Photoshop Before and After: Audrey Hepburn Inspired Shoot

before and after

Today’s post is a guest post from my great friend, Alexis Albright! She recently did an Audrey Hepburn Inspired Shoot and is going to give us a peek into her editing process!

Audrey Hepburn Side by Side

But first, I have to give you this bit of history because it is amazing!  Alexis and I met during our first (horrible) semester in college.  We shared the exact same sentiments about living in a dorm with a bunch of strangers.  (Don’t get us started on wet shower shoes, right Lex?!  Haha!)  We just really clicked even though we were both having a rough time.  Unfortunately for me, she ended up moving back to Florida after that first awful semester, and we ended up losing touch.

Fast forward over TWELVE YEARS… my hubby and I were at Disney World for the first time with our kids, and guess who we literally almost ran right in to?!  Alexis!  And her husband and 3 kids, which I didn’t even know she had!  It was the craziest thing… who would have imagined we would both be at Disney World, in the same park, on the same day, at the same time, in the same exact place?!  And even so, we could have unknowingly walked right past each other, but we didn’t!  We basically headed right in to each other!  I think it was a divine appointment if I’ve ever seen one!

Long story short, after returning home we got back in touch on Facebook, and I learned that her aunt lives super close to me in Indiana… as a matter of fact, our kids go to the same preschool!  So crazy!  Anyways, we started catching up on the phone and over email, and we ended up seeing each other last summer when she was up visiting family.  It was then that we realized we have yet something else in common… photography!

I’m so grateful to have such a great friend back in my life.  God works in mysterious ways, yes?!  I just had to share the amazing way we reconnected after so much time had passed!

Back to the Post…

Here is a recent session Alexis did, I just love the creativity of this Audrey Hepburn inspired shoot!

This is from Alexis:

This client is a high school senior and totally adores Audrey Hepburn.  She had some “Audrey-esque” accessories she wanted to incorporate into the shoot, so I pulled a few of Audrey’s iconic photos for us to emulate.  This session was incredibly fun and creative.  My client and I were both thrilled with the final product.  Here is one of the photos from the shoot.

Polished picture original


These are the editing steps:

1.  Created a new Exposure Adjustment layer and increased Exposure to +.50.



2.  Used Polished Picture’s free Sparking Eyes action at 30%.

3.  Got rid of blemishes with the Spot Healing tool.

4.  Erased stray hairs with the Healing Brush tool.

5.  Created a new Black and White adjustment layer and bumped up yellows to 97.

Black and White


6.  Created a curves layer.  Used the hand icon to increase the overall brightness of her skin tone.

curves 1

7.  On another curves layer, I grabbed the bottom left corner and pulled it to the right until the input read: 21. The output should read: 0 since you aren’t taking it off the base line. This is to increase the depth of the picture.

curves 2

8.  Clicking back on the main background layer, I ran Portraiture on her face in a new layer and inverted the mask. I like to paint the portraiture on, so as not to cover up eyebrows, lips, nostrils, and lashes.

9.  Sharpen

Here is the final image:

polished picture edited


**I wanted to give my client another option with this same image. So I edited this image with one last touch of texture to give an old timey feel. You can do the same by going to Filter, Texture, Grain and then controlling the intensity of the grain

polished picture edited grain

Just for fun, here is another Audrey-inspired image from the shoot!


Alexis is a photographer in the Tampa area and the owner of Albright Five Photography.  She specializes in Senior photography.  To see more of Alexis’ work and more photos from this shoot, please visit her blog and head over to her Facebook page!

Giveaway! Two Blooms Lightroom Presets – $100 Value [closed]

I’m excited to announce a giveaway here on the blog for Two Blooms Lightroom Presets!  The prize is a 4-collection bundle of Lightroom presets, worth $100.

Two Blooms Lightroom Presets

Last week Heather from Two Blooms was a guest here on the blog, showing why she loves to edit in Lightroom and giving us a glimpse into her workflow.

Now YOU have a chance to win her fabulous presets!  In addition, she is offering Polished Picture readers 15% off in her store when you use code ‘POLISH15’ through June 8th.  Awesome!

To Enter the Giveaway

Each comment on THIS giveaway post counts as an entry.

Entry #1 (mandatory) – ‘Like’ Two Blooms – Lightroom Presets and Polished Picture on Facebook.  Come back and leave a comment on this post letting us know you ‘Like’ us.  :)

Entry #2 (optional) – Sign up for Two Blooms – Lightroom Presets newsletter.  Visit the Two Blooms site and fill out the box in the top right corner of the page.  Come back and leave a comment letting us know you’ve done so.

Entry #3 (optional) – Pin the giveaway graphic above on Pinterest!  Come back and leave a comment letting us know you’ve done so.

Entry #4, 5, etc. (optional) – Share on other social media and/or your blog!  Each ‘share’ counts as an entry, so leave a comment letting us know each time where you shared!

The giveaway will run Monday, June 3rd through noon (EST) on Thursday June 6th.  Winner will be contacted via email, so make sure you leave us a valid email when filling out the comment form (you don’t have to include your email in the comment, but make sure the ’email’ field contains a valid email!).

Good luck to all!

The fine print:  This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability. Winner will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!

Why Lightroom?

