Graduation Photography: When to Touch-Up

Graduation Photography is big business and if you do it well, then you can actually make quite a comfortable living from it. One of the most important things to learn is when you should top up and when you should leave the images as they are. This will require some careful thought so that you don't risk upsetting anyone.

Graduation photographs should help your clients remember the day that they graduated when they look back many years later. You don't want to affect their memories by making bad decisions when it comes to touching up the photographs.

Digital photography is wonderful because it makes the process of touching up so easy. As soon as you've finished taking photos of the Graduation, you will then be able to load them onto your computer and touch them up. Touching the photos up with photo editing software, such as Photoshop or The Gimp, is very easy. There is, however, a difference when making the photo look better and touching someones face up.

Removing Pimples

A general rule of thumb should be to touch up and remove anything in the photos which isn't normally there. If you notice that your client has any pimples or scratches on their face, then you might want to remove them automatically. By the time your client picks up his graduation photos, then there's probably a good chance that he will of forgotten he had a pimple.


When it comes to birthmarks, the question can be much more confusing. The only thing that you will be able to do in this case is ask the clients themselves to find out whether or not they want the birthmark removed. Quite often people will want freckles and other small birth marks to remain in the photos. If there are any large birthmarks that people really don't like, then they might want to have these removed digitally. It's never a good idea to try and decide whether the birthmarks should be removed without first asking the client.


If you're not sure about anything, then you should ask. The only way you will be able to find out whether or not your clients want the birthmarks or pimples removed is to ask their opinion. Asking for advice is the only real way for you to find out whether or not you should touch the photos up or leave them as they are. Sometimes natural photos are preferable and other times a touched up photo will be much more popular.

Removing birthmarks and pimples in digital photos is very easy, and as long as you do a professional job, the results shouldn't be noticeable. If your client isn't sure, offer to mock up a sample so that they know what the finished photo would look like.

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