In the past few years, portrait retouching has come a very long way. Photographers used to spend hours retouching one face, but not anymore! At least, that is, when using the right retouching software. In this PortraitPro 23 review, we’re going to show you just how far portrait retouching has come, and demonstrate why PortraitPro is at the forefront of the industry.
Photo editing itself has been very powerful for many years now, of course. However, doing portrait retouching correctly was still very difficult! That is why AI-based technologies are so incredibly impactful today. PortraitPro by Anthropics is an AI-based automated portrait retouching tool. It automates the entire process, saving you hours of manual airbrushing, while still giving you plenty of control over the final results if you desire.
What Is PortraitPro?
PortraitPro is a dedicated retouching app that uses AI to automatically apply retouching effects to portraits. It identifies facial features, as well as hair and bodies, and then allows you to adjust many different aspects of retouching in an intuitive interface with sliders and brushes.
Right out of the gate, the default settings are impressive, but you can also easily modify each setting to refine your results. A wide range of manual controls allows photographers to add, subtract and fine-tune portrait edits quickly.
Special effects are also included, for even more stunning results, such as changing hair color, adding realistic flare, and even changing the lighting itself.
PortraitPro 23 Review | Features & Pricing
PortraitPro comes in three versions: Standard, Studio, and Studio Max. If you have a high-volume workflow, you’ll want the Studio Max version for its batch processing and full Lightroom integration. Many portrait and wedding photographers who only need to perform advanced retouching once or twice per job may do well with Standard or Studio.
|PortraitPro Standard||$59.95||AI-powered portrait editing and background replacement.|
Free online customer support.
Standalone software for amateur photographers who work with JPG and TIFF files [up to 24-bit].
|PortraitPro Studio||$89.95||Lightroom & Photoshop Integration (plugins), Raw & DNG support.|
Useful for professional and amateur photographers who use RAW files. Offers Batch dialog.
|PortraitPro Studio Max||$179.95||Professional photographers and those who work with large volumes of images. Automated batch processing.|
|PortraitPro Upgrade||Starting at $44.95||25% upgrade discount available for same editions.|
Click here to learn more about PortraitPro 23.
What’s new in PortraitPro 23?
PortraitPro has proven to be an excellent tool for portrait and wedding photography studios. Previous versions already delivered impressive AI-based performance, making it a software that we do highly recommend. What’s new with PortraitPro 23, though? If you have PortraitPro 22, should you upgrade?
The Backlighting Brush is a powerful tool that can create a warm halo effect around your subject’s hair. It’s a useful enhancement for the existing lighting tools, and can be combined with other brushes for adding flare that is very natural.
As you can see above, the lighting tools overall are very impressive. You can take a relatively flat lighting situation, and effortlessly turn it into a polished, specific type of lighting. (Rembrandt, Paramount, etc.) This is one of the biggest reasons we love PortraitPro; no other retouching software is this good.
Having said that, with regard to the backlighting brush in particular, we recommend only using it sparingly, with low settings, for the best results. (Remember, retouching should always be relatively subtle, indeed!) It is too easy to create results that just don’t look right.
Flyaway Hair Tools
When photographing subjects under strong backlighting, stray hairs become extremely noticeable and can be time-consuming to retouch. This tool, as its name implies, uses its AI to outline the main hair of the subject, and then “erase” stray hairs.
Of course, this is a pretty tedious aspect of “manual” retouching, and this new PortraitPro tool doesn’t always do a perfect job. We found that it works best when the image is ideal, such as dark hair on a clean, light background, or light hair on a clean, dark background. Some of the harshest-lit flyaways will not disappear completely. Therefore, we are excited to see this tool, yet we also hope it is improved in future updates.
Apple M1/M2 Chip Support
This is a straightforward, obvious improvement and advantage for any photographer who owns an Apple computer with the newest M1/M2 chipset. You’ll gain a little bit of speed and stability, which is always valuable to photographers, of course.
