Turn That Frown Upside Down

with 18 Comments


Have you ever had a family photo taken where everyone is dressed perfectly, every hair is in place, and no one is blinking, but that one person isn’t smiling? For me, it is always my husband. He doesn’t like how he looks when he smiles. He really has a great smile, so it drives me crazy that he refuses to smile. Well, I have a simple solution that will nudge just a bit of a smile out of him.

The tool we will be using is the Liquify filter. One little caution: Don’t overdo the image adjustments (unless you are going for a crazy funny look).  Subtle use of the Liquify filter can make a big difference.

Step One: Open and Duplicate the Image

  • Open the image (File > Open) you want to work with.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose File > Duplicate and click OK. (Photoshop: Choose Image > Duplicate.)

Here is my photo. He needs just a bit of cheering up, don’t you think?


  • Close the original image.
  • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) to duplicate the background layer. This step is optional but helps you to compare your changes with the original photo.

Step Two: Apply the Liquify Filter

  • In the Menu Bar, choose Filter > Distort > Liquify. (Photoshop: Choose Filter > Liquify.)
  • In the dialog box, get the Warp tool and set the Brush Pressure to 100.
  • Press the Left Bracket key to decrease or the Right Bracket key to increase the size of the brush.

Note: The appropriate size of the brush will be determined by the image on which you are working. Go for a size that looks similar to the circle below. You may also want to zoom in with the Zoom tool before working on your image.


  • On the image, click on the corner of the mouth  and drag slightly out and up.

Note: Do not center the brush on the corner of the mouth; that will distort the lips and look fake. Try not to adjust too much. If you make a correction that looks too exaggerated, press Ctrl Z (Mac: Cmd Z).

  • Click OK to commit the changes.


 Step Three: Review and Save the Image

  • In the Layers panel, click on the Visibility icon of the layer to which you applied the filter. By toggling the Visibility icon on and off, you can see the difference between the two images, even though it is subtle.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Flatten Image.
  • Choose File > Save As. In the dialog box, choose a name and location for your image, and click Save.

There! I think he looks much happier to be with me!


Show us your before and after photos in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery at Digital Scrapper!

Digi Scrap Tutorial: Turn that Frown Upside Down by Nannette Dalton
Software: Photoshop Elements 11 and Photoshop CS6

Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

18 Responses

  1. Mungo
    | Reply

    Thank you for the helpful tip

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      You are so very welcome.

  2. zita B
    | Reply

    Thank you!!! Great tutorial. I have used the smudge tool in the past, but this is so much more natural… 🙂

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Smudge tool sounds quick and easy too. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Virginia Hodgins
    | Reply

    I seem to have an upside down mouth, and even when I feel that my face is splitting with a smile, the photos still come out with a straight or even a frown mouth! Thanks for this tip!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Virginia, you make me smile. So glad to hear that the tip can be of help to you.

  4. Terri
    | Reply

    Great tip. There are so many ways of doing things and you keep coming up with wonderful ways of fixing very specific things. This is so helpful. Thanks again. Terri

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Terri, thanks for the kind words…they make my day.

  5. Jana
    | Reply

    You didn’t do anything to his eyes but that little change made them pop and sparkle! I love it!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Yep… it change his whole continence.

  6. Dede Wurl
    | Reply

    thank you. I so look forward to the weekly tips. This is a great one!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      That is so sweet of you Dede.

  7. shirl/grambie
    | Reply

    I have quite a few photos that to use this wonderful tidbit that you have given us today. I cannot get over the difference that your adjustment made to the photo. I also agree with Jana, your sweetie eyes seem to sparkle all the more. Yes, I am going to attempt this in spite of my Ataxia and laugh during the entire process. Just thinking about the fun I am going to have trying to complete this, brings a happy smile to my face. Thank you for this tut and for making my day. 🙂

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Oh Shirl, I hope you do have fun with this. Sometimes it is fun also to exaggerate things a bit. You can have all kinds of fun! So kind of you to say that this made your day. You just made mine!

  8. Sharronn
    | Reply

    This is wonderful – thank you!

  9. Carolyn
    | Reply

    Cool, thank you! Now, do you have any tricks for removing my husband’s hand from in front of his face…grrrr!!!

  10. Cindy
    | Reply

    This is great. I have hundreds of pics of my husband looking just like yours! Can’t wait to add a touch of smile.

  11. Patricia Houser
    | Reply

    Ha, love this…I have a brother-in-law who REFUSES to smile for any family photos!! Now I’ll MAKE him smile…ha, take that, put it in your pipe and smoke it!!

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