This classic opening by Jamie and Adam to the television show “Mythbusters” says it all. We’re professionals. We may not all make our full-time living at this, but we do take this seriously; this isn’t just We even shake our heads at people who claim they’re experienced and skilled photographers, but can’t do anything better than a second rate selfie in the bathroom (with duck lips, nonetheless) and refuse to learn any better.
Do we know makeup? Well, maybe some of you women do, but probably not as good as the MUA who does it full-time. What about hair? I get my hair styled by Gillette, so I know I’m out of my element, there! Wardrobe? For fun shoots maybe, but for anything important, I’m bringing in a pro. I’m like Johnny Cash – black goes well with most anything for me.
We have no problem bringing in anyone else, but as soon as someone mentions a retoucher, you can just watch photographers cringe. It’s like you just threatened to force them to only shoot in low-res JPEG for the rest of their lives.
Here is one of a few images that I recently got back from a retoucher (and was very happy with her work). Long story short, the problem I was having was that lens flare right where the door and the A-pillar meet. Removing lens flare from chrome is a PITA, so I farmed it out. The vintage effect, I could have done myself, but since it didn’t cost any extra, why not let the expert do it?
You know what our problem is as photographers? We have our spending priorities ALL WRONG. We’ll spend thousands on a camera, but we won’t spend a lousy $12 to take a picture from “aw, man! Why’d that [insert blemish name] have to be there” to “yeah! That’s the shot!!” Of course, we’re the same people who are determined that our images are worth hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, but balk at paying a model…well, anything.
I’m not saying that you have to call in an expert for every image you have. Heck, people don’t call photographers in for every shot they want – just the ones they want to have that extra oomph. So when you have shots that you need for a client, or you want for you and want to have that extra “pop”, accept that you aren’t the best at Photoshop (and if you’re a photographer, you aren’t,) stick the crowbar in your wallet, and hire a pro!
Hiring a retoucher doesn’t make you any less of a photographer, and may just make your photos stand out that little bit more!