— Joel Grimes


About This Course

Engaging with the creative process from start to finish can be a rewarding and beneficial practice for photographers. This comprehensive course will illustrate why and how doing your own retouching can be advantageous for your career, especially for 99.9% of all commercial work. Whether you're a seasoned professional or an aspiring enthusiast, the ability to handle post-production yourself can offer numerous advantages.

One of the key benefits of doing your own retouching is the immediacy it brings to your workflow. Once a photoshoot wraps up, you can delve straight into the post-production process without the need to wait for a retoucher. This allows you to have control over the timing and pace of your work, and it can also save considerable costs, especially when working on portfolio pieces or on a tight budget.

Beyond practicalities, there's an element of branding and recognition that's tied to doing your own retouching. In the highly competitive world of photography, having a distinct style and visual language can help you stand out from the crowd. When you handle your own retouching, you're able to maintain consistent aesthetics across all your images. This helps to build and solidify your brand, making your work easily recognizable in the marketplace. This consistent look and feel can go a long way in cultivating your unique brand identity and can contribute to a successful career in photography.

But, the benefits of doing your own retouching extend beyond practical considerations and branding. At the heart of it all, photography is an art. There's a profound sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in seeing a project through from start to finish. This course underscores that photography isn't just about capturing a moment, but it's also about crafting and refining that moment in the post-production process.

For many, retouching isn't just a technical process; it's an art form in and of itself. It gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your images, add personal touches, and truly make your photographs your own. It's where you can adjust lighting, enhance colors, correct blemishes, and make countless other tweaks that can elevate your image to new heights.

Learning to do your own retouching gives you a broader set of skills, making you not just a photographer, but a well-rounded visual artist. With these skills, you'll have complete creative control over your work. You'll be able to realize your vision precisely as you see it, without having to rely on others to interpret your ideas. This can lead to a deeper connection with your work, and it gives you the ability to take full ownership of your projects.

Through this course, you will acquire the skills and techniques necessary for professional-level retouching. You'll be guided through practical exercises and tutorials, giving you the opportunity to put what you learn into practice. By the end of the course, you'll be well-equipped to take charge of your own retouching process, whether for commercial work, portfolio building, or personal projects.

In sum, the reasons to do your own retouching are many, ranging from cost and time efficiency, brand consistency, to creative satisfaction. By the end of this course, you'll have gained not only the technical skills to retouch your own work but also a deeper appreciation for the art of photography as a holistic process. Embrace the journey of creation from start to finish, and let this course guide you through every step of the way.

Acquired Knowledge

There are a few reasons why I do all my own retouching, including 99.9% of all my commercial work. First, when I am building a portfolio I am able to finish a shoot and immediately start processing my files and creating a finished image. No waiting and paying out the nose for a retoucher. Second, I am building a brand that is recognizable in the marketplace. My brand is everything, and having a consistent look to all my images is very important. And lastly, I am an Artist. I love seeing the process all the way through.


Photoshop CC


Joel Grimes
Joel graduated from the University of Arizona in 1984 with a BA in Photography and soon established a commercial studio in Denver, Colorado. Joel has been selected as one of Canon's exclusive Lightseeker photographers. For over 35 years, Joel has worked for many of the world's leading advertising agencies and companies. Over the years, his responsibilities have taken him to every state in the United States and fifty countries around the world. In 1990, Joel produced his first illustrated book, Portrait of a Navajo Man, which won several photography and design awards and was held for 18 years at the Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington, D.C. Monthly solo exhibition of 60 prints.


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