Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creative Confessions

This week, I decided to make my before and after a digital transformation instead of a decorative one.

I had a friend of mine take my photo for my website, we didn't use any type of studio lighting because I wanted it to look natural. Instead, I sat by the window and used the soft natural light. Out of all the photos we took, I liked the pose in this one but I knew I had some work to do. 

Even though I now work as a decorator, I worked in the graphic design industry for over 12 years. For over 2 of those years, I was a digital photo re-toucher for a toy company. I worked mostly on product photos for catalog and packaging purposes but every now and then we did a photo shoot with children. There was always re-touching to do, especially on kids who were fair skinned like myself. We tend to look a little transparent/blueish and blotchy. Heavy foundation make-up may have helped but that wasn't an option. Here's how the digital transformation went.

When I re-touch a photo, my goal is that it doesn't look re-touched in the end, but natural.

Even tough my hair is an even color of blond, the lighting the original photo made it look like I had darker roots out to lighter ends. By lightening the top, my hair now looks even. This photo was taken in my studio and the background looked cluttered so I darkened it to make it fade out.  For my face, I began with evening my skin tone, by using what in the end looks like digital face powder. This made my face less red and blotchy and took away the circles under my eyes. Once my skin tone was more even I added a bit of digital blush. I noticed that the eyelashes on the left side weren't even like the other side so I cloned them to make them even. The eyebrow on the right side was thicker than on the left so I thinned it out. It's amazing sometimes how much work can go into making something look "natural"!

There has been so much in the media about unrealistic expectations that magazines and ads set with highly photoshopped faces and bodies that end up looking nothing like the person in the end. I hope I've shown an image that was taken from looking a little raw to something more flattering without compromising my integrity in the end.

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