Newborn Photo Editing | Creating Creamy Newborn Skin

Hello and Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I decided to take my first crack at writing a tutorial.  A few weeks ago I took sweet little baby Addison’s photos. Her mommy Kelsey gave me permission to use her image in my very first tutorial which happens to be on Newborn Photo Editing!  I figured that my first time teaching would be on the topic of ‘Pageant Photo Editing’ since I have a good amount of experience in that area, but I found that editing a newborn was VERY similar so here we go!…

A few points to consider:

  • I typically use Photoshop but I thought I would give Lightroom a try for the sake of batch processing since I edit each and every photo that I give to my clients.
  • This photo was shot using a Nikon D300s and my 50mm f/1.4 lens.
  • These images are shot in RAW format.
  • I know there are multiple ways to do newborn photo editing, but this is what I find to be simple and it creates a nice end result.

 1. This is the SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera) image with no adjustments. I think it is pretty nice on its own, but in some cases you may need to decrease the saturation of the red tones or adjust the exposure.

Buffalo NY Newborn Photographer

2. I found that skin softening first worked out easier than starting with spot removal. To achieve a newborn baby glow, I used the Adjustment Brush Tool (K) to create a mask. I avoided masking Addison’s eyes, nose and mouth so they stayed sharp. Once the mask was where I wanted it, using the slider I reduced the clarity. For this example, clarity was reduced to -46.

Buffalo NY Newborn Photographer


3. After the clarity was reduced, I closed the mask menu by clicking again on the Adjustment Brush Tool (K). Next I manually adjusted the White Balance using the Temp and Tint sliders under the Basic Menu Bar. I was sure to decrease the blue tones and further remove any red cast in the skin (still keeping the skin peachy). 


Buffalo NY Newborn Photographer

4. Next I take the Spot Removal (Q) tool and set the Brush to Heal rather than Clone to get rid of any baby acne or skin blotches.

Buffalo NY Newborn Photographer

5. After I adjusted the White Balance I lost some of the Red Tones in the hat. Using the same type of masking technique (in Step 2), I selected the pink stripes in the hat and increased the Saturation. This resulted in the final image below!


Before: SOOC

 After: Final Edit

Buffalo NY Newborn Photography before and after FINAL