10 Tips for Editing your Portrait Photos

Are you tired of looking at your portrait photos and feeling unsatisfied with the final result? Do you wish you had the skills to edit them to perfection? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we will share with you 10 essential tips for editing your portrait photos like a pro. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned photographer, these tips will help you enhance your subjects’ features, correct any imperfections, and bring out the best in every shot. Get ready to level up your editing game and create stunning portraits that will impress both clients and friends alike. Let’s dive in!

10 Tips for Editing your Portrait Photos

10 Tips for Editing your Portrait Photos


Hey everyone! It is no secret that I love editing photos, and I think editing is just as important as the process of taking the photo to create your final piece of work. Today, I want to share with you my top 10 tips when it comes to editing your portrait photography. I will share tips on things to look out for, new techniques you can try, and how to make your portraits stand out with editing. I will be using a few different programs as you can apply most of these techniques to any editing software that you prefer to use.


While it’s important to try and get your composition right in camera during the photo shoot, working with people and hand-holding your camera means that not everything is always going to be perfect. The first thing I always do before touching any other editing tools is cropping. Cropping can play a huge part in how powerful your image is and can be a slightly underrated tool when it comes to editing portraits. For my personal style of portraits, I love center cropping and cropping in tighter if there is too much negative space.

Tonal Tools

Basics Panel

The basics panel is a great way to even out the exposure and lighting in your photo. You can adjust the shadows, exposure, highlights, and black sliders to create a balanced base for the rest of your editing. This helps bring out the details in your subject and adds contrast back into the image.

Tonal Curve

The tonal curve allows you to further tweak the lighting in your photo and add your personal style. Playing with curves can help deepen shadows and brighten the subject. Creating an S-curve by adjusting the points can add a unique effect to your image.


White balance and skin tones are crucial when it comes to editing portraits.

White Balance

Adjusting the white balance can make a huge difference in how your portraits look. Auto white balance can sometimes struggle with finding the perfect balance, so it’s important to manually adjust the temperature and tint sliders to achieve the desired look. Keeping skin tones in mind is essential to avoid making your subject look unnatural.

Skin Tones

When editing the color of your photo, it’s important to keep the subject’s skin tones in mind. Using the HSL panel or color grading panel, you can adjust the colors to create a desired look while ensuring the skin tones remain natural. Paying attention to the orange and red hues can help maintain the integrity of the subject’s skin.


The eyes are an important element in portrait photography. While editing, make sure the adjustments you make do not affect the eyes negatively. Using the brush tool in Lightroom, you can enhance the colors and bring in more light to make the eyes stand out.


Edit your portrait photos with confidence using these 10 tips. Remember to experiment with different techniques, adjust the composition through cropping, balance the tones, and pay attention to color and skin tones. With practice and a keen eye, your edited portraits will truly stand out!

Source: Example.com

FAQ – 10 Tips for Editing your Portrait Photos

Frequently Asked Questions – 10 Tips for Editing your Portrait Photos

Q: What are some general tips for editing portrait photos?

A: Here are some general tips for editing portrait photos:

  • Adjust the brightness, contrast, and exposure to enhance the overall appearance of the photo.
  • Remove any blemishes or imperfections using spot healing or clone stamp tools.
  • Enhance the eyes by making them brighter and sharpening them.
  • Whiten teeth and smoothen skin to achieve a flawless look.
  • Experiment with different color adjustments to find the best tones for your portrait.
Q: How can I make the subject stand out in a portrait photo?

A: You can make the subject stand out in a portrait photo by applying selective focus or using vignetting techniques to blur or darken the background. Additionally, you can increase the sharpness and clarity of the subject, while reducing distractions in the background.

Q: What tools can I use to retouch skin in portrait photos?

A: There are various tools you can use to retouch skin in portrait photos, such as the healing brush, spot healing brush, and clone stamp tool. Additionally, some photo editing software offer dedicated skin retouching features to make the process quicker and easier.

Q: How can I achieve a professional-looking black and white portrait?

A: To achieve a professional-looking black and white portrait, you can convert the image to grayscale and then adjust the contrast and tones. Experiment with different black and white presets or use the color mixer to control the intensity of different shades.

Q: What is the best way to crop a portrait photo?

A: The best way to crop a portrait photo is to consider the composition and focus on the subject. Avoid cutting off important features, and experiment with different aspect ratios to find the one that enhances the overall composition.

Q: How can I enhance the eyes in a portrait photo?

A: You can enhance the eyes in a portrait photo by brightening them using the dodge tool or adjustment layers. Additionally, you can enhance the iris and make the catchlight more prominent to make the eyes appear more vibrant and captivating.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when editing portrait photos?

A: Some common mistakes to avoid when editing portrait photos include overdoing skin retouching, excessive use of filters or presets, unrealistic color adjustments, and neglecting the natural features of the subject. It’s important to strike a balance between enhancing the photo and maintaining a natural look.

Q: How can I achieve a consistent look across a series of portrait photos?

A: To achieve a consistent look across a series of portrait photos, you can create custom presets or save the editing settings and apply them to each photo. This will ensure that the tones, colors, and overall style remain consistent throughout the series.

Q: Are there any recommended resources to learn more about editing portrait photos?

A: Yes, there are several online courses, tutorials, and blogs dedicated to teaching portrait photo editing techniques. Some popular resources include photography websites, YouTube channels, and online forums where you can find valuable tips, tricks, and guidance.

Q: Is it necessary to edit portrait photos?

A: Editing portrait photos is not necessary, but it can significantly enhance the overall quality and appeal of the image. Editing allows you to correct any imperfections, enhance the subject’s features, and create a specific mood or style that suits your vision.

I hope you find useful my article 10 Tips for Editing your Portrait Photos, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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