What is the Difference between Photo Retouching and Editing?

Photo manipulations can sometimes be complex for people who don’t know the difference between photo retouching and editing. The reason for editing or retouching photos depends on the customers you do business with.

There are many techniques involved in these methods of photography that are meant to impress their customers. So what is the Difference between Photo Retouching and editing?

The main differences between photo retouching and editing are duration used, techniques involved in the process and customers targeted. These differences are visible for those involved in photo services.

These two integral concepts are important for those interested in photography and image editing. It allows you to be able to differentiate one photo concept from the other.

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In this article, we will talk about photo retouching, photo editing, techniques involved in both concepts and what differentiates one from the other.

What is Photo Retouching?

Photo retouching refers to the elimination of digital imperfections from images and it includes tone and correction, sight circles removal, brightness enhancement and saturation.

Photo retouching processes involve airbrushing which implies that some elements are removed from the background or integrating new elements which were not in the photo albinito. Photo Retouching comes in two major types, they include standard and premium retouching.

What Is Photo Retouching

Standard photo retouching provides a detailed package and exclusive removal of unwanted elements. The time for this type of photo removal is between five to ten minutes. However, when discussing standard photo retouching, it is done to remove vignette, tone, small blemishes and tone correction. Also, it takes more time when using this type of photo retouching.

Categories of photo retouching

While premium offers professional photo retouching services like teeth whitening, hair changing  photomontage and other complex image retouching features.

Categories of photo retouching

Asides from the different types of photo retouching, there are various categories of photo retouching, which are :

Basic retouching

This category of photo retouching takes a few minutes to Finalize because you are retouching a few elements. It involves covering small gaps without tampering with the original picture. This category involves Correcting colours, removing hairs, pimples and scars.

Basic retouching

Advanced Retouching

This takes more time than basic retouching, however, it is more detailed because it works with Ecommerce products. This retouching involves comprehensive retouches like removing blemishes, Adjusting contrast, Slimming edits and background cleaning.

Advanced Retouching

Extensive retouching

This is used when a photo needs many corrections. It refers to extensive changes carried out to every part of the picture which may take a while to complete. It involves Restoring damaged pictures, Correcting Garma, whitening teeth, composing images and retouching picture backgrounds.

Importance of photo retouching for ecommerce businesses

The importance of photo retouching for ecommerce business are many, and they include :

Importance of photo retouching for ecommerce businesses

Brand building

Using images to build a brand is essential for all businesses that want to thrive. With photos retouching, eCommerce businesses can focus on a style to create better brand awareness. When this is done, they can be confident that their customers will appreciate their product’s.

Greater product sales

A very important factor for photo retouching is to increase the qualities of photos. Most businesses don’t want inferior or blurred pictures to show their products and services.

Using good retouching applications changes the overall complexion of the image to appeal better to the public. Top food centres like McDonald’s employ quality image managers who produce high-quality photos to increase sales.

Improves reputation and credibility

A major benefit of photo retouching especially for startups is that it helps achieve a better reputation because according to the latest statistics, 48% of online viewers find it easier to trust a business with better photos. Retouching your photos professionally makes your images look inviting and real.

Photo intensive projects are performed easier

Some businesses rely on photos to sell their products, and those in this line of business need a regular supply of good images.

More than 75% of customers believe that the quality of photos is very important before they can buy.

Excellent social media strategy

Social media has taken the space of the Internet, with over 76% having various social media accounts from Snapchat, Facebook to Twitter.

When you maturely retouch your photos attract more customers and brands to your social media accounts.

What is Photo Editing?

Photo editing is a photography procedure that fixes the light, edits digital photos and crops out some signature touches to your images. Photo editing refers to when editors alter photos to give them the desired result.

It involves a complex method where different methods are used to make a photo better by making necessary adjustments. Many photo edits pictures involve manual edits while some use automated tools. You can do photo editing offline on photographs, postures and other necessary designs.

What is Photo Editing

There are many terms photo edits are known for, they include? Picture editing, post-picture processing, pictures manipulation, photoshopping and image enhancement.

Photo editing has numerous benefits which help you get a great picture that appeals to you and your viewers. Many photographers use their styles and designs. When discussing Ecommerce, photo editing is very important because the quality of the product image has an effect on sales and how people view their market.

