Kristina Sherk

Kristina Sherk

Kristina Sherk is high-end photo retoucher specializing in realistic retouching. She's a contributing educational author for publications like Shutter Magazine, Photoshop User Magazine, and Lightroom Magazine. She is also the author behind Photoshop Cafe's Fashion Retouching DVD. Her more reputable corporate clients include National Public Radio, Time Inc., XM Satellite Radio, Cotton Inc., and most recently, Hasselblad.

Let’s face it, minimizing under-eye circles in postproduction needs to be done on almost every portrait, but just like everything in Photoshop, there are multiple ways to get rid of them. I’m frequently asked which is the best way to minimize them? Although not a great answer, my reply is usually, “Well, it depends.” In this article, I’ll analyze the top three ways to fix under-eye circles, the strengths and weaknesses for each, and when I tend to use each method. By the end of this, you should be well-versed on how and when to use each method. Here’s a mini biology lesson: Do you know w...

Three Fixes for Under-Eye Circles close

Let’s face it, minimizing under-eye circles in postproduction needs to be done on almost every portrait, but just like everything in Photoshop, there are multiple ways to get rid of them. I’m frequently asked which is the best way to minimize them? Although not a great answer, my reply is usually, “Well, it depends.” In this article, I’ll analyze the top three ways to fix under-eye circles, the strengths and weaknesses for each, and when I tend to use each method. By the end of this, you should be well-versed on how and when to use each method. Here’s a mini biology lesson: Do you know w...

I’ve always loved the water. Something about its serene, sensory-deprivation-like qualities help me navigate through the noise inhabiting my brain, allowing me to focus, relax, and create. My passion project for the past five years has been the Mermaid Portfolio Retreat, where four other photographers/videographers, scuba divers, underwater models, and I set sail to the Exuma island chain in The Bahamas on a dive boat for a week. We catch up on what we’ve done over the past year, collaborate, and create images to keep us busy until the next trip. Since I’m a retoucher by trade, I have a ...

Retouching Underwater Photography close

I’ve always loved the water. Something about its serene, sensory-deprivation-like qualities help me navigate through the noise inhabiting my brain, allowing me to focus, relax, and create. My passion project for the past five years has been the Mermaid Portfolio Retreat, where four other photographers/videographers, scuba divers, underwater models, and I set sail to the Exuma island chain in The Bahamas on a dive boat for a week. We catch up on what we’ve done over the past year, collaborate, and create images to keep us busy until the next trip. Since I’m a retoucher by trade, I have a ...

Learn how to create pro-level headshots with with Kristi Sherk! You may know Kristi as an amazing retoucher, but corporate headshots are a large part of her business. In the first part of this class Kristi takes you through her lighting setup, teaches you how to prepare for the shoot with the goal of saving you time in post production, how to coach your subjects, and how she reviews the shoot with the client to make the final selects. The second part of class is all about how to deal with some of the more problematic retouching situations you might encounter, such as reflections on glasses or reducing wrinkles on clothing. Kristi is all about saving you time in post production, so she wraps up the class with a look at actions and plug-ins you can leverage in your workflow.

Pro Quality Headshots Using a Simple Setup close

Learn how to create pro-level headshots with with Kristi Sherk! You may know Kristi as an amazing retoucher, but corporate headshots are a large part of her business. In the first part of this class Kristi takes you through her lighting setup, teaches you how to prepare for the shoot with the goal of saving you time in post production, how to coach your subjects, and how she reviews the shoot with the client to make the final selects. The second part of class is all about how to deal with some of the more problematic retouching situations you might encounter, such as reflections on glasses or reducing wrinkles on clothing. Kristi is all about saving you time in post production, so she wraps up the class with a look at actions and plug-ins you can leverage in your workflow.

In this issue, I want to teach you how to improve your portrait-retouching workflow by creating a beautiful full set of luscious lashes that you can apply with one click of your mouse! Adding eyelashes to a client’s portrait is an easy way to open up their eyes and give the image a little bit of a glamour effect. The problem is that it’s a lot of work! The only way to make these digital lashes look natural is to draw them in individually so that each lash looks a little different in shape, length, and orientation, the same way real lashes do. This can be tedious, so most people don’t do ...

