So many people contact me, asking how I retouch my images. I have pretty much showed everyone in my video tutorial's how I retouch my images. I retouch (edit my images) first in every portrait I do, then when I am finished, I simply start applying my actions and overlays until I get something that appeals to me. Remember that this is a creative process. I am providing you with all the tools I use, nothing more.
My tools are my camera, lenses, and photoshop. Same as you. How well you become technically skilled at using your camera and lenses, lighting, to create the image you want to, is always going to be up to you. How well you develop your artistic side technically, by learning all of the possibilities that Photoshop offers, is up to you as well. I cannot teach people how to be "Creative". You do see people trying to mimic other photographers work, this will always happen.
You can either be a trail blazer, or a follower, the choice is yours. Instead of trying to emulate another photographer, try to find out what makes YOU feel warm and fuzzy all over. Find out what it is that gives YOU that big AH HA moment and makes y our heart sing! I know that I am able to emulate many photographers and their editing style. But do I want to? Not really, I have slowly developed my own style, and have many people tell me now, "I don't even have to read who the photographer is, when a Nikki Harrison image pops up, I KNOW its yours." THAT is what I love. You need to find YOUR niche. Your image style. I developed mine by combining skills I learned from MULTIPLE sources. Multiple.
It is even easier now than it was when I started out. You can find free educational resources EVERYWHERE online. I have blogged about it before, you can find that blog HERE. I recently was interviewed by Portrait Professional on their blog. I too started out using Portrait Professional, years ago when I started learning photoshop. Do I use it now? No, I have developed my own action in my retouch set which suites my style of editing today. Would I recommend Portrait Professional? Absolutely!
If you are more interested in hand editing and learning how to edit INDEPTH like the professional retouchers for magazines and fashion photographers, I highly recommend Pratik Naik. He recently did an amazing workshop on Creative Live that is fabulous. Bottom line, don't limit your learning curve OR don't ever feel like you have nothing left to learn. I feel like I am stagnating if I am not learning something new every week!