Image Retouching

Retouching is one of the most time-consuming jobs for any modern photographer. Whilst many applications claim to make the job easier, the only way to guarantee a quality result is to do a lot of manual work in Adobe Photoshop.

At Excite Films, all of our retouching is performed in-house, in the UK, by skilled photographers with decades of experience in using Adobe Photoshop as studio photographers. Additionally, we can work with studio portraiture, family shoots, outdoor work, weddings, product photography and even editorial or fashion work.

Images are adjusted using Adobe Lightroom and retouched in Adobe Photoshop, to the exacting standards that you need for your customers. Our aim is always to make your work look as good as it possibly can.

Here are some of the advantages of our approach to image retouching:

  • We undertake sensitive, careful skin improvement using Photoshop only. No plastic skin, no ludicrous digital face-lifts. We just make your customers look their best.
  • If your subject has specifically asked for a part of their body to be modified (e.g. they wish to appear slightly slimmer, or to have specific parts of their body slimmed or bulked up), we can achieve this invisibly. We do not do this as standard, because we think it is inappropriate and unnecessary in most instances, but if your customer has made a specific request, then we are happy to oblige.
  • We can resize images to the correct print resolution for you; when you receive the images from us, you can simply send them straight to print at the correct size and DPI, and with the correct levels of sharpness already applied.
  • We are highly skilled at cleaning studio backdrops; white, black or any colour. We can give the backdrop a uniformity and remove all marks.
  • We are based in the UK, so you have no language problems or issues with different working hours.
  • We can also sort your photographs from a Lightroom catalog. Simply upload the catalog of unsorted images with Smart Previews to our Dropbox account, and we will sort, adjust and return it. We can (if required) narrow the selection down to the best photos, as well as individually adjusting all of the photos to make them ready for you to show your customers. This does not include retouching, but does include cropping, exposure and contrast adjustment as well as colour correction. Then you can simply download the catalog from us and output the images to show to your clients. This could save you many hours of work at a lower cost than doing it in-house.

Retouching samples

Scroll left/right to see the before/after on each of these sample images.

This portrait is an example of the standard techniques used on a beauty/glamour image. We have subtly and sensitively improved the appearance of the subject’s skin to reduce shine and remove any temporary blemishes. A mole on her left cheek has been subtly softened, because the lighting of the shot caused it to become overly prominent. The image underwent some colour adjustment and other minor changes, but the end result is a 100% believable image, with no blurry skin or transparent editing.

This wedding image has several undesirable elements which were unavoidably in the background. We were able to remove these and create a much more striking and emotive image.

This image required a tighter crop, as well as background-cleanup. The customer asked for B&W conversion.

Here we had to remove some unwanted elements from the background, make the background pure white, and make a few minor adjustments to the subject. Because the image was only being printed at a smaller size, skin retouching was not necessary.

This is a typical studio shot, which required background cleanup, and the usual level of adjustment required for print.

Prices

Retouching

We always ask for a minimum purchase of £50 +VAT. This can then be used at any time in the following twelve weeks. We will work through the images that you send us according to your brief, and we will provide an itemised receipt detailing work done on each image and the cost for each.

You can individually specify the exact changes you’d like to each image, or simply leave it to us to apply a professional, common-sense approach.  Our aim is always to provide exactly the same standard of work that we would for our own studio customers.

Our standard rate, which includes skin improvement, colour/contrast adjustments and similar work is £3 +VAT per image

White/coloured background cleanup: £1 +VAT per image.

Body modifications ( skin improvement is included in our standard £3 rate): £2 +VAT per image.

Complex requirements or commercial work (e.g. for magazines, advertising etc) may incur additional fees, which we’ll discuss with you about in advance.

Lightroom sorting

Upload your Lightroom catalog with Smart Previews to our Dropbox, and we will sort the images for you. This can include optionally narrowing down the selection for you, removing less successful shots, cropping and adjusting the colour, brightness and contrast to make your images look their best. Any photographer will know how time consuming this process can be, especially during peak times. We have many years of experience of doing this for our own highly successful photographic studio. We then provide the catalog for you to download.

Each catalog costs £25 +VAT, and can include up to 250 images. Each additional 100 images in the catalog will be charged at £5 +VAT. Each catalog can contain multiple shoots.

Note that wedding photography incurs a £20 +VAT surcharge per wedding to account for the wide variety of different images and proportionally greater labour involved.