How I Edit & Retouch Your Branding Photos

branding photography Dec 24, 2021

WorkStory has a three step formula for producing a successful outcome for our corporate and personal branding clients. They are:

  • 1) Pre-production planning
  • 2) The photo (or video) shoot
  • 3) Post processing

Our Photography Post Processing Workflow

Post production, which includes editing and retouching, is a vital step and where literally 1/3 of the magic happens! In this article, I’ll explain our photography post processing workflow and options you have to make sure your images become powerful visual communications for your brand.

Our post production process also involves three steps: 

  1. Culling
  2. Editing
  3. Retouching

Watch this video for an overview of the process.



Culling Your Photos

In a typical one-day Corporate or Personal Branding Photography shoot in the Spokane area, we’ll capture anywhere from 700 to 2000 photos! Whoa. That’s a lot! Who so many? Much of the time during your shoot will be spent testing lighting, testing out different backgrounds, trying different poses or capturing candid moments, which require us to take a lot of photos in order to end up with one really great one. 

Our clients typically don’t want to take the time to sort through all these images in order to find the great ones, so we do that for you. And that’s called culling. It takes several hours to go through your images and weed out the unusable images. Once we’ve narrowed them down to the best, we move on to step 2, editing.


Editing Your Photos

The editing process takes your photo from a raw file, which typically looks grey, lifeless and devoid of contrast to an ‘almost’ finished product. Digital editing today is equivalent to developing film in the darkroom back in the day. During the editing process we may adjust any number of things, including…

  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Color
  • Brightness
  • Shadows
  • Highlights
  • Crop

We can also create a tone and look specific to your brand during this phase. We’ll discuss that during your pre-production planning meeting before your shoot.


Here’s an example of raw “before” vs. the edited “after”.


photography post processing workflow - editing before and after


Retouching Your Photos

Retouching is the finishing touch. Not all images need retouching. If we’ve gotten everything as perfect as we can in-camera and processed the raw photo and end up with an image everyone is happy with, there’s no need to do anything more.


But sometimes we want to polish things up beyond what we could do in the previous two steps. If there’s a distracting tree branch or computer cords in the background we couldn’t physically remove, maybe there’s a blemish on the face we couldn’t cover with make-up, stray hairs, wrinkles in clothing, whatever might be distracting from the main focus of the image, we want to remove or disguise.


You’d be amazed what we can do in Photoshop. We’ve even made pregnant women look not pregnant, removed people from photos, changed background colors and more!


Here’s an example:

photography post processing workflow - retouching before and after


It’s a subtle difference, removing distracting elements from the background plus a few other touch-ups, but it really helps the viewer focus on the dentist and look ultra polished and professional.


Stay tuned for more articles about the editing and retouching process. As always, you can contact me with questions about the process for creating branded visual communications that help you sell your high end products and services or to book consultation.

If you’re a photographer looking for help developing your branding photography post processing workflow, check out my Business of Branding Photography Online Course.

Are you ready for your brand makeover? 

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