There are many, many reasons why is it important to have some kind of editing and makeup to all forms of portrait photography. (excluding photojournalism)
A level of editing and makeup is different for different types of portrait photography such as headshots for models, makeup is good to have imperfections covered up lightly and have some neutral colors of makeup. Here’s a sample.
As for other types like actor headshots having no color in the makeup is preferred because its important to show the real you being photographed. Here’s a sample of a male actor headshot.
And other types portrait photos like modeling portfolio photos such as fashion and glamour is a slightly more intense makeup route is needed in order to tell a story and send a message. Dependent on the message you’d have that amount and specific designs dictate the amount of makeup needed. Here’s a sample.
Editing, Post Processing and Retouching.
Editing today is controversial where too much is beyond deceiving and deceives the public especially younger individuals viewing the images as reality when it is not. In my opinion a certain amount can be used solely depending on the type of portrait being shot, the uses of the photo and the type of message as the photographer or advertising director wants to tell through the image. Every type of portrait photo dependent on the type calls for some kind of editing from simple lighting/color adjustments to something much more intense to tell a story easier or better dependent on the use of the photograph, as well dependent on the photographer’s style and pallet of taste in photographs they create. I personally try to edit to be as realistic as possible, sometimes I need to edit tiny strings of fly away hairs and sometimes I need to intensify the shadows in very specific areas but not in another area and a lot of times I need make the skin look a bit more “perfect” but not too perfect enough to keep realism. Here’s a sample of just that!
Top is the After and the Bottom is the Before
Now as you see the above sample to the untrained eye its not super obvious but the bigger the above Before image is printed the more obvious of any perfections.
There are many other types of editing, types of editing I do not venture into as it is not my style and not just my style it requires much more time invested into a single photo to being edited. I love to edit my photos but I do not want to spend hours and hour on 1 single photo. The other type of editing in the industry is known as Digital Art where the original is a core part of the image but its only 1 element with 30-40 other elements.
Any questions regarding post processing let me know in the comments below!