Retouching – it’s one of the the not so little things that I pay particular attention to when creating a portrait. A beautiful portrait starts with beautiful light. Why not finesse it to create the very best version of yourself?
I make no apologizes for the amount of retouching I have put in an image. I honestly believe that when we look at an image of someone we love, we already see exactly what I have retouched. Life, stress, and gravity take its toll on our bodies. My pictures depict my clients as they would look on their very best days. I actually enhance an image with many little details. I think it has made my work look distinctive. I believe it’s the sum of all of these little things that create a final image with a bit of “wow.” 🙂
I took some time over this last week to create a few “selfies” in my studio for some before retouching and after images. (By the way, I have come to the conclusion that the more selfies you take, the more critical you get of yourself.)
I chose this image for a couple of reasons. I usually have an open smile, showing my teeth. This is not my typical self-portrait. I looked at this image and I saw my resemblance to my dad and I also saw my daughter who often smiles this way.
First I start lightening circles & wrinkles under the eyes. I slightly lighten the whites of the eyes, enhance the color of the eyes, and darken eyelashes. These are pretty much standard with all of my portraits. As I have gotten older, I have noticed sometimes I have visible veins on my forehead, I lightened these. I reduced the reds of some skin around my neck and hands and removed a few age spots. I wasn’t real happy with my neckline looking a bit rumpled so I fixed it. I’m an “80’s girl” and I still like slightly bigger hair. I “pushed down” the height of my hair, the product of too much backcombing that day. Can’t tell? I still have to stay somewhat 80’s-like. 🙂 I have a crooked nose, just like my dad. 🙂 It actually doesn’t bother me much but for these purposes, I straightened the shadow on my nose just a bit. I smoothed the skin a little and then I adjusted the levels of light on the image.
I do not think that the average person would look at the after image and think, “Michelle really changed that picture!” I think that they would be more inclined to think that the after version just looks better than the before image for some reason.
I have not photographed many head shots in the past. I have a bit more time these days, so if you are interested in having a “polished” headshot 🙂 in this studio, please let me know. I am now offering a digital only version that is emailed.