You would not believe how many people ask me:

“Can you just photoshop me beautiful?” “Can you make me look slimmer, younger, taller?” The list is endless, and this is what I hear from 98% of people who are about to have their picture taken. 

What amazes me is that as I photograph more people, I find its most likely to be men than women who ask for photoshop, although they always try to make a joke out of it. But it is a worrying concern when so many of us feel we are not good enough just as we are.

Let us face it we all have something we are not 100% happy with, mine would be my nose, in case you had not noticed it’s a wee bit on the LARGE side, but it is part of my heritage the good old ‘Howells’ nose and its who I am. Imagine if I photo-shopped it smaller? 

Be recognisable 

Would you even recognise me? or you would spend 20 minutes staring at my actual nose thinking it does not look like that in her profile picture, which then makes a bigger ‘deal’ of the ‘concord nose’ as I used to get called in school. 

We have all seen pictures of someone we know who has a picture on social and we think to ourselves, “you don’t look like that in real life.” And I am hoping it is only a small number. But the reality is that people are so self-conscious with social media not helping and models being airbrushed to the extreme for magazines when there is no need. Things are changing, people are being more open and showing more of the real life, but it is not happening fast enough. 

As a result, I try not to have pictures shot from the side, so I just mention this to the photographer when having my headshots taken, NO SIDE ON SHOTS please. well except for this one I really dont mind.

My next blog will be talking about what to wear and I should listen to my own advice and not wear the same dress for every shoot.

There are things we can do as a photographer 

That is the whole point to photography, there are things we can do as photographers to help you to look your best self, just as you are, the real you. We start with the right light and then give some tips on how to stand and what to do with those hands. This will already make you feel more comfortable.  

There are also other things you can do with your clothes too which will be on my next blog post ‘How to prepare for your brand shoot,’ So look out for that. 

It is important to relax 

If you are relaxed enough in front of the camera, I can capture a realistic photograph of you, that shows your personality. A good photographer will not make you look like someone you are not. It’s so important for your brand as you will be putting these glorious photos out there on your website and social, your clients will be making a connection to you, so you need them to be able to instantly recognise you when you walk into a room or meet them in person.  

When it is ok to photoshop

Do not get me wrong photoshop is amazing! Only yesterday I found an update for adding a sky into a photo at the click of a button, which just blew my mind.  

Whenever I get booked for a shoot for architecture, low and behold it is a typical British day of a grey sky, I can guarantee it. 

Whereas you have always been able to change the sky before, it involved masking and using your own sky image and could take at least 10 minutes which does not seem much but if you have hundreds of pics it is a lot, well no more with the introduction of a replacement sky button it takes less than one minute.  

Adobe you are a genius, thank you.  

I am sure you agree that the new sky really enhances this image. 

With people it also does have a place in: 

  • removing a big spot that just erupted last night 
  • removing a stain from spilling your tea this morning because you missed your mouth 
  • smoothing the creases in your top,  
  • tidying up a background 
  • removing a stray hair  

All these are perfectly fixable and will not change how you look; I agree that if you had a spot you should not have to see that on your headshot for the next 12 months. 

As a society we need to do start being happy in our own skin and set a good example to the next generation who are currently obsessed with posting filtered selfies. We need to be realistic so we can really shine and stand out and most importantly be proud of who we are as we are made of so much more than the size or shape of our body. 

However, if your headshot does look like you 10 years ago, then it is time to get your headshots updated not photo shopped. I would suggest you update your imagery every year, more if you change your hair colour often.

I am the friendly relaxed photographer that can do just that so rest assured I will photograph you, showing your personality, the real you because you are AMAZING just as you are.