What is the guarantee of successful portrait photography? There are a lot of contributing factors: the model, the clothes, the pose, perfect lighting, facial expressions. It’s a pity when so many factors are aligned perfectly, and yet something seems to be missing. That is why even professional photographers need portrait editing software.
Fixing eyes, adding volume to lips, adjusting makeup, modifying face lightning, getting rid of imperfections and photoshopping portraits overall are all important in portrait photography. That’s why a good photo retouching software should be able to do it all. We have compiled a list of portrait retouching software for photographers of different levels and aspirations. Consider what is the best photo retouching software for your professional portrait.
Luminar offers a lot of tools for retouching photos. Not only in the new update you will be able to quickly browse, tag, rate your portrait photos for swift organization, but also there are features available to make your portrait retouching quick and easy.
Portrait Enhancer’s revolutionary human-aware technology recognizes the face features automatically and helps you create the perfect portrait in 15 to 60 seconds.
Just a single slider soften the skin while retaining detail. Portrait Enhancer Tool combines dozen sliders that vary from Dark circles removal and Eyebrow thickening to Face relighting and Lip color improvement to make portrait retouching smart and easy.
You will find also find a variety of useful portrait presets and even a portrait workspace with selected filters so you don’t have to waste time experimenting with the filters that work best all by yourself. It can also be used as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom. Available for Mac and Windows, it’s a bargain for its value.
Luminar is unique in its user-friendly interface. It’s designed to be simple in use for beginners, but also to satisfy the needs of professionals who need a quick fix to photoshopping portraits.
Watch the full video tutorial from Piet Van den Eynde here https://skylum.com/luminar
2. Adobe Lightroom
Adobe Lightroom is another good option for portrait photographers. It not only provides comprehensive digital asset management but it also includes advanced image editing tools and presets. You’ll have a fluid workflow with Lightroom, with images stored safely in the cloud, smart tools for rating and browsing, face detection, and batch processing. You can edit all the photos of the same person or from a photoshoot using the same adjustments and saving a lot of time.
Moreover, Adobe Lightroom provides RAW processing, geometry tools to straighten your images, non-destructive edits, and tools for fast image retouching. Adjustments range from basic exposure, contrast, tone, shadows, and highlights to dehaze, clarity, curves, healing brush, spot removal, and noise reduction. But because it doesn’t work with layers, you won’t be able to do complex editing such as changing the background and head swapping.
Presets are extremely important for a portrait photographer. They speed up your workflow, personalize your style, and deliver a homogeneous artistic vision throughout your work. Lightroom provides built-in presets that can enhance your photos in seconds. The internet is full of free Lightroom presets for portraits and you can create your own and share them with the large Lightroom community.
Photolemur is a photo retouching software that does it all for you. There is no learning curve, no complicated buttons or sliders, since it all comes down to dragging and dropping your photos in the software and letting it do its magic for you.
Thanks to the trained AI technology, Photolemur can distinguish the imperfections on your model’s face and retouch it automatically – with a bit of magic. The face enhancement tool detects faces (on both a single-person portrait or a group photo) in your photos, then removes any imperfections, providing natural-looking results, which are pleasing to the eye. There is no learning curve, no sliders and no buttons: nothing to distract you from your photo. No portrait retouching software can get simpler than that.
Photolemur is the portrait editing software of the future – it lets you retouch photos quickly, effortlessly and save time for the actual shooting that photographers love so much.
The name of this photo retouching software speaks for itself. PortraitPro is a program that can help you retouch portraits to perfection. Using its smart AI technology, it detects the face, age and gender of the person, also locates their features. It creates fully adjustable retouching using sliders and presets. Add some makeup, reduce wrinkles, beautify the skin by removing grease, sweat or shine. Reshape the face and enhance such facial features as eyes, lips, hair. Change the face lighting. For example, experiment with how your model will appear with low key lighting shining from a different angle.
After you are satisfied with the result, you can do much more, for example edit or replace the background, apply your logo or copyright symbol, add overlays. PortraitPro is available for roughly 40$, for both Mac and Windows. Users are satisfied with the results provided by this program, even though there is always room for improvement, with more precise features detection and brushes. However, the fact that this portrait retouching software can be used as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom is a huge plus.
PortraitPro is packed with tools that both professional photography adepts and beginners can integrate in their workflow, making it a really great retouching software.
