What would you do?

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2,863
Name
Nick
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
I recently did some portraits for a friend of mine as a favour. She has seen them and has commented that they are "too detailed"

She showed me an old picture of her that was clearly edited (It has removed a mole on her cheek, for example) When I asked if the photographer had asked her if she wanted the images edited that way she said she didn't ask, but it was kind of expected. All of this has made me think. I for one, wouldn't ask anyone f they wanted their images edited to remove blemishes. What if they didn't consider them blemishes?!

To my mind it's better to have the image in focus and pleasantly framed than to have it edited beyond what someone looks like?

So, my question is, what do you do? how do you approach the editing side of things?

Cheers,
Nick
 
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1,041
Edit My Images
No
#2
I think it's entirely up to the customer. If they want blemishes removed then remove them. A very long time ago I was friendly with an actress and messing around one day we did some shots. She liked them and had a few comps made up with 4 of the pictures: defects and all. A little later she was up for a very tasty role in a major picture and slid the comp in along with her professional one. Not only did she get an audition - she got the role. Some time later she asked the director why she was chosen and he said quite bluntly: "those amateur shots you included with your comp. You were the only person with the guts to show what you really looked like."

I was young enough then to be offended by my pictures being described as "amateur". :tumbleweed:
 
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23,300
Name
Phil
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#3
As above it’s up to the customer.
As a rule of thumb I would never remove a mole without direct instruction to do so; but I do remove temporary blemishes and improve skin etc (depending on the requirements of the customer).
 
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NickTB
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2,863
Name
Nick
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#4
So do you ask the customer first? Or present the images and act upon feedback?
 
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115
Name
David
Edit My Images
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#5
Those of you who have customers will need to consider what they would like. As an amateur taking photographs mainly for competitions, I can choose what I want to do. Normally for models in a studio, I will remove small blemishes and soften the skin etc. For older characters, I might even enhance the lines etc. which may make them look even older. In both cases it is important not to go to far. In one case a model had fallen the night before and had a thick lip which she begged me to sort out in photoshoot. This worked fine and she was pleased though I never did use the pics of her myself. My impression is that most people would be pleased with a slightly flattering photograph but might be embarrassed by a heavily processed image.

Dave
 
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Name
Dave
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#6
So do you ask the customer first? Or present the images and act upon feedback?
I do 2 kinds of portraits - 1 - for the client and - 2 - for me

If 1 - then I PP them to my usual taste and like @Phil V I'd only take out an obvious zit or tiny make-up error; no touch-up is done at all

If 2 - then I can do what the Hell I want, so I'll often do the full monty with facial reshaping (subtle but too much for a client) included

---::---

If someone in 1 then asks for retouching, I'd get them to be very clear what they mean by it, and then tell them its an additional £50 per image (maybe more), on the grounds that as a photographer my job is to make them look the best I can in a photo, if they want significant retouching then that's making them look like someone else and that needs a graphic artist not a photographer

That's all for 'normal' folk btw - I never take on any commercial work as they'd expect retouching and its not what I do really, nor want to

I've never had a Bride who wanted more (well not enough to pay extra), though I've had a couple of mother's of Brides consider it lol

Dave
 
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8,342
Name
wayne clarke
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#8
We leave then as is, unless they ask for some cleaning up or something.
It is an interesting point though. I did a wedding for a dear friend a few years back, the bride lives on a sunbed,. When I was looking at the close up her skin looked terrible (shes not that old) I did consider a bit of softening, but then thats her, thats how she looks. So I left them as is. She still talks to me so I must have got it right.....
 
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NickTB
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2,863
Name
Nick
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#9
As an update, the friend I took the photos for is a therapist. She's since used the images and her thoughts and feelings as a basis for a successful campaign on body image and the expectations we put on ourselves, so in the end, it's a win win
 
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23,300
Name
Phil
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#10
I think we’re a short time away from a successful campaign to stop phone cameras automatically adding ‘filters’ to ‘improve’ people.
Scrolling through Facebook I’m personally disgusted by photos of middle aged women with faces like 22 yr olds.
Surely they know that’s not what they look like.
One of my favourite memes last year was along the lines of...
‘If you go missing and your Facebook photo looks like Angelina Jolie and you look like a potato in real life, you’re not getting found’.
 
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20,825
Name
Alan
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#11
When I take people pictures I usually edit out spots but not permanent features.

I remember years ago I took a picture of my then GF with my Canon 20D and a Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and when I saw the result I thought that lens was too sharp for portraits of women. That was the first time I'd thought that a picture could be unflatteringly accurate and detailed but that thought has stayed with me and I can see how some people could be unhappy with a brutally accurate and detailed portrait.
 
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1,278
Name
Pete
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#12
The only thing I’ve taken out recently is dandruff (a lot) from a particularly scruffy specimen at a corporate event because I know their marketing department wouldn’t be very impressed if I hadn’t lol
 
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1,254
Name
Tim
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#13
Time invested in good hair and makeup reduces need for retouch. I always ask and show examples to understand what they want. My personal preference is only light retouching so no one will see that it has been retouched.
 
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