(1) Baby Portrait Idea: Eve

Taking a photo of a baby can be boring, I mean infant that can’t seat properly yet. And it is very important for parents to preserve this phase of the baby’s life as in photo. Most common pose for a baby are probably, lying on the bed, someone holding them or sleeping. And taking them to the photo studio is too common, costly and less personal.

So, here is an idea that you probably want to consider doing. I’m not a professional photographer nor designer, I just want to share some of my humble ideas. Anyway, I will not go through the details of using photoshop. I will just tell you what to do instead of how to do it. Makes sense? So, basic photoshop knowledge is required. And no, I don’t use DSLR.

Eve is my 5 months old niece. I always tweeted about her and post some of her photos in my mini blog but this is the first post of her on this blog. I always wanted to take her photo and frame it on our house wall. But I was having trouble finding a portrait composition for her photo because she can’t properly seat yet and I’m not interested in indoor photo shoot.


Eve

So, this is what I did. This is the end production of the photo.

Eve

And this is the original copy of the unedited photo.

As you can see in the photo I took her for an outdoor shooting. My mum will be furious if I take her outside under the sun. So, I took her outside by the evening when it was cloudy. Plus, I don’t like the hard light from the direct sun light. I prefer taking photo with soft light condition. Yes I know, taking photo when it’s cloudy without an outdoor light support can reduce the color intensity. But hey, it will go through post production and I can easily fix that with photoshop.

In case you are wondering where I took this photo, it was at my mum’s mini garden! LOL. So, I let her seat on her stroller with her position at the middle with the yellow flowered mustard plant in front, spinach at the side, and tapioca tree at the back. By doing this it will exaggerate the depth of field for the portrait composition. The camera was at the same eye level with Eve’s eyes. The distance for the camera was 3 meters away from Eve, with zoom.

Eve’s favorite color is yellow. So, I dressed her in yellow, with yellow flowers and friend by Yellow (we named her teddy, Yellow). Not everything in yellow though, enough with some details. I don’t want to clown her up.

Eve

Next, post production. Any version of photoshop will do just find. The first step is to sharpen the photo with the Unsharp Mask. Then, I changed Eve’s skin color by using selective color. As you can see, her skin looks reddish in the unedited photo. So, by selecting red in selective color, reduce the Clan intensity and increase the Yellow intensity. Leave the magenta. Now it looks more natural.

Eve

Now intensify the other colors by using a brush. Create a new layer and place it on the top and change the layer type to Overlay. With your brush, select any color and paint it on. Reduce the brush intensity to have better control. Around 14% will do. Example, Eve’s Teddy bear, Yellow, is not as yellow in the unedited photo. So, select yellow from colors swatches for your brush and paint it on the teddy bear. Make sure you painted it on the Overlay layer type. By doing this, the photo will be more vibrant and alive.

Eve

Now, the background. The background in the unedited photo is dark and it gives an illusion that the background is to close. So, I brighten it up with the Dodge Tool with the Midtones range. It will give the photo more of a fresh look and balance the dark bottom. And I create/draw a ‘Sun shine’ that shine towards Eve. I draw it with a brush with white color and 20% opacity. Don’t draw the shine too obvious which can turn out to look fake. A tip to see if the shine that you draw is enough of to much, is by look at the picture as a whole from a far. It you can see the shine lines, that’s mean it’s enough. Now, look very close of zoom, if you can still the lines, that’s mean it’s too much. By doing this it will exaggerate the ‘looking’ space and the illusion that the day was a sunny day!

Eve

I love to finish up with some details. The details are important especially for a closed up viewing. It gives a dramatic effect but stay natural. Here I use a 3 pixels brush size with a white color selected. Now create some random dots anywhere around the photo by drawing it in loose groups of dots. It will look like some dust. People will probably not even notice it but if you look closely, it’s there!

Eve

There you go, a rough sketch of idea for your babies!