In the age of digital photography, capturing an image is only the first part of the process. The second step is to enhance the image using photo editing software. If your shots look different from what you see in your favorite photographer’s portfolio, they may need some post-processing adjustments to achieve a more refined look. Now many beginners think that retouching portraits is the hardest part, but they’re wrong.
Today we’re going to give you some useful tips that will make it much easier for you to edit your final shots. We will talk about AI masking tools and other aspects that will make it much simpler for you to retouch any portrait. So let’s get started!
Why We Need to Edit Portrait Photography?
Overall, photo editing can help improve the quality of the image and bring out the best in the subject. This step is one of the most important in a photographer’s work and should not be skipped or the image will look incomplete. Here are a few reasons why portrait editing is important:
- Post-processing allows you to correct imperfections such as blemishes, wrinkles, stray hair, and other distractions that can detract from the model’s appearance.
- Editing can help enhance the subject’s eyes, skin, hair, and other features, making them more vibrant and striking.
- Images masking allows the photographer to remove distracting backgrounds and isolate the model, resulting in a more refined final photo.
- Also, the tone and mood of an image can be adjusted through editing. By changing the brightness, contrast, saturation, and color balance, you make a more pleasing photo that conveys the desired emotion or atmosphere.
- Retouching can help create a consistent look and feel across a series of shots. This is especially helpful for portrait sessions, where you want the images to have a consistent style and feel.
- By cropping, adjusting focus, and adding vignettes, you can help draw attention to the model and create a more impactful portrait.
When it comes to editing photos like a pro, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Professionals have different preferences and techniques for editing their works. For example, some photographers may prefer to adjust the vibrancy and saturation of colors, while others may opt for black-and-white portraits. In addition, one person may prefer high-key photos with lots of light and white, while another may choose low-key shots with a dark and moody aesthetic. For the beginner, the most important thing is to find the best style of portrait editing.
The Best Tips for Retouching Portraits Like a Pro
So, are you just starting in portrait photography and want to learn how to edit your images to perfection? Don’t worry, our tips will speed up the learning process, help you achieve perfection and even develop your unique style.
1. Find the Best Photo Editor
The availability of editing software has made photo editing incredibly convenient and accessible. Depending on your needs, you can choose from a wide range of editors that vary in complexity. While some software offers basic adjustment features, others offer advanced tools that allow you to make extensive changes to portraits.
AI photo editors like Luminar Neo are very popular these days. They simplify even the most complex tasks, allowing you to create a perfect portrait in just a few clicks. Masking a photo and applying a wide range of professional retouching and post-processing tools has never been easier.
2. Play with Shadows and Mid-Tones
Shadows can add depth and dimension to an image, while mid-tones can help balance the overall exposure and tone of a photo. By adjusting the contrast between highlights and low tones, you can create a more dramatic or subdued effect, depending on the desired result. Skilled use of shadows and mid-tones can make a photo more visually interesting and engaging, bringing an extra layer of creativity and depth to your work.
3. Masking an Image
For advanced portrait editing, layer masks are an essential tool not to be overlooked. When toning or editing a photo, it’s often necessary to make specific adjustments without affecting the entire image. Layer masks allow you to precisely select and edit specific areas of a portrait without affecting the rest of the photo. This technique allows for more refined and nuanced enhancements, resulting in a final image that looks more sophisticated and professional.
4. Smooth Skin and Enhance Eyes
Smoothing can be achieved using techniques such as frequency separation, which allows you to adjust the texture and tone of the skin. This can help create a more polished and flawless appearance. Eye enhancement can include selective sharpening and brightening to bring out detail and color.
Both of these techniques can help create a more striking and captivating portrait. However, it’s important to use these options with a light touch to avoid an overly edited or unnatural appearance.
5. Try Various Presets
A high-quality preset can be a time-saver when it comes to photo editing. Once installed, it can provide a variety of colors, tones, and other adjustments that can be applied to your images. By customizing each preset to your specific needs, you can make them highly adjustable and easy to use. This makes it a perfect option for editing photo sessions.
By using presets in Luminar Neo or Lightroom, you can streamline your workflow and quickly achieve the desired look and feel for portraits without having to start from scratch with each edit.