I have found it - the perfect photo editing program for both amateurs and advanced photographers alike. Portrait Professional is a simple program that is user friendly and intuitive, even for the casual photographer. Portrait Professional delivers high quality work in a fraction of the time it takes to completely retouch a photograph on other editing programs, and is actually really fun to use.
I cringe whenever I am doing an hours-long photo shoot and the subject casually says “you’re going to Photoshop these, right?” as if it’s just a button I press and her wrinkles magically disappear on all 3,000 images. All photographers out there know Photoshop is great, but it does take a lot of time. The Photoshop masking and layering functions are perfect if you have found The Image and need to make adjustments before you blow that baby up to 16×20, but pixel-by-pixel retouch really is not a huge multi-image photo session option.
Portrait Professional is a simple download from their website and there are no manuals to read or necessary classes to take just to learn the basics. Instead, the Portrait Professional program walks you through the entire portrait retouching and makes the whole process incredibly easy. Once you open the Portrait Professional program, a simple “mark-up” stage begins, which asks you to identify certain markers on the face so the program can recognize your subject’s unique facial characteristics. Once the markers for the portrait are set, the image automatically is altered to clean up imperfections and any lighting or color issues in the original file.
I’m usually not a huge fan of “automatic fixes” as the result usually overcorrects any issues and tends to undo any purposeful artistic flair I have put into the photograph, but the Portrait Professional program was leagues smarter than I had anticipated. Their facial recognition is based on an algorithm of biometrics and automatically alters images to fit the extensive Portrait Professional database of the natural beauty we are all drawn to. Once the program has given you the corrected image, you can simply move sliders to enhance the after image or undo anything the software has auto corrected for you.
The program offers options to do total facial resculpting as well as enhancing any number of your subject’s features. You can smooth skin, widen eyes, remove blemishes and even change the color of your subject’s hair in minutes. Once you’re done with that, you can add a sunkissed skin tone, whiten teeth, thin out the face and neck and then plump up lips – all without plastic surgery. The program also offers small retouching brushes, but for the most part the image is corrected using the sliders and master control which requires no proficiency in photo retouching tools.
One of the biggest complaints photographers have with photo retouching software is that usually it is overdone. The great part about Portrait Professional is that you can see the “before” image in the same window if you’d like, so you don’t find yourself straying too far from the original image. You can add as much or as little enhancement as you’d like with the uncorrected image to guide you, and you won’t end up with an ultra-retouched image that looks more alien than human when you’re finished. Sure, you can still create glamour shots of your subjects easily and expertly, but you can also just add a more polished look to even a casual photograph.
My dad said it best when he said that the Portrait Professional is still you, only better. Instead of highlighting your blemishes or imperfections, Portrait Professional merely shows you what everyone else sees when they see you, whether that is your beautiful smile or the way your eyes captivate. And that’s something we all can get behind.
To see a demo of the Portrait Professional software, click HERE
Price: $69.95, with an additional 10% off for Rave and Review readers with the discount code "RR05". If you aren't sold on it yet, you can download the free trial version and in minutes you can play with and enhance your favorite photos.
Looks: Like software, naturally.
Overall: A cheap, yet sophisticated photo editing software.