Corporate headshots and environmental portrait photography are commercial assignments I do with regularity so it helps to have a system in place for retouching the portraits as the post-production process can be very subjective.
Typically, if time allows, my subjects have a chance to select their hero headshot immediately after their session and give me a heads-up on any specific retouching they would like me to do and the requests, as you can imagine, are always pretty consistent. Make me younger and thinner. Of course, I’m more than happy to oblige though I do tend to believe that we earn those grey hairs, the few extra pounds and the lines that show that we have been living our lives to the fullest.
When we have multiple portraits to do and are running low on time, I edit the images and upload between 3 to 5 of the best headshots of each person into a web gallery where the client can take their time in making their final selections. Once I receive their picks, it’s showtime and I have a process that is incredibly effective and produces portraits that are engaging, confident and clean.
Take a look at the before and after samples below and move the slider to see the improvements that are made with retouching.
As seen in the samples above, the changes simply enhance the image as opposed to completely changing it except of course in the last example where the background color was modified to match the subjects’ suit jacket.
The retouching for corporate headshots and environmental portraits that I apply are for the purpose of making each subject look their best so I do stay away from making drastic revisions that we see so much of these days. Simple fixes make us look like our genuine and best selves.
Keep in mind also that although there are plenty of fixes that post-production can provide, there are also a few simple things you can do to look your best for your corporate headshot or environmental portrait as well. This previous post was written with corporate portraits in mind however many of these guidelines apply to environmental portraits as well so check them out.