Login or Join Now

Upload your photos, chat, win prizes and much more

Remember Me

Can't Access your Account?

New to ePHOTOzine? Join ePHOTOzine for free!

Photoshop tutorial: Improve your portraits

Join Now

Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!

55% OFF new PortraitPro 12 - use code EPHZROS414.
Category: Portraits and People

Improve your portraits in Photoshop - Make your portraits perfect with the help of Photoshop.

Print Article Add Comment Add CommentJargon Buster: Off Jargon Buster: Off
Portrait start

Healing brush

First, remove any marks and spots with the Healing brush. To use it all you have to do is left-click on the area you want to correct then if by magic, the blemish is removed.

Dark circles

Next, select the Pipette tool and sample close to the dark circles under the eyes. This will change the colour of your foreground to something that matches your model's skin tone. We are going to use the Paintbrush tool to paint the colour in but before you start applying the colour, reduce the opacity and flow of the brush so when the colour's applied it's a little more subtle. Pick a suitable brush size then paint over the problem area in smooth strokes. You can also undo (Edit>Undo) if you think the changes are too obvious and re-paint.

Brush Skin Remove dark circles

AirbrushAdd Blur

When you've done removing dark circles duplicate your layer and make sure the layer under the top layer is selected as we are going to be blurring this layer. If you want to view the changes as they're made, click the eye icon next to the top layer to hide it so the one underneath becomes visible. Then go to Blur>Gaussian Blur to blur your subject's face slightly.
Layer Mask

Make sure the top layer is now visible, select it and create a layer mask by clicking the icon which looks like a circle sat in a rectangle at the bottom of the layers palette. With your foreground colour set to black and the Paintbrush tool selected, paint over the face to bring some of the blur back to create the airbrushed feel we are looking for. If you find the shot's a little too blurry, reducing the opacity of the brush will stop too much blur coming back through.

Brighten eyes

To find out how to brighten your subject's eyes take a look at our previous tutorial: brighten eyes.

Colour lips

If you want to add a little colour to your model's lips select the Pen tool and draw around their lips, adding anchor points until your selection is joined up. Right-click on the image, select 'make selection' and hit OK. Next, click on the adjustment layer icon (black & white circle) and select Hue/Saturation. When the new window opens adjust the sliders until you find a shade you're happy with.

Lip selection



Whether you're a beginner looking for a compact camera or a pro in the market for a high-end DSLR visit Nikon – the company who has photographic gear to suit everyone. 

Explore More

How To Take Better Photos Of Yourself With Nikon Kit

Taking Better 'Selfie' Photos With Nikon Kit

Here, we go through some top tips for taking better photos o...

Beginner's Tutorial On Photographing Children

Creative Children Portraits On A Budget

We show you how you can still shoot interesting photos of ch...

Why Use Reflectors For Portrait Photography?

Basic Tips On Using Reflectors

Find out why reflectors are a handy tool to have around when...


motamanx  5 United States
26 Oct 2011 - 2:22 PM

There's no question that the finished picture in this "how-to" segment is better. The question is whether there was any need to manipulate this unattractive portrait at all. Better would have been to reshoot a picture of the model that showed some--any--attractive quality, or sympathy, or humanity. The picture shown doesn't have those qualities, and therefore does not rate any effort to fix it.

- Original Poster Comments
- Your Posts

Add a Comment

You must be a member to leave a comment

Remember me:
Un-tick this box if you want to login each time you visit.