While meeting with a client recently I was bragging about my skills in Photoshop, explaining that I have invested thousands of hours learning how to use this wonderful editing software over the past 9 years. If you have ever used any other photo editing software, you know that the training is endless.
I went on to tell her that when I retouch an image it looks very natural, not overdone and it is important to me that I don't change the basic look of my subject. (Okay, maybe a little softening of crow's feet, slightly whiter teeth, little fix of an eyelash that is too short, maybe just a removal of a teeny tiny imperfection on the skin). In general I remain true to the subject, on their best day, with their best make up and a slight tan, and no dry spots, and no zits. "Oh yes", I say and as I continue to brag about how skilled I am and how my clients just love my work. Then she says something to me that causes me to choke on my very words, "Don't Photoshop Me".
"What?", I ask incredulous, stunned, and actually humbled. And she says "I don't know, I just don't want you to change the way I look." And I reluctantly honor her request. But I am thinking about it a lot over the next few days, I ponder this strange woman alien trying to see it from her side. Why would she want to give up the skills of a professional retouch artist and photographer? Maybe she is so confident that she sees her own beauty. Well, she is pretty, I will give her that. Now that's quite an uplifting thought, because most women I know criticize their every flaw. Or maybe, she is supremely honest and only wants to represent herself as who she truly is in photos. Oh my, the feelings of humbleness bubble up. What a woman! Oh, I admire her... self confident, beautiful and honest!? Or maybe, oh no, another thought enters my mind, she's actually just quite clever. What if she realizes that if I edit her portrait and someone sees it before they see her they may think, "Wow, she has gotten older since I last saw her!". Oh, that's a terrifying thought, she could be right. Oh, I have to ponder these things some more, so I did.
And well, with all due respect to my new idol, who is honest, smart, and beautiful too, I have landed on my own personal decision. Photoshop me Please!
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Photographer, Equestrian, Airstream Enthusiast
Brenda Colwell is a Family Portrait Photographer creating memories and treasured heirlooms for your family and something beautiful for your home. Book your own unique experience.