The secret is that not every baby has flawless skin.  Sometimes baby has a few scratches, blemishes, or is splotchy.  I absolutely cringe when I see an image so over processed that baby looks like a plastic doll.  There’s a fine line between retouching and overdoing.  I try really hard to make baby look better and not do too much.  Here’s a perfect example of how some soft editing can remove blemishes and even out skin tone.  Making baby look flawless, but still look real. (SOOC stands for Straight Out Of Camera – meaning before I have made any edits)

The first thing I do is use a Photoshop tool called the spot healing brush to remove scratches or blemishes.  Then I can either use the patch or clone tool to remove blemishes on tricky areas (like the eyelids).  Once those spots have been fixed I run a Florabella action called simple skin smoother to give the skin a nice even texture (this is where a soft hand is absolutely necessary to keep baby from looking like a plastic doll).  Once I’m happy with the texture of the skin I use my Laura Brett newborn goodness actions to improve the color, brightness, and overall tone of the image.  If baby’s skin still has a red or yellow tone (which most still do) then I will run a brush over the image and lower the opacity until the image looks balanced.  And there you have it.  Perfect newborn skin.