Portrait Retouching – Know the Basics

Before the age of computers, the process of manipulating photos was made possible by retouching with paint, ink, and similar other products and by other methods such as piecing together negatives and the photos themselves. Such was the case of the 1860s manipulated photo of Abraham Lincoln whose body was that of John Calhoun and whose head was that of Mathew Brady.

Today, portrait retouching has been brought to a higher level with the great number of modern and digital means to manipulate photos and keep them close to every photographer’s dream: a picture-perfect portrait.

The Definition

As the name suggests, portrait retouching is merely the process of enhancing portraits by adjusting the various elements within it. This includes undertaking such methods as fixing lighting flaws, eliminating unwanted spots and stains on the skin, whitening the teeth, making the complexion fairer, among others. Of course, aside from the photographer’s standards on this matter, the client (or the portrait model) may also have other requests such as making her look more slimmer or having her eyes appear wider.

The Process

The advent of digital imaging technology brought about greater and wider opportunities for the players in the world of photography. Among these advantages is that it has empowered photographers to perform portrait retouching the easy and more convenient way. By 1980, digital photo retouching portrait retouching services was made possible with the birth of computers that provided software and programs that helped shutterbugs manipulate their photos with a few clicks of their mouse here and there.

Here are the most common modifications undertaken in the process of basic portrait retouching:


  • General Adjustments. Under this process fall such modifications as improving the quality of light where shadows are brightened and wrongly lighted angles are made dimmer.
  • Removal of Unwanted Elements. Although nobody is gifted with a perfect skin, computer programs that specialize on portrait retouching can remove smaller skin blemishes such as pimples and scars or bigger face problems such as bags under the eyes.
  • Correction of Color and Contrast. Portrait retouching also involves adjustments in the hues, colors, and contrasts such that teeth are made to appear whiter and eyes are made brighter–methods that will make your portraits look alive and captivate more viewers.
  • Other Improvements. Other women’s portraits are enhanced by giving them a nicer and softer glow in the skin without eliminating the sharpness in their hair, eyes, and even jewelry. Also, enhancements with the models’ clothes and accessories can be made to make portraits look a lot better.


Enhancing an image to achieve high-end professional results, portrait retouching is definitely an art worth mastering.

Sharper Images Now specializes in all levels of portrait retouching [http://www.sharperimagesnow.com/our-services], photo editing, photo art, photo collages, among others. All services are offered to all photography areas such as wedding photography, family photography, children’s photography, modeling and glamour photography, and so much more. Visit Sharper Images Now and know more about the professional team behind the name.

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