A photo editor, a.k.a. an image retoucher, has expertise in enhancing images by addressing the following issues:
Exposure and color correction
Many cameras adjust their exposure value, based on the brightest region in the lens. Most of the times, this leaves the picture under exposed in the areas that count the most, causing a loss of detail and lack of definition. It might also have an overall dominant color throughout. This is known as a color cast. Fortunately, restoring the natural colors and balancing the highlights and shadows can be achieved.
Removing or replacing visual elements
Often times, a photographer will shoot their subjects against a variety of backgrounds. My job, as a photo editor, is to remove or replace the background, but leave the subject intact. This gets tricky when working with hair, especially if it’s wispy, curly or thinning. The object is to leave the fine details of the hair intact.
Another aspect of image enhancement is restoring certain features. For example, removing facial blemishes can be done in a manner that looks natural and leaves skin looking beautiful. Most pictures you see in books and magazines have had some corrective retouching done. Even the best photographers implement this, or they’ll have a professional image editor do it for them. Image retouching is a discipline and an art that I have over 10 years of experience with.