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Retouching – How much is the right amount?

SRK Headshot Day

Retouching for Angelina Ramsay at SRK Headshot Day in San Francisco, CA

How much retouching is the right amount? Nothing garners more attention and opinion in the headshot business. Our retouching approach is to get the photo retouched to the customer’s liking. We see our basic approach as a starting point. After we have delivered an edited photo, we often adjust our retouching based on customer feedback. Some want less. Some want more. We employ our philosophy on retouching as our starting point for the retouching process.

I once read about a photographer who wanted his subjects to look like they had just spent two weeks at a great spa. I like that. Subjects should look relaxed, rested and healthy. To accomplish this, we reduce the effect of wrinkles and bags under the eyes. We do not eliminate them. After all, you have earned those crow’s feet.

People have pores. And they will have them after we complete our retouching. We will remove scabs, pimples and other temporary blemishes. Moles, freckles and more permanent skin features are generally left alone. We are glad to reduce or eliminate these if requested. Skin tone is always important. Many people are extra red around their nose, chin and cheeks. We like to even out the skin tone.

Kelli Pallansch, Acupuncturist

Hair is probably the least controversial of the issues to be retouched. We stay true to the original hair color and we clean up the stray hairs. If there are spots where the hair is thin, we are glad to fill that in. We can also darken light roots if desired.

We think eyes are the most important aspect of a headshot. If your eyes are red from a tough night or allergies, we are glad to apply a little digital Visine. We don’t like that fake look with the porcelain eye whites so we tend to leave a few small irregularities. We will also lighten up the irises, if needed.

We don’t as a rule change general appearance like eye-shape and size, lip enlargement or changing of face shape. And although I am often asked if we can “make me twenty pounds thinner”, we can, but don’t.

Our biggest goal when you get your headshot is for it to look like the best version of you in the present.

If you would like to sign up for your headshot you can book one of our upcoming SRK Headshot Day sessions at a location near you. If you have eight or more employees we can come to you with our Corporate Headshot Day or Headshot Day Express programs.

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