My devoted fans, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting so long for this post!  It has been a wild ride over the past few weeks, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now!  (No jokes about trains, please!)

As you remember, I attended Photoshop World two weekends ago, and promised a Photoshop-centric post to show you some before and after photos.  This was a really fun post to put together!

Okay, where to start? How about with what I can do outside of Photoshop?  This first before and after is of my daughter (also the first photo you’ll see if you go to my website.)  Wow, take a look at that before image!  She looks practically beaten up!  Let’s see… we have a bruise on the forehead, snotty nose, cracked lips, scratches, furrowed brow and blotchy skin.

Using Adobe Lightroom only, I smoothed the skin, healed the blotches, bruises, furrow, and lip cracks, and sharpened the eyelashes.  Then, I applied a color preset from One Willow Presets to make it a little more interesting.  I love the aqua blue eyes against the light pink lips!

This took much longer than it seems.  I probably spent 15 minutes retouching this in Lightroom, which is about 14 more minutes than anyone wants to spend on one photo, but the expression in her eyes drew me in, and once I start editing a photo, I keep going until I am happy with it.

There’s a better tool that I use to retouch called Portrait Professional.  This one takes about 2-3 minutes per photo and is a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom.  I’m sensitive about which photos to show that I’ve used this tool on, because this plugin can do some pretty amazing things, like slim faces, remove wrinkles, and really make eyes pop.  So I’ve chosen a pretty simple one here, to just demonstrate the eye part, and you’ll have to trust me on the other aspects.  😉

She’s my niece.  Isn’t she soo cute?!  See what I mean about the eyes?  Pretty cool, huh?  You may notice her skin is a little smoother on the right, too, though I didn’t focus on that for this demonstration.

Okay, so you may be wondering, if you can do all of this without Photoshop, why the heck do you need Photoshop?  Well, let me just show you…

Adding texture can add a little pizazz to photos.  Basically, you just take a jpg of a texture, like the one below… I think, though I’m not positive, that I got this from Jessica Drossin Textures in her freebies section a year ago.  It was definitely in a freebie section somewhere.  If anyone knows where it came from, please let me know so I can attribute proper credit.  File name is as originally downloaded.

Where was I?  So you take the texture and open it in a layer above your photo, then select either “overlay” or “soft light” as the blend mode (try both then pick the one you like).  This will usually make the skin look textured as well, so then I paint onto the texture layer using the same color as the layer to remove the texture from the skin (one of several possible methods – there are some YouTube how-to videos on this).

Here’s the before and after:

Creates a bit of a vintage look here.  I also have textures that make the photos look like paintings on canvas.  Pretty cool!  I don’t do too much with textures, but I have fun playing with them now and then.

What else?  Oh yes, making people look thinner.  This does depend entirely on the photo, but I can usually make love handles disappear.

The photo below is of me from last summer.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that the camera adds 10 pounds, my shirt was not helping matters, so I used the liquify filter in Photoshop to push down the shirt wrinkles on my right side (your left).

Thanks to my hubby for taking this photo of me!

Stray hairs are really annoying, and also more painful to fix than you might expect.  However, I’m happy to do it by request for my clients, because it really can make a big difference in a photo, like the one below where I removed the hair that was falling into mom’s eye.

I very, very rarely do head swapping, but sometimes it’s worth the time it takes.  The photo below is of my two children from September, and I liked both of the original photos, but wanted them both looking at the camera.  I copied my daughter’s head from the top-right photo and moved it over the head on the bottom-right.  The photo on the left is now a large canvas in my house (and part of the banner for this blog!).  Click on the image to see them larger.

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked is how I get photos with newborn babies heads in their hands up on their elbows.  Well, I originally did it by setting them up in little tripods and taking some quick snaps, but this left little time to compose a shot.  So instead, I’ve moved to doing this in Photoshop.

The photo below is a composite of two photos and is done very similarly to how I do the head swaps.  First, I take a photo while one of the parents holds the arms together, then I take a photo while they hold the head in place, and finally, I merge the two together – top half of baby and bottom half of baby.  I wish I had the before and after images to show you of this, but I’m pretty good at only keeping only the photos I show my clients (disk space gets expensive, you know?) so I no longer have the originals.  However, you can find YouTube videos on how this is done as well.

I feel a little like Penn & Teller giving away how I do my tricks, but it was fun to pull back the curtain a little to show you how it’s all done!

Now what I’m wondering is when someone is going to invent a Photoshop filter to help clean up my messy house?  🙂

1 thought on “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”

  1. Becky, this article was really interesting! Thanks for pulling back the curtain…didn’t realize how much editing can improve a picture! That first one of Clara is amazing how different it looks! So cool 🙂

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