Continuing from part one of our DIY Holiday Photos at Home series, we have already set up our indoor home photography studio, and have taken hopefully several pictures to choose from.  In part 2, I have some quick tips and tricks to help edit your photos and turn an ordinary photo into an extraordinary photo!

I will be using Photoshop Elements Editor 10.  If you have other programs or none at all, some of the tools I used may not be available for you.  However, you should still be able to make your picture better than it was by making simple touches to it.

Lets first start by choosing one of your photos from your holiday photo shoot. Family photos are my most common sessions. Children and babies are my favorite types of edits. In my example Im choosing a picture where my main subject (my son) looks good in, and the background and cropping need a little tending to.

How to do edit your DIY Holiday photos at home:

dig-holiday-photos-at-home-phoenix-arizona-christmas-photography-danielle-jacquelineI’m going to crop my photo.  Its really up to you, what you think looks best and how much to crop out.  I cropped just enough to eliminate any of my living room wall from being exposed.  Even after cropping there was still a small area of carpet left in my picture.  I cloned the wrapping paper and began covering what was left of the carpet.

After getting my picture centered and cropped the way I want it to look, I used an auto enhance tool.  This will just give your photo a little boost to making it look better.  If you liked the way it looked before the enhancement, than feel free to leave it as it was.

I want to make sure that my subjects (my son, rocking chair, and stuffed animals) stood out from the rest of the picture, and give them the appearance of being the main focus.  I did this by outlining my subjects and only giving the wrapping paper a gausssiaum blurred filter.  I kept it very mild.  I took the next step and slightly brightened the subjects.  These two tools work very well together when you want to keep the main focus on specific subjects. I often do this for wedding photography clients.

Details, Details, Details..

Now that you have the picture as a whole looking much better, you want to go in and pay attention to the small details, clean it up a bit. In my case I wanted to enhance my son’s eyes.  They are already gorgeous blue, but I wanted to eliminate the glare and really make the eyes pop. Again, I selected just the eyes, using my quick selection tool, and added a high pass and soft light filter.  It wasn’t a dramatic difference, just enough to get the sparkle back.

I went on to take care of any blemishes.  Using my spot healing brush, I corrected a red mark above his right eye lid and cleaned up the small stuffed animals nose.  It looked like a hot chocolate stain and stuck out like a sore thumb. This is something you can learn how to do yourself instead of paying someone hundreds of dollars to accomplish.

Now that you have your picture looking just how you want it, you can play around with it and add some final touches.  You can insert text like “Happy Holidays 2014”, maybe add a border, or turn it into a black and white picture.  I liked the way my picture looked in color, and used a mild vignette as my final touch.  The possibilities are endless when managing customized themed shoots or headshots!

Now you can make your pictures look great too with just a few tips and tricks!  I hope you found this helpful and enjoyable.  Remember you don’t have to be a professional to take good pictures.  Just need a little creativity and love in the pictures you take.

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DIY holiday photos at home baby jordan had his holiday pictures taken in surprise, az by danielle jacqueline photography a children photographer in phoenix, arizona

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As always Danielle Jacqueline Photography enjoys capturing smiles, styles, and everything worthwhile!