As someone who hasn’t always been a photographer and was thrown head-first into the world of industry terminology, I remember what it was like trying to decipher what the heck the photography community was talking about.

SOOC? RAW? Editing? Retouching? What does all of it mean?

So I’m here to help you understand some of this terminology when it comes to your wedding day!

Editing Versus Retouching

There are several differences when it comes to editing versus retouching. Most of this is outlined in your contract – but let’s be real, most folks aren’t going over that hand-dandy contract with a fine-toothed comb. So I’m here to demystify this for you!

I use several different programs for my process:

PhotoMechanic for culling (finding the best images to edit up – believe me, you don’t want to see every photo I’ve taken!)
Lightroom for basic adjustments
Photoshop for advanced retouching

What is editing when it comes to your photographs?

Editing means that I’ve used my signature style to edit your images. This includes color-correcting, changing the color temperature (warmer or cooler), adjusted the exposure, and I have cropped the image if I needed to.

Here are some examples of SOOC (a fun acronym for Straight Out Of Camera) and then edited with my style.

In both of the images above, I didn’t need to crop – but they are adjusted for white balance and exposure

Sometimes I’ll crop images as well in order to story-tell in a way that’s more visually appealing! In the image below, I also removed some of the hot-spots by the bride’s head (where there was sunlight), and then I also removed the tiki torch behind her and her dad.

What is retouching when it comes to your photographs?

When it comes to editing versus retouching, retouching is very different from editing. Think of editing like eating a fancy dinner. Retouching is like eating that fancy dinner and then having a super fancy presentation as well. You are happy with just the fancy dinner, right? But sometimes there needs to be a little extra oomph to make it snazzy.

So what is included when it comes to retouching?

  • Skin imperfections such as acne.
    This is super important to me. I had bad acne growing up so I want to make sure that for wedding day images, I got your back. Flare-ups happen unexpectedly and I know what a PITA that can be.
  • Removing people from public places.
    Like beaches. We’ll get rid of those looky-loos while you guys are cuddling ocean-side.
  • Removing distracting elements from photos.
    Like your videographer or my second shooter. Or a tiki torch coming out of someone’s head. Or other things that don’t belong in your photos (at my discretion).


What is not included in retouching?

  • Body-shaping.
    Look, you are beautiful the way you are. Distorting your body to represent a way that you think you should be is doing a disservice to yourself. And, let’s be real: I’m your photographer, not your photoshopping body re-shaper ūüėČ
  • Sunburn removal
    This is different than acne. It takes a TON of time to reduce sunburn in your wedding images – like- it’s really hard. Often times this is outside of my scope of expertise so it must be sent off to a professional retoucher. We can do this for you, but there is a fee of $25 per image to do so. So be sure to wear sunscreen on the days leading up to your wedding.
  • Fixing a bad makeup job.
    Ooops. I said it. If you want to look your best in your images, please hire a professional makeup artist who I recommend. I’ve worked with these professionals for¬†years¬†and am super familiar with their talent. If your auntie’s cousin wants to do your makeup for free, be sure they know what they’re doing, they are familiar with the humidity and heat of Hawaii, and they know how to blend lines.
  • Wardrobe malfunctions.
    Gals – please be sure to try on your bra with your wedding dress before your wedding day. Thinking of wearing tights under your TIGHT dress for that Haleakala sunrise wedding? Cool. Be sure the seam of those tights don’t show through your dress – because editing it out in post-production isn’t included. The same thing goes for fashion tape and shapewear.


At the end of the day, I’ve spent up to 3x the amount spent on your wedding editing your photographs (so if I photographed your 8-hour wedding, I’ve spent at least 16 hours editing your images). I take a ton of time and energy to make sure your photographs are the best I have to offer.

Want to see me get even more meticulous? Wait until our album date. We really dive into your images and make any extra changes we see fit so that way your album is exactly the way you envision it!

Questions? I’m here to answer them all!¬†

Other articles you may enjoy:

How to Officiate a Wedding

Should your Photographer Stay for the Reception?

Best Places for a Rehearsal Dinner in Maui

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *