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Bill, your browser let you down in your post! 🙂 All kidding aside, you make some good points and I don’t see you as a smart ass. Almost 100% of photos that are deemed acceptable and ultimately part of the package that the client pays for are post-processed in some form or another. The client must have confidence that the one behind the camera and the one in front of the screen know what they are doing. We all know there is a multitude of wannabe “professionals” out there offering their services for less than optimal results. This site is certainly proof of that!
To answer your question, if the photographer and the retoucher are one and the same, they will certainly select the best in-camera settings so that retouching is kept to a minimum and they can serve other clients or have a decent life outside of their business.
If they are not the same, camera settings still matter for pretty much the same reasons. If the photographer and retoucher are totally independent of each other, the client can ask the retoucher if they work with any other photographers where the combination of the two will simply blow the client away. However, this extra overhead likely means a higher price structure that the client will need to decide if the results are worth the extra money as opposed to the client’s brother and sister-in-law who can shoot their wedding and provide less-than-stellar photos for substantially less.
Of course, we all know this. What really gets me is the photographer that produces images that are worthy of being on the cover of Vogue but doesn’t take the time (either themselves or someone who might have an expert command of the language) to ensure their online presence is worthy of the calibre as the images they may have on the same page! Therein lies the danger—this to me is the epitome of the photographer who’s simply in it for the money and not for the love of their craft. This is applicable to ANY profession, not just photography.