Portrait finishing has never been easier. For years I retouched photographs in Photoshop. Believe me, it can take hours to finish a single portrait. To learn the techniques, I purchased Scott Kelby’s Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers using Photoshop. I also attended many classes at Photoshop World in Las Vegas, offered by some of the leading experts in the field. Scott’s book has chapters explaining all the steps involved in retouching eyes, skin, lips, mouth and hair, reshaping facial features, and slimming and trimming the face, neck and arms. Then, of course, one needs to know Photoshop basics in order to fix the lighting, shadows, dust spots, exposure and other flaws. It is far from intuitive and beginners can easily make a mess out of someone’s face.
Then I discovered a portrait finishing software program called PortraitPro Studio 15. The portrait finishing tools allow the photographer to do anything, even a full makeup job from scratch. In a matter of minutes, a female headshot without makeup can be transformed into a glamour shot. Eyes can be widened, lips can be upturned into a more pleasing expression, and bad reflections in the eyes can be removed and redone. PortraitPro’s tools can do anything from quick skin touchups to full face sculpting. Changing mascara, lipstick, bronzer, highlighter, blusher, eyeliner, eye shadow and eye pencil is relatively simple and the results are impressive. In addition, it has relighting controls, advanced skin coloring, and wide angle distortion correction.
The best part of using this portrait finishing software is that any look can be achieved in minutes, from a few simple touchups, to an extreme makeover. Portrait Pro 15 makes it possible to experiment with different colors of makeup in the interest of achieving the perfect look for the end result, whether it be for a magazine advertisement, a brochure, or simply a portrait that shows the client in the best light possible. As with any software, the results can be overdone, but it is a simple matter to reset and start over. Each session can be saved so that the portrait can be revisited at a later date and changed accordingly. Portrait finishing has never been better!