Registered: December 2008
1 - Color correction: I color corrected the photo with curves, using the shadow and highlight eyedroppers. Then I created a hue/saturation adjustment layer to reduce the reds and yellows. After that I went to levels and lightened the photo a little.
2 - Weight reduction: I used the filter Liquify on her face, arms an hand to reduce the weight, as she requested. I used specifically the Pucker tool and Forward warp tool for this job.
3 - Skin color: I noticed that her skin color wasn't regular, so I created a selection of her face (and a bit of her hair too) using the quick mask mode and feathered it in about 5 pixels. Created a new layer and, using the eydropper, picked up a good skin color from her hand. I filled the layer with this color and changed it to color blend. Then I adjusted the opacity until it looked natural. The baby's face was still a little red, so I did the same to his face
4 - Cleaning the skin: I removed the freckles and dark spots with the clone stamp set to normal and with 43% opacity. This way I could have better control of the effect. The brush size depended of the area I was treating, but the hardness was set to 0 all the time. I also treated the area under her eyes, because it was too dark.
5 - Skin smoothing: Now, I could have made a new selection of her face and used a gaussian blur filter, but I found out that it's a little hard to achieve a natural look with this one. So, instead, I used the blur tool set to normal and 50% opacity. Used a soft large brush, to cover big areas of her face, but adjusting the size when treating smaller areas. I chose not to completely remove her skin texture to keep the photo natural looking. Also blurred her arms and hand. And, since the camera is really good (I'm not kidding! It captured every possible texture of the scene!), the baby's face needed some smoothing too. I blurred it A LITTLE BIT as well.
Obs.: This was all done using many layers. After each step, I created a new layer on top of the others and used Apply Image. The I duplicated the layer to get a fresh start at each completed step.