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Retouching Using Photoshop Actions: Recap

Lesson 8 from: Boudoir Photography

Rachel Stephens

Retouching Using Photoshop Actions: Recap

Lesson 8 from: Boudoir Photography

Rachel Stephens

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Lesson Info

8. Retouching Using Photoshop Actions: Recap

Lesson Info

Retouching Using Photoshop Actions: Recap

Let's do something had shoddy, less body. This time we're face what you think. What do you think? What you guys want to upside downy like one of these, that see what that looks like? A big and I always go here. If it's shot with my tongue's done. I always go here to the soft first, actually, and that was a great point that people were asking while you were shooting is where you're just shooting in raw and not worried about the white balance, knowing that you would fix it later. Or what's your thoughts on white balance? I keep my white balance setting 3400 and then I should raw Um, because I shoot the way of my shooting style. Is this kind of gorilla shooting? I never know. I'm not like a controlled space, just like a studio. I might have a skylight in the in the venue that I can't cut the light. You know, when you have that blue cast coming in or there might be bright pink walls or you never know what were the lights gonna bounce? So that's why I do not shoot J pegs. You know, I need a...

ll of that information in my raw file. And you can if you start getting like, like, lost and where your color balance should be. You can grab this little guy right here and then kind of try to find, like, a like, a neutral point and see where what it does. Yeah, I'm liking this better. Okay, Okay. So do you guys want me just to kind of, like go through this little faster and not talk as much? I think I think the main thing for people is knowing if even when you are using the actions is what that's actually doing, that would be super helpful. Well, like I said, when I'm when I name them, they're pretty self explanatory, like, you know, color fix. So you know, when I'm on them, it's It's pretty. It's pretty self explanatory just by the name. But I'll try toe cool some of the actions because I work in actions. I forgot how to do them longhand, so I'll answer those questions as best I can. Great. So I'm opening liquefy again, and I'm looking for lines, so I'm looking for the fluidity of the, um of the image, and I'm looking for where my eyes are getting getting Get distracted. So right here distracting me. Someone straighten that out a little bit. And this year right here is distracting me a little And just the arm a little bit. And remember, if you if it starts getting to areas that are blurred, just wiggle. And you can even just kind of make the strap little thinner because this one's thin on this side. So I don't want this one to be too wide, So we have a little distortion lens distortion, so I don't know why this isn't opening. Oh, I think I'm doing something bad. Stand by. There we go. I think that's where iwas, right? Yeah. I'm going to go in again. So right here is bothering me just a little bit, so I'm just gonna even this out right here. What about it? Rachel was bothering you. Um, when I'm looking here, I see a nice round curvature that I'm looking here, and it's kind of like it's more like this. So when if my if my eyes aren't going over an image fluidly okay, then I'm gonna want to adjust that little thing like here in my eyes. You know, you've got this curvature here, curve, and then it's like, this way. So I want to make these beam or a little bit more symmetrical perfectly. It doesn't have to be perfect. You can't even buy perfectly symmetrical boobs. So it's okay for them to be a little uneven, But you just don't want anything dramatic. And, you know, you wanna help a sister out sometimes when you got him on their back. The gravity is not being friend, so just that tiny little adjustment just makes it better. So remember when I was talking about when? When you have a client that's upside down and they'll look up like this and their forehead so even though is having her close her eyes, these lines are still significantly less than if I was just like, Well, I'm gonna have to photo shop it anyway. So just keep looking at me. The fact that I had her close your eyes and relax her. If you remember, I had her go like that than the forehead releases and then opens her eyes really quickly, even though I have some of the lines, these would have been all the way across heavily creased if I didn't have her do that. So that's what something that I'm keeping in mind when im posing and shooting is what I'm gonna have to be retouching on the on the back end. And so the first thing that I'm gonna do is I'm gonna get rid of the the increases that we just talked about before I do any kind of like color correcting. So I've got my patch tool. You can see just how easily you can control what you want to manipulate with the patch tool. Sometimes I feel like the healing brush is it's It's kind of like a box of chocolates. You're not sure what you're gonna get. I feel like the patch tools just much more reliable and again going back to the whole concept of an artist mixing their paints when we adjust opacity and then, um, flatten were blending are paints for our canvas. So we're doing just a little area doing the oap, a city flattening and starting again. That's how we maintained the texture. Typically, with these kind of wrinkles here, these I will always smooth them out. I don't leave them. Obviously, I'll get rid of forehead lines. Crow's feet are wrinkles that all minimize, but I'll keep and you want to be. You want to be careful. You want to keep just flattening, blending, you know, just do, even if it's, um even if you have to do it times to see all the texture here, even though we've gotten rid of the lines. So we still have all this texture in here. If I was just doing this on one layer, the all that text will be gone by now. So one of the coolest things, too, about Photoshopped. I know that Photoshopped has. Ah, I think it's called elements, which I heard is good, but Photoshopped there's like, you know, 10 different ways. You can do the same thing so you can You can get there, but they're always coming up with such cool things. So it gives you that opportunity like we talked about with always learning and evolving. And I personally really love that this career isn't just stagnant, you know, you're always learning stuff and always freshening up your tool kit. That's pretty much our theme here at great alive, always learning, and I wish that I had a resource like creative life when I was starting because we didn't have anything like that. And I'm dating myself that there was there was nothing like that on the Interwebs back in the day and as a single mom working a full time job, There was no way that I could go to school to learn what I wanted to dio. Okay, so I've got the forehead taking care of and all of this stuff will blend back later. But see these the's big pieces here in the skin. I'm going to remove those right now before I start to color. Correct. And that's just the same technique that you've been using. This is just the patch tool. I'm basically giving myself a foundation right now because remember when we started and I used that power mixer the perfect prep, and