Why I Don’t Airbrush

, , ,

August 20, 2014

Last month, I traveled to Las Vegas with my three best girlfriends for a bachelorette weekend. My sweet friend Emily is getting married this December, and we had to celebrate it bestie-style, of course!

2014-08-15_0001

One afternoon, we bought a few magazines for poolside reading. It’s been awhile since I flipped through an issue of Cosmopolitan. Stretched on my lawn chair, I paged through and had to chuckle. Megan Fox was on the cover: You know, Hollywood starlet & all-around bombshell. But there was some quite-obvious airbrushing on the cover photo & inside spread. With my trained eye, I know how to spot a Photoshopped chin or a smoothed-out tummy a mile away. Yes, Megan Fox has great genes, but what you see in glossy print isn’t the full reality.

These days, we’ve grown accustomed to quick-fixes, thanks to technology. But I’m not always on board. In fact, I believe these “quick fixes” hurt us more than help us.

Let’s be honest: We all have tummy rolls sometimes. It’s called the human body. We always think we could shed an extra ten pounds, but never get around to it. I promise, I feel the same! But I’m telling you (and myself) right now: You don’t need it. You’re head-to-toe gorgeous here & now.

I am a purist. Because I began my photography journey shooting film, I know that getting an image as perfect as possible in-camera is essential. I bring my clients to the gorgeous light, then guide them into situations that will enhance their best features. For me, this means genuine laughter, movement, and closeness. Then, by fine tuning my settings, I capture the best possible exposure in-camera.

BAP_8676

My editing workflow includes thoughtful color correction & contrast adjustments, but I very seldom “Photoshop.” As a general rule, I will not airbrush a client’s body to make it smaller or change its natural shape. If I’ve done my job, I will not need to do those things. I will have already guided my client into the best environment for gorgeous photographs. Photoshop is not a crutch for me, nor will it ever be. I want my clients to realize their natural beauty — to feel empowered & inspired by their images, regardless of their size, shape, age or weight.

We will always have those “problem areas” or things we don’t love about our bodies, but I want to shift your focus.

Instead, you’ll notice your cute dimples & ear-to-ear grin. You’ll fall in love with your genuine belly laugh, pure joy radiating from the four edges of your photographs.

AJC-27

I want to create a legacy of images that will stand the test of time. In ten, twenty, even fifty years, I want you to view your images as timeless, clean, and beautiful heirlooms.

Part of the process involves letting go. Allow your photographer to do her thing — there’s a method to our madness, I promise! Instead of focusing on flaws (we’ve all got ‘em), I want you to focus on the experience.

Breathe in the adventure, and let go. I’ll take care of the rest.

2 Comments
  1. Jodi Ellis August 09, 2014, 11:46

    Bailey, I love this collection of thoughts.
    I couldn’t agree more about leaving the photoshop trickery behind and simply appreciating what we are given…naturally. Thanks for keeping it real!

  2. Heather Yun August 22, 2014, 10:49

    Oh Bailey, this is beautiful. I love your insight on the thoughts of “air-brushing”. Capturing the real moments of who we are is a celebration all that is truly beautiful in life. Thanks again!