Photo Makeover for HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS | Skin * Eyes * And a whole lot of contrast

 Today I was doing one of my “One on one” photoshop trainings. These photos are all “seniors” that Melissa G. Photography shot.  She wanted to work on these as each had problems.  These were photos in her, “I like them, but they are not quite right” pile.

She owns all of my “MCP Actions” and so I showed her show to use them to make these photos better.  What a difference a few clicks in Photoshop can make.  She said I could share with you.  So here they are.


The 1st photo was just foggy.  It lacked contrast in a major way.  We actually ran this photo through the Complete Workflow Actions first.  The results were nice but not exactly what we envisioned.  So we went back to the original and used 2 actions in the Quickie Collection.  And here is the result – just from using “Crackle” and “Night Color.”  The lesson Melissa soon learned, sometimes it pays to play.  Some actions work better on some photos.  I am glad we re-edited using these, versus just be complacent with the first play using “color burst.”



Melissa took this shot at the beginning of her session.  The problem, incorrect metering. She fixed that and the rest of her shots were exposed properly.  But Melissa still liked her expression here.  So again, using the Quickie Collection Set, we first ran “extreme fill flash” which lifted those dark areas right up.  Then we ran crackle which helped the image look much more 3 dimensional.  And lastly she said she loves texture, so we ran “rocky road” which is a black and white conversion with texture.  We masked off the face and skin on the arms at a low opacity to blend.  And while this photo is not a prize winner, she can now show the one she really liked (the expression on) to her client.



This senior is just stunning.  Unfortunately she LOVES the tanning bed a little too much.  She tanned right before she came to the shoot.  And as you can see her skin looks quite orange in the SOOC.  Her hair also seemed to get a color cast from the skin and the skin was slightly uneven.

So for this shot, we used three actions, “skin cast blast” and “magic skin” from the “Magic Skin Action Set” and we ran the “Eye Doctor” to sharpen and bring out her beautiful eye color, and even added the digital eye liner to better definer her eyes (all part of that set).

You can see her skin tone looks smoother, creamier, and more well balanced while still retaining texture.  Her hair and especially skin have a more pleasing skin tone and the orange cast has been lifted.  And her eyes look sharp and beautiful.


It was fun training Melissa today – and as always great working on Senior Photos.  Remember that seniors want to look their best while still looking like themselves.  MCP Actions can help you achieve that finished look for your customers, and in less time than doing each step by hand.

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 2

    Teresa Pomerantz says

    I didn’t know you had a skin cast action- where have I been?- off to investigate. I also like the crackle and night color.

  2. 3

    ~Jen~ says

    I love these posts where you show us the great results possible with your actions! So inspiring! Thanks to Melissa for sharing her work, too!

  3. 5


    Teresa – it is part of the Magic Skin set (it is called “skin cast blast”). I also have a color fix action called “color fixer” and that is in the Quickie Collection.

  4. 8


    Wow!! you are a wealth of information. I stumbled upon your site through Tina Parker and I’m wow’ed (if that is word, oh well, it is now :)) Your Magic Skin set is a wonderful action set. Beats manual processing all the time!! anticipate an order soon. Great work up on these images!!!

  5. 9


    Oh great. can my stimulus money get here already? I can’t buy these awesome actions without it!

    This was a great post!

  6. 10


    Wow, that is really very awesome!! Love the before and after in the last picture. I always enjoy seeing your tutorials as well :) Thanks!!

  7. 13

    Missy says

    Those are huge differences! I will have to look into your actions more. It would be good to see how to use them the right way too! Great work!

  8. 16


    The Eyeliner is the layer called “Darken the Pupil or lash line.” Sometimes the black pupil gets lightened in photos, so you can use this to make it deeper and darker. Also it can be used to add digital eye liner – or enhance eye liner that is already there.

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