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5 Portrait Retouching Tips to Give Your Photo a Professional Touch

Don’t underestimate how portrait retouching can transform an ordinary photo into a stunning work of art. Whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur enthusiast, knowing how to edit portraits can make a significant difference in the outcome. In this article, we will share with you five essential tips that will help you give your portrait photos a professional touch. Let’s dive in!

portrait retouching

  • Removing Glare

Glare on the skin can be distracting and take away from the subject’s natural beauty. To remove glare from a photo, use a Healing Brush tool in your photo editing software. Adjust the brush size to match the affected area, and carefully brush over the glare. Pay attention to the blending to ensure a seamless transition between the retouched area and the surrounding skin. Remember to maintain the skin’s texture and to be subtle in your approach to retain a natural look.

  • Softening Skin

A flawless complexion is often desired in portrait photography. Apply a subtle blur with an Adjustment Brush tool in your photo editor to soften skin. This technique helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines, eye bags, and uneven skin tones while preserving the natural texture. Experiment with the opacity of the softening tool to strike the perfect balance.

  • Eliminating Blemishes

Spots and acne scars can also be a common occurrence in portraits. To remove blemishes from portraits, use Healing Brush or Clone Stamp tools. The Healing Brush automatically samples the surrounding area and blends it with the blemish, while the Clone Stamp allows you to clone a specific area to cover the imperfection. Choose the technique that suits the problem area to ensure a natural blend. Remember to zoom in and pay attention to detail for a flawless outcome.

  • Accentuating Eyes

The eyes are windows to the soul, and enhancing them can significantly elevate a portrait. Start by highlighting the whites of the eyes with an Adjustment Brush in your photo editing program and carefully lightening them up to make them appear brighter using the Dodge option. Be cautious not to overdo it, as the goal is to enhance, not create an unnatural look. Additionally, consider using the Burn option to darken the lashes and make them more defined. These subtle adjustments can add depth and intensity to the subject’s gaze.

  • Perfecting Contrast & Color

Adjusting contrast and color can add a professional touch to your portraits. Utilize a Curves tool to fine-tune the overall contrast. By making slight adjustments to the highlights, mid-tones, and shadows, you can enhance the depth and dimension of the image. Additionally, pay attention to color correction. Adjust the white balance to ensure accurate skin tones, and experiment with color grading to achieve the desired mood or style. Strive for a balanced and pleasing color palette that complements the subject.


Retouching portraits is an artistic skill that requires practice, patience, and attention to detail. By following these five expert tips, you can give your photos a professional touch that will leave a lasting impression. Remember, the goal is always to enhance the subject’s natural beauty while maintaining a realistic appearance. With time and practice, you will develop your unique style and create breathtaking portraits that captivate viewers.