A common question I get is; "Do you photoshop our wedding photos?" While I have no problem with this question I feel as if there seems to be a general misunderstanding about Photoshop & and Photo Editing. Somewhere along the development of digital photography the word "Photoshop" became the default definition for ANY photo editing. The reality of the digital photography industry is we have a lot more choices out there other than just Photoshop to take our images to the next level.
Most photographers use different programs & styles of processing to suit their own workflow and photography style but there are two main types of photo editing. Without getting too nerdy about it here is a little break-down of the two.
This stage of photo editing is fundamental and must always be done. I personally count the culling process as editing as well because every choice to keep or discard an image for a gallery is a creative choice. Cropping, straightening, colour corrections and many other adjustments are included as basic/corrective edits. The main goal of this type of editing is accuracy of reproduction and consistency accross the whole gallery of images. A photographer's creative style still comes across with their choice of brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, tint etc.
This is what's commonly labelled as "Photoshopping" which is understandable since a majority of these edits are done in Photoshop. This type of editing includes retouching bad skin, removing or adding objects/people from images, artificial light effects and also creative edits that may dramatically alter the image from the original. I can only speak for myself but I avoid this type of editing because it simply isn't part of my style. I also choose to shoot a particular way on a wedding day that avoids the need for heavy editing/retouching.
Most professional wedding photographers will be doing Basic/Corrective edits and Heavy/Retouching is optional as required.
So the big question; Does it even matter?
I think every photographer should have the skills & tools to provide the best product/service possible for their customers and sometimes that will include the use of Heavy/retouching photoshop editing. However It's important to keep in mind that some photographers like myself choose not to use heavy editing techniques & can deliver an excellent product without the use of Photoshop or retouching. Great photography doesn't NEED Photoshop but it's a useful skill for your photographer to have.