Editing. Retouching. A photojournalistic style. As wedding photographers, our co-hosts Dan and Sara utilize these words on a daily basis. However, understanding the definition of these terms will help you choose the correct photographer for your big day and helps you understand what is included in their wedding packages. Check out this episode to make sure that you and your photographer are on the same page and to avoid any miscommunications!
What’s the difference between editing and retouching?
Editing is going into the photo and enhancing it: things like cropping or adjusting color. It’s sometimes airbrushing. Really, it’s taking what we photographed and just making a printer ready. Retouching is almost like cosmetic surgery with a click of a mouse. For example, when you’re asking your photographer to remove a blemish, a flyaway hair, the exit sign, the random guy on the beach… that’s retouching. And a lot of times, photographers charge differently or extra for either one. So, I just thought it was kind of important to kind of cover what the difference was with both of them.
With editing you can also think of it as taking the image and making it more like true to life. The way you or I see something is so different the way a camera can capture it a lot of times.
So when you are looking for a photographer, ask them what is included in their package and if they do editing and/or retouching.
When you hear people say “oh, you can just fix that in Photoshop!”, what do you think?
I know I said it was “just the click of a mouse” before, but the reality is that it takes so much time and training to be able to retouch images that way. It’s important that you get a photographer who has that experience if you’re really worried about it. Photographers should also have the experience to be able to avoid the issue in the first place – asking ladies to remove hair bands, asking the guys to empty their pockets, framing the image without the exit sign. Those kinds of things, so that they don’t have to edit them out later. And you have to remember, retouching a large amount of images slows down your editing time. Instead, I’d rather be more mindful about asking people to pose a certain way or remove things from their pockets!
The top thing is to communicate with your photographer! We have a lot of couples that say they don’t know how to pose. Do you have any tips for that?
Honestly, a good photographer can pose you and knows those types of things. Just remember to keep it fun, and you won’t even feel like you’re being posed. With a little bit of prompting, clients also feel more natural and it shows in their images.
Let’s explain kind of what a photojournalistic photographer is, versus a traditional photographer.
With a photojournalistic photographer, the style really came from people going into certain situations and photographing them. A big part of that style is not tampering or making the subject change at all. So, in turn, the way the term has been used for weddings is that they don’t change anything – it’s just documentation. That is all well and good. But I always feel like you need to prompt just to help your couples. It may not be full out posing, but it can help everyone feel good about how the images will come out!
In contrast, a traditional photographer is all about poses. They really go through the proper way of posing, putting you in the right light, the right angle, really taking you know portraiture into a wedding day.
So if you have a photographer that marries the two methods, then you can use the prompts and the posing. You still get the very natural feeling of documentation while photographing to make sure that you get it right in camera, so you don’t have to go and go back in and do the retouching. Not to mention, when you have a good photojournalistic approach, you can really snag good candid moments – which you can never pose or make happen.
Originally, we wanted to do this quick podcast mini-series for you all talking about the differences between editing and retouching. But I think this is a great little tool to think about when you’re looking for a photographer. You need to know which style(s) you want or need for your wedding day. It’s nice to have a photographer that can put themselves in the best spot to capture all those little moments that make a wedding day.
Listen to more of our photography mini-series episodes here on first looks and if you need 1 or 2 photographers for your wedding!
What We Discussed
Editing v. Retouching (1:38)
Fixing in Photoshop (6:54)
Photojournalistic v. Traditional photographer (10:28)
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