by Jane Conner-ziser Published
This is what retouching is: shaping the light to show each feature of the face accurately and beautifully, and bringing out the best expression on the subject.
When it comes to making people look younger, anti-gravity work is more impactful than line and wrinkle work. As people age, everything heads south, starting with the jaw line drooping, the neck rolling up with extra skin and, well, the rest of the body heads down, too and then pooches out in the middle. Delicate lifting of the body and skin provides impressive overall feelings of youth and vitality - but don't do too much or your subject will notice the work and feel bad about themselves - and they will never love your picture of them because they know it's just a fantasy.
What about the lines and wrinkles then? Most of them get modified somewhat during the sculpting of light but most will remain on the face. The lines that make the subject look angry, tired and stressed can be lightened. Lines that pull the face down might be shortened, but if the initial retouching has been done well, you will find that very little need be done to the wrinkles. In fact, I love to sparkle up the 'twinkles' around the eyes to add even more life to my subjects' expressions.
So my first post is just an intro to my philosophy of retouching 'normal' people so they love the portraits I make of them and think that I'm a really, really good photographer because they look great - without retouching. I don't show the before and after images! In my next post I'll share with you a general retouching check-list you can refer to when retouching different age groups of people.
For you fashion photographers - forget I said anything and never let the truth spoil a good story! Do what you dream of, but if you cross the line of believability the artwork takes over and the message becomes diluted. Just like there is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept (Ansel Adams), there is nothing that spoils a meaningful image more than a bunch of meaningless artwork.
'Til the next time!
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