5 Common Mistakes while doing Fashion Retouching

When it comes to retouching fashion photos, it is essential that you master the retouching techniques. Even the most simple-looking images can become disastrous if the retouching is bad. 

Newbies often think that retouching is just using the tools to beautify images. And they proceed to watch tutorials on photo retouching websites or Youtube to fix imperfections on the images quickly. While this is a “Quick-fix” method, it is not advisable to follow multiple workflows. 

Here are a few common mistakes beginners make while doing fashion photo retouching. 

Retouching Overkill!

This concept is brought out on the entire page. Well, don’t blame me. Extreme photo retouching is one of the most commonly committed mistakes by fashion retouchers around the world. It is because, when people think of fashion photos, the first thing that comes to their mind is beauty and perfection. So newbies tend to use all the techniques and tools available. 

The standard advice is to retouch the image with a vision in your head. Do not remove all the details. It is the details that make the images eye-catchy. Retain the natural freckles on the face, wrinkles on apparel, beauty spots, etc. Eventually, retouch the entire image and not just the face, hair, or eyes(particularly).


Excessive sharpness is a common rookie mistake. The sharpening tool, when used wisely, can be extremely handy. It improves images by making them look three-dimensional. A little clarity in the eyes may truly bring the viewer into the gaze of your model. However, over-sharpening makes your subject look strange.

Over-sharpening is usually applied to the eyes, but it can also be applied to the entire image. As a result, it makes the image look super unrealistic. As a result, halos, artefacts, and unpleasant noises are formed. Such irregularities can be avoided by adjusting the camera settings and shooting angle.


You call yourself a high-end fashion photo retoucher but cannot control yourself to blur the skin…..better hold your horses. Popular magazines and image publishers reject blurred photos outright. Especially the Gaussian blur tool does not yield desired effects. Keep in mind that you are not creating a porcelain doll with your photo retouching service. The more realistic your subject looks, the more interest you generate with your skills.

Blurring erases human-like features such as facial hair, freckles, moles, etc., on the model. Viewers will have a hard time focusing on the model and might lead to rejection of your client’s brand. Utilize the Dodge and burn technique to enhance your subject’s skin. It is time taking but will produce beautiful results. 

Professional photo retouchers do not edit on smartphones and call it a day. It is normal to spend more time on the skin when it comes to fashion photo retouching. The task becomes easier with practice and knowledge of different skin types and complexions.

Overdoing skin

The subject’s skin should not lose its texture, color, and feel. Although images are 2-D, retouching the skin with the right tools makes the model lifelike to the right extent. 

Skin smoothing should be done with attention to detail. You start with the intention to diminish blemishes but instead end up turning the model into a wax doll. While smooth skin is desirable, do not retouch the skin to cover up the pores. The photographer and the makeup artists take care of the model’s appearance. Fortunately, this reduces efforts towards deciding how to retouch the subject and the image. All you have to do is to preserve the natural beauty with enhancements here and there. 

People respect identity. We must not edit out features such as bone structure, facial features, and skin complexion of the model unless mentioned by clients. So, do not overthink and keep it simple. 

Color and Saturation

We can instantly tell when a photo’s color balance is off. It could be a result of the contrasting colors or the lack of color saturation. The job of a photo retoucher is to balance colors in photos so that they look stunning. This portrays the skin as natural, the skies as bluer, the white as whiter, and so on.

Color balancing refers to the accurate representation of colors. Grey is neutral, white looks white, black looks black, and for the rest of the colors. Improper color management can take down detail, add distractions, and alter the intended mood and feel. A professional fashion photo retouching is a delicate blend of warm tones and blue and green hues.

Correcting and changing the exposure with the proper contrast results in more appealing skin tones that fit the clothing. Keep in mind that skin should not look over-retouched or unrealistic.  Color correction in photographs can be done with different techniques, so find your perfect tool and begin editing. Color grading can be a little trendy, but when colors are too vibrant or saturated in situations where they aren’t needed, it affects the overall appearance of the photo.

The calibration of the editing screen is the most crucial and important feature. Calibrating your monitor will help you in understanding how the colors show up on the screen.  Some of us forget to calibrate our screens, which has an impact on our color correction decisions. And when the final image is printed or published online, our displays let us down.

Read – Top 5 Product Photo Retouching Process & Techniques in Simple Steps


Professional photo retouchers have their own unique workflows. And as a newbie, if you try to grasp their techniques, it affects your creativity. Their tried and tested methods might not suit your workflow or your requirements. So, make your mistakes while working on the images, and learn from them. 

Do have a look at other fashion photo retouching experts to learn the use of the tools available. But make sure you work on the images with your personalized touch. The more you retouch, the farther you are moving from reality. As you practice more and understand fashion photo retouching, you become a master. 

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By digi5studios

Digi5 Studios is one of the Best Photo retouching service provider company and offering high-quality photo editing for bulk eCommerce product photos, automotive photos, Fashion and beauty images etc.