Blueprint – From Snapshot to Portrait in 6 Steps

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This boy is just adorable.  He is the “kid of the week” for the Fix It Friday edit at I Heart Faces.  I loved my edit of this one so I had to share my steps with all of you.  I would love to know what you think of the before and after photo edit I did below using a mix of manual editing and MCP Photoshop Actions.

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 Blueprint   From Snapshot to Portrait in 6 Steps

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and teaches Photoshop to photographers across the globe.

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49 Comments and 2 Replies



  1. 1
    robin cornett says:

    Wow. Just–wow! Stunning.

  2. 2

    wow. i love this face!
    great work.

  3. 3
    Frank H says:

    From Snap shot to Portrait, very nice!

  4. 4
    Rene says:

    Wow Jodi! Just beautiful….Love it!

  5. 5
    Amanda says:

    Turned out GREAT! Totally took it from a snapshot to a portrait…what a cute boy and LOVE your b/w conversion….stunning. I use your actions quite often :)

  6. 6
    Judie Zevack says:

    Amazing!! I heart Jodi!

  7. 7
    Katie Caress says:

    I love tight crops and this one is great. It was also very interesting to read your technique for getting rid of a bland background. One question–did you consider removing the drop of water (spit?) on his cheek and if so, why did you decide to keep it in?

  8. 8
    Jodi says:

    Katie – funny you asked. Yes – I totally considered it. I went back and forth- but it makes the picture way more “real” with it – plus it was not a gross looking spit or whatever – so to me it added to the emotion.

    Jodi

  9. 9
    Janet says:

    I LOVE it! When I first looked at the picture, I thought that it was a tear on his face. I like it left on!

  10. 10
    Kelly says:

    This is really beautiful! Can you do a tutorial on extracting the background? It looks flawless! Yu are amazing!

  11. 11

    How do you extract the background? I really love this photo and I’ve been trying to figure out FOREVER how to extract the background. I have no clue. Help?

  12. 12

    Your fix this week was amazing Jodi. I absolutely loved the B&W with this!!

    ~Angie
    co-founder of http://www.iheartfaces.com

  13. 13
    Kim Porter says:

    Awesome before and after!! Another vote for a background extraction/fill tutorial!

    • admin says:

      As far as a tutorial on extraction – I may do one someday – but truthfully it is a huge mix of tools from lasso to magic wand to quick selection tool to painting on masks. There is not a one size fits all. How I would extract is totally picture dependent. The other thing is that I rarely do it because in most situations it is too time consuming to do it right. The best bet is to use a solid backdrop if you know you want to extract – way easier that way – especially if the background is not any color the subject is wearing.

  14. 14
    Katy G says:

    Beautiful..love black & white!

  15. 15
    Christy says:

    I LOVE the edit. It went from hu-hum to frameable.

  16. 16
    MariaV says:

    Fantastic enhancement and crop, Jodi!

  17. 17
    Rebecca says:

    Beautiful…and yes please tell us how you extract the background.

  18. 18

    This is a beautiful edit! Those eyes are stunning!

  19. 19
    Tina says:

    Your actions are the best actions ever.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    katie says:

    So beautiful!! What a great edit!!

  22. 22
    Mary Wallace says:

    Just beautiful! I will definitely have to try this.

  23. 23
    pamela p says:

    Just beautiful as usual! How did you master Photoshop? Classes, trial and error? Just wondering how you became such a rock star at it!

    • admin says:

      Pamela – all different things from classes to books, to lots and lots and lots of practice. :) Practice is probably the biggest component.

  24. 24
    johnna says:

    FANTASTIC! I need to learn more about “masking”. Do you have any tutorials to help with understanding this? I know layers, but not sure how/when to apply a mask.

    THANKS, JODI!

  25. 25
    Gina Fensterer says:

    Jodi, It’s amazing!!! I love seeing how you make things happen.

  26. 26
    Kathy says:

    Just beautiful!

  27. 27
    Crystal says:

    WOW… great fix. I’m loving the black and white. Those are my FAV kind of photos

  28. 28
    Amy C says:

    STUNNING!!

  29. 29
    Jennifer says:

    What does “crackle” do? I don’t have that one!!

  30. 30
    Diane says:

    Wow Gorgeous, Beautiful child – now how about a tut on the process you used for extracting the background and filling in with black

  31. 31
    Jodi says:

    Crackle is one of the actions in the quickie collection. It gives your photo almost 3d qualities. It is amazing!!!

  32. 32
    Heather says:

    This is stunning, though for some reason I’m distracted by the tear. Not just in your pic, in all the Fix It Friday edits. Before I found I Heart Faces (and then your blog from that site! yay!) I thought I knew a fair amount about Photoshop, considering I’m all self taught. However, I have come to the sad realization that the more I read about how people edited their images, the more I realize that I know little to nothing about PS CS3 in comparison… and I have no idea when I’ll ever have the time to learn as much as I need or want to. *sigh*

    Again, just simply gorgeous!!!

  33. 33
    Heather says:

    PS – ditto all on how incredible your actions are.. I have almost all of them and still haven’t figured out how to use them all… I can’t wait to finally figure them all out! lol!

  34. 34
    Amy Cameron says:

    I love it! So impressive!!!

    (BTW…I assumed the drop of water was a tear and I think it adds so much…you know one of those tears that gets stuck on their face even when they are finished tearing up…so from a Mom who has a baby who cries a lot, I’m glad you left it.) :)

  35. 35
    Sue says:

    Love it! The converted image is stunning – bw makes all the difference, no distraction from the color and your eyes go right to his adorable eyes. Beautiful work!

  36. 36
    Lisa says:

    You are amazing, Jodie!!!! Luv it!!!

  37. 37

    wow, I need to go through my archives and try this! Thanks for the inspiration.

  38. 38

    WOW is all i can say too! An every-day “snap shot” turned into a brilliant portrait! How much does the photographer charge?!?

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Debbie says:

    Wow! Breath taking!! I love the B&W and tight crop.

  41. 41
    Allison says:

    Awesome!! What a great transformation!

  42. 42
    Krysta says:

    I follow your blog, and iheartfaces… and when I saw this on their site earlier today, I meant to come right here and comment. This is by far, the best fix it I’ve ever seen on iheartfaces. L.O.V.E. IT!!!

  43. 43
    Michele says:

    This is a great tutorial….thanks so much.

  44. 44
    Barb Ray says:

    Amazing! I’m in 100% agreement with Frank H. – you took a cute snapshot and made it an amazing portrait!!! I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. 45
    Megan says:

    GORGEOUS!!! What a dramatic photograph. Thanks for the tips Jody! I too vote for some background help. I’ve been playing with a few of my photographs today to extract the background like you have and so far…no dice.

  46. 46

    Wow, it’s always inspiring to see how a snapshot can be enhanced to something even more beautiful. The end result is absolutely STUNNING

  47. 47
    photography says:

    i love this blog.. thanks for sharing..

  48. 48
    Kim says:

    just stunning

  49. 49
    Caitlin says:

    What are the chances you would be willing to do a video tutorial on this? It is AMAZING!



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