Photo Retouching Rates: How Much Does It Cost?

In the modern world, most people need photo retouching for their online or offline businesses, personal branding, and more. You may also need a photo retouching service, right? 

To get an effective photo retouching service, first of all, you must have a crystal-clear idea about the rates of photo retouching. Because it varies depending on retouching levels and quality.

This article will provide you with a hard and fast concept of photo retouching, its types, pricing rates, and where to get the service at affordable prices. So, let’s get it.  

What is Photo Retouching? 

Just taking a shot cannot make a photo perfect and attractive. To get high-quality images, you must go for editing or retouching. 

Photo Retouching, in simple terms, means modifying a picture and preparing it for ultimate use. It mainly contains increasing or decreasing brightness, polishing skin tones, removing eye-circle, photo color correction, etc.

Apart from this, it includes removing any defects from a picture like removing spots of dust and dirt from the subject’s body and backdrop.

Finally, photo retouching is a process that eliminates all the lacking and imperfections of an image and makes it fair and delightful.

How is Photo Retouching Different From Basic Photo Editing? 

When talking about photography, the terms photo editing and photo retouching often creates some confusion. Even though both of the terms are popular, most people have no transparent idea about them. 

Some people differentiate them, and some others use them with the same meaning. But the reality is both contain separate meanings from each other. 

So what are the differences between photo editing and photo retouching exactly? Let’s find it. 

Photo editing precisely includes all kinds of photo correction, while retouching refers to an actual image manipulation that makes it fabulous. 

Photo Editing: A photo editor mainly changes and modifies each type of image using various methods and tools. He works on basic and advanced color correction, cropping pictures, adjusting temperatures, etc. 

Photo Retouching: Photo retouching, on the other hand, is the improvement of the overall look of an image. From polishing skin and adjusting brightness to whitening teeth, abolishing stray hairs, and removing blemishes, it includes every simple and hard modification. 

Photo Retouching on Difficulty Level? 

To get a photo retouching service, at first, you should have transparent knowledge about the level of photo retouching and correction. Photo retouching mainly conveys three levels such as simple, hard, and complex. 

Simple Retouching

Simple photo retouching is also named basic retouching. It basically includes one or two corrections and adjustments for a picture. It takes just about ten minutes or less. 

When you want some more quality than basic image editing, but not as fantastic as advanced level, it’s called simple photo retouching. 

It contains–

  • Light adjustment
  • Teeth whitening 
  • Eliminating stray hairs 
  • Abolishing small blemishes 

Hard Retouching

Hard retouching usually provides advanced-level retouching services. People choose this level of retouching for wedding or birthday events, product photos, and portraits. 

When you want to change backdrops, reshape your body or remove dark circles in a picture, hard retouching will be best for you. 

Hard retouching also includes–

  • Smoothing skin tone and reshaping body
  • Abolishing deep blemishes and bald spot
  • Removing unflattering shadow
  • Refining eyebrows and lip line

Complex Retouching 

Complex Photo Retouching is a level of retouching where you can get extensive retouched images. Complex retouching is ideal for glamorous functions like modeling, weddings, and for any beauty. It ensures every person in the picture looks amazing and natural at the same time. 

If you want high-end retouching that makes your picture look stylish and superb, complex retouching then suits you. Retouchers frequently use clipping path techniques to process images here. 

Complex photo retouching covers– 

  • Removing or adding an object 
  • Replacement of head, face, and eyes
  • Abolishing double chin, body wrinkles 
  • Erasing skin hot spots, shining, sweating 

The Different Types of Photo Retouching

To make a photo attractive, the only way is retouching. There exist different types of photo retouching, such as high-end, product photo, outdoor photography photo retouching, etc.  

1. High-End Photo Retouching

High-End Photo Retouching
  • Transforms your old photograph
  • Makes your wedding or modeling photos glorious
  • Creates a bright impression among people
  • Can be used on multiple platforms

High-end photo retouching is the advanced level of retouching that includes analyzing all the image perspectives, smoothing skin and textures, contouring, polishing, and also removing every defect and imperfection. 

This type of photo retouching can help you perfectly when you want to make an additional appeal to the people. It will make your photo so delightful that people cannot detect any trace. 

The high-end retouching technique is used to take photos for fashion, modeling, product promotion, magazine advertisements, weddings, publications, and other luxuries. 

2. Outdoor Photography Photo Retouching 

Outdoor Photography Photo Retouching 
  • Used for event or modeling photography
  • Sustains natural look of the outdoor
  • Creates the spot’s attraction to people

Outdoor photo retouching mainly modifies a picture by providing a bright and alluring look. It mainly contains color correction, light and contrast adjustment, skin retouching, and more. But it does not remove background. 

Outdoor photo retouching is helpful for event or modeling photography that requires on-the-spot submission of location and background. To maintain the real look of the location, the outdoor photos do not include heavy retouching. 

