February 22, 2017
The kind folks at SleekLens offered me the opportunity to try out their Portrait Perfection Collection actions. I was a little reluctant as first because after over a decade in the portrait photography business, I am a little set in my ways and have done little to update my editing workflow after I found something that worked for me. But I thought it might be fun to take a look at what they had and see how I could make it work for me.
I used two personal photos that were underexposed as a result of shooting as the sun was rapidly setting as samples.
The first photo was one that I took at the beach and it actually popped back up on my Facebook feed recently. It bothered me that the photo was a little dark and the girls’ skin didn’t have the warm look I had hoped for. Because I was new to this set of actions it took a little trial and error to figure out what would work best for this photo. Luckily, many of the actions have pretty obvious names, so I was able to jump around without having to do too much research.
I used the BASE- From Golden Hours, followed by EXPOSURE-Bright. Then I used the PORTRAIT RETOUCH-Honey Skin Brush one their skin, COLOR CORRECTION-Purple Honey on the girls’ white dresses, COLOR CORRECTION-Reduce Greens on the water, and finally I added a brown vignette, which I found under VIGNETTE-Toned Vignette.
The second photo I chose was a portrait of my daughter. Again the original photo was dark because the sunlight was going down faster than I had kept up with my exposure. So I wanted to brighten up the photo and also soften up her skin and add a little more softness to the photo in general.
I started with BASE-From Scratch and EXPOSURE-Bright. I used Soft Glow Skin and Honey Skin Brush from the PORTRAIT RETOUCH just on her face, which gave her skin a softer texture. I used the LIGHT GLOW-Soft Warm to add some more highlights to her hair. I brightened her eyes using the 20% Brush and reduced some reds using the COLOR CORRECTION. Finally I added a brown vignette and used the Paint Effect from FROM A CANDY STORE. Here’s what it looked like in Photoshop while I was working:
As with most action sets I have purchased, I found that there is a bit of a learning curve in figuring out what is available to you and selecting which actions will work best for each particular image. This set covers a lot of portrait retouching needs and I’m sure I am just at the beginning of the possibilities that it offers.
If you would like to learn more about these actions offered by SleekLens you can find them here: