Brisbane Wedding Videographer

Wedding Photography Image retouching Vs Image Editing

The difference between Photo Editing and Photo Retouching.

This article is best viewed on a computer to see before and after images

I’ve recently had a couple contact me and ask whether I ‘retouch’ all of the images that I deliver. When I asked them to explain what they meant by retouching, their response was, “You know, touch them up? Another photographer said they would deliver 500 to 800 ‘retouched’ images.” I quickly realized that this is a situation where wording can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointed clients.

The terms ‘editing’ and ‘retouching’ are used quite often when talking about photography, but can mean wildly different things. Many photographers even mistakenly use them meaning the same thing, which can be very confusing for couples getting married unless their photographer is specific about what they mean or unless you ask them to explain in more detail. So, in this article, I will explain what I mean by ‘editing’ and what I mean by ‘retouching’. After reading this you will have a better understanding of what the terms can mean (as I said, it can vary from photographer to photographer), so that you know what questions to ask so you understand what you will receive.

We are able to slim down figures


I edit every photo that I send to a client. To be specific, I correct for lighting and exposure and colour temperature, crop the image if necessary, as well as adding my own ‘signature’ touches to the images. These edit enhance the images greatly and are often all that is needed to turn an OK image into a Wow image.

Improve lighting conditions


The first step in my ‘editing’ process is to cull the images. This means I go through all of the photos taken on the day and determine which images will be delivered. While the percentage of ‘keepers ‘ has increased over my years as  my photography has improved, there are still many doubled up images or misfired that do not get delivered. More examples of images that get culled are – someone stepped in front of my camera, someone has there eyes closed  etc . If your photographer is not culling your images for you they are most likely just doing a batch process and not enhancing each photo individually. You will also then need to sift through all of the pictures yourself, which will be time consuming.

We can even remove people or objects from still images.

Basic Retouching

When a simple edit won’t do the job, retouching maybe needed. For me, basic retouching means up to 10 minutes of work on an image,  removing blemishes, brightening teeth, smoothing skin, or even removing an unsightly wire or trash cans.

Enhance skin complexion to capture your beautiful glow.

Extensive Retouching

I usually only go to the point of ‘extensive retouching’ for a handful of photos per wedding or upon request from a client. This might mean things like removing a person from an image, compositing several images together, or completely changing the background of an image. As you can imagine, I need to charge an additional fee for this type of work.

In Conclusion

So remember every photographer’s definition of ‘editing’ and ‘retouching’ can mean something completely different. What is important is to be sure that you understand what your photographer will be delivering. If you are hiring a photographer in the lower budget realm, it is more likely this is an area where cost will be cut.  Hopefully, this information has been helpful and I hope you can consider Storyteller Films and Photos as you Wedding Photographer for your upcoming wedding.

Brisbane Wedding Photography 

Learn more about editing and retouching

We also apply some of these techniques to our wedding videography to enhance your wedding video to look like a cinematic masterpiece.

Colour Grade is included with our feature films from both our Platinum Plus and Diamond Packages as well as our Wedding Photography Packages.

This is another example of the Storyteller Films difference.

Ask us today how we can stretch your budget! 

Digital Photo retouching
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