i like to say that i know several languages. i can speak english, spanish, slow and choppy Italian, butchered variations of Portugese and slowly form words with my hands using Sign Language.
but i’d also like to add that i’m fluent in Photoshop.
Now… this post will be disturbing to some – annoying to a few – and surprising to most.
it is a little known fact that i do retouching. now… the first example i am about to show you is a DRASTIC session in retouching. and i’d like to point out that none of my clients NEED this sort of retouching nor do they receive it. however, i don’t want you to not pick a photo of yourself because hair #5,439 is out of place or because you think your dark circles are distracting. or because you don’t think you look pretty. or because your child has a booger holding on to their nostril for dear life.
i’m going to make sure that your investment in a session with me provides you with images, products, and prints that you are proud to display because they capture the essence of your personality… and because you finally have a good photo of yourself!
i’ve wanted to post these images for awhile now. and could never figure out the correct “motivation” to do so. now… i KNOW that some of you are going to respond with “but that’s not what she LOOKS like – so why spend the time doing that for your clients and making them appear differently than how they actually do?” this is the default response i get. and let me just say this… when you get married. and you’re all dolled up in your wedding dress… and stress has taken the form of a gastly pimple on your chin or forehead… there is NO reason in the world that you should look back on photos of your wedding day… twenty years from now… and see that pimple.
when you spend a ton of time getting your newborn ready for her photo session – you’ve bathed her, picked out her outfits, spent hours pouring over the web purchasing hats and tutus and getting ideas for your session – you’ve given her a nap. and a bottle. and said your prayers that all goes well during the session – and two minutes before i walk through the door, she scratches her face. there is NO reason in the world that you should cancel your session. because … i can wave a magic little photoshop wand and it’ll be like it never happened!
and perhaps this is what will set a “professional” photographer aside from an “amateur” the ability to bring out the best in people, but do it subtly and not in a way that makes your client look like someone featured on a “bad plastic surgery” website.
i DO NOT advocate a complete overhaul. what *i* do is simply… highlight your best features and the image itself.
now – let me start sharing before and after images. but not without prefacing all of this by saying that your photographer should, first and foremost, be trained in the areas of posing to help eliminate the need for major “reconstructive” work on your images. a professional photographer will know how to pose you effectively to make you look your best. your photographer should also know how to use their camera settings and environmental settings effectively and not rely on photoshop to “create” an image for them. your photographer should also be sensitive to the overall appeal of an image and accentuate only what needs to be accentuated. i admit to bumping colors. and we ALL do it. and you should NEVER believe a photographer that says “i do this all in camera”
because that’s a lie. and really, we, as photographers, should be PROUD of our work – while photographing and in post-production as well. it’s all a part of the process and it’s all a part of our style.
but please please pleeeeeeeeeeease invest in a photographer that has invested in classes, instruction or tutuorials, on how to do this so that the bump in color saturation doesn’t make you look like you were out on the beach for a month straight.
here are the samples.
and btw – i did NOT take these photos of Madonna. nor do i have any ownership of them. they come from a website/blog dissing the material girl for looking so frightful. i’d like to say that… if i look like this when i’m this age… without make up. barely dressed. and under crazy ridiculous lighting situations that will have every imperfection on my face screaming, “hey look at me!!!!” … i will consider myself very lucky!!!! (and you should too)
and now… for a real world example…. this is one of my favorite clients and friends. she’s undeniably gorgeous and damn near perfect… and she has given me permission to do this.
i used lauren as an example to show you that in most cases, i will take an image and pull it into photoshop just to even out skin tones. brighten your eyes. highlight the colors, etc etc etc. so when i tell you that any image you order is “retouched” this is what i mean. and call me crazy… but i don’t charge for this. it comes included in your investment. ::wink::
alright. that was fun. have a great monday!