Portrait Photography WEst Sussex East Grinstead

Not going to lie, this is a common question and it’s pretty much exclusively women who ask it.  I have a complicated relationship with the answer so here goes…

‘Photoshopping’ or ‘Airbrushing’ means different things to different people and that’s probably where to start when we talk about it.  Although thankfully times seem to be changing and magazines no longer excessively digitally alter images of already beautiful women to a ridiculous extent, there’s still a lot of it going on.  Whether it is magazine covers, Facetune or Insta filters or latterly AI, we are all presented with digitally altered images.  Sometimes we know, sometimes we don’t.

All of the images that I take will pass through an editing suite at some stage so yes, I guess you could say I edit everything.  At it’s most basic level, I crop, colour balance and enhance certain aspects of every image to tidy it up and give it a little extra punch.  At the next level, I’m going to remove any temporary blemishes such as spots, or in the case of kids, scratches and little cuts where they stick out.   However, that’s generally not what people mean when they ask the question.

It normally gets asked with a jokey kind of ‘can you make me slimmer / younger’ kind of vibe and I totally get it because I’m not the biggest fan of having my picture taken either. I’ve needed a new profile picture for years and been putting off doing it.

Here’s the deal with what I will be doing…

  • Firstly, my job is make you look good in the studio so posing and lighting is job number one
  • Secondly, yes I’m going to remove that annoying spot that popped up just before your photo shoot like it knew you really didn’t want it to…
  • Then I’m probably going to apply some very subtle and basic skin smoothing. You won’t be able to tell but it just evens out skin texture just a tiny bit. It isn’t going to be like those hecking terrible Instagram filters that remove all the details in your skin and make you look like a plastic doll.  It’s just a little boost – think of it as putting on a really top notch foundation.
  • If you’re in for a maternity photo shoot and you want me to, I’m going to take out stretch marks.  I’m going to ask at your session, and it’s your call but if you want them gone, they’ll be gone.

I hate to be negative but here’s the bits that I won’t do…

  • I don’t change your body shape other than through years of experience in terms of great posing and lighting.   I’m not buying into that nonsense, you’re beautiful as you are and even if I were of a mind to do it, how would I know what ‘ideals’ you’d want to conform to?
  • Outside of the skin smoothing that I’ve talked about already, I’m not going to take years off you.  I actually do have a slider that does it but I don’t use it.   Lines are a natural part of life and they show how many times you’ve smiled and laughed over the years and really, is that something you want to forget?
  • I’m not going to alter your jawline, make your eyes bigger or plump up your lips. I’m not judging any of those aesthetics but again, I think there are enough horrible filters out there that demonstrate quite clearly that it usually gives unnatural and a little bit creepy results.

So, like I said, I have a complicated relationship with the question, will you Photoshop me?  Yes I technically will and I’ll always make sure that you’re looking your absolute best in your finished images.  You’re bound to be looking at your own photos a little more closely than anyone else will and I want you to see yourself as the absolute goddess that you are. I’m just pretty sure you don’t need radical editing and reshaping in order to be just that.