The most frequent question I get during a head shot or portrait session is, "You can Photoshop that out, right?" The usual response is, "Yes, but... ."
The art of editing and retouching images has gotten a lot of attention (both positive and negative), and I must admit that I tend to lean toward the less-is-more approach. I agree that fashion magazines abuse the technology of digital imagery and I prefer to make my edits more subtle: removing a blemish, lightening up dark circles under the eyes, and adding a touch of shading to the chin and jawline are all standard touch ups. That scar on your forehead that you got after falling off the jungle gym when you were six? I'm going to ask you before I remove it. The braces on the gorgeous woman in this image? She wanted them to stay and I bet you barely noticed them.
Is photo editing an art? Of course it is. It is part of the process by which I create an artistic representation of you. You have complete control over that process and it starts with how you prepare for your shoot. My simple guidelines include
Being in front of the camera is an intimate experience, and for some that can be cause for anxiety. Whether I'm shooting a boudoir image or a corporate head shot, my goal is to put you at ease and make it fun. I'm going to talk to you, pose you, adjust your hair and clothing, and find the perfect mix that brings out your personality and makes it shine through the camera lens. For me, this part of the process is more important that what happens once I load your images onto my computer.
So yes, I've had my share of editing requests! I've been asked to tighten a woman's upper arm, remove a double chin, and eliminate crow's feet and laugh lines. I've had to make a blouse that clearly didn't fit look as if it had been custom tailored. I've digitally plucked hairs from brows, ears, and noses--in the end creating images that I'm proud of and, more importantly, my clients have been very happy to purchase.