By Kristal Bean on | No Comments
I’m always looking for ways to add sparkle to my maternity and newborn photography images.
However even with professional hair and makeup, when I pull the images into Lightroom, sometimes the mama's skin can look a touch on the pale side or her lipstick may have worn off towards the end of the shoot.
The great news is... you and your clients DON'T HAVE TO SETTLE FOR LESS-THAN-PERFECT IMAGES!
Thanks to the Bella Baby Newborn Preset & Brush Collection for Lightroom, I can easily turn any lackluster images into gorgeous Instagrammable moments with just a few simple clicks! And even though this collection was created for newborns, I find that they are FANTASTIC for editing adults too!
When I’m editing photos for a client who had their makeup done professionally, I usually don’t have to do too much touch-up work during post-processing.
But.... I’ve learned that just a little bump here and there, using the Lightroom brushes included in the Bella Baby Preset Collection, helps mamas fall in love with their photos EVEN MORE. And that usually translates to HIGHER SALES!
We all want that, dont we? That’s why I use them to edit virtually EVERY session now!
Even though the Bella Baby Preset Collection is primarily intended for newborns, they are so natural and gentle; which is why they are also PEFECT for use on a mama who’s a little washed out due to end-of-pregnancy discomfort or the usual exhaustion from caring for her new baby.
Let's take a closer look at a few of my recent photo sessions:
Meet Annie, a first-time-mama who welcomed her son mid-2021. Annie wanted a dramatic, glamorous look for her maternity session, opting for gorgeous eye makeup and red lipstick.
To ensure she loved the photos from her maternity session, I used several brushes from the Bella Baby Collection on most of her photos, including:
What I really adore about these brushes is how I can layer them for a final effect that is COMPLETELY NATURAL. Annie still looks like herself, but now has that pregnant-mama-glow that every woman wants.
In fact, these brushes are ideal for photos where you need just a few tiny touch-ups here and there (often, a click or two is all I need).
This technique works very well for clients who don’t often wear much makeup, but still want their images to still look polished and pulled together. They are also great for making expert makeup applications pop!
And that’s exactly how I used the brushes when editing this in-home newborn session with new mama Kelsey.
As a former competitive dancer, Kelsey is not a newbie when it comes to flawless makeup application. However, I still used the following Bella Baby brushes to enhance her expertly applied makeup, ensuring a polished, perfect, well-lit end result:
I never want clients to feel like my editing is overdone. You know... where their photos no longer look or feel like them. That’s why I trust these gentle brushes for situations that require a light touch.
I have found that these brushes work equally well on men. For instance, if I need to add a touch of light to a dad’s face, the Exposure Brighten brush works perfectly!
In the photo below, I just barely brightened the under-eye area of new dad Scott, giving him a more rested, relaxed appearance:
In fact, I often adjust the Exposure Brighten brush to affect only my client’s eyes, particularly when I am photographing a newborn session with parents who have dark circles (usually from lack of sleep).
Your female clients can easily hide this with concealer. But Dad's aren't used to that! That’s when I find this magical little brush to be worth its weight in gold -- making happy-yet-exhausted new dads look more rested than they probably feel!
The Balance Blotchy Skin Brush has also been a lifesaver for BOTH men and women alike, especially after OUTDOOR maternity sessions when a client’s skin may trend pink or shiny due to heat and humidity. A single click the Balance Blotchy Skin brush plus the Smooth as a Baby’s Bottom brush will give both men and women a natural, sweat-free look. Even on the shiniest face!
In the example above, I used the Balance Blotchy Skin on first-time dad, Chandler, to reduce the redness in his face (which was mostly due to the high humidity and heat of a July, outdoor maternity session in Houston)!
It’s such a barely-there effect that you won’t necessarily know that any adjustment was made without seeing the SOOC image - AND THAT'S EXACTLY HOW I LIKE IT - especially with male clients!
Of course these brushes were primarily created with tiny babies in mind, and I cannot imagine editing newborn portraits without them.
I prefer natural edits for babies and adults alike, and my most-used Bella Baby Collection brushes for newborns include:
Many new parents worry about common newborn skin conditions like jaundice, baby acne, blotchiness and tiny scratches - and how they might affect their newborn session photos. And they are especially sensitive to blemishes that affect their baby’s face.
In several instances, I've received calls from panicked new parents who contacted me hours before their newborn session, desperate to reschedule due to a flare up of baby acne. Thankfully, their concern is relieved when they learn I can minimize (or even remove) these common skin conditions during my editing process and that there is no reason to worry - or cancel their session - just because of a tiny skin problem.
Bella Baby Newborn Presets + Brushes work crazy well for your tiniest clients - and their parents, too!
Warren, the sween newborn pictured above, just needed basic skin smoothing. So I used the Smooth as a Baby’s Bottom brush to smooth his skin and the Pink Cheeks brush to add in a little color.
In my experience, most babies benefit from the Smooth as a Baby’s Bottom skin smoothing at a minimum. This helps camouflage baby acne or tiny spots of drool, as well as dry patches that might occur on baby’s face, head or on their arms and legs.
Bonus Tip: Whenever I apply the skin-smoothing brush, I often go back in with the Lightroom Clarity brush to lightly contrast eyes, noses, lips and hairlines so that they ARE NOT quite so perfect. I have found this keeps photos looking natural, as if the skin isn’t edited much at all.
For fairer skinned babies who have mottled skin (like the newborn below) the Balance Splotchy Skin brush is a lifesaver. After brushing that on, I usually apply Healthy Glow to baby’s entire body, which brings in a soft glow and keeps them from looking too pale.
If you photograph newborns and young babies, don’t overlook the peace of mind you give to new parents when you can ASSURE THEM THAT MINOR SKIN ISSUES WON'T AFFECT THEIR PHOTOS.
Since purchasing the Bella Baby Newborn Preset & Brush Collection, I haven't edited a single maternity, newborn or baby session without them!
Whether you’re a seasoned photographer with hundreds of sessions under your belt or a newbie wondering how to add extra magic to your images, the Bella Baby Lightroom Preset Collection is absolutely for you!
They’re a great fit for any kind of portrait session - maternity, newborn, babies, families, high school seniors, weddings and even pets - when you want to apply light to heavy editing to skin (especially faces), while still preserving a very natural look to your images.
Do you have any questions or comments about Flawless Editing in Lightroom? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (We really appreciate it)!
Kristal Bean is a luxury maternity, in-home newborn & motherhood photographer based in The Woodlands, TX. She also enjoys mentoring and educating new photographers. Kristal is married with three beautiful little girls and one sweet, spoiled golden retriever. Learn more at www.kristalbeanphotography.com.