Do's & Don't of Portrait Editing

I have this philosophy when it comes to editing portraits.

My philosophy: Why not make people look their best?

There is a line though. I don't want to edit the photo so much that the model is no longer recognizable as the person they are.

I don't get rid of scars or moles or birthmarks.
Anything permanent that makes that person who they are needs to stay.

I do get rid of pimples.
I do soften wrinkles.
I do enhance eye color & clarity.
I do enhance skin color and hide blemishes.
I do retouch the brow lines & fill in where hairs are scarce.
I do remove stray hairs that distract.
I do remove things from the background that distract.
I do remove dark circles under the eyes.
I do darken/thicken eyelashes & sometimes add eye liner.

Exibit A:

I don't do all of these edits on every portrait I take. Usually I just make them look good when I take the photo, so that I won't have to worry about it in post processing. But sometimes I like to make people look their very best, and a few edits are necessary to achieve that–especially on close ups [which are sort of one of my specialties].

I don't see any problem with that.

If a client doesn't want any facial editing done, I'm fine with that too. I'll do all I can to make it work in camera.

Most people won't admit it, but everyone likes to see a good photo of themselves.

I mean, I'd much rather show off the picture of me on the right... Is that being dishonest?

I don't really think so...

What do you think?


Geneil said...

I almost always whiten teeth. :-) I don't make them unnaturally white, just softly whiter.

Merry said...

I think that if I'm paying a professional photographer for the pictures, I'd like them to make me look as nice as they can. I can take my own pictures of myself looking totally normal. :D

Sarah Faria said...

I LOVE my edited wedding pictures!! However, none of my reception pictures are edited because they were all candid, but I wish that at least some of them were. I am definitely a fan of edited pictures!!