Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should: Retouching

Guest: Stacey Hemeyer

Associate Photographer & Rtoucher | ATJ Photo
Wedding Photographer & Owner | Stacey Kay Photography
Gilbert, Arizona

DATE: April 11, 2024

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If only we could actually do all the things our clients THINK we can do in Photoshop….am I right?

Today, we’re digging into the world of portrait retouching – that magical process where we take already stunning images and make them even more polished and perfect. And that means, Stacey Hemeyer, ATJ Photo’s Associate Photographer and Retoucher Extraordinaire is joining us for a long overdue convo about all things retouching.

Clients may come to us with wild expectations, thinking we can perform Photoshop miracles and transform them into unrecognizable beings; and sometimes we can, but SHOULD we?

And then there are clients who are completely wowed by what they thought would BE impossible. Retouching can absolutely change a client’s experience, but we’ve got to know how to balance expectations with results.

Stacey shares valuable insights on how to handle these situations with grace and professionalism, ensuring that our clients understand what’s possible and what’s NOT.

We’ll also cover some essential tips and tricks for navigating the delicate balance between enhancing images and maintaining authenticity. 

We’ll be discussing retouching preferences with clients before a session and whether or not you should provide proofs for approval prior to printing. 

It’s not always smooth sailing in the world of portrait retouching but Stacey shares some entertaining and enlightening stories about retouching gone wrong – and right! – giving us valuable lessons on what to do and what to avoid.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The appropriate times to retouch
  • Questions to ask clients before and during a shoot regarding retouching
  • Situations where retouching should be avoided

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [3:16] – Sometimes clients have questions about retouching before a session. Stacey explains to clients that the photos need to look like them.
  • [4:39] – The amount of retouching also depends on who is buying the photo.
  • [6:37] – Photographers all have a different philosophy on retouching and the type of shoot it is makes a difference.
  • [8:40] – You have to consider your brand when you’re retouching. What do you want people to notice about your work?
  • [10:39] – Stacey shares a story about unrealistic expectations.
  • [12:41] – The majority of ATJ clients approve retouches after the first viewing of them.
  • [13:50] – Stacey provides retouches as a proof with a watermark in a PDF through email.
  • [16:03] – Managing the back and forth can be a challenge, but there are some solutions.
  • [17:56] – Stacey shares how she learned the lesson that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
  • [19:33] – There are things that are definitely a no-no when it comes to what to retouch.
  • [22:11] – Guide clients with questions about retouching things out, like braces, scars, and acne.
  • [26:12] – Allison shares the story of how retouching and reprinting a family portrait absolutely changed a negative into a positive.

Links and Resources:

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Stacey Hemeyer
Website | Instagram

Do The ReWork
Website | Instagram

Allison Tyler Jones
Website | Instagram | LinkedIn