7 Portrait Photoshop Actions You Will Love

7 Fab Photoshop Actions

Photoshop actions. Love them. No, seriously…I LOVE them!

If you’re unfamiliar with Photoshop actions, this is your lucky day. These time saving short cuts will fast become your best friend; just follow the links below to some of my favorites. You’ll be walked through the process and be well on your way to boosting your photography to the next level.

Even if you’re a seasoned pro you might just find a gem in this set. Did I mention I love them?

So with that in mind, here are 7 of my favorite portrait Photoshop actions:

Boom - Increase saturation and contrast

Contrast and saturation.  You have to be careful when boosting the color saturation and contrast of a photo; it can get overdone FAST. This tutorial by Jodi Friedman at MCP Actions does an amazing job of walking that line. Too much for you? There’s a more subdued version of the original photo on her post as well. Truly something for everyone.

Vintage photography look with photoshop actions

Vintage is hot. It’s everywhere, and for good reason. Layering on a vintage look to your photos helps tell a story…and isn’t that what photography is all about, really? I love this action from Envye; it adds some yellow and cyan hues that scream early days of color film photography.

Baby photo transformed with photoshop actions

Oh, baby. Seriously…how amazing is this transformation? It’s not just one action, it’s a series…and they add up to serious WOW. Great tutorial by Jodi Friedman at MCP Actions.
Desaturation photoshop action for amazing portrait

Not sure where to start? This post by Photo Tuts+ has one hundred amazing tutorials; it’s bursting with advice and tutorials and everything you’ll need to dip into the world of Photoshop actions, or bump up your action arsenal if you’re already an old hat. I particilarly love this portrait action by Provity. Just. Wow.

Softness photoshop action for photography editing

Lighten up. Sometimes what a photo needs is a bit of softening…less color popping, less harsh edges, more quietness. This Photoshop action by Making Nice in the Midwest does the job- and then some. Awesomeness.

Painterly photoshop action for an artistic look

Artistic touch.  If you’re looking to take your photo to a more fine art level, this action from Digital Photo Buzz can add an artistic, painterly effect to your photo.

Gorgeous retouching and makeover photoshop actions for amazing picture editing

Perfecting perfection. When you want every last bit of a portrait to look like the person is having their best day ever (and you don’t always want this, but you probably will at some point) then this Florabella Retouch & Makeover Retouch Actions will do the trick for you without being crazy overwrought.

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What do you think?



  1. 9

    These are the best ideas! My kids and I use theese almost every day the baby shot looks like my daughter Delighla.

  2. 10
    Avatar maryamalizadfard says

    photography pose idea

  3. 11

    I am absolutely blown away – Your generosity with sharing these tips, is going to be so incredibly helpful to me… I am one of those naturally awful photographer’s who just can’t quite take a good photograph to save her life!!!! SO Thanks again! 🙂

  4. 12

    I want the app.how do I get it?

  5. 13
    Avatar Jeremy Hearne says

    Can you use these actions with Photoshop Elements 10?

  6. 14
    Avatar Jeannie Griffin says


  7. 15

    Your actions are awesome! We were happy to highlight them, Mandi!


  8. 16

    Thanks for including my actions! 🙂 What a great roundup!

  9. 17

    Very informative post! I particularly like the first photo! Many thanks Alli!
    Zoe xxx