"Making" a superb portrait, whether for business or other purposes, is much more than just clicking the shutter and snapping a photo. Here's an example of some of the steps involved in making a portrait for one of my clients. The goal of the shooting and the subsequent editing is to create an image with genuine, professional expression and provide a level of consistency with other portraits taken for the same firm. The first photo seen here is one captured on a white background. This is straight off of the camera; no editing.
The first steps involved in editing the photo include cosmetic retouching. Although this subject has excellent skin tone and texture small flaws such as tiny moles were removed. Additionally, some of the hair fly aways were reduced or removed. In the course of shooting, neither of us noticed a small amount of her bra strap showing on one side. This was removed, too. Although she has great eyes, white teeth, and superb make-up and lipstick, these features were also slightly improved. The image was also cropped to a standard 10x8 aspect ratio. This will further be modified to provide continuity with other portraits shot previously.
Continuity is king especially when creating portraits of multiple individuals for the same client. Head size, eye position, and head room (or in this case head cropping) should be consistent. By shooting on a white background, I am also able to extract the subject from the background and place the firm's standard background behind her.