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Using Photoshop Actions to Create Better Senior Photography

Improving your Senior Photography using Photoshop Actions
Senior photography, at least in the United States, is hotter than ever. High school seniors want the best, most trendy and fun images. You will see everything from trash the prom dress, to urban scenes, to senior girls and guys on top of rusty cars.  Another popular trend is to photograph them participating or using props from one of their hobbies, from athletics and sports to cheer-leading, art, drama, and more.
Stephani Dennis recently shot this image in a brief in the pool Senior session with her daughter Nicki. Her goal was to get her reflection clear in front of her & to be able to see the beautiful prom dress that she is wearing. As things often go, it did not work out quite as planned. But she still loved the photo none the less. She sent me her before and after with the step-by-step blueprint.

Before: stephani dennis 600x399 Using Photoshop Actions to Create Better Senior Photography

To get from the above before image, to the bottom after image, here were Stephani’s steps in her own words:

  • To start the photo editing process: I adjusted the temperature & exposure in Lightroom
  • Then I used the patch tool (learned in your “watch me work” tutorial) to get rid of the forehead deep frown lines & dark circles under her eyes & the rest is all MCP!!!
  • I ran “powder your nose” from the Magic Skin Photoshop action set at 40% on her skin & the tile in the background – this actions smoothed her skin. And what senior being photographed wouldn’t want that…
  • I ran “powder your nose” again & brushed her hair at about 25%
  • Then I used the “eye doctor.” This Photoshop action helps enhance eyes.
  • Next I wanted to add color pop on the water so I used “color explosion” from the Complete Workflow actions at 40% Turned on the “cool the color” layer and had “sharp as a tack” at 30% (another helpful “watch me work” tutorial)
  • I quickly used the Free Photoshop action “touch of light/touch of darkness” to burn the edge slightly & cloned the tile where we have spots from water deposits.

“I was extremely happy with the outcome as I always am.  Why is it that our own kids usually HATE having their pix taken, but she sure has them as her Facebook profile pic in a hot second?

After: stephani dennis2 600x399 Using Photoshop Actions to Create Better Senior Photography

 Using Photoshop Actions to Create Better Senior Photography

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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3 Comments

  1. 1

    Wow! What a beautiful difference!

  2. 2
    Brendan says:

    That’s some difference. However, do your clients like when they have different hair & eye color ?

  3. 3
    Julia says:

    She was enhanced nicely and not too over the top.

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