Why edit photos? Because our audiences are very sophisticated. They are used to seeing shiny, bright, sharp photos on a regular basis. Even their quickest shots they hardly think about or plan can become a striking eye-catching photo quite by accident. Filters and apps that modify and enhance photos can smooth skin, and take pounds and years off a person. Great photos are everywhere!
What is the difference between a snapshot and a photo?
A snapshot is a quick report of something happening in time with no special camera or orchestrated light scene to enhance the subject. Mostly used to record an event or an instance such as, a baby taking his first steps, or a graduation day. Down and dirty, quick and simple.
A photo is usually taken with a Single Reflex Lens camera that has superior quality and more information digitally. It is staged and planned and orchestrated to have the ultimate setting and set up with the best situation to avoid much editing. Many times it is developed by hand for a more creative expression.
Many people are against editing photos because it gives the viewer an unreal perspective and doesn't record the "true subject." Where is this photo going to be used? In a personal photo album on a coffee table or poster or on a billboard? It makes a difference. Aside from where the photo will be used, two major things come into play when taking a photo.
1. Today's cameras can misrepresent the subject
Phone cameras have high contrast and preprogramed default settings that alter the photo so much it becomes distorted. Lighting is garish with reds bumped up and contrast sharpened so much that the photo doesn't look real anymore. Too much detail is available like wrinkles and skin discolorizations. Most of these details would not be available to the naked eye. Phone camera lenses have features built in that will widen a shot at the edges making arms bigger and thighs thicker. Who needs that kind of misrepresentation? Not me!
2. Photos can distract an audience away from your message.
As a business you have more to say with your photo than is being just a record of an instance in time. You are selling a product or a service. Or you are communicating a thought or feeling. When a photo does not represent your message well it can actually have a negative effect and communicate the wrong things to your audience. Is there a green cast to your photos making skin color appear washed out? Will it give the viewer the impression the subject is ill or depressed? That is probably not the message that is preferred. Is that rogue eyebrow hair making everyone wonder how it is so long? Or the shine on her forehead? You get it.
Above is a great example of how photo editing can enhance the best qualities in a person. Sun or elements can detract or even hide their features as in this photo. Shadows made it impossible to see her eyes. Her skin tone was yellow and washed out, unlike the healthy glow she normally had. Could we have erased all the facial blemishes? Yes, we could and made her look perfect. We could have made her face thinner and taken her braces off! But that would not have been a true representation of who she is as a person. Small edits made in Portrait Pro made her shine and come alive in this photo!
Too much editing can be a bad thing when after editing grandma looks like a super model with gray hair! But simple edits can bring out the best in a subject and help them see the beauty in themselves, the strength in their soul and the light in their heart.
Graphic Designer with awesome clients, happy wife, mother of two with a thought about this and that, Sarah is also the owner and instructor for Something From Nothing Paint Parties-On location custom canvas painting parties.