I have gotten on my soapbox in the past about loving you for you, and how extreme Photoshop editing set the wrong standards. I've posted videos of a model's transformation from shoot to Photoshop. I roll my eyes when people have come to me asking me to erase all the wrinkles and shave 20lbs (sometimes more eeeek) off of them.
Let me be honest, I retouch and enhance almost every photo I take of people. I push and nudge here and there, slimming their tummy and necks. I've done it to women, men, and teens. Yes, teens. Now let me defend myself. When I edit other people I do what I do to enhance or to get ahead of the request. To allow the people to look past what they don't like and see what they do. If that muffin top is pretty obvious it is ALL THEY SEE. If it's diminished, maybe she'll see that spark in her eyes when she looks at her husband beside her. Maybe with those bags a little less puffy he'll see the smile that drew her in when they met.
Those imperfections can stand in the way of loving a photo. So, yes, I try and take those a way. I do believe that we have extreme standards, and I think the media and fashion industry is largely to blame. However, we let them, don't we?
Here I am before and after "enhancement." I got rid of some wrinkles, and some fat, and now I like this photo of me. We all have something and it's OK to want to diminish and take away some of what we don't like. Remember though, that supermodels go through way more Photoshop editing than your average person. Don't let the standards of the industry influence what beauty you see within yourself.
Now that I think about it...I should have made my nose a little smaller, added some volume to my hair, make my eyes brighter, maybe I could have.... we can go on and on, am I right?
I've been taking collectible figures and toys and shooting them to make composites. It's been pretty fun. I retouched her skin,eyes,clothing, the background, lighting, and oo look I added smoke. This has been a fun project for me. The character above, I have never watched the show Kill La Kill, so I've had to ask the owner of this figure several times what her name was (it's Satsuki by the way).
Now, this one was my figurine. It's Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead portrayed by Macfarlane Toys.
Before I started adding hair and skin textures I did this one. I used Christmas garland for the grass and stuck a small led keychain light on to a Funko Pop Daryl motorcycle and put it in the background. This shot was done in the dark, with just a flash, while the others were done in complete light with flashes as well.
I decided to try the complete Funko Pop toy. I made the eyes in photoshop...still working on that technique as I'm still not completely happy with them.
I love exploring the possibilities. This has been so much fun, I'll have another anime character to shoot this week. I can't wait.
I consider myself lucky to have photography as something I do. I take random cell phone shots like everyone else, but I take more photos with my DSLR than I do with my cell phone. I can kick myself for not learning this craft when my kids were little, but here we are. In an age where photographers are a dime a dozen and we have a camera on us at all times.
People ask me for quotes all the time. Most times when I give them that quote...I never hear from them again. We have cameras at our fingertips that if used correctly does an OK job. The value of photography to most people are gone, and I do a lot of free work because of it.
Now, fellow photographers, don't get your panties in a wad. The free work I do are shoots that I want to do, that I hunted for subjects, props, and sometimes clothing. Sometimes the free work I do is out of boredom or opportunity. Sometimes it's so I can learn something or add to my portfolio. When I don't have clients to shoot, I need something to do to be able to grow.
I don't know how some photographers can put down the camera and only pick it up when they have a check in their hand. Do you still enjoy photography when you get to that point? Do you still value it as an art form or is it's only value monetary at this point?
I think it's sad when something you enjoyed has turned in to just a job to pay bills. I think artistic businesses are the most successful when the artist still has a love for it and not just cranking them out with little thought. I hope I never get to that point.
So, I wanted to add tweens to my portfolio, but I also wanted to add products. I love and support small businesses so I gave my local business community a chance to snag some free product shots. Whether it was hair pieces, jewlry, etc. They'd get their product back plus some photos to use. No takers. I know, crazy right? Fine, I jumped on to Etsy and started searching for crochet hair pieces. I found these adorable kitty ear headbands from The Knot and Chain .
I still think it's important to look locally first, but shopping Etsy also helps the little guy out. I don't regret it and was very happy with my experience.