NOTE: This trick really only works well on images that aren't totally flat lighting. See below, how there is some rim light along the older boy's right side? That's what's going to cue our eye to directional light and make all this more believable.
STEP 1: Let there be light!
STEP 2: Narrow it down.
And in the bottom right I used a few graduated filters of Darken and Add Contrast from the Master Collection. Because it's in the foreground, I like a bit more contrast.
STEP 3: Set the subjects apart.
Increased temperature toward yellow using the slider. Instant gratification!
STEP 4: Warm it up!
This felt a little green/yellow to me so I also shifted the tint to magenta a bit to get better, pinker skin.
STEP 5: Fine-tuning
I added some more of that lovely Magic Warm Glow (this time with a brush) because generally light will spill over behind your subjects a bit.
Here I used Subtle All-Over Brightening on both kids' faces, and Brighten & Add Contrast in a swath across the entire area that is in focus, including the kids.
And the free Embolden brush on their clothes (check out the enhanced detail and color on the overalls! I love Embolden for clothes!)
STEP 6: Finishing Touches
Spot Detail Enhancer for faces, Quick Eye Enhancer for eyes, and I dragged the yellow hue slider to the orange side to add a little more peachy color to the image (golden hour tends to create those pinker tones.)
Finally (and arguably I could have skipped this step) I added a little line of Magic Warm Glow to the grass in front of their feet to add that little bit of extra depth.
That's it! I hope you guys liked this little tutorial, let me know what you think in the comments---would you use this trick? :)
SOOC Image by Joy Of Life Photography