“Well, you can just Photoshop that out, right?”
If I had a nickel…
Let’s be clear. Photoshop is awesome! The things people do with it are crazy. But it has also created a culture where we expect that anything can be “fixed” afterward. Many photographers will remove trash cans, light posts, and other objects from their photos for a fee; I discussed this with another photographer and completely understand why she provides this service. I have taken many awesome photos that are just so much less awesome because of an ill-placed parking meter, or a random dude in the background.
As a lifestyle photographer, though, I feel that it would be dishonest for me to remove objects from photos, airbrush skin, or do a whole lot of “photoshopping”. When clients ask me, “can you just Photoshop that out?” I completely understand why they would request this service. However, my photographs represent truthful emotion, and are a realistic depiction of life today, at the very moment the photo was taken. That parking meter in your photo will be outdated soon enough, and then it’ll represent that time in your life forever.
I never want there to be any doubt about whether I really did take a photo the way it’s displayed, or whether my couples/families do really look that amazing. They do. You guys are awesome!
So when you prepare for a photo session with me, please be prepared to love yourself as you are! If you’d like lipstick in the photos, wear lipstick. If you have a black eye, well, let’s reschedule.
The one exception I make to this rule is for headshots: if you have a huge zit that totally ruins your favorite shot, I will probably remove it for you in one photo, because that’s not how you normally look. If your skin is all sorts of stressed out, we can talk about what to do in the photos. Bad skin happens! But I’m just not the photographer who creates airbrushed, dreamy, flawless photos. I love flaws. They’re what make us humans, not robots.
Though I shoot in color, I love to create black and white and vintage style images. But I will not alter the contents of the photograph, other than to crop it. I believe that life is beautiful exactly the way that it is, and you can be 100% sure that photos you receive from me are not a fake depiction of ideal life, but a beautiful representation of your own real existence.
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