Retouchup Blog

Giving Retouching Instructions 101

We wanted to post some tips for giving retouching instructions that can help our artists better understand your needs and in return provide you with the best service possible.


Be Specific

Q. Do I have to put in instructions? Why can’t I just say “Do your best.”?

A. We serve photographers from every end of the spectrum. What one photographer would find to be fantastic retouching, another would be irate over. One photographer might assume it would be obvious to soften the skin, while the other would be upset that we had done something we weren’t asked to do.

Because of this, we can‘t let our artists do what they feel is obvious.

The retouching categories give you an idea of what would be included for that price level, but without being instructed to do so, we can’t do all of those services to every image, it would upset more clients than it would please.

For this reason, we require our clients to tell us what they want done, it’s the only way to serve such a wide spectrum of clients with different tastes, retouching preferences, styles of photography and clientele.





Use as few words as possible to convey the message. By being short and specific, the instructions will be easier to understand and follow.




Avoid using language that is not universally known. Descriptive words can mean different things to different people.



Make a List

Avoid writing instructions in paragraph form. Write out an instruction and hit enter and then another instruction and so on. This helps the artist know exactly what you are looking for and be able to have a list to check off as the complete each retouching task. It also helps you make sure you have requested all the edits you are looking for at the very first!