10 (Easiest) Ways On How to Become a Photo Retoucher

Female retoucher working at home or office
A photo retoucher’s job is to improve the quality of an image using different technologies. Editing the background, adjusting the skin texture, and removing unnecessary items in the picture are some of the main tasks. In today’s industry where digital images are deeply valued not just for personal purposes but also for business, a photo retoucher is highly appreciated. Multiple companies are looking for a photo retoucher that would give the photo a final touch before it is released to the public. On becoming the best photo retoucher, few factors need to be considered. If you want to break into this industry, you need to prepare yourself. Here are the following tips that will teach you how to become a photo retoucher. There are two primary things that you need to consider: building your online portfolio and building experience.

How Can I Use Photo Retouching Skills to Improve Skin Toning in Photoshop?

Understanding how to proficiently adjust skin tones in Photoshop is an essential step in enhancing your editing skills in photography. By successfully refining skin tones, eradicating flaws, and creating a perfect complexion through a Photoshop skin toning tutorial, you will be able to greatly elevate the quality of your photos. This unique skill can profoundly impact your client base.

Building Your Portfolio

  1. Choose your niche.

Before anything else, you must choose your niche in photo retouching. If you want to become one of the best photo retouchers in the industry, you should have a forte. For instance, if you are interested in fashion photography, numerous internet communities provide unedited fashion photos that you can practice. But if you want to master photo restoration, you can ask for your relatives’ ancestry photos that you can restore. Damaged images in black and white are common projects for photo restoration. Some photo retouchers prefer to work in the advertising industry. For that, you can try and edit free stock photos in changing the background, spotting any flaws in the product or services, the model, or simply enhancing the photos to appeal to the target audience. Mastering a niche instead of trying to learn all things at once will give you a bigger chance of landing in a good job that suits you well. Beautiful young retoucher working with desktop computer
  1. Compile your best photos.

The first step to building a good portfolio is to compile all the photos that you have edited before. Examine each of the photos before putting them in your portfolio. Determine the dominating style that would define your artistry. In the world of photo retouching industry, a portfolio is more important than your resume. Your client would most likely ask for sample photos to see if you have the skill, or if your style matches their taste. Hence, before looking for a job or workload, make sure that you have a compilation of photos ready to present to your clients.
  1. Ask for old photos.

If you don’t have enough photos to edit, you can always ask for old photos of your friends or families. Practice removing blemishes while keeping the skin in its natural look or changing the background appropriately. You can also look up pictures on the internet, edit using prominent figures, and practice your skills every day until you can build your portfolio.
  1. Join an organization.

Your portfolio can start when you join an organization. When you are a member of an organization, you will gain opportunities to edit and retouch photos for your school projects or assignments. Your senior will most likely teach you techniques that you cannot learn inside the classroom, especially when doing fieldwork. Aside from that, your experience in doing different projects will give you a glimpse of what’s it like to be a photo retoucher working in the industry.
  1. Ask for feedback.

When working on your portfolio, keep in mind that you are not doing it for yourself but your clients. Hence, it would help if you listened to the feedback of other people. Allow them to see and examine your portfolio and ask for honest feedback. It is best to ask for feedback from an experienced photo retoucher. They can tell you what points to emphasize and tips to beautify your portfolio. You will need as much information that you can incorporate to improve the content of your portfolio. That way, you’ll be able to improve what is necessary for your portfolio to look presentable and appeal to your potential clients in the long run.  
Expanding Experience
  1. Volunteer your services.

Considering that you are still starting, consider volunteering your services. There are lots of organizations that are looking for volunteer photo retouchers. Connect with them and experience real fieldwork with retouching photos. If they liked your output, the head of the organization may recommend you to corporate companies that are looking for a photo retoucher to hire.
  1. Start with an internship.

If volunteering doesn’t appeal to you, consider a formal course instead. Head straight to the office of your school’s career services. They can help you in arranging an internship with a company that could make use of your talent. Interning for a company will help you to gain experience that you can use in the field soon enough and essential industry contacts. Beautiful blond female designer in office talking cellphone
  1. Apply for an entry-level job.

There are numerous publications or advertising agencies that are in dire need of a photo retoucher. Once you’ve completed your internship and have decided that you are ready to break into the industry, you can start working. An entry-level job will help you to learn from experienced professionals and your seniors. The company may even promote you into a senior position the longer you work for them.
  1. Enroll in an online course.

Expanding your experience means you are willing to learn and continually improve your skills. Hence, it would be best if you considered enrolling in an online course. There are lots of courses online that will teach you everything you need in retouching a photo. From fixing a distracting background using Photoshop, enhancing the model’s complexion for a fashion campaign, restoring damaged photos, recreating missing pieces of water-damaged photos, to changing the entire background of a picture. The possibilities are endless. You will learn about high-end retouching techniques that professionals are accustomed to and the latest software that is ideal to use in different situations. Aside from that, the course will allow you to explore more of your talent. Recognize what you can and can’t do, and how you can enhance it. The goal of an online course is to develop your basic skills to gain ‘experience’ through worksheets and hands-on activities before you are handed a real job in the industry.
  1. Graduate in related courses.

It’s nice when you know you want to become a photo retoucher when you’re still young. It allows you to choose a related course that can enhance your skills. Also, employers are most likely to hire applicants with degrees and proper education. Hence, consider choosing a photo editing related courses when you get into college. Your experience in the university will also help you to prepare yourself when you finally break into the industry of retouching and editing photos.


Becoming the best photo retoucher is not as easy as it sounds. It is not simply editing photos that anyone can do at home. It is a profession that needs continuous improvement, the latest software, and new techniques to follow. Consider the tips mentioned above on how to become a photo retoucher as it can help you set yourself on the right path towards becoming one of the highly-recognized photo retouchers in the industry.

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