• Meagan Stone

Beauty Edits vs. Simple Edits

Prom Portrait by Meagan Stone Photography

There are some secrets to photo editing that separate the pros from the novice. Calling yourself a photographer these days, means more than knowing how to shoot in manual mode on a DSLR and having a good eye for angles and lighting. You really have to be able to navigate photo editing software like Photoshop, Lightroom, or others. People expect to see themselves in a picture that is better than one they can take themselves. I am on an evolving journey from novice to pro. I discover new techniques all the time and am always learning and improving. Every picture I take brings with it more of my knowledge than the last picture.

In this post, I am going to walk you through from start to finish and let you see the process behind the scenes. I thought I recorded myself so you could see the magic in speed motion but I didn't hit record so maybe next time! HA

The first image above is my final image. It has been fully enhanced with "beauty edits". That is how I would produce and deliver an image to a client for print. If they requested a more moody edit I could do something like this:

Here is the original image, Straight out of the camera. SOOC. Photographers never let clients see these SOOC images because they are quite honestly scarry and one would think - what does this photographer think they are!? I could do better on my iPhone!

SOOC image

Here are the fixes I have made on this image to bring it to a basic edit that I show the client:

1. crop/horizon line

2. white balance (so it isn't so blue)

3. curves and other light adjustments

I made it big so you can see the complexion and color of the skin. There is a lot of redness on both people and some acne on the young man. His eyes are also squinting from the brightness of the day. Some clients would be very happy with image and choose to stop there and order prints or an album of the entire session.


Beauty edits take a lot more time on individual pictures. I will walk you through this gallery of enhancements.

1st picture (top left) SOOC, 2nd picture basic edits, 3rd picture eyes composited from a different image so they look open, 4th picture (bottom left) complexion smoothing and acne removal, 5th picture redness removed, eyes, teeth, and final contrast and sharpening edits, 6th picture I took the leaves off the grass and removed the mat they were standing on in the mushy grass!


This image is ready for print and to sit in a beautiful frame on these two love birds dressers!

If you have any questions or would like to reach out leave a comment or email me! I'd love to hear from you. meaganstonephotography@gmail.com

Interested in a complete photo session experience? Book your session with me today!

Baton Rouge Photographer

Baton Rouge, LA  meaganstonephotography@gmail.com  225-242-9481

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© 2020 by Meagan Stone