Portrait photography

How to retouch portrait photos

There are two main aspects to shooting great portrait images. One is the lighting bit and the other part is all about post-processing. Editing and processing portrait photos to a quality images is a job that could take hours or several days in front of your computer.

You want to provide awesome quality to your clients, on time, without being chained to the computer for eternity. Here are some post-processing tips for your workflow!

1. Import and choose the best photos

First thing is to transfer your images from your card to your computer. Make sure you get yourself a good USB card reader. Use Lightroom to assign proper metadata and copyright automatically, use star rating or flagging system to select (cull) best photos. It might also be a perfect time to back up the photos to a secondary location.

2. Edit

Lightroom is the most powerful and most frequently used tool in bulk portrait post processing workflow. Start with camera calibration and lens profile correction. Then make adjustments to white balance, exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation — the basics.

3. Retouch

Work on the local enhancements which typically include using adjustment brush tool, the radial filter, the spot removal tool and the fraduated filter. Typical retouching includes reduce bags under eyes, whiten teeth, heal temporary blemishes, enhance eye color.

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