Personal Trainer and Yoga instructor Marc and Sara Zimmerman certainly made my job easy during their sun-soaked Hawaiian wedding yesterday. It doesn’t get better than photographing a beautiful couple at a beautiful location on their wedding day. They celebrated with family and friends on Sunset Beach on North Shore with some ukulele, hula, and even a little karaoke.
Ever wonder how photographers get those perfect shots of those perfect models, and it just doesnt look real? Well, thats probably because it isnt… Don’t get me wrong, no amount of photoshop can fix a terrible picture, but a good amount of photoshop can make a good photo great! In this tutorial I will show you how I take a not so amazing photo, to be nearly magazine quality. Lets get started:
So it starts off as a nice enough photo. The focus is a little bit off, but thats ok with me since I like the overall mood and feeling. So the first step I take to retouch this image is use my healing brush tool to get rid of any imperfections. I take out freckles, moles, zits, and even pores. Might as well add to the illusion of it. I also remove undereye bags using the healing brush and take out unwanted stray hairs. Once, that is done, I dodge and burn. Using different sizes and very low opacities I dodge midtones under her eyes, right below her brow bone, iris, eye whites, and any shadows that I dont particularly want. In this picture, I dodged her arm a little bit to give it a skinnier feel to it. I also dodged under her lips and her smile line area and her forhead a little bit to make it more prominent. I then dodged highlights very lightly on her lip, top of her lip, and the sparkle in her eyes. Then I burned the midtones in areas I wanted to accentuate a little bit. Her lash line, the shadow at the base of her chin to her ear and the side of her arm to give it a bit more depth. If you are good with makeup at all, think about how you would use makeup to flatten the face, and apply those same principles to dodging and burning. This is the result of healing / dodinging / burning:
Next up I am going to do a little nipping and tucking. I use the liquify filter to achieve this. For this particular model I push her face a little to make it more heart shaped. I use the bloat tool to increase the size of her hair, barely dot her eyes to make them a little larger, and also bloat her lips a little to give them a more pouty look. I also dont like how her head is looking deformed by leaning against the railing, so I am going to pull out the indented part a little bit to round her head shape. If you have ever taken a drawing class, stick to anatomy. You can push the image pretty far, but dont go too far or you wont fool anyone. Here is her nipped and tucked:
Now I want to make her POP. I duplicate her layer and put it on overlay. I dont want to go too crazy so i reduce the opacity to about 10%. This give it a slight pop. Then I merge those two layers and sharpen and unsharpen the image to get some seperation between lights and darks. The sharpening really helps give it some pop.
Now she is pretty much finito. For my taste I desaturate her and mess with her levels a little bit to get the desired effect.
If there are any additional questions, please feel free to ask.