Striking a Balance Between Image Enhancement and Authenticity in Photo Editing

By Michaela Luyt

Last updated on 07/15/2024

Cover Photo by Charmi Patel Pena

Ever wondered why some photos just hit differently? The secret lies in mastering the right balance between tasteful image enhancement and
authenticity in photography. Your vision and your unique style are the magic wand, weaving each image with an authentic charm. Stray too far, and the spell breaks — excessive image enhancement shatters authenticity.

Uncover the key to preserving that genuine touch. Stick with us, and let’s journey into the art of maintaining authenticity in photography while utilizing the right image enhancer software to keep and pass the creative vision with every click — from the camera to the post-production workflow. 

What is Image Enhancement?

Image enhancement is about optimizing and refining photos to maintain their baseline appearance while enhancing and refining them. It’s essentially a process to optimize the overall look and feel of images by focusing on techniques like:

Using digital image enhancement tools designed for professional photographers can help achieve these adjustments with precision. Whether you’re working with a blurred image enhancer or aiming to enhance an old or grainy image, the right image editing and enhancement software can make all the difference.

Experience the magic of authentic, yet tastefully enhanced photos with Imagen – the best AI photo editing & image enhancement software for pro photographers!
Start Your Free Trial & Get 1000 Free AI Edits 

Importance of Authenticity in Photo Editing

The choices you make between over-editing or under-editing can influence how people perceive your images. This can affect your ability to secure future clientele and work opportunities. In commercial photography, misrepresenting images through over-editing can have unwanted consequences.

Picture this: a customer looking for new bedding encounters an over-edited photo online, and suddenly, the color is not what it seems — it’s now purple. They’re left wanting to buy a purple duvet while your client doesn’t even stock purple duvets. The lack of authenticity in the image has not only undermined honesty and integrity but also eroded the customer’s trust in your client.

Did you know?

Industries like pharmaceuticals have strict guidelines for their images, including editing details like dates and batch coding. While seemingly small, these edits help maintain photo integrity and meet client expectations.

» Check out expert tips for managing client expectations for photographers

How To Strike the Right Balance: Techniques and Best Practices

Small Tweaks, Big Enhancement

Focus on slight modifications that refine and enhance the image without altering the core image. This involves making nuanced changes to elements outside the main image, such as tweaking the brightness and contrast. Using tools like the Dodge tool helps address smaller details. Learning how to enhance image quality using AI can significantly improve your workflow.

Keeping Things Natural

Certain elements contribute to the natural authenticity of an image by adding a human touch, while others detract from it. For instance, features like freckles add to the natural look, so it’s best to keep such elements. On the other hand, blemishes can be removed to enhance the overall appearance of the image.

Match Client Expectations by Seeking Feedback

Review the client’s expectations so that there’s an alignment between your vision and theirs. Clear communication is key, especially if they prefer a more heavily edited image. A good rule of thumb is to avoid over-editing your images unless specifically instructed otherwise. Also, seek feedback from the client throughout the editing process so you can deliver what they’re looking for.

ProTip: In batch editing scenarios, refine and adjust images based on the client’s specific preferences, even if it means going back to the editing process. This approach to meeting the client’s expectations can be factored into your photography business pricing structure.

Nishi wedding - authentic photo editing and image enhancement with Imagen
Photo by Charmi Patel Pena

Tools for Balancing Image Enhancement and Authenticity

Choosing the right Editing Tools

The choice between using Photoshop or Lightroom for image enhancement depends on the nature of your photography. Adobe Photoshop is perfect for enhancing portrait and commercial photography as it has extensive and detailed editing capabilities. However, Adobe Lightroom is more suitable for landscape and image photography enhancements, making it great for events.

» Looking to save time and get pro results? Uncover batch photo editing in Lightroom

Enhancing Images with AI Editing

Over time, AI has become increasingly effective, particularly in tasks such as masking and removing backgrounds. It makes the editing process more efficient, and its continuous learning is enhancing its capabilities, making it a valuable tool for various aspects of image enhancement. For those looking for a free AI image enhancer, there are also some options available on the market.

Imagen, for example, offers a free trial of its AI editing tool that connects to Lightroom or other Adobe Creative Suite tools, analyzes your personal preferences, and applies your unique editing style to each image, and you can sign up for a free trial, before committing to any payment.

Imagen AI Image Enhancer Tool for Adobe

Imagen is a quick and powerful AI-powered photo enhancement and editing assistant. It analyzes your photos and unlike the downloadable editing presets, adjusts the Lightroom parameters for each photo individually, based on your style. You just need to create your personal AI Profile by uploading some edited photos. It’ll allow Imagen’s AI to learn your editing style and preferences.

You can integrate it with Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Photoshop, or Bridge which is excellent for portraits, landscapes, weddings, and more. You must achieve roughly the same look in your edits if you’ve got a batch of photos. Imagen saves you plenty of time and money — especially if you usually outsource your modifications. Additionally, Images offers a bunch of dedicated AI image face enhancer tools such as the Smooth Skin and the Portrait Crop, that can streamline the process and ensure consistency across your photos.



  • Requires Adobe account
  • Limited tools for photo tagging
  • No generative AI features, only AI-editing

AI’s Efficiency in Photography Postproduction Workflow

Some of the ways AI can benefit your post-production workflows include:

  • Speeding up editing: AI expedites the editing process, making it faster and more advanced, especially when dealing with products that require multiple shots.
  • Better background removal: It handles background removal and delves into the image, identifying and enhancing specific elements.
  • Making batch editing easier: This speed and depth make batch editing more efficient, especially when dealing with a large number of images.
  • Working with RAW images: AI’s capability to edit images in RAW format further adds to its versatility and effectiveness in the editing workflow.

» Discover 5 ways AI photography editing can optimize your workflow

Challenges with AI Editing

Some challenges with AI editing include the limitation of refining elements to meet specific expectations. While certain aspects of an image can be refined, they may not always align with the desired quality or in the precise manner one would prefer.

Another notable challenge is the tendency of AI to over-edit images at times. These challenges highlight the need for careful supervision and manual refinement, ensuring that the final result meets the desired standards.

Developing Authenticity Pixel by Pixel

Approaching the editing process with a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the image. A defined concept from the outset helps maintain authenticity and achieve the desired look and feel in the final result. This ensures a cohesive and intentional approach to the editing process.

Additionally, advanced AI photo assistants offer invaluable support in intelligent editing. Imagen’s AI editing tool is awesome because it doesn’t fall into the AI trap of over-editing, as it takes your personal preferences into account and applies your unique editing style to each image. So you can have it all – the convenience of AI image enhancement and the authenticity of your own artistic vision!

Michaela LuytMichaela Luyt is a digital marketing specialist and an experienced photographer with over 5 years of expertise, capturing moments from commercial to lifestyle settings. She has a creative eye, a passion for storytelling, and an ability to evoke emotions through the lens. Her freelance photography and marketing businesses focus on providing tailored solutions for small companies and agencies.

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