Most of my high school senior clients ask if I’m able to clean up their skin in portrait retouching. And the answer is always, “Yes. Of course!”
I actually include basic retouching for every client, whether requested or not, as a complimentary service. I do more of a “polishing” of each image, so the results are subtle while still keeping the integrity of the client intact.
So if you’re planning a session with me or are just curious about what’s included in the retouching process, this post should answer some of those burning questions. And you’ll see side-by-side examples of my editing, so you’ll know what to expect.
What I Include In Portrait Retouching
I always clean up three key areas during the portrait retouching process. Those are skin, eyes, and distractions. Beyond that, I’ll edit as necessary to please the client.
I aim to keep retouching subtle and natural, so the client still looks like themselves but the version we all see on their best day!
It’s important to me to maintain integrity in skin tones and texture. I remove things that are temporary blemishes, like acne or bruises. But for permanent scars, moles, or birthmarks, I ask the client specifically what level of retouching they want.
Skin Retouching Includes:
Skin Tone Balancing
Oil and Shine Removal
Skin Softening (lightly, as needed)
Skin Brightening (as needed)
Since eyes are the focal point of a portrait, I always do some retouching to make them pop!
This includes a bit of sharpening and brightening of the eyes. Occasionally, I’ll also brighten up under the eyes and the T-zone. Like all of my editing, this is a very subtle process.
Eye Retouching Includes:
Brightening of eyes
Brightening under the eyes
Lightening around the eye socket and bridge of the nose (T–Zone)