May 03, 2010
Before & After
Meet Olivia. When I sent out a request for an editing challenge, Olivia’s mom was quick to respond. I then found out that she’s also from North Carolina…and she grew up close to my husband – small world! 

To be honest, this is actually a great example of a typical mommy shot, but she’s done a few things really well…making it a great candidate for a Before & After.
  1. Exposure is looking pretty good 
  2. Olivia’s expression is priceless.
  3. Eyes are in focus!
A lot of people ask “how do you decide which photos to process?”  Well, I’m no pro, but it starts with exposure and focus. Here’s the Before & After…
…and here are my steps in PSE: 
  1. Made a mild curves adjustment.
  2. Ran Squeaky Clean to clean up the photo.
  3. Ran Coffeeshop’s Baby Powder Room on low opacities to give her a soft look.
  4. Ran Pioneer Woman’s Bring Out the Eyes action. 
  5. Used the healing tool to get rid of some of the stray hairs.
  6. Saved all my edits up to this point, renamed Clean Version.
  7. Applied Johnna LaFaith’s Faded Morning action.
  8. On the cream color-filled layer, I painted the color off her eyes with a soft black brush. 
  9. Applied a linen texture (laid it right on top of photo) and set it to overlay, opacity at 25%.
  10. I painted the texture off of her face. 
  11. Oh, I forgot to add that I did crop and stretched the right side of the photo to fill in the empty space.
So, that’s how I took a cute mommy shot and turned it into what I believe is portrait material…and anyone can recreate it! There’s more to come, stay tuned.