see just by taking that, that lightness slider up, I wouldn't take it that far but just to show you, how much magenta is actually in that skin, so what we can do is bring that down to probably about and then we can also change slightly, we can adjust our sliders up here as well. So what I'm gonna do is just move that to probably about there and you'll be able to see the difference by turning that on and off and it's lifted the skin tones up a little bit as well. So I'm happy with that, I'm gonna merge that because I'm not taking any of the reds out of the lips and making him look pas... Him, it was a little boy, wasn't it? Okay. So... What I'm gonna do now is soften the background. I'm pretty happy with those exposures. You could, if you want to, do that again. Which I will, just to show you. So I'm just gonna do another copy layer, Command + J and then hew and saturation and then I'm gonna come into the reds and then I'm gonna use a mask and I'm gonna paint it just off the fingers and the toes here just to even out that skin. So get back dow to my cyans and I'm gonna come in here to these little areas in here, these reds too, lift my slider up to about 15. I don't really need to change that and then add a layer mask Command + I to invert it and bring my brush down nice and small but bring my opacity up because I can change the opacity of your layer over here and I can just take those reds off those problem areas down in here. So there are always gonna be more reds in the shadow areas but that's just a little subtle difference you can see. Can you see on that screen, the difference? Just the reds in the hands up there when I turn that layer on and off? So I merge those together; Command + Shift + E and now what I'm gonna do is work on the background because I'm pretty happy with the overall exposure there. We're looking a little blue but that's alright because this is still in there. In a minute when after I've fixed up his skin or I'm actually got some color correct actions over here and I'm gonna add some yellow into his skin just to warm it up a little bit but I'm gonna fix the background first so Command + J and with my paintbrush over here, at about 30%. That's lucky. I landed on 30. (laughs) So I'm gonna have quite a large brush tool here. If you wanted to, you could use the client tool and just get out those creases, those little things in the background there but I'm gonna sample, so if I hold my Alt key down and click anywhere in here, you can see the color come up down here. I'm gonna paint this color over the top. This is gonna give me a really really smooth background. I can paint over the baby because it's in a layer. I'm not gonna paint so much down here but just to even out the light and the dark patches but in the back, I really wanna blur that up. So then I get my eraser and I'm gonna make sure that my hardness is quite hard. Here we go. So what I wanna do now is bring that layer off the baby in there, in this particular layer. So and I'm just gonna come on around nice and close to-- Veronica Assed asked if you could elaborate on what you did taking the reds out of the feet and the hands. Oh okay, so that was just that last step. So I basically repeated the first step, so went up, I created a new layer, I went into hew and saturation and then brought my mouse off that toolbar which is like a little eyedropper and I selected that color, that red color in the... Actually I clicked on cyan first up in my little master drop-down box and then I came over and I sampled the reds that are in the hands and the feet which brought up reds too and then I moved my lightness slider up to about and clicked okay and then I came back to that layer, I added a layer mask and then I... What have I done there? Or you could be using a mask for this as well. I'm doing a bit of a rough job. I'm sorry. My hands are still shaking. And then what I did was added a layer mask and I inverted it with Command + I and then painted it just onto the hands and the feet to remove it in just that area. So I'm just going all the way around the baby now with the eraser tool and if I turn the background layer off, you can see where I've erased so I'm not missing any bits because believe me, I have got to the end of an image and zoomed in and gone. That's a bit honest. So I just here, turn that background layer off once I've gone all the way around the baby then erase everything because I just rather be safe than sorry. So just by painting over the background there, you can see what a difference that is made. It's made it nice and smooth, there's nothing distracting in the back and is much as I like to stretch and pull my blankets on the backdrop stand, I'm still gonna get some creases. I'm still gonna get some cre... Like crinkles and it's also really nice to fade the pattern if you've got a pattern in a background as well. This is quite a plain background but yeah, I would just go ahead and merge that. I'm pretty happy with that. So now I'm gonna soften the skin and I'm gonna use my Totally Rad pre, Totally Rad Pro Retouch action. They've just bought out a new one which is really good as well. So it just runs and adds a mask and you just paint that on with a paintbrush. I like to paint it on at 100% because I'm gonna be going back and forth over areas and once it's on, I can move the opacity of that