How to edit wedding photos like a pro

I am going to talk about how to edit wedding photos like a pro. Wedding photo editing is one of my most common photo retouching enquiries.

Knowing how to edit wedding photos like a pro and taking care of the whole post-production process is a time-consuming and sometimes stressful job.

I recently got an an enquiry to retouch a batch of wedding photos from Hawaii:

“Hey Chris,

I wanted to reach out and inquire about retouching for wedding photos. Our photographer just sent us the raw files.

We are probably looking to have over 25 retouched (some at more levels than others). Also, some images I want to swap the background with another photo.

Can you let me know how the process works? Want to make sure I can communicate with you what I need from each photo.”

To which I replied:

“Nice to hear from you, please send me the photos, for large files I recommend or dropbox. Please remember to include instructions. Once I have the photos, I will get back to you with a quote for the work, I do offer a 25% discount on batches of 5 or more photos.”

She sent me around 80 wedding photos that she wanted retouching. I quoted for the work and I was given the go ahead to edit her photos. When editing wedding photos like a pro, it always takes time to synchronise client’s expectations with Beautiful wedding photos.

That is why I have  a policy which states: “Before I invoice you, I will send you watermarked samples for you to review and only once you are completely satisfied, will I invoice you.” I do not believe in getting paid for unsatisfactory wedding photo retouching!

Her editing requests included body reshaping retouching and makeup editing. As a professional wedding photo editor, I have learnt that “less is more”. It is easier to reduce a waistline further than to start the retouching over again.

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Title: Body reshaping retouching


An example of wedding body reshaping retouching. The best practice is to do subtle reshaping as it is way easier to add more than to have to start over.

Body reshaping retouching

This is an example of wedding body reshaping retouching. The best practice is to do subtle reshaping as it is way easier to add more than to have to start over.

This was the reply that I got from her after sending the wedding retouch samples:

“I am going through the pictures now and some look good but need improvement and some I have some major issues with. I will pick out a few to outline here and maybe you can let me know if I should find someone else..”

This is where my mantra “How to edit wedding photos like a pro” came to the fore. All my retouching clients are within their right to say they are not happy with my editing. They are under no obligations to pay me if they are not happy with their wedding photo edits.

Obviously I did not want to lose her as a client, nor did I want to tarnish my reputation and get negative Google feedback. I replied:

“As mentioned  it is easier to add more than to start over. I want to do a good job on the photos, so your feedback will guide me perfectly.

Please keep sending the feedback and I can then go over each individual photo to get it right for you.”

She replied “Hey Chris, I appreciate your quick response. In the end I think I need to find someone who specialises in makeup retouching. As I mentioned, I didn’t have time to prepare the hair and makeup team as I should have. I think I should find someone else.”

I thought that was the end of the wedding retouching assignment even though I know I had done a good job. Knowing this, and also knowing the quality of other wedding photo editors, I decided to hold on to the wedding photos for a week longer before I deleted them.

Exactly a week later as I was removing the photos from the server, I got this email:

“Hey Chris, okay so I started going through photos to let you know which I approve and I noticed some are being deleted. I need to go through them all again to confirm which are good and which we can maybe work together on.”

Once we were on the same page as what she expected from her wedding photos, the retouching went quickly and we signed off.

If you want to knowhow to edit wedding photos like a pro, be patient and keep communicating!

Get in touch if you have any wedding photo retouching enquiries.