What Is Photo Retouching And Why Do You Need It

Do you know, that around 70% of photos posted online are manipulated? Just to gain the perspective of the immense popularity and demand for image manipulation tools and techniques, almost all smartphones today come not only with highly professional cameras but also with built-in image retouching tools. However, it’s only logical that no built-in image retouching software can compete with the professional software use used by specialists to retouch the images.

If you, too, are interested in photo retouching continue to read on as we will discuss what’s an image retouching and why you need it.

Differentiating the Various Image Manipulation Terms

Well, before we dig into the technical details of image retouching, let’s get introduced to some of the most frequently used image manipulation terms and see how these differ from each other.

Photo editing, post-production, photo retouching, and airbrushing are some of the most common terms used by specialist photographers and videographers. While all of these terms do share certain similarity and represents image manipulation. Still, each of these processes are used for different purposes. Let’s see what you can expect from each of these image manipulation processes;

Image Retouching

The term image retouching represents a detailed process that completely eliminates all sorts of imperfections from a photo. Some of the processes involved in image retouching include color correctness, brightness adjustment, tone correctness, saturation and contrast adjustment, under-eye circle removal, and more. Interestingly, image retouching may also involve airbrushing technique, which involves the removal or addition of elements from the background. 

Image Editing

You must have edited photos using your smartphone's built-in software, right? Well, as mentioned above, almost all smartphones come with a certain level of image editing tools that are used to make basic adjustments to the photos. 

So, when we talk about photo editing, we are referring to a basic image manipulation process that involves minor adjustments to images like cropping, color temperature correction, exposure adjustment, and more. It’s worth mentioning here that often image editing is interchangeably used with image retouching. However, the two are quite different processes with different scopes and thereby, couldn’t be used interchangeably; especially in professional settings.

Overall image retouching is ideal for fashion photography, product photography, and editorial and beauty photography. Some of the processes involved in image retouching include:

Removal and addition of unwanted elements from images

  • Hair retouching
  • Image sharpening
  • Teeth whitening
  • photomontage
  • Image Enhancing

Next in line with have “image enhancing” technique that involves enhancing the overall appeal and finish of the image. The process involves correcting color schemes, toning, and more. Most of the time, image enhancement is performed as a follow-up process to image retouching to create a certain and even feel and appeal for images and ensure consistency of colors within the gallery.

Now, before we move on, it’s important to note that the processes involved in each of these image manipulation techniques may vary slightly from one specialist to another. Thereby, you may need to consult the photographer/videographer about the processes involved in each technique and what manipulations will be performed on your images.

Some standard image enhancement techniques include:

  • Color and tone correction
  • Vignetting and toning
  • Brightness adjustment
  • Contrast and saturation adjustment
  • Small blemishes removal

Why do you need image retouching?

Well, there are plenty of benefits of the image retouching process, including;

Increase sales

For commercial purposes like restaurants or ecommerce retail, you need to have crisp, sharp, and detailed images to highlight the quality of the products and attract customers. For instance, think of a high-resolution professionally retouched image of tempting food from a restaurant against a simple click with no edits, which one do you think will attract more customers?

Reputation building

In today’s digital world, the professionalism and expertise of a business are determined by partners and potential customers through your website and social media posts. Using standard photos or stock images will thereby create a negative impression of your business. Professional image retouching ensures you use high-quality unique images that add credibility to your business and help in the reputation building of your brand.

Competitive edge

With professional image retouching, you are able to create consistent branding for your business and build engaging visual content to attract customers. This helps businesses to gain an edge over competitors and stay ahead of the competitive curve. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is all about sharing high-quality, unique, and engaging content. Visual content is an important part of any social media marketing strategy. with professional image retouching solutions, businesses are able to create highly likable and shareable visual content that connects with the audience and helps brands build a strong following on social media networks.

Who benefits from image retouching?

Well, simply “everyone”. Image retouching helps everyone including individuals and businesses to gain an edge over competitors. Some of the biggest beneficiaries of image retouching include:

  • Brands
  • Marketing agencies
  • PR agencies
  • Individuals looking for jobs
  • Small and Medium businesses (SMBs)
  • Photographers
  • Event and conference managers
  • Graduates looking to start their careers
  • Bloggers & influencers; and
  • Many others