How Long Does It Take to Retouch an Image in 2024

Photography clients have one common question that is, “How long does it take to retouch an image?” Clients and photographers who are starting new want to have an idea about the time for the image retouching process. 

Unfortunately, there is no specific answer to this question. The time to edit an image depends on several factors editing skills, the genre of photography, and the client’s requirements. But above all, based on the photography genre, there are some basic ideas about how much time the editing should take. 

In this article, I will be talking about the time needed to retouch product/fashion photography images. But before starting you must have a basic understanding of what photo retouching is?

The basic time to retouch Product photos is 10 minutes, and for fashion photography images, it can be from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Let’s dive into the details of a detailed breakdown of this time frame for each photography style.

How Long Does It Take To Retouch An Image

Styling in photography can take hours of your valuable time to achieve the result you want. But when the result comes out impressive, you feel great. The more skill you have in Photoshop, the less time it will take to retouch.  Now let’s see how long does it takes to retouch an image.

Product/Fashion Photography

Fashion and product photos are best when they look impressive and stunning, or consumers won’t be attracted. If you are going to edit and retouch product or model photos in a basic manner without any additional requirements, then the following time frame would be enough for this photography style.

Technical editing (30 sec -1 minutes)

In technical editing, an image expert works and fixes chromatic aberration, fixes lens distortion, does image cropping, and fixes transformation issues. Technical adjustments are more like fixing the image’s structure.

To fix the image’s structure, if you are a professional Photoshop expert, you would need 30 sec to 1 min.

For high-end image retouching, this time can go up to 10 minutes.

Fixing Brightness (2-3 minutes)

Colors play a vital role in making an ordinary image into a masterpiece. While fixing the image’s Brightness, experts mainly focus on fixing the exposure. In this segment, editors fix the black and white points.

Adjusting the global contrast, fine-tuning the local shadows and highlights, and checking the histogram is the routine work in this step. 

For product photos fixing the Brightness will take 2-3 minutes, and for fashion retouching, it will go up to 5-6 minutes.

Sharpness Adjustments (30 seconds)

This segment is not always necessary, and if you are working on a professionally captured photo, I don’t think sharpness would be an issue. 

Adjusting sharpness will help the food image to pop up. Sometimes you can’t pick up the blurriness of your photo, so it’s good to make the adjustments. It will take a max of 30 seconds to complete.

Color Corrections (4-5 minutes)

I work on white balance, HSL (Hue/ Saturation/ Luminosity), split toning, and camera calibration in this segment. 

To make a splendid photo following a color scheme and making all the colors work together is essential. And so, when I edit my photos, I follow a good color scheme. Therefore in my color correction session, I fix existing colors, tone down unwanted stains, and even create some colors by blending them.

For product photos, using color adjustment, you can create different versions of the product. So the step can take 4 to 5 minutes.

But when you are going to retouch your model and fashion photos, you need to use color grading more briefly. It will take up to 15 minutes to complete.

Editing product photos is done here, but you need to do a couple of more steps for fashion photo retouching. These are

  • Facial Fixes (15 minutes)
  • Skin Retouch (20 minutes)
  • Final Texture Touches (15 minutes)

So though editing product photos takes 10 minutes to complete as fashion photos require a couple of steps more, they take more time as well.

Do You Need To Retouch Up Your Image

Now we know how long does it takes to retouch an image but do you need it? Well, image retouching techniques help us to enhance our photos. Even a tiny distraction can ruin your shot. And if you have products to sell, then the product photos can’t have any flaws. Consumers are keen when they go online to buy things.

On the other hand, if you are working with fashion images, then retouching is mandatory. It would help if you did high-end retouching for fashion images, and it can take hours to complete per image. So yes, you need Photoshop to retouch the service for your image.

Final Thoughts

If you want high-quality images, then you have to spend time post-processing. With professional Photoshop skills, you can reduce the time slightly but get top-notch results, and you have to give time. So if you ever had this question about how long does it takes to retouch an image, now you have the answer

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