You shouldn’t notice the retouch.
Okay, maybe just this once.
The retouching I do shouldn’t ever be noticed. But here I’m going to pull back the curtain just a bit, to give an idea of what is possible. Ultimately, retouch serves to reveal the truth of the image.
Midge at Christmas
She looks pretty good for 76 years old, wouldn’t you say? Actually, she’s 85 in this picture. Really! As I said, the retouch brings out the truth.
Sometimes the Board of Directors gets together for a photo shoot, and someone can’t make it. And other times, ELEVEN people can’t make it. No problem. I can insert them. (While I didn’t shoot this one, I will say that the photographer had the good sense to position at least a few of the missing people in position in the actual room when he went back to shoot them, which made it a little easier.)
Runway and background retouch
The plane is the focus. Sometimes that means you have to retouch everything else. So I cleaned up the tarmac and eliminated the buildings.
This image from maybe 20 years ago is typical of the sort of thing I did all the time at the ad agency. We called it a C.O.B. — Cut Out Background. In this instance, we retained some of the shadow, but softened the edges a bit, too. We also changed the label on the bottle as well as the printing on the foil at the top. Super easy.
My friend posted on social media back in 2014, saying she was thinking about changing up her look. Maybe shorter hair, and maybe darker. But she wasn’t sure. She posted a quick selfie of what she looked like currently. So I jumped in and did a quick retouch of what she was describing.
Michelle came to me to retouch another photographer’s work. She didn’t need much done — she was fine with a few gray hairs, but she didn’t want any stray grays. Also this photo demonstrates that a lot of people raise their nostrils a little bit when they smile. Lower the nostrils and it suddenly improves the smile.
Anjuli’s school photo
Ah, youth. There’s a time period where the baby teeth aren’t all gone and the adult teeth aren’t all in. And sometimes that’s when school schedules your picture. If you’re lucky, your uncle does retouch.
Midge in Breton shirt
A great shot of a classic shirt, but there’s a wrinkle. That really takes away from the overall look, don’t you think? Also a few tweaks to the teeth, lips, and skin. And of course, I made the eyes pop a bit more.
These two are cousins. But I have no idea who the woman in the background is. Out she goes!
Union Pacific train at Mount Shasta
I used to work for an ad agency. One day in the early 2000s, someone brought in a photo they had taken with a little digital camera on the morning of a film shoot at Mount Shasta. Could I take the photo and make it look more like their current ad campaign? You bet.
When you see a concept this good, you just gotta help ’em out and turn those artificial conehead masks into real flesh.
A political candidate needed to quickly get a library of images to use in her marketing. The problem? She only brought one shirt to the meet-and-greet. The solution was to retouch her shirt to match her husband’s campaign T-shirt in black — and remove the stripes. Problem solved!