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Editing Newborn Photos

How to Edit : Newborn Photos

Newborn photography is a specialized genre that focuses on capturing the first few weeks of a baby’s life. It involves taking photos of newborns in various poses, often in a studio setting or at the family’s home. The photos show the baby when they are very young. They show the baby’s small features and how the baby looks at their parents.

Editing newborn photos is important so photographers can make the baby look even cuter in their first few weeks. Photographers can make photos of newborns better by fixing colors, lighting, and imperfections. Editing pictures helps make them look good and saves memories for families to enjoy forever.

Photographers edit newborn photos to make lasting memories of a baby’s early days. These photos show the innocence and purity of the baby. Families cherish them for years.

Before diving into the editing newborn photos process, it’s essential to prepare the images properly. Getting ready beforehand is important for editing work to go smoothly. It helps make the process quicker and leads to better results.

Creating an Organized Workspace

Creating an Organized Workspace

First, ensure that you have a clean and organized workspace. Having a clean area helps you focus better and prevents distractions. Tidying up can make you less stressed and reduce the risk of losing important things.

Gathering the Right Equipment

Gathering the Right Equipment

Next, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and tools. This set includes a good monitor, a tool to adjust colors, and editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

To make precise adjustments and get professional results, you need the right tools.

Organizing Your Files

Organizing Your Files

Lastly, organize the images into folders based on the session or client. This will make it easier to locate specific images and stay organized throughout the editing process. Organizing your folders logically can save time and make it easier to keep track of your work.

Steps for Editing Newborn Photos:

Step 1: Import and Cull Images

To start editing, bring the pictures into the editing program. This can be done by selecting the “Import” option and choosing the folder where the images are located.

Importing the Raw Data

Once the images are imported, it’s time to cull through them and select the best ones for editing. Involves looking at each picture and choosing the ones that are sharp, well-lit, and well-framed. This may take a while, but it’s important to make sure you are only editing the top images.

The Culling Process

During the culling process, you’ll want to discard any photos that are blurry, poorly composed, or have distracting elements. Focus on choosing images that capture the essence of the newborn and the emotion of the moment. It’s often helpful to make a shortlist of potential candidates and then narrow it down to the absolute best.

Assessing for Potential

Look at each photo to see how it can look better with editing. A photo that might not look impressive at first can often be transformed into a stunning image with the right editing techniques. Keep in mind the end goal for each photo as you cull.

Step 2: Basic Adjustments

Now that you have selected the images for editing, it’s time to make some basic adjustments. These foundational edits will set the stage for more detailed work to come.

Color Correction

Color correction is one of the first and most important steps in the editing process. This includes adjusting the white balance and tweaking the colors to ensure they accurately represent the scene. For editing newborn photos, it’s particularly important to achieve natural skin tones.

Exposure and Contrast

After color correction, you’ll want to adjust the exposure to ensure the image is neither too dark nor too bright. Contrast adjustments can also help to make the image pop by deepening shadows and highlighting features. It’s important to make small changes so you don’t look strange.

Consistency Across Images

As you make basic adjustments, strive for consistency across all images from the same photoshoot. This will give the final collection a cohesive look, which is especially important for albums or galleries. Using presets can help maintain this consistency and speed up the workflow.

Step 3: Retouching

Retouching is a crucial step in editing newborn photos. It involves removing any imperfections or blemishes on the baby’s skin, such as redness, scratches, or flaky skin. This process requires a lot of patience and attention to detail, but the end result is well worth the effort.

Spot Healing

Start by using the healing tool or clone stamp tool to remove any obvious flaws. Use a small brush when editing to keep control and not make too many changes to the picture. It’s often useful to zoom in on the image for better accuracy when working on small imperfections.

Skin Smoothing

Once blemishes have been removed, you may want to gently smooth the baby’s skin. However, it’s important to preserve the natural texture of the skin and avoid making it look fake. Subtlety is key when it comes to skin smoothing.

