FAQ /Sparkling Eyes

This is my first FAQ post. I feel a little ineligible to write one of these. I don't have any real qualifications for what I do. No fancy certificate framed on my wall. No piece of ID that says 'Professional Photographer'. But I have my passion and my art and this is what works for me! So, if you like what you see then maybe this post can help YOU in some way or another and that would make me happy! I want to help other new photographers as much as possible since I know how invaluable all the tips were that I've received from other photographers.

I've had a few people email me and comment about the brightness of the eyes in my pictures of children. How do I do it? I'll tell you what I do to achieve the bright, sparkling eyes of little ones, but in no way am I saying this is the right way to do it, or even the best way! It's simply my way and it works for me!

I first edit my picture in Lightroom, using my sliders I adjust white balance (my camera isn't super accurate straight out of camera, or SOOC), and I adjust the brightness and contrast (which makes the biggest impact) and then a little of the Light and Shadows. Once that's done I export my RAW images into JPEGs. Here is what my original image looks like, SOOC (I'm a little embarrassed to actually show a picture SOOC as it's not to the quality that I like to showcase!) But here it is:

After I've converted it into a JPEG I then open the image in Photoshop CS5. If I have a close up picture of a baby or child I love to make the eyes shine just a little more than they already naturally do. So, I take my Dodge tool (solid circle with a little stick coming out of it, similar to the magnifying tool) and I slightly lighten the iris (coloured part) of the eye.  Every picture that I put on the internet also gets enhanced with Kubota Image Tools Magic Sharpener for extra oomph! This is the final result:

Here are some of my other favourite shots where I've used this technique:

I hope that helped somebody out there! haha. If not, well it was fun to write!


  1. Definitely helpful! Thanks Vanessa!

  2. You're VERY welcome!


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