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How to Use Portrait Brushes to Glamorize Your Images

Use Lightroom Portrait Brushes to Glamorize Your Photos
As with everything in life, we are always searching for the "easy button" when it comes to editing photographs, both in Lightroom and Photoshop. Presets and actions come close to being easy buttons, but often you, the editor, need to do a little more to take an image from "nice" to "incredible." 

After I edited the image below, I thought to myself "it looks like she went to Glamor Shots." I don't know if that company is still in business, but in the 80's and 90's, you could go there and they'd do your hair and makeup, then take fantastic photos of you (I never did it, but I had lots of friends who did). Similar to how they applied makeup and teased hair, I used the Perfect Portrait Lightroom brushes to "glamorize" this image.

 

Global Preset Applied

The very first thing I did to the image was apply a "global" preset, meaning it would effect the entire image, not just a portion of it. I used the Aphrodite preset from the Pretty Film Pastels collection. This gave the image beautiful, deep tones and made it just pop!

Below is a comparison of the SOOC (straight out of camera) and how it looks after the one-click edit using Aphrodite.

Before and After One Click Edit with Aphrodite Lightroom Preset

 

Local Adjustments Applied

After doing a one-click edit with the Aphrodite preset, I used the clone/heal tool to remedy a few blemishes on her forehead and chin area. After that I used the Perfect Portrait Lightroom adjustment brushes to perfect the edit. Below is a list of all the brushes I used.

 

  • Fix Red Casts - on her lower lid area, tip of her nose, and his ear
  • Under-Eye Circle Remedy - on her under-eye circles
  • Eye Liner - on her upper and lower lids to accentuate her existing eye liner
  • Eyes Catchlights - on the catchlights in her eyes
  • Eyes Sharpen - only on the iris and pupil of her eyes
  • Eyes Whiten - on the whites of her eyes
  • Lip Smooth - on her lips
  • Skin Smooth - on her face and neck
  • Skin Add Blush - on her check closest to the male subject
  • Hair Add Highlights - on the highlights in her hair

 Image after Aphrodite preset and Perfect Portrait Brushes

Amazing Result

Isn't incredible how much of a difference using the Perfect Portrait brushes are? Below is a side by side of the original, unedited image, and the final result with Aphrodite and brushes. 

Comparison of before and after using Portrait brushes to glamorize an image

Video Companion

Below is a short, silent recording of me editing this image with the Aphrodite preset and portrait brushes. To keep the video short, I didn't use all the brushes I used in the final edit (listed above), but enough to show the impact the Perfect Portrait brushes have on the image.

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