Friday, June 15, 2012

photoshop tutorial by Joanna

Hi everyone!  I'm Joanna from ModaMama and photobyJoH.  I've been taking pictures for a really long time, and I've been obsessing over Photoshop for almost as long too.  The reason I love photoshop is the endless possibilities.  I love that it lets me be the artist I never was with a paintbrush.  Today, I'll be showing you how I go from the RAW file to the finished product for my clients.
Disclaimer: this is for a more knowledgable user and someone who knows their way around the program fairly well.  I'll be using key/basic concepts and expecting you to understand them.  If Lena will have me, I'm happy to do a more basic beginner tutorial on what I do to my ModaMama pictures.  Those get minimal processing as they're a daily thing and I just don't have that kind of time.
I love actions, and use them all the time.  But I don't pay for actions.  When I stumble upon an action I really like, I usually try to painstakingly recreate it and save it - and I'll often call it the same as the action I found because then I know where I got that inspiration.  Since I'm doing it for myself, I don't feel bad about naming it the same thing because I'm not selling it - it's for my personal reference.
So yes, I rely heavily on my actions.
First off, I open up the image in Camera Raw and adjust the temperature of the light.  We usually don't notice the color temperature of the light, and when shooting using natural light - which is my favorite - conditions can change quickly.  So I always go into to adjust that first.  I often bump the exposure up or down a bit here as well - in this case I bumped it up.   Sometimes I play a little with the Hue/Saturation just a touch too.
At this point I click open image - and jump into the heart of Photoshop.

First thing, I zoom in and clone stamp "imperfections" away on a duplicate layer. If I'm 100% happy - I merge and move on. 

The very first action I run, and one I would recommend buying just because it's basic and time consuming to create, is a skin re-touch action.  Once I've run the action I just take the brush and paint over the face to smooth out skin.  Then I adjust the opacity of the layer to a level that looks good and believable - these aren't fashion models in a commercial magazine and to make real people look like that is fake and amateurish, I think.

Then I run a Hair and Eye Highlighter action and paint over the highlights in the hair to make them stand out a bit more, as well as the irises of the eyes. This is usually the time I would fix flyaways as well, but this picture didn't need any such hair touch-ups.

Next, I usually whiten the teeth using a pre-programmed action as well, but here's a really easy way to do it.  Zoom in really close and lasso the teeth.  Then, using Hue/Saturation > yellows - I de-saturate in order to whiten the them, and lighten them to add a bit of brightness.

Last but not least, I punch up the contrast a bit, boost the saturation a bit more, and maybe adjust the curves a touch.  Then save!

Thanks for having me.
Thanks Joanna!
I'd love for you to come back with a beginner' tutorial as well!!
p.s. don't forget to enter the giveaway here



  1. I've been using Photoshop for over 10 years now, and even *I* learned something new today! Thanks, Joanna!

  2. Holy cow ... I'm totally overwhelmed. I want someone just to teach me how to use Photoshop Elements (what I already have) to edit my Etsy shop photos! *sigh* I'm going to pin this and come back to it when my brain is working. ;)

  3. I'm in such dire need of learning to use Photoshop ... thank you for this SUPER EASY and SUPER HELPFUL tutorial. I'm keeping this weblink, pinning it, whatever I have to do to remember this post. Thank you! Thank you!

    Nicole @ Three 31