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A Simple Edit with Brushes and Lightroom Presets

Sometimes your photo doesn’t need a lot of editing to look it’s best—just a few little tweaks instead. Here is a photo that just needed a few minutes in Lightroom to have it looking sweet.A Simple Lightroom Edit with Brushes and Lightroom Presets

Watch the video below or follow along with the tutorial below.

Step 1

I almost always start by adjusting my white balance and exposure.  In this shot, both those things looked really good, so I chose not to do anything.

I did decrease the blacks a bit to give a bit more contrast.

Step 2

Using the “Eye Color Blue” brush from the Perfect Portrait Brush Collection, I brightened the color in her eyes.  This brush also sharpens the eyes just a little.  I usually set my my brush flow to around 50 and then brush over areas multiple times if the eyes need more of the effect.

Tip: Select NEW in between every brush you use.

Step 3

Next, I added a little smoothness and color to her lips using both the “Lips Make Smooth” and “Lips Make Rosy” brushes from the same Perfect Portrait Brush Collection.  Since the eyes and lips are a major focal point in this photo, I think these two brushes are a nice, subtle addition to the photo.

Step 4

For my last brush, I added a little smoothing to the forehead and closest cheek using “Skin Smooth” from the same Perfect Portrait Brush Collection.  I don’t smooth the skin of my younger kids, but I do a little for my teens.

Step 5

Before I left the Adjustment Panel I added a little bit of darkness and saturation to the background using the “Depth and Drama” graduated filter from the Graduated Filter Toolbox.

Step 6

Next, I reduced the reds a little in her face using the “Reduce Reds and Casts” preset in the Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow Set.  This preset uses the HSL Panel to reduce the red/magenta color in your photo.

Step 7

My last step was to add the “Hazy Matte” preset from the Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow Set.  This is one of my favorite presets.  The matte effect is pretty and it looks good on LOTS of different photos.


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