Discuss Retouching in the Ordering Process

I have always been one that believes in retouching by hand, using the cloning stamp, at a low opacity (about 23%) and blending problem areas, rather than removing them or using diffusion to soften all of the skin.  The subtle contours of the face, the texture of the skin, the shadowing caused by the nose, lips and even the eyebrows cause a person’s face to look their face.  The more you retouch and “remove”  the more of the ‘essence’ of the person you take away.

Just yesterday I was photographing a senior girl who had significant scaring from acne.  She was a very pretty young lady and as I was photographing her I was thinking of how striking she was going to be once the images were retouched. During the session, she asked me about retouching and the scaring on her face.  I assumed (which I shouldn’t have done) that she was worried about her acne scars showing and I explained that her face would be flawless when we were done, natural, but flawless.  She told me that the only way people know her is with the acne scars and that she wouldn’t look like herself without them.   I assured her that our viewer would discuss retouching with her and she can be retouched to whatever degree she would like.

Retouching is something that should be discussed openly in viewing.  We always talk with each client about problem areas, scars and moles, as well as unusual hair graying and yellowing or spots in the whites of the eyes.  Not everyone wants to look as flawless and young as possible.  Many people feel that their flaws are what make them who they are and some clients feel they are paying you to create and capture the person they are, not the person YOU think they should be.  YouTube Video on Natural Retouching


~ by jeffsmithbooks on December 11, 2010.

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