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Should My Headshot be Retouched?

Retouching is a touchy subject (no pun intended). An improperly retouched headshot can look fake, false, or worse it can make the picture look like someone else entirely.

Since the move to digital, photographers have used retouching more prominently than during the days of film. A quick pass through Photoshop can fix dark shadows, clear up complexions, and remove unwanted wrinkles, skin-tags, freckles, moles… you name it!

And because retouching is now so common, completely unretouched photos look terrible in comparison. This is why I recommend light retouching on all headshots. But in moderation!

In my experience, it is best to remove only temporary imperfections–things like redness in the eyes, blemishes, stray hairs and the like. A rule of thumb is if it will be there three weeks from now, it should probably remain in the headshot.

Now having said that, it is completely acceptable to adjust wrinkles, lines, marks, scars, etc so that they match what you look like in person (sometimes lighting and/or clothing can accentuate imperfections in an unexpected way).

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