As I photographer, it is my job to capture a moment in time. My goal is to evoke feeling, memories- happiness especially. Photographs are a legacy for your family. I guarantee you that there will be someone, one day, who cherishes each and every image they have of you- whether you think you look “good” in the picture or not. My mom passed away very young, as a result, I don’t have many pictures of her. Since her passing, I have been very adamant that each parent be captured with their child for even just a couple images at their session. It’s not a choice. I will force you! Your kid doesn’t care what you look like. They love you for you, and that’s all they will see when they look at your photo in the future.
“Photoshop it” is a phrase that I hear very often in my trade, and that’s understandable, because many people feel vulnerable when having their photo taken. It’s rare that I meet a grown adult who is completely comfortable in front of the camera (I am one of those camera avoiding people myself). It’s natural that we want our “best” features to be enhanced, and our not so desirable features to be downplayed, or “taken away.”
I do my best to capture you in your most flattering light. And I get that sometimes, that just isn’t enough. There are changes that I am able to make after the images have been taken, and there are some that I can’t. Part of this is education, part of this is principle. I don’t want your “image” to not look like you, otherwise what was the point in taking a photograph?? When I hear a client use the phrase “I look so beautiful, it doesn’t even look like me,” I say yes it does, you just don’t know how beautiful you are!
I’d like to share a few of the things that I will photoshop, and some of the things that I won’t, just so we’re clear when your photo day arrives (remember also that the amount of retouching depends on the type of session that you have booked as well, read more about that HERE). I’d also like to share some tips on how to help you feel your very best, sometimes a little bit of pampering goes a long way.
Things that I can/will retouch: cellulite, eye brightness, redness, pimples, cuts, scratches, bruises, minimizing shadows and highlights that create an undesirable effect. I will “face/feature swap” in family photo situations to achieve a pleasant expression for everyone in the photo where available.
Things that I can’t/won’t retouch: the overall size/shape of your body, eye colour, hair colour, scars and birthmarks (unless specifically requested), clothing. I won’t put you in a different location than the one you are in, unless you want it to look obviously fake as a joke.
Now some things that you can do before your session to help you feel your best. It’s important that you don’t take this section as things you HAVE to do prior to your session!! These are just tips for those of us who don’t like our photo taken, and might like to soften the experience! At the end of the day, you need to do what you need to do in order to feel good about your photos!!
First off, if there is a figure feature that you would like to downplay, find an outfit that achieves this as best as possible, maybe invest in some shape wear. Take your most honest friend shopping with you. Before your session, examine the clothing, and shoes you are going to wear extensively, this also includes the clothing, and shoes that the other members of your family will wear. Check for tags, loose threads, stickers, holes, stains, etcetera; this is VERY important. If an outfit has the tendency to malfunction (bra straps, underwear lines) do the best you can to avoid malfunction (change undergarments or use spray adhesive).
Have your hair and/or make up professionally applied- opt for natural looking false lashes to give your eyes extra definition. Maybe have your hair cut/coloured prior to your shoot if you feel it needs a refresh. If you like your brows to look a certain way, have them shaped. Men should make sure that any facial hair (this includes the nose and ears), is cleaned up to how they would like it presented. I don’t know how to comb a beard in Photoshop.
Put some thought into your session. Ask me for outfit ideas. Browse Pinterest (just don’t ask me to copy poses exactly- that’s plagiarism). Invest yourself, in the end you will like what you see more, I promise!