How I Edit Newborn Photos | Studio Newborn Session


Editing can suck your life away if you’re not careful. It’s definitely one of the most time-consuming things about a photography business. Marketing and managing finances are also right up there on the list of time suckers.

baby girl sleeping on white backdrop with flower crown


By having any consistent workflow in regards to editing, this can save you tons of time. I edit my outdoor and studio family shots completely differently than I do studio newborn images. For those precious solo newborn photos, these are the three things I always do to get baby skin looking great and put my signature look on the picture.

How I edit a Studio Newborn Session

A side by side comparison of before and after editing in photoshop

I use Photomechanic to cull through my images and bring the best ones into Adobe Lightroom. Once I get my chosen pictures into Lightroom, I take the solo newborn shots into Photoshop. The first thing I like to do is clean up the background and any blemishes on baby skin. Every baby is so different! Some have lots of little spots to touch up, while others only have a little flake of skin or color correction.

When the skin is cleaned up, the next thing I like to do is remove redness and correct coloring. Even babies that don’t appear to have much redness in person, do in camera. Hands and feet especially can have redness, and around the mouth if we have been using a pacifier. Jaundice skin is probably the hardest thing to edit in newborn pictures.

side by side before and after picture of newborn editing

My next step is to run my signature action on the picture. This action is a mixture of I purchased action and a couple of steps I like to add to it. By making it an action I just have to click once, adjust all my layers, and that’s it! It’s usually good to go after that.

before and after comparison of newborn editing in photoshop

I then save the photo back into Lightroom, do my final sharpening and any other little adjustment I want to add, and then I export the edited session back onto my external hard drive, where I then can send the photos to my clients, and use them however I need to.

It’s important to note that I don’t like to edit out every little “imperfection” from newborn photos. I like to leave in signs that illustrate how new this baby is. Like the flaky new skin, white bumps on the nose, etc. These little additions say, “I’m a newborn!” so I leave them in, for the most part.

Editing is one of my favorite things to do! If you have any questions for me about how to edit a studio newborn session, feel free to leave a comment or reach out through my contact page!

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