Portrait Editing in Lightroom (tutorial and presets)

As we all know, Picnik is leaving us on April 19th. I’ve been using Lightroom since October, but often I discover another new feature that leaves me in awe of Adobe’s program-building skills.

Those of us who shoot portraits probably will be missing Picnik for it’s skin-softening and teeth whitening abilities – not so much for the cross process action or variety of frames. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to achieve these same, or even better results in Lightroom 3.

1. Choose your image in the Library tab. I’ve used one from my senior shoot with J.

2. At this point, you can run whatever preset you’d like on it. I used a preset I developed – Outdoors Model. (This preset and it’s vintage cousin are available for free download at the end of this post. I use them ALL the time, and I think ya’ll will love them.)

3. If you ran a preset, then you should already be in the Develop tab. If not, head there now. Click on the adjustment brush on the right sidebar.

4. Once you’re in the adjustment brush settings, go to the “Effect” dropdown menu and choose “Soften Skin”. You can also adjust the brush size in the settings.

5. Use the brush where you’d like to soften the skin. If you hover over the black dot that appears when you start using the brush, you can see exactly where you’ve used it, like above. There are tons of other settings on the right that you can play around with as well. Hit “Done” at the bottom right of the screen below the picture.

6. Whitening Teeth. Hit the adjustment brush icon again, and choose “Teeth Whitening” from the dropdown menu. Adjust the size of the brush – I’d recommend making it very small. I’d also recommend zooming the picture in (View>>>Zoom In). Once you’re satisfied with the results hit “Done”.

7. For this particular image, I wanted to crop it so that the focus was more on J’s face. (You can crop via the icon to the far left of the adjustment brush.)

8. Here is the finished image. See? You don’t need to even think about Picnik if you have Lightroom.

Please go here to download the free Outdoors Model Presets. Enjoy. πŸ™‚

One thing I will admittedly miss Picnik for is it’s collage abilities – I detest Lightroom’s collage tool. However, I just got BlogStomp, which is phenomenal with making collages.

Have a lovely Tuesday!


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