help me make this groom more handsome!

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by fiona_campbell|2, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Before the wedding this groom asked me to airbrush out all imperfections, and I confess I find that I am unsure exactly how to do that. I realise that I have a bit of a gap in my photoshop knowledge regarding whitening teeth and getting rid of large amounts of acne. I know about the spot healing tool, but should I be trying to get rid of the redness in his cheeks? And what's the best way to do that? Also, in some of the photos he has a bald patch. Should I try and get rid of this? He's not a bad looking man, but I fear has a propensity to exist on chips, and not the recourse to make up that us girls luckily have!
  2. Here's a version that I have edited as much as I know how. I think the noise ninja has made it a bit too glossy. what do you think? Also this monitor has not been calibrated properly yet as it is new so tell me if the colours look awful and you have a calibrated monitor!!!
  3. Fiona - yes, I'd say your fears are right.
    The edited version doesn't work at all. Uneven skin tones (drifting into purple in places) unrealistic patches of plastic-looking smoothness next to normal skin with no transition, especially at forehead and temples. Teeth look a lot better, but for the rest of the image I much prefer the original.
    Basically, you've overcooked it but it's easy to fix. When you're doing this type of editing you need to work on a duplicate layer and then reduce opacity of that layer so that more of the original shows through. The image will look natural and gently enhanced with an opacity of less than 50% on your edits. If you use more than 50% it will begin to look artificial.
    As an aside, I wonder why you think this image needs fixing? From your description I was expecting problems that were more significant. There's nothing very wrong with his skin in the 'before' picture.
  4. My attempt. I didn't go the Noiseware route, but I did remove the 3 moles and whitened his teeth a bit.
  5. I softened the skin:
  6. I softened the skin:
  7. My version.
  8. Try that again...
  9. Here is my take on it. I brightened the eyes a little more, whitened the teeth, and added a noise filter.
  10. I don't see what the problem is with the original photo. If this man has "large amounts of acne" and "redness in his cheeks", then maybe it's getting lost somewhere on the internet. It sure doesn't show up on my monitor. The colors are pretty decent in the original, too.
    I would take that attitude moving forward, and keep any edits as minimal as possible. The first rule of doctoring photos, like in medicine, is "First, do no harm!" Maybe you can make the color stand out a little better, whiten teeth just a little, and smooth the forhead just a little. Any more than that and you're just turning this guy into a ghoulish Ken doll. It looks like Melissa has the right idea.
  11. It looks like Melissa has the right idea.​
    I agree. If you're going to play with people's appearance it's best to use a very light touch. Melissa's works best (though overcooked in the eyes), but I don't find any of the other versions plausible.
  12. Unfortunately he has been going to a lousy dentist and his crowns are poor-fitting and mis-colored. But that is his distinctive appearance and he has obviously been living with it for a while, so I wouldn't worry that issue as much as touching up acne and red cheeks. As a fellow man who developed a bald spot prematurely, I'd say have mercy on him and touch that up too! Good luck!
  13. The key is simplicity. The most unattractive thing about this person (remember, imperfect as we all are) is the angle from which he was shot. It's both not straight, AND not angled, and shot from below, but only slightly. the result is that we see the lack of symmetry, and the picture has emphasized it. Easily 80% of great portraiture is in the angle of the shot (and not ignoring that as a photographer).
    As far as the teeth, moles and other 'flaws' go. Brian & Hal's approach is, IMHO, correct. ( I'll have to remember that... "First, do no harm") I personally prefer to 'deemphasize' vs delete.
    A very light touch can make a very different picture.
  14. Hi Fiona,
    I can't really explain all that I have done - it has been a bit of everything! Contrast, clarity, lightening, cloning tool, color adjustment - etc etc. If you'd like to chit chat on a more indepth basis or real help with the proper sized file just send me a message. This little bit of a comparison is a bit extreme even for me, but just an idea of what can be done. Take care !
  15. Let me start of by saying neither my son nor I are wedding photographers nor do we earn a living in photography. My son is a trained photographer by schooling and I am a serious amateur for over 50 years. Back some years ago, my daughter volunteered us to help on a friend's daughter's wedding. From what was said the professional cancelled a few weeks before the wedding and after interviewing the prospective couple. When we arrived with film, cameras and strobes at the church, we were surprised by the reception we got. The wedding was fantastic, the reception equally so. Everyone had a great time, we took so many pictures that toward the end of the reception we actually ran out of film but kept on shooting! My reason for this brief story is the bride and groom were positively radiant but both were very,very heavy. I often wonder if the "Pro" cancelled for this very reason. My son and I really enjoyed this assignment and some of our photos were up there with the best of the nicest two people, ever!
