Retouching. It seems to have a pretty bad reputation, most people's first thoughts are 'can you make me look thinner' or 'remove all my spots'. The truth is that retouching is so much more than simply 'airbrushing' blemishes, it encompasses everything that's done to an image in post to enhance it beyond what could be taken with a camera. With different types of photography, different levels and styles of retouching are required/expected for example, an advertising campaign for a top 100 brand would have much more work in post than say a story appearing in a national newspaper.

In an actors headshot, the end goal isn't to make everything look perfect. If the retouching is too heavy handed, it's unlikely that the final image will be a true representation of who you are. Your headshot needs to look like you, on your best day. There's a lot that can be done in post that will enhance a photo whilst retaining a natural, 'real' look. Subtle techniques to adjust the colour, tone, contrast and brightness of your headshot can help draw the viewers attention to important features and make your eyes stand out.

In this video below I talk through what my typical process is for retouching an actors headshot.

I've also added a few before/after images so you can see the changes I make in post production for actors headshots.

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Original left, retouched right. The changes here are very subtle, balancing colours to match skin tones and reducing some small blemishes.

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Very subtle changes, just reducing some blemishes and lightening areas underneath the eyes.

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Colour adjusted to match correct skin tones.

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Colour adjusted to correct skin tones, some small blemishes reduced.