Rachel Kissel Retouching has become a sought-after specialist in athletic apparel. This work for Nike spotlights her gift for highlighting textures and motion while showcasing the beauty and style of the clothing.

Female athlete training

“Athletic clothing ripples and bunches up on an active model, so you have to find the right balance of those dynamic qualities while still keeping the clothes looking beautiful and communicating as much as possible about the details of the garments,” explains Rachel.

Women with strong muscles

Of course, it’s not all about the clothing. A couple of sky swaps required detailed hair masking, but at the end of the day the primary goal is to get the clothes looking great!

An athletic women jumps while training

Starbucks presented an entirely different set of challenges. Not only is Rachel a master retoucher, she is also an expert compositor. This job put those skills to the test. Starbucks wanted strong color stories and striking designs, but not final images that looked over-polished or over-produced.


“In some ways, this snapshot style required more expertise. Complex compositing lends itself to a glossed look. Creating a casual look requires real skill to hide all the compositing,” Rachel explains. “I had so much fun with this project! It was fast-paced and turned out beautifully.”

Couple enjoys take-out food on couch with Starbucks

This is just a small selection of a larger body of work that Starbucks shot for a variety of uses including print and social media. Many of the final images involved swaps based on their selects. Rachel combined the ideal pieces into one remarkable shot.

Chinese food with Starbucks

How do you know when you’re dealing with a true artist? They do their day job just for fun! “As a kid, I loved to imagine never-ending skyscapes of sweet treats, and if I climbed the right rainbow, I'd be able to dive in and indulge!”

Cotton Candy Cloud

This cotton (eye) candy was born out of Rachel’s love of pink clouds. “I sourced some of the shots from stock but I couldn't find the right hand and stick so I just shot those. I enjoyed making a visual representation of something I daydreamed about as a kid.”

You can see Rachel’s portfolio, some amazing before/after imagery and learn more about her work here.