photoshopping portraits

Enhancing Your Portraits Through Retouching

All professional images go through a process of retouching. This process can be simple where minor adjustment are made to the light, remove a blemish, edit out any stray hairs or it can be a complex process, where skin tone is evened out, physical features are enhanced and hair or eye colour can be altered. Retouching has been a controversial topic in the advertising world and among celebrities and models but it is a technique that has been used since the beginning.

While some may be against retouching an image, most will welcome it to improve the look and feel of the image. There are a number of reasons why you would want to have some retouching done to your images. This isn’t always done to be misleading or deceiving it is simply done to remove the flaws that aren’t typically there on an everyday basis. You might be completely against retouching but this article will point out some of the benefits that you may have never considered before.

Why Retouch Your Images?

headshot after retouching

Brings a Focus to Your Natural Features

Whether you are having professional headshots done or simply want some nice images of yourself, retouching can let your natural beauty shine through. You have to love the image and the perfect portrait can boost your confidence which in turn can help you achieve more of the goals you set for yourself. This is especially true when it comes to professional headshots. If you are not confident in the image you are presenting to potential clients or employers, you won’t feel as confident about securing a job with them. Presenting yourself in a clean and polished manner is key when making connections with other professionals. Your images are often vital to your initial presentation and character that may draw greater interest in you and your work.

Perfect the Everyday Imperfections

Everyone has their bad days and our skin is often the vey first place this shows. From acne and blemishes to a lack of sleep or staying out drinking the night before, the dark circles and lines will not only appear, but be magnified in your images. Through retouching, these everyday imperfection can be eliminated. Wouldn’t you rather have an image that shows you at your best and how you typically present yourself on a regular basis, as opposed to an image that looks like you haven’t slept for days? Always wanting to put your best self out there, retouching will allow for that. You can look your best even if on the day of your photo session, you weren’t! The following are a variety of small alterations that can be made through the retouching process.

This process can correct any skin blemishes, even out your skin tone and make any temporary scratches disappear. Dark circles under the eyes can be removed and the eyes can be brightened to make you appear more awake, friendly and approachable. Lack of sleep can leave bags under your eyes and this is never a look that most want others to see. Some simple retouching techniques can remove these bags and make you look well rested and refreshed. Teeth can be slightly whitened to reduce the coffee stains because a bright smile can make you image really shine.

Hair is another area that can be retouched. You can’t always control what your hair is going to do and you don’t want to spray on or add a ton of gel which can make the hair look greasy and dirty. Retouching can assist in removing any flyaway hairs as well as any stray hairs that may fall over the forehead, on clothing, amongst many other places. If you have pets then you know how cumbersome it can be to try and remove every tiny pet hair, retouching can quickly remove these hairs to keep your image looking professional and well polished.


headshot before retouching


headshot after retouching

Don’t Over Do It!

The main issue many have with retouching is that often times it is done to a point beyond recognition. While retouching can be a great way to enhance an image, there is a point where retouching can just make the image look unrealistic which is never something you would want. While you want your skin to appear smooth and even, too much retouching can make the skin look plastic and otherwise fake. The same goes for enhancing ones physical features. While advertisements may retouch images to slim the waist and increase the bust size this is not something you would want to have done with your professional images. Retouching is a process to simply enhance, not to completely reconstruct your appearance.

Retouching is done with many images and is an important process that can make you fall in love with your images even more. While retouching can enhance images it is important to know when it is being overdone. Keep the retouching to a minimal so that it truly brings out your very best features. Remember keeping it clean and simple is often the key to success!