Newborn baby photos from Seattle photography session of mom, dad and baby

How I Edit Newborn Baby Photos as a Seattle Photographer

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

What can you expect from your newborn baby photos from a Seattle lifestyle photographer? While you can look through my portfolio of photographs, it may not be clear the level of editing or retouching done to the photos. You can see my images and love the lifestyle, and candid feel to them. However, that may make you wonder what YOUR gallery of photos would look like.

My approach to newborn baby photos is true to life. Both when I’m guiding you into posing, prompting you to snuggle your baby, and when I’m editing your session, I want the resulting images to feel like it truly was.

But what does that mean? You may look around your home and see the piles of baby clothes, not yet put away from your baby shower. You see water bottles, and laundry piles, and feel like your life is not put together enough for a session in your home.

I want you to feel confident in booking a newborn baby photo session with me. This article will cover how I photograph your family in your home and then how I edit those photos. I will even share some straight-out-of-camera images and final images side by side, so you can truly see my approach.

Newborn baby photos from Seattle photography session of mom, dad and baby

When taking your newborn baby photos, I use light and your space to highlight your family.

The most important step in editing happens before I even sit down at the computer. How I capture your family matters.

We will use spaces like your master bedroom, the nursery, and the living room for your newborn baby photos. I’m looking for the space with the best natural light (aka a nice window) for us to use. Then I will move anything out of the frame we don’t want, like the 100 water bottles Mama needs to keep hydrated while nursing. (I get it, I had them all over the house when nursing each of my 6 babies!).

Awake baby girl on bed during Snoqualmie newborn photo session

Newborn Portraits can be taken on your bed or in your arms for gorgeous photos.

You do not need a studio space for beautiful, clean portraits of your baby’s face. I will take photos of just your newborn baby laying on your bed. However, if they need to be in your arms, that is okay, too.

After your session, it’s time for editing the gallery. This is where I put those finishing touches to deliver a gallery of newborn portraits that represent your family’s love and joy beautifully.

Side by side photos of family holding newborn. Left is straight out of camera, right is edited version by Seattle photographer
Left: Straight out of camera from Seattle Newborn Photography Session. Right: Final edited newborn photo

My editing style is to enhance each photo cleanly.

Cameras capture an image without that “punch” that you see in real life. Therefore, I increase depth by adding contrast and increasing the blacks in each photo. I’m helping emphasize what was there in the scene without adjusting the actual colors there. The last thing I want is to adjust a photo so much that your home decor and clothing look different then it did in person.

You spent time selecting those outfits, (like baby’s sweet swaddle and clothing) those colors should matter, and not be altered for a particular editing style.

Next up is baby’s skin, one of the most important thing in newborn baby photos!

Side by side of straight out of camera and edited image of newborn baby photos
Left: edited to adjust tones and brightness. Right: final edited newborn photo with baby’s skin cleaned up.

Newborn baby photos will have red and yellow tones reduced.

Young babies tend to have slightly red or yellow skin. The camera can make their skin look even redder or more yellow than it was. Therefore, I reduce the reds and yellows to bring baby’s skin tone back to what it was in person.

What about your baby’s skin?

Photo of baby in parents arms during Snoqualmie newborn photos

Baby’s skin will be lightly cleaned up, maintaining tone and texture, without making your baby look plastic.

There is a fine line between cleaning up baby skin, to making it look flawless and smooth. Again, I want your baby to look like they looked like during our session. However, if your baby had some baby acne, a little peeling skin, or milk spit up on their face, I will clean that up. If your baby accidentally scratched themselves, that is easy to remove, too.

Things I do not edit out are birth marks, freckles, basically anything that is normally there.

I also run a gentle skin-smoothing process over all of my images, it is very subtle. The camera can enhance textures that we don’t see with the eye, Portraiture helps with that. However, it is very gently used.

Mother holding baby against her chest

Overall, the resulting gallery of newborn baby photos is how you will remember your baby.

The focus is on your baby, not on props or “cute” poses. You will see how they naturally unfolded when laid down, and how they curled up in your arms. You will be taken back to the way they fit on your chest, how you spent hours feeling the rise and fall of their bodies as they breathed in and out. Your gallery of newborn portraits will be a reflection of how it felt to have that baby, how much you loved them exactly as they were, not as an overly photoshopped baby in a basket.

If you’re looking for newborn photos that are true to life, not photoshopped to “perfection,” contact me to schedule your session.

You can also head to my blog for more inspiration for your newborn baby photo session.

Comments +

  1. Interesting information about the newborn editing process! I love your images as well, especially the one of the baby girl looking up at the camera.

  2. Katie Niemer says:

    I really like your before and after examples following your explanations. It’s a ways so great to see SOOC vs. edited version.

  3. laura swift says:

    i love the “true to life” newborn photos. reading your process for editing gave me peace that i can still schedule newborn photos even if my baby has acne. love learning your process for editing newborn photos.

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