Photo Retoucher

Correct and alter photographic images to achieve the best results.
picture of Photo Retoucher

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$26,000 – $104,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Photo Retouchers do?

Not all of us can look like Gisele or Taye Diggs—and even they occasionally look bad in photographs. For the non-photogenic and the just-rolled-out-of-bed celebrity, a Photo Retoucher is a savior. Photo Retouchers help fix the mistakes of a bad photo shoot by using specific computer programs, like Photoshop and InDesign, to alter the final shot.

As a Photo Retoucher, you might be a Photographer yourself or just part of the photography team. Either way, your job starts after the pictures are taken. That’s when you fix things like a subject’s red eye or a shadow that’s fallen over a face.

You might remove unattractive backgrounds, improve lighting, or even out skin tone. You could even remove flyaway hair pieces, or make someone look thinner or more toned than they actually are.

Each service takes a different level of skill and amount of time, and the more complex the job, the more you’re able to charge. The amount of work you do depends on what your client wants. For example, something like a middle school photograph will probably only require you to remove red eye, while a wedding picture or a magazine photo will have you spending hours making your subjects look perfect.

Make sure to really hone your skills as nothing is more obvious (or tacky-looking) than a bad retouching job.

Should I be a Photo Retoucher?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • How to become a Photo Retoucher

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Photo Retoucher-related education!
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