Learn retouching Or Hire a professional retoucher – Which is better for you?

A good retouching can take your images to next level. Retouching your photography work has now become a really important part of your workflow.

Today, modern fashion-industry requirements are cruel even to the smallest faults. The wrong length of a skirt, unsuccessful diameter of heels or tone of blush can easily damage the general concept of a picture and, as a result, it will lead to a failure of photo shoots.

To make a photos look perfect in every way, there are plenty of photo editing techniques used by people. Background removal, photo retouching, color correction, drop shadow, photo manipulation are few of them. Photo retouching is a major part when you are taking professional photographs for business or for your own products to ensure your customer’s satisfaction.

But the question still remains. Is it better to retouch your own images, or shall you give your images to someone professional? Well the pros and cons are there in both options.

Retouching the images by yourself – Is the best option.

I personally never would give out my images for retouching, unless it is absolutely necessary to do so . The reason is , as a photographer you have your own vision for the art you are creating. A retoucher, does not matter how good he or she is will never be able to see your art as you do.

My retouching process starts in my mind even before i start shooting. I mean i know exactly where i want the things to be, and what i will remove or add for getting the images close to my visualization. So when i import the images in photoshop for the final touches, i know what exactly i am planning to do in there.

But to do post-processing work by yourself, you need to definitely have a good knowledge about the photo editing softwares such as, photoshop or lightroom. But above all you definitely need good patience. Retouching can be lengthy and can be tedious job. Some of my retouches have taken more than 10 hours for one image. But the output is worth spending the time.


  • Your images will have unique look
  • Being photographer and retoucher gives you edge over other photographers as you can understand and shoot as per the post processing requirements
  • Saves money
  • Your unique photography and retouching combination can attract clients to you more as you will be the only guy in the world delivering that combination


  • You need to buy and learn professional editing softwares
  • You get less shooting time because you need to spend time for lengthy retouches
  • Proper and upgraded systems are mandatory
  • Process of learning and practicing retouching will take years

Giving out the images to professional retouchers

Well if you do not know have to use the photo editing softwares, and you have horrible with your retouching. This is defiantly for you. There are plenty of retouchers available who will do the job for you. So all you have to do is focus on your shooting part and let the rest done by the professionals.

A professional retoucher does not come at a low cost. A good retouching can start from somewhere around 20$ and can go upto 100$ per image or more, depending on the work require. In the industry you will find retouchers working at very low cost such as 1$ per image, but the work they deliver is never good. It would be Better to use auto corrections option in photoshop, rather than giving out your images to such retouching artists.

Giving out your work to other retouchers has pros and cons such as


  • Saves your post processing time so you can focus on your shoots
  • Expert retouchers gives your images professional touches
  • No need to buy the costly post processing softwares
  • No need to learn


  • Professional retouching artists are charging super sky high for their services
  • You need to brief them for your requirements, and might require to spend some time on briefing and corrections
  • Professional retouchers will give you limited numbers of corrections
  • Adds extra costs on your project budgets
Beginner level photography courseVarun Patel  

Varun Patel is the owner at VarunPatel Photography.
He is also a mentor for aspiring amateurs and professional photographers. He provides different levels of photography and retouching courses.
He is a retoucher with more than 10 years of retouching experience.
Varun Patel has mentored more than 460 students by now.

Level up your photo retouching game with our photo retouching courses

We know what a good retouch can do to your photography game, so we have included photoshop retouching in our photography courses.Find more about our photography courses.

We also offer amazing online retouching courses, where you can select to go for full course, or can select just the points you would like to learn. More about our online photo retouching course can be found here .

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Varun Patel is big name when it comes to Fashion Industry. His work has been published in magazines like FTL, Femina and many others. He also conducts Fashion Photography Workshops and shares his knowledge with other photographers. He mostly shoots Fashion and Commercial Portraits, during his free time he also likes to experiment with the conceptual editorials.

2 thoughts on “Learn retouching Or Hire a professional retoucher – Which is better for you?”

  1. superb article. Thanks for sharing. I need to ask you something , I have just started learning Video editing. Which Software should i use to edit travel videos?

    1. Thanks for your words tanya, well for initial level video editing i would suggest you to use the in built video editing softwares that comes with your OS. For MAC users it is IMOVIE and for Windows users it is Windows movie maker . These softwares are free and really good for basic editing jobs.

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