As an award winning retoucher, photographer, and digital artist, Julia Kuzmenko McKim is considered one of the best in the business. You may remember her from our recent interview. Her dedication to her craft and teaching others has made her a sought after educator. She has also created an impressive collection of educational materials based around professional retouching for those who cannot make it out to learn from her in person.

One of these books, Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion and Portrait Photography has become a staple in my collection of educational materials. In fact, this is the eBook I find myself referring to the most often.



This book is teaming with information and techniques that you can immediately apply to your retouching workflow. If you purchase the eBook version, you will also receive links and a full video workshop. The detailed retouching tools and techniques for face, skin and hair retouching, alongside the photography tips help guide you through the process of creating stunning images from set-up to print.


Throughout the book you will find gorgeous full-color tutorial images, lighting and photography tips, helpful resources, and additional reference tutorials. The book is also full of gorgeous inspirational images, EXIF data included, giving your eyes a pleasant rest between the educational materials. Some of the images will even change from before/after when you scroll over them. Each sample image also exemplifies how beauty and fashion retouch can be used in your own portfolio, whether you are a fashion photographer, a conceptual artist, or specialize in portraits or boudoir.


File Contents

I decided to get the eBook, partly because I enjoy the extra goodies that come with it as well as the fact that I tend to learn best through video/text combinations.

Download File Size: 188.7 Mb
File Format: PDF + Good Bag with .atn (PS Actions) + .abr (PS Brushes)
Page Count: 97
Mac & PC compatible (can view on tablets and smartphones)
Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Along with the PDF file, the download contains a folder with new Photoshop brushes and an action set. The eBook itself is opened easily on multiple platforms and links to video tutorials placed throughout the book.

Goodie Bag – Brushes and Action Sets

Along with the Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion and Portrait Photography eBook, you will receive a Goodie Bag file that consists of several art brushes and action sets that you can use as you work through the training tutorials. It is always great to use the same settings when working alongside an educational system and I would suggest downloading and setting them up first.


(You may notice another set of actions listed – those are from Julia’s Creative Retouching Essentials in a Day collection.)

Video Tutorials and Reference Guides

Depending on your learning style, whether you like to read detailed instructions, watch tutorial videos, or a mix of both – in my opinion, the eBook version is the best way to go. When viewing on your computer or iPad, there is a full video workshop included that links to exclusive YouTube content as well as several links scattered throughout for additional resources.


The main video workshop included with the eBook version is around 40 minutes long and is broken into 4 easily reviewed sections. Each section corresponds to steps detailed in pervious pages, so you can watch and listen along with the reading material. This makes the material a lot easier to follow and if you forget something later on you don’t need to skip through a video – just pull up the directions in the text.

Additional Materials

There are several additional sections to this book that goes far and beyond the topic of retouching. The additional sections cover topics ranging from copyright myths (written by a lawyer), behind the scenes with modeling agencies and booking agents, as well as a chapter covering the topic of self-promotion.

Another feature of the additional content is a full inspirational section that features eight of world’s leading retouchers, photographers, and digital artists. Each of the eight artists discuss their inspiration, insight on their personal work, and advice for aspiring photographers wanting to become apart of the professional industry.


Final Thoughts & Conclusion

This is one of the most informative and detailed resources for retouch training that I have come across. The attention to every facet that goes into the creation and post-processing of high-quality professional images is complimented by tons of insider tips and resources for aspiring professionals and professionals alike.

If you already have an established understanding of Photoshop and are looking to hone your beauty and portrait retouching skills, this is the book for you. Filled to the brim with detailed instructions, examples, video tutorials (in the eBook form only), and inspirational material – you are likely to come back to this as a reference and learning tool for quite some time. This is definitely an investment in yourself as an artist and your craft.

If you are more of a beginner to the world of retouch, I would suggest picking up Julia’s other eBook, Creative Retouching Essentials in a Day. It is a perfect compliment to this volume and creates a strong foundation for moving onto the more complex skills you will learn in Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion and Portrait Photography.


To purchase your own copy of Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion and Portrait Photography for $89.48, click here. Remember, this also includes all the video tutorials and a full set of PS brushes and actions specifically designed for digital arts and retouch.


Until Next Time . . .

Stay Inspired ~ Jules

CREDITS: Photographs by Julia Kuzmenko have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.