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Slimming and Trimming

This is an incredibly popular technique because it consistently works so well, and because just about everyone would like to look about 10–15 pounds thinner. I’ve never applied this technique to a photo and (a) been caught, or (b) not had the client absolutely love the way they look. The hardest part of this technique may be not telling the client you used it.

Step One.
Open the photo of the person that you want to put on a quick diet.


Step Two.
Press Command-A (PC: Control-A) to put a selection around the entire photo. Then, press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up the Free Transform function. The Free Transform handles appear at the corners and sides of your photo. These handles might be a little hard to reach, so I recommend expanding your image window a little bit by dragging its bottom-right corner outward. This makes some of the gray canvas area visible (as shown here), and makes grabbing the Free Transform handles much easier.

Step Three.
Grab the left-center handle and drag it horizontally toward the right to slim the subject. The farther you drag, the slimmer they become. How far is too far (in other words, how far can you drag before people start looking like they’ve been retouched)? Look up in the Options Bar at the W (width) field for a guide—you’re pretty safe to drag inward to around 95% (or even 94%) without getting caught.

Step Four.
For our example, look in the Options bar (shown here) where I scaled her to 94.2%, and she still looks very natural. Press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in your transformation. Doing this transformation leaves you with some excess white canvas area on the left side of the photo; so press “c” to switch to the Crop tool, crop the photo to remove the white, and you’re done.





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