Updated: Jan 5, 2020
If you're a headshot, portrait or beauty photographer you've no doubt spent a lot of time retouching your clients photos--unless you send them off to someone else to do (which is great!). But I'm talking to those of us who consider themselves a one-stop shop.
Unless you're classically trained in photoshop though, you're probably not achieving the best results, OR you're not as confident in your skills. In the back of your mind you're probably thinking "There's GOT to be a better way to do this..."
Many beginners look for the absolute easiest way to zap blemishes and even-out skin tone. I imagine some people wait until the photo is uploaded to their phones and then use an app that applies general blurring and stamp effects along with an option to brighten the eyes and even add make-up. The problem with this method is:
1. It's WEAK AF and not a great way to edit an image. Because the application is so general you lose skin texture and sharpness. The screen on whatever device you view the image on looks smeared with vasoline.
2. Your images will not be consistent. Based on the need for retouching some subjects will look more "done" than others.
3. If you're a pro, or on your way to becoming one, you should know that if anyone can do it it's not a specialty that you could charge for.
So! Is there perhaps a desktop app that works similarly but involves a little more technique and offers more of an advanced approach? Yes there is. It's called Portrait Pro Studio and it's pretty good in the right hands. I used to use it in part of my work flow, mainly to reduce discoloration under the eyes. BUT it's not as great as the method I'm going to share with you now.
If you want to level up on your retouching skills please watch this video by Unmesh Dinda. Not only does he walk you through his retouching routine, but he demystifies the process known as Frequency Separation. PLUS he provides you with the photoshop "action" which separates your image into High and Low Frequencies automatically. PLUS he even provides the file that he works on during the video so you can work alongside him. PLUS he's an excellent tutor and he has a TON of videos on any photoshop tutorial you need.
Watch this video!