layer down to where it's perfect and I can take it off areas as well but when I'm painting it on, I only paint it on to the skin. I won't paint over... Bring my brush down. I won't paint over, say eyebrows, any wrinkles or anything like that but I'm just gonna bring it up into the hairline here. It's probably a good idea to have fairly soft brush so you can blend it into that but we'll move pretty quickly so you can get the picture. Obviously, you know you can spend as much time as you like to do all of this. And I bring it over to the little nose here. He was cute and because he's wrapped, I don't have to paint his entire body which is great. So obviously, when you are working in Photoshop and especially colors like this, at home I have a calibrated monitor. This is a calibrated monitor. So it's always good to make sure that your monitor is calibrated and you're working in the same color spaces what you're shooting. So I shoot in Adobe RGB and my monitor and my computer I'm working in Adobe RGB so I'm not sort of switching it up too much there and my print lab works in Adobe RGB as well and on the subject of print labs, I have, because the majority of my products are printed, I have their color profiles so I can add those to the not loaded here, I didn't bring those with me but I can add those to here and by just compressing? Pressing Command + Y, I can bring my color profile over my image and I can actually see how it's gonna print and if any of the colors needs, if it needs slightly warming up or cooling down or anything like that, so that's a really handy tool to get your prints looking perfect because at the end of the day, that's what's gonna hang on their wall and that, you know, when their friends and everyone see it, it's gonna look perfect. So what I've done there is just hit the slash button, the backslash button which is next to my bracket and it's shown me a guide as to where I've painted that onto and if I've missed anywhere. Oops, so I'm just gonna come in here and it's just a really good tool, I'm not gonna go over this bit here because I wanna label that detail name but I wanna make that nice and soft. Okay, so by hitting the backslash button again, I can turn that guide off and his skin looks beautiful. That's at 100%. So if you turn that layer off, you can see his skin there and you turn that back on and it's beautiful and soft but it's a little too soft for me. (giggles) So I'll bring the opacity of that back down to about 70, and you can still see there it's still beautiful and soft and we have some texture in the skin as well. I think that, do you like that? The pearly touch, it's a pretty cool action, hey. Okay so that looks pretty good to me. I'm gonna add like a vignette to the... Oh, and when it comes to the skin and any sort of spots on the fabric or anything like that, I usually leave that to last especially when I'm working with red spots and marks on the skin because a lot of the things that I'm doing now are actually camouflaging all those little blemishes on the skin so it's not until the very end when I've done all my bits and pieces, that I will go back in and do it because if I do that at the beginning, I'm just gonna waste time getting rid of the smallest little imperfections that would disappear throughout my process. So I'll do that right at the end just to save time. So to add like a nice vignette to the outside of this, so many people do it differently and you can buy actions that have vignette, vignetting in them but why I like to do is to use the information that's already in the image and multiply it so I'm gonna create a new layer; Command + J and over here, with just my square selection tool, I'm gonna select just inside the border of the image and then if I right-click, I can insert insert it, invert it, sorry and then I'm going to feather it by about 250 pixels. So then I'm gonna add a layer mask and then I'm gonna multiply it which is just by going up here to my layers palette and I'm going to choose my multiply. So you can see, I've just... I'm not adding a gray vignette to a colored background. I'm using the colors, I'm multiplying the information that's already in that section so I'm not adding any sort of other color tones to the outside of the image and you can see that it's got like a little bit of a border going on so if you wanted to push that vignette in a little bit further into the image, if you go up to your filter menu and down to blur and Gaussian blur, you can actually blur that vignette then we got to turn other 250 pixel. In the menu, you can go up to 1000 but I think you can only do in CS6. I used to work with CS4 and... It jumps a lot there. And you could only actually Gaussian blur out to 250 pixels but you can see, I'll just go back by hitting the Command + Z button and just by blurring that vignette, I've really pushed it into the image and not had like that border around the edge and by turning that off, you can see just the subtle difference that it's made and if you want it heavier and darker, just Command + J and double that layer and then you could probably bring the opacity of that back just a little bit more but I'm happy with it; nice and subtle. The idea that I have is that I don't wanna do anything too drastic to an image that's gonna be distracting from the baby. The baby needs to be the main