releasing unretouched images?


TPF Noob!
Jan 12, 2007
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Hi all-

I did a shoot with a semi-celeb and the makeup artist asked me to send her unretouched images. I had already sent her the retouched ones.

When you release images to people who've helped on a shoot (i.e. hair, makeup), do you only release retouched images, or do you give them unretouched as well? I normally wouldn't care, but since it's a sorta celeb, (plus I don't know the retouching skills of the makeup artist), I'm concerned that the image she puts up on her site may not be good.

FYI: I didn't do much retouching; just light color corrections, skin smoothing, etc.

Just wanted to get some opinions on the topic, any been there/done that situations? Thanks so much!
It sounds as though the makeup artist just wanted to see how they did with out the post work.

Maybe a realistic before and after set, they wouldn't have known just how much you did in post unless they were there.
Who owns the rights to the photos? If the client does and they want unprocessed images than hand em over. No questions asked. If you are retaining the rights than I would be very wary about handing over untouched photos. Who knows what they are going to do with them after the fact?

If you own the rights and the client is insistent about it, I would inquire to the reasons why they want the unprocessed photos, tell them that it's your policy not to give them away untouched but that you're open to do if they can give you a good reason why. Proceed from there.
If you own the rights to your photos... NEVER release unretouched ones. You do not know what they will do with them and you never EVER want a client to see anything BUT your best and final results.

This comes not from me, but from discussions that I have read and talked with many professionals with.

One unfortunate newbie to the professional world unknowingly did this and they basically put it in a location where people could see the before and after of their work for purposes of negative criticism. The man lost about 50% of his business within 4 months before he discovered the reason but by then the damage was done. It will take the man years to regain market presence that he worked hard to achieve in 1 year and lost in 4 months.

1. Always get paid what you are worth for your work. Never work for free. You do not go into Walmart and expect to get a coke for free do you? Your clients should not expect you to work for free either. A professional works so he can put bread on his table. There are exceptions (charity work), but this is RARE.
2. NEVER give them partial results in any way, shape or form.
3. Never let them see you sweat.
4. Customer Service Excellence skills will take your business from ho-hum to the stratosphere in weeks if you know what you are doing.

These are the top 4 rules that inexperienced business people *always* seem to just skip over. I don't know why, as they are critical as hell. :confused:

It would be a good idea to place this in your contracts (you *do* have lawyer approved contracts, yes?), so that all your clients know that this is not an acceptable practice.

Edit: I just conference called 2 pro makeup artists that I met a few months back and asked them the question about post process, Mike. They both kinda chuckled at me. They do not care about before or after looks... all they are interested in is the final result. If it looked like crap, it was crap, if it was good then they did their job well. They have a very different set of criteria of a model than we do and it was interesting to listen to them talk about it. I do not know if all makeup artists are the same, but these two had identical opinions. :)
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... the makeup artist asked me to send her unretouched images. ...

This is the key issue here. If the makeup artist wants the images either the work they've done or who they've worked on, showing images have been retouched smoothing the skin would be fraudulent, period.

They would only be able to use "unretouched" images. Global color adjustments and exposure correction would generally be considered acceptable, as would cropping. Any localized alterations on the subject, even localized color correction, would render the image useless as a sample of their work.
Thanks for the advice, guys. As a rule, I never release non retouched images. I learned this the hard way, after a HORRIBLE retouch of one of my images was published (yellow skin, IMO, is never a pretty thing!).

The MUA (makeup artist) probably has some basic PS skills and wants to try her hand at retouching the images. Prob is, she might totally destroy them, think they look "great" and put them up on her site, giving me a photo credit.

An argument could be made, though, that someone could take the retouched images I give them and retouch on top of that, and then publish them on their sites. These are the thoughts that keep me up at night...
Thanks for the advice, guys. As a rule, I never release non retouched images. I learned this the hard way, after a HORRIBLE retouch of one of my images was published (yellow skin, IMO, is never a pretty thing!).

Understandable... that would give anyone a rather jaundiced view of the situation.

(ok, even I have to say, that joke sucked... lol)
What JerryPH said in his first reply +100!

Never hand over images of any kind to anyone other than the client or their approved agent/s. If I give images to someone other than the primary client I always make them sign a receipt with details of each one.

You only need to make that mistake once, and you never do it again..:thumbup:

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