Retouching photos: a case study

There’s a lot of work that goes into each photo shoot we do for clients: sourcing the clothing and props, finding a location and getting permission to shoot there, hiring models, preparing the page layouts and determining the poses, and of course getting the product in that will be featured. The day of the shoot is an exciting rush of hunting down the best light, coordinating props, clothing and models, and managing time for each shot. Then there’s the post-production: color correction, image retouching, resizing, layout and proofing.

On a recent project, we were delighted with a photo of a model in a great pair of boots. The vendor was delighted with the photo too, but realized they had sent us the wrong color. We knew we had to reshoot, but our model was no longer available. What to do? The client liked everything else about the photo.

The answer, reshoot in as similar a location and pose as the original photo, then combine the two photographs in post-production.

In the original photo, we liked the styling and the pose, but had received the wrong boots from the vendor.

Original photo with the wrong boots


We liked the lighting and the boots in the new shot, but preferred the styling and pose from the original photograph.

We selected the boots from the second shot and brought them into the first one

We selected the sky and background from the second shot and updated the first shot. We adjusted the levels and drop shadows to match the new lighting.

The final picture: a blend of the two photos that met the client’s expectations!

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