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I Hired Four Retouchers To Edit My Photo

Friday, June 18, 2021

This idea has been going around lately especially with Youtubers, but I thought it would be fun to try! I had four retouchers from Fiver retouch a portrait of mine taken by my good friend and amazing photographer, Sophia Lehmann.

As a little extra bonus, my boyfriend Nick got in on the fun and did his version of a retouch too. Keep in mind his photo experience is limited to when I make him take pictures for me, and he has no editing experience at all.

The Process

Fiver is a website where you can hire people online for a wide variety of tasks, many creative, for as little as $5. For this, there are retouchers who will work for anywhere from $5 to over $200, ranging from one picture to 10 or more.

I choose all people who were working for $5, sent them all the same photo with the same message, “please retouch as you see fit,” and waited to see what they came up with.

The most interesting part for me is seeing how these people interpreted what needed to be “corrected,” and

The Results

Here’s the original photo. I had an AWFUL sunburn from the weekend before that was peeling terribly. Full disclosure, Sophia had already retouched my shoulder because it was so bad.

Retouch One:

I have to say, I’m really partial to this first retouch. I love that she fluffed my hair up and kept my shoulder freckle while still smoothing out the burn. My favorite part though is that she didn’t overly smooth my skin out. She also kept my natural “pink” hue. It still feels like a portrait of me, and not overly done over.

Retouch Two

I like this retouch as well but looking at it compared to the first one, I think it falls a little flat. He still did a really professional looking job and smoothed over my skin without removing all the texture, it’s just a bit too much of a yellow hue.

Retouch Three:

This woman fluffed up my hair a little bit and tried to leave my freckle similarly to the first woman. She also brightened up my eyes and did a truly excellent job correcting the sunburn on my shoulder. Overall, a job well done.

Retouch Four:

Finally, we have our fourth retoucher. This person made me look so much glowier, and I’m super impressed by their ability to create a highlight on my completely redone shoulder, even if they covered up my freckle. They also did a really nice job smoothing my skin without blurring it out so it still has a nice texture. It does just look a little too much like a barbie for me to not be a little freaked out.

This really was such a fun little thing to do. Like I said I think the first was my favorite. It’s just so natural without changing the picture. I also learned that I really don’t think I like the way I look all retouched. We’re all beautiful just exactly as we are, and I wish women and girls didn’t feel so much pressure to change themselves and how they look, including how they present themselves online.

Despite feeling that pressure, I’ve never retouched anything about myself in my photos except the occasional flyaway, and obviously removing people from the background, and I will continue to do so.

If retouching photos makes you feel better about your pictures or you just enjoy editing, then means go ahead. I’d never put anyone down for how they edit, but it’s pretty sad that people feel like they have to, don’t you think? Just remember celebrities have whole teams of people doing this, and that photo manipulation is some people’s career. You’re beautiful absolutely however you choose, and no one should ever make you feel otherwise.

Finally, here the little bonus retouch that Nick did. He asked if he could take some creative liberties.

What do you think about all this and the world of retouching? I’d love to hear from you!

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