Newborn shoot editing: CC please

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TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2404
Newborn shoot editing: CC please

Hi all,

I did a shoot with our new niece yesterday. I have been editing off and on all day, definitely not feeling well and I am just not sure WHAT looks good. I love those light, airy newborn type photos, but don't want to push it TOO bright, and yet my eye seems to prefer the bright ones. So thoughts on exposure would be awesome.

I mentioned elsewhere that my SIL wanted to use some purple fabric she had, but it wasn't ironed or anything, so some shots were so hard to edit. I did what I could, would appreciate tips or advice if they don't look good, etc.

I was disappointed with this shoot in some ways, but happy when I started editing to see I got a few that I think are nice, even if not 'great' for anyone with experience with newborns. But this is only my second one, and the situation wasn't ideal (very little space, I had very few props/blankets to work with, etc.).

Anyway, thoughts would be so appreciated. I have more to come with the parents, but this is my starting point anyway.

1a. Brighter

1b. Darker

2a. Brighter

2b. Darker


4. My fault about the fold at the top, I just had a heckuva time smoothing this and then someone would move in the room (including their cat!!) and then it'd be messed up again.



7. This one seems either too yellow or too blue, no matter how I edit it!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

You really did a lovely job with these, Tracy! I know it's easy to be too hard on ourselves, though. Especially when you know what vision you had in your mind, and it doesn't come out exactly as planned. But for everyone else who isn't inside your head, these look great!

In all, I like the brighter edits. But that's how I've always leaned in general. It's so hard for me to scale it back and edit darker.

I really love the pose in #1. I think it's the best posing out of all of them. With newborns, it's all in the details, so with #2, I would have tried to have something done with the hands, such as brought up to the head in some way. Maybe with the hands on the side, or with the elbow bent and hands under the back of the head. I know you can't help the clamp on the belly button, but perhaps you could have lightly wrapped Mia up around the waist and thighs to cover it up, yet still have those cute little feet hanging out. The posing in #3 is almost there. I made this exact mistake with my cousin's baby's newborn shots. The foot should really have the toes pointing out instead of in to make baby look a little more comfortable. Again, just a detail that is easy to overlook, especially when you're trying to work quickly to keep baby from moving out of that position.

I so love #4! Yes, it's a shame about the wrinkle in the corner, but I'm not sure that mom and dad aren't going to notice very much. I think they will love this one a lot! She just looks so peaceful!

Very sweet closeup on #5. It would have been nice for her hand to be resting softly on her chest instead of up by her chin, but a very minor detail, and mom and dad won't care. Next time, make sure to get the whole head into the shot to make it flow nicely.

Great detail in #6! Another favorite here.

I'm not sure what to suggest with the color problems in the last one. I know in lightroom, you could use an adjustment brush on the baby to bring the yellows down in that particular area, yet leave the rest. Do I remember you saying you got elements? If so, perhaps you could try adjusting the color with levels, then mask back in the area you don't want the color changed? I've done that before and it works well.

Again, don't be so hard on yourself, because these are great! They're going to love them!

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2404

Thanks, Steph, great feedback. The parents love them and I think I will try to do up a collage as a gift, in addition to anything they might want to print large.

I ran into a friend/former co-worker of DH's today, and she said that he'd shared the photos with some colleagues and she wanted to let me know that "I really had something there", i.e. potential for going into business or whatever. It was nice to hear. And I sold an enlarged print of one of my images (actually a greeting card design, a mountain scene with a Bible verse) to someone who'd seen my aunt comment on it on FB and wanted to buy one. Really good to have affirmations like that! Smile

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3458

I think Steph hit the nail on the head with her comments, but I'll add my $0.02 worth anyway.

You did GREAT here, Tracy and I know your family will all enjoy these, especially the proud parents. Biggrin

Here are my thoughts ....

1. I like the darker version. Brighter seems a bit washed out for my taste.

2. Again, I like the darker - my eye is drawn to the empty blanket in the brighter version.

3. I see what Steph means about the toes, but as someone who doesn't do newborn shots (EVER), I wouldn't have thought about it if I hadn't read her critique first. I think this one is really sweet and were this my sweetie, I'd want a good print of it.

4. it's unfortunate about the wrinkle, but honestly, I don't think it hurts all that much. it has a very natural, organic feel and I think that it stands up really well as-is.

5. this may be my favorite (along w/ #1). it's a TOUCH bright for my taste, but it's such a peaceful shot and I love it.

6. LOVE! I can't think of anything I would do differently here. I love these kinds of detail shots and the bokeh is very well done. I love the soft polka dots on the blanket, it just makes it that much more of a feminine image. good job!

7. it does seem a bit yellow, but I'm at work. maybe this would be a good time for b&w ... I love b&w for newborn images, the timeless quality of b&w just seems to go well.

These really are nice shots, Tracy! I think you did GREAT! I would be proud to show these off if it were my family. Biggrin


TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2404

Thanks, that's very helpful, GiGi! I'm glad you like #5. I know Steph was saying about the hands and the tight crop, but I do love it anyway. It's just sweet.

I tried B&W on the feet shot and couldn't get a conversion I like. As usual. Maybe I will try again.

Interesting you like the darks and Steph the lights! I have a friend locally who constantly 'under'exposes, by my books, and she thinks I constantly 'over'expose, so I guess even in that, we're all different, right?!

Muddee's picture
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

Just popping in quick those are beautiful newborn shots, I am sure the family will cherish them.

My favourite is #3, but they are all great.

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2404

Thanks, Amanda!

daniellec.parker's picture
Joined: 09/06/09
Posts: 895

Tracy, you did wonderful! Smile

I know I'm a bit late to the game, but I like the brighter edits myself. I would however try a very subtle vignette.

I love detail shots, so 5-7 are my faves.

I like #3 too. Just a few posing tips for it.. Two things that I learned in the newborn workshop on Clickin Moms: 1) try and uncurl the fingers, and rest the hand under the check to help bring it up out of the blanket. 2) Adding some support under the head and tushie would create the cubby fat rolls that are so adorable. (Though I like the softness here. It's so sweet.)

I'm sure the family is in love with these! Smile

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2404

Good tips, thanks, Danielle!

tialee80's picture
Joined: 02/04/12
Posts: 394

Hey Tracy:)
Just a helpful hint on positioning as I still have ways to go with my editing. When I shoot newborns on tummies I try to place one hand on top of the other and then turn the head a little and place the head down over the hands. This way you can see all of the face.
Or even rolling something small under the blanket sometimes help but hand have worked best for me in this case.:)

Love #6 my fave!