Five Retouching Tips to Save Your Client Time and Money

Five Retouching Tips to Save Your Client Time and Money

Ryan Moore is a professional retoucher. He recently wrote a list of five tips that can help save your client time and money. Saving time and money doesn't just benefit the client. It also lays a firm foundation for an ongoing relationship between the photographer and the client.

According to Moore, "there are many contributing factors in a modern day retail campaign, and thus managing the details of it's various pieces can be a challenge. These 5 imagery considerations can help you meet deadlines, under budget."


During photo shoots, ensure the photographer captures each background with the subject removed. These images are commonly used as donors for background extensions or rebuilds, and often save a considerable amount of time.


Ask your photographer if they've applied any exposure and/or color adjustments themselves. If they have, acquire these adjustments, or simply introduce your retoucher to your photographer. This ensures that the retoucher begins development with matching exposure and color.


Important objects in photos, mainly your product in it's correct color and form, should be sent to your retoucher. These items serve as a cross reference for color and detail during modifications and color development.


Will this image be used for online marketing, or will it be printed large to be wrapped around a building in London? These details can change the scope of a project drastically, and will save from retouching things at an unnecessary resolution or scale.


How thorough do you intend the retouching to be, what are your main concerns, and what are you expecting the finished image to look like? Provide as many details as possible, and keep the retoucher informed of project changes. Quality mark-ups eliminate rounds of editing, and the deliverables are completed sooner.

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1 Comment

As a retoucher, i faced the real world problems of:

1) Clients using the photographer/ DI artist as the canvas. They tweak as they go along. Newbies doesnt understand this and they go out of jobs pretty quickly. Regardless of how many years of experience you have, if the client is new to you, he thinks you dont understand his product/ industry. This is very true. The only other situation you can 'getaway' is when you have an inexperience (younger) client who leaves it to you so that he/she can learn from you.

2) Too many decision makers. From the Marketing people to the Marcom people to the Branding people. Not to mention the 12 shareholders. Everyone got to have a say.

3) Hardware and software catch up game. Its never gg to be fast enough for what you do.

A retoucher bills by per hour basis or by project. If he can only manage one big project a month and it pays him well, then its good for him. For the rest of us, the faster we can turn around the project, the client saves more money and we make more money. To do so, to me, its handling 1,2 and 3!