Lauren Sanderson Photography – Huntsville Alabama's Lifestyle Photographer for Family, Engagement and Senior Sessions – 256-682-1278 » Huntsville Alabama's Lifestyle Photographer exclusively offering SESSION+DOWNLOAD Collections for family, children, senior, engagement and newborn sessions. Lauren is a modern lifestyle and portrait photographer in Huntsville, Alabama specializing in natural-light, photography of families, children, seniors, and couples. Her goal is to balance timeless portraits while capturing your unique life and style. Lauren has recently been recognized as a Clickin’ Moms CMpro Photographer, and is a volunteer photographer for A Pure Focus and The Heart Gallery of Alabama.

Before & After Photo Editing | Huntsville Photographer

So here’s our first Before and After. This photo was submitted by Lindsey Agee, taken by her husband Matt.

Meet Miss Lyla… what a sweet little innocent smile! As soon as this picture downloaded, I knew it would make for a great tutorial. Here are my edits and the steps I took to get there.

The image is in-focus which makes it a great candidate for a B&A edit. There is strong sunlight coming over her right shoulder, so the auto settings on the camera probably assumed there was enough light, which left her face underexposed. There’s also a harsh highlight on her right cheek that distracts from her beautiful smile. Let’s take care of that first.


This image was submitted to me a jpg, so because of that, I actually took it into photoshop first and used a combination of the Patch, Healing and Clone tools to “erase” the harsh highlight on her cheek. I saved a copy of this image. (Don’t ever save over your original.)
removing harsh highlight

Next, I opened the image in ACR. I find it much easier to adjust the temperature (white balance) of an image in ACR than Photoshop. I raised the exposure a little bit, but most of the adjustments I made were to the HSL Panel (Hue, Saturation, and Luminance). Because her face is underexposed, the orange and yellow colors in her face are too strong, and since I want to brighten her face only, I had carefully selected which sliders to move and then play around with them to get the look I was going for. In the Hue tab, I increased orange. In the Saturation tab, I decreased yellow and orange, and increased green. In the Luminance tab, I Increased orange and decreased yellow and green. I then saved another copy of this image and named it ACR edit (just in case I wanted to edit the first photoshoped file differently in the future).
Before and After editing in ACR

I then opened the file in Photoshop again. First I ran Coffeeshop’s Baby PowderRoom where I only used the Bright Eye, Define Eye, and Smooth Skin layers, adjusting the brush strength and opacity as needed (subtleness is the key here – make your edits believable.) Next, I added a lens flare over her right shoulder (Filters > Render > Lens Flare). Then, I ran the Coffeeshop Vignette action (this is my favorite way to add vignette because it’s subtle and doesn’t circle your subject in black, it only darkens the colors around the edge of your image.). My setting for the vignette are usually 250px and then I adjust the opacity of the layer as needed. Last I adjusted the Shadows and Highlights (Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight). I only adjust the shadows – my settings were 4%, 100%, 400px). After doing these steps I feel like I got a clean edit, but wanted to add a little more to the image’s use of light. I ran the Airy Vintage action from Isabelle Lafrance’s free vintage action set. I adjusted some of the layers’ opacity settings and ended up with the image you see below.
photo edited with vintage action

For a warmer version of the image, I used used Gypsy from the Florabella Luxe collection.
photo edit using florabella gypsy

And for a black and white edit, I used Florabella’s B/W Mink action from the Luxe collection. I love the classic look this action gives.
photo edit using florabella bw mink

Here’s a quick comparison of the Original image, and then the 3 final edits.
before and after editing

Thanks for submitting Lindsey. I’ll email you full-size files of the vintage, gypsy, and b/w edits today.
If you have a picture you’d like to see featured on Before and After Friday, just email it to You can read more details about how to choose the picture at the bottom of this post. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *