How do I "make" a pageant photo?
Unfortunately, there is no magical software that will "turn a regular photo into a pageant quality type".
What you will find is software that will allow you, with some work, to bring the picture more inline with what you expect.
If you are just starting, try Photoshop Elements 4.0 from Adobe
It is fairly inexpensive and doesn't have a very steep learning curve.
The next one that you might also consider is Paintshop Pro 10 from Corel. It will not break the bank and it will take you to a much higher level. It is more sophisticated than Photoshop Elements, but it is also a bit more complex to work wtih.
Finaly there is Photoshop CS2 ( the latest release is CS2 but many members use 7.0, CS1 etc). It is the big cheese in the photo retouching arena. It is big, complicated, expensive and has a steep learning curve. It is, however, the standard by which all other packages are compared to.
These 3 packages will help you "glamourizing" your snapshots , but none will convert a normal photo into a glamour photograph.
For that you will need time, patience and experience. How do you get experience?
First look at the tutorials section in the forum. You'll find guides on how to retouch just about anything. You'll find tutorials (for example for skin and eyes) that will get you on the road to glamour.
Second, take a crack at one of your images, post it to the forum and I'm sure you'll get ideas and recommendations.
Third, ask questions. Be curious and read the descriptions of the posted images. You will learn a ton of tricks from others just by reading how they described the work done.
Just fwiw, not all retouchers will charge the earth just because its a pageant shot. There are those who get little $$ signs in there eyes when you say the word 'pageant' but there are other most honest people around. In many ways, pageant photos are easier to do than a lot of retouching because so much of it is artificial.
If you can provide a decent snapshop in digital format and arrange the printing yourself you can get a good pageant photo for less than $50. An experienced retoucher can do a full pageant makeover in 30 mins - 1 hour and shouldnt really charge more than $40 provided the picture is a decent quality to start with.
It is worth looking at these links especially the posts made by Flora in regards to eyelashes.
But for more just search on pageant. Hope you find what you need.
Oh I am a Photoshop user but for some one looking for a program with many of those tools (not all of them not all as powerful) then look at 'Gimp'. the interface will not be as user friendly as Elements or Paint Shop but many of the features arethere and you can follow most Photoshop techniques with it.
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