Image Editing & Retouching

Stage 1 - raw files from the camera

Although it is possible to produce finished files directly from the camera, many (most ?) professional photographers handle this as a two-stage process. The initial images from the camera are known as “raw files” and are the equivalent of negatives in the days of film photography.

So, from all the photos, I will choose a reasonable sample of the 5-10 best ones for final choices by the client. I then apply some initial standardised processing to these to make them look better and enable client choices to be made.This processing covers colour balance, straightening, approximate cropping, sharpening and lightness adjustments.

Stage 2 – the client chooses their preferred images

Because they will just have initial editing, the choice should be based on the preferred expression and the overall appearance or look.

Stage 3 – final editing (with some “airbrushing”)

Chosen images will have some or all of the following additional editing :

  • Standard cropping and tidy-up of the background (e.g. remove any visible lighting equipment etc)
    By default, I will leave space all around the image to allow for multiple uses. On request, I will also supply images ready-cropped for a specific usage e.g. LinkedIn
  • Colour standardisation
  • General facial editing (kept to a minimum for naturalness). Including some subtle wrinkle/dark circle reduction
  • Removal of temporary minor blemishes
  • Reduce or remove glasses reflections
  • Reduce shiny skin highlights
  • Produce Black & White version

My aim is to keep the “airbrushing” to a minimum – while presenting your best image.

I also have a rule of thumb about the various normal bumps and lumps which everyone has : if it’s temporary (like a cut or a pimple) I’ll remove it. If it looks like it’s permanent, I only adjust on request. This can be de-emphasising or complete removal.

Headshot raw file – as from the camera – unedited and uncropped

Headshot with initial editing and cropping. This is the version used for image selection.

Headshot with final editing, photoshop work (airbrushing) and cropping

(You can click on any of the above images to view a larger version)


Additional complex editing & retouching

All the images supplied to you have standard editing included as described above. More complex retouching is also available on request.

More complex retouching includes :

  • Very extensive skin smoothing
  • Adding textures or “special effects”
  • Removing complex skin imperfections etc.
  • Sorting out creased or wrinkled clothing
  • Removing people or things from the image
  • Image composites (adding objects or merging 2 images)

Special requests for complex retouching will be individually assessed.