Out of (Your) Control
When you do work for clients, you often don't get 'Final Cut'. That is to say, you don't get to have final say on how the picture looks. This is one reason why I do my own post; I like having control as long as I can. Most of the time it's not a problem and the differences between your picture and their version are ones of personal preference, not cringeworthy messes.
Here's an example. I shot the picture above of a now very rich young Googler for a magazine article. The art director wanted them shot on a solid light background so that she could flow text around, but also wanted to have a shadow behind him. That's fine I can do and did do that. However in my retouching I left some texture in the background because that's how I though it looked nicest. I pride myself on having my images sit just right in the tonal range. They didn't ask for any changes so I sent over the final images. My original is on the left.
I found the final images on the magazine's site and apparently they decided to blow out the background to pure 255 white. The photo on the right above. Had they asked me to do this I could have done it with a bit more subtlety and elegance. To me the final version looks cut out and pasted in. Whatever, who cares? I got the paycheck right? Well yes, and I'm really not complaining and am much better about this kind of thing than I was a couple of years ago. Except to say that at the top of the article it says "Photos by Bill Wadman". My fear is that people will look at that and look at the pictures and say "Wow, that Bill Wadman guy is really bad and ham handed at retouching his images. He's an amateur. I'm sure not going to hire him!" And THAT does bother me.
Letting it go now, not everything you do turns to gold I guess.