We were pretty sceptical about Portrait Professional, so to find that it actually works came as something of a surprise.

You may be forgiven for thinking that facial retouching is an art rather than a science. The truth is that it’s a bit of both. Portrait Professional exploits this by automating the core process, while giving you lots of options to tweak and refine its results.

Load up a new image and you’ll be taken through a step-by-step configuration. You select the gender and approximate age of the subject, then carefully adjust guides that frame the face and its features.

At the end of this short process, almost miraculously, you get a retouched photo. Your model has smoother skin, fewer blemishes and wrinkles, glossier hair and the killer feature, a more aesthetically proportioned face. Most surprisingly, the result is subtle and realistic, not painterly like some bad retouching jobs.

The camera lies more effectively than ever, thanks to Portrait Professional’s effects

It doesn’t end there, though. The myriad tweaks that Portrait Professional implements can be adjusted manually. You can alter the level of spot removal, change the application of skin texture, even alter the shape of your subject’s face. You can go for a super-airbrushed effect or something more realistic.

OUR VERDICT

Portrait Professional doesn’t look too bad itself. Though ported between Mac and Windows, the tool has a pleasing interface that’s universal to both. If you regularly take photographs of people, Portrait Professional is a brilliant complement to your other touch-up tools.