3. E-commerce Product Photo Retouching

E-commerce Product Photo Retouching
  • Makes a vibrant product photo and attracts buyer’s attention
  • Generates more client traffic to your website.
  • Creates trust and confidence in buyers’ mind
  • Increases purchasing rates and grows up your business

Outsourcing e-commerce product photo retouching is a brilliant process where a retoucher makes the product picture spiritous. 

From basic level to advanced, product photo retouching includes all the types such as image background removal, color correction, product cleanup, abolishing defects and imperfections, ‍resizing, ghost mannequin photo editing, dodge and burn, shape correction, etc. 

A well-retouched product photo is mandatory for e-commerce platforms. Because it catches the buyer’s eye with ease and increases traffic to the marketplace. It creates trust and confidence among buyers and encourages them to purchase products. 

So, a lively photo can give a rapid growing up to your business.

4. Portrait Photo Retouching (Skin & Hair)

 Portrait Photo Retouching
  • Makes your picture heavanly and marvelous
  • Highlights your strong personality 
  • Enriches your professional career

A portrait photograph highlights a person’s identity, fairness, and strong character with a natural look. Portrait photography is also known as headshot photography. 

Portrait photo retouching mainly focuses on a person’s skin, hair, and eyes. It contains bump and blemish removal, body reshaping, skin smoothing, hair adjustment, modifying eyelashes, and teeth whitening. 

Retouching can make your portrait so alluring that it creates the first impression on people. A perfect retouched photograph can strengthen your professional career, increase job interview invitations, and create a storng impact on people around you.  

5. Jewelry Photo Retouching

Jewelry Photo Retouching
  • Creates an eye-catching look to your jewelry photo
  • Brings a real feel to the buyers and pursuades them
  • Provides your ecommerce platform with strong progress 

Jewelry photo retouching refers to an advanced ornament image editing process that creates a thriving look of a product to fascinate people. 

It contains some brilliant improvements to a jewelry image, such as color correction, backdrop and blemish removal, product polishing, and more. Jewelry photo retouching is mainly used for commercial goals. 

At present, most jewelry business companies belong to e-commerce platforms. They utilize jewelry photo retouching services to showcase their products in a catchy way. Because females always notice every bit of an ornament before purchasing it. 

6. Editorial Photo Retouching

Photo Retouching Rates: How Much Does It Cost?
  • Used for books, magazines, newspapers, and more. 
  • Keeps your photo looking as natural as much possible
  • Highlights the real story or fact of the images

Editorial photo retouching is mainly applied to the images used for highlighting editorials, magazines, newspapers, brands, book photos, and so more publications.   

In this process, a retoucher sustains the natural look of a photo as much as possible. It adjusts contrasts and color and removes distracting elements such as defects, scars, dust, and irrelevant things.   

Editorials are not exactly promotional photos. This type of photo especially highlights the real concept of a fact or story to the viewers. So editorial retouching is crucial for making a good editorial story. 

7. Model Retouching

Model Retouching
  • Makes a model look impressive and mind-blowing
  • Makes your garments items stylish and fashionable
  • Highlights the real beauty of products 
  • Increases extensive demands to the consumers

Models are considered the soul of fashion. Model photo retouching is required in some purposes like product promotions, fashion magazines, book cover photos, and more. 

In this process, a retoucher does body slimming, skin and hair correction, removing scars, defects, and removing wrinkles. It also makes some essential edits that make the image attractive and effective.

Every garment and fashion sector gains its popularity using models’ glamor. It can make their products more charming to the consumers and increase sale rates. 

8. Glamor Photo Retouching

Glamor Photo Retouching
  • Used digital makeup to add more glamor
  • Used for Business ambassador photos
  • Highlights your brand and industry

Glamor photo retouching includes digital makeup. It makes the body shape perfect and glamorous. 

In this process, a retoucher brings a sensational appearance by eliminating blemishes, reducing fatness and red-eye, adjusting color, hair, skin tone, and so on. It mainly highlights the face, including other parts of the body. 

Glamor retouching is mostly applied to the photos of the models and fashion personnel, usually business ambassadors of any fashion industries, magazines, multinational companies, etc. 

They highlight the product and brand, showing their glamor and personality, aiming to pursuade people to intake a positive impression about it.

Different Methods to Calculate Your Rates for Photo Retouching Services

Photo Retouching rates always vary depending on the retouching levels [simple, hard, complex]. Also, the price range could be determined according to the contract types, such as retouching per hour, per image, or per project. 

Here I am going to clear up all the queries. 

Price Per Hour

Some people prefer to charge in compliance with work hours. In this criteria, pricing rates depend on how much time a retoucher spends.

Pricing per hour is variable like other rates depending on a retoucher’s skills and demands. Normally, it starts at $10 per hour up to $50, even more depending on experience.