Adding Luscious Lashes in an Instant close

In this issue, I want to teach you how to improve your portrait-retouching workflow by creating a beautiful full set of luscious lashes that you can apply with one click of your mouse! Adding eyelashes to a client’s portrait is an easy way to open up their eyes and give the image a little bit of a glamour effect. The problem is that it’s a lot of work! The only way to make these digital lashes look natural is to draw them in individually so that each lash looks a little different in shape, length, and orientation, the same way real lashes do. This can be tedious, so most people don’t do ...

Frequency separation—we’ve all heard the term and immediately associate it with skin retouching. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; as long as you know that this technique has much wider applications than just making skin look pretty. Over the past decade, this technique has been working its way into all sorts of other areas of retouching: you can use it to clear off surfaces, fix flyaway hairs, completely overhaul textures of products, and also eradicate wrinkles from clothing (one of the most frustrating things to retouch in Photoshop)! The simple idea of separating the color/lightnes...

Frequency Separation for Clothing Wrinkles close

Frequency separation—we’ve all heard the term and immediately associate it with skin retouching. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; as long as you know that this technique has much wider applications than just making skin look pretty. Over the past decade, this technique has been working its way into all sorts of other areas of retouching: you can use it to clear off surfaces, fix flyaway hairs, completely overhaul textures of products, and also eradicate wrinkles from clothing (one of the most frustrating things to retouch in Photoshop)! The simple idea of separating the color/lightnes...

­ If you’re anything like me, and a client asks you to change the background color of their image from white to black, your first urge is probably to have an internal temper tantrum and secretly throw your face up to the sky and scream, “Why!” It used to be almost impossible to cleanly cut out hair and edges around your subject without having that muddy white lens flare glaring back at you from your image. It’s okay, you can step back from that ledge, my friend, I’m here today to share an amazing little trick I learned from Photoshop guru and KelbyOne educator Glyn Dewis that will help y...

Changing Background Color using Layer Styles close

­ If you’re anything like me, and a client asks you to change the background color of their image from white to black, your first urge is probably to have an internal temper tantrum and secretly throw your face up to the sky and scream, “Why!” It used to be almost impossible to cleanly cut out hair and edges around your subject without having that muddy white lens flare glaring back at you from your image. It’s okay, you can step back from that ledge, my friend, I’m here today to share an amazing little trick I learned from Photoshop guru and KelbyOne educator Glyn Dewis that will help y...

­ Working on other people’s art can be an interesting sub-industry. Not only does it require technical skill and advanced knowledge of Photoshop, but it also requires the retoucher to be a mind reader sometimes. Deciphering what a photographer wants done to their images is as delicate as walking a tightrope, especially if the photographer doesn’t know specific terminology that will help you turn their photos into the images they’re envisioning. You don’t want to go overboard, but at the same time you want to do what the client is paying you to do—retouch the shot! Anything I can do to...

Working with a Retoucher: What Photographers Need to Know close

­ Working on other people’s art can be an interesting sub-industry. Not only does it require technical skill and advanced knowledge of Photoshop, but it also requires the retoucher to be a mind reader sometimes. Deciphering what a photographer wants done to their images is as delicate as walking a tightrope, especially if the photographer doesn’t know specific terminology that will help you turn their photos into the images they’re envisioning. You don’t want to go overboard, but at the same time you want to do what the client is paying you to do—retouch the shot! Anything I can do to...

Fixing Uneven Lighting

with Kristina Sherk

Owning a retouching company allows me a very unique view into other photographers’ businesses. I’m always interested by the different requests that come through the door; for example, I received an email from a very concerned wedding photographer a few years ago who was desperate for my help. On this specific wedding, the bride’s make-up ran late and, as you may have guessed, they made it up by removing time from the group portrait section of the photography itinerary. I felt so sorry for the photographer. She was on time and ready to shoot, but because someone else ran late, she was pen...

Fixing Uneven Lighting close

Owning a retouching company allows me a very unique view into other photographers’ businesses. I’m always interested by the different requests that come through the door; for example, I received an email from a very concerned wedding photographer a few years ago who was desperate for my help. On this specific wedding, the bride’s make-up ran late and, as you may have guessed, they made it up by removing time from the group portrait section of the photography itinerary. I felt so sorry for the photographer. She was on time and ready to shoot, but because someone else ran late, she was pen...

