How To Choose a Professional Photo Retoucher in 2024 – 9 Questions You Should Ask

Photo retouching is one of the most sought & vital photoshop services. Photo retouching is vital when businesses need to show their products in the best light.

So, if you are looking for professional photo retouchers to hand over your project, you are at the right place.

In this article, we will discuss how to choose photo retoucher and answer the essential questions, which will give you an insight into what you need to expect from your retouchers.

So, without further ado, let’s start.

What is photo retouching & what does it mean to retouch a photo?

what is photo retouching & what does it mean to retouch a photo
Source: Creative Instructor

Photo retouching is an extensive level of post-production work. Retouching is a slightly upgraded level of editing.

Photo retouching has different stages of work. Depending on the subject, a photo may require a basic or initial stage of retouching or advanced level retouching.

So, retouching a photo means photoshop work of different ranges, including removing the imperfection or flaws of images and making the subject natural and proper looking.

Photo retouching has the power to transform a simple image into a star of the show. In online shopping, edited images are way more successful in catching consumer attention. As statistics say, 75% of online shoppers rely on product photos to decide to buy a product.

Now, let’s know the 9 questions you need to seek answers to before hiring a retoucher.

Are all photo editors experts in photo retouching?

All photo editors aren’t experts in retouching. As mentioned earlier, photo retouching is a somewhat more extensive level of photoshop work than editing. Retouching is an advanced level of work; not all editors can be called experts.

So what should you expect? You can check their sample or gallery to understand if those are what you are looking for or match your requirement.

What does a photo retoucher do?

A photo retoucher does the retouching work, making subjects in images appear in their best look by removing flaws. If the subject is a human, a retoucher makes an even skin tone, removes any blemish from the face, whitens teeth, removes hair strands, and overall makes it appear naturally glowing.

If the subject is a non-human object, a retoucher works on color correction, brightness, shadow creation, and more to make the subject appear real.

Is it worth getting a professional photo retouching service?

Hiring a professional photo retoucher or getting a professional photo retouching service is worth anyone.

Such as-

  • For a professional photographer selling photos
  • For a studio owner, an art director dealing with photos for numerous purposes
  • For eCommerce business owners or online shop owners to capture the right consumers of their products

Here’s why photo retouching is worthwhile-

  • You get high-quality edited images that impress viewers.
  • Hiring them is much easier and cost-effective in this day and age.
  • You don’t have to worry about quality, as they are grounded for that.
  • They ensure the brand’s/ business’ consistency to attract customers.
  • Professional retouching saves you time and hassles with their expertise.

Post-production will be one of your worries when you have a lot to manage and deal with. And that’s where many people tend to heed less. They rely on themselves to complete it in a hurry or on an AI photo editor. Both of which are detrimental to businesses.

Post-production is considered the 2nd phase of photography. Therefore, you need to be more cautious about it. If you have a photo retoucher as your collaborator, you won’t have to worry that much. You handle the complexities of the experts while focusing on where you need to.

Questions you should ask yourself before hiring a photo retoucher

female office worker sitting at desk and thinking about hiring a photo retoucher

Whom you hire depends a lot on your intention. Images have versatile usage in this day and age; commercial intention has many sectors with different goals. So, you understand your images have a lot to do.

Now you are at this point, ask the following questions to clarify your intention. Once you have found all the answers, your professional retoucher hiring will be easier.

When should you retouch?

Even if you know how to retouch or have an in-house team, there are certain situations when it is wise to outsource photo retouching services. For example-

Short in time: High-end retouching takes a couple of hours to complete. If you are handling clients, letting go of that much time for retouching might wear you out. Hiring a retoucher is the perfect and timely solution for this. Don’t you agree?

Shy of manpower: All of us deal with urgent matters from time to time. Your manpower might not be enough, or even if they can, it will take some time to finalize. If you don’t want to risk anything, you should contact with photo retouching service provider.

Lack of experience & expertise: Professional-grade retouchers are aware and skilled in the latest trends in images. They can pull off any manipulation, advancement, or alteration in the images. So, if you are not sure how to make things work, better believe in experienced photoshop experts.

Retaining the brand’s consistency & professionalism: Your brand should keep consistent and uniform output on images; otherwise, your targeted customers might be skeptical, and you don’t want that. What you can do is assign the job to a certain retouching service provider. Professional photo retouchers can customize the brand’s requirements to maintain consistency in images.

What are the purposes of photo retouching?

First, let’s dig deeper into your purpose. What are your images about? Does it include a model or a product you are selling? Human model photo retouching will be different from product photo retouching.

So, let’s check which type of digital photo retouching is required for your images.

