As a photographer, whether a professional or amateur, one of the most useful things you can do to improve your work is to seek out other people’s opinions.

All artists and their work are subject to scrutiny from all different angles. If you ever do or ever want to put your portrait editing work out in the public arena, you should probably seek a second opinion first before publishing.

Focus on what you want to achieve with your portrait retouching

In digital portrait retouching it is very easy to get lost or too involved in a project, and to forget where you started or where you were going.

You may have only intended to remove a few blemishes, but once you start retouching and looking at your image in detail, you may find more and more you want to alter.

It is important to keep in mind the purpose for which you are retouching. If it is for yourself, then you may do what you would like; if however it is for a professional client or even a friend, then you should remember their needs and requirements which will be different to your own.

If you spend hours retouching portraits in Photoshop, you can save yourself time by using a dedicated portrait retouching Photoshop plugin, such as Portrait Professional.

Take advice from friends and other professionals about photo editing

Your friends and family may be able to offer you critique on your work, but don’t forget that they will be biased, both towards you and potentially towards your subject. It is important to also seek impartial opinions on your work in order that you are able to step away from your work and to see any potential ways to improve.

Why not join a camera club, or register with the Portrait Professional forum to join like-minded enthusiasts and professionals for sharing ideas and critiques?

It is also valuable to an artist and a photographer to view other artists’ work. When we look at other people’s work we are inspired and encouraged to do better and improve our own work.

Check out the Portrait Professional Gallery for some inspiration from us.