Sometime after digital photography took over the world, the media blew up with airbrushing fads: Head swaps, drastic body changes, you name it. Ever since then, our mentality has changed. If we don’t like something about a photo, we can just Photoshop it, right? I’ve talked at length about airbrushing in the past (and why I don’t do it), but today I want to dig a little deeper.
I think the confusion comes from a general assumption that Photoshopping is a “quick fix,” when this couldn’t be further from the truth. To successfully manipulate an image, you need some skills in your back pocket (and a good chunk of time to get the job done).
At most weddings someone will say to me, half-jokingly, “Oh, you can just Photoshop that out right?”
After chuckling warmly to them, I explain, “I’m just doing some old-school Photoshopping,” as I make adjustments or remove a distracting element from the frame. I admit, I am a total detail freak (in a good way), and if something is cluttering an image, or distracting from the key moment, I will absolutely adjust my position or remove the item from the scene. By clearing the clutter, so to speak, I can create the clean, thoughtfully-composed images that I’m known for.
People think photographers are magicians, and we are, but not in the ways you might think. No, we can’t materialize a photo out of thin air in Photoshop. We can’t add Uncle Henry into the family photo later if he didn’t show up for group pictures. And although I’m savvy with Photoshop tools, my time is much better spent serving my clients rather than Photoshopping ponytail holders from bridesmaid wrists.
If you’ve ever worked with me, you know I’m pretty hands-on & love styling a scene. Although I adore being a fly on the wall & capturing moments as they unfold, I am always an active participant. You’ll see me constantly moving furniture (complimentary feng shui!), opening or closing curtains, and clearing any litter from outdoor backgrounds. Even though I’m tweaking the scene a bit, it’s in the best interest of my clients to bring our backdrop to its full potential.
So next time you hear someone tooting the ol’ Photoshop horn, remind them: It’s not a quick fix! Let your photographer work her real magic — in other words, truly connecting with you and capturing that authenticity.