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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Retouching Line

Retouching, editing... re-creating or changing an image... it's a pretty hot topic. There are photographers who, like me believe less is more.

You don't like the wrinkles? You EARNED them.. every line, every imperfection... that's part of your life. Your up's, downs, and let's face it, it's reality. Just because you "can" fix, remove, or change something in photoshop... does it mean you should?

@VertePhotography "before"

I used to spend time on each image and "touch" everything that I posted for a client to view. Sometimes I would do serious retouching, sometimes just a little nudge that I felt made the image just a little better. Now, I can say I pull all my image through what I call my editing process - where I view them all, and occasionally make a small change. However, I don't retouch the imperfections on every image. That's my line. If you want it.. it's something that really bugs you, then I offer a retouching service for my clients. No problem. I "can" do it.

@VertePhotography  "after"
Like in my cooking though, I believe less is more. Your skin isn't one tone, you have highlights shadows... and different tones. I try not to remove that, even during retouching to "lessen shine" or "even skin tones". I don't want to make you look like someone else... I think your amazing just the way you are! That's not to say that I don't feel for kids with acne, or moms who's babies scratch themselves the night before a shoot. I get it... really I do! Sometimes it's simply necessary. Sometimes, it's just plain vanity. Your line between the two, is your choice.

Want me to cover your wrinkles in Photoshop? Sure... how about you tell me it bothers you ahead of time, so I can work with lighting, posing and even the magic of filters to soften and disguise them to start with? 

Your not Barbie, I am not going to make you look like Barbie. Plus... have you ever seen a portrait of Barbie? SHE even has imperfections! I feel like I am in my zone and I am LOVING my business. It's organic, natural and that's the photography I LOVE! This is my line in the sand: Retouching has become an additional expense to my clients as of last year, and I couldn't be more happy with that choice. No longer spending 40 hours retouching every image for one session, which frees up my time and energy! Now my clients really think about the images, and the work that they are getting done. For some, this hasn't limited the requests, and that's fine... I am happy to do them! I simply believe, they should be the ones to choose what their images look like, how they are going to be printed, preserved and passed down to other generations.... not me.

Next time you ask your photographer to "make it look like you lost 20 lbs" or that your 10 years younger... think about those amazing images you have of your grandmother, ones before digital retouching became the norm... are they priceless to you? Do you love them and her for who she is? Or, do you think less of her for the imperfections?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! Honestly, I love the before photo more than the after photo. It seems more "real" if that makes sense. I have had blemishes removed from photos but that's about it. Maybe a crazy couple of hairs that went wonky, as well. I had a photographer ask me if I wanted her to photoshop out my heart surgery scar when I had my maternity photos done - and I said "of course not!" Extreme things that change the image of who someone really is a bit crazy. Great job on charging a bit extra for a lot of retouching - definitely worth a fee!