Considerations for Retouching

Portrait, Editorial, Commercial, Beauty, and Creative Retouching are some of the subject-specific disciplines that fall under the umbrella term “Retouching.” Each of these regions has its own set of issues when it comes to what “retouching” means when it comes to modifying the image in question. In other words, when editing an image in the “Portrait” category, the options and actions made will be different than when editing an image in the “Beauty” category.


We usually aim to maintain all of the personal attributes and peculiarities of the person’s appearance intact while retouching portraits. The image should not appear to have been manipulated in any way. Headshots and Model Tests fall into this category because they necessitate portraying the subject as naturally as possible in order for them to be considered for potential work based on their true appearance. All permanent traits such as scars, freckles, and moles should be left alone. You may choose to enhance or lower the intensity of certain features depending on the image. Non-permanent features such as pimples, skin redness, and bruises, on the other hand, are usually cleaned up, diminished, or totally erased.

The skin is normally left undamaged, with the exception of the non-permanent details discussed above. The skin texture in female beauty photos is usually evened up to look appealing, but not polished to perfection.

If you want to improve skin texture, add contrast, color correct, or sharpen the image, do so subtly. Do not detract from the subject’s original image or portrayal.


When it comes to Editorial Retouching, we attempt to make the image as natural as possible, removing only bothersome aspects. Because the photographs are generally used for lookbooks/editorials/advertising in magazines or periodicals, this type of retouching is usually employed to advertise a product, brand, or service. Consider the following scenario:Julia Kuzmenko McKim photographed and wrote this article for LA Fashion Magazine in December 2013. Permanent features such as scars and moles are often removed, wrinkles are reduced, and any skin discolorations are adjusted within the image. Cleanse the skin, but don’t overdo it with the polish. Editorials usually consist of a tale and a series of photos depicting the subject. Contrast adjustments, color correction, and the image’s chosen grade must all match and be consistent throughout all photos in the series.



Beauty photography is divided into several subcategories, including simple Beauty portraits for private clients (which require slightly more retouching than regular portraits), Hairstyling photography, Celebrity photography, and Fashion Beauty – all of which require more skin retouching than the previous categories. Makeup Beauty photography is a style of photography in which the subject’s skin is the main center of attention, accounting for up to 90% of the image. As a result, it is the most time-consuming type of retouching, requiring a high level of talent and experience.

We are required to erase all “imperfections” in the photograph, whether permanent and temporary. Cleanse and even out the skin beautifully. To obtain a highly polished effect, key retouching techniques such as Dodge & Burn are generally used.

Hair is another challenging aspect to retouch in hairstyling pictures. It necessitates a great deal of talent and experience. Beauty retouching can take anything from three to dozens of hours, depending on what is necessary for the photograph.

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