focus of the image because that's what the parents want. Okay, so we'll just merge those; Command + Shift + E and now what I'm gonna do is add some contrast to my image which means I'm just gonna really deepen those shadows and brighten those highlights just to make it pop just a little bit more and there are many, I've got actions here called; blend to brilliant. There're so many different actions that you can use that do all of this but a way to do it in Photoshop is just again, with a new layer and if you come up, bring up your curves again so Command + M and you can see here, I'm gonna try and bring it up away from the image. I've got my blacks obviously all the way down here. They're not touching the edge and then I've got my whites over here. By holding down the alt key and moving these sliders across, I'd say it works as a guide so if I don't hold down the alt key and I move that down, you can see my blacks really coming in but if I hold the alt key down and I move them in, you can start to see where I'm losing information in my blacks with that coming in and that doesn't look very good at all so we'll bring that back and I'm gonna bring that in probably about 15 and then if I do the same for my highlights, hold the alt key in and bring that in, I can see by bringing this in where I'm gonna start to lose information in my highlights but I really wanna push those highlights to make him pop so I'm gonna bring it in a fair bit and you can see just that nice little subtle difference it's made. Does it look alright up there? So I would just merge that. If I didn't want that over the entire image, I'm happy with it over the entire image, what I could do is add a mask and just paint and invert it and then paint that onto the areas that I wanted to and I may just do that same process again a little bit further on before I'm finished and paint it on just to the face to make that pop just a little bit more from the background but I'm always careful when I do that that I'm holding the alt key and I'm not gonna lose any information. I'm not gonna blowout any of the little highlights on the nose, or the cheek or anything like that. Okay, so we still got this little bit of a blue color tone and I use these actions, these color correct actions. I mean there is different ways to do this. I know that I need to add some more yellow warm tones to this; I can go up to my variations palette and I could add those, I can go to my hew and saturation and I could move the slider along all those different ways to add those warmer tones in but I use a color correct blue action. So I'm just gonna press play and you can see that it's warmed the image up straightaway. Don't ask me where I got it from. I have created my own, based on some actions that I purchased a long time ago. The ones that I purchased weren't quite like the way I liked it so I re-created it with my settings. Do you know what some of those? I don't sell actions. I know that question's gonna come. I don't sell actions but so many people do. Do you know what the elements were within that warming up? It's just... I don't know if you can see all of that. So I'm just adjusting the shadow levels, the mid tones levels and the highlights, but yeah. If anybody out there knows some great color correct actions, go for it. Share, share, share. We want everyone's photos to look awesome. (laughs) That looks pretty awesome to me on that monitor, on my monitor, the background I could probably take that off the background a little bit and maybe take it off the hair so what I'm gonna do is add a mask. I'm not gonna invert it but I'm gonna use my black paint brush tool just at a really low opacity, at about and I'm just gonna take that layer slightly off the hair because we don't want that and because it's added some yellow and some red in there. We don't want that to be really noticeable up there in that hairline but we don't want that scalp to look blue either. You can just adjust that however you want which is fine. Okay, alright. I'm nearly done with this image. I'm gonna blur the edges and very similar way that I blur the edges is the same as I do my vignette so just another layer; Command and use my selection tool, I'm gonna come in a little bit closer to the image and select and then I'm gonna right-click and invert and then I'm gonna feather it again, so right-click feather about 250 pixels and then I'm just gonna Gaussian blur there. Is that's how you say, goson? We say guassian. Gaussian blur, there you go. So at about 250 pixels and then just hit the deselect button and you can see I still have a little bit of texture down here in that bottom. I always wanna have some texture but what I can do is bring the opacity of that back just a bit because I want it to be soft but I don't want it to look like a blurry cloud edge so I want to have texture especially in the foreground and close to the baby because that's where your focal point is. The top area of the image, all of this, that can be blurred, that's fine. And the problem that you can get when you are blurring and using Gaussian blur and things like that is banding in that top area where you have painted on so an easy way to get rid of banding is just a new layer. I learnt this a long time ago when I worked for another photographer as an editor and I don't know how I got that job. (laughs) But