What is the difference between editing and retouching?


Professional digital cameras save images in a format called RAW.  This differs from the images we usually see online which are typically in JPG format.  JPG images have things such as contrast, color saturation, sharpening, vibrance, etc. "baked" into the image.  With RAW format more detail is saved within the file allowing for for finer tuning of images.  Artificial intelligence does a pretty good job these days but still does not match the ability of a photographer making the adjustments for the final image.


Editing is the process of making the necessary technical tweaks.  It involves things such as cropping the image, adjusting the exposure, correcting white balance, adjusting contrast, applying proper saturation, etc.


Retouching is the process of correcting imperfections within an image.  For portraits, this includes things such as the removal of minor blemishes (i.e.: pimples), teeth whitening, correcting any redness/veins in eyes, reducing under-eye bags, removing major wrinkles, removing stray hairs, correcting skin tone imbalances / blotchiness, etc.  Retouching is more complicated and time consuming than editing and is only done on the images that were selected for production.

Retouching cannot correct everything but the process will make your portraits look more "polished" and you will look your best.