Portrait of a Daughter

Last week, Miss P. let me drag her out for a few portraits. I have several more to edit, but the other night I sat down with this one image to see what I could do with it.

It was one of the last shots we took that afternoon, deliberately taking it with the sun behind her, resulting in a great back light on her hair, and an over all haze in the image. I've never been a huge fan of hazy images, so my job was to knock that back while keeping the wonderful late autumn afternoon glow.

First image: this is straight out of the camera (SOOC):
SOOC, image taken on my D40, with the 50mm f1.8 lens at 400 ISO

First glance at that, and I say UGH! But wait! I knew that was what I was going to get, as I want the bright flare and the glow through her hair. I woulda/coulda popped up the flash, but I had left the diffuser on the kitchen table, and without that, I wasn't going to use the flash. So, my first step was to do the basic skin/eye edits. I like CoffeeShop Blog's actions for these, and have just started getting comfortable with the newest update:
CoffeeShop Blog's Perfect Portrait 3 action

Well, that's a start. Next I just wanted to pop the colors a bit:
CoffeeShop Blog's Little Perk action

If I was in a hurry, I'd be happy with that, and stop there. But when I was working on this image the other night, I wanted something extra. Next, I tried an action I've used before to warm up the image even a bit more. I like the Hot Cocoa action, as it can add some warmth without adding to much red:
CoffeeShop Blog's Hot Cocoa action
However, for this photograph, the action started out to dark, and I couldn't get it to a point I was happy with. Next, I went for a black and white image. I tried a new action set I just downloaded from Isabelle Lafrance Photography. I think I have a new favorite BW action:
Isabella Lafrance Photography, BW Spice action
But, I wanted a final portrait in color. I tried once more, this time using a Jessica Drossin texture. I love her textures, and am thinking of saving my pennies up to get a complete set. I've used them on both people and flower portraits with great success.
Jessica Drossin's Autumn texture, free fan version

So there you have it, my thought processes for that evening of edits.

Many thanks to Rita at CoffeeShop Blog. These images were all processed with her Rounded Corners web-resizing action. It's the little tricks like those that can save a working mom a ton of time.