Editing vs. Retouching | What’s the Difference?

“I spilled coffee on my shirt right before the shoot, but you can just edit that out, right”?! I have heard so many variations of this over the years of being a professional photographer. The kiddos had an accident the week before the shoot, and now there’s a scar on their forehead. Luckily, through the photo wizardry of Photoshop, you can have most of these imperfections retouched before you put your image on a canvas.

All of the images you receive in your digital gallery are edited as part of the session package. This is because a “straight-out-of-camera” image does not reflect the true color temperatures that are rendered based on the light source, meaning the images do not necessarily look the way you would like them to.

Editing includes color correction, white balance, exposure correction, highlights, shadows, and contrast. White balance refers to the warmth or coolness of the image, and white balance correction is the process of removing unrealistic color casts in your images. Exposure is the brightness or darkness of an image.

Below are a few examples of images that are straight-out-of-camera juxtaposed against their final edit:





Photo retouching another form of polishing an image for final presentation. Retouching, unlike editing, required additional transforming or altering of a photograph using various skills and technique.

Examples of retouching in portraits:

  • Skin smoothing
  • Pimple/Scar removal
  • Stain from shirt
  • Braces removal
  • Removal of bra strap

Furthermore, you can take your images to the next level by doing things like extending or changing the background, removing a garbage can from the background of your image, removing people, and various other distractions that may be present.




Retouching services are available for a nominal fee, which depending on the request you are making.

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