6 Reasons NOT to go Overseas for Retouching

Many photographers and creative agencies these days are sending their retouching overseas for many good reasons!

Retouching cost per hour for Australian lcan be prohibitive for small businesses, the processing time is wicked fast, and its easy and simple process  to manage.

But thats where it stops. You get paid per shot or shoot. The more you can shoot in a day, the more $$ comes in at the end of the month. But at what literal price?

Aside from the moral reasons of paying pennies on the dollar for services, we have learned FROM experienced creatives why they are choosing to bring it back home:Consistency in quality – Generally you are going to a large overseas agency with many retouchers on hand who although they know how to merge, edit, clip and colour correct, they do NOT know your style and there can be a huge difference between images and final product. The over sharpened – over saturated HDR real estate image which is soooo 2011, the clipping path that doesn’t feather enough or too much, inconsistent white balance in a series of image, window pulls that are too daylight blue or done with such sharp edges it looks totally fake. We’ve all seen it

  1. No customisation for your style – You use filters presets, grain, warm tones, peach baby skin, and subtle tones. But your images come back to warm, skin tones are orange or purple for babies, and you have to do more editing once you get them back and wasting even more time at the midnight desk.

    Real Estate image
    Real Estate
  2. Customer Service Is Useless – There is no customer service with these companies. You are one job in thousands and it can take you longer to get a single revised edit than the whole job did in general. day gone. Customer that was promised files overnight is upset. Time wasted.
  3. It takes AGES for them to build trust with your particular style – They might understand the basics of your retouching needs but do they understand your style or how you tell a story when they’re culling?
  4. They’re not using legitimate software – Many companies use one license for many computers or have ripped off downloaded software. It’s illegal. FULL STOP.
  5. Copyright – We’ve seen images used all over the world that have been ripped off straight from overseas companies. Its Illegal Full stop.

Beyond the horror stories of going offshore, paying for inconsistent product, its just great to know that we are supporting small local businesses that can pick up the phone 24/7 for problems, issues and knowing that our clients would always prefer us hiring locally for great quality product.


5 Reasons NOT To Send Your Retouching Overseas

Commercial Krylon White Geisha

Whether to offshore Retouching work or not sounds like a simple straight forward question. But it isn’t. The answer – whether it is a yes or a no – has wide-ranging consequences affecting everything we do – internal processes, software, technology and of course HR. If we stay, how do we compete with other studio and photographers who offshore?

Here is why we believe in offering a competitive retouching service in Australia


Conducting all work in Australia, rather than offshoring to lower wage countries, has the challenge of higher wage costs, higher rent and other overheads. To ensure fees remain competitive under this higher cost structure, innovation becomes important.

Retouching services tend to look for ways of leveraging smaller, higher costs teams and build more scalable systems that are not primarily dependent on a large pool of low wage workers. Technology enables this innovation  incorporating better workflows in people.


The most common justification for going offshore we hear is that it is “cheap”. Based on our experience, pricing is a hygiene factor only. When you dig deeper it turns out that it is not about being cheap. It’s all about providing value.

Because of the perceived higher cost structure of an entirely Australian based provider, the focus needs to be on providing value rather than a cheaply priced product.

For example, value adds might include:

  • Access to high quality technical expertise and solution at no additional cost
  • Being able to speak to the vendor who actually does the work to customise for clients
  • Ideas/Solutions focused on helping grow your business.
Beauty/Fashion Retouching
Beauty/Fashion Retouching


Providing retouching work out of Australia is simply easier. If there are any issues, the retoucher working on the job is only a phone call away. No issues with time zones, language barriers or having your instructions misinterpreted. Conducting the entirety of your retouching work in Australia is simply quicker and easier when it comes to delivery.

Less friction. Better results.


Beauty Retouching
Beauty Retouching

Many clients prefer all data to remain in Australia with only Australian based team members accessing it.

The power of cloud technology overall is a good thing. The flipside however, is

that it adds security issues. Dealing with breaches regarding data offshore is significantly more complex than having all data in Australia.



More and more companies are turning to offshore solutions. Smaller regional and suburban photographers as well. Neither tend to notify their clients or referral partners.

A recent survey of customers across many industries found that the overwhelming majority of them are uncomfortable with their creative IP being processed and stored offshore. Overall 84% of respondents were extremely or very likely to switch providers if they started sending their services offshore. They stated that they’d rather keep their services data in Australia than pay lower fees and go offshore.

Creatives need to decide what is better for them and their clients: Outsource and offshore or stay in Australia and innovate.

HeadHunters offers wedding and real estate retouching services in Australia that wont break your budget.