it did it kind of like, really went bam. And we're, like, brighten things up and sharpened it and brought the highlights out. I know just seeing these issues here. I don't want to magnify those for myself. I want to take care of it right right here, and you'll see. You will see this too. When you're working with women a lot of times on their nervous, their skins get gets flushed. So happen in the cheek that happened a lot on the chest and that any time they have, like, like anything impressing, you know, constricting the skin like a bra strap. It'll just leave. Not only a mark, but see how in her shoulder here it just, like, made the whole shoulder red. That's actually really common. That's also another reason why when I was posing her, So I'm just gonna pull. I saw it happening. I'm gonna pull your bra strap off your shoulder. So if I see that happening, I'll just have her and, you know, and then they They're getting saucy, you know, kind of like, leads up, took it. Now we're gonna lose the brawl. But that's another reason why I do it. If I see it start getting really read, I'll just pop that right off their shoulder. It doesn't have to be perfect. Weaken blend later. I'm just gonna take care of the little okay. All right. So let's go ahead and run this guy. So if I would have done this at first, those four headlines would have been gnarly. And this right here would have been, um, a lot worse. So now I can figure out where I wanna level this without distractions, and I feel like it just kind of made it to white here on the couch. Take that out. Okay, just gonna go to the quick color fix and you'll see how it kind of d saturates but doesn't totally take out all the color tones. And let's do our little, um, skin blending hack where we grabbed our hue saturation, we grabbed our little hand Gonna pull out some of that And I'm tap tapping and pulling to the left towards de saturating, you hear a little So she has, like, less pink in her skin. So now bringing over the huge towards a yellow actually looks a lot nicer than the first example. So you can see how this hack works. It's really fast, and it's just it's just a really amazing um quick trick. Help get you there, case we're gonna clean skin. Let's start for the sake of time to start going for a year. If anybody has questions, just blurt them out. We will, and sometimes you're going, you'll be surprised, like what's actually color and what's texture like here. You know, I'm like, Come on! Oh, that's texture. OK, so it kind of helps you understand. Um, the landscape of pixels and color. It's interesting. One of these days I'll have to bite the bullet and get glasses. It's like I don't know when I made that jump from Chiquta, ma'am, like it happened overnight. I was like, Waas, call me mam. So also with texture if you want to kind of, like, shape some of like if you have, like a bump in the nose or something, you can like, really quickly reshape a little bit and just kind of take some of that focus off just kind of like softening a little bit, but you're not totally removing it. So this is really common when you have someone who starts to sweat cause it gets hot under the lights and they're nervous. Other sweating really just starts. Do you start to get a lot of hot spots in here? This technique is wonderful for that because not only can you go through and start doing that, then you could describe Go into your color layer and then just grab your brush and then pick sample color and then just start painting it in again. The goal here is just to smooth everything out. Is that accurate? We're cleaning the skin, and you know there are some. There are some images where you don't have to smooth it like this is enough. And if you have the time, I mean, this is the technique that high end beauty Rita Cher's use. So when you see those pictures of, like, Loreal and they're like, you know, like, freakishly perfect. But you still see like poor's that you have a team of Rita Cher's spending, you know, 3456 hours on one image doing this technique going and pixel by pixel. I mean, I don't have that time. Yeah, so just running the same action and just fine tuning here and because of the all the texture where we've come from, I'm not gonna take I'm not gonna take it all back. I'm gonna leave some the texture in her skin so that she can recognize herself. Even if it's something that you know as a re toucher, we would, you know, typically take away is take away all of that texture we want as portrait photographers. I think we want to be able to still present a polished image that a client's going totally recognize herself. So these here, I'm not gonna remove. I'm gonna grab my brush sample. I'm just gonna blend in the skin tones here. I'm gonna go a little heavier on this side, so you can see I'm, um, going back and forth with a pay city. So I went, like, 40% right here, and I'm like, 10% to blend on the sides because I don't want to completely flatten it out. Okay. Okay. So I'm gonna smooth it here. I think we're I'm a rather long winded. Start explaining things. I don't realize it. I need to, like, shorten it. Now we want the explanation. So it's all good. It's all good. And for those of you that have purchased that there's, like, four hours of me retouching longhand, No actions. So there's you can go back and, um, work with may. So it's really just a lot of blending back and forth, back and forth. You can see I use skin clean a lot. I use this more than anything else in photo shop. Is this technique right here? Let's see. It's going a little closer here for you guys. Remember I said I'd come back and take care of this? Smooth this out. We want to keep these laugh lines, see how we've got. That's actually perfect. I like it really subtle. And like I said, you can go in here and you could make it more, um, intense if you want. And these right here, I'm gonna keep I've softened them a little bit, but I'm gonna keep them on her face. Just cleaning the whites of the eyes, Pop the highlights. And the cool thing with the dark images to is you can, um, reapply some of the makeup. It's the eyeliner and the pop highlights. You can also go into the hair with it, and we're almost there writing in a little. And I don't think on this image I would do a glow. I'd be done right here and then sharpen it. And that's it. It's beautiful. Maybe a little Matt. I love it. Rachel, do you guys want to see where we started? That's what I was just gonna ask, Can we step through the process what you did there? Sure. Nice. So it's a lot of little subtle things, but a big difference. I've always felt that retouching his best when it makes you look like your best self instead of someone that you're not exactly what I think that achieves exactly. And it's so easy to do that with photo shop where you start Well, this is just don't look better if I smooth this out and it's gonna look better, and yet it may look better, but then we're getting away from the off offense sis ity of the person.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Client Policy
Example: 2 Day Schedule
Lightroom Presets
Lightroom Presets Installation Instructions
Client Session Information
Full Edit & Longhand Retouch Partt 1
Full Edit & Longhand Retouch Part 2
Full Edit & Longhand Retouch Part 3
Longhand Retouch Part 1
Longhand Retouch Part 2
Facebook Ad Creation
Full Edit in Lightroom