I get emails all the time asking about the different programs available for photo editing.  I still do the bulk of my editing in Photoshop, but I find myself lately trying to do more and more of my editing in Lightroom for time’s sake.  Although most people think that Photoshop is a MUST for photographers, the truth is that lots of editing can be done in Lightroom!  Today’s post is a guest post by Heather Ford, owner of Two Blooms – Lightroom Presets.  She is going to share the reasons she uses Lightroom for the bulk of her workflow and show you her quick editing process!



Why Lightroom?

Lightroom; the unknown land of editing for many photographers. At least it was for me when I first began my journey into my own photography business. The only reason I purchased Lightroom was because I wanted to start shooting in RAW, and Lightroom 4 was strongly advertised as “non-destructive” to RAW files. At the time, I had no idea what that meant, but I am so glad that I chose to use Lightroom for my post-processing workflow.


I remember the first time I opened up Lightroom; I was scared. I was in unknown territory and I had no one to guide me through it. Thankfully, I was able to find a lot of tutorials online about getting started. Slowly, I became more and more familiar with the program and its many uses. For a long time, I had only been using Lightroom to organize my RAW files and export them to my desktop to start editing in Photoshop. Can you blame me? I had no idea that you could do amazing things in Lightroom; Photoshop is what I was taught in school and what I was familiar with. So, why Lightroom?

Batch Editing

For me, the biggest reason I choose Lightroom over Photoshop is batch editing. Yes, I know you can also batch edit in Photoshop, but it’s just not the same. If you are a novice photographer and do well with getting correct exposure with every similar image, batch editing can quickly become your best friend. If you have several images with the same lighting and backgrounds, you can simply apply or “sync” the settings to every like image! When you are shooting consistently and nailing exposure in camera, you will be able to sync your photo settings with ease and you will save time! That is a big thing for me. I am a mother of two little rascals, a house wife, an entrepreneur, and small business owner; time is VERY valuable to me.

Viewing and Organization

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Firstly, importing in Lightroom is just incredible. After all of my images are imported to my catalog, I can view the entire folder in the order that they were taken. Then, I can “flag” or mark the images that I choose not to keep and later discard them from my folder. This is really important for me because, being a visual person, I can see all of my images next to each other and make the decision on which to keep and which to trash; that is something that I cannot do in Photoshop. Lightroom helps me organize my photos better and gives me that visualization to see my entire session. After I have made my selection, editing becomes a breeze with batch editing and using presets.


Presets, in one word: AMAZING. Very similar to Photoshop actions, presets help your editing process by applying settings in just one click. Sometimes you will need to adjust the settings of a preset, just like an action, because it’s not always a universal editing step for every lighting type and situation. Presets have literally saved my editing workflow and opened so many new doors in my life!

Original Files Unchanged

You have your finished photos ready to go, now what??? Exporting! There are many options in exporting your photos; image quality, image size, format, etc. If for some reason you need to go back and make changes to my photos, the original settings are still there. You can re-edit your catalog images many times and export them. You never lose your original data in Lightroom; how wonderful!!! I cannot tell you how many times I go back to a favorite image of mine and re-edit it with new techniques and styles. It’s also great that I have all of my original files in one place if I need to go back and look for a certain image for a client if they request it in color or black & white.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Lightroom can offer so much to your workflow if you are busy photographer like myself! Of course, there are some things that Lightroom cannot provide you with like Photoshop can, such as doing head swaps or performing major retouching work.  But for most all other photo editing functions, Lightroom works great. Lightroom allows me to spend less time in post-processing and more time focusing on other things, like my client relationships and marketing. I am also a stay at home Momma and I don’t enjoy spending hours on editing a session when I could be using that time playing with my kids. Lightroom has opened so many doors for me, I know it can do the same for you!

Now that you understand why Lightroom is a great editing software, I am going to demonstrate my very own editing process that I implement in every session that I edit.

My Lightroom Editing Process

This is how my image looks when I first import into Ligthroom. This being a RAW image, it lacks dimension and contrast.


The first thing I do when editing a photo like this is add a little bit of contrast. In this case, I am just going to darken the shadows. I just move my blacks slider to the left, you will see that it now reads -15 instead of 0.


Next, I go ahead and sharpen my image. Since this isn’t a close-up photo, I can get away with sharpening up to 100 on the scale. This part is a MUST do when exclusively editing RAW images in Lightroom.


Then, I go over to my presets folders and choose which kind of edit I am going for. In this case, I am wanting a bright edit, so I choose ‘snap crackle pop’ from the ‘TB Color Rush’ folder. This preset really packs a punch with dull, flat images and really brings out all of the details and color.


The last thing I do is figure out if I need to do anything else. The photo is a little of the cool side, so I go over to the temperature slider and slighting move it to the right to warm it up. This gives the photo a warm and inviting glow. Now I am finished and ready to export to my desktop.


Now that you have seen how simple it is to edit in Lightroom, what are you waiting for? Don’t waste anymore time in an editing program that isn’t efficient for your workflow just because you think there aren’t other options. I know you will find ease in editing with Lightroom and Two Blooms Lightroom presets!

-Heather Ford


Heather is a natural light lifestyle photographer based out of Cincinnati, OH. She is also the founder and owner of Two Blooms-Lightroom presets. Her two boys (whom Two Blooms was named after) are her driving force and her husband is her rock and guardian. They live a simple and frugal life in the countryside.

 Visit Heather at the Two Blooms website or on Facebook.