Editing newborn photos can prove to be both a joyful and stressful experience for the average photographer. Even more so for parents simply seeking to capture their children in the cutest and most endearing photos. However, we are here to tell you that newborn baby photo editing does not have to be a stressful experience! In this short guide, we answer some burning questions about how to edit newborn photos and share some of the Paper Boat Creative team’s tried and tested newborn photography editing tips. Document your little one’s special moments in style with these baby photo editing ideas, guides, and tips!
1. Capture the Best Photo Possible
We understand that taking photos of these bundles of joy can be a stressful experience that comes with its own unique set of challenges. The baby could be crying for a variety of reasons such as hunger, thirst, and even fear if it is away from its mother for too long. Newborns are also often plagued with dry skin, diaper burn, blotchiness from sensitive skin and even jaundice or intense redness from fluctuating temperatures.
While some of these challenges can definitely be addressed when editing newborn photos during post-processing, the assumption that photo manipulation services and processes can make up for bad camera work cannot be more wrong. When holding a photoshoot for your newborn, try your best to get most (if not all) things right for the camera. Pay special attention to the following details:
Focus on the Subject
Ensure that your main subject or subjects and their costumes or props are captured in crisp focus. No matter how good your styling is and how experienced you are with post-processing, nothing bogs down a beautiful photo like blurriness and bad quality. Never settle for less when it comes to focus and take multiple shots if you need to!
When coming up with your baby photo editing ideas, it is also best to keep in mind the composition of the shoot you will be conducting. Good-quality camera gear and great ideas cannot make up for a poorly composed backdrop or scene. Come up with multiple concepts and decide on your props and costumes early on so you can create simple mock-ups and digital mood boards that can give you a better idea on the cohesion of your concept and how it will look in actuality.
Pro-Tip: Mood boards and mockups are a great exercise for this consideration, as it can help you determine if your concept is either too crowded or too simple. A busy concept does not just make for a bad photo, but it also increases the risk of injury for your newborn. Keep your image composition simple enough so the focus is on your baby while being thoughtful enough that the meaning of the shoot is not lost.
When figuring out how to edit newborn photos, consider the lighting conditions used to shoot the photo. The more ideal the lighting situation is, the less adjustments the editor or retouching artist has to make in the post-processing phase. This is because some details may be lost if lighting requires drastic adjustment during the retouching process. Instead, try getting the lighting right on-site of the shoot so you can focus on elevating lighting elements that are already there when editing the newborn photos later.
Attention to Detail
Wrinkles in linen, clothing, and blankets should be straightened out while dust, hairs, and clutter should all be cleared from the scene. This extra step of quality control is what makes or breaks that picture perfect moment when the camera shutter captures the photo. By taking the time to get these little details right, you lessen the need for drastic adjustment and the need to move elements of the photo around during the newborn photography editing phase.
2. Fix the Colors
A perfectly healthy newborn can look pale or sickly if the colors on your image are not corrected. When learning how to edit newborn photos, you need to pay close attention to the colors you want reduced and the ones you want enhanced to achieve your desired effect. You can reduce unwanted colors such as yellowish tones or irritated red skin on the baby by playing around with the white balance, saturation, and exposure of your photos. This rule also holds true for lighting situations that may be less than ideal. These little tweaks during the process of editing newborn photos create a softer, more pleasant looking appearance that is perfect for capturing the innocence and softness of a subject as cute as a baby!
3. Stay Consistent
If the newborn photos you are working on are part of an album or collection, then one newborn photography editing tip that we swear by is making sure to save the adjustments you made into a preset. Not only does this ensure that the overall feel and appearance of photos in the same category remains the same, but it also makes your work process more productive and efficient.
Pro-Tip: When editing newborn photos, presets help with maintaining consistency despite outside factors. These factors include the lighting in the room you are working in, the quality of your monitor’s color gamut and so on. However, you can take this newborn photography editing tip one step further by taking your own workstation into consideration. Consider installing blackout blinds for a dimmer work setup that lets you see colors without the possible interference of your varying lighting situations during the daytime.
We hope that these three tips on how to edit newborn photos can help you with your own photo retouching process. Editing newborn photos can be a tedious and confusing task for beginners in the field and casual photographers, but it is one that does get easier with experience and time. If the process still seems like it is not your thing, then feel free to reach out to the Paper Boat Creative team for all of your professional photo retouching needs. Achieve pro level photo editing and have more time for photography and other activities by leaving the retouching to us!