Actors Headshot Retouching - Why is it needed? How much do you need?

A headshot has to look like you. There’s no question about that, so then, should your headshot be retouched? How much retouching should be done?

I have been chatting to Adrienne, a client about retouching and thought that it was something worth sharing. A headshot should always look like you and should always tell your story. The last thing that anybody wants is for you to walk into a casting and to look nothing like your branding!

My approach to retouching is to help you look like your best self, by removing the things that distract from who you are. We look at images differently to the way that we look at people in real life, or even in video/film. When we see a photo, we can pore over every detail, obsess over every imperfection and find fault where we would never notice it otherwise. So, to achieve this I focus on the things that make you, you and remove the things that aren’t a part of you or your story. So… pimples, blemishes, bags under your eyes, spots, stray hairs , uneven skin tone and even stray hairs - they all go - Woosh!! Everything else stays. I smooth out wrinkles a little (because otherwise we’ll perceive them as being overly prominent), balance your skin tone and make you ‘pop’ from the background a little.

What does that look like? Here is an example from my recent shoot with Adrienne.

Of course, every person and every photoshoot is different and what you are looking for may differ. How much, and the type of retouching depends on the lighting, subject and how the images will be used. This is a great example of outdoor, available light actors headshots. Fashion, model portfolio, wedding, family portraits all have different styles and amounts of retouching, some more and some less.

I hope this helps give you an understanding of retouching requirements for headshots. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more!

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