Even though the kinds of problems solved by retouching run the gamut, much of the focus in the retouching world today is in portrait retouching. In the next chapter, we work together retouching a standard business portrait.

During that project, you go through the entire portrait retouching workflow. However, you won't encounter several special issues while working on that project, such as swapping heads, replacing missing eyes, and smoothing wrinkled clothing.

Photographers and retouchers often ask me about how to handle these special kinds of challenges, so I'm devoting this chapter to solving some of the most common portrait retouching challenges.

Swapping Heads

Back in the olden days of film, the option of switching someone's head from one image to another was a daunting task. Because of this, it was rarely an option for most photographers.

With digital photography and Photoshop, the ease of performing head-swaps has changed modern portraiture. It's no longer necessary to make sure everyone in a group is perfect in a single exposure.

The photographer simply needs to be sure she gets plenty of exposures with at least one good picture of each person in the pose. This is especially beneficial when photographing groups with children or pets.

Though this technique is most often used to combine individual expressions for group portraits, ...

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