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Image Editing & Retouching

How Do Image Editing Experts Determine Photo Retouching Technique Applicable & Time to be Allotted?

post-data-icon August 3rd, 2017  |   post-user-icon

Image editing or photo retouching, or what some may call image editing and retouching; is an umbrella term and can be categorized in subject specific areas such as Portrait, Editorial, Commercial, Beauty and Creative retouching. Each of these segments has its own set of considerations about what retouching is when editing any particular image. Simply put – actions and decisions undertaken while editing in the area of Portrait will differ from those undertaken while editing “Beauty” images.

So how do professional image editing experts determine the category, implicit techniques and time allocations, applicable to any image? Enlisted are some of the questions which likely come in handy while deciding which category the image falls under and how much time is required to retouch one image.

Answering both the aforesaid questions, before incepting the retouching task, will give you a fair idea as to what exactly is required; is it print or online. It will also help you assess how long you can afford spending on each such image. Apart from these, each individual category will still have its own set of considerations to be adhered to, in order to attain desired results.

1. Portrait retouching

Keeping intact the personal qualities and characteristics of a person, is the best thing that can be done in portrait retouching. The image should be made to appear as if no retouching has been done to it. Model tests and headshots usually form a part of this category, as these require depicting the subject as naturally as possible. This is done to help them get potential work based on their actual appearance.

Portrait Retouching

2. Editorial retouching

Here as well, all efforts are made to keep the image as natural as possible, and remove distracting elements. This type of retouching helps in promoting products, brands or services. With images that are usually used for look books/editorials/advertising in magazines or publications; this form of retouching typically needs to promote a product, brand or service.

Editorial retouching

3. Commercial retouching

This category of photo retouching, alike editorial retouching, is put at task to advertise and sell products and services. It covers a wide array of subjects such as clothes, cars, jewelry, food, airlines, cosmetics etc. These images are used to typical sell products as close the deal as me may call them. It is so because these images enable viewers to relate to the subject on a personal level and at times even provoke them to feel the need to possess the product or services, in the image.

Commercial retouching

4. Beauty retouching

Beauty photography stands slightly apart with handful subcategories as against simple beauty portraits, as some clients would want to go a step ahead with some more retouching than what regular portraits need. More attention is required to be paid to skin retouching than all previous categories when it comes to hair-styling photography, celebrity photography, fashion beauty etc.

Beauty retouching

5. Creative retouching

Creative retouching

This form, unlike other categories, is looked up to as an artwork or a creative vision, where the truth about a subject is not depicted. Image stitching or compositing multiple images or elements are what makes it fall under this category. It is really helpful in creating different realities or imaginative realms, and attaining them from a single image is nearly impossible. This also makes this category very important, work very intensive and the photo editing and retouching experts working for this category are in huge demand.

Hitesh Mistry

About Author: is one of the key members at HabileData, contributing to lateral growth of the company since its inception. He single handedly manages data processing, customer support, marketing, administrative and people management activities in addition to handling our websites editorial responsibilities.