The Portrait Editor Adobe Doesn’t Want You to Know About

Editing portraits is a unique process with specific challenges.

Uneven skin tones, awkward face shapes, and unfortunate blemishes must be dealt with in each photo. That means editing the photos usually takes longer than planning and executing the shoot! The right portrait photo editing software can shave hours off the post-processing stage, so it’s important to use one that not only has all of the features a professional photographer needs, but also makes the work progress quickly and smoothly as well.

In this article, we’ll edit an image with PhotoWorks, a portrait editor that comes loaded with user friendly tools like Portrait Magic. It can stand toe to toe with some of the best and most recognizable editors available today. PhotoWorks features content-aware processing that allows users to sculpt facial features without having to make a single selection: a game-changing option for portrait photographers everywhere.

Here’s our original image. At this point, nothing has been done to it except to actually get it into the portrait photo editor via the easy to use import process. You can see that our model has some subtle blemishes across her cheeks, and the entire image has a dull, washed-out quality that needs some work. Let’s get started.

Making Automatic Corrections in the Portrait Photo Editor

We’re going to head straight to the Enhancement panel. On the right, under the Main tab, we’ll start with some simple fixes. By pressing the Auto Correction button, we instantly see a pop of contrast that was missing before. The highlights are brighter and the shadows are slightly darker, which adds dimension and drama where things were falling flat before.

This is the result we were going for, so there’s no need for additional changes. If we did want to make some tweaks, the series of sliders beneath the Auto Correction slider (which replaces the button once it’s pressed) offers a lot of options. We could manage the intensity of the Auto Correction filter with the main slider, or we could make alterations to the saturation, contrast, color temperature, and so on. That’s one of this portrait photo editing software’s greatest strengths: it can easily give you professional results on its own, while it allows for as much customization as you could possibly want.

Discovering the Portrait Magic Tool

PhotoWorks is primarily a portrait photo editor, so it contains cutting-edge technology targeted toward making subjects look their very best. The Portrait Magic tool can be found at the very top of the Retouch menu and is a great one-stop solution for portraits like the one we are working on today. The skin imperfections we see on this model are subtle, so a little smoothing will go a long way. When we select Overall Enhancement from the list of Portrait Magic options, this is what we get:

We’ve got the contrast we need, and now her skin has a smoother, more consistent tone. The bumpiness on her cheeks isn’t nearly as obvious. Best of all, we didn’t have to do all that by hand – the portrait editor automatically decided what needed enhancement and took care of it in one click. If we had a specific concern — say we wanted to brighten her lip color or whiten her teeth — there are dedicated Portrait Magic filters for those (and other) issues in the Select Style menu.

What’s really impressive here is this portrait editing software goes beyond facial recognition (which is impressive enough), to facial feature recognition. In the Custom Settings menu, there are sliders that affect only the skin, eyes, eyebrows, lips, or teeth of the model. So again, there’s a professional level of customization to back up those high-level automated fixes.

Using the Adjustment Brush to Add Digital Makeup

One of the main features a professional photographer expects from a portrait editor is an intuitive, hassle-free array of adjustment tools. PhotoWorks has several options in the Tools panel, including an Adjustment Brush that can be used to paint color, contrast, and sharpness onto your image. This is especially useful for adding digital makeup to your model, which is what we’ve done here:

By adding some darkness to the eyebrows and eyelids, along with some color to the eyes, cheeks, and lips, we get the effect of a full face of makeup, even though our model started out fresh-faced in the original picture. The sliders for brush size, feathering, and opacity allow for blended, natural transitions like you would see in actual makeup, and it only takes a few clicks.

Adding One-Click Effects

PhotoWorks comes with hundreds of effects that can do anything from adding a subtle increase in color to matching up with the aesthetic of your favorite Hollywood film. Simply select the Effects tab and explore the different options in the dropdown menu on your right. There are several categories to choose from. We selected one of the Movie effects for this photo to really make it stand out. Once you’ve selected your effect, you can modify the intensity of it.

Improve Facial Features with Face Sculpt

Beneath Portrait Magic in the Retouch menu is a newcomer to the PhotoWorks feature family: Face Sculpt. Advanced AI technology automatically detects the facial features in your photography, so you can edit and reshape them by simply moving a slider. Slim down your model’s cheeks, add a smile, or shorten the nose to completely change her look (or just make slight improvements to her face as it is). These features work equally well in male portraits, where you can create a rugged, square jawline in seconds. In this photo, we used the portrait editing software to make the model’s cheeks and jawline a little more lean, then added some volume to her lips.

After just a few minor adjustments, we have taken this photo from a flat snapshot into a polished, professional portrait. PhotoWorks is clearly a portrait photo editor that can complete with the industry standard software, which costs a great deal more.

A feature like the Portrait Magic tool will be a life-saver for wedding photographers who find themselves completely snowed under in the busy season, when pristine portraits are of the utmost importance but there’s just not enough time to fiddle around with finicky brushes. The Face Sculpt feature may be new on the scene, but it’s already making big waves among portrait photographers who are tired of struggling with the Liquify filter. PhotoWorks allows you to get the ideal look in your portraits. You can completely transform an appearance or just experiment with new looks, without having to master complex techniques first.

Try These and More Features with PhotoWorks Right Now

Intrigued by this face editing software and can’t wait to test it out? Download a free trial, or get an exclusive discount only for the Phoblographer audience, just for reading this tutorial. Follow the link below to see it in action.

Editor’s Note: This is a Sponsored Blog post from PhotoWorks.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.