Sweet {little} You Photography | Photoshop Tutorials : The Blanket Fade

When you’re a newborn photographer, one of the biggest challenges is getting your beanbag fabric to look perfect. It’s so hard to get it wrinkle-free in camera! Sometimes you just want a little extra depth or bokeh in the fabric behind your subject. Well you don’t exactly HAVE to achieve it in-camera. I’m going to show you how I do the “blanket fade” when my beanbag shots aren’t exactly perfect.

For this tutorial, I’m using a beautiful photo taken by Stephanie of Stephanie Elizabeth Photography. The reason I asked Stephanie if I could use this image is because it’s a very extreme example of a photo that could benefit from a blanket fade. I wanted to have some fun :) Her daughter is not a newborn btw, she’s 10 months old! I am so jealous she was able to capture this shot of her.

Here’s the before:

As you can see, the background is just too distracting to leave as is.

Step 1: Use the eyedropper tool to change the foreground color swatch to one of the darker green colors on the back of the blanket.

Step 2: Do the same thing for the background swatch, but choose a lighter color from the front of the blanket this time

Step 3: Create a “Gradient” adjustment layer by clicking on the circle icon under your layers palette.

Step 4: Change your gradient angle to -90 degrees

Step 5: Change the gradient preset to the one that says “foreground to background”. It’s usually the first option.

Step 6: Adjust the positon of the color markers until you think it looks about right. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you can go back and change it later :)

Step 7: With the layer mask selected, hit Command + i (or ctrl + i) to invert the mask so it’s all black

Step 8: Paint around your subject with a soft white brush (where you want the faded part to be)

Step 9: Now you can double click on your adjustment layer to go back and change the gradient to make it look more natural (move the markers around or change colors)


And that’s the blanket fade! I just cloned some more blanket in the front of the photo and added some warmth. Here’s the before and after!


I hope you found the blanket fade tutorial helpful! Make sure you follow my blog for more photography and photoshop tutorials.
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Hi there! We're Lindsey & Amy - sister photographers based out of Des Moines and Cedar Falls, IA specializing in babies and families since 2012. Feel free to click around our site, and send us a message if you have any questions! <3

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