INDIANAPOLIS NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER • behind the edit

INDIANAPOLIS NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHER • editing a photo of baby Lennon

Isn't baby Lennon just so adorable? She basically posed herself this way, with her little hand on her cheek. I love doing neutral setups that never go out of style. Mom had gold accents in the nursery and LOVED the tieback Lennon is wearing (so do I!) and this pictured turned out so stinkin cute!! If you want a little peek at how I edited it, just keep reading!

To start off, this is the image exactly how it came out out of my camera. It's a bit underexposed (this was still early in the session while I was getting a feel for my settings) and baby's skin and the posing blankets need some work. Baby is on a beanbag with posing blankets clamped to a PVC frame. I'm using artificial light in this image, which I push through two screens to soften the light. I like to keep everything soft and gentle for babies.

In Lightroom, I do my standard base edit. I have a presets I created to automatically calibrate my lens, tone the colors, and do sharpening/noise reduction. I like my images to be sharp but still smooth, and I also don't like that my camera body gives a greenish tint to the colors, so I correct those in Lightroom. I then adjust the exposure if needed, and adjust the shadows, black levels, contrast and do a custom tone curve, usually to help brighten mid-tones, and sometimes add additional contrast. I'll also usually add some coolness to the shadows.

I usually never have to mess with white balance for newborn shoots as I set my Kalvin where I want, and since the light is artificial it doesn't change. Sometimes if I'm feeling a cooler image, I will make the balance more blue. I can't remember for sure if I adjusted this image.

Next I open the image in Photoshop. I have some actions I created to add a slight peach tone to the image and add a bit of matte to the shadows, and also a matte vignette action. I'll fuss with the layers in both of those actions to get a look that works well for a particular image.

After I ran those actions, I cleaned up baby's skin and took out that little speck of black fuzz on the blanket (arrhhgg, HOW did I miss that????). I also extended the textured posing blanket to fill the entire frame of the picture. For this image, I used a mix of content aware and the clone stamp to extend the backround. Sometimes just one or other will do the trick, other times it's a bit trickier. It all depends on how much blanket there is available to sample and the texture of the blanket.

I also decided to crop the image a bit once I saw it with the blanket fixed.

After that I saved the file, and checked the image in Lightroom to see if it needed any more tweaking (because I'm totally nuts about editing haha).

And there you have it! Sweet little Lennon is looking her best and mom will absolutely love it!

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Hey there! I'm Ashlee. “Lauren” is actually just my middle name, because I have one of those weird last names that no one can actually pronounce. I’m pretty short. I can’t reach the top shelves ever. But I do my best to reach people’s hearts. I love photographing parents who are absolutely smitten over their new baby. I love watching that baby grow over the first year. I love all the goofy baby grins and silly faces. I love helping pregnant mommies find their inner goddess. I just love love. And cats. And cake. And lipstick… Don’t get me started about how much I love lipstick.

My goal is to not be just another newborn photographer or maternity photographer. I’m gonna be the person that makes you laugh and melts your heart -- and makes your world that much better.

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