  16. Thanks for all the helpful replies, keep em coming! I'm curious to know more RT Jones about how precisely do you soften skin? And whiten teeth? Also Marcus Ian, what would you have done in terms of angling, bearing in mind that it was a spontaneous shot after the ceremony so no time to get a step ladder and he's a foot taller than me?
  17. Less is always more when it comes to retouching. I always use a light touch on portraits. For this image I would lighten the dark area around his left front tooth at the gum line, soften a few of the blemishes on the forehead and nose, lighten some of the shadows and wrinkles around and under his eyes. Desaturate and brighten the teeth very slightly. Desaturating removes the yellow but if you remove too much, the teeth will look grey. Lighten the whites of the eyes, just a bit (too much looks cartoony).
  18. I'm not that good at this but here's my version. It started to fall apart becuse the pictures is small. You should be able to do some good stuff to a TIFF file. V/R Buffdr
  19. Here is my version - All imperfections have been removed! (I don't think the groom will have the same sense of humor)
  20. Hey Paul Reklaitis
    Brilliant, your version is far and away the best of all the posts. Some are just ridiculous, there really was nothing wrong with the original.
    Well done Paul !!
  21. The most annoying thing I see that needs "fixing" is the bright red spot to the lower left of his right (for him) ear.
  22. In Lightroom with the adjustment brush lower the clarity and sharpness of the skin. With HSL red hue +14. In Photoshop use the paintbrush and sample the teeth then choose a shade that is a bit lighter then overpaint teeth with opacity and flow set around 20. I did the same around the gumline to cover up the darkness there. Healing brush for some of the blemishes. Cloned out the bright reflection of the tinsel and burned the background and big red balls and a little lightening on the whites of the eyes.
  23. What I usually do on portraits is remove spots, make wrinkles less apparent, dodge and burn different parts of the face, lower and raise the saturation on different parts. And sometimes a touch of liquify on a double chin or something like that.
    Retouching is really about increasing perfection and youth. Back in the days we where all younger, thinner, our skin was smoother and brighter, our teeth where whiter and brighter, the sun was aways shining, the grass was greener and the sky was bluer.
    In advertising they are creating a dream not enhancing reality. However we have to make the person look as good as possible while still maintaining a fair amount of reality. Of course how far we can go depends on the client and what we feel comfortable doing. Maybe we just use make-up, careful lighting, selection of perspective and camera angles or body positioning to make the subject look as good as possible. Or maybe the client just want their pictures to look great and don't care how much retouching is needed to achieve that.
  24. Pete, that looks pretty good. I wanted to get rid of some of those dark circles under his eyes (no doubt induced by the party the night before) but was too lazy.
  25. Thanks RT. I just paint them out with the spot healing tool on a different layer and then lower opacity. It's pretty quick, at least with a wacom.
  26. Here's my 60 second retouch. I converted to B&W, duplicated the top layer, applied gaussian blur, erased the top layer at the eyes, and hair, and used the blut tool on around the eyes...
  27. les


    Here is mine 60 sec. retouch.
    As usual - the beauty is in the eye of the be(er)holder :)
  28. I'm not a big fan of overly smoothed out skin ... especially on a guy. But there are two things I do on almost every picture ... and that's lighten up the dark circles under a person's eyes (and we all seem to have them these days), and add some shadowing under the jaw line and chin. Just a few strokes with the burn tool under the chin and you can literally make a person look about 10 pounds slimmer. Here's my 30 second try.
  29. sorry ... I'm not sure why it's not letting me upload. Maybe it doesn't like my photoshopping ; )
  30. les


    It doesn't seem to work...
  31. les


    Let's try again...
  32. Lots of nice interpretations! I think that RT Jones and John Crowe's look the best.
  33. ...and if you allow the use of the liquify tool, you can do anything from slight jowel tightening to turning the guy into someone else. ;-) (before on top, after is below).
    Tom M.
  34. Here is mine.Without reading every post mi impression is the teeth did not help the image along along with the angle. I guess is one of those pictures.
    Here it is a quit take from me.
  35. Couldn't help it.
  36. I think the thing that is bothering this groom is pretty obvious.
  37. Alex - Nice job. It looks like you morphed the shape of his face in a similar way to what I did, but you modified his eyes less than I did. This retains more of his original character. I like it.
    Benson - *very*, *VERY* funny! Nice job.