5. Nova Development Photo Explosion
Nova Development is a company that specializes in all kinds of software, including photo retouching. They have multiple products, but Photo Explosion is one that suits portrait photography the most. You can organize the photos of your portrait sessions quickly and easily. Editing features are multiple, from basic ones like cropping, saturation, focus, to useful ones in retouching like removing red-eye, changing eye color, cloning parts of photos.
Of course, there are multiple effects present to enhance your photos, and other features such as adding special effects or text. It’s available only on Windows for the rough price of $30. Be aware of customer service, as there are multiple complaints of aggressive marketing and requests that end with silence.
A unique feature of Nova Development’s Photo Explosion software is its affordability for the variety of features offered.
FaceFilter3 specializes in retouching the face. It’s a versatile photo retouching and beautifying toolkit that allows you to reveal the true beauty of your photos. Editing photos has never been easier: there are three different view modes, accurate results with detailed face fitting, 400 visual templates to enhance your photo.
You can play with colors, since among the advanced settings there are also smart color corrections and white balance settings. Utilize natural smooth skin and blemish removal tools along with a comprehensive multi-layer makeup system complete with hundreds of templates for one-click application. Enhancing the photo with bokeh effects might just be the cherry on top of the editing cake. However, be aware of the fact that there haven’t been many updates as of late, and if you want something newer, you might need to look for other software. Also, it can be a bit pricey for beginners.
FaceFilter3 has cool unique features that allow you to reduce eye bags and dark circles, deal with the post-camera flash greasy look and many more, since it is designed with portrait photographers in mind.
Are you an avid Mac user? Movavi might just be the retouching software for you. It is also available on Windows, but just looking at its clean intuitive interface you can see that it was produced with Mac users in mind.
There are four main features in Movavi that can help you with portrait retouching. You can remove any unwanted objects (pimples, scratches, skin imperfections or hair), enhance image quality (an overall great feature for portraits), restore old photos, change out backgrounds (for photo sessions). It is a basic photo editor that can help you achieve a lot, however, when we think about its price and how it correlates with more professional photo editors, it might not be our first choice.
Movavi is simple, quick and basic. You don’t need a lot to achieve great results in terms of clear skin or correct face lightning.
8. Soft Skin
Available for 35$, Soft Skin is a retouching software, which name is also self-explanatory. No need to wonder how to get clear skin anymore. The main aim of Soft Skin Photo Makeup is that it lets you touch up images with ease. The red eye effect which is present in pictures that were shot with a frontal flash, can be easily removed. You can also improve skin texture, whiten the teeth, remove red-eye effect and perform a full virtual makeup of your model in just a few clicks!
You can get that perfect face editor with tools such as Soft Skin Photo Makeup, which comes with skin softening algorithms based on artificial intelligence. It also offers a complete range of tools for virtual makeup. Users note that there were no errors or crashes throughout the entire process.
Soft Skin is a handy specialized set of tools that you can use to retouch skin and beautify your portrait pictures.
9. Portraiture 3 Plugin
Are you used to editing portraits in Photoshop? A program for true professionals, Portraiture 3 is quite expensive with the full plug-in suite for Photoshop (including noise removal and black and white tuning) costing 300$, and the single software for 200$. But the features live up to this cost. It is easy to use even for beginners. Smooth skin effects are natural-looking. Customizable masking can be fully integrated in your non-destructive Photoshop workflow. There are still a few complaints about the slowness, especially when processing large files.
Overall, portraiture for Photoshop can minimize the tiring manual labor of selective masking that makes Photoshop so complicated, and ease those pixel-by-pixel treatments and get your portrait retouching to a new high.
10. Color Efex Pro’s Dynamic Skin Softener & Glamour Glow filters
Nik Color Efex Pro 4 can be used as a standalone application, or as a plugin within Lightroom or Photoshop. It provides an extensive list of filters, with one of them being the Dynamic Skin Softener. It can perform clear skin softening with a single click, and the built-in controls enable the fine-tuning of both the degree of softening and the area of the image to which softening is applied.
A great feature is that these filters can be stacked and you can apply your adjustments only to part of the area: it is invaluable for group photos of people with different skin tones. The Glamour Glow effect is equally interesting to experiment with in your portrait photography. For artistic portraits, it gives you that one simple touch effect that is absolutely wonderful, making the background or the people in the picture glow from the inside by creating warmth. The whole suite costs 40 euro, and you will get access to the variety of filters and retouch your photos really fast, whether it is portrait, wedding or newborn photography.
The Dynamic Skin Softener can help you achieve great results and save time, while the Glamour Glow Effect provides interesting effects.
