Portrait Retouching Course

Portrait retouching course graphic, videos, worksheets

Course Description

Our Professional Portrait Retouching Course is for anyone wanting to take their portraiture to the next level. Retouching portraiture is a must if you want your shots to look professional, so it stacks up with the best out there.

In this course, you’ll learn about how to professionally retouch eyes, teeth, skin, lips, hair as well as many more advanced techniques such as adjusting clothing, how to colour grade portraits correctly and how to professionally retouch newborn photography. This is a one-stop solution ensuring you learn the pro techniques to push your work into places you never thought possible.

To give you the full range of skills you’ll need, the course is taught via Photoshop, Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. And as always with TSOP it’s delivered in an easy to understand way, breaking down this complex subject into manageable learning tasks anyone can understand and comes complete with all the raw files allowing you to follow along with the lessons with ease.

Buying Options

Become a Member

  • £10.50 / $13 per month (billed annually)

  • Unlimited access to all courses and much more

This Course Only

  • Unlimited access to this course

  • One off payment - Lifetime access

person on computer retouching a face

Advanced Learning at Your Own Pace

On your Retouching Course, you can learn at your own pace and how you learn best. The lessons are self-guided with clear instructions and no set time scale for completion.

The course also comes with downloadable PDFs to help reinforce the knowledge learnt in lessons, and to make your life easier, you’ll also get Raw image files so you can follow along every step of the way.

Task sheet for learning retouching

Pro Portrait Retouching Made Easy

This course is aimed at the beginner to intermediate Photoshop user who has some experience post-processing but hasn’t been able to grasp how to use this complex program to get the most out of their portraiture.

To make your learning easy it comes with downloadable PDFs which help reinforce the knowledge learnt in lessons, and you’ll also get Raw image files so you can follow along every step of the way.

Learn Retouching with a one-time investment that will unlock your post-processing potential and improve your portraits tenfold.

What you will learn

  • Introduction to portrait retouching, what it’s for, what you’re missing out on

  • The Photoshop Workspace

  • Processing Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom

  • Organising your portraiture in Lightroom

  • Easy working between Lightroom and Photoshop

  • Advanced uses of the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush Tools

  • How to colour tone for portraiture

  • Adjustment Layers

  • Layer Masking

  • Sharpening portraiture for reduced noise

  • Layer Blend Modes

  • Selecting and refining selections

  • Frequency Separation

  • Photoshop Filters

  • Apply Image settings in Photoshop

  • Creating flawless skin

  • Retouching for a natural look

  • Adjusting skin colour

  • Adjusting clothing

  • Working with 16bit images

  • Working with multiple layers and layer groups

  • Crop ratios

  • Newborn retouching

man on computer learning photoshop

Who is this course for?

  • Photographers wanting to take their portraiture to the next level.

  • Intermediate Photoshop users wanting to fill any gaps of knowledge that are stopping them retouching portraits to their full potential.

  • People wanting to learn Photoshop skills to enhance portraiture.

  • Professional portrait photographers wanting their work to compete with the best out there.


“I've taken plenty of Photoshop courses and if you want to grasp how Photoshop fits into the overall toolbox of the photographer, this is the course to take. Marc is a gifted teacher, truly. You'll not only become a better, more proficient PS user, but taking this course will improve your photography too. Well worth the investment and highly recommended.” —Thom David – USA

Course Content

Intro to Portrait Retouching Course

Introduction to your Portrait Retouching Course

An introduction to how the course works, why and when we’ll be using Photoshop, Lightroom and ACR and what retouching portraits can do and why any serious portrait photographer needs to embrace it.

Creating a Photoshop Workspace

Lesson 2 – Creating a Photoshop Workspace

An ordered workspace to work in is essential for speed and ease of use. Here we look at why it’s important to get this right and set up our own workspace to make it easier for you to learn in.

retouched face before and after

Lesson 3 – Mastering the Healing and Cloning Tools

The Healing Brush and Clone Stamp tools are the two main tools used for removing spots and blemishes. Here you’ll learn in detail how to use these tools to remove spots, blemishes and unwanted hair and put that knowledge into practice with a set task.

retouching eyes in photoshop

Lesson 4 – Eyes

Getting the eyes right in any portrait is extremely important. It’s normally the first thing people look at, it’s normally the focus point of the image, and generally it shows the most emotion of the person. So here we’ve dedicated a whole lesson on this subject, teaching you several ways to retouch and brighten eyes enabling you to apply those skills to any portrait.

Whitening teeth in PS

Lesson 5 – Teeth

A smile is clearly an important part of any portrait and a little retouching here goes a long way. In this lesson your taught how to brighten teeth using advanced selections, masking and adjustment layers.

