Can you Photoshop me? Retouching for headshots.
Every shot that leaves my studio goes through basic retouching, after all, we can all use a little help there. However when it comes to retouching headshots, I do try to "keep it real" and not go too far. There are too many "plastic" looking headshots out there that aren't an accurate representation of the person.
You want a headshot that strikes a balance between looking amazing AND authentic. If it doesn't look like the real you, your first in-person meeting with someone is going to be a surprise for the other party. Outdated or over-retouched headshots don't facilitate good first meetings.
To demonstrate some very light image enhancement and basic retouching, I've included an image of me below. The difference is subtle, but its there and subtle is what we're aiming for here. An image shouldn't look like it was retouched.
The before image is straight out of the camera and my capture software, so it has no adjustments other than some color correction. The first thing to notice is that using proper lighting and technique its already in a pretty good place and doesn't need much retouching. For example, check out that jawline, I solved my double-ish chin problem before the image even went to Photoshop.
When you look at the after image, it may be hard to notice but there are a collection of subtle changes that add up to an improved image. Can you spot them? Things like taking redness out of the skin in some areas, cleaning up skin blemishes, removing the studio light to clean up the background, stray hairs, brightening, etc...
To see an example of taking the retouching too far... CLICK HERE.