Photo Makeover – Lightroom and Photoshop (Episode 1)

In Lightroom, Photography, Photoshop by Diana K55 Comments

This is the first video in a brand new free video series called Photo Makeovers. The series isn’t about editing my photos – it’s about editing your photos using Lightroom and Photoshop (and any other plug-ins, actions, textures, or whatever I would normally use to edit mine).

Two quick things before we get started:

  1. If you want to submit a photo, I send out emails every so often requesting images. Sign up for my email community here
  2. If you like the videos, you can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel for more.

Why Photo Makeovers?

What I’ve come to realize over the years is that it’s not necessarily about which sliders we move. I’m pretty sure that as you watch this, you won’t learn a revolutionary new slider that you’ve never seen before. But what I hope to convey with the series is the art of the edit. The thought process behind editing. How to see what the possibilities are in the photo and bring them out to other people.

I hope you enjoy! Oh yeah… Episode 2 is posted here in case you want to check it out.




  1. Nikki

    That’s a great new series, Matt! Really enjoyed seeing how and what you would edit in those photos, very helpful.

    Thanks! (BTW, cats rock, LOL).

    1. Matt K

      You’re very welcome! And yes… they do rock… when the want to, and only when they want to… otherwise they just lay there and sleep 😉

  2. Kathy Klitz

    Thanks Matt, I can tell right off that I can learn a lot from you. You can rock an edit and your passion is coming through. So fun, thanks


    I am so glad to see you doing this, I recall suggesting it and how so many could learn from this and advance their technique and style.

    I think it would also be great to not just submit a photo, but to also submit the edited photo as well so everyone can learn how maybe to much or to less of something they did and the “why’s behind the technique.

    AWESOME Matt!

  4. Jim

    Thanks Matt, I really appreciate you taking the time out to make these excellent videos. You come across so passionate in what you are teaching and I am learning from these videos.I can’t wait for more of these and please keep up the good work and thanks again.

  5. bob yingst

    Thanks very much. I find watching how you work on a photo really helps me to make decisions on how I deal with photo files!!

  6. Mick

    Brilliant tutorial. Thank you. Really practical advice with “real world”photos. Looking forward to the next one in the series.

  7. Keith Preston

    Thanks so much for showing us how to edit my dog&cat photo Matt! I tried hard to cut out the animals and put them on an uncluttered background shot taken separately….. and failed. I like your approach because it is so much simpler. Thanks again for the lesson and I look forward to getting more from the guru!

  8. Karen B.

    Thanks, Matt! That was very instructive. I liked how you flowed to Photoshop and On1 and showed us your process there, too.

  9. Corinne Bramwell

    Great video Matt – you covered so much , made it look easy and was very interesting to watch. Thank you

  10. Doug Dean

    Great fun and wonderful, relaxed, intuitive information. Love that you are giving me the leeway… and affirmation… to pp my images to my own taste and standards. I really appreciate your understanding that we are all at different places and skill levels. Looking forward to the next installment!

    I have been settling for LR, PS, and Nik plugins for a couple of years now, feeling good about using and understanding them. So interesting to see the new tools in the CC editions that I may choose to go to the monthly “rental” plan.

  11. Nico Dekker

    Thanks Matt! Your video helps me very much. It is not …the what are all the possibilities of LR, PS and so on. But the choices I can make (don’t use the histogram etc etc ) to improve my pictures without creating unnecessary complexities (the difficult art of keeping things simple).

  12. Gerry Webb

    Hey Matt. Long time fan. I do mainly wildlife images and I’ve yet to find a tutorial that incorporates PS select and mask (to select a bird or animal with fuzzy edges, e.g. fur), inverse the selection to select the background which is typically a cluttered background with branches, etc. blur the background out almost completely and maintain a smooth transition between the edge of the bird/animal without fringing and maintains the fur/hair in a realistic natural result. Most tutorials using select and mask utilize pure simple backgrounds. Is this something you could do? Thanks. Gerry

      1. Gerry Webb

        Hey Matt. I’m going to submit two if that’s okay with you. DSC5479.NEF and DSC7048.NEF (cropped to separate background easier). These are just two examples of images where I would like to completely blur out the background so that the subject looks natural and the fur, complete with all the edges, blends in seamlessly. I have difficulty in achieving this using PS CC select and mask, even when using the refine brush. I’m not sure how to adjust any of the settings using this tool.

