I don’t use Photoshop to “perfect” my clients, but I get requests for Photoshop work fairly regularly. We are constantly inundated with Photoshopped images from the people we follow on social media to magazines in the grocery store checkout. So why don’t I join them? These are my top 5 reasons why I don’t use Photoshop.
1 I want to keep delivering huge galleries full of beautiful images
A lot of photographers deliver their favorite 25-50 images from a session. In my experience, my favorite photos are not exactly the same as your favorite photos. I want to give you as many options as I can so that you can choose the image where you like your smile the best, you see your relationship most vividly, and you feel best. My engagement galleries, on average, are delivered with about 100 images for you to enjoy. I also include a couple of the goofy in-between moments that won’t be posted online, but you can laugh at as you scroll through your gallery.
If I spent half an hour or more on each image to Photoshop it, I wouldn’t be able to deliver so many options, so many real moments, or so much joy.
2 The posing and editing I do is already flattering
I find that, when people don’t like how they look in photos, it’s usually because that’s not how they really look. Maybe the photographer chose a pose that was unflattering, or maybe the pose emphasized something you are insecure about. I have a system in place to choose flattering poses, and I always ask what to watch out for. If you have a side, I’ll do my best to capture that side as often as possible. If you’re worried about your hair getting frizzy, I’ll keep an eye on it for you. You get the picture.
Global editing is changing things that apply to the entire image, like exposure and contrast. I focus on making skin tones look clear and true-to-life in the “global editing” that I do so that you look the most like yourself. I also do lens correction so that there’s no “fisheye” effect making you look wider than you really are.
3 It takes the focus away from what matters
You are not getting your picture taken because you’re a supermodel posing for the front of Vogue magazine. You’re getting your picture taken because you’re in love, and you want to celebrate that with the people who love you. That means that looking perfect is not the goal. The goal is to capture your relationship. Will you look great? Of course. But that’s not the focus.
4 You deserve to love how you look
I never want you to look at an image and think, “I only look that good because I’m Photoshopped.” Girl, you are beautiful. Love looks gorgeous on you. You spent time getting all dolled up to look your best. You deserve to love exactly who you are and how you look in these photos!
One time, after delivering her gallery, a friend told me, “I wasn’t sure I wanted to open the gallery and see myself. But you made me look great! You are really good!” I loved being able to tell her that it was not me — that she was looking at herself. No filter. No Photoshop. That is what I want for every single client: that, “Dang, I look good!” moment when you open up your gallery.
5 I want to be part of a different movement
Continuing to use Photoshop to “fix” portraits is just spreading more unrealistic expectations and more self-criticism. I want you to proudly post your photos and know how great you look. I want your mom to love the pictures because they perfectly captured your relationship. I want your confidence to grow. I want your self-love to spread.