In 2001 I spent 2 years as a part-time digital retoucher for a very large commercial lab. During that time, I learned a great deal from the expert retouchers, those with 10+ years of experience. Later I learned color management and ran the massive 60″ Roland 12 color inkjet printers. It was my paid film photography to digital photography education.
As I discuss in the Creative Lighting for People Photography video, the retouching step is really the second step in my digital workflow. Everyone has a different workflow and methods, use what works best for you.
My point is, sure I can retouch the hell out of an image. But my clients rarely need extensive retouching. For portraits and fashion work, 95% of the time I can get away with the batch processing you will see in the Creative Lighting for People Photography video. For modeling agency models portfolios I do even less, the plastic skin look is “OUT”.
It may come as a surprise to many, but modeling agencies want to see the models skin and pores. The model already has great skin and features…that is why they signed them! The agencies are impressed by great lighting, posing and styling….and that gets the models work….which in turn makes the agency money, and you more valuable as a photographer.
I spend 5-10 more minutes lighting correctly. This simple step saves me countless hours in post production. I make money shooting….not retouching the final client images.
For a magazine or your portfolio, retouch as needed. Maybe that is part of your visual style and look as a photographer. I have nothing against retouching or photographers who spend hours creating the perfect image…yes, it is fun to do. Just know your client and ask beforehand what they need done.
Imagenomic Portraiture 2 is not exactly inexpensive. However, for the busy fashion, portrait, or wedding studio, IP2 is a blessing and will get you back to shooting and running your business. Simply create a preset or action, and run the entire session as a batch.
Go to Part 1- Digital Camera & RAW Processing Setup
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