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Skin 101: Lighting, Retouching and Understanding Skin

with Lindsay Adler

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  •   Trailer

  •   09 Direction of Light

    27:49

Class duration: 15h 18m

See all 37 lessons
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About The Class

Get an in-depth education shooting a variety of skin textures and tones.


Capturing beautiful skin tones is essential to the success of any portrait, yet skin is notoriously difficult to photograph and retouch. Skin comes in all colors, tones, and textures — each requiring different treatment.

Learn how to handle your subject's skin and add polish to all of your portraits. In this course, Lindsay Adler will take you through the essentials of understanding, lighting, photographing and retouching skin in all its variations.

Lay a strong foundation for a great shoot by learning easy make-up tips. Get an in-depth look at how light modifiers, reflectors, and direction of light impact the appearance of skin for both natural light and studio lighting. Learn advanced color calibration and color correction. Master setting up your camera to capture accurate color and when to modifying in post-production to get ideal skin representation.

Lindsay will teach you how to work with a variety of skin textures and tones – whether the skin is very pale, extremely dark, very oily, has extreme blemishes and much more. You’ll learn everything from how to photograph each type of skin to how to retouch these varieties in skin.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Skin Essentials: White Balance

    30:58
  2. 02

    Shoot: Setting White Balance Demo

    10:13
  3. 03

    Skin Essentials: Mixed Lighting, Color Contamination

    41:10
  4. 04

    Camera Settings: Files

    20:49
  5. 05

    Camera Settings: Color Spaces

    42:52
  6. 06

    Color Management

    19:03
  7. 07

    Exposure

    16:15
  8. 08

    Shoot: Quality of Light

    25:04
  9. 09

    Direction of Light

    See how a light source and its position dramatically changes the appearance of a person's skin.

    27:49
  10. 10

    Makeup: Basics

    28:47
  11. 11

    Shoot: Contouring

    27:28
  12. 12

    Retouching

    19:13
  13. 13

    Shoot: Oily Skin

    18:08
  14. 14

    Shoot: Wrinkled Skin

    23:55
  15. 15

    Shoot: Blotchy or Blemished Skin

    26:59
  16. 16

    Skin Challenges: Pale and Dark

    16:31
  17. 17

    Shoot: Dark Skin

    17:58
  18. 18

    Dark Skin Q&A

    22:10
  19. 19

    Shoot: Pale Skin and Multiple Skin Tones

    38:48
  20. 20

    Shoot: Dark Skin in Sunlight

    21:56
  21. 21

    Shoot: Mixed Tones and Pale Skin in Sunlight

    15:56
  22. 22

    Skin Challenges: Dark Skin Outside

    23:45
  23. 23

    Skin Challenges: Multiple Skin Tones Outside

    16:08
  24. 24

    Shoot: Male Fitness

    34:00
  25. 25

    Shoot: Female Beauty

    25:48
  26. 26

    Retouching: Workspace Setup

    28:12
  27. 27

    Retouching Skin: Removing Redness

    29:25
  28. 28

    Retouching Skin: Basic Tools

    25:21
  29. 29

    Retouching Skin: Frequency Separation

    37:46
  30. 30

    Retouching: Contouring

    15:21
  31. 31

    Retouching Contouring Wrinkles

    14:45
  32. 32

    Retouching Skin: Oily and Freckles

    16:42
  33. 33

    Retouching: Mixed Lighting

    16:07
  34. 34

    Retouching: Color Casts

    22:39
  35. 35

    Retouching: Color Correction

    26:53
  36. 36

    Retouching: Shaping the Face

    37:04
  37. 37

    Retouching: Beauty

    36:15

Meet Your Expert

Lindsay Adler

Fashion photographer Lindsay Adler has risen to the top of her industry as both a photographer, educator, and Canon Explorer of Light. Based in New York City, her fashion editorials have appeared in numerous fashion and photography publications including Marie Claire, Elle, InStyle, Noise, Essence, Zink Magazine, Rangefinder, Professional Photographer and dozens more. As a photographic educator, she is one of the most sought after speakers internationally, teaching on the industry's largest platforms and most prestigious events.  ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Makeup Contour Reference
  • pdf Retouching Checklist
  • pdf Frequency Separation
  • pdf Retouching Files
  • pdf Keynote 1
  • pdf Keynote 2
  • pdf Gear Guide

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Aliah Husain

    Aliah Husain

    June 2017

    Lindsay is an INCREDIBLE photographer and teacher, and also seems like a wonderful person! This class is great for beginners and more advanced photographers, as well. She goes into tons of detail on all the technical stuff like lighting and editing, and it is fascinating to see her interact with and shoot her models, work with her equipment, and photoshop like a pro. Huge amounts of information for what you pay for. If you are looking to improve your skills in photographing and retouching people, purchase this class!!

  • Andrew Lederman

    Andrew Lederman

    March 2019

    Great course. Lindsay Adler is one of the best instructors for any creative live classes that I have seen. Simple and easy to understand, clear workflow, very friendly and non condescending like some other instructors. Could you put a link (maybe I just didn't see it) to where to download the actions used in this tutorial?

  • user 0fde94

    user 0fde94

    March 2017

    Great class! Very informative. I really like the way that Lindsay presents the information. Its all very easy to follow and understand. Love all of the bonus materials. There is one thing that I'm a bit disappointed with, Lindsay mentions that she will supply actions with course, however there were none provided. Would have been nice to get those. Overall an excellent course.

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