In-Depth Fashion Portrait Retouching – Tutorial


This is a 30-minute tutorial/walkthrough by fashion and portrait photographer Kayleigh June. In this video, she walks us through her step-by-step process of her fashion portrait retouching process. According to her, several hours were spent on this image; however, for this tutorial she is giving a brief overview of what was done to it.

Kayleigh begins her retouching progress with skin clean up before color grading. She recommends working in this order because making skin and blemish changes after color changes can present new problems that may be more difficult to fix. Her skin retouching is done with the Frequency Separation technique. Most of her edits to this image are done in the low layer, rather than the high layer. She mentions that she prefers to make as little changes as possible to the high layer in order to preserve texture. She even does a lot of the stray hair clean up in the low layer by blending the hair tones into the background tones.

After skin and hair clean up, Kayleigh moves on to the burning and dodging. She approaches this by creating a new overlay layer, filling it with neutral grey and then using that layer for dodging and burning. Next she takes the Dodge Tool with an Exposure of 14% and gradually brightens the midtones and highlights of the image. She also goes in to dodge the eyes some. There is not too much burning done on the image; but she passes the Burn Tool with an Exposure of 6% over the model’s eyelashes and eyebrows.

Once all of the skin clean up, burning and dodging is completed; Kayleigh saves the image in .psd format and flattens the image. Flattening the image is done to simplify workflow and often prevent the program from slowing down due to large file size. From this point, she finally begins working on color grading and adjustments. What is really cool, she kept record of the layer adjustment settings and numbers she used in the first version of this image and shares it with us. If you have a similar image you would like to try this color grading on; it might be a good idea to follow along. Have fun!

If you enjoyed this video or want to share some tips and tricks of your own, please comment below or shoot me a message on my contact page! Make sure you share with your friends as well. Also, if you have practice work you want me to see, feel free to tag me to your posts on Facebook or Instagram. Thank you for watching!

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