What is retouching?

Retouching is a term used widely to encompass the various ways to manipulate an image in Photoshop— From the model in a makeup ad with baby-like skin, to removing the obnoxious guy in the background who is photo-bombing your cute selfie. Retouching can also be compositing (combining) the best parts of multiple images into one, slimming off 30 lbs, simply fixing what was a poor lighting scenario, and modifying the colors and brightness to selective parts of a photo.

Often, in Ross’ commercial work, he can spend 10+ hours retouching a single image. For example, this musician duo: (tap on image to see the before and after)


Now obviously Ross can’t spend 10 hours per image retouching a wedding. A wedding package with 480 photos at that rate would take 600 8-hour working days. 😂 But he can use some techniques from retouching to take wedding photos up another notch.

Standard Retouching in a wedding package

Standard Retouching gives Ross the time and creative license to deliver your wedding photos with the best quality.

Why is there $1000 difference between 8 hour silver and gold packages?

There is a large difference in time spent editing the photos. An 8 hour Gold Package will have 36 hours of time invested into just retouching those photos. That’s 36 hours more than an 8 hour Silver Package. An 8 hour Platinum Package will have 48 hours of standard retouching. These amount of hours seem like a lot, but it’s actually an average of just less than 5 minutes per photo (after they are developed in Lightroom).

Am I able to select photos that receive the included Standard Retouching?

No. You can opt for additional retouching on a per-image basis after you receive your images (starting $10/photo). However, Standard Retouching happens before the images are delivered and is integrated into Ross’ process starting from his selection of the images. This often means there are images that are created that otherwise wouldn’t have even made it into the selection. Some retouching is able to be partially streamlined with a batch of similar photos. Ross uses his discretion in choosing how the time spent retouching can best bring up the overall quality of your wedding story.


Sometimes we have to make a shot happen in a few minutes and there’s just not the time to perfect the lighting. The bridal party above is an example of a little extra time in Photoshop to correct the lighting. Actually, if I’m completely honest, I (Ross) had asked someone to hold my camera for a few minutes before taking this... and after shooting it I had realized there was a large smudge on the front of my lens which is why the before image looks foggier in the center as compared to the sides. To counter this, when editing the photo in Lightroom, I am able to get a better contrast for people’s faces and hair, but the darks in the clothes get a little too dark (click to the 3rd image labeled Lightroom 2). Also the oceanscape in the background is still blown out, and the slightly wider angle lens has made the flat water horizon appear to have a dip in the middle.

In some cases it can be difficult to catch the right timing of multiple people in one capture, whether that’s the family portrait or the best man’s toast to the bride and groom. In these cases, photos taken in the same setting can be combined, or composited.