Is retouching really necessary? I want to look like myself.

Yes. Here me out…

A picture wants to flatten you out. As a photographer we use light to help bring dimension back into the shot. Good retouching helps set the tone and focuses on color, light, wardrobe, background and foreground thus completing the photographers vision of the final image. I call it polishing your shot. Retouching should NOT turn your skin into plastic and shave years off your age. A good retouched shot should not look retouched.

If you try to cut corners on retouching, your image can suffer and not reach it’s full potential. Typically, you should be spending around $35 to $55 per image for a quality retouched photo. Anything way under that amount, and you will get what you pay for (almost always). Quality retouching is the last step in your headshot process. Any working professional will recognize a poorly retouched or un-retouched image, and it will reflect on your professionalism, or lack thereof.

*Of course, if there are lines, blemishes, fly away hairs, etc. the retoucher can reduce or remove these as well. Don’t skimp on the cost of retouching to save a few bucks either. It’s part of the investment of your shots.

Pro Tip:

1. There are apps to retouch photos - yeah, don’t do that. If you are toying with the idea just leave it un-retouched.

2. “I know photoshop I can retouch it”. Really? Are you a retoucher or an actor? I cringe when I hear this.

3. In-house retouching is typically done to maximize quality and sometimes help reduce costs to you. More established photographers will have their own editors that work exclusively for them so they know exactly what the photographers work and vision is, thus providing the highest quality finished product possible. With that said, be wary of photographers that do their own retouching. I am not saying photographers can’t do an amazing job but what I am saying is each job should be handled by a specialist. The more specialized a person is at their job, typically, the better they are. A photographer takes a picture and a retoucher handles the retouching.

Sean Turi Photography