During a photography session, or after it, I often get the question, “Will you Photoshop my wrinkles?” or “Do you airbrush the pictures?” The unfortunate thing about questions like this is that they mostly come from women. With actresses and other celebrities fighting back against magazines altering their appearance and the fact that we live in a modern world, it would be nice to see the rest of us do this as well. Of course, many of the celebrities doing this are beautiful already, something us mere mortals might have a hard time relating to But, the push for real photography has to start somewhere.

When asked for additional photo editing I usually reply with, “Technically yes, I can do it, but I think you look beautiful just the way you are.”  I believe in natural photography, and I think that a photograph should be a relatively accurate representation of a person’s looks. It doesn’t matter if that photo was taken on a film camera or a digital camera. I consider myself a photographer, not a digital artist. Digital artists are great at what they do; it is just a different form of creative expression in my opinion. My job as a photographer entails making you look beautiful while you are in front of me – using the right light, the right angle, but mostly helping you to feel relaxed and at your best.

When people ask me for extra Photoshop work, yes, I can do it, and for me, it’s not a bad deal because I will usually charge more money for the extra time I spend doing the work. But the reality is, it’s not about the money.  I believe in truth in photography and just because we have the tools to alter images doesn’t mean we should always use them. Let’s be proud of who we are and our looks, and it should not matter if we are two years old, twenty, or eighty.

At the studio, I will always go through the images from a session and remove any blemishes. Pimples appear and disappear, so it makes sense to remove those from an image. Babies and children get scratches and bruises, so it makes sense to remove those as well. When it comes to the natural signs of aging, however, our faces are our faces, and we should be proud of how we look. Yes, many of us are not in our twenties anymore, and that’s fine.

Look at this image for example that I pulled from Pixabay.

Now, what happens when I take away the wrinkles? Do we get the same story from the image? I don’t think so. With the wrinkles, it helps express the stressed look.

I have a few wrinkles and a couple of age spots on my face. I don’t like them, and yes, I could Photoshop them out of any pictures I’m in, but why? If I want to see a picture of myself without wrinkles and age spots, I can look at one that was taken when my face didn’t have any. Now my face has them, and when a picture is taken of me, I want it to be an accurate representation of my appearance, not a digital painting of what I want to look like.