Sue Bryce, a really famous photographer says that women want 4 things:
- to look Younger
- to look Slimmer
- to look Gorgeous
- and world peace
I would add chocolate, other than that I think she's right. But how far is too far in the quest for our YSG fantasies. As a photographer I get asked that a lot, but it's something that's always on my mind anyway. When it's just me and my Macbook Pro I'm left staring at a client I have to make a call, lots of calls.
Because it's easy to go to far. We've all seen images polished to perfection. Our news stands and inboxes are littered with creative processing getting a little too creative. There's even a website dedicated to it (which I highly recommend if you ever need a pick me up). And there are lots of examples of our most celebrated stars getting hit with some serious photoshop fairy dust:
So what to make of it? Well, Photoshop is awesome. It allows you to make images that couldn't exist in the world, to take what the camera sees and turn it into art. That said, like any powerful tool, it depends on your intentions.
Keep in mind it's not me thinking that my clients needs something in order to look beautiful. More often than not it's me trying to anticipate what she will see in the image and dislike. Because I get it, if I think that my a$$ looks fat in an image that's it, game over.
My goal is to "enhance not erase." I say it over and over again when I'm at a crossroads. It means, taking care of irritants, things that block the true beauty of an image like a blemish that could just as easily not have been there. It also means that I don't try to wedge women into some collective idea of what perfect is. Because Penelope is gorgeous and I don't see why enlarging her chest and taking in her ribs is necessary.
In a perfect world, she'd love the image and her body exactly as it is, and so would I. But until then I'm great with a happy medium.