Shooting a portrait can be only half the battle. Oftentimes, photos of people need to be edited with care during post-processing to bring out the true beauty of the subject. In those cases, many photographers turn to Photoshop or Lightroom to edit their portraits.
But both of Adobe’s premier photography programs are incredibly complex and if you’re not a skilled editor, there’s a chance you’ll make your portraits look worse than what you started with. That’s why we appreciate simple but effective software tutorials like the below video from pro photographer Lucy Martin. In the clip, Martin explains “three easy ways to edit epic portraits in Lightroom.”
“For me I have three main elements that I always think about when I’m editing a portrait,” she says. “These keep me on track and help me focus on what’s really important about a portrait.”
In the video below, Martin explains each of her portrait editing tips and then shows you easy ways to achieve them in Lightroom.
Get the Right Skin Tones
“Everyone has different skin tones. There are literally hundreds of different shades,” she notes. “But the most important thing to think about is that skin tones should look true-to-life and natural because that is the first thing people notice. When skin tones look unnatural, it’s a dead giveaway that the editing did not go well.”
Target Your Retouching
“I’m not a fan of going overboard with retouching but I do think it’s a really important part of portraits. That’s because you can take out distracting elements that don’t really add anything to the photo and distract your eye from the main parts.”
Focus on the Eyes
“This is actually the most important part of a portrait. That’s going to be the first thing people look at and you really want them to stand out and pop but not going into that overboard, creepy doll eye look. We just want to do a really nice, natural enhanced eye.”
Check out the video below and if you want to learn more portrait tips, here’s a roundup of our five most popular portrait photography how-to stories.