Before & After Newborn Tutorial | Pearl Photo and Design

Hey! So I absolutely love tutorials. I love learned with them, reading them, testing them. They are so great. But I decided to post one about how I expand the background for my newborn photos. I also show you a little sneak peak of what my set-ups normally look like when I shoot newborn photos. First of all, here is the before and after photos of this adorable guy:


Look at that smile! I had to keep this photo. The issue is, what do I do with the background! It's actually pretty simple. All you really need is Photoshop, a similar photo with a similar background, the Masking tool, and the Stamp tool (my favorites).

These are the two photos that I will be using to extend the background and clean up the photo a bit. As you can see they are very similar. One just has a little more background in it - which is exactly why I took it.

So what I did was copy the adorable, smiley photo into the image with more background.


Good! Step one is complete. The next part gets a little, teensy bit more tricky, but nothing too difficult. You will want use the masking tool, by pressing the little button with a square and a black circle on it. You then will grab your brush and make sure you use the color black at 100% opacity.

My brush size was about 250 px which a soft edge.


Okay, so we are almost there. We have the image masked, but it still isn't completely covered yet. I then grab the wonderful STAMP tool and select the bottom layer. By pressing ALT, I can choose where exactly I want my source to be for the stamp tool. You want to choose an area that is similar in texture and tone.


I stamped the grayish area, right about his head. You might have to re-ALT your stamp every so often so you can keep stamping the background. But after a few stamps, the background is extended and the photo is starting to look the way you wanted it! After finishing the final background details, I usually play with the CURVES layer to brighten the image. I then will use the STAMP & PATCH tool to fix any blemishes. Finally to even the newborn's skin tone, I will brush over with very low opacity (12%). This gives their skin a nice even glow.

And that's that! Piece of cake!

And here's a shot of the set-up that I have when I take newborns. It's nothing too fancy, but it definitely gets the job done. 


Pretty much everything I get was from Amazon. Amazon and I are best buds. But the space heater, you can get from anywhere. Mine was from Wal-Mart, but I do know that Home Depot carries some nice sized ones as well. I am actually triggering my flash with another 580 ex that is on my camera. But you can also you PocketWizards or cheaper Cowboy triggers.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are and if you have any questions!

Birthday Week Special!

Pearl Photo & Design, Lafayette Indiana Photographer


I am a huge fan of birthdays. This is a day for celebration, laughter, and fun decorations. It's a day filled with surprises and friends. It is a day that is just for you. Because of this, I want to share the festivities with YOU! For this entire week, I will be giving a $22.00 (my birthday is on February 2nd) print credit to those who book a session for this year!

It is an awesome deal and I couldn't wait to share it with you! You can shoot me and email at or send me a message via my website. It doesn't really matter which way you contact me - it all leads to the same destination :)