Photo retouching is a general term that can be classified into portrait, commercial, beauty, creative, and editorial retouching. All these segments have a set of priorities regarding how photos shall be retouched and are not created equal. For instance, retouching the headshot of a model will have certain requirements from the client that may differ to editing them for publishing on an editorial. The client requirements may contribute to the peculiar changes between the two.
When it comes portrait retouching, the main job of the editor is to retain the personal characteristics of the model. All the blemishes should be gone from the face, but in a way, that the photo appears natural to the naked eye and no consequences of manipulative effects stand out. Model’s headshots often come under this category, since retouching them necessitates natural looks.
Portrait retouching comprises of retouching the skin, and removing freckle, scar, or black moles. Being permanent features that contribute to the identity of the person, the intensity of such blemishes can be adjusted according to client needs. When it comes to bruises on skin, pimples, and redness, they are temporary in the world of retouching so they can be edited out from the headshot. It will contribute to the model’s portfolio and will help them be hired as per the beauty on face value.
Even editorial photo may be of an individual, but the key is to remove any unwanted elements that may distract the view from the subject to backdrop. Editorial retouching is done with an aim of editing the photo for marketing a brand, a product, or a service that the client offers to customers. Think of photos appearing on magazines, journals, or publications, for instance.
Commercial retouching, on the other hand, is for advertising services or products for the web upload or print. It covers a set of subjects like jewels, cosmetics, apparels, food, or anything likewise. It is known as commercial retouching since the end purpose is to make the audience relate to the main subject on the image and persuade them to buy the product. A common practice in retouching for commercial purpose is changing portions of the backdrop to bring out a pleasant feel on the photo.
Aside from the consideration that each photo may have, the client will mandate certain requirements to editors about the eventual appearance that they desire. Think of creative retouching as means of bettering the image’s appearance even at the expense of using image manipulation technique to meet the artistic vision of the photographer.