How can I edit wedding photos to achieve popular styles?

One popular style for wedding photos is the romantic, slightly blurry image effect. This is typically seen on portraits but can be used on landscapes or any photo. That look is sometimes created in camera, but you’ve got the tools to offer it to your customers, and in less than a handful of steps.

Open your file in Adobe Photoshop. Be sure to save it under a different file name in order to not cause yourself undue stress. We’ll start off by adding an extra bit of sharpening to the image. It sounds odd to sharpen for a soft-focused image style, but just go through the steps with me to see the end results. From the top menu bar, choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Adjust your settings for the pixel amount to 125 percent; our Radius will be 1 and the Threshold should be at 4 for the amount.

Now, duplicate the sharpened layer. This can be done through the duplicate layer button at the bottom of the Layers menu or in the top right drop down menu within the Layer’s menu. Don’t change the opacity or make any edits to the layer, simply duplicate it.

Next, add a bit of a Gaussian Blur to it. Again, select from the top menu bar, Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Start with a Radius of 30 pixels. Based upon your results, you may need to vary the blur by 10 pixels or more in either direction. The image should look fairly blurry but not appear as one big mess of painted watercolors. Go back to your Layers palette and in the top right of the menu, adjust the opacity of the blurred layer to around 32 percent for the final step. Again, you may need to vary this amount based upon your image and results you are seeing. Save a flattened copy of your file and you are ready to go.

-Jennifer Foy, Unisub

Jennifer Foy

Jennifer Foy


Jennifer Foy has over 20 years of experience using Adobe software and working in the advertising, marketing, and design fields. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and a Master of Arts in Advertising from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. Her years of teaching experience include numerous software and design classes for colleges in Atlanta, Georgia, and Louisville, Kentucky. Jennifer is currently working as the Creative Director at Universal Woods with the Unisub and ChromaLuxe brands. Jennifer can be reached by email at [email protected]

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