I'm a big fan of retouching. No, not that fake kind of retouching that makes people look like porcelain dolls. Not the kind that removes 10 pounds from people or makes them look like they never eat. What I do like, is the retouching that evens out skin, removes blemishes and adjusts skin tone to make people look their best.

The image in this post is an example of what I'm talking about. It's an image I shot at the Bahamas earlier this year. The model is Tomii Culmer. I think the retouching is quite subtle, and this is the direction I like to take things. You still see skin texture, you still see she's a human being.

The things I like to do are:

  • Remove blemishes
  • Even out harsh shadows and highlights
  • Reduce bags under the eyes
  • Adjust skin color and other colors to match the style I'm after
  • Burn (darked) some areas of the image to emphasize others (typically I'll add a slight vignette)
  • Sharpen and brighten eyes slightly

In this image, the hair is artifical. It's actually made of plastic. That means it doesn't reflect light like normal hair does and it gets a blueish tone to it. It's also not even, as the left sie of the image is more blue than the right side. Adding some warmth to the hair also balanced the image better, in my opinion.