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Let me first start off by saying that Rachel puts her subject first. She has a passion for empowering the everyday woman, showing them that Boudoir photography by no means only belongs to the "supermodels". She shows them that they're amazing and beautiful, and it was so comforting and heartwarming to see this in action in her Creative Live course! When Rachel's shooting with a client it's almost like no-one's in the room but the two of them. Rachel gives her undivided attention to the client's safety and well-being and general comfort. I was so glad I tuned in for the course as I learnt countless tips and techniques about lighting, angles, posing, different settings for the different types of shots you'd want to grab. Another reason that watching the class was such a pleasure for me is that Rachel comes across as that awesome, down to earth, lovely friend you might have in your life, who just happens to be one of the BEST Boudoir photogs on the planet! This was an excellent workshop, top to bottom, and I'd recommend purchasing it to anyone who wants to learn everything about this type of photography, including the business side of things which her husband, Sean, explained thoroughly. I have absolutely no idea what a couple reviewers were "disappointed with" but take it from me - this is a STELLAR course and if you're looking to get into the business, or just even honing your skills on photographing the ladies, this is most definitely the course for you! Tons of info - great guidelines on how to handle your models, great info on lighting, lenses and settings! Rachel will make you fall in love with Boudoir photography like your life depended on it! She's just THAT good! So go on, purchase the course and have her invaluable instruction at your fingertips whenever you need it!


