{The Blowing Belly Tutorial} Photoshop Tutorial for Photographers

Nothing is more beautiful than a pregnant glowing mama to be. I adore maternity sessions. When I do a studio set up, as demonstrated below, it can be challenging at times to come up with different ways of showing off that beautiful belly. This is one of my favorites. As another photog said, "That is Art!" I agree. It can be a challenging image to finish however, so I thought a quick tutorial might help! First I am going to show you a quick snapshot of the scene pulled back. This will help describe my set up.


She was standing in her entry way and I was shooting from the living room into the entry way. Our light source was the front door. You can all laugh at my mad drawing skills ;)


For the steps:

1. SOOC (Straight Out of Camera) Please note how the fabric is held up by the clamps. blowingbelly_1

2. Liquify! You can see how big my brush was. I simply pulled the image in the direction it was already flowing. blowingbelly_2

3. It may take my several attempts in liquify to get the fabric to look natural. This is not tedious, so feel free to just start over from scratch if it isn't looking right. Remember to keep the fabric flowing in a it's natural direction. Once you are finished liquifying, it should roughly look like this.

Once you finish liquifying, you will see areas on your backdrop where the image looks "pulled". Use your clone tool (stamper) or your heal tool (bandaid) to blend those areas. You don't want it to appear obvious. I may also use the blur tool to soften those areas.


4. I finished the image with my standard post processing. I did use portraiture at 60% and I also burned the background using layer masks so that the "pulling" I mentioned above wasn't as obvious.


The Before & After!


Have fun!

{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)


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.


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.


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%.


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


The before and after for a quick comparison!