anyway, we used to have to clone to fix up the skin, we used to have to use the clone tool to soften all the blemishes and the bright skin and then to put texture back in, we would add noise so I just used the same technique to get rid of the banding in the background with noise. So I'll go back up to filter and to noise and to add noise. Whoa, and you can see that's crazy so obviously, I haven't used this computer before but we're gonna bring the amount of noise down, we might come down to seven or maybe even six and we can keep bringing that down until we're comfortable with that. So there's still a lot of noise so what we do is keep coming down and we probably come down to two, yeah. So I'll turn that on and off and it's all over the image. We don't want it all over the image. We just wanna get rid of that banding in the sky. You can increase that... That noise and so add a mask, invert it and just paint that noise on to the affected area with your white paint brush at 100% to get rid of that banding. I've been talking so much, I don't normally talk but I haven't taken any snapshots. Anyway, so I've merged that together and then if you don't like the look of that noise you can just add, you can blur it a just a little bit. You know, you're getting rid of the banding from the blurring but you can actually just soften, soften that noise with a little bit more Gaussian blur. I've got an action here called paint on blur which is one of Itty Bitty's actions if I can find it. There it is and I can just softly paint that blur on over the top of that noise and when you zoom in, it's still there, the banding's gone. What is on my screen? And it's just softened that noise which is really nice and you can bring the opacity that back as well. There. So I would... I would now probably do a little bit of the sharp and defog. This particular action is just from Flora Bella which everyone probably knows about because all of her actions it's actually contained in this section. It has like a clarify in it so it really... Can you see it on that screen when I turn it on and off? Really defines all the little features which are great. I'm gonna bring that back to about 70% and if I didn't want it over the entire image, I would just paint it on to the baby's features because that's what we want to stand out in the image. (clears throat) Excuse me. So I'm gonna merge that together, it's okay over the entire image here. You could, if you really wanted it nice and soft, you could just paint it on to the face and the toes and the fingers and things like that but I'm happy with it where it is. And then, last thing I do is I have like a little bit of a color tone action that I have that I just play over the top and it's just like a little bit of a haze. All of my images have it and I think that it's probably something quite unique that I do to my images so that they don't look like everybody else's images and everybody has their own little way of editing, you know. Some people like a really desaturated look. Some people have different little effects that they do at the end just to finish that image off and this is just an action that I have got that I like, the way my images look and people have said that it's sort of, you know, they look like my image. You can tell it's my image because of the way it looks so that's pretty cool to me. So it's given me two layers here. I'm just gonna bring that up, two layers here, one's a bit of a haze and one's just sort of a bit of a color tone and it darkens it just a little bit. I just adjust those shadows. Now there's something that I use, I don't recommend everyone to use those but if you're looking for something to finish your images off, there are so many newborn photographers out there that create actions. I know Kelley Ryden has some amazing actions. Carey Maya has some amazing actions. Oh there's another one. I can't think of at the top of my head but I'm happy to list all of these later on as well as to where to buy them and all but they all so beautiful actions that have these lovely color tones to them that you can finish your images off with. So that's kinda of what I like, right there and this is where I would come in and get rid of any little blemishes and I always do this in a layer because if something goes wrong, Photoshop only contains so much of your history especially if you're using the patch tool. We're lucky with this little boy. He had the most beautiful skin so to get rid of blemishes, I do use the patch tool. I find that the quickest-easiest way and especially when using a pen and a tablet because he can just draw right around the little imperfections and drag it and you can see that it's just, works perfectly so I just go quickly around here and get anything that's distracting. I don't wanna waste too much time and we want these babies to look real but I'm just gonna get rid of anything that stands out too much. Any uneven skin tones, any spots, any little bits of flaky skin. If a baby has a lot of flaky skin, it's gonna take you forever to get rid of every small bit so what I do, which I'm not recommending you do but this is just what I do is, I get rid of the most distracting elements. I'm not gonna sit there for hours getting rid of every tiny little bit of flaky skin off a baby because that would take forever. (clears