12. Practical demonstration on business retouch

Retouching business portraits, once perfected, should be a quick and simple process that results in subtle yet effective enhancements.

In this photography class Karl explains and shows you how to approach changing the background colour of a business portrait without effecting the look of the subject before demonstrating useful Photoshop techniques to ensure that the background is smooth and even.

At the end of this class you’ll have seen how to use a number of useful techniques such as the Color Replace command, how to work with layers and layer masks, and understand when and why to use filters such as Gaussian Blur and Noise.

In this Photoshop class we cover the following:

  • Photoshop tutorial: How to retouch business portraits
  • Retouching tips for business portraits
  • How to use the Color Replace command in Photoshop
  • How to make color adjustments in Photoshop
  • Understanding blend modes in Photoshop
  • Using layers and layer masks
  • When and why you should use filters
  • Gaussian blur filter
  • Noise filter

To learn more about how to take business portraits, watch our live show here.

If you have any questions about this course please post them in the comments section below ?


  1. So this video was all about fixing a background. I was *really* hoping you’d show how to fix that wrinkled shirt! That’s the challenge I often have – maintaining the texture of the shirt while “ironing” it.

      1. Thank you Karl! I’ve tried this but haven’t been successful with a clean edit yet. Edges show, transitions are apparent…I’ll review the other video again and keep practicing. Thanks!

  2. In the video, when you are about to smooth out the background, you mention that you didn’t blur the entire image and then mask out the gentleman because of the spread of the blur.
    Would this also happen if you turned the layer into a smart object before applying the gaussian blur?

    1. Hi, the idea of this is simple the man needs to be removed before the blur takes place otherwise the man will blur into the background too.

      1. Hi Karl,
        Thanks for the answer, I think my formulation might have been insufficient, let me try again;

        Would turning the gentleman into a smart object before applying the blur effect reduce the blur onto the brackground? Turning him into a smart object makes the effect non-destructive and automatically creates a masking layer to control where the effect is applied – would this work, or does the falloff into the background still happen in this example?

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