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Creative Post-Processing for Portraiture

Lesson 1 of 7

Class Introduction

Jackie Jean Acosta

Creative Post-Processing for Portraiture

Jackie Jean Acosta

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Good morning, I am really honored to be here. I'm really excited to be here. As he said, I'm Jackie Jean. I am a children and family photographer. I am a natural light photographer, so I don't use any flash or anything. I do a lot of post-processing, a lot of heavy post-processing. I could spend hours and hours in the post-processing room. However, I have five children, and that is a lot of time right there, so time is precious, so I have learned a lot of tips and tricks to kinda speed up my workflow because my time is valuable. I'm sure your time is valuable, and so I'm excited to share with you some simple, practical ways to apply to your pictures. I'm gonna skip on over this one. So, I wanted to share this quote with you, 'cause it's from Elliot Erwitt, and it's kind of spoke to me, so it says: "To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. I've found it has little to do with the things that you see and everything to do w...

ith the way that you see them." I think we are all completely unique. We all see things different ways, so I'm gonna be sharing what I see and how I see them. I might see something completely ordinary and you're like, how the heck did she get that from that? So I'm excited to share that with you, but you're gonna take away things that you can apply to your own images to make your own unique way, and so hopefully that kind of sparks that creative eye, you know, for you guys. All right, so first thing we're gonna cover, we are gonna create more depth and mood with light and shadow, so I'm gonna show you guys how to kinda change that up. As you can see right here, like a little before and after. Just a little bit of changes with light, a little bit of changes with shadow, kind of creates and enhances the mood, adds a little bit of richness there, and same thing with this one right here. We're gonna be learning. We're gonna create light in Photoshop, so we're gonna be doing streams of light, sun burst, hazy light, and lens flare, so I'm gonna show you guys all those little tips and tricks on getting different-- So we're gonna be using different tools and different techniques to get those looks. So here are some examples of what we're gonna do right here. We've got the streams of light, that sunburst, some haziness, right there. All right, then we're gonna kind of take a break from the light, and then we're gonna go into sky overlays. So we are wanting to just kind of create that sky overlay for dramatic effect, and something that I get asked all the time is how to make a dramatic sky and how to make it seamless. Do you guys ever have that problem? Yeah, like you want to make it look as realistic as possible when you're adding it in there, so I'm gonna make sure that we cover that so you're able to get that just nice, rich sky in there, and make it look like it is really there. This will be an example that we're gonna cover. All right, one thing I did want to point out before we kinda jump in this is enhancing without overdoing. Whether you are adding light to an image or a sky overlay, be sure that it doesn't ever distract from the main subject of the photograph. So everything that I do is to enhance my subject. It's to put more emphasis around them, never distract from them, so I might be doing all this crazy stuff, like adding the light, adding this, but I don't ever want to distract. I want to enhance, I want to continue to tell that story in the image. And then we're gonna do this creative composite together, so I'm excited to share that with you guys too.

Class Description

Post-processing offers a ton of ways for you to dramatically change, improve, and stylize your portraits. Unfortunately, most of us get into a post-processing rut, using the same tired techniques over and over again. Professional portrait photographer Jackie Jean Acosta will help you revitalize your image editing by demonstrating some of her most impressive tricks and inspiring ideas.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use various techniques to enhance the mood and create drama.
  • Add sun flare, haze, and streams of light to your images.
  • Extract your subject from your background.

Join Jackie for this exciting journey through creative post-processing and learn to have more fun and be more experimental with the process of refining your images.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2018



This class was amazing. I loved it. I just thought she went a bit fast and sometimes didn’t say where she found the room she was using. If you have distractions around you like kids, this is something you will want to watch more than once. Or maybe clear the distractions before watching. I feel I learned a lot and it will help me bring my picture editing to the next level.


This was an excellent class. I really wanted some simple photoshop techniques to add to my portrait work and this was perfect. I learned more about masking, layers, creating extra light and balancing my images. Jackie has a great simple lesson on composite photography at the end for a beginner. If you are looking for easy and immediately applicable upgrades to your portraiture work, this is it.

Dre' Black

Shocking I'm impressed with her simple yet effective techniques. It almost makes me wonder how I didn't know all this single how simple it is, but she does a great job at teaching it and wrapping it up in a nice package.