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Retouching has been given a bad name by those who have overused the features and don't understand the visual nuances of "subtle" touch-ups.

Untrained retouchers or amateur photographers often pull out the stops and create an online dating portrait akin to a phony, plastic-looking doll giving the industry a bad name.

Look in her eyes...a crescent-shaped reflector added a semi-circular catch-light that added a bit of "sparkle" to her eyes, making them playful, flirty and twinkle with mystery. Show off abs (if you have them and you are under 30). Pose – looking away from the camera without a smile (without looking creepy!

You want to show your true self; that sparkle in your eyes while removing distractions (stray hairs, under eye circles)  but still reflect warmth with a welcoming smile.  Professional retouching by Karen could make the difference between that 1/10th of a second, research shows, is all it takes to get passed over and having that special someone actually stop, take a closer look, and then contact you!

Online dating is similar to an audition to connect with someone you don't know. Feeling comfortable and approachable in your online dating profile photo leaves a great impression that will carry through on your first date.

I have compiled information gathered online from articles and research. What I can conclude from all my years as a photographer is that eye contact in a well-lit and naturally-posed photo matters.

Finally, putting on the finishing touches in Photoshop, expertly done in a subtle way, raises your image to the next level.

Take a look at the photo below of the blonde woman with a ponytail. Also described as “head tilted up, expanded chest, and arms raised above head in fists”.

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