Before and After: How I Used My Skills As A Family Photographer To Make My Messy Home Look Clean

Hey guys! I wanted to share with you today a before and after image that I recently made of our son. The story I wanted to capture was how he is in the phase of helping us do the dishes and he does so by bringing his tower over to the sink but can’t quite reach the faucet yet. It’s a simple but fleeting moment of toddlerhood as I know that someday soon he’ll be able to reach the handle and soon after that he won’t be so enthusiastic to do the dishes! So let’s get to it……

Here is the SOOC (straight out of camera) shot:

As you can see, I didn’t do anything to clean up before I took this. Kids move fast and photographers have to as well! My first step was to open the picture in Adobe Camera Raw and make the following adjustments: straighten it, crop in slightly, increase exposure by .30, increase contrast by +16, decrease blacks by -13, and increase clarity by -13. Those adjustments gave me this image:

As you can see, I didn’t do anything to clean up before I took this. Kids move fast and photographers have to as well! My first step was to open the picture in Adobe Camera Raw and make the following adjustments: straighten it, crop in slightly, increase exposure by .30, increase contrast by +16, decrease blacks by -13, and increase clarity by -13. Those adjustments gave me this image:

I then brought it into Photoshop where I decided to convert it to black and white. I did this for a couple of reasons. I didn’t think color was adding anything to the story here and felt black and white would help highlight his face and the reflection on the counter. When converting to black and white, I apply a black and white gradient map and then a curves layer set to soft light (opacity around 20%). All of that looks like this:

I then brought it into Photoshop where I decided to convert it to black and white. I did this for a couple of reasons. I didn’t think color was adding anything to the story here and felt black and white would help highlight his face and the reflection on the counter. When converting to black and white, I apply a black and white gradient map and then a curves layer set to soft light (opacity around 20%). All of that looks like this:

We’re getting there but overall I felt the image was too bright. I next applied a curves layer and set it to multiply with the opacity adjusted to about 30%.

We’re getting there but overall I felt the image was too bright. I next applied a curves layer and set it to multiply with the opacity adjusted to about 30%.

Almost done! My final step was to do some fine tuning with the dodge and burn tool. I used the burn tool to darken the doors on the right as well as to darken the dishes to the left of his face. I used the dodge tool to light him so he would stand out more from the back ground. And this is the final image here:

Almost done! My final step was to do some fine tuning with the dodge and burn tool. I used the burn tool to darken the doors on the right as well as to darken the dishes to the left of his face. I used the dodge tool to light him so he would stand out more from the back ground. And this is the final image here:

You can see in my SOOC photo how that scene may not look worthy of making an image. But a professional can use their skills to make your ordinary moments into something beautiful! Subscribe below to stay in touch with my monthly newsletter where I share more photography tips and advice.

You can see in my SOOC photo how that scene may not look worthy of making an image. But a professional can use their skills to make your ordinary moments into something beautiful! Subscribe below to stay in touch with my monthly newsletter where I share more photography tips and advice.