11. Topaz Detail
Topaz Detail can become yours for 40$, since it’s part of the powerful photo editing software Topaz Studio. Detail is a great tool to make all your photo retouching dreams come true. You can access it directly in Topaz Studio or via a host program such as Photoshop or Lightroom. The Detail Plugin consists of the “Precision Detail” and “Channel Mixer” Adjustments. The Precision Detail tool figures out which part of the image is actual detail and which parts needs to be softened.
The software helps control the detail in small, medium, and large size objects or artifacts in an image which Photoshop currently can’t do. The Channel Mixer is an advanced control over the RGB channel (Red, Green, Blue color channels). In retouching, all the details of the face, tiny spots and scratches need to be considered. This software is for true professionals, who need really in-depth, precise tools to perfect their photography.
Topaz is an investment worth making if you are serious about photography. There are multiple features available and once you master this software you will be able to do even more than you can do in Photoshop.
12. Digital Anarchy Beauty Box Photo 3
Even avid Photoshop or Lightroom users who know how to photoshop skin retouching sometimes need plugins to speed up their workflow and achieve quick and quality results. The Beauty Box Photo 3 skin retouching plugin, which is developed by Digital Anarchy, provides photographers and digital artists with an easy and powerful way of smoothing out skin and removing blemishes.
Whether the software is used for a glamour shoot, senior portraits or just a personal photo, Beauty Box Photo achieves a consistently professional result, and that’s why it amounts to 100$, which might be pricey for beginners. The Auto-Mask button automatically creates an underlying mask, accurately selects skin tones. Skin texture like pores, which can be lost during smoothing, can be easily brought back. How to smooth skin? There are three smoothing controls that retain the skin texture. After retouching you can add a variety of color effects to create that special look. It is a speedy, professional software that can do wonders.
The new speed increase in Beauty Box Photo 3 lets you retouch up to nine hundred 12mp images in an hour, meaning that it is great for prolific photographers and labs.
13. Alien Skin Software’s Exposure XS4
Exposure XS 4, a program developed by Alien Skin Software, is yet another photo editor worth your attention. A professional, non-destructive RAW editor and photo organizer, it can help you in your workflow with its multiple editing features. And of course it has a lot of options that are great for portraits, which include enhancing the iris in the eyes, softening skin and healing spots, whitening teeth, removing red eye.
It’s perfect for beginners, but professional users who need more features such as chromatic aberration or perspective control corrections, as well as more powerful lens corrections may not be fully satisfied with it. However, it provides constant updates and in the future it might become the ideal software regardless of your skill level.
Exposure is a great software for those who want to step up their photography game.
14. Athentech Imaging Software’s Perfectly Clear
You can get the Perfectly Clear portrait retouching software for $129 without any subscriptions for your professional photography. It can be used as a stand alone software or a plugin. Its perks are that it can automatically improve most photos, and has adjustments for different photo genres. Users are bothered by some problems with the cluttered interface and noise reduction. With the help of artificial intelligence, Perfectly Clear can help you enhance skin, eyes, face, whiten teeth.
A worthy portrait editing software to try out, Perfectly Clear can give you instant automatic results that you can then fine-tune to your liking.
15. ON1 Photo RAW 2022
The tools for retouching portraits, photo restoration, and enhancing photos are available in ON1 Photo RAW 2022 with Perfect Portrait 9.5 Premium. ON1 Photo RAW 2022 has a set of great editing tools both for beginners and advanced users. As for portrait-specific ones, it boasts a variety of retouching features such as clone, heal, fixing skin, eyes and teeth, and content-aware filing. ON1 Photo RAW is an overall great software to try out, for beginners and professional users alike.
It might be expensive for beginners, but ON1 Photo RAW 2022 has enough arsenal of professional photography editing tools to become for your portrait retouching software.
16. Magic Retouch Pro
A time-saver for professionals, and an easy to master software for beginners, Magic Retouch Pro is a Photoshop extension plug-in that can help you retouch photos. It has a toolset that caters your most common problems, with such features as Skin Retouching, Teeth Whitening, Eyes Enhancer, Lips Enhancer, Digital Makeup, Skin Looks it is a great face editor. It costs only 15 dollars, and can power up your Photoshop workflow greatly.
If you are looking for a time-saving photo retouching software to go along with your usual editing portraits in Photoshop routine, whether you are a professional or just getting started with photo retouching, Magic Retouch Pro can give you a helping hand.