Photoshop Workflow Actions Tutorial

It happens to the best of us – an image you love, but the conditions or your camera settings didn’t quite love you when you snapped it. Luckily, using just a handful of the Renaissance Studios Photography Workflow actions for Photoshop, you can not only recover the image quickly and easily, but give it a polished and artistic finish, right down to skin smoothing! Here’s how.

If you don’t yet have the Renaissance Studios Workflow Photoshop Actions, you can purchase them by clicking HERE!


Step 1: Mid Brightener Photoshop Action

In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette (window > actions), choose the Mid Brightener action and click PLAY (the arrow at the bottom of the palette). This will run the action at it’s default 80% opacity. Use the OPACITY SLIDER at the top of the LAYERS palette (window > layers) to adjust the opacity of the Mid Brightener layer to your liking.

Photoshop Action Tutorial


Step 2: Highlight Saver Photoshop Action

This is a fantastic action to recover blown out highlights in the sky, or in wedding dresses! In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Highlight Saver action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 100% opacity. Use the OPACITY SLIDER at the top of the LAYERS palette (window > layers) to adjust the opacity of the Highlight Saver layer to your liking.


Step 3: Lemon Sucker Photoshop Action

We use this action on almost every single photo we edit! It makes removing yellows and orange skin tones a breeze. In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Lemon Sucker action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 50% opacity. Use the OPACITY SLIDER at the top of the LAYERS palette (window > layers) to adjust the opacity of the Highlight Saver layer to your liking. If there are areas of your image you want to keep the yellows (ie: in the grass or bouquets) then use a soft fuzzy paint brush at about 50% to paint out areas of the white layer mask of the Lemon Sucker layer.


Step 4: Skin Saver Photoshop Action

We couldn’t ever find a skin retouching action we loved, so we made our own. We wanted one that kept all the beautiful details that skin has, but still polished it and made it look powdered. The action does just that, and brightens while its at it. In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Skin Saver action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 50% opacity. Then, choose an appropriately sized soft paint brush in WHITE at about 50% and start painting over any exposed skin, being careful not to paint over eyes, lips, teeth or finer details. Adjust the OPACITY SLIDER of the layer to your liking. We LOVE this action!

Photoshop Action Tutorial


Step 5: Spotlight Brighter Photoshop Action

This action does wonders for brightening up selected areas in your photo – in our example here, we’re going to use it to brighten the bride’s eyes and cheeks! In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Spotlight Brighter action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 80% opacity. Then, choose an appropriately sized soft paint brush in WHITE at about 50% and start painting over the eyes, eyelids, and upper parts of her cheeks. Place a few brush strokes through her hair as well, since it does a great job of highlighting details! Adjust the OPACITY SLIDER of the layer to your liking.


Step 6: Pretty Wash Photoshop Action

We can’t tell you enough how amazing this action is…it’s our trademark finish on almost every single image we put out. It softens and tones and just makes everything so pretty! In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Pretty Wash action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 100% opacity. Adjust the OPACITY SLIDER of the layer to your liking. If you’d like even MORE of a wash to your image, run the action a second time, and choose a BLACK soft brush at about 50% and paint out areas of the image you’d like less washy. This approach gives a really dreamy finish to your background! In the sample image below, we’ve just applied it once, but will add a second wash after the next two steps.


Step 7: Contrast Brush Photoshop Action

Sometimes you still need a bit of pop and contrast in your image to bring attention to a face, feature, or detail. In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Contrast Brush action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 75% opacity. Choose a WHITE soft brush at about 50% and paint over areas you want to add contrast – in our example, we painted over her eyes, teeth, jewelery, and some parts of her hair. Adjust the OPACITY SLIDER of the Contrast Brush layer to your liking!


Step 8: Add Ice Photoshop Action

Since we love cool images (they just have a lovely vintage feeling to them!) we created the Add Ice action to help cool off warm images. In your Photoshop ACTIONS palette, choose the Add Ice action and click PLAY. This will run the action at it’s default 20% opacity. Adjust the OPACITY SLIDER of the Add Ice layer to your liking – I bumped it up to 50% in our example!


Step 9: The Final Step! Pretty Wash Photoshop Action

Just like in Step 6, run the Pretty Wash action again – I adjusted the layer to 80% in this example, then painted out areas of her face with a soft BLACK brush at about 50%. That’s it! Such a beautiful edit of a beautiful bride, using just a few clicks.

If you don’t yet have the Renaissance Studios Workflow Photoshop Actions, you can purchase them for $39 by clicking HERE!


Renaissance Studios Workflow + Vintage Photoshop Actions Bundle $69

Save $9.00 when you purchase both action sets in a bundle! Click here to purchase the bundle!


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