(The Lightroom video tutorial in this post is just under the introductory text below. The working files for this Lightroom video tutorial can be found just above the video. So that we can keep on providing free paid-quality content, please share these videos and raise awareness of SLR Lounge by Facebooking or Tweeting the site and articles, thank you!)

Retouching portraits in Lightroom? Yes, that’s right, you heard correctly. In fact, Lightroom’s Local Area Adjustments including the Spot Removal Tool and Adjustment Brush Tool are extremely powerful when it comes to retouching portraits. In fact, more often then not, you can take care of 90% of your retouching work right in Lightroom.

In this Lightroom video tutorial, we are going to work through retouching an entire close up portrait of yours truly. We will be removing blemishes, smoothing skin, brightening eyes and even healing out eye bags.

Why a self-portrait you ask? Well, because I wanted to use an image that required a lot of work, to better help you all learn. However, I couldn’t see any clients with images needing heavy retouching being happy that there images were used for this tutorial (despite having signed model releases).

So, for this tutorial which is Part I in the How to Retouch Portraits tutorial set, we will work on my self portrait. In the next tutorial, we will use the same techniques we learn here (along with a couple of new techniques) and apply it to an actual professional shot of one of our beautiful models.

To see all Before and After versions of each image from this tutorial, please visit the Photo Album on the SLR Lounge Facebook Page.


Exercise File Download Links:

Note: These images have been provided to the SLR Lounge users curteousy of Lin and Jirsa Photography for educational purposes only. They may not be used in any other manner outside of these SLR Lounge learning videos without the express written consent of Lin and Jirsa Photography. Thank you.

Full RAW Exercise Files (265MB) – For faster connections. The full RAW files will allow you to follow the tutorials while achieving the exact same results as shown.
JPEG Exercise Files (24MB) – For slower connections. The JPEG files will allow you to follow the tutorials, although the results may vary due to not having the image details of the full RAW file.

Related Product Offers Recommended by SLR Lounge

1) Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – As of April 4, 2011 – Among the larger reputable dealers, the lowest price we found for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is $236.99 (Free Shipping) through Amazon. Click any of these links to take you to the offer.

Click here to purchase Adobe Lightroom 3 from

2) Student and Teacher Editions of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 – For teachers and students, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is available for $89 through the Adobe Educational Purchasing Site.

Post Production Pye
SLR Lounge Senior Editor
Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography