70+ Free Photoshop Actions for Editing Portraits

There is a whole world of difference between being a lazy designer and being a smart and efficient one. Using and saving out sets of actions, layer styles, brushes, gradients, keyboard shortcuts, and everything else that you think you are going to use again in the future is a smart way to approach designing.

Photoshop actions are not as popular as Photoshop brushes, plugins and other features of Photoshop. Even I, myself, only found out about this special feature of Photoshop and actually started taking advantage of it when I upgraded to Photoshop CS2, when in fact, Photoshop actions have been there since Photoshop version 5, if I am not mistaken.

Photoshop users often overlook Photoshop actions because of the misconception that this feature is difficult to master. But if you take a closer look at Photoshop actions, you will realize that they are easy to use and can in fact help you save time and increase productivity by automating things for you. Examples of these tasks that can be automated using actions are applying a series of repetitive changes to a group of images, for example.

What are Photoshop Actions?

A Photoshop action action is actually a recording of a series of tasks performed in Photoshop and saved in a format with .ATN extension. Once created, you can apply that action on an image or text or a series of images or texts. You can even make an action to create an image from scratch. So if you find yourself repeating the same tasks in Photoshop, it’s time to learn how to write a Photoshop action. Whether it’s making a color photo into a black and white image or converting an image for the Web, you can reduce hundreds of Photoshop steps to the click of a single button. Photoshop actions are one of the most powerful features of Photoshop that you must take advantage.

How to Use Photoshop Actions

Also, if Photoshop actions can be recorded, then these recorded actions for reproducing techniques and creating special effects can also be shared with other Photoshop users. To load a saved Photoshop action, just go to the actions palette (if it’s not opened yet, go to “Windows” and make sure that “actions” is checked or just press the shortcut “Alt+F9”) then click “load actions” or “replace actions”. A “load” dialog box will pop up and then select the saved actions that you have from your disk. The load actions command will load the new actions while the replace actions command will replace the default actions or the current actions in the actions panel.

So are you in the mood for some actions? Here, I am listing down some free Photoshop actions, such as color effects, photo effects and text effects actions, that you may download and use in Photoshop for free. Just to make sure, even if these Photoshop actions are free, I encourage you to read the terms of use in each download page.

01- Soften Skin Effect
This effect softens skin and produces a natural ‘clean’ appearance while retaining important skin textures.
Use this to get a virtual makeover.

photoshop portrait actions

02-Perfect Portrait Action
This is your one-stop portrait action. You should clone out any bad blemishes before starting, but once you do that just click on the action and adjust the level’s adjustment layer to correct color/contrast and let it run. Once it is finished you fine-tune the layers to make your image “pop”. You have to be familiar with layer masks to use this Photoshop portrait action.

photoshop portrait actions

03-Lovely Action
Here is a photoshop action that gives portraits a retro look. It also works well with other things but it is tested to work best on people.

photoshop portrait actions

04-Free Photoshop Actions for Portraits
This selection of 50 amazing Photoshop actions will help you get creative with your portrait photography. Whether you’re working on a contemporary fashion shot or a classic portrait you’ll find some stunning actions here that will give your images a creative edge.

photoshop portrait actions

05-Photoshop Portrait Action by Simfonic
Use this Photoshop portrait action to quickly touch up portrait shots. This action gives them a softer, dreamier tone. All layers were left intact so that you can edit them as you like. Made in Photoshop CS4.

photoshop portrait actions

06-Dramatic Photoshop Action
As the name suggests, this Photoshop portrait action will give your photos a dramatic effect.

photoshop portrait actions

07-50 free Photoshop actions for portrait photographers

There are 50 Photoshop actions for portrait photographers in this set that you can download for free. The action pack offers an assortment of creative Photoshop effects such as classic sepia tones, black and white photography treatments, funky psychedelic colors, cross-processing, and high-key portrait effects.


08- 5 Skin Retouching Actions
This pack includes 5 useful Photoshop actions to retouch skin of your subject. Using these actions you heal, mattify, and airbrush the skin of your subject with one click. It also contains actions for reducing redness while increasing brightness of the eyes. An action for increasing contrast without clipping highlights/shadows of your image is alikewise included.


09- 7 Portrait Photoshop Actions by Blissfully Domestic
Included in this set are 7 wonderfully useful Photoshop actions for editing your portrait photos. Among them are actions for correcting contrast and saturation, creating vintage effect, lightening up the image, adding an artistic touch, and perfecting perfection.


Author: Admin

Share This Post On


  1. @George: Thanks George! and thanks for posting additional resources. they’re great!

  2. Great resoucres. Thanks for posting.

  3. Thanks a bunch for these great actions! Great for touch ups on my photography!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *