Portrait Retouching Basics

Lesson 1/7 - Class Introduction


Portrait Retouching Basics


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

First of all I'm excited to be here today, because this is a topic that I love to do. I love retouching. I know it's not a topic that everyone enjoys, to be honest, lets' be honest here, because retouching is something people have a hard time doing. And I get satisfaction out of teaching people how to make it enjoyable. Because if it's not enjoyable, you're gonna hate it, and you're gonna hate your profession, for the most part, if you don't like the retouching process. And I think more than ever- I was having a discussion just yesterday, with Chris Knight, about how these days camera sensors and cameras have gotten really intense in terms of, how many megapixels they have, how sharp their files are- so it can become really hard to retouch if you don't have a proper work flow. So today, even though we have just ninety minutes, and often retouching takes a lot longer than ninety minutes, I wanna cover a lot of good things, and try to outline what my normal process is. So, let's get star...

ted. For those of you who don't know me, I'm, like Jim said, a commercial and editorial retoucher. So I do a lot of work for magazines, art directors, campaigns, what have you, you know, personal projects, fine art work. Pretty much the whole gamut and the whole spectrum. I work directly with photographers. I work directly with agencies, editors, and pretty much everyone. So I have experience in terms of what they're looking for, what photographers are looking for. So it's not just about having my own style as a retoucher, but also being able to accomplish what their tasks and goals are for specific images. But I think ultimately, on top of whatever they're looking for, there's commonalities between everything. And that's what I wanna highlight, is what are these commonalities? And what tools can we use to get there as quick as possible? Because, like I said, even though retouching is not something that is quick, and people always look for you know, what's the fastest way? But often there are techniques and tools that you can use in order to make that process quite quick, and with pretty decent results. And I wanna show you without doing any shortcuts. Because, the biggest thing people look for these days are, what's the quickest way to retouch? And I think that mentality has to change. It has to be, what's the best way to retouch? And, how can I get faster at it? Because when you focus on that, then retouching can become, you know, what you want it to. It can bridge the gap from what you're seeing, to how the final retouched image looks in your mind. Because photoshop is just a tool to bridge that gap, I think. That's what retouching really is. It's about, how can I take this image that I have taken, and make it look like I saw in my mind that day? And I think half the battle is when you take your photos and bring them home, you see your images on the computer, the next day or the evening, hopefully the next day when you've got some rest, is you realize they're not sometimes as good as what you thought they were in your mind. That's what happened to me as a photographer. When I would shoot, I would bring these images home and they didn't look as good as I imagined them to be. And I realized, my imagination was running wild that day and there were a lot of emotional factors that came into play, there are a lot of factors that you know, I was kind of imagining, but also it's like video in the sense where with video, you don't really see a lot of the flaws of a person when you're there in front of them, but when you take a still, you exemplify everything that you don't really notice. And you wanna take away all that stuff, and make it look like, you know, what you're seeing in your head. So that's what we're gonna talk about. And how to achieve those results.

Class Description

The idea of retouching portraits doesn’t have to be daunting. In this quick start course, Pratik Naik explores and teaches powerful and easy to follow tools that will allow you to retouch a portrait with relative ease! It will instill confidence into your new found workflow and allow you to keep people looking natural, yet refined.


Travis Ziegler

Solid class. I enjoyed this. Simple, straightforward and useful. Well done.

Bjorn Carlen

I like the fact that Naik is presenting us with a full retouching workflow, however basic it may be. This makes it a lot easier to wrap your head around as you’re learning. It’s a very short and basic class, but the calm and logical approach of Naik makes it a gold mine for someone who’s trying to make sense out of skin retouching.


Solid class, though could use some work with pacing. I really liked the part about using different layers for editing work