Retouching of photos – is pretty common. But the trick is to not make the retouching too obvious. They say that 98% of all photos you see out there now have been photoshopped these were done as part of a tutorial on the subject.
In the image below, we’ve fixed the skin, removed blemishes and softened it – did a bit of work on the eyes and lips and got the tones in the hair to stand out. It’s not an "extreme" Photoshop, it’s just very subtle and that’s the point. Most people don’t want a touch up that makes them look like a super model they want a touch up that makes them look good. The girl below is already beautiful – in fact to bring out the shine in her eyes required nothing more than a touch up of levels. As I tried to point out in the tutorial – the best retouching jobs are touchups – not rebuilds.
If we wanted to take this further we’d clear up her eyebrows, maybe do a bit of work on the ear, add dash of gloss to the lips.
The main difference between the images above – which is a touch up – and what you often see on the internet shown below , which is a rebuild is we haven’t actually changed the subject. Which is what’s being done with this photo where we actually move her ear, move her cheekbones, her mouth, the shape of her head, and this is a very mild rebuild. You would, most likely still recognize the girl if you met her on the street. The tutorial these were created for is meant to emphasize this because if you’re looking for work this is your meat and potatoes in the Photoshop world. Graphic Designers who can do this are in very high demand with good photo studios. There will be times when you need to be able to do a retouch and rebuild, but doing it just because you can isn’t a good idea. Sure it shows off your skills but you have to remember the goal is to make someone a image they’d pay for and most people don’t want to be re-imagined. They want a photo that doesn’t look like it’s been heavily photoshopped.