Loving Our Selfies-How Much is too Much?

Editing is personal, do you agree? We all have our own style, our own way of doing things. Some of us like to take away every flaw to give our clients a clean, airbrushed look. Others like to leave photos as they come straight out of camera (SOOC), no editing at all. Yet others like a happy medium. When and how do you determine, how much editing is too much?

Again, this is personal, so I truly don’t mean to offend anyone if your style is different than mine. That’s the cool thing about photography, we all have clients come to us because they like OUR style. However, the point of my series, “Loving Our Selfies”, is to tap into self-esteem and issues we see in our clients and ourselves. We all see these beautiful models on magazine covers. Perfection (blah, blah blah!). Many of us see these gorgeous women AND men and think, “I will never look like her. I will never be as beautiful as she is.” I do it sometimes. I hate that I do it, but I do. And the dumbest part about that is I KNOW how much Photoshopping is going on!

™ 1

This brings me to the question of, how much editing do you do? My goal is make my clients feel amazing about themselves, while still making sure they look like the same person. Do I require hair and makeup for my girls? Sure do. Does that mean I want them to look completely different than they do every day? Sure doesn’t. The hair and makeup are tools to help me get my perfect shot SOOC. From there, when I get to the editing process, I want my photos to pop, but I don’t want them to look over-edited. I like when you can see a little under eye “stuff” (for lack of a better term!), expression lines, and some pores. Personally, I feel if I edit too much, I’m not raising my client’s self-esteem, I’m lowering it by making them look fake. I’m not saying I don’t fix blemishes and run Portraiture, because I do, within reason. What I’m saying is, I don’t want my clients feeling like I made them a plastic doll.

Even celebrities are getting sick of too much Photoshopping. I shared this video two weeks ago, but it’s appropriate to include here because it “discusses” how sometimes there can be too much of a good thing.

http://sfglobe.com/?id=1659&src=share_fb_new_1659.

I agree with some of what Lorde is saying here too:

http://time.com/43699/not-so-flawless-lorde-protests-photoshopping/

I also don’t “trim” people. Some photogs do that, and it’s cool. I just don’t. Relying on good posing helps if you have a client who is bigger. Heck, I have worked on posing myself so my “guns” don’t stand out as much. If a potential client asks me to do that, I would tell them I don’t edit that way. You are beautiful the way you are. Remember this girl from the Target ad?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/target-photoshop-fail_n_4940819.html?utm_hp_ref=photoshop-fail

Lawd, I would hate for one of my clients to look like this poor girl after she was butchered by one their graphic designer.

SIDENOTE: When I say we are beautiful the way we are, I do mean it. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have things we can all work on. Work out more, make healthier food choices, and drink more stinking water. If you want to see out of shape, take a look my way, I’m not hideous or anything, but I’m not feeling super comfy in my own skin right now. BUT, that doesn’t mean I should beat myself up like I was doing this past Saturday as I was preparing to shoot a gorgeous wedding and felt “icky” about my body and wishing it was fall so I could cover up more. I need to be ok with how I look and from there, make a choice to do what I can to make myself more comfortable in my own skin.

I know most of us would not Photoshop to the extent of this next link, but I like to pay attention to stories and “Photoshop Fails” such as these to remind myself to keep my clients looking real, like themselves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/victorias-secret-photoshop-fail-thighs_n_1645735.html?utm_hp_ref=photoshop-fail

Editing. It’s tricky. We want our clients to feel good about themselves, but be careful not to go too far. It can be a slippery slope, and I would hate to give young people a message of, “you’re not good enough, so I’m going to edit the crap out of your photos.”  Remember, our clients may be young adults, but they are still kids and vulnerable. Give them photos they and their families will always treasure, but without making them look like Frankenstein’s third cousin twice removed.