Stylistic art effects
PortraitPro has had a few “art effects” in the past, but this version (PortraitPro 23) has a host of new creative options, now totaling 38. They are well-made and beautiful.
This tool is a great resource for anyone who is interested in digital art or stylized photo manipulation. Digital art in general is growing in popularity, so although you may not have previously considered “fine art” to be a part of your style, it’s very fun to play around with these!
Portrait Pro 23 Review | Pros & Cons
Each update to PortraitPro brings new features and improvements. It’s already the best tool to automate your portrait retouching, so we recommend it in general. However, there are always pros and cons to every product we review. So, let’s discuss what we like and what needs to be changed/improved.
What We Like About PortraitPro 23
What are we actually using PortraitPro for, in real-world working conditions? We often find ourselves photographing weddings and portraits in active, fast-paced situations that don’t allow us to control the lighting very much. So, our go-to technique is to just find soft and gentle natural light. (Many times this means we are simply finding shade, just a couple steps away from very harsh sunlight!)
This is a good strategy by itself, but we now have the ability to re-light a portrait! It can be a subtle difference, or it can be more dramatic, but in many cases, we don’t even need to use the actual retouching tools such as blemish removal, skin smoothing, etc. We just add a subtle “pop” to the lighting, and our quick, on-the-fly portrait suddenly looks highly editorial!
Of course, we also use PortraitPro 23 to remove blemishes, sculpt facial structure, and many other things such as applying digital makeup filters or completely recoloring hair. We don’t do as much editorial or commercial work, though, so for our clients we are usually keeping retouching very subtle.
PortraitPro is simply the best software around, for the job we just described. It’s the only software that combines so many retouching tools with the ability to control/change the lighting on a face.
What Could Be Improved In PortraitPro 23
We have only minor complaints about PortraitPro 23 in general, related to the new features. Software updates that take advantage of new hardware improvements, such as the ability to increase speed and stability, are great. Even though photo retouching software can do amazing things, if a program crashes frequently or is just “sluggish” and unresponsive, then it is useless to us. Thankfully, PortraitPro 23 shines here; it is stable and fast. In fact, it’s just as good as, or better than, the biggest name-brand photo editing software, in terms of stability and speed.
The two big new tools that we were so excited about, the flyaway and backlighting brushes, could be improved. Although it is difficult to believe that AI can completely solve such a time-consuming and complex problem, we are confident that improvements will come. AI has already done the impossible quite a few times, so that is why we’re hopeful.
In short, if you already have PortraitPro 22, then you might not feel compelled to upgrade immediately, but you’ll definitely want to pay attention to each update that 23 gets. Alternatively, if you’ve never tried PortraitPro at all before, there has never been a better time than now! The software runs incredibly smoothly and supports virtually all of the latest cameras’ raw files.
PortraitPro 23 Review | Conclusion
In conclusion, our PortraitPro 23 review has demonstrated how it is our favorite tool for retouching work. This is especially true when we have a whole set of portraits captured on-the-fly in simple lighting conditions. The way PortraitPro quickly and effortlessly brings a polished, editorial look to batches of images is incredible.
Although Lightroom can do minor “healing” of blemishes, it is not capable of reproducing Rembrandt lighting. It would take many hours to get it right, and it still wouldn’t come close to the full array of tools that PortraitPro has.
PortraitPro 23 is highly recommended for any photographer who takes pictures of people. PortraitPro’s AI-powered tools are excellent for adding professional polish to images taken in difficult lighting conditions. Version 23 is more promising than ever, and we are excited to keep working with the new tools.
PortraitPro 23: Where can I buy it?
PortraitPro 23 pricing starts at $59.95 and PortraitPro Studio Max prices start at $179.95 Click here to learn more about each edition and how to upgrade from previous editions. Prices are currently discounted up to 50%, and some editions offer additional upgrades at a discount. You can also save an EXTRA 15% by using the coupon code EH3164 at checkout.