Any painting, sculpture, photograph, or other artistic representation of a person where his face and his facial expressions are highlighted is technically considered a portrait. Portraits are created for the basic purpose of displaying the personality and the mood of the person or model. And to engage the viewer to the subject, a portrait often has the person looking directly at the photographer or the painter.
The Portrait Photography Industry
A commercial industry that fast gained popularity worldwide is portrait photography. This shouldn’t be a surprise when many people love having portraits hanging in their homes or keeping special portraits that memorialize special events in their lives such as weddings and graduations. This industry, which started out with subjects generally seated or standing up against plain boring backgrounds, has now developed together with photographic techniques and has subjects shot outside the studio against other more exciting backgrounds outdoors.
The Birth of Portrait Retouching
The birth of portrait photography likewise gave way to the rise of portrait retouching as a related industry. And as a special type of art, it requires special care to details to convey the depth of the subject’s character or personality.
Portrait retouching is no walk in the park; the complexity behind it serves to preserve every single detail in the portrait and improve it. Thank heavens for the modern computer technology, a huge number of tools have been created to accomplish the task easier.
The Portrait Retouching Advantage
At the onset of portrait retouching, it is necessary to identify the elements in the portrait that you wish to retain and the elements that you need to get rid of. This will get you at the right path and fulfill your responsibility as a retoucher: to bring out the best in each portrait.
Portrait retouching therefore brings with it the following advantages:
- The person’s natural features are accentuated and enhanced such that working on a baby’s portrait, a waitress’s portrait, and a sailor’s portrait will give you three very distinct output.
- Blemishes and similar other distractions in the portrait are minimized, if not completely eliminated; this includes improving the skin texture by eliminating wrinkles or scars.
- Highlight important features of the person such as the color of the eyes and the skin complexion. Playing with the light element is important here.
- Emphasize the individuality of the person or the subject. Not all portraits need a flawless skin or saucer-wide eyes. Doing intermediate retouching will make the difference.
- Give your portraits more life.
As an art form, portrait retouching should not be done in any haste. Because you are working with a person’s face and identity, be sure to give your full concentration when you’re working with it.