    Mark - Hair line
    As I said, once the door is opened for morphing, the sky is the limit w.r.t. what you can do to the subject. The real questions then become:
    (a) Are you comfortable working with PS at this level?
    (b) what will he and the bride be comfortable with,
    (c) can you perform the desired changes consistently on all the wedding images that show the groom (ie, so he doesn't look like a different person in each picture), and
    (d) How much time/effort do you want to put into this, or, put differently, how well are you being paid. ;-) . Doing such changes well can be real time sinks.
    Tom M
  38. The REAL question is - What does the CLIENT want???
    Did you ask the groom what he thinks are the imperfections that need airbrushing?
    We've seen many photographers provide different examples of airbrushing. Some good, some bad, and some funny! But until the groom can provide details about what he wants airbrushed, we might be changing something that he likes. I once had a client complain about the color of his shirt, something that no one here has changed.
    Can you provide details of what the groom wants changed?
  39. Other than a few red spots and whitening of teeth and eyes, the original was fine, looks better than the others. I guess you could tweak the reds to remove some if you so chose to.
  40. Just a thought... Since the groom is worried about his acne (although probably with no real reason), I wonder if he would be happy to know that a photo of it is being seen and studied by a worldwide audience...
  41. Here is one for you.
  42. Here is noe more
  43. And the last one
  44. Paul, excellent point about asking the groom ... and the bride ... and their families ... and their pocketbooks. ;-)
    As you undoubtedly saw, in the first sentence of the 1st message in this thread, the OP stated, "...this groom asked me to airbrush out all imperfections ..."
    Unfortunately, when someone makes a blanket statement like this to me, I know that there's almost certainly going to be a long process of finding out exactly what he considers to be an imperfection, and then educating him in what's feasible, what different levels of retouching will cost, why the cost for some types of retouching is so high, why we can't press a button like on the TV shows and instantly perform cosmetic surgery, etc. In addition, there's always the very real possibility that while the groom might like a certain look, the bride or one of the families may hate it.
    This is where people and business skills can be more important than technical skills.
    Tom M
  45. Here's one, hope it works
  46. I honestly don't think that any of these have really improved him, and some have made him look very odd (the refrigerator-white scleras of the eyes, for example).
    He's not a bad looking guy. His teeth need some work. Looking at the photo, his hairline is receeding a bit, but changing that is going to completely change his appearance. If he has acne, I sure don't see it. He could lose 10 kg, but that's not a photography correction.
  47. I agree that, as the photographer, I would want to ask the groom specifically what he means by "all imperfections." It's great to provide a photo in which you've made changes the client told you he wants. It's not so great when a client notices you've changed something about his appearance that he did not see as an imperfection: it makes you appear judgmental about his appearance.
    I'm pretty sure (partially to lighten the mood) that I'd show him the Brad Pitt example and say, "Fix all imperfections? Yep, I can do that for you. Here's what it'll look like -- tell me what you think?"
    Then, assuming time and opportunity, I'd load a shot of him into Lightroom, and ask him to point out specifically what he wanted "fixed." Often, a groom will have one specific thing in mind (the tooth? the hairline? a mole/cyst?). I can then edit in Photoshop to show him how I would "fix" that problem or problems.
    After fixing what he wanted, I'd alt-click on the original layer to show before/after, to emphasize the magnitude of the change. Most people seeing themselves edited will minimize their expectations once they see how unlike themselves they look after major alterations. This is especially true when they know how much it would cost to alter every photo in a 400-photo wedding set in a like fashion. Then, assuming he asked for several "fixes," I can turn off layers that have the most drastic changes and do before/after again until we agree that the result is within reasonable limits.
    Finally, I'd save and move back to Lightroom. I would do this entire process to demonstrate subtly the time it takes to make changes like the one(s) he's requesting, which helps him understand the price of anything more than very basic changes to a few close-up shots.
  48. Consider picking up Niks color effects pro. Dynamic skin softener or glamour glow work well for bad or wrinkled skin.
  49. Hi Fiona,
    Have you ever heard of It is a great site for learning lots of retouching techniques. It also includes a plethora of other videos on photography-related topics. I purchased a one month subscription back in October of 2009 (which runs $24.95), and learned a lot in that month. The videos range from beginner to advanced, are taught by professionals, and easy to follow. There are two or three different video courses that cover exactly what you are asking about (skin retouching, teeth whitening, etc.) I would highly recommend it.
