Meet our talented and internationally published retoucher, who has worked on a number of our covers and beauty spreads – Roza Dinova. She calls herself an ‘invisible staff’, and there are two reasons for this. First, because the excellence of a retoucher is to make sure his/her work is not noticeable, hiding the imperfections and emphasizing the strengths of the shot, keeping lights, shadows and human anatomy natural, and holding to the original intent of the photographer as well. Second, because most people don’t even know such a profession exist: “ – Retoucher? Who’s that? I thought the photographer does it themselves”. This or similar reaction is what a retoucher usually hears when somebody asks what one does for a living.
While a lot of photographers can and do work on it themselves, especially for events such as weddings, a simple portrait, or photo intended to be published on the web. But if photoshoot is done for a glossy magazine or beauty ad, most likely there’s a touch of a professional retoucher. Since she was a child, Roza enjoyed drawing and painting, which is akin to the high-end retouching. She later went digital and got a graphic design degree from a Russian universities, where retouching projects appealed to her the most. A classical university education gives an advantage over self-taught enthusiasts when it comes to illustration, composition, color theory, body anatomy and history of art. Roza is confident they are essential for success in any contemporary visual art, whether it is graphical design, interior design or retouching.
During her career Roza has worked as a retoucher in the photo lab, graphical designer in one of the best regional event agencies, and even launched a kids fashion e-commerce startup. She says the latter experience taught her to be responsible with the deadlines and make sure even the most demanding customers are happy. After moving to Melbourne, Australia Roza decided to take the path she loved the most and where she wants herself to excel – in retouching. Since 2013 she has been working with a number of celebrities, online and paper magazines, photographers, models, hair and beauty salons, all becoming her loyal clients. She is constantly branching out, available for her next beauty brand campaign.
How to tell if retouch is good or bad? “First sign of a bad one is when you can see it has been ‘photoshopped’. A good Photoshop is not knowing for sure if a photo has been Photoshopped. Skin shouldn’t look like a blurred plastic mask without any sign of texture, eyes and teeth shouldn’t be abnormally white, and colors shouldn’t be oversaturated” – said Roza. Of course, retouching is different for various purposes. For Example, children’s photos with natural light doesn’t need a significant effort, since there is usually no skin work required to correct blemishes or wrinkles. On the other hand, a printed beauty close-up photo, like the one featured in this month’s issue, is considered the most difficult and time-consuming and can take from 5-8 hours to make, since it is crucial to make sure it looks perfect even under the microscope.