Monday, November 10, 2014

3 Simple Photoshop Tricks To Use When Editing A Headshot.

The one thing we photographers all have in common is the fact that we have to edit our work. Sure we all do it differently, but it has become a non-negotiable service that photographers are expected to deliver on.  Editing is crucial, especially if you are a portrait or wedding photographer. Here I'd like to share my method of retouching portraits and hopefully I can help someone out there who has curiosities on how to do it in Photoshop.

1. Healing Brush Tool. 

This tool does wonders. Absolutely perfect for removing blemishes, acne bumps, blackheads and any other unwanted material. Duplicate your portrait and name it Blemishes. Select the tool which is in the shape of a bandaid and locate the first blemish you want to eliminate.

 It is very important to hold down the Option button and click the area directly next to the blemish. The reason you do not want to click on the blemish is because you are essentially selecting an area next to it to replace the blemish with. Think of this step as applying makeup to the skin.

After you have selected the selection next to the blemish, NOW it's time to cover the blemish up. Simply click on the blemish and you will now see that it is covered up.

2.  Smoothening The Skin With The Gaussian Blur Filter
Now that your bumps and markings are a thing of the past, now we can get to the fun part. To give your portrait that smooth magazine-like skin you must apply a Gaussian Blur layer along with a mask.  Here's how you do it.
  • Duplicate your Blemishes layer and call it Smooth Skin. 
  • Go to the top toolbar to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. There, you will see a dialog box pops up. When dealing with skin,  I usually keep the blur around .80 - 1.0 

  • Once you have the blurred image on your canvas,  apply a mask to it. On the layers panel you'll see a little icon with a white rectangle with a black circle in the middle. 
  • Click it and you should see another white rectangle appear directly next to your layer. 

  • Lastly, Select the Brush tool and make sure the color you have on your brush is black. Start "brushing" on the areas you want to be sharpened in your photo. For example, the eyes, eye brows, lips, hair, etc. You'll now notice that the areas you select are turning sharp while the areas you do not choose are left smooth and blurred.

3.  Teeth and Eye Whitening.
This is an easy step. First you should use the lasso tool and select the area you would like to be whiter. when selected, I would suggest going to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.

 I usually lower my Saturation to -20 and +28 to my lightness. Of course, you should use the numbers that best suite your photograph.

And finally, I like to uncheck all of the additional layers in my layers panel until I am left with the original unedited photo. It's fun to re-check each layer and seeing the progress you made before you merge all of the layers into one image.  

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions and I'd love to see your before and afters to post on our blog!

- Johnny Self.