When I first heard the term “nondestructive editing,” I thought it meant the use of smart objects. But if you’re retouching portraits, which requires a lot of pixel-based manipulations, smart objects aren’t really useful. So, what I’d like to talk about in this article is how I apply the concept of nondestructive editing to my portrait retouching. Two words: Adjustment layers. These little buggers are the key to almost all of my retouching. Here’s my Photoshop mantra: “Ninety percent of retouching can be done by changing the color or the value (lightness/darkness) of a pixel.” That’s it....

Nondestructive Editing for the Portrait Photographer close

When I first heard the term “nondestructive editing,” I thought it meant the use of smart objects. But if you’re retouching portraits, which requires a lot of pixel-based manipulations, smart objects aren’t really useful. So, what I’d like to talk about in this article is how I apply the concept of nondestructive editing to my portrait retouching. Two words: Adjustment layers. These little buggers are the key to almost all of my retouching. Here’s my Photoshop mantra: “Ninety percent of retouching can be done by changing the color or the value (lightness/darkness) of a pixel.” That’s it....

It’s that time of year again folks, the holidays! To be honest, it’s my favorite time of year. I just love how everything sparkles, people are friendlier, and here in DC we get a few beautiful snowfalls. What’s not to love? It can also be an extremely busy time for professional photographers. Families want images for holiday cards, companies are having holiday parties and need photography coverage, and the list goes on. If you’re a professional photographer, this is great news for you! But if you’re looking for time to sneak in a holiday-themed personal shoot, your lack of free time may ...

Turn any Image into a Holiday-Themed Shot! (The Holiday Color Swap Trick) close

It’s that time of year again folks, the holidays! To be honest, it’s my favorite time of year. I just love how everything sparkles, people are friendlier, and here in DC we get a few beautiful snowfalls. What’s not to love? It can also be an extremely busy time for professional photographers. Families want images for holiday cards, companies are having holiday parties and need photography coverage, and the list goes on. If you’re a professional photographer, this is great news for you! But if you’re looking for time to sneak in a holiday-themed personal shoot, your lack of free time may ...

Has this scenario ever happened to you? You’re on a shoot and you look at the back of your camera only to see the most amazing image you’ve ever taken. You’re thrilled and you can’t wait to get back to your computer to work on it and get it out on social media for the world to tell you how amazing the shot is! But once you open it in Photoshop, you realize—in complete horror—that your shot is blurry! Gasp! It’s not a front-focus or back-focus issue, but rather you were unknowingly slightly moving while taking that portfolio-defining photo. You remembered back to when you were taking the ...

Never Fear, Shake Reduction Is Here! close

Has this scenario ever happened to you? You’re on a shoot and you look at the back of your camera only to see the most amazing image you’ve ever taken. You’re thrilled and you can’t wait to get back to your computer to work on it and get it out on social media for the world to tell you how amazing the shot is! But once you open it in Photoshop, you realize—in complete horror—that your shot is blurry! Gasp! It’s not a front-focus or back-focus issue, but rather you were unknowingly slightly moving while taking that portfolio-defining photo. You remembered back to when you were taking the ...

While most of you know me as a professional retoucher, I also run a headshots photography business based out of Washington D.C. Perfectly Clear Complete has proven itself an instrumental part of our workflow, and since this issue is all about plug-ins, I wanted to take a minute to point out why we can’t do what we do without this powerhouse plug-in. Before we get started, I’d like to state for the record that I work closely with the developers at Perfectly Clear to give them feedback on their software and how they can improve it for you portrait photographers out there. They already have...

Why We Use Perfectly Clear Every Day close

While most of you know me as a professional retoucher, I also run a headshots photography business based out of Washington D.C. Perfectly Clear Complete has proven itself an instrumental part of our workflow, and since this issue is all about plug-ins, I wanted to take a minute to point out why we can’t do what we do without this powerhouse plug-in. Before we get started, I’d like to state for the record that I work closely with the developers at Perfectly Clear to give them feedback on their software and how they can improve it for you portrait photographers out there. They already have...

