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4 ways to retouch portrait photos

Give your portraits a professional finish with a little bit of editing. In this tutorial, you’ll learn 4 techniques for creating polished portraits. Depending on your picture and preferences, you can try one or all of these edits.

  1. Optimize your image settings
  2. Reduce wrinkles and blemishes
  3. Create a bokeh effect blurred background
  4. Crop and resize your image

Portrait with bokeh blur effect


1.     Optimize your image settings

If your photo looks a bit dull or flat, you can try adjusting some settings.

One-click correction

The easiest way to optimize a photo is to use the Auto-correction function. This will automatically boost color and light in your image.

Adjusting settings in Photo Studio

Image adjustments

You can also use the sliders in the Adjustments tab to improve certain settings on your image.

For example, increase exposure, saturation, and contrast for a brighter, more vivid picture.

Learn more about the different sliders in the Adjustments tab.

Selective retouching

If only one part of the image needs correcting, you can use Selective retouching to alter settings in this area only.

  • In the Selective retouching tab, choose the Paintbrush and highlight the area you want to adjust.
  • Then use the sliders to alter settings in this area.

Selective retouching with the paintbrush



2.     Reduce wrinkles and blemishes

If you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes in a portrait, you can do this using the Erase and Clone tools in the Remove Objects tab.

Erase tool

  • Using the paintbrush selection tool, highlight lines, spots etc. that you want to remove.
  • Then click Erase.

Highlighting with the Erase tool

Photo Studio will remove the selected areas to leave a more air-brushed finish.

Tip: for the most natural results, work in small sections with a small brush.

Learn more about the Erase tool.

Clone tool

If the Erase tool leaves some areas looking patchy, you can use the Clone Stamp to touch up these areas.

Clone stamp source selection

  • Select a source point close to the area you want to retouch. Then carefully paint over this area.

Tip: with cloning, it’s important to choose an area as similar as possible to the area you want to retouch as your source point. This will avoid any patchiness.

Learn more about erasing objects with the Clone tool.


3.     Create a bokeh effect blurred background

Blurred backgrounds are popular in portrait photography as they help draw attention to the subject of the picture, while keeping a natural look.

You can add a bokeh effect in the Backgrounds tab.

  • Click “Replace automatically” to select the background. Then click “Continue”.
  • Click the Blur option and adjust the amount of blur using the slider.

Adding blur to the background

Learn how to edit a photo background


4.     Crop and resize your image

Last but not least, you can crop or resize your portrait photo. Cropping helps cut out distractions and place your subject centrally in your photo. Resizing is useful if your image needs to have certain dimensions.

Cropping a photo

Click the crop tab and choose a preset ratio. Some popular formats include:

5:4 – common for portrait photos and compatible with Instagram

3:2 – if you want to print a 6×4 photo

1:1 – for a square image, also good for social media

Cropping a portrait photo

See our full photo cropping tutorial

Resizing a photo

Now that you have the right proportions, you can adjust your image to the right size.

In Photo Studio, you can resize your photo at the time of saving.

Resizing an image

Find out more in this tutorial.


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