Statistics have proved that top-notch photos sell faster and help build trust between customers and eCommerce owners. While considering avenues to photo edits, there are complicated ways and easy ways.

Some photo editing techniques available

Though many people find it easy using most photo editing techniques, many still have challenges when using advanced features to edit their photos. Let’s look at some photo editing techniques available.

photo editing techniques

1. Straighten

This involves Adjusting the horizons of the photo. It is a simple way to make your photo sit well.

2. Cropping

This is also known as trimming as it involves trimming a  part of the picture to enhance the composition and draw people’s attention.

3. Resize

When you use this photo editing technique you adjust the dimensions of your picture to make it fit perfectly.

4. Sharpen

This deals perfectly with the enhancement of the image edges. Sharpening photos ensure that your picture quality is excellent and removes all blurred elements.

5. Noise reduction

An important photo editing technique involves smoothing your images by reducing their pixels. This is a professional way of editing your photo to your taste.

6. White balance

White balance involves adding the right colour to your image. It means putting light on your photo to draw the viewers.

7. Clipping paths

This technique allows you to distinguish the image part that’s opaque and transparent. You can do this by extracting an element from the photo without blemish.

Portrait correction

It refers to complexion touch-ups and picture enchantments. This editing technique should be done appropriately to make sure that your pictures remain original.

8. Drop and reflection shadow

You can use this photo editing technique to make and adjust shadows in your image.

9. Special effects edits

This is a loose term in photo editing which refers to animation integration and various weather conditions like rain, snow and fogs.

10. Adjust text and visuals

You can use this to add some overlays and manipulate some elements already present in your photo.

11. Photo stitching

This involves putting two images together to make viewers feel like they are shot in the same place.

12. Photo masking and Layers

It is the process of keeping and showing some specific parts of an image. Lens correction. This reduces the effects the lens has on the actual quality of the image.

13. Colour adjustments

You can change the colour of an image or element of a photo.

You should also know that there are two types of photo editing, they are Pixel editing and parametric editing:

14. Pixel photo editing

Also known as pixel-level editing which involves altering an image at the pixel stage. Be informed that pixel-level editing makes permanent changes to your photo.

That’s why many editors and photographers consider it a destructive type of photo editing. Thus, it is very difficult to undo changes made by this level of editing.

Furthermore, pixel photo editing permits you to make very appropriate and precise edits unlike its contemporary. Photo edits like CMYK colour modes can only be done by this kind of photo editing.

15. Parametric Image editing

Also called PIE , this photo editing doesn’t edit pixels of a photo, however, it deals with more basic photo edits. It isn’t considered a destructive photo editing type because its alterations can be adjusted. However, you can’t perform all edit types using this photo edit type.

Many professional photographers recommend starting photo edits with PIE before completing them with pixel-level edits.

What Is The Difference Between Photo Retouching And Editing?

Though looking at both concepts at the surface level, it seems they are the same. However, from an expert’s view, they are different. Let’s look at the differences between Photo Retouching and photo editing.

Firstly, the elements involved in photo editing includes colour adjustment, exposure, cropping and background editing. But for photo retouching, the basic elements are blemish removal, digital makeup, enhancing facial features and objects removal.

What is the Difference between Photo Retouching and Editing

Moreover, editing an image usually takes a few minutes depending on the editing technique you are using and effects. However, for photo retouching to be complete, you require around 20 minutes or more depending on requirements.

Also, photo editing is used especially by Ecommerce stores to adjust and enhance their product. But for photo retouching, its usage is more for industrial purposes and can be used for wedding pictures, prom pictures and other social engagements.

Another important difference is that photo retouching is used mostly to enhance pictures sharpness, edit better exposure level and cropping. But for retouching, you integrate elements, change backgrounds and embellish portraits.

Also, photo retouching is mostly done by experts because the techniques require expertise. However, it is easy to use photo editing software and learn them.


Photo retouching and editing are important concepts in photography that we have discussed thoroughly in this article. They have some similar concepts on the surface, but they are still different.

We have shown the difference between photo retouching and editing, hope you gained a lot.

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