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How do I explain to buyer his request is impossible?

The average layman probably thinks the possibilities of Photoshop are endless. They pretty much are, but ofcourse there are boundaries.

A buyer sent me a picture of a person, taken in direct sunlight (part of a bigger/longer order, otherwise I would’ve cancelled). Half of the face is covered in dark shadows, not enough details left in the darks. The buyer wants me to remove all of the shadows, but since there is no detail in the shadows, this is not possible.

I’ve tried to explain multiple times but to no avail. What should I do now?


I wonder what did he replied when you said that its not possible ?
I understand frustration when buyer demands something that is not in scope or never discussed , but you have to be straight forward and tell them its not possible and out of scope of order…

Just explain thing in exact similar manner you wrote here…tell him when there is nothing visible on half of the face how can I bring details back ? Its not possible !

PS : May be you can crop visible face and flip it to put on shadowed side ?


No details as in completely black values, or could they be found if you just messed with the contrast/exposure/shadow in that one area?

As for what you can do, maybe
. ask the buyer to present that image to others and get a second opinion?
. say they can swap that image for a new one?
. paint/edit in the details yourself?


Just mirror the lit half of his face and you’re good to go!


Yup :(. And I’m not a fan of mirroring since no one’s face is 100% symmetrical.

I’ve explained it to him again, showing visual examples of what happens and luckily the buyer was finally very understanding! We worked it out now. Thanks for the help.


It is very frustating sometimes. When I receive requests that are not feasible I just tell them. Yesterday someone asked to proofread a 45K word book in 24 hours… :woman_facepalming:


Made me chuckle a bit that one

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