Photo retouching is a key tool to make good product photos into great ones—that drive real sales. But not everyone has the Photoshop skills or time required to perfect every product photo. And when every last pixel counts, it’s an important step you don’t want to skip.
Let’s look at some key ways photo retouching can turn your product photos into sales tools.
Fix minor product damage
Every pixel needs to be perfect in your product photos, regardless of the real-world condition of the product you’re shooting. Accidents are bound to happen, as are imperfections. You might get a scratch, dent, chip, or smudge on the surface of your product—especially if you’re transporting it to photoshoots and capturing lifestyle or contextual shots.
Sunglasses are bound to get the inevitable scratch, paint will chip, and threads may pull. Rather than stress yourself over perfectionism on shoot day, you can rest assured knowing those little spots can be touched up in Photoshop later.
Get rid of distracting lighting
While you want to get the lighting perfect during the shoot, this might not always be the case. You could capture unwanted glares from natural or artificial light, the flash of your camera, or other reflective surfaces—both in and out of the frame.
If you capture small unwanted glares, especially on shiny products, you can often fix these up in Photoshop.
Smooth wrinkles on clothing
Many photographers bring a steamer to set when shooting apparel product photos, but you might not have one handy. Even if you do, your clothing isn’t completely immune to wrinkles.
Wrinkles in clothing can often be smoothed out with retouching in Photoshop. You might also need to adjust shadows and lighting, as was the case in this retouching job we did:
Fix smudges or wrinkles on non-apparel items
Just like fabric on clothing products may wrinkle, furniture and other related home goods may as well. You don’t want to give the impression that buyers will receive wrinkled, stained, smudged, or otherwise not-brand-new products—especially if it’s a high-ticket item like a couch.
You might need to preserve the price tag on products during the photoshoot so you can later use that item to fulfill an order. Whatever the reason, you may be able to remove the unwanted price tag in Photoshop during your post-production process. It’s still ideal to do your best to hide the price tag during the shoot to minimize your editing workflow, but it won’t ruin the shot if you can’t.
Get rid of dust particles
Dust is nearly impossible to contain and control. No matter how clean your studio or space is, there will always be some fleck of dust. In many cases, this is invisible to the naked eye. But if you’re shooting highly detailed shots or close-ups, dust particles become a much larger problem.
Luckily, if you have a dust bunny flying through your favorite shots, you might be able to get rid of it with some photo retouching.
Remove glares from plastic-wrapped product packaging
If you have reflective plastic wrapping, it can create unwanted glare and lighting effects. This happens especially with cellophane, shrink wrap, and plastic packaging for things like electronics.
Get rid of supporting objects
Oftentimes, product photos require some props and supportive objects to help position the product just so. Many product photographers use things like blu tack, fishing line, and other objects to help get the frame they want.
Likewise, many apparel product photos rely on the use of mannequins. These can be retouched out of the photo to create an image with just the article of clothing. You might also remove distracting tags or hangers.
Clean up the setting
It’s not always possible to maintain a clean space. You might have dirt or smudges in the setting, on the floor, or on the walls in the image. You don’t need a physical broom or mop to clean this up. In fact, retouching in Photoshop after the fact can be the fix you need.
Retouch your photos to boost sales
It’s not always possible to get the perfect shot. Luckily, post-shoot edits can take a good product photo and turn it into an amazing one that gets results. Photo retouching takes time, patience, and skill. You can outsource your tedious retouching projects to Path, your 24/7 virtual photo editing studio.