Why is Headshot Retouching Important?

Morton Visuals headshot retouching example

Retouching is the process of altering or enhancing an image to improve its appearance or correct imperfections. Often referred to as “Photoshopping” due to its use of Adobe Photoshop, retouching is commonly used in professional photography. Its primary goal is to create more polished and professional-looking final images. Headshot retouching is, however, highly subjective — and many people have differing opinions on how much retouching is “enough” or “too much.”

What is included in headshot retouching?

Morton Visuals always includes basic retouching with all professional headshots. We strive to produce images that don’t look “Photoshopped.” As such we focus on reducing most imperfections, rather than totally eliminating them. That way the image still looks like you, and not obviously artificial. This is standard with our headshots in Dallas. A few things that we typically do with retouching include:

If the retouching is noticeable, it failed. A headshot should look like a person on their best day.

William Morton
  • Soften facial lines and wrinkles
  • Soften any “bags” under eyes
  • Clean up stray hairs
  • Fill gaps in hair if possible
  • Brighten eyes
  • Whiten teeth
  • Clean up or replace background
  • Soften wrinkles in clothes where possible (Note that some clothing, particularly distinct patterns, may make that impossible. See our article on wardrobe for headshots.)
  • …and more!!

Images for publication may receive more thorough retouching, depending on the size it will be displayed. Please talk with your photographer to discuss the level of corrections that you would like! Some people prefer more extensive work than the basic level of headshot retouching, whereas others favor the more natural or realistic look.

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William Morton Owner
William Morton has been a professional photographer since 1991. Now focused on corporate photography, William travels the country providing commercial, corporate, and event photography services.

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