Perfectly Clear: Beginning Retouching for the Non-Retoucher

This is a guest post from professional photographer Erin Holmstead. 0

I totally understand that there are people out there who picked up a camera at the same time they picked up a laptop just so they could edit images. I, however, wasn’t one of those individuals. I actually didn’t buy any retouching software until a couple years after I picked up my first DSLR. I really was so fascinated with being able to understand everything my camera could do and trying so hard to get things right in the camera that adding in the editing part was almost too much for my brain. I was completely content with just capturing what my eye was seeing, freezing those mommy moments that I wanted to last forever.

It wasn’t until a couple years into photography that I realized editing images is just a continuation of your art, another way for you to express your vision or maybe your clients. I started out with basics like everyone else: Lightroom and Photoshop. Two amazing programs that allow you do to phenomenal things.

My Photography

I am a beauty and commercial portrait photographer who, at the time and still to this day, was studying the amazing skills of Kristi Sherk and Lindsay Adler. Trying to master their crazy talent of making retouching looking effortless….and I was failing, miserably. I felt like I was forgetting why I became a photographer and just spending hours and hours in front of my computer repeating the same steps over and over hoping something would sink in and click.

When My World Changed

Then, I watched a webinar my dear friend Levi Sim and world-renowned photographer Matthew Jordan Smith were doing on Perfectly Clear and my world changed. My photography changed.

Perfectly Clear is a photo editing software that does the work for you! Basically what I mean is their software will analyze your image and based on that reading it will make the changes you choose based on the preset and functions you pick from their tools. It really is an amazing program that has saved me a tremendous amount of time when it comes to editing my portraits. My go-to presets are Beautify and Rugged Skin. They work every time like a charm. I am also obsessed with the Eye and Skin sliders. They are both incredibly quick and easy to apply to any or all of my images.

So what are you waiting for? Go download the Perfectly Clear trial. I promise your heart and mind will thank me when you realize editing isn’t really that hard to do. 🙂


Erin Holmstead is a beauty and commercial portrait photographer, engaged member and organizer of the Cache Valley Photographers, and is crazy about fashion and beauty photography. She makes pictures with people her primary study (especially her kids), but she is excited to learn and share all kinds of photographic techniques.