Thumbs Up to the Bread Photography Retoucher!

Today, we’re taking a minute to recognize the unsung heroes of the food photography world – our retouchers. It’s impossible to accurately estimate how many nameless individuals slave away in Photoshop to make ends meet, but each and every one uses their talents to make the world seem a little bit closer to being picture-perfect.

Case and point? Take a look at what a little bit of time in post was able to do for this recent attempt at bread photography gone wrong.

I needed to produce an image of a “thumb up” like looking piece of bread. I attempted to bake it on three separate times and to get my thumbs up looking passable in camera . Unfortunately, I didn’t gain much other than a few sloppy, disappointing RAW files.  I couldn’t help but feel that I was wasting my time trying to get this idea to work. So, as a last ditch effort to salvage the concept, I decided to forward my sad shots to someone else.
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Thumbs Up! or down?
After all, since I had all but given up on this shoot, having a retoucher play around really couldn’t hurt much. As it turns out, letting another creative get their hands on my work proved to be the best move I could’ve made.Getting rid of ugly shadows and sprucing up the color of a photo is one thing. But I’ll never cease to be amazed by the most talented retouchers, who seem to create something out of nothing.

In this particular case, a new toasty crust proved to be the key to accentuating my bread. Looking layer by layer, I noticed that some added nooks and crannies dramatically increased the depth of the bread. Overall, under my direction the final, digitally enhanced slice of bread turned out better than what I had initially imagined.

Being in a creative field means sometimes failing or falling short. This is especially true in the case of food photography. The subjects that we choose are fragile – they wilt, they melt, and they rot. And, as was the case with this particular slice of bread photography, the subject itself can be underwhelming.

From one group of creatives to another, let’s take a moment to thank the retouchers that make our jobs easier. Without you, the world would be a much messier place.


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What Would Retoucher Do?

Most food photographs need a lot of work after the camera’s been turned off and the set’s been packed up. Even the most talented food photographers rely on retouchers to get their subjects looking good enough to eat. When we’re faced with a tricky task that can’t be solved with a bump in contrast or slight crop. Phoode tries to provide a solution by asking a tried-and-true question: What would the retoucher do?