Birthmarks, Scars, and Other Beautiful Things.
Please read the following paragraph using an annoying commercial-esqe voice in your head:
We all have them. That little “imperfection” we would like gone. Thanks to fabulous editing technology, it can be. With just a few clicks (or tedious, unending clicking), you can have the skin/hair/body of your dreams.
Yay, for us.
Or, maybe not.
As a photographer, I am constantly asked to remove or correct certain insecurity-inducing features. Honestly, I don’t mind. Ask away. Open a dialog. And please expect a response of, “Are you sure?”
I will not question you because of the tedious, unending clicking aforementioned. Rather, I want you to consider the message you are sending. Sometimes, you will notice a gash on my son’s forehead or a scar on his cheek. As he grows, I want him to know those are a part of him. If that giant gash leaves a scar, he shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. He shouldn’t wish it away or hide the mark. What do I tell him, if I edit something out of photos?
I tell him it is wrong. I tell him it should be hidden.
And because of my precious daughter, I have given this tremendous thought. In my entire life, I cannot recall a single time I heard my mom complain about her weight, scars, laugh-lines, or much of anything. Growing up, I never gave such a significant detail any thought. Now, I want to pass the same gift down to my own daughter.
It’s harder than I thought.
And it moves beyond my words. I refrain from editing out her birthmarks, my developing laugh-lines, or my husband’s scars. These are a part of us, a piece of our unique puzzle. My concern over my children’s self-image in a “photoshopped” world becomes increased when I consider my every afternoon spent editing photos in that very program.
Consider what you are looking for in a photo. If a giant scar distracts from the beauty of an image, let’s lighten it. If baby scratched her nose and it will be healed in two days, let’s remove the mark. No one looks good under a microscope. We certainly want your photos to be a beautiful representation of you; you should look at your photos and feel stunning. I happily (tediously) edit photos to make sure my clients look their best. Yet, as a lifestyle photographer, I long for your photo to be a picture of you, all of you. Your portrait should certainly not spotlight something you are insecure about, but it does not need to hide your beautifully earned marks, lines, and scars.
So ask. Tell me what you are insecure about. Let’s make it beautiful.
PS. I often leave distractions, such as drool, in my children’s photo from time to time, because they are only cute little droolers for so long.
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As a Lifestyle and Portrait Photographer photographing exclusively in Minnesota and based from Buffalo, MN, Danielle Geri Photography professionally picture-takes all over perfect state of Minnesota. Specializing in Lifestyle photography and providing Professional Newborn, Maternity, Child, Family, Senior, and Wedding photography to Central MN, Minnesota’s Metro and West Metro. Areas served include, but are not limited to, Buffalo, Maple Lake, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Monticello, Dassel-Cokato, Andover, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, Otsego, and Wilmar, MN.