Professional Photography Retouching: The Essentials

May 30, 2019

Professional Photography Retouching: The Essentials

There are many stages to creating quality product photography and retouching is one of the most essential parts of the process.

Why Retouching?

While you might imagine that the images come out just right first time, editing is needed even for the most skilled photographers. Expert retouchers will be able to transform your images into flawless photography that can be used across different media as an effective sales and marketing tool.

What is Retouching?

Retouching essentially means correcting specific elements in your photos to create a cohesive overall image and ensure consistency across all elements of your product photography. Some images will just need a simple touch-up job while others will require more extensive post-production work such as green screen background removal.

This might mean removing background clutter for a clean photo, moving elements around or adding details to create the desired impact. It could include reshaping elements and clothing or cropping images to a specific size. Retouchers may also add highlights or shadow to draw out the most unique elements of the image and bring attention to the USPs of each product.

Retouchers will not only clean up any background items; they will also clean up any imperfections on the model or product itself, such as skin blemishes, fine lines, stray or flyaway hairs and creases or untidy clothing. They also work closely with the details of the models, such as brightening up dull, tired eyes or even enhancing specific areas such as eye makeup or jewellery. This might be for cosmetics and accessories brands or it may be simply to fit within the brand image.

When it comes to using live models and clothing photography, there are additional retouching issues to consider including symmetry, lines and shapes. Some brands will require a more dynamic silhouette, but others will want to convey a more static image.

Brand Imagery and Retouching

Cleanliness and consistency are the name of the game with quality product photography. As colour matching, colour changes and product tone are three of the most important parts of the retouching job for consistent photography across the board, retouchers will often work from a brand style guide to ensure photography fits within brand guidelines.

This provides the target audience and new or repeat customers with a sense of familiarity and creates common associations with the brand to establish the consumer-brand relationship. Retouchers will work with either warmer or cooler colours to the desired effect and to establish contrast and saturation as the products and brand image dictate.

It’s the finer details that really count in professional product photography and we pride ourselves on offering an end-to-end service where quality is key, and no stone is left unturned when it comes to creating a flawless final product. We do the job right and ensure that every image has a natural looking finish to maximise engagement and those all-important conversions. Give us a call today to find out more about our photography and post-production process

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