To Photoshop, or Not to Photoshop… That is the Question
Working with a professional photographer means that you will be getting high quality photos. The quality process begins with the equipment that is being used to take the photos and it ends with the retouching process, and it also includes everything in between. If you want high quality photos, then it is important that you discuss retouching options with your photographer, because a good retouch can be the difference between an average photo and an amazing photo.
What is a Good Retouch?
When it comes to using Photoshop, there are a few steps that can be used for a good retouch. One of the first steps that should be considered is the lighting of the photo, because the dark/light contrast can make a big difference in the way the details within the picture “pop.” Instead of simply using automatic Photoshop retouching, an experienced Photographer will take the time to retouch each photo by hand, using tools such as dodge & burn, plugins for additional Photoshop functions, brightness and contrast adjustments, and cropping, just to name a few.
Why You Should Avoid the Plastic Look
It is easy to get carried away with Photoshop retouching, especially if it is a retouch for headshots. Many people want their small flaws, such as acne and wrinkles, to be corrected in the photo. But, too many adjustments and changes can result in a "plastic" texture to the skin, causing the photo to look unrealistic. A good retouch should eliminate some of the major flaws and still maintain a real look to the photo, because leaving some of the small details gives the photo a natural look.
For years, magazine covers have retouched photos so much that the covers do not share not a realistic image of the person in the photo. These drastic Photoshop techniques might be a good retouch for glamour photos, but they don't capture a real image of the person, because so many changes have altered the way the person looks. The reasons why these techniques might be a good retouch for glamour photos is because of the fact that glamour photos are created in a way to add an extra artistic element to the picture. But, other portraits, such as for models, actors, or business photos should show a realistic picture of the person.
How To Know if the Photo has too Much Retouching
A quick look at a photo will help you to understand more about how much the photo was retouched. For example, if you notice that the person has flawless skin without any freckles or wrinkles, then it is very likely that a lot of retouching has occurred on that photo. It is good to fix problems such as acne or a discolored spot on the skin, but some photographers go overboard and they remove details such as pores on the face. It might seem like a good idea to remove those pores so that they aren't visible, but those pores help the skin to look real. If the pores are removed, then the skin will appear as plastic.
When you are evaluating the retouching on a photo, it's important to remember that retouching techniques might vary depending on the type of headshot photo it is. Glamour photos are often retouched more than a corporate headshot, and different retouching strategies might be used. A skilled photographer will understand how the photo will be used, and they will cater their retouching to make sure that it is a good retouch for the style of photo.
Retouching is a Good Feature
Some people might feel ugly because a photographer retouched their photos, but retouching doesn't mean that the photo was ugly to begin with. In fact, there are many times when a good photo is retouched in order to make it even better. A photographer's eye looks for the benefits and positive features in the person they are photographing, and retouching allows them to remove distractions in order to more effectively highlight the positive features that they can see.
If you are looking for professional headshots, then call Houmaan photography and we will help you to create artistic images that matches the style that you are looking for. Every photo shoot includes retouching, and we understand the importance of using retouching in the right manner.