UPDATED: Retoucher Kristina Sherk Does Mind-Blowing Work

UPDATED: Retoucher Kristina Sherk Does Mind-Blowing Work

Photoshelter is hosting a webinar featuring retoucher Kristina Sherk this week, and to advertise the webinar they posted an animated gif showing before and after Sherk got her hands on the image. I was shocked, as Sherk not only easily erased 10 years off the model, but even more amazingly did it without making it look fake.


Unfortunately, the webinar closed because it filled, but Photoshelter will be posting a recording of that webinar on their blog later in the week. Amazing right?

UPDATE: It has come to Fstoppers's attention that in our original article showing the outstanding retouching work of Kristina Sherk and her upcoming webinar, we neglected to put the image (and the retouching applied to it) in the proper context. Having only what was written on the PhotoShelter Blog, we lacked the back story that properly contextualizes this image. In an effort to quickly publicize the webinar being hosted by PhotoShelter and SharkPixel.com, we failed to check into the full story behind the retouching. Thus, giving our readers a fragmented frame in which to view Kristina's work through.

Sherk’s original purpose behind retouching this image was strictly for educational purposes and is to be included in her upcoming instructional retouching DVD. Her intent with the image was to show the possibilities of post production, but with the stipulation that though it can be done, retouchers should take the skills learned in creating such a piece and utilize those skills in the degree they see fit for their client's needs.

[Via Photoshelter]

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Previous comments

oh great.. yet ANOTHER skin retouching tutorial.

how many do the world need? there are thousands already....

Yes, but this isn't a tutorial. And most tutorials out there boil down to "Gaussian blur" with, in my opinion, horrible results. I'd love to find what I consider a really good skin retouching tutorial out there, but haven't.

Ashley Carter's picture

I always wonder when it comes to focusing to retouching to this extent is it still photography? Or is post production an art in itself?

I definitely believe retouching is an art. And I think you've touched on a very interesting point! Thanks for sharing!

Ian McCausland's picture

Someone, please make another BTS video, cuz this site is stretching to fill with content.

I agree with most people here about the fingers and the fake look the image has, but I can appreciate the amount of work put in and yeah it is an improvement, but still a little heavy for me.

Is this supposed to look real? If so, a complete botch. Is it supposed to look like some kind of "perfect future human android prototype"? Then it looks good. It all depends on the purpose/intent of the work.

Yes, I never intend to make skin seem artificial.

Douglas Sonders's picture

haha youre cracking me up Jose

Jeremy Sale's picture

Nice work, Tobias!

Sorry, but way too over processed for my taste.

Yep, his models look like real people!

Jeremy Sale's picture

Stop. Please stop. It's 2013, and this is a step in the exact wrong direction.

His portfolio vs above work:


Dude, that's actually pretty good.

Jeremy Sale's picture

Thanks, Steven. Appreciated.

Yep, I prefer Jeremy's work to the above.

Jeremy Sale's picture

Kind words. Thanks!

Jeremy Sale's picture

Jose, thanks for the nod. To clarify, my point is not that Kristina's work is bad. It's good, and I respect her skill. But, as a photographer and a father of a young girl, I sincerely feel that we need less airbrushing and "perfecting" of people who are already beautiful—meaning everyone. There will always be a market for Cosmo-style retouching, and I salute anyone who can make a go of it. Do I re-touch? Damn straight. And we all have to make peace with ourselves somewhere on that slippery slope.

The skin texture looks very peculiar. I didn't see the webinar so this may have been discussed. I'm left wondering what the model actually feels about this retouch. I recognise that she's likely very used to this level of alteration but...

I haven't spoken with the model directly, but the photographer was thrilled with the end result. If he had any reservations, or aspects of the retouching job he would have liked fixed, I would have gladly addressed them for him. At the end of the day for me, the only people's opinions that matter are the ones of my direct client and his/her end client. As long as they're happy, I'm happy! But thanks for the comment! - Best, Kristina Sherk

Saying that your client's opinion is the only one that counts is shortsighted, if you are advertising teaching webinars for PhotoShelter. Satisfying clients, unless you are shooting major ad campaigns, and teaching worldwide webinars are not the same. People paying to learn from retouchers teaching on sites like PhotoShelter expect the experts to be top notch, so these criticisms matter.

It seems to be a hell of work. Maybe one can make a living out of such work for advertising and therefore it's OK. For my personal feelings it is way over done. But the worst thing is the hand job ;-) It looks like she has rubber fingers. But anyway, i like such examples and tuts because it is not necessary to over do the own work like this, but we can learn always some tricks.

Great work. I appreciate the skill that goes into a retouch like this. I'd love to see some of the work of all the folks in here who are bashing it.

april's fool RIGHT?

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