Portrait retouching: Portrait photos capture the personality of humans. And so, portrait photo retouching is the subjective process that enhances the visual appeal and makes the subject more humane and realistic. The purpose of such retouching is to make the people appear to their best looks.

Headshot retouching: Headshot retouching is a formal type of retouching. If we talk about business pictures, say resume photos or corporate profile photos. Mainly those who are related to business take such photos. Headshot retouching isn’t heavy retouching; rather, it is light-level work with deep impact.

High-end photo retouching: High-end photo retouching is the advanced level of photo retouching and can be applied to any subject, from human to non-human. The purpose of high-end retouching is to glorify the subject in an aesthetic way to make it lucrative. As a result, a photo with high-end retouching sparks viewers’ interest.

Product photo retouching: Product photo retouching is another popular type that ecommerce store owners mainly seek. As online shoppers can’t directly check the product, the only thing they rely on is the image. Product photo retouching is used to make the product look realistic and eye catchy.

Beauty retouching: Beauty retouching is photoshop work done only with a human face, just like portrait retouching. The purpose of beauty retouching is a bit deeper than that. It clarifies all the imperfections of a face, removes acne, spots, and uneven skin, and makes it naturally flawless.

Fashion photo retouching: This is photoshop work when fashion items like clothing, jewelry, or other related accessories photos are retouched. Fashion products are occasion, season, or a certain time-period based. But the impact lasts for a long time. Therefore retouching for this category calls for cautiousness.

Old photos retouching: Old photos carry memories. They have a significant attachment in our hearts. So, we all want to retrieve those moments by retouching the images. It is somewhat similar to photo restoration works and requires great care while working. Professional retouchers can make these images as good as new.

Packshot retouching: Packshot retouching is the retouching process of packshot photos. Packshot photos are those photos that have labeling or packaging along with it. Such photos contain information about the product ingredient, usefulness, and many more, which buyers might be keen to know. Retouching makes the information readable and clear to them.

Wedding photo retouching: A wedding is one of those moments that last for a lifetime. People want their special moments to be captured forever so that the memories remain vivid and special as always. Wedding photography captures lots of scenes, and retouching makes those scenes lively. That’s why it has become one of the most sought-after services globally.

Stock-photo-retouching: Businesses that can’t manage images due to different reasons solely depend on stock photos. As stock photos are accessible to everyone, users can edit and make necessary adjustments. Every professional can use it to fulfill their purpose. They can customize those photos with some adjustments and retouching work.

Do you need a specialist photo retoucher or a generalist?

This is the 2nd important question. A specialist knows Photoshop toolbar and tools to the core and has the expertise and skill to complete the job perfectly.

A generalist is a photo editor who also has this knowledge but is not skilled in any particular field. They can do an average job.

If you work with photo editing companies or agencies, you can have experts assigned to your project. They generally hire professionals who have a distinguished field of expertise and experience.

How many images do you need to retouch?

Enterprise-grade businesses require lots of images from time to time. But for medium or entrepreneur-level businesses, the requirement may take once or twice per year, except for emergencies.

So, check your number of images. You might want to hire a photo retouching services company if it’s a pile of images. The benefit of hiring an agency/ company is you get access to professional experts to handle your task at affordable pricing and within the deadline. Otherwise, you may consider hiring a freelance photo editor.

Do you need a freelancer or company?

Depending on the number of images, project complexity, and image quality for your purpose, you may decide whether to contact an individual freelancer or company. For large/bulk projects, a company is a better solution than hiring an individual.

What to look for when choosing a professional photo retoucher?

professional photo retoucher retouching client photos

A professional retoucher can be a person or an agency (as a unit) whom you can find in different marketplaces or web searching. Finding a retoucher is easy, but finding one whose services will meet your requirements take time.

You need to hire a professional photo retoucher who understands the importance and urgency of your project.

You probably have a couple of options in your hand. Let’s start with them. Consider the following factors before hiring a retoucher to avoid any uncertainties or unwanted trouble.

Consider a photo editor who specializes in photo retouching: Nothing beats experience. So first, learn about their expertise, working experience, etc. If your preferred retouchers have experience, they will know how to make things work and which strategy will bring the best look for your images.

Reputation- read their reviews and client comments: Verify what you heard about them is true. Seek answers from whom they worked with. Let’s say you are hiring a freelance photo editor; check his/her freelancing platform for reviews. If you are hiring a photo editing company, look over the review platforms.

How rich is their portfolio? Explore their previous work: Check their portfolio. Their specialty will be obvious in their work. Their previous work samples will be enough for you to understand their working style and if that suits your needs. If you aren’t satisfied with just a sample, you can ask for a Free Trial to get first-hand experience.