Frequency seperation example in Photoshop

Lesson 6 – Skin - Frequency Separation

Retouching skin is arguably the most important part of portraiture retouching. It’s very common to do this via a technique called Frequency Separation which enables you to separate the skin’s tones and colours from the skin’s texture, thus allowing you to work on both independently. Here you’re taught how to use this pro technique to get a flawless look to skin whilst putting it into practice in your set task.

natural face look in Photoshop

Lesson 7 – The Natural Look

Of course, there’s an argument to say that retouched portraits are fake with some people even stating that it’s cheating. So here you’ll learn ways to get a more natural look when retouching faces.

Studio portrait retouched

Lesson 8 – Advanced Techniques 1 - Studio Portraits

In this lesson you’ll build upon what we’ve learnt previously as well as learn some more advanced techniques. We’re going to use an imperfect portrait, taken under studio lighting, and correct the imperfections using advanced retouching techniques. You’ll be taught how to adjust clothing, how to add make up and how to tone down burnt out areas caused by studio lighting.

Portrait taken outside

Lesson 9 – Advanced Techniques 2 - Outside Portraits

In contrast to the last lesson, here you’ll learn more advanced techniques using a portrait taken with natural light. You’ll be putting into practice all what’s been taught in the course plus learning where to take inspiration for colour toning and how to colour grade portraiture for a more harmonized colour pallet.

newborn retouching in photoshop

Lesson 10 – Newborn Retouching

If you’re going to do portraiture, chances are you will try your hand at Newborn photography and this is a genre of photography that certainly needs retouching. The ideal time for a newborn shoot is before 6 weeks old and this can present a problem as babies can develop milk spots within this time. In this lesson you’ll learn how to address this problem and create beautiful newborn pictures that parents will love.

Recap of photoshop course

Lesson 11 – End and Recap

An end to the course and recapping on all the great stuff you’ve learnt!


Examples of Retouching, as taught in this online course




“The courses offered by TSOP are brilliant! They have really helped me advance quickly. Definitely good value!” – Josh Madison – Japan


“The School of Photography courses are excellent, and I highly recommend them. They are easy to follow, great value for money, and they delivered what they promised: to make me a better photographer. Thank you Marc and the team!” – Rod Cook – UK


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How long does it take to complete this course?
The course can be completed in your own time, at your own pace. On average someone with a full-time job will take 1 to 2 months to complete the course.

What level do I need to be at?
This course is suited for beginner to intermediate Photoshop user. It is not suited for anyone who hasn’t used Photoshop before. In this case, take our Photoshop Course first.

What’s the difference between ‘This course only’ and ‘Become a Member’?
Please see Buying Options above.

What version of Photoshop do I need?
It’s recommended that you use Photoshop CC however the course will also be fine for people using Photoshop CS6 or later. There may be a few features shown in the course that won’t be available in CC but this won’t impact on its general use.

I’m confused on what Photoshop version to buy?
It can be confusing when buying Photoshop so here’s our advice. Adobe doesn’t sell Photoshop as a standalone program anymore. Instead, they provide various types of plans which include it. The best one to buy is the ‘Photography Plan (20GB)’ which includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom CC for a monthly fee. For more details on this plan click here.

What’s the cost in my own currency?
The courses are priced in British Pounds and US Dollars. On checkout, it will show the cost in British Pounds and will be converted into your currency when purchased. To get an accurate cost in your own currency click here to use a Currency Converter.

Do I get a certificate with this course?
Yes - On completion of all our all courses, you receive a certificate from The School of Photography.


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Certificate of course completion

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Downloadable course content

Downloadable course content

We’re with you through this journey, from image to edit. Watch the videos, anywhere, anytime, download the worksheets to reinforce the knowledge learnt and use the high quality images provided to easily work along with the videos.

We have 100% confidence in our courses!

We offer a no-risk solution here at the School of Photography - If you don’t learn anything, we will give you your money back! I offer this because I’m an educational speaker, author, I have a degree in photography, a post-graduate degree in education, I’m a fully qualified teacher and have been teaching photography since 2002. All of this experience goes into making these courses. We know that our courses will make you excellent photographers just like they have done for 1000’s of others.

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Why choose TSOP?

  • 1000’s of videos, worksheets, lighting set-ups, Lightroom presets, raw files and much more.

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  • Monthly assignments.

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  • Learn in your own time at your own pace.

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This is real learning delivered by Professional Teachers!

I’ve been teaching photography since 2002, I’m a fully qualified UK teacher, an educational speaker, author, have a photography degree and a post-graduate degree in education. All of this experience goes into bringing you the best education money can buy.

If you want to build a photography career, or just have the ambition to create great photos, TSoP is a great place to start.

Buying Options

Become a Member

  • £10.50 / $13 per month (billed annually)

  • Unlimited access to all courses and much more

This Course Only

  • Unlimited access to this course

  • One off payment - Lifetime access