“When you give clients the images, and they are already retouched, and they say, “Thank you! Could you retouch these please?” … how do you break it to them gently that the images have already been polished?“
All photographers have their own style when it comes to shooting and editing. Some prefer little to no editing while others love a crisp, obviously edited, finished look.
I think these styles should be apparent in your work online (on your website, Facebook, etc.) and in person (studio samples, marketing material, etc.). Clients generally understand that what they see is what they get, but sometimes they may be a bit more self-critical thus thinking they need more editing done than perhaps you normally do. There are a few questions that I have to ask, though.
- Do you show them unedited images at the proofing session, and then they choose which images will be edited and ordered?
- Do photos on your website and samples reflect the same amount of retouching that clients receive on final products?
- If so, do these styles match? For instance, does your website show a highly retouched product while theirs are lightly retouched?
- Do you go over the retouching process with them either at their consultation or via a preparation PDF before their shoot?
If what you are showing them online and in person is the same that they are receiving on their final products, then it may just come down to educating your clients. You can do this in a few ways.
You can go over your editing process at your consultation or you can even do a blog post on it and link to it for your clients to see. A before and after shot can show the amount of retouching you do to show them that you are, in fact, retouching images in you own way.
You might even show your client a before-and-after edit of one of her photos to illustrate how you retouched them.
I hope this helped a little and if you’d like to follow up in the comments below I’d love to help you out more if I can.