I can’t remember if it ever really hit me. It was like a slow gradual knowing. Eventually.
Skin is beautiful. It’s never really the same shade on anyone, ask someone trying to find the perfect foundation! Skin is smooth and it has texture. Some skin is punctuated with freckles, which is whimsical and lovely, said the girl that has none! Some skin has more texture than we’d like, ask a kid who’s been to the dermatologist. Some skin is too red, some skin is too dry and some too shiny. Some too oily, some too filled with pores. And, skin is a billion dollar industry that I wish I could get in on!
(I love my potions. My skin is too dry. I use anything new that comes along, but always revert to La Mer.)
When I light my subject, I always take into consideration what their skin is doing. I try and flatten the light when skin might be a problem. I ALWAYS ask anyone who sits in front of me to MOISTURIZE. I cannot emphasize that enough. I know that I’ve hit it when I look at my monitor and see a creamy, smooth, rich, dewy skin tone. It’s like magic. It’s this intuitive knowing feeling that the make up artist, the model and the light have all synchronized and made this lovely dreamy image. I hit that mark last week when I was shooting for Georgina Herrera. Although, I’m suppose to be concentrating on her beautiful jewelry, I get caught up on skin tone. Really, the magic happens long before I see the model dressed and on set. Georgina has a team of talent that you can’t believe, and I’ll dedicate a post to them in the future.
When I’m photographing CEOs or individuals updating their LinkedIn or talent headshot, I always suggest professional hair and makeup. Most companies who are shooting employees never opt for that. But professionals who want their image made properly usually do. The women, for sure! But there are always problems. This time of year? It’s dry skin. Flakey. Dry. Skin. This takes me time on the backend because I only deliver retouched images. I sometimes feel like a dermatologist as I’m minimizing pores and getting rid of pimples. Red patches are a bit trickier, but I love a challenge. Erroneous hair is easy, missed whiskers a breeze. White heads, OH! White heads I can’t look at for too long, I get rid of them straight away. The challenge lies in the amount of texture and overall evenness. There are tons of Actions that you can use to obliterate problems, but then it doesn’t look organic or natural. This is why retouch takes time and why time equals money. It just isn’t cheap to have something retouched. Sometimes I get clients who want me to replicate style so everyone matches on the website. I used to say sure! I can do it! But when it came time to deliver the images, I hated them and myself for selling out. It wasn’t me. I’ve deleted all of those soft glamour type Actions and I’m so happy that I’ve done it. So now, I’m very clear about my style and if I’m not your gal, I’m not your gal. There are so many photographers in the area, good ones, really good ones.
Also, retouching the face isn’t the only skin that you see in a shot. Sometimes little attention is paid to bare body parts. I see this wonderfully retouched face and then the legs or chest or hand is a disaster!
Skin is skin, it always needs a little help, especially if you’re not a professional model. Use good products, care for your largest organ!