I'm a glass half full kind of girl, a rose-tinted glasses kind of girl. I choose to look for the good in situations, which works well for me, especially in my photography business. It means that I find ways to say YES to unusual requests, trek up hillsides and get up before the birds to catch moments that wow me, and hopefully others, in my photographs.
So something I come across all too often is causing me problems.
Or more, over-use of it.
I get asked often, probably more often than any other question, can you Photoshop me?
And this causes me a problem, not because I can't, but because I really don't want to.
*let's pause here for a second.
If you have something that's really worrying you before your wedding of course, do talk to me about it. If you have a spot that's shown up as an unwanted wedding guest I'll remove it in your photographs, or if you get tad of dirt on your dress, again, consider it gone.
I don't want you to worry that I won't retouch little irregularities.*
Every day we're presented with images of people that are heavily doctored, and we're so used to it that we forget they're not real, and we've started to compare ourselves to these unreal people without questioning whether it's a fair comparison. It's not.
Photoshopping the personality out of everyone has become so normal that when companies don't do it it's a huge revelation - take Asos's photos containing stretch marks for example.
I have insecurities about the way I look, as we all do. Mine come in the form of scars, which I have from years of bad skin and I'd love to wipe them away and look like everybody else my age.
Mr Al knows how I feel about my skin and instead of encouraging me to get scar revision he tells me every day that I'm beautiful, which is no small thing for an un-demonstrative Yorkshireman! And, you know what? It works! I've started to believe him; his small daily positive comments about my face and the things that he loves become the things I notice, not the scars.
-Back to the over-photoshopping images issue...
I mean this sincerely when I say that you are beautiful, you are loved, just the way you are. If I alter your photographs to remove the crinkles in your face when you smile or make your arms slimmer I'm reinforcing the idea that you're not good enough just as you are. And YOU ARE.
One of my recent brides said: "Honestly, I come from years of looking forward to and then being disappointed in event photos of myself. So I can't stop looking at these!!!!!"
Did I Photoshop her face, her body, her skin or her hair? Not. one. bit.
I edit my photographs so that they flow seamlessly from start to finish, they're perfectly exposed and they match my style. I choose to stop there because I strongly believe that natural photography is peachy! I ask you to be your wonderful self, not to pose, so why would I make you look less like your beautiful self in your finished photographs?
What could be more of a boost to your esteem than knowing you look gorgeous in your photographs without a smidge of airbrushing?