  13. Den

    Great Tutorial once again. Short, full of great tips and entertaining. Thanks for all your help over the years.

  14. Terri Dermody

    Thanks so much, Matt!! I am going to stalk you and sign up for all of your classes-:)

  15. Diana

    Wow. This is so very helpful. I love the format of this series; can’t wait to see the next episode.

  16. Dianne A

    Hey Matt, this was very helpful. I especially enjoyed the dog and cat tut — have tried to do that myself with modest results. I’ll be trying this. Also anxious to see what you do with Gerry Webb’s photo (above) — I have the same issues myself. Am hoping you’ll be covering a lot of selections and masking in your Ultimate PS course.

  17. Mark Glick

    Simply loved this video. It’s so helpful to listen to your thought process and how you edited the photos.
    I have one question about the dog/cat photo. I frequently try to use mild background blur in photos like that, but the problem I always have is how to adjust the edge of the subject so that the transition from sharp to blur does not look unnatural. Any suggestions?

    1. Matt K

      Hey Mark – Thanks! As for the edge, you have to get really good at selections. For starters there needs to be contrast between the fur and the background. If there’s not, you’ll never get a good selection and it’ll never look real. But getting a good selection is really the key. A bit much to cover in a comment but I have a Photoshop course that’ll talk a lot about selections coming out later this month. Thanks!

  18. rick.malamed

    Hi Matt, I really enjoyed your make overs. I have several pictures that I would like to blur the background, similar to what you’ve done with the dog and cat picture. I think that I’m “selection” challenged. I’m hoping that your new Photoshop course will go over this process in detail. Thanks.

  19. Bo

    Great video Matt. A little fast so I’ll be watching this one over again a few times. Looking forward to the next episode.

  20. John Ashton

    Hello Matt, Did a quick search on Google to see what you were up to. Great to see this video, always enjoy seeing how the experts edit. See you have a lume cube. Are you using it much? If so, how? Cheers, have a great weekend!

  21. Lynn B

    These makeovers are a really helpful learning tool! Thanks, Matt!

    Get used to the cat thing. YOU do NOT own a cat! The cat own YOU! –My cat does NOT like my working on computer and likes to push my hands off the keyboard and do his own thing. –Interesting effects!

  22. Elisabeth La Fontaine

    Really enjoyed my first visit to your site, Matt. What is ON1 and where do I get it and learn to use it?

  23. Jennifer

    Great video Matt! I love your style of teaching. I’m a hands on learner, so these are brilliant for me to progress, Ive been a little too shy with PS & ON1 in the past.

  24. Sam Collins

    That Oil paint filter in PS. Thanks, I have been looking for that. also learned somethings about selections I want to try.

  25. Catherine

    Terrific video Matt – it’s good to have the additional PS walk through on the different and fun effects! Recently learnt that you have to Command/S to save metadata in LR otherwise the changes cannot be read in other programmes (On1 RAW)? Do you save each time or is there a way you can automatically save the metadata so it is there to be seen on all programmes (this is really for quick searches using keywords)?

    1. Matt K

      Hi Catherine – there’s really no metadata that you’d need elsewhere if you’re starting in LR. Remember, ON1 won’t read LR’s raw settings. So saving metadata won’t make a difference there. It can read keywords and other things, but if you’re in Lightroom already organizing and editing photos, you wouldn’t do the same thing there. If you’re in the LR/ON1 workflow, then you start in LR and just jump to ON1 Effects or Layers. Once you’re there, you’d have no need for any metadata from LR. Hope that helps.

      1. Catherine

        Many thanks, really has helped. Particularly liked your cat and dog edit – I wouldn’t have known where to start in Photoshop so am really looking forward to your PS course coming out.

  26. Dee

    Thank you, Matt. I enjoyed and learned from this.

    I bought your Photoshop Restoration Rescue course at Creative Live recently and found it helpful.

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