February 15, 2022

Photo Retouching - What Happens Next?

Behind the Scenes

Have you ever wondered what happens after the button's been pressed?


"Oh but you just press the button, why does it cost so much?" is something that crops up every now and then in this business, and I have to say, its one of the questions that infuriates me the most about my work.


Whilst it may look like "just" pushing a button whilst you're in the studio, the amount of work that goes into learning the craft, making it possible to create the most memorable portraits, is absolutely astronomical. The best newborn photographers have been practicing and perfecting their craft for years and years to get to the point of "just" pushing the button.


As well as all the learning and skill that goes into creating your portraits, your session time is just one aspect of our work! After your session, we take your images away and work on them to perfect them into the beautiful portraits you'll cherish for many years to come.


So what happens next? Read on to find out!

My baby has acne, jaundice, flaky skin or bruises - is it going to spoil my portraits?


No absolutely not! Your photographer should be an expert in portrait retouching, so all of these little issues can be corrected in post production. Your photographer will meticulously edit your portraits, to show you and your babies in their most naturally beautiful state. The retouching process can take upwards of 20 minutes per image in some cases, and this is where a lot of the unseen time comes from. Below I'll walk you through the phases that take place when editing each and every one of the portraits I create for my wonderful customers.

Phase 1 - Colour Correction

Most newborns in their first few days of life – the ideal window for capturing those curly newborn photos – have skin that is either bright red, or yellow. When captured with family members, this can be especially obvious, as compared to the rest of the family, it can look even more pronounced. So the first thing I do when I’m editing your newborn portraits is correct the skin tones.


This is very tailored to your own newborn and can involve a range of correcting blues, yellows, purples, red, and even greys depending on whether your baby has jaundice, had a hard birth journey, or even just how they woke up that morning. All of my images are hand edited to ensure that the areas that need correcting are perfected back to their “neutral” skin tone. 

Phase 2 - Detail Work

Now that your newborn’s skin tone is back to their own beautiful neutral tone, it’s time to move onto those pesky newborn rashes. For this phase, I work incredibly close up to remove all of those little blemishes and marks that decided to show up on the day of your session, but a few days later had gone away. Unless specifically requested by the family, stork marks and birth marks are not removed.


How close is close? Well… this is my view when I’m close editing:

Getting this close enables me to gently airbrush away every little blemish that distracts from your baby’s gorgeous newness. As every mark is hand edited, this process can take quite some time, especially if baby has come out in baby acne, or is going through the super dry skin phase. So what does this look like afterwards? Have a look below!  

Phase 3 - Professional Finishing

Now it’s time to give that gorgeous soft gentle airbrush of my signature style, and fix and last minute distractions such as really dark eyebags. This process takes your portraits from beautiful, to next level dreamy.


How is it done?


A LOT of work behind the scenes and whilst I’ll happily show you the before and after, that’s all I’m willing to reveal just now – some things have to stay secret to keep the magic don’t they!

And there we have it – from start to finish. This process is undertaken on every single image you choose. If you decide to have family or sibling portraits, phase 2 and 3 are undertaken on every person in your images, and it’s also not unusual for people in family portraits to ask for a little bit of virtual plastic surgery to help them feel more confident.