I mainly photograph landscapes but I'm interested in learning other types of photography. Being introverted it's a challenge for me to photograph people but I it's a barrier I want to get over. I purchased this course and some others on portraiture and boudoir photography. While Rachel and her husband aren't polished speakers I thought they were honest and straightforward. The "clients" being photographed seemed a bit nervous but I imagine that had a lot to do with the fact they were doing the boudoir session live in front of thousands if not millions of viewers. Rachel also had to keep in mind she was tethered and the recording of the session while photographing her client so I don't think this was optimal and Rachel's back began to bother her so I'm sure she was in some physical pain. Regardless, the resulting pictures were beautiful so Rachel was able to make her clients feel "safe" enough to get through the session. Also it seems part of the audience were women who had been photographed by Rachael so it says something that they came to learn from and support Rachel. I appreciated Rachel was photographing real women, not models. What I liked most about this course is it made me feel like little 'ol ordinary me could be a boudoir photographer too If I am ever inclined to do so. Her style of photography isn't quite mine, but the session was still useful and instructive especially with regard to her lighting set up. I wish Rachel had talked a bit more about setting up the support team that goes around with her like her make up and hair artists, how she finds and decides on houses to rent and what cities she goes to, etc. but I guess you can't go over every single thing in a single course or maybe that can be a future course. Rachel and her husband seemed like a nice down to earth couple who put their family first and they were quite honest about some of the difficulties and their concerns over safety for themselves and their clients. I was touched that Rachel photographs women who have gone through cancer treatment for free as I do volunteer work in a hospital. I thought the bonus and included materials which had Rachel's Lightroom presets and her client info packet was very generous. Some of the other photographers charge for getting a copy of their client documents and presets. I purchased Rachel's eBook off Amazon and wanted to purchase Rachel's Photoshop actions but in searching for the purchase links I read Rachel is going through some health issues, I think it was spinal fusion, and it seems has suspended her business until she recovers. It looks like she plans to still make her "return" sessions starting with Hawaii during April 2017. I wish her and her family the best and will say a prayer for her quick and complete recovery. Thank you Rachel and Sean for coming to Creative Live and I hope you will teach another class or at least participate in a critique of boudoir photographs.


Warning: You are about to encounter a large number of exclamation points. ;-) This was such a great course! It was great to learn boudoir with such a caring, generous, and knowledgeable pair! Rachel really brought it with her posing, shooting, and building rapport with her clients. She even kept going while in intense pain! Also, the sections on retouching were EXCELLENT! I had trouble following the first retouching segment where she used her actions, but then she came back to retouching later and showed us how to do each step "longhand". Knowing what each action is designed for makes such a difference! I feel like Rachel read the audience and saw that we were floundering, and tailored her presentation to just what we needed! Sean was also very thorough in his presentation of the "business" side. It is hard, as an artist, for me to run my business like a business. Sean showed how it can be done. He also showed the need for a strong "why" to focus on when telling others about policies. "It's a business. I need to feed my kids." I need to reach down and find my "why" that will keep me strong enough to stand behind my policies and pricing. I haven't gotten a chance to sit down and go through all of the bonus materials yet, but I am so excited to see what's in there! I saw that Rachel had posted a longhand version of the "little hug," and I watched it, and I have been trying it out on some of my older images. Just that one little tweak makes such a difference! Thank you, Rachel and Sean, for giving us SO MUCH usable content! I'm so glad I decided to watch and then purchase this course! And I can't wait to see the two of you again for your next creativeLIVE!

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