Join Kristi Sherk to learn the essentials of retouching wedding photos. This class is for any photographer shooting weddings and wanting to learn practical retouching skills from real world examples. From the basic to the advanced, Kristi shares tips and techniques focused on the unique situations wedding photographer’s face. From evening out skin tones under dappled light to removing tan lines, or swapping faces in group photos to dealing with motion blur, by the end of the class you’ll have increased confidence in the types of jobs you can handle on your own, saving you time and money.

Retouching Essentials for Wedding Photographers close

Join Kristi Sherk to learn the essentials of retouching wedding photos. This class is for any photographer shooting weddings and wanting to learn practical retouching skills from real world examples. From the basic to the advanced, Kristi shares tips and techniques focused on the unique situations wedding photographer’s face. From evening out skin tones under dappled light to removing tan lines, or swapping faces in group photos to dealing with motion blur, by the end of the class you’ll have increased confidence in the types of jobs you can handle on your own, saving you time and money.

“Work smarter, not harder.” Anyone who has watched my KelbyOne courses knows this is my mantra, and I honestly live by these words. It’s important to not only keep up with the latest gear but it’s also just as important to spend time growing your knowledge of the software that you already subscribe to and use on a daily basis. The better you know the software (or hardware) you already own, the easier you’ll work, and the more proficient you’ll become. You can have all of the newest gear in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, you won’t be a good photographer. (Sorry to all those ...

Say Goodbye to Painting Masks by Hand close

“Work smarter, not harder.” Anyone who has watched my KelbyOne courses knows this is my mantra, and I honestly live by these words. It’s important to not only keep up with the latest gear but it’s also just as important to spend time growing your knowledge of the software that you already subscribe to and use on a daily basis. The better you know the software (or hardware) you already own, the easier you’ll work, and the more proficient you’ll become. You can have all of the newest gear in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, you won’t be a good photographer. (Sorry to all those ...

Blend Mode Magic

with Kristina Sherk

Layer blend modes are a great way to experiment with your images to get tons of different effects in a nondestructive way. The featured image below, which is on my website’s home screen, periodically prompts conversations about the process I used to create the rainbow effect on the lips. Since it’s been a while since I created that image, I decided to jump back into the file and rediscover the steps I took to create this look. The first thing to do with any beauty image, especially macro images, is clean up the image. My beauty retouching workflow typically involves skin smoothing, frequ...

Blend Mode Magic close

Layer blend modes are a great way to experiment with your images to get tons of different effects in a nondestructive way. The featured image below, which is on my website’s home screen, periodically prompts conversations about the process I used to create the rainbow effect on the lips. Since it’s been a while since I created that image, I decided to jump back into the file and rediscover the steps I took to create this look. The first thing to do with any beauty image, especially macro images, is clean up the image. My beauty retouching workflow typically involves skin smoothing, frequ...

Join Kristina Sherk from Shark Pixel for an entire class dedicated to teaching you the best methods for retouching eyes using Photoshop. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the first things viewers connect with when looking at your photographs. Correctly retouching eyes, without going overboard, is one of the most crucial aspects of portrait retouching, and can make or break a photo. In this class you’ll learn all aspects of eye retouching, including under the eyes, opening the eyes, whitening, adding lashes, exaggerating color, improving catchlights, and more. By the end of the class you’ll have a new bundle of tools, tips, and techniques for improving your retouching skills, as well as a free set of brushes you can download and use.

Electrifying Eyes – Retouching Eyes in Photoshop close

Join Kristina Sherk from Shark Pixel for an entire class dedicated to teaching you the best methods for retouching eyes using Photoshop. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the first things viewers connect with when looking at your photographs. Correctly retouching eyes, without going overboard, is one of the most crucial aspects of portrait retouching, and can make or break a photo. In this class you’ll learn all aspects of eye retouching, including under the eyes, opening the eyes, whitening, adding lashes, exaggerating color, improving catchlights, and more. By the end of the class you’ll have a new bundle of tools, tips, and techniques for improving your retouching skills, as well as a free set of brushes you can download and use.

