Extensive Retouching



Medium Retouching


Extensive retouching is an incredible art form and can take hours to produce the envisioned image and make sure the alterations are not noticeable. Extensive retouching involves changing backgrounds, removing or adding objects (like additional grass) or people from the final image, and compositing several images together. I usually only do ‘extensive retouching’ upon request from a client for a specific image. I charge an additional fee for this detailed work. 




The photographer’s definition of ‘editing’ and ‘retouching’ can vary. However, it is important to be sure that the customer understands what the photographer will be delivering, so that the two can establish their combined expectation for the final digital product.

Hopefully, this blog post has given you a basic understanding of editing and retouching digital images.

Please contact us at if you have any questions. 



Medium retouching takes up to 30 minutes to produce the desired image. Medium retouching involves bringing attention to the subject and diminishing the emphasis on the background or modifying the background in order to be more visually pleasant. 

Basic Retouching




Clients often ask me how many ‘retouched’ images are included in my packages. Clients have access to all original photographs. Additionally, there are five (5) basic or medium level ‘retouched’ images which are included as a final digital product in my hourly rate. Unfortunately, some other unscrupulous photographers have claimed to have delivered hundreds of ‘retouched’ images, which often leads to customer’s unrealistic expectations.

In this post, I will explain the difference between ‘editing’ and ‘retouching’. I will also cover the various levels of ‘retouching’.

After reading this post, I hope that you will have a better understanding of what these terms mean, so that you understand what final products you will be receiving and the questions to ask your photographer about the final images.

The terms ‘editing’ and ‘retouching’ are used quite often in the photography world, but can mean wildly different things.


Editing is correcting for light or exposure and color temperature of the image. Sometimes, editing involves cropping an image, since a cropped image looks better than the original. Most editing is done in Adobe Lightroom.

Editing a photo can be simple, and take a minute, or be more involved, and take several minutes, depending on the desired effect. It may not seem like a lot of time, but when spread out over hundreds of photos, it means multiple hours of work.


To retouch means to improve the appearance or repair (a painting, a photograph, makeup, etc.) by making slight additions or alterations.

When talking about photography, specifically post-processing and image editing, the term ‘retouching’ refers to any process used to alter an image to improve the images appearance. Retouching is usually done in Adobe Photoshop.


When simple editing does not produce desired images, retouching begins. Basic retouching takes up to 15 minutes of work on an image. Basic retouching is used to remove a variety of image defects such as dust or dirt on a lens or an image sensor. Basic retouching also involves such tasks to improve the facial appearance - brightening the smile, smoothing out the skin, removing wrinkles, erasing facial blemishes, and any physical defects on the skin of a subject.