Wedding Retouching: Practical Demonstration

Wedding photography is a huge market in the photography industry, but it’s a genre of photography that requires, at the very least, certain levels of retouching.

In this photography class Karl works on a wedding photograph, highlighting and explaining how to remove all the small distractions to reach a more pleasing final image with a strong focus on the bride and groom.

You’ll see how minor adjustments to color, crop and symmetry can make a big difference in the end as Karl works through the image, making use of tools such as the Transform tools, Clone Stamp and Curve adjustments, all while using useful keyboard shortcuts to speed up his workflow.

Download the work-along file

In this class:

  • Photoshop tutorial: How to retouch wedding photographs
  • Wedding retouch tips
  • Working with layers and layer masks
  • How to use the Transform tool in Photoshop
  • Making color adjustments in Photoshop using curve adjustments
  • Resizing an image – Canvas size

For more advanced retouching techniques for wedding photography, watch our Wedding Couple Retouch classes.

If you have any questions about this course please post them in the comments section below ?


  1. My color replacement tool is not working in any way like yours is. It grabs much larger areas and stubbornly sticks with them. If I adjust the fuzziness either direction from your setting it either grabs even more of the areas I don’t want or it leaves large chunks out – generally in non-contiguous areas. Thoughts on what might be driving this? Oddly enough – if I run Select -> Color Range I am able to match your selections without issue.

    1. Doug, do you have any of the other checkboxes ticked such as localised colours, are you on the correct layer when making the selections and are the sliders at the bottom set the same. Can you also point me to what time in this video please if you have any further questions.

  2. HI Karl, Sorry for the small question but is there a reason when i want to rotate my selection , there is no visible pivot point in the middle?

    1. Sorry I figured that out…now i have a new question…i copy the pillar on the left flip it horizontally align it etc then copy cutout layer, turn off the copy and create mask on cutout layer…select the mask then when i want to paint in black over the mask, nothing happens. it doesn’t show the original layer underneath as its supposed to. What am i doing wrong?

  3. Awesome tutorial! Even more than the demonstration of the tools, I enjoyed and learned from what you were thinking to make a more successful image. It seems it would be super easy to OVER post the pic (like removing the rug by the groom) but your process of being editorial during the modifications was impressive.

  4. Hi Karl.

    Experimented, and if you get the image straight as a first step, the simetry is automatic… just cut and place on the right, spot on!

  5. Wow, impressed. The most valuable in these tutorials is that they show the author’s mind-set. Tools can be learned comparatively easily, but the decisions one needs to make is what requires years of experience.

  6. This particular lesson changed the way i “see images” completely.
    Awesome work and explanation!

  7. Many thanks for this lesson and the series on Photoshop! It has shown me a lot of tools in photoshop that i’ve never really used before.

  8. Hey Karl, I had a question regarding the part in which by using the clone stamp tool to remove the window in the back of the church.
    If this picture were to be printed, wouldn’t that “dark area” come out a little odd?
    I understand it might have to do with how well of a job you have done to remove and hide it, but i’m wondering, how well can one hide that in a print?
    Like not just a tiny print but a full blown big poster size to billboard print.

    1. Hi Jacques, on that type of retouch it is very easy to hide the retouching if it is done well even on a large print. The fact is when you zoom in to 200% in photoshop you are seeing as much detail as you will see in a print (although not necessarily the same tonal range). Even very complicated retouching can be completely imperceivable, I would say that the most obvious retouching is when lots of items are comped together which is why I try to do as much in camera as it saves time and looks more natural in the long run.

  9. Good patient work Karl. Taking out the tiny weed clumps on the steps right at the bottom would improve further. There is also a repeat pattern running across the step at the very bottom which is easily healed for more improvement. I might have also been tempted to change a few leaves in the wall plants and pot plants so that they are not exact mirror reflections. But I realise you are just showing us the technique as an exercise ☺

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