Adding Depth with Dodge and Burn

Next, use the dodge and burn tool to add dimension to the image and enhance the shadows and highlights. This will help create a more three-dimensional look to the image. Be cautious not to overdo it, as too much dodging and burning can look unnatural.

Step 4: Adjusting Skin Tone

Newborn skin tends to have a lot of redness and uneven tones, which can be challenging to correct. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a smooth and even skin tone. To make skin look better, first adjust colors using color correction tools. Then, use dodge and burn tool to give skin more dimension and depth.

Correcting Redness

Start by using the color correction tools to adjust any redness or uneven tones in the skin. Reducing redness is often a priority when editing newborn photos, as babies commonly have ruddy complexions.

Evening Out Skin Tones

Once the redness is corrected, work on evening out any remaining uneven skin tones. This can mean changing colors in certain parts and using masks to apply changes only in specific areas.

Refining with Dodge and Burn

After the skin tones are even, refine the look by using the dodge and burn tool to subtly enhance highlights and shadows. This can help bring out the baby’s features and add a soft, dimensional quality to the skin.

Step 5: Enhancing Details

Editing newborn photos tend to have a lot of details, such as tiny fingers, toes, and eyelashes, that need to be highlighted and enhanced. Use the sharpening tool to bring out the details in these areas and make them stand out in the image.

Sharpening Details

Be careful not to over-sharpen as this can make the image look too harsh and unnatural. Gently use the sharpening tool and change the strength to get the effect you want. Sharpening makes details look better, without making other things stand out too much.

Softening Backgrounds

Sometimes, enhancing details isn’t just about making certain aspects sharper; it’s also about softening others. Consider blurring the background slightly to make the subject stand out more. This can help draw attention to the detailed areas you’ve sharpened.

Highlighting Expressions

Pay special attention to the baby’s face and expressions. Enhancing the clarity of the eyes, for example, can add a lot of life and emotion to the photo. However, ensure that any enhancements still look natural and true to the moment captured.

Step 6: Final Touches

After making all the necessary adjustments, it’s time to add the final touches to the image. This can include artistic adjustments that give the photos a signature look or simply ensure they are print-ready.

Applying Filters and Presets

Experiment with different filters and presets to find the one that best suits the image. A subtle filter can add warmth or softness to a photo, which is often desirable in newborn photography.

Adjusting Brightness and Contrast

Then, adjust the brightness and contrast to achieve the desired level of brightness and contrast. Be careful to maintain the balance between light and dark areas, as well as the photo’s overall mood.

Creating a Focal Point with Vignettes

Lastly, add a vignette to the image to draw the viewer’s attention to the subject and create a more intimate feel to the image. Vignettes can be a powerful tool if used judiciously, as they should complement the photo rather than overpower it.

Step 7: Saving and Exporting

Once you are satisfied with the final result, it’s time to save and export the images. Saving images in high quality is important for them to look good when printed or shared.

Saving for Print

If you plan on printing the images, it’s crucial to save them in a high-resolution format, such as TIFF or PSD. These formats keep the picture looking good in print.

Saving for Web and Digital Use

If you plan on sharing the images digitally, save them in a web-friendly format, such as JPEG or PNG. These formats are made smaller to take up less space, but they still look good, so they’re perfect for sharing on the internet.

Archiving the Originals

Don’t forget to archive the original, unedited files. It’s smart to save your original photos in case you want to see them later or if you lose the edited ones.


Editing newborn photos involves a combination of techniques, including photo retouching, color correction, and enhancing details.

Follow these steps to make lovely pictures that you will cherish for a long time. Remember to take your time and pay attention to detail to ensure that the final result is perfect. By practicing and being patient, you can get really good at editing newborn photos. Your clients will love the images you create.

Since 2006, I have served as the CEO and author of Photo Editing Company, a pioneering company in the field of photo editing. With over a decade of experience, I have guided the company through significant growth and innovation, establishing it as a leader in the industry. Through our state-of-the-art software and services, we have empowered both amateur and professional photographers to realize their creative potential.