Do Professional Photographers Retouch photos?

Do professional photographers retouch photos? Yes, they do. But on what basis? Let’s find out in this article.

Do Professional Photographers Retouch photos?
Photographers Retouch photos

Professional photography is more complicated than people realize. The talent is not only focused on the camera but also the computer.

A professional photographer spends hours and hours getting the perfect click, the perfect moment, and the ideal shot. That becomes better with some retouching to suit the demand.

Let’s get to know more!

Do Photographers Edit Pictures?

The answer is - yes. Editing is necessary to get the picture to be perfect. Editing includes retouching, modifying, adjusting, etc. The general public often sees editing as image altering or distorting, which isn’t always the case.

High exposure or brightness or a retouch enhances the picture or makes it more pleasing to look at and meets the clients’ demands.

The photographer might want to portray a particular emotion or paint a subtle, untold story and edit to fit that narrative. Different colours invoke different feelings; the brightness or dullness of the picture can determine the mood, the ambiance, and so much more.

Every photographer has a unique style in editing photos that is easily distinguishable, like art.

Photographers can also use editing to make them fit a certain aesthetic. Not every photographer edits or retouches their pictures, but most do. Photos are also asked to be edited by the companies. Every photographed product in advertisements is edited to look better and more appealing.

Photo editing can become very controversial, but truthfully, editing images make them look better. Cameras often don’t capture colours the way we see them.

Do Photographers Edit Photographs on Their Own?

A lot of photographers edit their images. The time it takes for each picture depends. Some photographers pay companies such as photo retouching services to edit their pictures.

Wedding pictures can cost $25 per hour for new editors or even more for experienced editors. The average pricing for typical photoshoots or events is between $50 to $85 per hour. The number can go up to $85 to $120 per hour.

The Photo Editing Process: How to perform photo retouching?

The editing for photographs can take 5-10 mins or hours, depending on the pictures and type of editing that need to be done.

Here’s some of the basic process :

Crop Images

It is necessary to crop pictures to eliminate unwanted things or look straight. It is the basics of editing.

White Balance

White Balance makes the picture more natural because our cameras don’t see white the way our eyes do and thus makes light or sunlight a colour that doesn’t look natural.

Adjust Contrasts or Exposure

Adjusting contrast to the right one will make the pictures look alive. Exposure helps with darkening or brightening the images, whichever is suitable to the photo in question.

Adjust Hue, Saturation, and Luminance

They help the picture be more vibrant or can alter the colours completely. 

Adjust Sharpness

It will bring out the details, giving them a “sharp” look.

These are the basic ones, but others such as blur, smudge, and dodge are used. Often photographers will retouch photos to make them flawless, like removing an unnecessary object or a scar from the face or a speck of dust captured on the lens.

Photographers who like to create fantastic or other-worldly images use photo altering or manipulation to create pictures on the fantasy-genre side or what the clients wish.

Some of the most famous photo editing software

These are some of the most renowned editing software photographers use :

Adobe Photoshop CC 2021

You can use this app for editing pictures, digital paintings, animation, and graphic design. Some of the new features of 2021 include Neural Filters, Sky Replacement, and improved Refine Edge Selections.

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom  2021 is now free on iOS but not on android. It is a good app for creative editing and photo manipulation.


Canva lets you edit photos and make templates and logos with an extensive stock of images.

Aurora HDR

Aurora HDR is software that takes the help of AI to deliver the best-edited pictures.

ON1 Photo RAW 2022

It is the one-stop for editing photos. It has everything a photographer needs and if you don’t believe its claims, try a 30-day free trial.


In conclusion, photographers edit their photographs or pay a photo retouching service to do it. Editing is necessary for the pictures to look perfect and the scenery to look like what our eyes perceive them. It can do more: remove scars or blemishes from the skin or remove unwanted objects.