throat) Excuse me. And the blanket has a mark on it somewhere and there was another one. There it is. Oh, that's on the screen. (laughs) Some mark on this, I've been looking at it the whole time thinking I'll get rid of that later and it's on the screen, nice. That's pretty funny Kelly. Let's see, from the chat rooms, Cute Baby asks; how much time would you normally take-- [Member of Audience] Microphone. Sorry, it should be on here. I'm not sure it's fine. Okay. Go on. How much time would you normally take for each photo in Photoshop and do you remove birthmarks or moles? Do you discuss that with the parents in advance? How do you approach that? I don't remove anything that's not meant to be there. So if a baby is born with a birthmark or mole, usually very rarely, a mole but definitely a birthmark and I get quite a few of them. I don't remove them but that's why they get their online gallery and they can come back to me and say, "Oh look, we really love this image. "Can you remove that?" Birthmarks can be tricky depending on the size of them to remove but I generally don't remove them because, I do get asked a lot during the session, "Do you soften the skin? "Do you get rid of the flaky bit?" I'm like, I get rid of everything that's not meant to be there but if it's extreme, and I've had extreme, I'm only going to get rid of the worst part of it, not all of it because it is their baby and I just explain to them that it takes quite a long time to get rid of that but yeah and I probably spend three; maximum five minutes on each image. Obviously, images where I have to clone out hands, compass the images take longer. Blanket images like this, I probably spend three minutes but I have actions set up for everything that I've just shown you how to do manually so my process flow is quite fast but I will have a session knocked over in a day which is pretty cool. Yeah great. I'm nearly finished with this so we're gonna save it. I've spent a long time on this image but ask, please ask questions, I'm trying to remove the spot on the screen. (laughs) I may sharpen the eye line just a little bit because when I was selecting these images, I obviously haven't picked the sharpest image. It's still beautiful to me and any parent would love it but I just have a little sharpen tool here and when I do, I'll actually read these out to you when I sharpen. I use the unsharpen mask. I've created an action for this. So when I go up to, I create a new layer. I go up to my filter menu and into sharpen and unsharp mask so this is what that little box looks like and my settings at 75% here. My radius is about 4. and then my threshold is at seven so that's what I sharpen with. I don't sharpen the entire image. I always add a mask and then paint it on where I need it. It's weird seeing that come up on the screen. Just with a small white paint brush at about 100% and you can see I'm holding my brush over the words. I can adjust the, I actually don't have to go to the drop-down menu so that makes it a little bit faster as well. So I'm just gonna paint that on to the eye line. You can see that's just defined his little eye line too much. You would have to be careful though with the opacity of that particular sharpened layer that it doesn't start to pixelate on that eye line and enclose anything so you would just bring it back to where it's nice and subtle and another really good trick to make that eye line nice and sharp is to use your burn tool so I would bring my exposure for my burn tool probably down to around 15%, maybe 14 and have it on mid tone and I would come in with a really really small brush and I would just paint it on to that eye line. I'm not gonna give the baby too much eyeliner but just a very subtle little pop of that eyeline and when you zoom out and we can go to the full image. It just really defines that eyeline without making it look too dramatic but without making it look too unnoticeable as well and especially if have nailed the focus like I didn't. So Command + Shift + E to match those two images together. I'm gonna save that image. We can take a snapshot and go back to the original image which didn't look too bad, is that right? So there's the original image and there's my finished image. Beautiful. Which looks pretty cool. Not bad for someone who's a bit amateurish. (laughs) But we all have our ways and we get into such a habit with the way that we do things and we pick up new techniques and they sort of go into the flow that we're already used to doing and I know I wanna do things differently and I have so much fun with with some images but when I'm working quite basically with these ones, they're just little subtle enhancements that make a big difference. It makes a huge difference and you can look at that against the images that we have here up on the on the wall and say, "Yeah, that's your style. "That's your look and feel," so... It's how goes. It's beautiful, thank you. Okay, so I'm gonna save that and I'm just... Because this is not my... I'm gonna take these images home with me but I'm just gonna not save over that original image but I'm just gonna put an R next to it for revised and hit save and it will save it alongside that original image. So I'm just gonna bring that up and that's an 8.4 megapixel file. That's gonna blow up nice and big for these people. Any size they want.

