Portrait Retouching & Color Grading Workflow for Photographers

person icon Marko Smiljanic

Portrait Retouching & Color Grading Workflow for Photographers

Learn how to edit portraits from a professional photographer & retoucher, color grade and create atmospheric portraits

updated on icon Updated on Sep, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Marko Smiljanic

architecture icon Photography & Video,Portrait Photography,Photoshop Retouching,Photoshop


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Course Description

Retouching adds personal touch and breathes life into photos, and it doesn't have to be a slow and tedious grind. This course aims to save you time, spark your passion, and help you create outstanding portraits, by showing you an entire retouching workflow, perfected over 10 years of active work both as a professional boudoir photographer and retoucher.

Complete start-to-finish retouching guide will teach you: 

  • RAW Photo Editing - Color Stylisation & Grading, Color Contrast

  • Efficient Skin Retouch Basics & Tools - Smooth Skin and Preserve Detail

  • Advanced Frequency Separation & Mixer Brush Made Simple!

  • Thinking Outside the Box and Creative Ways of Using Tools and Techniques

  • Finding the Most Time Efficient Methods

  • Adding Depth and Dimension using 3 Types of Dodge and Burn

  • Master Subject Separation, Guiding Attention, Boosting Detail

  • Create Atmosphere and Ambience in Your Photos!

  • Learn to Analyze Photos, and Squeeze the Last Drop of Color Contrast

  • Sharpen and Optimize Your Photo for Publishing!

Having spent most of my recent years offering private education, I've noticed a growing trend of photographers reaching out to me with some basic knowledge, that's more often than not, a confusing mess of 'half baked' information, techniques and advice picked up from various Youtube channels. All this in most cases causes total confusion, stress, wasted time, poorly retouched photos, eventually leading to loss of passion and love for this beautiful art and craft.

This course is my best effort to date, to demystify retouching, bring clarity, simplicity and fun into the process many photographers struggle with, allowing you to explore what truly matters - your creativity, efficiently and stress free.

By the end of this course, you will understand where color harmonies are being created, how to post process your RAW file and pull the most out of the RAW data, how to retouch skin for any kind of professional publication or commercial work, adding depth to your photos, and making them appear '3D'

Contents and Overview

3 hours of study content and follow along material, covering the way from the initial color stylisation and Lightroom/Camera RAW setup, to a high end professionally retouched photo that could be printed  or published.
For your convenience, the course is divided into 7 chapters, all starting with a discussion and analysis of our goals, followed by the in depth explanation of the tools we're going to be using
The course is going to be focusing on non destructive retouching techniques, that are the high end industry standard, explained in a simple, beginner friendly way,
A significant portion of the course focuses on color work, that is besides skin work, another key factor that makes a photo stand out.

The 7 chapters of the course are:

Chapter I — Color Correction and Grading
Chapter II — Basic Skin Work
Chapter III — Advanced Skin Retouch
Chapter IV — Dodge and Burn
Chapter V — Detail Enhancement
Chapter VI — Plugins and Atmosphere
Chapter VII — Final Color Correction

You will also receive
a RAW file used in the lesson, for practice, or if you wish to follow along
Two Action Packs, there to help you save tremendous amount of time
Photoshop Workspace Presets to help organize your workspace
Portrait Retouching Checklist - with everything you need to look at and analyze
Dodge and Burn guides and examples


I would add that the methods and techniques you will find here are universal and you can apply them to all kinds of portrait photography (high end beauty, newborn, elopement, studio, neon, outdoor, family, boudoir, lifestyle, glamour, nightlife, commercial, couple, fine art, business…)


What will you learn in this course:

Completing this course you will learn:

  • Boudoir & Portrait Photo Retouching

  • Color grading and Color Correction

  • Advanced skin retouching techniques

  • Dodging and burning

  • Light shaping

  • Adding depth and dimension to photos

  • How to create atmosphere in your photos


What are the prerequisites for this course?

  • Basic understanding of Photoshop

Portrait Retouching & Color Grading Workflow for Photographers


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

1 Lectures
  • play icon What Can I Teach You 00:00 00:00
Color Correction and Color Grade for Boudoir Imagery
1 Lectures
Basic Skin Retouching
1 Lectures
Advanced Skin Retouching
1 Lectures
Master Dodging and Burning
1 Lectures
Working with Details
1 Lectures
Plugins used in Boudoir and Sensual Portrait Photography
1 Lectures
Finishing Touches & Final Color Stylisation
1 Lectures

Instructor Details

Marko Smiljanic

Marko Smiljanic

Your go-to Photoshop buddy

Hi everyone!
My name is Mark Smilyanic. I am an international boudoir & portrait photographer and professional photo retoucher. I’ve been educating photographers in the art of color stylization and skin retouching techniques in my Retouching School in Belgrade, and this is my first voyage into the world of online education.

My photography adventure has started way back in 2012, with a small camera and a big dream. Sometime in 2015, I’ve left my University studies, and financial security it provided, to pursue a dream of becoming an artist, which to be entirely honest, didn’t look promising. One thing I surely had was a burning passion for this art and craft we all love.

Fast forward to 2018, after years of sleepless nights, here and I am, successfully running my own photography business, traveling the world and living a life full of experiences I’ve never dreamed of having.

I’ve met and worked with multimillion followers strong ladies that have inspired me to pursue this career, and have been doing work for many international brands both as a retoucher and a photographer. My travels have taken me to over 30 countries, and some of the clients I work for are Opel, Helwett Packard, Terranova, LISCA, Ma P'tite Culotte, Rebel Athletic, The Luxe Lens, KILLSTAR, Wave Gotik Treffen, Belial Clothing, Blondy Fashion, Low and Heavy, to name a few.

What fuels my passions in photography to this day is the color work, color stylization and color contrast, something that you would easily spot in my work. Another strong point of what I can teach you is the perfected skin retouching workflow.

The skin retouching workflow I’ve developed is a product a many year long analysis of advantages and disadvantages of countless skin retouching techniques I’ve used and tested throughout various portrait photography genres. As my retouching workload is bountiful, and clients want no compromise in terms of quality, as years went by, I’ve came up with a couple of methods that are there to save my own and your time, yet give you the uncompromising result, adhering to all the non destructive retouch rules, that are the standard in the high end beauty retouch industry.

I am looking forward to meeting you, passing on some of my knowledge, and seeing your awesome work!

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