Highend Retouching Tips for Photographers

Highend Retouching Tips for Photographers

Want to master highend retouching? Don’t know with what to start photoshopping portraits? Read the following 20 basic highend retouching tips to enhance your portrait photos and give them a magazine look in Photoshop and Lightroom.

High End Beauty Retouching Steps:

  1. Photo cropping
  2. Color correction
  3. Makeup enhancement
  4. High End skin retouching
  5. Make a Hollywood smile
  6. Get rid of flyaway hair
  7. Remove creases & wrinkles on clothes
  8. Body retouching
  9. Background enhancement
  10. High End photo stylization

Highend Retouching Tips for Amateur Photographers

1. Make Proper Angles Adjustment

high end photo retouching

While photoshopping portraits, the correct use of the Crop Tool during the highend retouching can enhance not only the photo itself but also the story it has to convey, by increasing the main and desirable elements and deleting some unwanted fragments.

  • Remove unnecessary details from the background
  • Don’t always put your subject on the center
  • Try cropping photos at eye level
  • When editing faces, leave some spare place
  • Don’t cut off limbs at the joint

Image Cropping Tutorial: Examples and Ideas for Creating Better Composition

2. Improve Colors

high end photo retouching

The top-secret element for standing out from the crowd of other photographers is all about knowing how to do color correction and color grading. This photo editing step includes changes in white balance, contrast, exposure, shadows, highlight, noise, curves, hue, saturation, solid color fill and levels.

  • Calibrate your monitor before color correction
  • Use the Lightroom Basic Panel to edit photos
  • Increase the highlights to give more contrast
  • Make color grading naturally, don’t overdo
  • Make all your photos’ colors match


Taking Your Photos to the Next Level with Color Theory

3. Add “Digital Make-up”

high end photo retouching

It would be great to have a skillful makeup artist at every photo session. During high end beauty shooting, the make-up can be damaged by sweat or the lightning can make it unnatural. Fortunately, you can apply Photoshop face retouching techniques to improve the makeup.

  • Use the Radial Filter to boost the irises
  • Use the Spot Healing brush and Clone Stamp tool to smooth creases and wrinkles
  • Sharpen portrait photos on just the red channel, because it contains very little skin texture
  • Apply the Patch tool and Clone Stamp to remove dark circles under eyes
  • Always make sure the foundation used on the models face matched the rest of her/his bodies skin tone.

HighEnd Retouching Photoshop CC Tutorial: Retouching Skin & Makeup Easily

4. Do Natural Skin Retouching

professional skin retouching in photoshop

During the high end beauty retouching process, the main and the essential thing is to ensure everything is in harmony, whether it is colors, tones, light or even skin texture. Talking about the latest, it is very important to find a middle ground during portrait photo retouching, as a high level of sharpness can make the skin too clear so that every pore may be visible. On the contrary, making only slight skin improvements is not desirable as well. So, how to smooth skin in Photoshop to make it look perfect in high resolution?

In fact, even professionals spend hours retouching skin tones in Photoshop and removing every defect with the help of the Clone and Healing tools. As for amateurs, they tend to smooth skin in a way that just erases its texture and makes it look absolutely unrealistic. Do not forget to pay attention to the whole body, as you may need to correct the shapes first, and then go to the high end skin retouching & sculpting. Get to know more about the high pass skin retouching and make your photo awesome with the help of the following video.

Beauty Portrait - HighEnd Retouching Skin & Hair

5. Enhance Lips

high end retouching

It is necessary to enhance the model’s lips and add some gloss in Photoshop. Sometimes there are also problems with the line of the lips. Regardless of the quality of the lipstick and how it is applied to a model, you can still have troubles with uneven lines of the lips. This can be especially hard to correct for brighter colors, as it will be more evident in close up shots.

  • Smooth the 1st Layer to make a good foundation
  • Apply a warm up setup with the Adjustment Brush tool to make lips pop
  • Reduce Clarity and Contrast to make lips look gentle
  • Avoid using the same brush inside the mouth

How to Retouch Lips in Photoshop HighEnd Retouching Tutorial

6. Whiten Teeth

high end retouching

White teeth or a so-called Hollywood smile looks gorgeous, but most people have some yellowness of different intensity on their teeth or poor lighting during high end shooting. When it comes to the high end photo retouching, it is necessary to remove this imperfection and remove the yellow tint of the teeth but keep the smile natural. Read our article about how to whiten teeth in Lightroom or download free Lightroom brushes to remove this little imperfection in 1 click.

How to Whiten Teeth in Lightroom

7. Get Rid of Flyaway Hair

high end beauty retouching

It is nearly impossible to create such conditions that the model’s hair will be stiff. Even small strays of hair can spoil the most eye-catching photo. Flyaway hair is beyond your control and can cross the model’s face or just stick out in all the directions, which looks rather grubby. No amount of hairspray can totally fend off the wind, which means if you’re going to take high end photoshoot outside, you need to do high end photo retouching with stray hair.

  • Adjust the Feathering and Contrast sliders to get the selection edge as soft or sharp as you need
  • Use the Healing brush tool
  • Don’t overdo with the Healing brush, you need to reduce flyaways, not erase them altogether.

HighEnd Retouching Tutorial - Remove FLYAWAY Stray Hairs in Photoshop CC FAST

8. Use Skin Retouching Frequency Separation Technique

high end beauty retouching

Frequency Separation enables you to create two layers (high-frequency and low-frequency) to retouch the details and colors separately. This method has gained vast popularity in the editorial photography. In such a way, you can do the Photoshop skin retouching actions, without affecting the colors and shadows, which will be elaborately enhanced on the other level. So, you can fully control both the details and the colors.

On the other side, Frequency Separation has some negative aspects concerning its usage. In other words, shooters may do it incorrectly or go too far. The secret of the high end retouching is the NATURAL look. Never forget about this unspoken rule. When the skin looks too ideal, people just don’t believe such “fake” shots.

HighEnd Retouching Tutorial: How to Retouch Skin Flawlessly with Frequency Separation

9. Remove Creases & Wrinkles on Clothes

high end beauty retouching

You probably will not have an eye-catching shot if the model is wearing wrinkled or stained clothing. Clothes retouching is removing wrinkles, stains, pins, and folds. Highend retouching of clothes is to make the apparel flawless and ideally smooth out all the creases without changing the fabric texture. You may use Frequency Separation or Spot Healing Brush Tool for this stuff.

How to Remove Wrinkles out of Clothes – Photoshop CC HighEnd Retouching Tutorial

10. Use a Liquify Tool for Clothes

high end photo retouching

It is really important to make the clothes look truly presentable and attractive. Regardless of the effect you want to achieve, whether it is a crisp suit or nice edges, it is recommended to use the Liquify tool. You can use it while performing complex high end retouching as well as doing some simple things, anyway, your photo is going to be perfect. It will enable you to push, pull, rotate, reflect, pucker, and bloat any part of the photo. This tool will be really helpful for the highend retouching if it is necessary to correct the shape of the clothes or some incongruous bulges that appear as a result of the model’s posing. But you should be careful and use this tool moderately. It is the Liquify tool that is the reason for the horrible excesses when men and women look extremely unnatural.

Using Liquify in Photoshop to Streamline Bulges in Clothes Tutorial

11. Remove Distracting Objects

high end photo retouching

Everything that distracts your attention from the main subject of the photo may just spoil its message and turn the story you’re trying to share with the photo in a trifle. Whether it’s a small element, or a person, it still can easily be removed from the picture, without distorting it.

  • Remove small objects using the Spot Healing brush
  • Use the Content-Aware Fill, Content-Aware and Content-Aware Move tool for a quick retouching
  • Use the Extend Mode to remove all unnecessary objects without visible spots.
  • Undo = Command + Z (Windows Undo = Control + Z)

How to Remove ANYTHING from a Photo in Photoshop

12. Adjust Skin Tones

high end photo retouching

The ideal tone of the skin is the indicator that helps to distinguish a professional high end portrait retouching from an amateur one. The skin tends to give the retouchers the most challenging set of colors in a photo, ranging from the brightest to the darkest and including a great diversity of color combinations, where we can meet brown, pink, yellow, orange and many other shades. The lack of such a variety of colors will be noticeable and unattractive and it will bring your entire highend retouching to nothing, especially for advertising, high resolution purposes.

