I photograph a lot of headshots and portraits, and I’m often asked if I can fix things in post. While Photoshop is a powerful tool, I think it’s important for a photo to look like that person on their best day, not like someone else. National magazines like Glamour are taking a stand on this, and minimizing their use of retouching based on feedback from their readers. Here is my approach to retouching.
I will soften things we don’t like too much, but that are a part of you. I will often slightly brighten teeth, and soften lines, but I tend to not make teeth paper white, or remove all lines, as this makes the photo believable.
I don’t remove things that are a part of you. For example, I’ll remove pimples, but will leave freckles, because one is temporary, and the other is who that person is.
I think a headshot or portrait should be believable and authentic, as this gives the subject or business more credibility.