How much retouching should be done? How’s this for an answer: just enough.
With the tools available now, I think that it can be way too easy to get carried away and make the subject perfect. Need a nose job? No problem. Ears tucked? Perfect complexion? No lines? You get the picture. I’m sure you’ve seen this video on Youtube:
Your headshots should give an accurate representation of you – you have to look like your photo when you walk into the audition. That doesn’t mean you can’t be ‘cleaned up’ a little. My philosophy is that you should look like you, but on a good day when everything works.
- I’ll clean up your skin
- I’ll lessen the baggage under your eyes
- I’ll tidy up stray hairs
- I’ll change the background so that it emphasizes you, rather than distracts
- I’ll clean the lint and dust from your shirt
- I’ll warm up your skin tone if needed
- And a few more little ‘tricks’!
This is a shot I did a couple of months ago to give an idea of the areas I touched up, and the final version. Click on the image for a larger view.
Here’s a few more:
As you can see, I’m not fundamentally changing the way my clients look, I’m just making them look a bit better. With Photoshopping headshots, I think less is more.
Don’t get me wrong, great makeup can help make the pictures amazing, but sometimes when shooting outdoors in the Florida sun and heat, it’s not always a good idea to have too much on.