ONLY 2 Minutes! Make Beautiful Soft Glowing Effect For Your Image In Photoshop


Happy to know you are landing here. That’s mean a lot to me knowing somebody else reading what I wrote.

Yes, YOU.
You are the reason why I brought this tutorial. There are million sites out there, but you choose to be here.

I hope I can do more to help you.

So, let’s talk about what you are going to learn today. In this step by step guide, I am going to show you how to make a soft glowing photo effect. I think it is just take two minutes of your times, super easy and quick. And, there are only 2 steps to get the effect.

I used Adobe Photoshop CS6 to make this, but most of the earlier versions are also capable to achieve the effect.

I’ll brief a bit about this. The soft glowing effect itself is very popular maybe in 90’s and years behind? I am not really sure about the historical stories behind this. But mostly, I saw this effect is using in a baby portrait, wedding, etc.

I Don’t know exactly when and who the first using this, but I think this is one of the most popular photo effect that I know. Even, today there are still many people using it. Thank’s to the man or woman who create this.

Ok, great. You have seen the above image as before and after image result of soft glowing effect as one of the photo effects you can create using Photoshop, now let’s get the quick start to do it.

Step 1. Glowing the image

No need to wait any longer. This first step will directly apply the soft glowing effect using filter which is Gaussian Blur. Here’s how to do it.

When you have opened your image, activate the background layer by select it and press Ctrl + J on your keyboard to duplicate it. After that, right click on the new duplicated layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. From time to time, I often using this smart object layer to work in a non-destructively way.

Then, go to Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to 80 pixels and press Ok to close its dialog box.


The whole image now is blurred and nothing interesting stuffs in there you could see. But, don’t worry. It’s not over yet, right? Now, move your mouse to the layer blend mode and change it to Overlay.


Now, you have the glowing image as you want. If you feel that the effect is so soft or the opposite, you can double-click the blur filter and experiment on its radius setting. You can always change it since your layer were in a smart object layer. Try also other blend modes provided by this magical software.

If you think that there are no more to do because you now have the glowing image as you need, it’s ok. But, I am going a bit further to pop the colors by using Vibrance adjustment layer.

Step 2. Apply vibrance adjustment layer

This adjustment can help you to increase the vividness of image and skin tones as well. I've talked about this before when enhanced image using Photoshop.

Here’s setting I set to boost the colors of the image.


You got it, right?
If so, that would be the end of how to make a soft glowing effect in Photoshop.

I think there won’t be a confusing steps for this, but if you find one or some, let me know by leave a comment below. You can also give me an information of how well you follow the instructions by reading this.

What else’s photo effects you want to learn? Let’s talk about it. If feel still looking for another effects you want to try for your photograph, you may want to read the tutorial about pop colors and warmth your image in Photoshop.

Also, don’t forget to tell your friends about this so they can start learning immediately by share this tutorial.

Thank you for reading and let me know if you have other ways to create the same effect.

I have big enthusiasm in photography and graphic design. And, most of both topics will be covered in Repixel. If you find some good tutorials, feel free to share them. Also, keep in touch with me using all social medias available here or signup to stay updates.

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