Natural Skin Editing for Portraits

Are you tired of spending hours editing your portrait photos to achieve a natural, flawless look? Look no further, as we have the perfect solution for you! Natural skin editing is the key to achieving a beautiful and authentic portrait without the need for heavy editing. In this blog, we will explore the art of natural skin editing for portraits, and provide you with tips and techniques to enhance your photos without sacrificing the authenticity of your subject’s natural beauty. From subtle blemish removal to softening skin textures, we will guide you through the process of creating stunning, natural-looking portraits with ease. So, let’s dive in and discover the art of natural skin editing for portraits!

Natural Skin Editing for Portraits

Introduction to Portrait Photography

This episode is sponsored by Squarespace. Whether you need a domain, website, or online store, make your next move with Squarespace. If you follow me on a platform like Instagram, you’ll see that I post a lot of photographs out and about, traveling around. Some light and shadow play, what you could loosely call street photography. But you could be forgiven for not realizing that I consider my primary mode of photography the area that I’m most skilled in is portrait photography. The way that the world’s been over the last two years has just meant that I’ve got to shoot very few portraits over the last little while, and I really miss it. I’ve set my intentions for 2022 to get back to portrait photography and even to travel around and to start running portrait workshops. So, if you’re interested in that sort of thing, keep an eye out.

The Importance of Portrait Retouching

As part of that setting of my intentions for the coming year, I decided for the last few weeks just to post portraits on my Instagram account for a change. My DMs and comments were flooded with questions from people going, “How did you shoot that?” and especially, “How did you process that image in post in Photoshop?” So, I thought maybe a good way to start this year would be with a series of videos showing you how I take an image from straight out of the camera to final portrait in Photoshop.

A long time ago now, I did do a couple of videos on this channel around specific portrait projects where I showed you from start to finish how I retouched a portrait in Photoshop. But some of you complained in the comments that they felt too long and that I was rushing through the information. Looking back, I can see that they were right, that I was trying to pack in too much into one video. So, what I’ve decided to do this year is to split all that up and create a series of videos covering topics like natural skin retouching, making eyes pop on a portrait but still making them look realistic, doing things like shaping light with dodge and burn on a face, changing textures and colors in a background to make your subject pop, and finishing your image with things like sharpening and contrast and color.

Three-Step Process for Natural Skin Retouching

Let me show you how I approach skin retouching and cleanup in my portraits. It’s important to say I’m not a professional retoucher and I don’t shoot for a beauty style of photography. I want my portraits to have character to them and I want them to have a very natural look. I just want to clean things up a little bit. The basic rule I have is if there’s anything on the face that likely won’t be there in two weeks’ time, I can take it out. So, I keep in freckles and moles, but I will take out pimples, for example.

I’m going to add a blank layer and let’s call this layer “Blemishes”. This is step one and this is just literally just to clean up the most obvious things on the face. I’m going to come up here to my spot healing brush tool and with this selected, I’m going to make sure that my hardness is set to zero, nice soft brush that I’ve got content-aware selected and this little box here is checked sample all layers so it’s sampling the layers beneath.

For the second stage, I’m going to come down here to adjustment layers and create a curves layer. I’m going to change the blending mode of this curves layer to screen, which brightens the image up a lot. With the mask selected, I’m going to hit ctrl or command i on a Mac, that’s just going to invert that mask and turn everything to black so it removes that effect. This layer I’m going to call “Dodge”. There’s lots of ways to dodge and burn in Photoshop you can use the actual dodge and burn tools, you can create a curves layer you actually pull the curve, but I just like this method because I find it keeps a lot of the detail that I like.

Frequently Asked Questions about Natural Skin Editing for Portraits

What is natural skin editing for portraits?

Natural skin editing for portraits is the process of retouching a person’s skin in a way that enhances their natural features without making them appear artificial or plastic. It involves subtle adjustments to the skin tone, texture, and blemishes to achieve a more polished and flawless look without sacrificing the person’s unique characteristics.

Why is natural skin editing important for portraits?

Natural skin editing is important for portraits because it helps to enhance the overall appearance of the subject without distorting their natural features. It allows the photographer to present the subject in the best possible light while maintaining their authenticity and individuality.

What are some techniques used in natural skin editing?

Some common techniques used in natural skin editing for portraits include frequency separation, dodging and burning, and color correction. These techniques are used to even out skin tones, reduce the appearance of blemishes, and enhance the texture of the skin while preserving its natural look and feel.

Is natural skin editing ethical?

Natural skin editing can be ethical when done in a way that respects the integrity of the subject and does not misrepresent their appearance. It is important to use these techniques responsibly and in a way that celebrates the natural beauty of the individual rather than promoting unrealistic standards of beauty.

I hope you find useful my article Natural Skin Editing for Portraits, 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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