In a survey by Glamour magazine last year, nearly 25 per cent of women aged 25 to 29 retouch their own photos. That number jumps to 41 per cent for women aged 18 to 24.
It's not surprising, as image-editing software is quite simple and cheaper than ever. Some of the software and applications that are used to edit photos include Instagram, PicMonkey, BeFunky, SumoPaint, Picasa, and, last but not least, Adobe Photoshop. There are tutorials on utube showing how to remove blemishes, smooth skin, whiten teeth, and adjusting the face's shape.
“[Retouching] is the nature of the digital age, we edit because we can,” said David Hlynsky, a University of Toronto professor in Photoshop and digital media.
However in the corporate sector there appears to be a total distrust by executives to get their portraits retouched. Why is this? From my observations, a photo tells a thousand words, so as a photographer I am trying to create a portrait that represents the executive. This is the image that people see of them from their website, social media, brochures, annual reports, to tenders that go to win new business.
So lets consider the survey, 41% of women do some retouching themselves to look better. So next time the PA or PR section suggest retouching think about your image.
I was on my way to an industrial shoot in Port Kembla, sitting on the plane reading the airlines magazine when this ad jumped out at me. Wow I thought, do people believe this?
I know in my past I have had conversations with clients who ask me how I feel about the change from film to digital and whether our industry will survive the change to digital 'where everyone can take great photographs and plenty of them'.
To be perfectly honest, these comments are of a technical nature. The digital cameras of today are good, very good. Then I hear people say to me hey photoshop can fix it. True but there is one big misconception - the camera can do it all. The same applies to clients getting 3 quotes and going with the cheapest. Its not about that either. Its about the creativity of the photographer, the ability to pre visualise a photograph. To look at a person, place or product and create a visually stimulating image that evokes interest or desire.
I have spent my whole photographic career trying to give my clients and myself great photographs. So perhaps I'll take the liberty to change the headline above to - "If you want great photos, go find a great photographer".
When I work on a project I'm looking for three different types of visual communication.
1. Hero shots. These photographs are the standout wow images which tells the story of the client's project. The ones that grabs the viewers attention. The ones people will look at and get the knowledge and understanding of the whole project in a dramatic an interesting way. As with a photograph above you can see the drama that's been created by the aerial shot and the curvature of the wide angle lens.
2. Supporting shots. The photos that are essentially the ones that back up the work of the hero images so viewer can see the detail in the clients product or service. The need to understand the process or product.
3. Layout shots. Designers of the client brochure needs to have space left in the photograph to be able to put headline, text and client logos.ie the sky and the water in the image above. Also the need to shoot vertically for a A4 front cover of a magazine or brochure and hortizontally to use a online website or powerpoint.
Yes you can! One of the many advantages of digital post production is being able to change the background or place the subject into a new background. Many times I go into a client's premises and we don't have room to get 'the shot' or the client is so terribly busy they only have time to stand in front of a white background in a small office.
This photo was taken on a white background and I dropped him onto this dark vignetted background. Let me know your comments?
“Hey Peter, should I get make up done for my portrait?” In today's world image is everything and corporate portraits are branding in there own right. Think about the number of places your portrait will be - your website, Facebook, Linkedin, tenders, promotional material, Youtube etc.
For the guys, its an oily face that leaves shine from the lights and for the women, its the right makeup and the amount to put on for studio lights. Why do you think in the TV shows they all have make up on.
Properly done by a professional make up artist it isn't obvious and enhances your features. In fact most clients say it relaxes them by talking to the trained make up artists about the process and watching the photographer in your office or boardroom at work.
From my experience in the corporate world, if you want to invest in time and money to have your portrait done, think about what the make up can do for your face. We do retouch marks, some wrinkles, whiten the teeth and eyes so your portrait will look fantastic.
Will I be working over the holiday break?
Sometimes busy executives don't have time to get a haircut let alone their portraits taken for the new year. It is important to keep up to date with your image so people are not shocked to see an older you... sorry but its true. I remember meeting a real estate agent whose photograph was to say the least everywhere in her suburbs. She was 10 years older than the portrait and changed quiet a bit.
So yes I will be working around the Brisbane city in January. Call for a booking on 0411192822. Enjoy your break. Pete
Keep your photographs safe by having 3 copies, 2 different media types (DVD, external HD) and one copy off site or even online. Also all computers and hard drives connected to a surge protected power pack.