Forums > Photography Talk > before and after images



Posts: 59

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Hi everybody, I just published my new portfolio and I ask me, how important is an "BEFOR AND AFTER" section for a photographer.

How important is it for you to hiring an retoucher?
Or is it better to hide the RAW material and to show just the final artwork?

Jan 18 13 08:23 am Link


365 Digitals Exposed

Posts: 807

Perris, California, US


Jan 18 13 08:45 am Link


Aaron Lewis Photography

Posts: 5216

Catskill, New York, US

For me I'd like to see unedited vs your final product. How else would one judge a retoucher.

Of course maybe some would only like to see the final image and draw conclusions from there but I think that limits the ability to display your understanding and proficiency with certain techniques.

Jan 18 13 09:24 am Link


Kent Art Photography

Posts: 3588

Ashford, England, United Kingdom

Bad retouching doesn't require a 'before' shot.

I suppose good retouchers could well benefit from having both versions, or maybe mulitple versions of the same shots, to show how versatile they are.

Jan 18 13 09:28 am Link



Posts: 1786

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I like seeing before and after shots.
It shows the extent of your skills, gives me an idea of what you do to an image, and it displays to what extent you alter/manipulate an image.
It helps me know what to expect when I send you my pics.

Jan 18 13 09:40 am Link


ST Retouch

Posts: 393

Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

I like seeing before and after shots.
It shows the extent of your skills, gives me an idea of what you do to an image, and it displays to what extent you alter/manipulate an image.
It helps me know what to expect when I send you my pics.

I agree !
My opinion and my experience from the real market is that professional clients ( Ad agencies, Photographers, Fashion companies, Magazines) choose retoucher by his/her style of work.
All retouchers have different style of work and they are good on this or that way
( or opposite they are bad on this or that way) and simply the best way to show your style and techniques   is to show before/after samples.
On that way you will avoid questions about free test samples , because with a lot of before/after samples professional clients will exactly know what you can do with their files and what they can expect from you and your work and your style of retouching.
It is not so much important if you ( not "you personally) are new in this job, you will not have too many clients at the first time( one or two per month or not even one), but imagine later at one moment that you start to accept 20-50 questions per day about your service and 20-50 questions per day "can we see your before and after samples, can you make one free test sample for us etc etc".
Then you will have to find person just for sending mails and links with before/after samples  and you will be lost with working on free test samples.
Also you have to know one very important thing , many visitors of your site and potential clients will not ask you to send them before/after samples even if they like a lot your work , because maybe they will not feel comfortable to ask you that, or they will not have time to wait on answers, because in the meantime maybe they will visit some other web site with before/after samples  and make deal with them.
And why to loose these visitors and potential clients.
So my suggestion is to show before/after samples always.
I really think it is a MUST.
The most important thing in serious business  is to avoid free test samples , and you will avoid them only with a lot before/after samples.
If you start to work free test samples for clients, forget about job.
Hope that helped!
Best Regards!

Jan 18 13 11:10 am Link

Makeup Artist


Posts: 3089

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Steffen Lehrack wrote:
...before and after images... 
How important is it for you to hiring an retoucher?

Steffen believe this is rather dependent on your targeted clientele...

This very same issue comes up repeatedly in Make-Up artistry...

Conventional wisdom is if you are in a commercial market arena a.k.a. agency then you never show a before/after of your work... only the final product, and even then great care must be taken to not showcase the brilliance of a retoucher but rather an accurate rendering of the make-up...  For make-up artist, publication tear sheets have the most value/worth at the agency level...

However make-up artist who's primary client base is retail i.e. brides, bat mitzvahs, sweet sixteen, senior portraiture, etc. then before/after play heavily into the marketing mix...

As for Mayhem, your targeted audience are typically hobbyist thus before/after are germane...  however for your commercial web portal logic would predicate it weight far more heavily toward marketing to commercial clients... i.e. art directors, art buyers, ad agency editors etc...  before/after are not germane in this scenario... 

Hope this helps...

Jan 18 13 11:26 am Link



Posts: 73

Rancho Palos Verdes, California, US

As someone who could send you work, I would need to see what you can do with the original image. At the moment your site looks like a photographers site.

Jan 18 13 03:30 pm Link



Posts: 59

Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Many thanks for the replies so far.

It seams to be really difficult, the opinions are quite different. I work mainly for Agency's, professional photographers and some times for a German sports magazine. So i target commercial clients.   

I viewed a lot of retouching studios a cross the globe, the most of them don't show befor and after images on the website. A couple of them preparer some case studies. Some of them have even an locked area, there you have to requirer a password to get in.

So, and the most freelance retouching artist share before and after examples on her websites, even Natalia Taffarel.       

Maybe the right way is in the middle. What you think about this idea?

I preparer a case studies section with just a limited quantity of examples. Just one or two good example for one of my specializations:

- People
- Landscape
- Transportation   

What you guys think about that?

Jan 19 13 04:08 am Link


Supermodel Photographer

Posts: 3309

Oyster Bay, New York, US

Steffen Lehrack wrote:
I ask me

I love intraviews.

Jan 19 13 04:21 am Link