{The Grumpy Baby} Photoshop Tutorial for Photographers

I often have grumpy babies during newborn sessions. They aren't REALLY grumpy. They are actually sleeping quite peacefully. However, I am a natural light photographer and need great light to photograph them in their sleeping sweetness. When I place them in this beautiful light, they often react by scrunching their face up. My best bet is to get them to relax by gently stroking their brow to get rid of the creases, but sometimes that isn't possible. Sometimes you just have a grumpy baby face. So, if you are wanting to reduce that grumpiness, there are a few things you can do in photoshop to help. I am using Adobe Photoshop CS4. I have no working knowledge of other programs and what they can or can't offer you. I will use the heal tool (looks like a bandaid) and the liquify tool found in Filters-Liquify.

1.  SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera)

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2.  I use the heal tool (looks like a bandaid) on Diameter 20 (adjust this according to the size of your image) and Hardness 88%. You heal the areas that have creases and shadows. My reference point was the lighter part of his forehead. The selected areas below were the areas that I healed.

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3.  Now I use the liquify tool to lift his eyebrows ever so slightly. I may also raise his eyes. Using the brush in a smaller format will cause small changes, so I use a large brush (about 400 size for this image). You may have to play a little with this tool as it takes some time to master. If you can't get it, you can always skip this step.  I wasn't able to get my screen capture to work in liquify (sorry!) but this is what it looks like after I have used liquify.

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4.  I prefer the use of portraiture to smooth out any imperfections. I create a new layer, run portraiture, create a layer mask, masking back in his eyes and lips, then reduce the opacity to 50%.

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5.  Then I finish the image with my normal post processing steps. From grumpy baby to peaceful baby!

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The before and after for a quick comparison!

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