Class Description


  • Set up a home studio, using the surrounding area to create a safe and inviting space.
  • Use props to support newborns in images.
  • Discover new posing techniques, including basic and more advanced poses used by professional photographers.
  • Perform flow posing for a newborn photography session—seamlessly and safely moving an infant from one pose into the next.


Parents are eager to document their little girls and boys' lives through photos, from the moment they’re born until the day they leave the nest. But those first few months of infanthood are some of the most challenging times to get beautiful photos. Whether you're in NYC or San Francisco, posing those pliant little ones in ways that are both creative and secure is something even the most experienced photographer can find intimidating. Doesn't matter if you have a Nikon, or Sony, you can always look into your baby's eyes and take a picture.

Kelly Brown has made newborn photography her specialty, consistently delivering stunning images of these precious subjects to overjoyed parents. Through many years of practice, experimentation and success, Kelly has gained the expertise to teach you how to become proficient in newborn and baby photography, and build your own business around this lucrative niche.

This class will show you:

  • The essentials and little details of setting up your newborn photography business for a great start.
  • How to market your business, get new client.
  • Tips for working with older siblings, parents, and whole families so that everyone feels happy and comfortable.
  • How to handle and pose newborns safely and basic photography safety tips.

In this course, Kelly will show you how to create a safe, comfortable and happy space for families and newborns alike, so you can take pictures that will celebrate these special first months of life. She’ll guide you step-by-step on how to pose newborns using a variety of props, what photography safety measures must to be taken, how to build trust with parents and older siblings, and what equipment you’ll need. From setting up lighting and taking close ups to editing skin tones, she'll help improve your photo sessions. She’ll also give you helpful advice on how to start, run and grow a newborn photography business, from using your surrounding area and setting up your studio to pricing your services to marketing and client outreach.


  • Newborn photographers who are interested in adding another genre of photography to their business.
  • Those who want to feel confident in their ability to handle a baby safely during photography sessions.
  • Photographers who want to learn how to interact with parents to calm their fears and make them feel comfortable.


  1. Class Introduction

    Kelly Brown talks about how she got into newborn photography and what this course will cover to get your photography business off to a great start.

  2. Taking Photos of Newborn Babies in the Right Environment

    Learn how natural light and warmth impact infants and how to use blankets, natural light and artificial lights to create a soft and secure environment.

  3. Questions & Answers

    Kelly takes questions from the audience.

  4. Newborn Posing bean bag Part 1

    Watch Kelly do a real-live shoot with a newborn posing bean bag. See how she uses props, white noise and swaddle blankets to keep the baby warm and content.

  5. Newborn Posing Bean Bag Part 2

    Watch Part 2 of a baby posing bean bag.

  6. Newborn Posing Nest Shoot

    Kelly shows you how to take newborn posing nest photos to ensure that the baby always remains safe and secure.

  7. Newborn Basket Photo Shoot

    Baskets are a great prop as long as you line them carefully with towels or swaddle blankets so the baby sits securely inside. Watch this demonstration of newborn basket photos.

