Do Wedding Photographers Retouch Photos? Proper Guideline

Wedding photography is a cherished tradition that captures the most precious moments of a couple’s special day. To ensure these memories are preserved in their finest form, couples often seek professional photo editing and retouching services. But do wedding photographers typically include photo retouching in their packages?

The answer varies, as different photographers and agencies have their own policies. Some offer comprehensive packages that include both photography and post-production editing, while others provide only the raw image files, leaving the retouching to the client’s discretion.

Do Wedding Photographers Retouch Photos

Is Photo Retouching Included in the Wedding Package? 

Whether photo retouching is included in your wedding photography package depends on the specific package and photographer you choose. While basic editing is almost always provided, the extent of retouching can vary greatly.

Some photographers include light skin retouching, blemish removal, and basic color/exposure adjustments in their standard packages. However, many consider these “retouching” services as extras that come at an additional cost. Higher-end packages from premium photographers tend to bundle in more extensive retouching.

For example, ShootDotEdit includes the photo retouching option in their Rollover and unlimited plan. On the other hand, Eivans classic package ($2,099) doesn’t include the photo retouching option, however, the Expressions package ($3,799) does include the editing option! 

It’s crucial to review what is explicitly stated as included when comparing package offerings. Don’t assume any level of retouching beyond basic color/exposure edits unless specified. Clarify with your photographer what their package covers to avoid surprise fees later.

Levels of Retouching Wedding Photographers Provide 

The specific levels and types of retouching services offered can differ from photographer to photographer, but generally fall into two main categories:

Basic Adjustments 

At a minimum, virtually all wedding photographers provide some degree of basic raw image editing. This usually encompasses:

  • Color correction: Sometimes, the lighting on your wedding day might not be ideal. Color correction helps ensure your photos reflect the true vibrancy and mood of the occasion.
  • Exposure adjustments: Photos can sometimes appear too dark or too light straight out of the camera. Exposure adjustments help achieve the perfect balance and bring out the details in your photos.
  • White balance correction: This ensures the colors in your photos appear natural and true-to-life. Have you ever seen photos where people look a little orange or blue? White balance correction fixes that!
  • Cropping and straightening: Sometimes, a slight crop or straightening can make a world of difference in terms of composition and balance in your photos.

These fundamentals help polish photos straight out of the camera. But they don’t actually “retouch” or manipulate images beyond enhancing what the lens captured.

More Extensive Retouching

For couples wanting a more refined, editorial look for their photos, many photographers offer enhanced retouching services like:

  • Skin smoothing: Even the most flawless skin can have a blemish or two. Skin smoothing helps minimize the appearance of minor imperfections, leaving you looking your absolute best in your wedding photos.
  • Blemish removal: Those flyaways, stray hairs, or a sudden zit can be banished with blemish removal.
  • Background cleanup: Sometimes, the background in your photos might have unwanted elements like stray chairs or photobombers. Background cleanup helps remove these distractions and make your photos look even more polished.
  • Light manipulation: This can involve techniques like dodging and burning to selectively emphasize certain areas of a photo or create a more dramatic effect.

These detailed edits require technical skill and great care, especially for skin retouching. Heavier editing also increases turnaround time for final delivery.

What If the Wedding Photography Package Doesn’t Include Photo Retouching? 

If you have your heart set on retouched images but your selected wedding package doesn’t cover editing beyond basic adjustments, you have a couple of options:

Ask the photographer for retouching add-ons – Most photographers offer retouching services even if not bundled into their standard packages. You can inquire about pricing for either full retouching on all images or just having your very favorite shots enhanced.

The drawback is photographers tend to charge premium rates for editing, as it’s very time-consuming work. Their per-image pricing can quickly become expensive.

Use Online Photo Retouching Services – In recent years, there you will find offshore and onshore companies offering professional retouching at much lower price points compared to working directly with your photographer.

Many specialize specifically in wedding photo editing, from basic exposure adjustments to elaborate beauty retouching. You simply upload your images and their team of editors retouch them per your specifications.

Here are some tips for choosing an online service:

  • Read Reviews and Testimonials: Before diving in, take some time to research different online photo retouching services. Read reviews from past clients to get a sense of the service’s quality, customer service, and turnaround time.
  • Compare Portfolios: Most online retouching services showcase their work on their website. By browsing their portfolios, you can get a feel for their editing style and see if it aligns with your vision for your wedding photos.
  • Test the Waters: Some services offer free trials or allow you to send them a sample photo for editing. This is a fantastic way to test the waters and see if their editing style matches your preferences before committing to a full package.

By following these tips, you can find a reputable online photo retouching service that will deliver stunning results at a price that fits your budget.


Photo retouching is an integral part of the wedding photography experience, and as your trusted photographer, I’m committed to delivering images that exceed your expectations. Remember, your wedding photos are priceless treasures that will be cherished for a lifetime, and it’s my honor to ensure they capture the magic of your special day in the most beautiful way possible. If you have any further questions or need guidance in choosing the right retouching services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help you make the most of your wedding photography experience. Wishing you a lifetime of love, happiness, and unforgettable memories.

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