5 Common Portrait Retouching Mistakes

The vast majority of portraits you shoot will involve at least a small degree of retouching to create a finished image, and there are a lot of places where things can go awry. This excellent video tutorial will show you five retouching mistakes portrait photographers make and how you can either fix them or avoid them completely. 

Coming to you from FJH Photography, this awesome video tutorial will show you five retouching mistakes portrait photographers make. By far, the most common I see is simply overdoing the entire edit, causing the subject to look artificial. This is something beginner and experienced photographers alike can fall prey to, particularly since in retouching, we often work at a highly zoomed-in level, which can make it difficult to keep track of how the overall image is developing over time. A simple way around this is to simply make a habit out of zooming out every few minutes to keep an eye on things. When you are done with an edit, step away from your computer for a few minutes to reset your eyes, then come back with a fresh set of eyes to evaluate it one more time. You'll often end up dialing things back just a little. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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4 Comments
Hans J. Nielsen's picture

The worst offending, I see a lot of YouTuber do, is apply a color filter and calling it a day.

I once wrote to a YouTuber and told him that it was amateurish to change the models' natural blue eyes to brown, just because he did that. At least have the curtesy to emphasize the model's personality not just rape her of it.
(didn't quite use those words though)

He wrote back and told me photography is an art and everyone had their own opinion on how to grade photos.

I almost wrote back to him, that there is a differens between art and bad taste and that he should learn it, but I refrained.

Lennart Böwering's picture

Thanks for the Video. I feel like every photographer that started in the digital age has been guilty of at least one of these. It's hard to decide at first if an image "pops" in a good or a bad way.

To add to the sharpening discussion: It's also very important which medium your image will be on and at what resolution. If you use your image on Instagram, watch the sharpening on your phone (and maybe use the app's own sharpness slider). If you print on different material –matte, glossy, metallic – each one will need it's own amount of sharpening to look best.
Same with the Skin "blurring". Even if you use frequency separation, if you export to a low resolution the skin will most likely still look too soft, because the highest frequencies won't even get rendered.

Martin Ivanic's picture

Great video, your style is 🔥 please keep these videos coming and continue to share your knowledge. I am always learning something new from you and enjoy following your work. Thank you🙌🏻👏🏻

Julio Colon's picture

I love your style and I love your videos. You teach us so much. I appreciate it FJH!