Retouching | Before + After

Happy 2017, everyone! Cheers to a fresh new start in the new year. I know some of us have goals and resolutions that we hope to stick to this year...I am sending out my good vibes and positivity that we can all attain them, especially if they're simple. (For example, one of my goals for 2017 is to focus more on flossing my teeth. I'm in a terrible habit of not doing it and my dentist is sure to point it out every 6 months! Tired of it, so I'm going to take 30 whole seconds out of my day each day to do it! I even wrote myself a note on my bathroom mirror with a dry-erase marker! I've found that notes help a lot too.)

Today, I'd like to touch base on what retouching looks like in the eyes of a photographer and what the client might miss being "behind the scenes." Each photographer has their own post-processing style, some being bright and bold, others being more "contrasty" and some being a bit more "soft" or "flow-y". Regardless of the style, each photographer all must dive into your hundreds (or even thousands) of images to choose the perfect ones and then retouch them to fit our liking as a photographer. We spend countless amounts of hours staring at a computer screen, sometimes taking longer breaks than we want to because we're constantly looking at a digital screen! There are also times that we must step away from retouching a session because all of the images sort-of run together. Stepping away and coming back refreshed is one of my favorite techniques because my job never gets boring! It's like coming back to a whole new session each time! (I recently had an eye appointment with a new optometrist and he shared with me that my eyes have drastically changed because I switched professions. I told him I quit working for the Starbucks Corporation in June and that I'm a full-time photographer now. He 100% blamed my computer for my change in eyesight! Crazy! Moral of the story, be sure to keep up with your Optometrist! An updated prescription can make a ton of difference and your eye health is SO important! Take care of them eyeballs!!!)

Okay, so back to the actual action of retouching. What is retouching, you ask?! Well, to put it simply, it's (for me) finding all ranges of the images' tones and then applying those tones to be 100% true. 100% blacks, whites and middle grays. I prefer Adobe Lightroom over Photoshop. I was taught how to use Lightroom in college and I feel that it is a program that respects the actual idea of the "truth" in photography. In contrast, Photoshop allows the user to completely turn an image into a lie, and to me, that's not photography. Photography is TRUTH. Photography captures "facts". Actions in Photoshop, I think, allow the photographer to completely change an image into what it is not.

As a Professional Photographer, I get asked frequently after MANY sessions if I could slim faces, hips, waists and other body parts while in my post-processing mode. My answer is always going to be NO. I studied photography as an art in college. I learned the truth of this medium and that's why I love it. I refuse to change my style due to clients not wanting to accept the "truth" about their images. If you want your body parts fixed/retouched in post-processing, I hate to say this, but it's the truth and I back it up...I am NOT the photographer for you! If you want raw, real and truthful images...moments captured that other photographers aren't focused on, I'm your girl! The truth is such a beautiful thing!!!!