  8. Newborn Photography with Props

    You can use stools and crates to pose a baby if you’re able to shoot quickly and provide continuous support. It's always important to ensure you are engaging in baby photography.

  9. Twin Photo Session

    Get some newborn photography tips for twins, including how to position them together and how to keep them simultaneously satisfied.

  10. Photography Posing Bean Bag Shoot

    Learn how Kelly post processes her photography posing bean bag shots, including cropping, softening backgrounds, adjusting exposure, smoothing skin and more.

  11. Newborn Cocoon Photography - Post Processing

    Continuing her post-processing demonstration, Kelly demonstrates how she creates a composite image of newborn cocoon photography.

  12. Newborn Pictures with Siblings Shoot

    Create a beautiful family shot and take newborn pictures with their siblings.

  13. Newborn Shoot: Posing with Parents Part 1

    Learn the tricks to taking newborn photos with parents, including how to handle a fussy baby.

  14. Newborn Photos with Parents Shoot Part 2

    Kelly demonstrates different ways to shoot newborn pictures with parents, with different combinations and positions.

  15. Newborn Photography Marketing

    Kelly demonstrates different ways to capture newborn images with parents, with different combinations and positions.

  16. Newborn Photography Prices

    Kelly gives some advice on pricing for newborn photo sessions and how to come up with the ideal pricing structure that will ensure your success.

  17. Older Sibling Photo Ideas

    Watch Kelly do a shoot with a newborn and an older teen sibling and get some great older sibling photo ideas.

  18. Newborn Photoshoot Props

    Kelly experiments with a red basket and a wood block to create a warm, homey feel and demonstrate how to use props in a newborn photoshoot.

  19. Newborn Photo prop Ideas

    Get newborn photography tips on how to style photography props like a handmade, wooden boat from Etsy to make beautiful photos.

  20. Newborn Shoot with Bean Bag

    If you don’t have a backdrop stand, you can work around it by having a helper or two hold your backdrop for your newborn bean bag shoot.

  21. Family Photography with Newborn Session

    Create a lovely family portrait with newborn, siblings and parents.

  22. Photos of Down Syndrome Babies

    Kelly takes photos of Down syndrome babies, a wonderful experience for all involved.

  23. Twins Photoshoot

    Parents with 3-day old twins stop in for a twins photoshoot at the CreativeLive studios on their way home from the hospital.

  24. Presentation of Photos to Families

    Watch Kelly present her photos to the families and see their excited reactions.



I have been a photographer for years and just recently decided to transition into the realm of newborns. Safety was my number one concern before learning all the other important details and Kelly does an amazing job teaching safety and comfort while also going into the best ways to get the perfect shot. I have taken away so much knowledge and she explains it in such a fantastic, comfortable manner, I urge anyone looking to begin newborn photography to purchase this class. Completely worth the investment, I will go back and rewatch again and again while continuing to learn and grow. Thank you Kelly and CreativeLive.

a Creativelive Student

I am so amazed. I am a newborn photography vendor and a brand new photographer. Right now I am doing photography for fun. I wanted to learn all the in's and out's of Newborn Photography before I went and charged people. I want to be the best at what I do first. Also, wanted to know what actually goes into a quality session. Especially as a vendor point of view we don't necessarily know what goes into everything, and how our props are used. I have to say I have learned so much already. And I have only watched Day 1 of my purchased course. Worth every single penny. Kelly and Creative Live thank you for making it affordable to learn. I have been following Kelly's Photography page on FB for quite some time now. It is amazing how passionate she is, and how that passion spreads through out her course. I wish one day I can attend a live workshop in the future. I would purchase every one of her workshops. I have learned everything I need to know to get started, marketing, editing, planning....

a Creativelive Student

My first granddaughter is going to be born in Aug and so looking forward to trying all of these great and wonderful ideas. Who knows..this might be the beginning of a new career...since I do boudoir now. Thanks were wonderful! ps..thanks for sharing your Mother's day with us and sharing that beautiful family. Best wishes and Thank you again.