Working on #unretouchedbeauty showed me something I did not expect!
We have introduced the #unretouchedbeauty campaign few months ago, and the reception has been extremely positive so far. Women are quite frightened in stepping in front of the camera, but when they see the results, magic happens. In the #unretouchedbeauty they know that what they see is themselves, 100%; however, this article won’t talk about how women feel for the #unretouchedbeauty campaign, but how we felt in preparing their images.
When only a good selection and the colour correction is permitted, then our eyes as photographers go on detail, and what we felt was something incredible.
Are you interested in joining us through our discoveries through the #unretouchedbeauty campaign?
Photographing for #unretouchedbeauty
I have always thought that a good photographs is taken in camera, and that being a lazy photographer is being a mediocre photographer. Shooting #unretouchedbeauty, if a plug is in the shoot, it will stay in the shoot. If something is out of place, then there won’t be any post processing to make it straight. What you see is what you get.
Despite being as careful as possible, I admit that there are certain things I don’t want to keep into consideration when I shoot. I know that an angle of our studio works incredibly well, but that in order to get the right shoot, there is no way I can avoid capturing a plug on the wall. Normally I would be careful to everything but that detail. Shooting for the #unretouchedbeauty campaign, that is something I learned to keep into consideration as well.
Shooting well aware that there is going to be no photoshop to help you makes you a better photographer. Knowing that you won’t have a safety net will make you think twice before taking a photo: are all the details ok? Am I showing any skin imperfection that ought to be covered? Am I being careful not to include in the shoot things I don’t want visible? All these questions will slow you down initially, but once in the routine, you will learn or rediscover the art of taking good photos straight from the camera.
During my first few #unretouchedbeauty shoots I noticed that my speed in picking the right images was diminished from my usual pace. I was being more careful to details, checking not just how good the photo was, but also if the image had things that I would normally ask our retoucher to remove from the image.
You may know already that we make a light use of retouching; however, removing it completely makes you evaluate more carefully what images you have in front of your eyes. Is the skin good, or is the light used a bit harsh on it? Is there a similar image to the one I love that does not show certain imperfections?
A #retouchedbeauty is about reality, it is about showing a person how she looks without changing anything about her. What #unretouchedbeauty is not is about showing the imperfect side of a person, or the marks that a bad pose may leave on your subjects’ skin. We still try to focus on beautiful, honest images. While picking your top images, knowing there will be no retouching, you will find yourself focussing more on details that a photoshop-used photographer would not consider.
Even more important, you will notice that the more you shoot with the idea of banning retouching, the better you will become at photographing and at picking your top images.
Colour correcting an #unretouchedbeauty shoot
As for the editing, the colour correction of an #unretouchedbeauty takes me away more time than a normal session. This is because some of the corrections that I leave for the post processing phase now needs to be handled by Lightroom. In particular I am talking about redness on the skin and some blotchiness. Both can easily be generated by stress or temperature. The solution is to make sure your client is relaxed and that your studio is at a perfect temperature for her. Again, big part of this must be done during the shoot, so if you want to photograph women beautifully, without retouching them, as we do in the #unretouchedbeauty campaign, then you need to be careful. Lazy photographers won’t make this happen.
The most important thing I have learned in these weeks is that photographing women for the #unretouchedbeauty is beautiful. It is empowering for women indeed, but it is empowering for the photographer as well. A natural approach like this one is liberating and forces you to be the best photographer you can be.