  50. Tom Mann [​IMG], Jan 22, 2010; 02:08 a.m.
    ...and if you allow the use of the liquify tool, you can do anything from slight jowel tightening to turning the guy into someone else. ;-)
    Now that had me in stitches ... but ...
    Benson Galguerra , Jan 22, 2010; 10:59 a.m.
    Couldn't help it.
    What a brilliant follow up - I'm totally cracked up.
    Some of the plastic renditions would make any mortician green with envy.
    I just had to scroll back to the top to remind myself of what the guy actually looked like - which of course was OK.
  51. Brighten the image just a little, reduce the forehead wrinkles and add texture to the image. Forgot, brighten the teeth just a little. Here's my effort.
  52. Greg, I must confess that when I wrote that comment, it occurred to me that someone else might just follow up on it, either with a more moderate version of what I posted, or with a more exaggerated version of what I posted. Fortunately, both happened, and both serve to illustrate the seriously open-ended nature of photoshopping of faces.
    When I saw Benson's version, I had exactly the same response as you and felt like Ed McMahon, the straight man, setting up Johnny Carson for the punch line!
    Also, FWIW, I really can't get too worried about Giulio's warning. I've been satirically photoshopped by friends and have gotten a good laugh about it, and I suspect the groom under discussion would feel the same way as long as no one posts a malicious, intentionally ugly tweak of his image. I think we're all learning from this discussion and seeing how other photoshoppers handle one specific image. It's almost like being in a class where everyone is assigned to tweak one image and we compare the results at the next class meeting.
    Tom M
  53. Here you go (mostly worked on the teeth and took the ruddiness out..prhaps a bit too much though)
  54. There's an app called, "Portrait Professional" that does a lot of what I'm seeing.
  55. Here's a retouch done by Portrait Professional at its default settings.
  56. I'm certainly no expert but my attempt was to try and make subtle, but effective changes using noise reduction, spot healing, clone tool, and hue/sat, and not spend a lot of time. About 5 minutes on this.
  57. Close the mouth, open the eyes, and bring the hair down. Voila! Seriously though, I hope the groom doesn't find this thread. And not a bad looking guy, anyway.
  58. Maybe something like this subtle but an improvement
  59. After looking through most of these edits, I prefer the original to a lot of them. People know what they look like, and certainly what their husband looks like. Too many changes and the pictures will looked faked, and like someone else.
  60. I also don't think he's been hit with the ugly stick, but would suggest there are some issues that you might want to consider and "asked me to airbrush out all imperfections" depending on his expectations (the word "all" can be ugly in a contract), this could be a considerable amount of work and a big time sink. That needs to be considered as part of your costs and perhaps should have been included in pricing considerations. There might need to be some reasonable balance struck between the amount of work and charging for the extra effort. Although some consideration might need to be given to the speed at which you work. If you are a slow toucher-upper, compared to some with much more experience, the per hour charge might need to be lower, etc. OTOH, this may be effort above and beyond what you expected and priced out, leaving a dlimena about if you can negotiate to cover the costs at all.
  61. My take. The difference is subtle; however, doing more will change his appearance or look phony. One more thing to consider is time and workflow. This took me 45 seconds, the consequential ones will take much less time.

  62. Borrow the best mans' face :)
  63. Thank you for all your replies. It's a fascinating debate, raising as it does questions of what is beauty, and how far one should edit out imperfections. I used to share an office with an advertising retoucher, who routinely edited out every little mark on the skin of models, but I think most people would not want themselves represented in such an unnatural way and that the pendulum will swing back in favour of a more natural approach. Of course, human nature is such that youth and health will always be more attractive. Personally I believe that some "imperfections" are actually what makes a person beautiful, whereas others are just a sign of poor health and therefore not attractive at all. Of course, my title was tongue in cheek and this groom is good looking in real life, and please note this is just a sample photograph to work with, rather than a fair representation of his appearance. Please can people make sure they say exactly what they did when they post an edit? I still wish RT Thomas would come back into the debate and tell me exactly what he did as his is definitely my favourite edit so far.
  64. 用photoshop可以非常快捷地得以修整。
  65. There is only one thing I look at (from a womans perspective): Please fix those front teeth. Non of the submitted "fixes" addresses those choppers. I don't care about a dark under eye circles, its the teeth!!!!!
  66. Benson Galguerra !!!! I am both laughing hystarically and mad at you because as I was scrolling through the examples, I thought, HEY! For a laugh I'll half-heartedly paste Brad Pitt as my example, and not even two pictures later you claimed the glory.
    Hahaha, very fun XD

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