Tutorial: How To Make Vibrant Figure Photos

9:50 AM

"How do you make your photos look so vibrant?"

That's one of many questions I get in my page's inbox regarding my figure photography. I guess that's already my distinctive style, I really like vibrant colors. It adds depth to my figure photos, as it makes them look cheery, bright and alive at the same time.

I'm currently editing a batch of photos from my recent photoshoot with Kotobukiya's Leafa, and you may notice this when I'm done posting the entire set haha. So today I'll be sharing my editing technique in boosting the photos' vibrance; I call it Pinkcheeks Color Pop! (nyahahaha I just made that up, heck, I do this everytime I edit photos XD). I always use this as a finishing touch after doing all the master editing on my photo. Most landscape photographers do this technique too to make the details and colors pop out. Since I used to take landscape photography before, I might as well use the same technique in figure photography. :)

So here's how you do the Pinkcheeks Color Pop in just five easy steps. You may do this before and after do you edit your photos, it's up to you if you're gonna follow my style. ;) Let's get started!

1. Open your photo in photoshop and on the Layer tab, click Duplicate Layer.

2. From this second layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur

3. Adjust the Radius to 5.0.

4. On the same layer, click the dropdown box on the left and choose Soft Light on the Layers panel.

5. Feel free to adjust the layer's opacity at this point. I keep mine at 85%

Ta-da! Now you're done creating the Pinkcheeks Color Pop on your figure photos! 

Look at how those colors popped! Notice how her hair and skin color looked so vibrant! :D Again, you may do this before or after you finish editing your photos. I prefer to do this after because that's when I knew where to blend the right colors in. Feel free to experiment! :D

I hope you like my simple tutorial! Feel free to share this post to all your friends. This is also helpful with other photos like portraits, landscapes, still-life, etc. and it depends on your style. If you have other questions, you may post a comment on the comment box below or drop by at my Facebook page, even if you're just saying hi. :D

See you on my next post!

Love, Pinkcheeks

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  1. Interesting to see another ones technique, does the blur filter have an additional effect?
    On first you would think that it will make the picture blurry, but it surprisingly isn't ;D
    I always use the soft light layer as last step of editing together with watermark and sharpening.
    I'm looking forward to your review of Leafa, she's so pretty 。^‿^。

  2. Yes it does give a slight glow, but I tend not to get overboard with soft light so I always lower the opacity, I don't want to lose much shadows hahaha. I'll post the rest of the set this weekend! :D

    1. Ah I see, I've always used a layer with a bit of the diffuse glow filter for this.
      yeah that is true, full opacity is rarely a good idea with these filters ^^
      cool, I'm curious about it.

  3. Cool tutorial! I always find it fun and informative to see other people's processes when it comes to editing their photos. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Simple yet effective advice for beginners like me! This really emphasizes the figure as the subject of the photos. Thanks!