The photographers want to keep control:
Retouching isn’t just about pimple removal and shaping, it’s also about creating a certain look for the photographer. What we receive from photographers (even the best) looks pretty ordinary and similar to what you get from your standard digital camera, just with far better lighting, better detail, and of course high fashion made-up models in couture. High end retouching gives a “look” to all of these editorials and fashion campaigns. Think of high-end retouchers as Instagram on an expert level; they apply a look and vibe that says something, which can be edgy, commercial, high-fashion, etc. Photographers want people to continue to believe that the images that are seen in print came straight from the memory card; on the contrary, they look FAR DIFFERENT.
So do retouchers ever question clients or photographers about the extent of retouching that’s being done? Yup, and they don’t often have a choice in the matter.