Need a Face/Body Lift…Before & After!

So I still have LOTS to learn when it comes to Photoshop/Photoshop Elements, I’m putting it on my to-do list for 2013, but being the impatient person I am, I am always looking for new ways to improve my photography/editing!!!  I recently did a mini photo shoot with my sister and her family and got some amazing shots!  It can be hard, when shooting family portraits, to have all eyes on you; you might never even get that shot of everyone is looking directly at the camera!  This is where photoshop comes into play!  It’s always nice to have that ONE photo (some may call it boring, others may call it the “money” shot–because this is the photo mom will buy/wants!!!) but you always want one picture with everyone looking at you!

If you’ve been along on this journey with me, then you know I love learning new things!  And what better way to practice new things than on your own family!

I loved this shot of all of them together, but it was windy and I was trying to make it fast because it was a bit cold, I was loosing daylight fast and I had an energetic 5 year old on my hand!!!  Knowing I got roughly what I wanted, I told myself I could practice my “face lift” skills!  (“No, I’m not a doctor, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last nigh!” -My Dad)

So out of these three images there is at least one person not looking at the camera (except for my niece–nice work!)  But my sister is looking in the first one & I really like my brother-in-law & niece in the last two)…so I decided to take the first two photos into PSE and swap heads or in this case bodies!

So what I did was open both images in PSE and used the Lasso Tool to outline my sister’s body in the first picture, you don’t have to be perfect since it’s the same background!  Then hit COPY, click on the second picture, the one you want to use for your final image and hit PASTE!

Now here comes the tricky part, you want to overlay the copied image over the bad image…you want to over it up!  You may want to lower the OPACITY here so you can match up the important parts, like facial features, etc.  Then once you have it where you want it, MAKE SURE THE OPACITY IS AT 100%, so you cannot see the image below!  Once you have your “new” image in place, go to LAYERS–MASK LAYERS–REVEAL ALL!  At this stage you will want to remove any hard edges that you see from where you cut around the new image.  You need to use your BRUSH TOOL for this!  Make sure the color is on BLACK!  Black will cover up the edges and WHITE will erase any mistakes you might have made (or click CTRL Z or COMM Z–a.k.a. my best friend!).  Go slow and Zoom in if you have too!  Then you want to flatten your image & SAVE!!!  Easy Peasy!  You would have never been the wiser!

Final image:


Apply Haze to Your Edit…

The best thing I could have done this year was join the Clickin Moms Forum!  The growth I have made between January and now has been huge, the information you can find is insane, the community is amazing, not to mention the workshops and the e-learning they have to offer.  I do have to budget myself on the amount of workshops I can take because they can be pricey, but if you don’t have a lot of money to spend you can instead sign up for one of their Break Out Sessions!  I highly recommend!  This past week they offered An All Access Pass, 5 different Break Out Sessions for $50!  (Most of them go from $25 or $50 by themselves).  This was a fantastic deal and a FANTASTIC lineup, which included Amii Wroblemwski, Elle Walker, Courtney Keim, April Nienhuis, and Jennifer Dell!  I’m still in awe that I get to learn from these amazing women!  I initial bought the session because of Amii Wroblemwiski Developing Pricing session, I feel like it was perfectly timing, since I’m just starting to get my feet wet in the business, but was so excited to have Jennifer Dells, Editing to Enhance the Mood break out session too!  In her break out session I finally learned how to make that haze effect or look on your photos.  I’m sure it will take time for me to get it right, but to learn how easy it was and not only did I get the PDF to help me, but two videos!!!  (I highly recommend you purchase this breakout session!)

Anyway, I thought I would show you how easy it is to add a haze layer to your photos, so you can start playing around with it yourself!  My PS 30 day trial runs out today so luckily my timing was excellent.  You’re going to need Photoshop or Photoshop Elements; again I do all my clean edits in Lightroom because that’s what’s easier for me and then import them into PS.  From here you want to add a new Layer, Solid Color or Gradient (personal choice-you can do it both ways), name it, and choose the mode & color (The three she used were Soft Light, Hard Light, & Multiply).  Depending on the photo, I would normally go with a pinkish or orange color.  In this case I used a pink color and I thought the multiply layer looked the best, since it enhanced the color of the sky!  You’ll want to play around with the Opacity too, a lower percent is going to look more natural, but it’s a personal choice here!  Then I masked off my husband in the picture so his skin didn’t have that pink glow to it.  The best part is when I SAVE, it pops right up in Lightroom as a virtual copy!  (Awesome!)

It’s that simple!

The Steps I took:














































Before & After

I think it works here, the sky might be too much, but it’s evening, it’s suppose to have that pinkish glow!


Before & After

So one thing I really love reading on blogs/forums is before & afters…I just love seeing how people edit their photos and I LOVE learning new techniques and ways to speed up &/or improve my own editing.  So I’ve decided to pass along some knowledge of what I learned last night!  It’s super easy and can make a huge improvement when shooting portraits!

So little by little I’ve been trying to teach myself photoshop.  It’s only certain things right now, like cloning big things out of photos that Lightroom can’t do, or the newest thing, getting rid of under eye circles!!!  They make people look tired and if you can get rid of them I say do it!

A quick note here, you can find just about anything on the internet if you look (search) for it.  And Youtube.com is the best source if you are a visual learner like me.  So Youtube I went and watched a quick video, I would link it but I forgot too…there are so many tools in PS, I wanted to know which one was the best one for me to use.  There are multiple ways of doing the same thing and many of the tools can do the same job, plus everyone likes to edit a different way that’s easier for them.

I’m sure it’s not perfect, but you can’t really tell I altered the picture in any way if you didn’t realize what it looked like before.  For this job, I used the patch tool and drew a circle around the problem area, as the circle lights up you can then drag the circle to a spot just below the eye, on the cheek and BOOM, the dark circle looks smooth and like it was never there in the first place!  It’s magically!  Of course I’ll be playing around with it, the best way to learn is to practice…but it’s nice to know I can make someone look 10 years younger in a matter of seconds.

Can you tell? (Isn’t this little guy super cute too!)