Skin Tone Photoshop HighEnd Retouching Tutorial

13. Reduce Noise

high end photo retouching

In fact, noise shouldn’t be such a problem, as you can easily improve the quality of the pixels. However, during the high end portrait retouching of the photos with low light, noise causes lots of problematic issues. It may take you some of the time to perform the editing and get the high-quality pictures as a result.

  • For lower Noise Levels shoot 100, 200, 400 and 800 ISO
  • Use the ‘Reduce Noise Filter’
  • Use the Surface Blur to reduce noise
  • Evaluate noise on the RGB channels

How to Reduce Noise in Photoshop | Remove Grains from Photos | Noise Reduction

14. Add Volume and Shine to Hair

high end retouching before after

Hair retouching may be the most difficult part of the highend retouching for the majority of the photographers. Change its shape, add some extra hair, add the volume, and give the complete and beautiful look. Due to the style and peculiarities of the hair, there are a lot of details that need paying attention to in the high fashion retouching.

How to Retouch Hair in Photoshop HighEnd Retouching Tutorial

15. Change the Hair Color

high end retouching before after

If you need to change the hair color, remember that it is much easier to make hair dark than light. So, turning black hair into fair is almost impossible. You will spend lots of hours, doing the manipulations and may still fail to reach the realistic shade. Be very attentive with high end retouching, as you may oversaturate the hair color and get yellowish shade instead of a pure white tone.

How to Change Hair Color in Photoshop

16. Change the Background

high end retouching before after

Watching Youtube high end retouching videos, you may notice that photographers often have to change the background, especially for advertisement. If you have to work with a portrait, this procedure will be rather time-consuming, as you have to create an accurate mask for hair. The most difficult things to cut out are clothes, jewelry, and hair. Check if there are no signs of the initial background around your subject. Performing high end photo retouching you need to take into account how the light affects the background. There are lots of retouching classes and videos on this topic. You will probably find many techniques on how to do it professionally. The next video tutorial may be very useful to understand the process or you can always address online background retouching service to receive a gorgeous look in high resolution.

Photoshop - How to Change Your Background Color

17. Use a Graphics Tablet

With a graphics tablet you can perform high end retouching fast and conveniently any time you need. Use hotkeys to speed up your work.


Wacom Small Intuos Pro Pen
& Touch Tablet

Wacom Small Intuos Pro Pen & Touch Tablet



Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Intel Core i5 4GB

Microsoft Surface Pro 4



With this tablet, you can fully control all the adjustments done. Wacom Tablet is a powerful tool, with which you can edit the shots even while traveling from one location to another. So, your clients will get the results much faster.

18. Follow Pratik Naik

pratik naik

Pratik Naik has become popular because of his professional style of high end retouching. He has created Solstice Retouch studio which cooperates with the most successful shooters and model agencies. You may find Pratik Nail retouching series, watch YouTube videos, review Pratik Naik blog and look through his Instagram to understand what high fashion retouching means. His works are printed in the most well-known periodicals, while Pratik Naik tutorial has become the guidance for lots of amateur and pro photographers. Pratik Naik retouching series consist of 43 episodes dedicated to different aspects of the high end retouching

You can monitor his activity not to miss Pratik Naik workshop in your town. He has been engaged in high end retouching for more than a decade and is willing to share his secrets in a YouTube video.

Pratik Naik HighEnd Retouching

19. Use Free HighEnd Lightroom Presets


Fashion Lightroom presets professionally designed to give your magazine photos a magic and outstanding tone, enabling you to streamline your image editing process and enhance your photographs. A useful tool for beauty, glamour and fashion photographers, and fashion bloggers.

20. Use Free HighEnd Photoshop Actions


Beautiful Free Photoshop actions to enhance your portrait photos in several clicks. Professional color correction and stylization in one bundle. Without hidden payments, fully adjustable PS actions.

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