What’s the difference between Basic Editing and Professional Retouching?

The shorter answer is that Basic Editing covers the essentials—exposure, color correction, and light blemish correction. Professional Retouching goes a step further to fix the trickier stuff, like bags under eyes, flyaways, acne and other blemishes, and skin smoothing.

The longer answer is that when we shoot, there are things (call them “imperfections”) we can fix/edit quite simply that are native to the software we use for post-production image processing (basic editing). Then there are things that are a bit more complicated, extensive, and time-consuming to edit and require more work to fix (professional retouching).

Basic Editing is the post-production process that allows us to keep the cost down and the turnaround time faster for the customer. Taking an image from camera to completion with Basic Editing is about a 10 to 15-minute process per person. It covers things like exposure correction, color temperature & balance, tint, balance of highlights, midtones, and shadows, contrast and clarity, light blemishes, and speckles on clothing.

Professional Retouching hits all the above and then goes a step further, and usually applies to physical cosmetics versus adjustments to the environment. It covers things like bags under eyes, lightening up or removing wrinkles, removing flyaways, specific adjustments to highlights and lowlights, and skin smoothing to name just a handful of aspects.

We are firm believers that people are just perfect the way they are, but we also recognize that in a digital world full of avatars and profile pics, it really is important to look your best. Having a headshot that you love and want to share is important to us, and we want to play our part in making you successful at whatever your goals are. A little bit of editing can go a long way.

What does Live Image Preview & Selection mean?

The shorter answer is that it’s a faster, more efficient way to view and select your images, versus the traditional proofing and selection process. This is something we generally charge for because it takes about 10 or 15 extra minutes in the session to do it right. The alternative to that is the traditional way, which takes substantially longer on the back end with respect to proofing, photo selection, and email correspondence.

The longer answer is that often photographers will send customers a link to review the proofs of their headshots taken during their session. From there, a customer will select the images they want and the photographer will edit and send the final high-resolution images to the customer. This isn’t always a terrible process, but generally speaking, it means a lot of time spent on email correspondence and back-end logistics.

Live Image Preview & Selection takes the hassle out of what is almost always an unnecessarily time-consuming proofing process and incorporates it right into the headshot session itself. In other words, when you come to the studio for your session, we have our computer set up and the camera connected to the computer so when we take your picture the images transfer directly onto the computer (and thus, the computer screen, for viewing). From there, we’ll sit down with you and review your images one-by-one. This way you get the expertise of the photographer walking you through how to view and interpret your images and the aesthetic might translate to those looking at it.

We recognize too that sometimes jumping in and out for a quick headshot is really all that's needed, which is why we don't require live previewing. It's really just a matter of preference for the customer and gives them a little more guidance on how to view and select final images.


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