Digital Cosmetic Surgery 101: An FS PPT By Sean Armenta

Hello Fstoppers! My name is Sean Armenta, and this is my little spot on Fstoppers called The Post Production Tutorial. If you enjoy these videos, feel free to subscribe to my new Fstoppers PPT Youtube Channel for the latest updates. I also do photography and retouching workshops over at Feel free to connect with me on the right side bar and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about retouching.

This time around I share a very simple and easy way to achieve facial symmetry in a straight-on beauty shot by cutting and pasting within the image.

It's in our human nature to want to improve ourselves and seek perfection. you only need to peruse the front pages of women's magazines to see the ads for cosmetics, hair care, and skin care to see how these companies feed into this pursuit of the "ideal beauty." For the most part it is out imperfections that make us human, and also what makes us beautiful and unique individuals. There are times however, when for the sake of the client's request, or for your own work, we aim for the supernatural, and retouching helps us get there.

I hope you enjoy watching this episode. On June 25th, I will be offering a retouching workshop geared towards photographers. We will be discussing beauty and fashion post production techniques in an easy to follow, non-technical manner. If you would like more info and to register, please visit

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Justin Hee's picture

 Awesome simple tutorial! :)

thanks to the wrong reflex in her left eye now she got strabismus :)

I'd love to see the person's face a year from now who is just starting out in photography and photoshop.  I bet the expression will be like someone winning the lottery...  These PPT's are unreal!

This technique is not always this simple. Great example in this case though. Sometimes it can yield a very unrealistic result. Since no ones face is perfectly symmetrical, it will seem "odd" or "fake" to the common viewer.

That is why you only are targeting only the flawed portions of the image. I would say that not everyone will copy the eye exactly. You would modify the replicated eye to not look  the same or combine the best parts of the original with the modification. You are correct people do not have 100% symmetry, but the goal is to get close as you can.

 Yea! Gotta be careful messing with eyes though! They can literally change a person's identity. Sean did a great job in this video. 

A nice simple technique, but would only really work if you have fairly flat lighting (which beauty shots often are) otherwise your shadows will be all backwards in the edited areas.  Dodge and burn could fix that to a certain degree but would increase the workload quite a bit.

Honestly people should go spend the $500 to learn this stuff if Sean is teaching it. He has some of the highest credibility from any photographer that actually deals with people that are not shooting the high level of work that he does. It would be different if this was just some guy teaching a class, but Sean shoots for WET SEAL and let's face it, many of us don't get to shoot for clients like that. His retouching techniques are proven and should be trusted. Many of the techniques he has shown on the site are legit and many retouchers use them as they are common knowledge to use, while not to most. 

I'm a purest and find this sort of behavior highly unethical! How cruel of you to digitally butcher someone's face..! 

Just kidding! Now I have a simple fix for a subject with a lazy eye.  Thanks fstoppers!  :-)

 Thanks Sean, great as always.

You should have corrected the highlight in the eye on the right too... any half way decent photographer would notice the highlights were wrong.

Sean Armenta's picture

wow thanks steve, you're quite the charmer.

haha yea i was waiting for him to show us how to adjust the highlights on the eyes and on the teeth, i guess i'll have to figure it out myself.

The video is really very impressive and informative. These was great technique of cosmetic surgery. The cosmetic surgery is one finest way to get change the appearance.

Garrett Graham's picture

I think the trick was to keep the tutorial simple and useful. Great job!