Apply a Romantic Effect to Wedding Portraits in Photoshop

Looking for a twist on wedding portraits?

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Looking for a twist on images for your portrait customers? How about a soft, dreamy look that can be seen from professional photographers? Follow these steps for achieving sought-after wedding looks using Photoshop. This style is the romantic, slightly blurry image effect typically seen on portraits, but can also be used on landscapes or any photo.

Open your file in Photoshop. Be sure to save it under a different file name to prevent undue stress. Add an extra bit of sharpening to the image. From the top menu bar, choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Adjust your setting for the pixel amount to 125 percent; your Radius will be 1 and the Threshold should be at 4.

Duplicate the sharpened layer via the duplication layer button at the bottom of the Layers menu or in the top right drop down menu within the Layers menu. Don’t change the opacity or make any edits to the layer, simply duplicate it.

Add a Gaussian Blur to your image. Select from the top menu bar, Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Start with a Radius of 30 pixels. Based on your results, you may need to vary the blur by 10 pixels or more in either direction. The image should look blurry, but not 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. You may need to vary this amount based on the image results. Save a flattened copy of your file and you’re 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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