As I spend more time shooting, I inevitably spend more time editing. That's more time up close and personal with peoples pores, pimples, nostrils, and all things that person may be insecure about. I often have that lighthearted conversation with a model after the shoot where he or she mentions something along the lines of "So you'll photoshop out my fat rolls, right?" If it's not fat rolls, it's eye bags, or wrinkles, or childhood scar.
The answer is, yes. I most likely will. And it's not because that person is unattractive or "not perfect" the way they are... It's because I'm a creative photographer and I'm often shooting a fairytale like concept using people as tools to convey the idea. My models are telling my story! Truly.
I personally don't advocate photoshopping every-day portraits of people to remove their insecurities. That, I feel, Is a bigger issue people need to address with societal standards and themselves. But that's not the point of this blog. What I'm getting at is YES. I photoshop the hell out of my images to create dream lands and fictional characters, which is why I am so ok with modifying my models bodies. I make them freakishly "perfect" to contribute to the overall image.
Now. With all of that said, I wanted to share a couple of my retouching examples! I love sharing my work and my process.
Below is a recent shoot I did with my muse, Brittany. In a miniseries paying homage to the four elements (earth, fire, wind, water), she so graciously accepted my water image. In my retouching I shaped her hair to give her a little more of a silhouette, spotted out water droplets on her face, cleaned up her skin, brightened her eyes, and did some highlighting and darkening on her face.
The expression on her face and the depth of the colors in this image just blow me away every time. Now getting a little closer in on her face in a separate image you can see a little more detailed comparison of face retouching.
This is actually an in-progress image so there's still some work to be done, but you get the overall idea. Yes there is a lot of cleaning up that's done, but in the end... she still looks human. Brittany still has pores and creases in her skin. She is still Brittany.
Though I photoshop a lot, I don't want to take the believability of the image away by making her look like she has freakishly smooth skin or something along those lines. This is a pretty consistent theme throughout my photography.
Here is an example of a finished image:
And there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. :)