How Not To Ruin Your Photo Shoot

April 17, 2012 · 24 comments

in Actors, Entrepreneurs

I’m gonna be brutally honest here…I absolutely hate when a client copies and saves an image from their online gallery then uses that low resolution, unretouched image on Facebook or somewhere else online. The big problem here is that the image has not been retouched. Not retouching a headshot is like peanut butter without jelly, meatballs without spaghetti, mac without cheese, Tom without Jerry…fries without…ok, ok, so you get what I mean here — digital photography and retouching just goes together!

You’re probably thinking how you never retouched your photos in the past when using a film camera. Well, there is a big difference in film and digital quality. The different characteristics of film, for the most part, produce grainer and more forgiving images. So, you could very well skip retouching and still have a pleasing photo. Digital, on the other hand, records more detail and magnifies it, making images extremely crisp and clear. What you see in a digital photograph (every line and wrinkle) may not even be visible to the naked eye in person . Therefore, retouching IS needed.

“But I want to look like myself” you say. And you should! Headshot retouching should be natural. The idea is to soften, enhance and polish the image, not give you plastic surgery. But, beyond the face, retouching can fix wrinkles in clothing, flyaway hair, correct or change makeup and backgrounds, enhance overall color and so much more. So, don’t ruin your photo shoot by using unretouched photos. The next time you have your headshots taken, make sure retouching is part of the plan.

What do you think about retouching? Are you using any unretouch photos online? I’d love to know what you think.

Share
  • I am a big fan of retouching, but only to enhance the beauty of the image, I don’t like when photographers  give that plastic look to the model. 

    • I agree Carla, headshot photography retouching should enhance beauty. However, fashion photography is completely different, really depends on goal of shoot.

  • Great point, Tanzie! Thanks for sharing this great tip. When you did my headshots and I saw the before retouching and after retouching, it was such a big difference!

    • Thanks Andreea, happy to hear you notice the difference and love seeing your headshot on your website . : ) 

  • Barbara Polinsky

    I love your new site!  Eliminate wrinkles and  blemishes without botox or surgery –  Who wouldn’t want that?

    • Thanks so much Barbara! Yes, retouching can eliminate some wrinkles while keeping you looking like yourself and, the best part is, there is no pain.

  • Wow! What a difference-good to know! It makes sense to remove the distractions and enhance naturally!

    • Exactly Ellen, I’m just enhancing the beauty that”s there. Thanks for commenting!

  • I am not opposed to retouched digital photos at all, film is far more flattering than digital. The only time I have an issue with it is when it completely distorts the person or their figure. 

    • I love, love, love film! But since my industry uses digital, I gotta stay current. Thankfully I can still use film for personal work. Thanks for commenting!

  • I am not opposed to retouched digital photos at all, film is far more flattering than digital. The only time I have an issue with it is when it completely distorts the person or their figure. 

  • Kim

    The pictures say it all, what a difference!  Your headshot is your first impression.  Dark pictures drive me nuts!  I think you really have shown why the retouch is necessary. 

  • Kim

    The pictures say it all, what a difference!  Your headshot is your first impression.  Dark pictures drive me nuts!  I think you really have shown why the retouch is necessary. 

    • I’m not fond of dark photos either. Most photos do need to be brightened, another thing that good retouching fixes.

  • Bring it on!  Retouching is a total confidence booster!  Great post Tanzie!

    • Thanks Thea, I think so too… I always feel better with a little retouching. 

  • Ya I agree I hate when people don’t look like themselves in pics or worst use old pictures. But that’s another subject. I like light retouching but hate no retouching. So I agree everyone should get retouching just to get rid of all the things people may not naturally notice when they see you in person. 

  • Enlightening post, Tanzie. I was one who thought that retouching was a “bad” thing to fix imperfections. And, I thought photographers didn’t like retouching. However your take really explains the reason TO retouch and it makes a lot of sense. You are not talking about changing eye color or performing liposuction on a photo but making what is there look better. Big difference…thanks for your insight.

  • Enlightening post, Tanzie. I was one who thought that retouching was a “bad” thing to fix imperfections. And, I thought photographers didn’t like retouching. However your take really explains the reason TO retouch and it makes a lot of sense. You are not talking about changing eye color or performing liposuction on a photo but making what is there look better. Big difference…thanks for your insight.

  • RoffleWoffler

    If I’m honest, I disagree not with the copy and paste but with the fact you say every photo need’s retouching. Surely if it’s a good enough photo in the first place the client and yourself would be happy with the result without the need for touching up. I may be wrong however everyone has an opinion.

  • Susan

    Tanzie, You are so right! I feel the same way about designs that aren’t yet fine tuned or perfected. Don’t slap it together or put it out there just to have something. Quality always over quantity.

  • I agree 100% that retouched photos are the only ones that should be used for personal and especially business purposes. I learned this fact also from my brother who is a photographer as well.   It makes such a huge difference and you are right, you still look like yourself! 🙂

  • TwoothFairy

    I’m all for re-touching. Even product shots have to be re-touched to have them look their best. Just wish they made Photoshop makeup! 🙂

  • Carolyn

    I’d never even considered having a photo retouched for quality… not for acne removal… or whitening up teeth. Thanks for the heads up, Tanzie!

Previous post:

Next post: