Sep 5, 2013

How to make your photos look milky + creamy ( in photoshop )

Hello itbritt-obsessors everywhere! (just kidding.) I've been asked the same question a handful of times now: what do you do to make your photos look like that? Today I'm feeling really generous, have had 3 cups of coffee, and have decided to share my little secret with you. Believe it or not, this is the kind of editing that you can do.

So go ahead and open your photo in Photoshop. Imagine that we are going to cover your photo with a slightly opaque sheet of paper - to make your colors stay beautiful they need to be bolder. So lets darken your brightness and add more contrast!

Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast
On average I usually use -10 for brightness and add anywhere from +11-30 for contrast - depending on how flat the photo is. Mess around with these settings, and see what you like + looks best. Each photographer shoots a little differently - so your edits should fit you too.

Next, lets work on the exposure of your photo. Unfortunately, Photoshop often keeps this gem-of-a-setting hidden. By going under image adjustments, and selecting show all menu items, you can find the setting.

Image > Adjustments > Show All Menu Items
Once you've opened the Exposure setting you will be playing with the Offset. Move the Offset setting to the right ever so slightly, and you will immediately see your photo become milky. I've found with this setting that less is more - as far as creamy-ness. You can see that my photo is set to +0.0098, Almost nothing! You want to add tone to your photo, not wash the entire thing out. 


Again, play around with these settings. Don't be afraid to mess up the photo - remember to save!


Here are some other examples of photos I've edited using my milky technique.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this process, please don't hesitate to email or tweet me (I check both obsessively.) I realize that this may look like a pretty complicated tutorial, but I urge you to give it a try. Who knows, you may be a natural...

Did you use this tutorial on some of your images? Drop me a comment below - and let me see how it worked for you!

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