Sleeklens Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow Review

Sleeklens review Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow sample edits

I recently had the opportunity to try out the Sleeklens Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow, which is an awesome collection of Lightroom presets and brushes designed for portrait editing. Using only the workflow and tools in Lightroom, I was able to fully edit my images without needing to open them in Photoshop for refined retouching (as I normally do). I was really impressed by the subtlety of the skin softening tools, make-up enhancements, and other effects that were included. Almost every preset worked great with my images, which comes as a surprise as presets are usually too extreme and need a lot of tweaking to make them work. These ones looked great as they were.

The make-up brushes were definitely a highlight of this set for me. The “add shine to lips” brush is probably my favourite, which added a very natural looking gloss to the lips. The two blush colours were also very natural and can be tweaked if the colour isn’t quite right, but I loved them in their default colours as an accent to the blush already on the model’s face.

I pulled up a few of my photos of Megan from this summer to see what looks I could achieve using only the portrait workflow. I started with images straight out of camera and played around with the presets on my own, rather than following the product’s recipe list.

For the first image (above), I tried to do as simple an edit as possible and focused on the workflow’s brushes. I mainly used the skin softening, contour, eye enhancements, add shine to lips, and local dodge/burn to complete the image. The wall Megan posed against created a green cast on her face, so I also used the brush to remove green. (The shift in wall colour was done with LR’s built in hue adjustment.)

This image also worked fantastic as a black and white as I was scrolling through the available presets!

Sleeklens review Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow sample edits

This black and white conversion was achieved with the base Grayscale Medium and only minor adjustments to the brightness of her face and skin smoothing.

Sleeklens review Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow sample edits

Next up I tried to keep the image fairly natural but add a bit of flare. Her skin and face edits are the same as before (with the addition of some minor teeth whitening), and this time I used a variety of the haze brushes for some subtle lens flare (I will definitely be using these a lot in the future!). This photo was taken at the end of our photoshoot so her make-up had started to look a little flat. The brushes allowed me to add back a lot of contouring, lipstick, and blush to bring out the original look the make-up artist achieved.

Sleeklens review Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow sample edits

Sleeklens review Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow sample edits

Lastly, I went for a very stylized look!

Sleeklens review Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow sample edits

This image started with the all in one Sunset Portrait preset and I then used most of the same brushes as before, with the addition of removing red from her skin. Doing so washed out her blush, which I easily added back in with the blush brush.

Sleeklens has tons of other workflows for Lightroom as well as Photoshop. It’s definitely worth checking out the others!

The one I used here was the Strike a Pose Portrait Workflow.

p.s. They also offer retouching services to all my fellow photographers who don’t have time for that themselves!

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