Photo Editing for Photographers is an essential part of the photography workflow. A skilled photographer knows how to use the latest photography retouching tools to enhance their image. 

Are you a professional photographer? Then, this photo retouching for photographers guide is for you! Read on to learn the types of photographers, the importance of photo editing, and the various techniques used. 

Let’s start with who exactly a photographer is in the next section.

Who is a Photographer?

Photographers capture subjects in commercial-quality photographs. They create images using their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills. 

Photographers tell stories via the images they capture. There are various types of photographers in the market, including: 

  • Food Photographer
  • Travel Photographer
  • Sports Photographer
  • Family Photographer
  • Portrait Photographer
  • Fashion Photographer
  • Newborn Photographer
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Landscape Photographer
  • Journalism Photographer
  • Real Estate Photographer
  • Architectural Photographer

All photographers need photography editing regardless of their profession. Let’s see some of the reasons why photography retouching is important. 

Why is Photo Editing Important for Photographers?

Why should you, as a photographer, edit your images? You can use photo editing tools for photographers like Adobe Photoshop to transform an ordinary photograph into a fantastic photo. 

Some of the reasons photo retouching for photographers is important include the following:

  • It helps the photographer build a personal style. 
  • It’s a second chance to recover botched photographs. 
  • Fix any imperfections that occur during the photoshoot. 
  • The photographer can tell their story better by adjusting the elements of the photo. 

Benefits of Photo Editing for Photographers

Photography editing is an essential part of the photography process. Professional photographers can edit their images themselves or outsource to a photo editing company. 

The benefits of photo retouching for photographers include:

  • Increase your credibility in the photography industry.
  • Output high-quality images to increase your client list.
  • Stand out from other photographers with a unique editing style. 
  • Remove unavoidable spots, shadows, unwanted shadows, and more. 

Furthermore, there are many benefits of photo editing for photography studios too. For example, a photography studio has many photographers working together. Photo editing helps them keep a uniform photo style that represents the studio.

Photo Editing Techniques Used by Photographers

What photo editing techniques do photographers use? Professional photographers use several basic and advanced techniques. Furthermore, there are various styles of photo editing a photographer must know. 

Some basic photo editing techniques used for photography editing and retouching include the following:

  • Clipping Path
  • Image Masks
  • Color Correction
  • Shadow Creation
  • Ghost Mannequin
  • Photo Retouching
  • Photo Manipulation
  • Background Editing

Clipping Path for Photographers

Before - Photo Retouching with Clipping Path Service
Figure 01: A Model Before Clipping Path
After - Photo Retouching with Clipping Path Service
Figure 02: A Model After Clipping Path and Retouching

Photographers use the clipping path technique to isolate an object from a photo. 

For example, if a photographer wants to remove an unwanted person from their photo, they can do so using the clipping path. 

Another popular reason photographers use clipping path is background removal. Photographers can remove and replace unwanted backgrounds from their photographs. 

Image Masking for Photographers

A Scenery Before - Image Masking Services
Figure 03: A Scenery Before – Image Masking
A Scenery After - Image Masking Services
Figure 04: A Scenery After – Image Masking

Photographers use Photoshop Image Masking to non-destructively hide/reveal parts of their photos. 

For example, a photographer can use image masks for selective, technical edits like combining two images (to replace the sky). 

Image masking is similar to a clipping path but more powerful. It can also be used to remove backgrounds, but for more complex objects like hair and fur. 

Color Correction for Photographers

Photo color correction is an important part of the photographer’s editing process. Photographers can use color correction to make their photos appear natural and unfiltered. 

For example, a photographer may have clicked their image on a cloudy day. In that case, color correction can make the sky look livelier. 

Shadow Creation for Photographers

Photo shadow creation is a technique that photographers can use to make their photos look more realistic. Shadows give depth and volume to the subject, which adds realism to the photograph. 

Photographers can also create shadows for more dramatic effects like adding mystery and giving a sense of space. Therefore, shadow creation for photographers is essential. 

Ghost Mannequin for Photographers

Product photographers uses the ghost mannequin effect to remove the mannequin/model from an apparel photo. 

The photographer first takes multiple photos of the product on a mannequin/model. Then, using the clipping path and other techniques, the model/mannequin is removed. As a result, the photographer can showcase the product without the distracting mannequin. 

Photo Retouching for Photographers

Image retouching is the bread and butter of a photographer. Photo retouching helps the photographer eliminate unwanted elements, smoothen skin, adjust the tone, fix the frame, and many more.

Basically, any advanced, high-level photo enhancement is retouching. So, photo retouching goes beyond basic photo editing and adjustment. 

Photo Manipulation for Photographers

Before Photo Manipulation Service - Professional Stylization and Background Changing
Before Photo Manipulation: Professional Stylization and Background Changing
After Photo Manipulation Service - Professional Stylization and Background Changing
After Photo Manipulation: Professional Stylization and Background Changing

Photographers who want to change parts of the image must master photo manipulation

Photo manipulation is an extraordinary skill for a photographer. They can manipulate images to create amazing scenes that tell imaginative stories. 

Background Editing for Photographers

Before - Merge Background Services
Figure 05: A Woman Before Background Editing
After- Merge Background Services
Figure 06: A Woman After Background Editing (Merged 2 Image)

Have you ever clicked the perfect photograph with an unwanted person in the background? If so, you will benefit from mastering background editing techniques. 