Over the past two years, I’ve started doing quite a bit more Photoshop education as part of my retouching business, Shark Pixel . While the bulk of my teaching can be found on KelbyOne.com , I also do live speaking engagements both nationally and around the world. More often than not, at the end of my seminars, I’ll usually receive one or two questions similar to this: “This is all really useful information and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my retouching, but one problem that I continually have is that I don’t know when enough is enough, and sometimes I catch myself over-retouching my...

Top Three Signs of Over-Retouching; and How to Protect Yourself close

Over the past two years, I’ve started doing quite a bit more Photoshop education as part of my retouching business, Shark Pixel . While the bulk of my teaching can be found on KelbyOne.com , I also do live speaking engagements both nationally and around the world. More often than not, at the end of my seminars, I’ll usually receive one or two questions similar to this: “This is all really useful information and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my retouching, but one problem that I continually have is that I don’t know when enough is enough, and sometimes I catch myself over-retouching my...

I’ll start right off and warn you, this is not a “sexy” subject, but if you’ve ever retouched a face in Adobe Photoshop, you need to learn about this topic. It will tremendously alleviate lots of retouching frustrations, and anything I can do to help you not be discouraged when it comes to using Photoshop is considered a “win” in my book. Portrait retouchers, like myself, rely heavily on the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, and Patch tools. Back when Photoshop 2015 was released, it came with a new upgrade to these tools, and Adobe boasted about the improvements they made to them. They ...

Re-Mastering the Healing Brush Tools in Photoshop: De-Mystifying the Diffusion Slider close

I’ll start right off and warn you, this is not a “sexy” subject, but if you’ve ever retouched a face in Adobe Photoshop, you need to learn about this topic. It will tremendously alleviate lots of retouching frustrations, and anything I can do to help you not be discouraged when it comes to using Photoshop is considered a “win” in my book. Portrait retouchers, like myself, rely heavily on the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, and Patch tools. Back when Photoshop 2015 was released, it came with a new upgrade to these tools, and Adobe boasted about the improvements they made to them. They ...

There’s nothing more frustrating than looking at an image you took in Photoshop that looks amazing, only to upload it to your website and see completely strange color changes appear. You think to yourself, “It didn’t look like that when I was editing it in Photoshop; why are the colors so wonky now that I’ve uploaded it to the Web?” Your website is priority one, two, and three when you’re a photographer. It’s your trademark and brand to anyone looking to hire you, and it’s essential that the images that represent your business on your website look perfect. Here are my top three tips to m...

Your Checklist for Amazing Online Images close

There’s nothing more frustrating than looking at an image you took in Photoshop that looks amazing, only to upload it to your website and see completely strange color changes appear. You think to yourself, “It didn’t look like that when I was editing it in Photoshop; why are the colors so wonky now that I’ve uploaded it to the Web?” Your website is priority one, two, and three when you’re a photographer. It’s your trademark and brand to anyone looking to hire you, and it’s essential that the images that represent your business on your website look perfect. Here are my top three tips to m...

Retouching Portraits in Photoshop is so 2005! Join Kristina Sherk as she takes you through her retouching workflow using only Lightroom. With the new capabilities Adobe has incorporated into Lightroom, you can save loads of time by skipping photoshop and retouching directly in Lightroom. You’ll learn how to remove blemishes, enhance eyes, smooth skin, whiten teeth, and more. Kristina packs the class with power user tips on saving custom Adjustment brush presets, syncing local adjustments across multiple photos, and how to use Lightroom to work smarter, not harder.

Portrait Retouching in Adobe Lightroom Classic close

Retouching Portraits in Photoshop is so 2005! Join Kristina Sherk as she takes you through her retouching workflow using only Lightroom. With the new capabilities Adobe has incorporated into Lightroom, you can save loads of time by skipping photoshop and retouching directly in Lightroom. You’ll learn how to remove blemishes, enhance eyes, smooth skin, whiten teeth, and more. Kristina packs the class with power user tips on saving custom Adjustment brush presets, syncing local adjustments across multiple photos, and how to use Lightroom to work smarter, not harder.

