“Before & After”, not only does this title suggest that there is something wrong with the women “before”, but it also suggest that we do something secret and magical to transform her, and neither are true!
Because of this dreadful connotation I haven’t really indulged in the whole “before&after”, but then Trine, one of my Danish friend came over to visit and we were just playing around and we did indeed end up with a bit of a “before&after” shoot. The important message from this is that we are all just normal women! There is nothing wrong with us “before”, but it is great to see ourselves at our very best.
We did the “before” picture – it is done in the same place as the “after” pictures in the same light, there I no “hidden agenda” here, it is just a quick picture before we got going with hair and make-up.
I am not a hair or make-up artist, and I always use a professional make-up artist at my shoots, but on this occasion I did the hair and make-up. Beautiful portraits usually aren’t about dramatic make-up, they are about the women in the picture, so more often than not I go for quite a natural cover. Now “natural cover” is not to be confused with no make-up! Great hair and make-up together with clothing will make or break any shoot. Definition and a beautiful foundation will instantly give a fresh clean glow to your images.
Posing, posing and posing is the main ingredients for the actual shoot. People tell me again and again that they were surprised by just how much I pose them. There is no “freestyling” or “strike a pose” on my shift – it isn’t your job to know how to “pose”, it is my job to photograph you in a flattering position!
So we tried a variety of poses for Trine, and they certainly aren’t all comfortable, and they definitely don’t feel natural, but the important thing is they look great in camera.
I have known Trine all my life, and we were just playing so she sat with me and did the post-production – the secret magical part where we transform people, right?
Trine chose her favourites, and we then did exactly the steps I would do on a normal paid shoot. It was really interesting for me, because I would say “shall we soften the skin a little bit” and Trine would say “no, I think it looks fine”… i.e. it isn’t a matter of the images needing polishing beyond recognition! I would be using my (soft and subtle) Photoshop brushes and Trine would say “I can’t actually see that they are making a difference” – that is how subtle the polishing is. We tweak the colours and add final touches and hey presto, we have our final shots ready for printing. Trine posted one as a profile image on Facebook and instantly got well over 200 Likes and endless comments – it is a tiny thing, but it definitely does boost your confidence :o)
What’s the point?
The point is that we are all fine just as we are, but we do all have the potential to look fantastic.
The next point is – it makes you realise that all the celebrities in the magazines have been through quite a treatment before they reach the front cover – a huge team of hair and make-up artists, high flying photographers and professional re-touchers who (unlike me) are very heavy handed in Photoshop. On an average everyday basis those celebrities look just like normal people, they have stretch marks, scars, spots and battle various things in life!
So rest assured that you are good enough, just as you are, but it is great to see yourself at your very best…