Now I know why people always brought their kids to Sears for their "official" portraits, even though they had working cameras at home: babies have skin worse than teenagers. I was getting some closeups ready for my little girl's blog when I saw it up close and personal.
I don't love spending all kinds of time playing with my photos. But this is my little girl we're talking about — I wouldn't be much of a daddy if I didn't make her look her best, right? I was looking for a quick and easy solution, so I went looking for "portrait" plugins for Photoshop.
I knew anything I found, no matter how fancy, would smooth out skin tones while sacrificing detail. But I was willing to compromise a little detail if it saved me a lot of time. I settled on Portraiture 2 from Imagenomic, which is available as a trial download. It's a pretty complex plugin, and does its job well, I think.
Before applying Portraiture 2 plugin.
After applying Portraiture 2 plugin.
I call the above shot the "Olan Mills effect." It's smooth as a baby's bottom, but missing a lot of detail, like skin texture and wrinkles, little hairs, etc. But on the other hand, it's quick and easy to apply.
The shot below uses filtered daylight from a window blind, and really accentuates the baby's dry skin and acne. I couldn't leave it that way. But I like the way the light and contrast of the shot looked, so I didn't want to just smear away all the imperfections. I chose a more labor-intensive approach, using the healing brush and blur tool.
Before painstakingly removing skin blemishes manually.
It took maybe 10 minutes to get rid of the skin blemishes manually. Not my favorite way to work, but we're talking about precious memories here!