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Master Retoucher Creates Amazing Día de los Muertos Portrait Before Your Eyes

By Hanssie on January 23rd 2014

Photographer, digital artist, retoucher, educator and author, Julia Kuzmenko McKim has many achievements under her belt, and like most photographers, didn’t start out in the photography world right after college. McKim spent years around the world in various professions -a stint in Egypt as a scuba diving instructor in the Red Sea, a tour guide whose weekly jaunts included  Cairo, the Pyramids of Giza, Luxor, the singing Colossi of Memnon, Karnak, Valley of the Kings and the Tutankhamun tomb and in the finance industry in Moscow, Russia


She picked up her first DSLR (a Canon 400D) in 2006 as a creative outlet to relieve stress from her very demanding, very full time job as an accountant. Soon after, Julia quit her secure and well paying job to move to Australia and start doing photography full time. After working as a staff photographer at a modeling agency, working with famous musicians on album covers and photographing small and big businesses alike, Julia made the move to where her home base is now, Los Angeles, CA.


With her background in painting and drawing, it was natural that Julia found her passion in retouching, as well. Now, with credits from Vogue and other major publications, numerous ebooks, a video book and her current project, Retouching Academy, Julia is looking to share her love for digital art and retouching back around the world.

[REWIND: Creative Retouching Essentials in a Day | EBook Review]

In the following video, see Julia at work her magic in creating this Día de los Muertos portrait:

  • Completion: 5-6 hours
  • Models: Sarah Stepanek & Kort
  • Base Makeup & Hair: Mikala Jean Vandenbroucke
  • Photo & Post-production: Julia Kuzmenko McKim

We are excited to announce our new partnership with Julia Kuzmenko McKim to sell two of her must-have resources for those beginning their journey into the professional beauty & portrait photography retouching world. Check out the Creative Retouching Essentials In A Day eBook. To celebrate the launch of our new partnership, save 50% off this ebook for a limited time with discount code: slrlaunch50.

For intermediate and advanced users, the Digital Photo Retouching: Beauty, Fashion & Portrait Photography eBook will give you a complete mastery of digital retouching.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Steve

    The SLR Lounge coupon code wasn’t valid when I tried to order, but they automatically have a 50% off code in place already, so I still got it for half the normal price. Thanks for the recommendation!

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