Retouch apps

Svetlana November 11 2021

Portrait photography has magical powers. It is like telling a complete story through the perspective of a single object or person. 

Perhaps that is the reason why the craze associated with portrait photography never ended from the first day of modern-day photography to this very moment. Most people think that portrait photography is some sort of super expensive photographic session. 

History of retouching photos

Cropping is considered the most basic form of retouching, and it has been practiced since the very late 19th century when photography was introduced to the world. In fact, even before that period, there were already amateur photographers doing some form of camera manipulation in order to get that ideal image they want.

The fact is, even if a photograph is taken using a top-notch brand digital camera with quality lenses and accessories, subtle adjustments must be done so the photo will have an authentic look. Everyone knows that no photograph or any piece of art can be absolutely perfect because mistakes are unavoidable under normal circumstances. 

This goes to show that any person who wants to take good photos should also know how to retouch photos.

Types of photo retouch

Commercial retouch:

This is the simplest form of photo retouching wherein images of models are being retouched. The goal is to simply remove any blemishes from the skin of a model so that his or her complexion will be enhanced and appear flawless.

Commercial retouchers only need basic knowledge on how to use Photoshop filters to enhance an image without changing its original appearance much. However, this type of photo retouch is slowly fading away due to the popularity of digital illustration in recent years.

This is primarily because it can take hours for commercial retouchers to finish their work, compared with an illustrator who only needs several minutes using computer graphics tools like Adobe Illustrator.

Editorial retouch:

This is also known as the editorial style in terms of photography. Why? Because it's used to retouch photos that will be published in magazines and newspapers and framed for hanging on household walls.

Editorial retouching requires a lot more attention because this is taken seriously by people who want flawless, naturally-looking pictures.

Creative retouch:

This type of retouching is used to create different effects in photos. A photo editing program like Photoshop may be used for this type of retouching. The common types of creative retouches are abstract, surrealistic, cartoon-like, vibrant colors, and HDR (High Dynamic Range).

The goal here is to create an image that will appear as if it has been altered using a high-end product from Adobe or other companies rather than paintbrush-made brushes. As mentioned earlier, the most important thing here is the objective to give people an impression that they are looking at a carefully captured moment where artistic skill was involved even without noticing anything artistic about it.

Beauty retouch:

This is the most popular form of retouching among portrait photographers. It involves removing any blemishes and enhancing the complexion so that the person photographed will look perfect to viewers. If you're planning to start a career in retouching, you will likely be doing beauty retouching for at least two years because it can fetch a handsome salary.

Portrait retouch:

This is different from beauty retouching because it's used to remove anything that can distract a viewer from focusing on the face of a person being photographed.

This includes blemishes, distractions in the background, and making sure all distracting objects will appear blurred. This is also one of the most popular types of retouches in photography these days.

Best apps

You need all kinds of super expensive camera setups and stuff like that for it. But in reality, you can achieve the same results with some retouch apps. Here's a list of 7 best retouch apps you can choose for portrait photography.


The name of the app is already telling a lot about the app. TouchRetouch is loaded with features that will help you completely retouch your images to get a more refined look. The app is also perfect for removing objects of all sorts. Plus, there’s no chance of getting dead or blurry pixels when using TouchRetouch.


According to experts, Visage has magical powers. This retouching app truly has magical powers when it comes to enhancing your portrait shot. More amazingly, a whole section of tools is dedicated to portrait shots, including human faces and bodies. This toolset allows you to adjust the portrait dynamics just the way you prefer in your shots. You can also customize stuff up to great extent.


Fotor is the ultimate color adjusting tool. The app allows the user to fully change the color scheme of a portrait shot just the way you prefer. You can also add frames, captions, or make collages through the Fotor suite. Don't worry, Fotor knows how to keep the image pixels away from blurring out. This is a feature most retouch apps don't have.

Photoshop Fix

Now we are talking about some high-end retouch apps that aren't that easy to use. You are indeed going to need some time to master Photoshop Fix completely.  But once you have done that, no one can beat your retouch game. The app is suitable for both Android and iOS.


Retouch apps aren't known for maintaining the pixel orientation of an image. That's a major issue you are going to face with these apps. To cope with this issue, in particular, Pixelmator was launched. 

The app contains all the essential tools for retouching and retains the original image's pixel content while retouching.

Facetune 2

After analyzing the impact Facetune made in the world of image retouching, Facetune 2 was launched to raise the game to the next level.  Opposite to most of the retouch apps, Facetune 2 is all about portrait retouching. Some amazing features of the app include skin smoothening and teeth whitening along with face posture setting.


Last but not least, from any point of use, Airbrush is the ultimate retouching tool suitable for Android and iOS. If you are a portrait photographer who focuses on human objects, in particular, you will appreciate the features of Airbrush. As a retouching app, Airbrush can rectify and smoothen even the most roughed-up images like a pro.

Why people are so obsessive about portrait retouching?

A portrait photographer is all about getting the perfect lighting for an image. But even with the best light, you can't get a high-quality portrait shot if your subject has dark circles under his eyes or blemishes on the face. This is why people are so obsessed with retouching portraits to give them that perfect look they have always wanted.

Similar tools are being used in both beauty and portrait retouching. Although there are few differences between these two types of retouches, one must take care not to mistake one for another. Also, it's advised to learn every type of photo retouching because you never know when will you need it!

Hiding real you behind retouching

Nowadays social media suggest awfully unrealistic photos of human bodies. Everyone dreams of having a body like celebrities, especially women are constantly trying to achieve that look through retouching apps.

If social media is all about sharing your best bits with friends and followers then the pressure it brings can be overwhelming. The feeling of people directly looking at you is often compared with having an audience in front of you! This can lead to developing unrealistic body standards and pressure to look perfect on every photo taken.

So, if you want to get over this effect, make sure that each post is edited properly including all the details like blemishes which are unacceptable online.

Overall, having an extremely unrealistic photo can be threatening for anyone who is using that photo for themself in the real world. This leads to misleading the general public with a false sense of beauty which isn't healthy at all! It can lead "real you" to hide behind editing tools instead of showing up if you want others to see how wonderful you are!

Body Positive movement

Thus, the body-positive movement was born. It is all about accepting your flaws and celebrating them! No matter if you are big or small, everybody should be loved equally instead of trying to look like someone else's photo. It will not only help you in achieving your goal, but it can save others from falling into the trap of retouching.

No matter what you might think you look like, there is always someone who thinks worse than you do about their body and wishes to look like a celebrity too. That doesn't mean that looking like a celebrity will change anyone's life! It isn't possible because each one of us is an individual with our own unique traits which can be brought out only by believing in ourselves! 

Focus on Beauty

Instead of obsessing over the perfect body shape, you should focus on what makes us beautiful. It can be our eyes, cheekbones, or smooth skin if you are a woman. Men have several other things to feel good about themselves, for example, their physique or beard style.

The photo retouching tools are there to make your real-life better instead of fake photos! So get it right by choosing apps that are made for image beautifying without any improper editing! Not only will it save you time and money but also help you live healthier life full of self-confidence!


No matter how many hours you spend on editing, your real-life will never meet the standards of perfect online photos. The only thing that retouching apps are good for is releasing any pressure or stress! Just focus on seeing yourself as beautiful and full of potential instead of inspiration from the fake images found all over social media.

This way, you`ll be able to get closer to achieving online success if you never did before!