High End Hair Retouching

with Kristina Sherk

Learn the core fundamentals of retouching hair! Join Kristina Sherk as she teaches you how to retouch hair smarter, not harder. From removing stray hairs to changing your subject’s hair color, and from creating custom hair brushes to adding dimension and shine, Kristina will show you how to do the best things possible in the fastest amount of time. Every photographer working with people can benefit from adding these hair retouching techniques to their set of skills, so that you can deliver outstanding work to your clients and get back behind the camera. By the end of the class you’ll know how to make your clients look red-carpet ready and how to do it faster than ever.

High End Hair Retouching close

Learn the core fundamentals of retouching hair! Join Kristina Sherk as she teaches you how to retouch hair smarter, not harder. From removing stray hairs to changing your subject’s hair color, and from creating custom hair brushes to adding dimension and shine, Kristina will show you how to do the best things possible in the fastest amount of time. Every photographer working with people can benefit from adding these hair retouching techniques to their set of skills, so that you can deliver outstanding work to your clients and get back behind the camera. By the end of the class you’ll know how to make your clients look red-carpet ready and how to do it faster than ever.

If anyone reading this has attended or watched any of my classes, you know that I believe in working smarter, not harder, when it comes to Photoshop. That’s why I believe wholeheartedly in actions and what they can do to send your retouching into hyperdrive! Incorporating actions into your portrait workflow can make your retouching so much quicker. Actions not only do things faster and with less work from you, but they can also create an outline so that you don’t get sidetracked, thus keeping you productive. If you’ve never heard of actions before, they’re actually little recordings of t...

Using Actions while Retouching Portraits close

If anyone reading this has attended or watched any of my classes, you know that I believe in working smarter, not harder, when it comes to Photoshop. That’s why I believe wholeheartedly in actions and what they can do to send your retouching into hyperdrive! Incorporating actions into your portrait workflow can make your retouching so much quicker. Actions not only do things faster and with less work from you, but they can also create an outline so that you don’t get sidetracked, thus keeping you productive. If you’ve never heard of actions before, they’re actually little recordings of t...

Become a more well rounded photographer! We all make mistakes, so be prepared by learning how to avoid them and how to fix them. Join Kristina Sherk, retoucher extraordinaire, as she teaches you how to deal with the 10 most common mistakes all photographers make. From correcting uneven exposures to dealing with the results of a mixed-lighting environment to correcting blur caused by camera shake, and more, Kristina discusses how to avoid problems in-camera and then shows you how to fix them in Photoshop. You’ll even learn how to be a power user of tools you probably already use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to take your photography and Photoshop skills to the next level.

Master Post-Processing: 10 Mistakes Every New Photographer Makes and How to Fix Them close

Become a more well rounded photographer! We all make mistakes, so be prepared by learning how to avoid them and how to fix them. Join Kristina Sherk, retoucher extraordinaire, as she teaches you how to deal with the 10 most common mistakes all photographers make. From correcting uneven exposures to dealing with the results of a mixed-lighting environment to correcting blur caused by camera shake, and more, Kristina discusses how to avoid problems in-camera and then shows you how to fix them in Photoshop. You’ll even learn how to be a power user of tools you probably already use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to take your photography and Photoshop skills to the next level.

Take your retouching skills to the next level with Kristina Sherk! Improving your portrait retouching skills will not only help you make your clients look their best, but they'll want to keep coming back for all of their portrait work because no one else makes them look so good. Kristina's approach is designed to help you understand all of the critical fundamentals of retouching, from enhancing eyes and lips to dealing with blemishes, and from there she walks you through the essentials of adding depth and dimension while smoothing skin and retaining important detail. This class has the potential to revolutionize your approach to skin retouching while increasing your understanding of the underlying principles involved.

High End Skin Retouching – Start to Finish close

Take your retouching skills to the next level with Kristina Sherk! Improving your portrait retouching skills will not only help you make your clients look their best, but they'll want to keep coming back for all of their portrait work because no one else makes them look so good. Kristina's approach is designed to help you understand all of the critical fundamentals of retouching, from enhancing eyes and lips to dealing with blemishes, and from there she walks you through the essentials of adding depth and dimension while smoothing skin and retaining important detail. This class has the potential to revolutionize your approach to skin retouching while increasing your understanding of the underlying principles involved.