Photoshop Like a Model

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to get magazine-cover photos of yourself. Let’s face it, most people would like to look a little slimmer; to hide blemishes; and to clear up skin blemishes.

There are social and psychological self-image implications to this type of photo editing. Never mind the message that it sends to our youth. This is not a political/social/religious website. This is a technical website. This weekend, you’re going to learn HOW to photoshop your images like a cover model. Or to just tweak them reasonably for Facebook.

The BEFORE Image


Author’s Note: This example image is a photo of the me taken at Niagara Falls. The angle was horrible, the lighting was bad, I wasn’t sucking it in, and yeah – I’m overweight. That said, you’re going to learn how to improve the image.

Getting the Software

There are lots of photo editing software options, but this example is made using the following (recommended) software:

  • Photoshop – You have several options to purchase Photoshop. You can subscribe and use the latest Creative Cloud full version of Photoshop for $9.99/month. (There is a free 30-day trial.) There is a month-to-month plan. So if you only go on vacation once a year and only need Photoshop once a year, you can cancel your membership and re-up when you need it. Other options are to purchase an old version of the Creative Suite and install it on your computer.
    • Photoshop Elements – According to this Adobe article, you can use Photoshop Elements to use the Liquify tool that you will be using. This Epiphenie article uses the full version of Photoshop, but a lot of the same features are available in Elements.
  • Perfect365 – You can install Perfect365 (a makeover app) on your Mac, Windows computer, mobile phone, or tablet. The software costs $49.99 for your computer, but you can look at coupons and get it for $35. The free version is a good trial to see how you can edit your photos, but you can only save low-resolution photos from the app. The $35 version allows you to save high-res images.

You can use the trials to practice and follow this tutorial.

Editing the Photo

You can download the original photo or follow along while editing your own photo. During editing, you are going to complete three types of edits:

  1. Slimming Your Body using the liquify filter in Photoshop
  2. Adjusting Lighting and Color, particularly in the background
  3. Making Over your Face using Perfect365

Slimming Your Body

Use the liquify filter in Photoshop to reshape your body:

  1. Open your image in Photoshop.
  2. In the Photoshop menu, select Filter > Liquify….
  3. Begin editing with a larger brush size to move around larger parts of your body, such as hips.
  4. Experiment using the Forward Warp or Pucker tools.
  5. Use progressively smaller brush sizes to tweak little fat rolls or lumps.
  6. Throughout your editing, you will need to watch anything with patterns. In this example, the railing needs to remain horizontal and not be warped as you slim your body. It is also easier to edit a photo where the model is wearing solid clothing, rather than striped or plaid patterns.
  7. If you are not happy with your results, you can undo your changes using one of the following methods:
    • Undo a single change using Edit > Undo.
    • Undo multiple changes using Edit > Step Backward.
    • Undo all of your changes by cancelling the filter or clicking Restore All.
  8. When you are finished, click OK and save your image.

You can make some subtle changes, so that your photo looks like you. In the example below, the hips and tummy are brought in a little, and the little bits of fat around the underarm and shoulders are trimmed:
PhotoshopBefore   PhotoshopAfterLiquifyNormal

You can also make dramatic and ridiculous changes to make you look like a “model”. In this ridiculous example, the entire body is shrunken:
PhotoshopBefore  PhotoshopAfterLiquifyThin

Adjusting Lighting and Color

After you are done (reasonably) slimming your body, adjust the color and lighting of the image to make the background pop:

  1. In the Photoshop menu, go to Image > Adjustments > Exposure and tweak the settings until you are happy with the lighting.
  2. Click OK and save your changes.
  3. In the Photoshop menu, go to Image > Adjustments > Vibrance and tweak the settings until you are happy with the boldness of the color.
  4. Click OK and save your changes.
  5. You can tweak other settings in the Image menu to improve your photo as needed.

Making Over your Face

When you have finished working in Photoshop, save your image and close Photoshop. You can now make over your face in Perfect365:

  1. Open your image in Perfect365.
    The software detects the faces in your photo and displays the first face, ready to edit.
  2. Before you begin editing, make sure that the automatic detection has found the elements of your face properly by clicking Adjust Key Points.
  3. Adjust the points to hit the correct markers on your face and then click Adjust Key Points again to hide the markers.
  4. Edit your photo by using the Styles or Fine Tune features.
  5. When you are happy with the results, click Save to save your changes.

You might want to open Photoshop and do a few more tweaks before you are finished.

View Your Finished Photos

When you’re done, look at your finished photos.

Depending on how much editing you did, you might have a slightly altered photo:
PhotoshopBefore  PhotoEditAfter_Normal

Or you might have a dramatic, magazine-ready, and unrealistic photo:
PhotoshopBefore  PhotoEditAfter_Thin

Author: Steph

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