WHY RETOUCHED PORTRAITS ARE A GOOD THING
Updated: Apr 28
Here you are: It's the start of the year, you are back from holiday season and days off, it gave you time to think and set some new career goals for this new year (and decade)! How exciting!
Next step: work on your executive presence and personal branding. So you hire a professional portrait photographer and now you just received your images … but something doesn’t feel fully neat & professional on those headshots and you can’t really say what it is.
Here is what it is: Photo editing. You chose a photographer or a package that didn’t include retouched images. What was great is that you could receive your photos very fast after the shoot but now that you look at those.. they are not at the level of your expectations.. and it might come from that lack of post-production.
You could consider that just a detail but believe me, if your top or shirt looks very wrinkled for instance, even if that's a "real" life type of thing, unconscious first impression from the viewers of your photos will be 'neglected'... And considering how much first impression matters... that's a shame to have booked yourself a professional portrait shoot not to have TOP NOTCH executive portraits.
RETOUCHING IS NOT CHEATING: WE RETOUCH EVERY SINGLE DAY IN OUR OWN MIND
Think about your grandmother or... someone you lost ... or more positive: think of a good friend that you don't see often.
Do you actually remember in detail their skin blemishes and small imperfections? the tone of their dark circle under their eyes, if they have any? the piece of hair sticking out of their hairdo last time you met that person? The way their shirt bulged last time you met him/her?
NO. What you do remember for sure though is the way you felt when you met them last time, you remember their energy, the moment you shared together.... so yes, in your mind, you have 'retouched' all the small details out, to keep the best and the essence of that person. That's what a good professional photo retoucher does.
EDITING AND RETOUCHING IN PHOTOSHOP: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE AND WHY DOES IT MATTER TO YOU.
We will not enter into thorough details because that’s not your job, but are some clues for when you search for a professional portrait photographer, you find 3 cases :
Some that don’t edit or retouch at all the photographs (as mentioned above.. that's would be a shame not to go all the way in your initiative & search for neat looking professional headshot..)
Some who edit: it means they correct the contrast, the color tones, and saturation, the highlights and shadows but that’s all. It’s a top 5-10min process where a software applies those corrections on hundreds of pictures at once. It's a very basic option, but it won't solve your 'shirt wrinkles, hair fly-aways' and other type or real-life situation you want to have corrected for sophisticated elegant professional portraits..
Some offer a complete service with retouched images. That’s the option you want to go for if you want the upscale neat feel in your professional headshot: on top of the editing part (see point above), the photographer, or a even a professional retoucher, will use a software called Photoshop, to correct the small details that makes a photograph go from basic too great: glasses glare, hair fly-aways or hair sticking out, very dark circles under the eyes, bags, blemishes, clothing wrinkles, etc.
And that needs to be done on each image individually by hand, a software can not correct that by itself.
That’s where the real value of that technique is. It is tailored and it has to be perfectly dosed by a professional. That’s what, among a great body language, light and set up, will set your images apart from the crowd.
NO BS TALK: WHY WOULD YOU NEED YOUR IMAGES RETOUCHED?
Because on Sundays, you have more enjoyable activities with your loved ones (the ones who at the end of the day matters most!) than ironing your shirt to the highest detail
Because you are maybe not sleeping the 'recommended' 8 hrs per night, (and you are not alone !)
Because it is always when we need a perfect skin that imperfections decide to ‘show up’
Because you are soon done with that dental correction but ... not fully done,
Because of the "wow ! I love this portrait ! That’s a shame we don’t see my right eye because of my glasses’ glare"
Because hair can be ‘tamed’ but sometimes (and often) they decide to go on with their own lives
Because ‘going to the hairdresser to get rid of those roots’ was on your to-do list but 300 other things got added on it,
Because you might not have the time to go and get your eyebrows or upper lip waxed,
Because time is passing by but you might not want your portrait to scream that fact, Etc.
It is for all those reasons that we have your professional executive portraits going through high-end retouching techniques, at the level of the ones used in fashion magazines or advertising.
Consider a retouched professional portrait like this :
You are portrayed the way you are when just back from 1 month's holiday, after a wonderful vitamins ‘binge’, long 8hrs sleep every night, with a very healthy diet, and just drinking green tea and water.