Face Retouching With Photoshop – A Beginner’s Guide [4 Steps]

Face retouching
Let Nesso photo retouching experts give you step-by-step instructions on face retouching using Adobe Photoshop!

No matter how good a portrait photo is, before publishing it, you need to do face retouching on the model to make sure everything is flawless. But the tough part is you also have to make your post-edit product look natural as well. 

That’s why today, Nesso photo retouching experts will give you a step-by-step process on how to use Photoshop for your face retouching edit.

How To Perform Face Retouching Using Photoshop?

Photo retouch is a creative and individually tailored process, much like any other kind of art. You probably have different editing preferences and approaches than other photographers. Making your subject appear their best should generally be your aim when retouching portraits. In most situations, this entails erasing some flaws while still letting the subject’s individual skin tone, texture, and other characteristics stand out.

Your aim when Photoshopping a portrait should be to highlight the subject’s features. Portrait photographers and editors frequently place a lot of emphasis on the subject’s complexion, hair, and eyes throughout the retouching process. Enhancing colors, changing contrast, eradicating blemishes and lumps, taming flyaway hairs, and adjusting contours and highlights are some examples of edits.

You have all the tools you need to make these adjustments in Adobe Photoshop. After importing your raw photo into Photoshop, you may use a variety of tools, filters, and brushes to remove blemishes, fix colors, and more.

4-Step Process On Portrait Retouch Using Photoshop

Choosing the appropriate image to alter is crucial before you start. You can have hundreds of portrait options after a picture shoot. Select a photo from your collection that you’re happy with overall and that effectively captures the subject. 

If you don’t like the image’s basic composition, even all the tools of Photoshop won’t be able to fix it.

After you’ve picked your favorite portrait picture, here’s a 4-step process on face retouching using Photoshop:

Step #1: RAW Conversion 

Many photographers opt to shoot in RAW, which allows the camera to record unedited, uncompressed images. If you don’t shoot in RAW, your camera will convert your photos to JPEGs before storing them on your memory card, which can result in some information being lost during the compression process.

When you shoot in RAW, you can keep every bit of your image’s data, which simplifies the adjustment process, like adjusting over- or underexposure, and produce the best image quality.

Face retouching
Shoot your portraits in RAW to make sure your image is of the best quality

If the image you’ve chosen was captured in RAW, the first thing you’ll want to do is open it in Adobe Camera Raw. You can make the first adjustments to the image on this screen, such as changing the white balance, adding more detail, or modifying the exposure. When you’re happy with the changes, click Open Image to open the image in Photoshop and start the retouching procedure.

RAW photos can be edited with Adobe Camera Raw, including exposure, brightness, and saturation.

Step 2: Image Cleanup 

When cleaning up a portrait, there are several factors to consider, including the skin, cosmetics, and hair. There will always be a few flaws in a portrait that you want to fix, such as blemishes, flyaways, or little makeup smudges.

Start by removing any noticeable skin imperfections, such as prominent blemishes, red marks, or discoloration, using the healing brush tool. The healing brush mixes the color and luminosity of wherever you paint it with the texture from a sample area (often right next to the flaw or imperfection), thus erasing it. To preserve a realistic skin texture and prevent overly blurred effects, make the brush only slightly larger than each location for optimal results.

Face retouching
Use the healing brush to remove any skin imperfections or frizzy hair from the portrait

For some fixes, you might also utilize the clone tool. This program copies a chosen portion of the image so you can paint the exact same pixels in another location. This can be useful for removing peach fuzz off your subject’s nose or chin without affecting the edge of those features, for example. You can use the clone tool to correct flaws in your model’s hair as well.

The little hairs on the edge of the nose can be removed with the clone tool without affecting the border.

Step 3: Dodge and Burn

A crucial step in retouching a portrait is dodging and burning. Using dark and light areas of a photograph to level out skin tone is known as dodging and burning. A portion of the image can be made brighter or darker by burning or dodging. These features allow you to precisely alter the photo’s contrast to produce the perfect skin texture.

Open two layers of curve adjustments—one for dodge and one for burn—first. To lighten the image, adjust the adjustment curve on the dodge layer slightly upward, and the burn layer slightly downward. To make the two layers invisible, invert them. Just choose the layer you want to employ—burn or dodge—and use the paintbrush to reveal the curve adjustments where you want to add brightness or darkness.

Although choosing where to dodge and burn is a personal decision, in general, consider it to be akin to applying cosmetics. Typically, you should emphasize parts of the model’s face on which light naturally falls, such as the forehead, nasal bridge, and chin. Similar to contouring, concentrate burning on the cheekbones, jawline, and hairline—areas where shadows would naturally fall.

Face retouching
Using dodge and burn for your face retouching is pretty similar to using a contour and highlighter

The image is made lighter by pulling the dodge layer’s curve upward.

Step 4: Color Grading 

When color grading, you can employ a variety of methods. The gradient map tool, for instance, enables you to select precise colors for shadows and highlights. The intensity or softness of those hues can then be altered by adjusting the opacity, which results in a subtle but intriguing look.

It’s beneficial to have a thorough understanding of complementary hues for efficient color grading. Your portrait can be colorful without appearing jarring or unrealistic if you utilize complementary colors intelligently and selectively.

Try experimenting with Photoshop portrait actions and filters if you don’t want to do these alterations by yourself. You may easily improve your portraits’ tones and colors by using these pre-set configurations of adjustments.

Face retouching
You can try Photoshop’s pre-set configurations for your face retouching if you want to

When you’re happy with the portrait’s color and tone, you can resize, crop, save, and share it.

This portrait is vivid and arresting due to the heavy usage of complementary colors.

Wrapping up!

That’s all the bits and pieces we’ve got to say about face retouching using Photoshop. We hope our guide could help you retouch your portrait photos to make them flawless and at the same time, look natural.

If you want to elevate your portrait photos even more, we highly recommend outsourcing high-end photo retouching services like Nesso to bring out the best in your photos.

Read more at Nesso.vn

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