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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

3 Common Misconceptions about Retouching

Updated: Oct 7, 2021

"You're going to Photoshop me, right?" is a sentence I hear a lot during my sessions. Yes, I am going to retouch your favorite photos, but I'd like to clear up some common misconceptions about retouching and Photoshop.

1. Photoshop can fix everything. My goal is to make your photos to look great "in-camera" and not to fix problems later with Photoshop. I use lighting, posing and attention to detail to help everyone look their best before I click the shutter. Photoshop can fix a lot of things, but it takes time and talent to do it right.

After your session, the next phase of my workflow is culling the photos and then posting the proofs. Culling involves removing any unflattering or out of focus shots from the set. Next, I process all of the photos in Lightroom or CaptureOne. Processing means changing them from RAW files to JPEGs, cropping and color correcting the images. Once I've posted a gallery, it's up to my clients to pick a few favorites for retouching.

2. Retouching is easy, and all photographers do their own retouching. I've been using a talented retouching artist named Jessica Schulte for over a year now, I love her work. Her philosophy aligns with my goals of retouching for my sessions. My objective for headshot retouching is to help everyone look their best while keeping the images natural looking. Generally, if you have a blemish (something temporary) we will remove it, and if you have a birthmark or scar (something permanent) we will leave it. If you have a particular issue that you'd like us to address with retouching, just let me know before your session. For instance, Jessica was recently able to remove a stye from a gentleman's eye after his session.

3. All types of retouching are included in my session fee. Your session fee includes basic retouching. That encompasses blemish removal, stray hair removal, teeth whitening, and softening under the eyes. You can see these changes in the images of my friend and frequent makeup artist, Sherry Faulk. Jessica corrected the color balance, because her skin tone was a tad on the warm side. She tamed Sherry's stray hair and evened out her skin just a bit. She gently softened under her eyes and whitened her teeth a little. The result is a more polished look.

Additional retouching, like clothing fixes or makeup repairs will incur additional costs. Feel free to email me after you've reviewed your proofs to ask about extra retouching. I can get you an estimate and then send an invoice for those specific requests.

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Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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