To Retouch or Not Retouch? Boudoir Retouching

Wow, this is a tough one. On one hand we want to accept who we are on the other hand we want to feel good when we see ourselves in pictures. I am often asked whether I retouch the images after our session. The answer is yes and every woman in my gallery has had retouching. The word more commonly used is 'airbrushing' and that term is no longer used.

Before
Retouching consists of a number of things with my work; removing the distractions that we women notice first about ourselves-blemishes, under eye circles, muffin tops, etc. and then there is what I refer to as 'artifying'. This is where I like to use the digital tools like an artist has tools and create unique and beautiful portraits.

After




Making the call as to what I think is 'distracting' on a person's portrait is a tough call. Being a woman  definitely helps me 'know' what I would not want to see but it gives me a serious responsibility for a person's body image and self-confidence. Weight removal is something I don't touch unless requested by from the woman. Weight reduction is very difficult to do as it needs to be done carefully so that the person isn't altered in personality and skillfully so that your body isn't tinier than your head! Unless someone requests 50 lbs to be removed, I work to make sure the image is outstanding and you feel
beautiful as you are.

Before


After
Many women have had their portraits done after having cosmetic surgery such as tummy tucks, breast enhancements or worked on a diet where they're feeling really proud but there's some toning yet to be done. All these things such as loose skin and scars can be professionally managed in post retouching.





Before

After
The most important thing to remember is any photographer relying on retouching for their work isn't doing the session correctly in the first place. Lighting on a woman's skin can be done right to erase most wrinkles and imperfections but done wrong can age a woman 20 years! How a photographer poses a plus size girl is critical to enhancing her curves rather than accenting them. Elongating poses with shallow depth of field helps in these areas. And a body is a beautiful thing-looking for arms that are bent or a hip making the S curve can change a woman from 'eh' to wow no matter what the size!

Whomever you choose as a photographer, make sure you ask about the retouching philosophy. As a woman, I find it a sensitive topic and shouldn't be taken lightly. Everyone can have a copy of Photoshop these days but not everyone is skilled in using it.