Wednesday, December 19, 2007
This is one of the many images shot for Garland Drake International (www.garlanddrake.com) based out of Costa Mesa, California. Their hair has been worn by celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and featured in magazines such as Vanity Fair and Vogue. Did you honestly think these celebs were born with such volumptuous and perfect hair? Ha, not so much!
Speaking of magazines and celebs, this brings up an uber important issue today about the unrealistic body image most of us have because of the constant perpetuation of the media. I mean really, who have you seen lately that looks like these plastic people in major magazines??? Nobody! Thats because these models have loads of professionals doing their makeup, hair, and styling. Then comes the perfect lighting and millions of pictures taken to get that one perfect shot. And wait, still not done..... EVERY SINGLE IMAGE YOU SEE PUBLISHED IN A MAGAZINE HAS BEEN PHOTOSHOPPED..... the skin airbrushed, the body slimmed and enhanced, the eyes brightened, etc. etc. to make that normal person look perfect. In fact, anyone can look like these images with the right combination of makeup, lighting, hair, photography, and photoshop. So you people (including me, I am just as guilty) stop trying to live up the to perfection of these surreal people you see in the media. Chances are, you wouldn't even recognize them on the street.
That being said, I'm sure you are curious what kind of editing I do to my images. I do walk the line when it comes to fine tuning photographs. First, a little philosophy behind my editing process:
I believe that fashion photography is art in itself. It is not meant to be real... It is meant to be more of an illusion. It depicts an imaginary state in which romance, love, and dreams come to life. In fact, it is the surreality of fashion photography that makes us not only see but feel these emotions that the models in fashion photographs evoke. Its sort of like reading a fiction romance novel, not that I've ever read one, but I'm fairly positive that real life is nothing close to a real raw romance. It can be this at times maybe, but not as a whole. In my opinion, fashion photography should not contribute the the ever growing problem of low self esteem, but instead should be accepted as an art form like painting, a tangible piece of creativity straight out of the human mind. There are no rules in fashion photography, just good fashion photographs.
Back to my editing process: Okay so I shoot hundreds of RAW photographs from each photoshoot. I then select a group of images that reflect the unique beauty and personality of the client or in an advertisng perspective, the unique aspect/idea of the fashion/product. These images go through a detailed editing process: Each photograph is carefully cropped to enhance composition and expertly adjusted for tone, contrast, highlight, and shadow. Then the best few images are professionally retouched to enhance the natural shape and features of each person, as it is done in the major magazines. So yes, I do photoshop my images to enhance the natural beauty of each subject. That is my style and my way of editing. Photoshop can go a long way, but it cannot ultimately change what was captured through the lens, it can only enhance it. As always, I leave you with a quote:
"Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius
For me, finding that beauty in every person/thing I photograph is an adventure in itself!
(The amazing team behind these images: MUA- Josi Lauritzen and Kay Catro/ Models- Christine Quinn and Jenn Davis/ Hair-Tony Greenleaf/ Wardrobe Stylist- Jasmine Anderson/ Photographer- Dixie Dixon)