In this tutorial, I’ll be teaching you how I edit and retouch portraits in Lightroom.
This portrait retouching tutorial is of a photo of Caleb Negassa, a good buddy who has helped with the Film Fundraising course. This photo was shot for our Photography Masterclass live demonstration lessons by Sam Shimizu-Jones.
Watch the Retouching Tutorial:
Steps for Editing Portraits:
- Crop to your desired size/aspect. Use 1:1 aspect for most social media profile pics.
- Fix white balance
- Fix exposure with basic tone sliders
- Adjust saturation/vibrance
- Add or adjust contrast with Tone Curve
- Add more style by de-sharpening areas around eyes, mouth, hair, and parts of faces with radial filter
- Sharpen and brighten eyes with adjustment brush
- Whiten teeth with adjustment brush
- Remove blemishes with clone tool
- Brighten sleepy eyes (skin beneath eyes)
- Add vignette (optional)
- Add grain (optional)
These are my basic steps. Of course some portraits don’t need all of these edits. Some portraits need more. Sometimes I adjust HSL or split toning settings – adding yellow to highlights and blue to shadows – to give photos more of a style.
KEY TIP: Make Your Eyes Pop
My biggest advice is to make sure eyes are sharp and bright (not too bright). This will make any portrait pop more!