Price Per Image

There is no fixed and final price for any retouching services. Pricing per image always varies according to retouching levels [simple, hard, complex] and turnaround time [12h, 24h, 48h]. 

Here is a sum-up of average pricing per image–

  • In the 48-hour turnaround time, you may pay $0.240 per image for simple retouching, $1.192 for hard retouching, and $5.6 for complex retouching. 
  • In the 24h turnaround time, pricing starts from $0.300 per image for simple retouching, $1.490 for hard retouching, and $7.0 for complex retouching. 
  • In the 12h turnaround time, pricing begins from $0.420 per image for simple retouching, $2.086 for hard retouching, and $9.8 for complex retouching. 

It’s totally an average pricing rate, not hard and rigid. It could vary and be flexible according to your location, payment method, and image quantity & quality. 

Price Per Project

Pricing per project also varies according to retouching quality, image quantity, and turnaround time. For instance, if you order a retouching for 200 images, then you may pay for—

Simple Retouch: $48 within 48h, $60 within 24h, and $84 within 12h turnaround time.

Hard Retouch: $238.4 within 48h, $294 within 24h, and $417.2 within 12h turnaround time.

Complex Retouch: $1,120 within 48h, $1400 within 24h, $1960 within 12h turnaround time. 

It’s just an average pricing rate, and it could be changed when your project takes more or fewer images. Also, there is a crucial chance for a separate deal with the photo editing agency.

What Factors will Affect The Retouching Rate?

When determining photo retouching, there are some aspects that affect the retouching rates like turnaround time, retouching levels, retouchers’ experience, and so on. 

Turnaround Time

Your turnaround time highly affects the rates of your photo retouching. If you want an urgent delivery like within 12 hours, it will take more cost. However, it receives less cost when you consider delay options like 24h or 48h turnaround time. 

So the turnaround time has an effect on the photo retouching rates. 

Retoucher’s Experience 

Retoucher’s skills and experience can affect a lot on your retouching rates. When you go to a beginner, he may take a lower pricing rate, while a professional retoucher will accept higher pricing due to his extraordinary service level. 

Retouching Level

Photo retouching mainly includes 3 levels such as simple, hard, and complex. So, What level of retouching you need will affect the pricing rates. You have to pay high costs while demanding high-quality retouching service and lower costs during basic services. 

Moreover, there are also additional factors that affect the retouching rates like payment package, payment method, client’s location, and others.  

Get Reliable Photo Retouching Rates At Clipping Path Studio

Clipping Path Studio is the most popular photo retouching service online. It’s a customer-affectionate company that always maintains service quality and clients’ satisfaction. 

It contains some specialties that you can prioritize in this company instead of others. 

Quality Service: This Studio provides each type of photo retouching service, from high-end retouching to fashion, e-commerce, model, portrait, jewelry, and skin retouching. 

From simple to complex, every level of retouching maintains high quality. After getting a service, no doubt, you become fond of this company. 

Affordable Price: It always maintains consumer-friendly services. All the photo retouching you can get here at affordable prices compared to other companies. Its reasonable pricing policy with quality service definitely makes you happy. 

On-time service: This company always maintains turnaround time. You never get any doubt about their on-time delivery process. Even in most cases, you can get your product earlier before your deadline ends. 

Professional and friendly: It conveys a huge number of Photo retouchers and editors who are highly professional and work-passionate. They always work as a team that makes their products extraordinary.

Moreover, its order and payment policy are so friendly that you can make orders within 1 minute. Also, you can get your delivery within 12 hours. It will have a great effect on the rapid growth of your business. 


How much do photo retouchers make?

In the US, photo retouchers make about $63,142 per year and $30 per hour. The professionals receive over $147,00 per year, while the beginners receive $26,000 per year. 

How long does it take to retouch a photo?

A simple photo retouching takes about 10 minutes. But for a hard and complex level, it could take from 30 minutes to 1 hour, even more.

Do professional photographers retouch photos?

Yes. Any professional photographer can retouch photos apart from capturing photoshoots. It could be from simple to complex retouching levels. 

What does photo retouching include?

Photo retouching means giving a photograph a perfect and delightful appearance by removing all the imperfections. From background removal to color correction and skin adjustment, everything is included in it. 

How do photos get professionally edited? 

Professional photo editors mostly use popular apps such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop Elements, which help the photos get professionally edited. 


In the current world, Photo Retouching has become mandatory for promoting business, professional career, modeling and fashion, brand advertising, and personal identity. According to the levels and quality, photo retouching rates also vary, as I explained. 

I hope, no more queries you have on this topic, and you can confidently get a perfect retouching service, even can help other people to know about it. Go forth and conquer.

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About the Author

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Amy Grace


Commercial Photographer, Writer

Amy Grace has been engaged in commercial photography for a long time. She has enough proficiency and skill set in photography and has nailed the task up to the mark and has helped a lot of entrepreneurs create a brand. Aside from photography, Amy has passion for travelling.

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