Top things Photoshop Can’t Fix - from a San Francisco Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer

Top things Photoshop Can’t Fix - from a San Francisco Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer


You’ve probably heard someone say it before: why pay for professional photography when you can just ‘shop it later? But Photoshop, like any other image editing software, is far from magic. If you rely on it instead of getting good shots in the first place, you could end up with a pile of poor-quality images and regrets, and Photoshop can’t fix that! If the job at hand is “get high quality photos,” there’s no avoiding it—you’re going to need a professional photographer, not a propensity for Photoshopping. Here’s three reasons why you should avoid relying on post-production to save you: Poses and Expressions, Photographers Need Mad Skills, and Correction is Expense.

1. Poses and Expressions

Image manipulation software like Photoshop can come with some impressive features, but none of them replaces the technique and experience of a good photographer. Not every photographer knows how to fix every issue in a photo, and basics like getting the right pose or expression aren’t fixable.


2. Photographers Need Mad Skills

There are several pitfalls of rushed, poorly-composed or improperly-lit pictures that no amount of image editing can fix. For example, problems like blur, poor focus, or too much/too little light can result in missing, washed-out or burned-out details that simply can’t be restored with editing. These are some of the main traits of a poor-quality image, and there’s no magic app that can compensate for those to turn it into a high-quality image. But getting these things right in the first place takes skill.

3. Correction is Expense

Moreover, the best image-editing software out there is expensive and complex precisely because these programs are professional tools, meant for use by experts in photography who already know they’ll be dealing with skillful camera work. Without the technique that goes into taking those shots, there won’t be much to work with! The longer the photographer or post-production expert needs to work on the photo to fix it, the more expensive it is for your company’s pocketbook. If there are major flaws with the photos, it will take a lot of extra time to fix them. On average, straightforward portrait image manipulation takes about an hour per photo (see my previous article here). It’s a myth that photographers do all their own post production, too. The majority of the time it is contracted out. The costs add up.

In short, there’s no substitute for the composition, lighting, prep work, and general expertise a real pro can bring to a shoot. Getting good shots and avoiding problems in the first place will beat messing around with retouching software that can’t solve those problems, every time.


So the real question is this: why pay in money, time and hassle using image editors to make messy shots messier, when you can leave it to a professional who’ll be worth your time?

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