A Before & After from Photoshop Retouching

by dav.d

I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop since about 1995. That’s a long time. I remember when new features were added that revolutionized retouching. In many cases it makes things easier, but we are still doing the same thing.

What is the most common retouching that I or other photographers will do? We typically perfect skin, fix flyaway hair, and we do a little bit of nip and tuck. Here is a Before & After of yours truly.

A Before & After in Photoshop

In this photograph I have replace my eyes from another photograph. I have soften my skin. I’ve reduced some wrinkles or “experience lines.” I’ve painted some light onto my eyes to brighten them. I even sharpened the eyes. I removed some flyaway hair. I should arm myself with hair spray to fix fly away hair. It would save me so much time!

Does everyone need Photoshop? That can be a personal question. I ask clients what kind of retouching they would like. In 95% of the cases, basic touchups can be done and it doesn’t take too long. However, there are 5% of my photography where I will spend 15 minutes to an hour on one single photograph.

How do I charge for retouching? In most cases, I will retouch with a goal of making people look their best. I won’t ever show a client what I have done. That could devastate someone. For commercial projects I will charge by the hour.

No one needs to know that I removed hundreds of wrinkles. I removed 3 chins. And someone had more zits than a teenage rock band.


In only one case did I have a client ask to see the before photograph. They had a hard time believing that I didn’t go overboard. When they saw the original next to the retouched photograph they realized I keep things realistic.

I often joke that we know we went too far in Photoshop is when people comment that you have let yourself go, when they see you in real life.

And to end on a fun note, here is another selfie.

dav.d selfie at work
dav.d selfie at work

I am sure I need to find another hobby or project during this quarantine. I have shot a number of selfies just for practice and because I keep changing my hair color.

Behind the scenes of a good selfie

“The secret to a good selfie is a tripod, great lighting, and some Photoshop.”


Even better than a selfie? Hire me for your headshot. I do a great job.

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dav.d photo
dav.d is a portrait photographer based in Utah.