What’s the difference between edited and retouched images?

The terms ‘editing’ and ‘retouching’ are used quite often interchangeably in the photography world, but can mean wildly different things. So, in this post, I will explain what I mean by ‘editing’ and what I mean by ‘retouching’.

What are edited photographs?

"Editing" a picture means making OVERALL adjustments to exposure, color and contrast.  
Does it also include "fixing" or "correcting" certain details of the picture? No, not really - "editing" means taking the raw image captured by the camera and optimizing it for the conditions that existed at the time. Sometimes these conditions are great, sometimes not so much, but a professional photographer can work with this and maintain consistency throughout all the photographs by editing the raw files captured on the day.
Specialized software such as Adobe Lightroom is used to do this, and it can take as little as a few seconds or a few minutes per image, depending on the desired effect. It may not seem like a lot of time, but when spread out over several hundred photos, it means several hours of work.

What are retouched photographs?

"Retouching" a picture means making LOCAL adjustments to exposure, color and contrast (e.g. darkening the sky only, enhancing the colors of the trees etc.), “fixing” certain elements (e.g. smoothing the skin in a portrait, removing debris lying on the ground etc.), or adding certain effects (lens flares, black and white conversions etc.).
Not every image needs to be retouched to look beautiful, so retouching is usually only done to a special selection of photographs. Specialized software such as Adobe Photoshop is used to do this, and it can take anywhere from 10 - 30min to retouch an image, depending on what is required.
When you order an album or prints through me, retouching is always included to make sure your you artwork will be printed in the best possible way.

How will the images look that I receive on USB?

Every wedding photography package I offer includes the edited images from your wedding day on USB. >> Click on this link << to see a gallery of images exactly how my clients received them on USB. Notice the consistency of color and exposure across the whole set of edited images.

Can you show me examples of raw vs edited vs retouched files?

Sure! In the examples below, the ‘raw’ photo is the image straight out of the camera (which you will never see), the ‘edited’ photo is the processed raw file with OVERALL adjustments to color, exposure and contrast (this is the image that you would receive on USB), and the ‘retouched’ photo is the image with LOCAL adjustments (this is how the image would be printed in your album or if you order prints through me).