Verify their other resource as well: Efficient retouchers will be equipped with knowledgeable manpower to ensure on-time delivery and variation in skill sets to perform any task clients ask. So, ask your retouchers if they have a team and technological advancement to handle and manage your project.

Check turnaround time. Does it provide 24-Hour delivery?: Depending on the project volume and complexity, the delivery time varies. But at times, you may need urgent work and a fast turnaround. Ensure your potential photo retouching partner is aware of that and able to handle the project as fast as possible.

Do they make any agreement? Are your Images safe & confidential?: Images are intellectual property every business wants to protect. Images getting leaked or lack of security are unacceptable. Therefore, ask your retouchers if they can sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with you and assure the complete security of your project.

Quality assurance- Accept the work or request changes (if necessary): Are your retouchers flexible with the deal they make? You need quality images, and for that, if the edited images aren’t satisfactory or you need further adjustments, they should be willing to comply with your requests.

Request a quote for your retouching service: Do your preferred retouchers allow requesting quotes? Some photo editing companies will offer you custom quotes so that you get the best services.

Negotiate on pricing and make sure you’re happy: Have a look at their pricing structure if that fits your budget. You can negotiate the cost if you are convinced by their working style, client support, and responsiveness. Some of the companies will be flexible and do their best to fulfill your needs.

Do they provide discounts on orders?: Have bulk projects? Thinking of the surging cost might make you 2nd guess your choice. But you know what, many companies offer discounts for bulk projects. Isn’t it amazing to get your job done for less than the usual cost?

How much does it cost to retouch a photo?

That’s a vital question you need to know.

You probably have a budget and want the job wrapped up within that. Therefore you need to know the pricing.

Like any other photo editing pricing, photo retouching pricing depends on the following factors:

  • Complexity level
  • Number of images
  • Type of photos you have
  • Images purpose/ usage
  • Revision when needed
  • Urgent delivery/last-minute request

After sorting these out, a photo retoucher will set the price for you. You can assign him per hour, per image, or for a project. Let’s have check out the average price of photo retouching.

Retouching TypeMinimum cost (per image)Average cost (per image)Maximum cost (per image)
Portrait retouching1.00$1.50$2.00$
Headshot retouching1.00$1.50$2.00$
High-end photo retouching3.50$4.00$5.00$
Product photo retouching0.50$1.00$2.00$
Beauty retouching3.00$3.50$5.00$
Fashion photo retouching1.50$2.00$2.50$
Old photos retouching4.00$5.00$6.00$
Packshot retouching0.50$0.75$1.00$
Wedding photo retouching1.00$1.25$2.00$

How long does it take to retouch a photo?

Photo retouching has stages from basic to advanced. Basic-level retouching requires around 30 minutes, whereas advanced-level editing requires a couple of hours.

Then again, a model image retouching time will vary from a product image retouching.

Ecommerce image editing is a sensitive type of retouching. Therefore it too takes some reasonable time.

So know their deadline. Some retouchers can finish work and submit the projects even before the timeline. Also, make sure to know how fast they can support you in case of an emergency.

How Do You Price Yourself As A Retoucher

We have talked about how to choose photo retoucher but as photo retoucher how do you price yourself? Let’s have watch the videos.

Important FAQs of Photo Retouching

What is a color retouch?

Simply put, color retouching means when a plain image undergoes a color correction process to make it more lively, that’s what is called color retouch in Photoshop.

What does retouching mean in photography?

In photography, photo retouching is a type of extensive photoshop work that enhances the look and vibe of an image for commercial purposes. Retouched photos are mostly used for advertisements.

Can photo retoucher edit passport photo?

Though retouching is a good option to beautify a face. But retouching a passport photo isn’t recommended as it might hamper the images and your purpose.

Do wedding photographers retouch photos?

In wedding photography images, retouching is used to make the memories brighter and more joyous. From the look of the bride and groom to the surroundings- retouchers can make the images more vivid to look at.


So, there you have it- answer 9 questions when you are going to hire a retoucher. Hope our article has helped you find the right direction for your purpose.

Images have versatile usage for commercial purposes. Ensure your photo retouching services provider understands those too well and can assist you on the right track.

Ruzel Hasan
Ruzel Hasan

Ruzel Hasan is a genuine polymath. He has versatile skills and is adept in post-production work, graphic designing, photo editing, file formatting, and mastering various related applications and software. In addition, he has a knack for writing, so he shares his knowledge, tips, and ideas through content within his busy schedule.

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