A photographer can easily replace a gray background with an attractive one. Also, they can remove distracting elements such as dirt. As a result, background editing is a simple but powerful tool in a photographer’s arsenal. 

History of Photo Editing by Photographers

The history of photo editing by photographers started in the early days of photography. 

In the past, photographers would manipulate the images manually using cropping, dodging, burning, and retouching. 

However, as digital photography advanced, so did digital photo editing tools. These photo editing tools have become easier to use and more sophisticated, allowing photographers to make the edits themselves. 

Today, digital photo editing is a fundamental part of digital photography. Photographers globally use tools like Adobe Photoshop to enhance their images and improve the visual impact of their photographs. 

What is the Future of Photo Editing for Photographers?

The future of photo editing for photographers is likely to be shaped by several factors. For example, advancements in technology, changing consumer preferences, and the rise of new photo editing tools and techniques will shape the future. Some of the key points shaping the future of photo editing for photographers include the following:

Artificial Intelligence: AI-based photo editing tools will become increasingly popular, helping photographers to automate many of the manual tasks of photo editing, like color correction, retouching, and object removal. 

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): AR and VR technologies will play a major role in the future of photo editing. Photographers will be able to create immersive and interactive photo experiences for their audiences using these emerging technologies.

Mobile Editing: As smartphones continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, mobile photo editing tools are likely to become more powerful and widely used, allowing photographers to edit and share their photos from anywhere, at any time. 

3D Imaging: 3D imaging technologies are likely to become more common in the future of photo editing, helping photographers create images with greater depth and dimensionality.

Overall, the future of photo editing for photographers looks bright, with new and exciting tools and technologies emerging all the time, and photographers can expect to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible with photo editing.

What is trending in the world of photography? Photographers have sophisticated camera equipment and post-processing tools to create amazing images. As a result, new, innovative photo trends come and go. 

The following are some of the most well-known photo editing trends among photographers:

  • Minimalism
  • Matte Finish
  • Moody Editing
  • Vibrant Colors
  • Film Simulation
  • Black and White

Photo Editing Skills Of a Photographer

What photo editing skills should photographers have? A photographer must understand the editing process to maximize the value of the photograph.

Some photo editing skills required of photographers include:

  • Raw Processing – Understand how to process raw image files to get the most detail.
  • Color Correction – Understand color theory, color grading, and color balance.
  • Retouching – Able to remove blemishes, imperfections, and unwanted elements.
  • Dodge and Burn – Able to understand tone to lighten or darken areas selectively.
  • Layers and Masking – Skilled in using layers and masks for non-destructive editing. 
  • Sharpening and Noise Reduction – Sharpen and reduce noise to improve quality. 
  • Composition and Cropping – Know how to place elements within an image. 

Photo Editing Tools Used by Photographers

Photographers use various photo editing tools to handle image post-processing. But, of course, it all depends on the photographer’s personal preference. For high-end photo manipulation, they prefer PC Photo Editing Software. On the other hand, Online Photo Editors and Mobile Photo Editing Apps help photographers with on-the-go editing.

However, some of the most popular photo editing tools used by photographers are:

  • Adobe Photoshop.
  • Adobe Lightroom.
  • DxO PhotoLab 4.
  • ON1 Photo RAW. 
  • Skylum Luminar AI.
  • Corel PaintShop Pro.

How Do Photographers Edit Images?

Taking photographs is an exciting job. However, many photographers find the image editing process. So, in this section, I describe the photo editing process used by photographers to edit like a pro. 

Step-by-Step Photo Editing Process for Photographers

Photographers can follow the ten-step process described below to edit their photographs professionally. 

  • Choose Your Photo Editing Software
  • Import Your Image
  • Crop and Straighten the Image
  • Remove Unwanted Elements
  • Correct and Adjust White Balance
  • Fix the Exposure of the Photograph
  • Adjust the Image’s Contrast 
  • Fix and Adjust the Color
  • Sharpen the Photograph
  • Export Your Photo


In conclusion, photo editing is an important part of the photography process. A good photographer understands how to click great photographs and edit them to improve the photo. 

If you are a photographer, I hope you understand the importance of photo editing in your career. You can gain more information by asking questions in the comments section. 

Finally, thank you so much for reading my article. I have tried to explain the various aspects of photo editing needed for photographers. Please share this information with all who will benefit! 

Photo Editing for Photographers FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Photo Retouching for Photographers. 

Why should photographers edit their photos?

The best way a photographer can leave their stamp on their photographs is through editing. Furthermore, photographers can develop an editing style that makes the photos feel unique and make people know about their work. Thus, photo editing is a good way to brand the photographer, especially when they are starting out.

Do photographers edit their own photos?

The vast majority of photographers edit their photos to correct and remove small imperfections. Unlike photo manipulation, photo editing just enhances the photograph. So, photographers may work with pro editors to make advanced manipulations.

What do professional photographers use to edit photos?

Professional photographers specialize in a couple of photo editing tools for image post-processing. They use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom mainly due to compatibility and ease of use. Lightroom is software built to handle a professional photographer’s workflow efficiently.

Should I edit my RAW or JPEG file?

If possible, you should always edit the RAW files. RAW image files carry more data like color information and other details. As a result, editing RAW photos gives you more information to work with.

Can Lightroom handle my RAW photographs?

Yes, of course, Lightroom can import and edit RAW files. You do not have to worry about Lightroom’s capabilities for image post-processing.

This page was last edited on 1 February 2023, at 2:18 pm