Sunday, June 3, 2012

Some Open Secrets about the Photo Retouching Profession

One of the most lucrative careers for any budding photography enthusiast is to also become a photo retoucher. The skills are amazing simple to acquire. But to make it into an A-grade professional path it requires some more ‘tweaking’.

Is a ‘photo retoucher’ the same as an image editor? Yes. Photo processing studios have become busier as more people need to make their pictures perfect.  There are personal and professional reasons why many people seek the photo retoucher for making small or large adjustments in the photos already clicked. One of the major areas why a professional editor like this is needed is for rearranging the portfolio of super models. Wedding photos is another major sector where the services of a very good retoucher are required. And today the service spans to other industries where products can be made to look better.  With so many opportunities, it is essential for even an ordinary photo editor to upgrade and become a specialist in retouching. Just in case you are looking to add more panache to your own portfolio, here is some pretty good sent advice.

To become an expert one first learns to keep some secrets. Often when people come for retouching, they ask for removing blemishes, acne, making skin smooth and also making changes like cutting flab from various parts of the body contours. Well, there are more secrets that are entrusted with photo retoucher professionals.    And this is what makes the profession all the more interesting. Retouching is not always about air brushing or creating softness around the subject. It is much more than that. There are other delicate jobs also involved. Often in a hurry a model’s photos are clicked and only post-haste one realizes that the clothes were not even ironed properly. This can create a very bad impression. Sometimes, the photographer is so focused on shooting the subject that he forgets to move away the things and props in the background. So a glorified broom is needed after the shooting session.  All these irritants can pose problems. But thanks for Photoshop and the editors who can make the clean sweep.

To become a really good artist (read retoucher) adding a realistic value is essential. For example if the model insists that the waist has to be reduced, this could spell trouble. Even people who will see the picture with a small waist will not readily accept the waist size of a super model being that of a young girl. Care has to be taken at the post production level to make sure that the client is not asking for something that ‘is possible technically’ but really cannot be done ‘aesthetically’. A good professional will try to add a little imperfection to make the output real. In fact ‘too perfect a picture’ seems surreal and unrealistic. Avoiding bloomers prove to be beneficial in the long run for any professional.  

Often the job of retouching is done quietly. But now everyone knows that digital retouching is an open secret. So if the magazine allows, it is best to add the name of the photo retoucher to the end credits. When the credit of a story and visual can be given to the fashion editor, photographer, layout artist then why not the ultimate handler-the retoucher?

1 comments:

Shamim said...

Very interesting, easy and useful for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

Post a Comment