As a photographer, Saucy enjoys playing with photographs and editing them in unusual and artistic ways. As a parent and a coach taking pictures of her daughter and former Cheerios, it gets a little dicey.
For instance, here are some things Saucy will never do in editing: make someone thinner, change eye or nose shape, or airbrush skin to the point of looking plastic.
However, she will do the following: touch up a blemish, enhance or add "twinkle" to eyes to make them pop out of the image, and use filters to create different moods or colour schemes. She will also take minor distractions out of an image (erasing a garbage can in the far off background, removing a stray hair from the face).
Partly this is borne out of a sense of responsibility to the self-esteem of her subjects. Some of it also stems from the belief that your subject looks what your subject looks like and as a photographer it is your job to capture them at their best using posing and lighting, not by "creating" them in post-production. Once, Loopy looked at an edited photo of herself and shrieked "MOM! It doesn't even look like me anymore!" Was this true?
Here is an example. This week we dashed out of the house while the sun was low and reflecting off the fresh snow in the hopes of getting a few quick shots of Loopy wearing her pink furry Ushanka hat. Too lazy to use a light meter, Saucy fired off a quick shot using her most recent manual settings and figured she'd adjust her exposure after checking the screen. The very first image was overexposed but Loopy had a great expression on her face - super relaxed, not posed, just chilling and waiting for the shoot to start.
Now what to do? Saucy decided to try to save the image in editing. She even had to grab a hat from a properly exposed shot and merge it into the final product. Sometimes it's fun and challenging just to see if you can make a bad shot look good.
And Saucy loved it. Loopy finds shots like this "too edited" and these are the kind of things she laments over. Saucy admires this earnest outlook that Loopy has about her self-image. They both realize that some girls online get really crazy with editing themselves on Instagram and Tumblr. That's not Loopy's thing, she was raised in a photographer's house. Loopy is very self-aware and if anything, she is overly critical of her images and prefers to edit them herself. Saucy only edits pictures for the blog. They kind of agree to disagree about editing these days.
It's just fun to play with photos. There is simply no harm in it. These things go in waves, as most trends do. Photographers these days are experimenting with almost unrealistic colour and lighting styles.
|Edited to enhance the pink and blue tones already there|
|The same shot as above with a hazy sunset layer added|
|Basic image with an enhanced sky and sunset. The colours were present, they were just boosted.|
|Image slightly cleaned up in editing suite.|
|Image enhanced with brightening and toning filters.|
|A high key black and white filter to draw attention to Loopy's amazing eyes.|
This is an absolutely unretouched image (straight out of camera or SOOC).
This is Saucy's standard "first sweep" of editing... adjusting the light and the warmth.
The second two versions of this shot show the subtle differences between adding filters. It's all a matter of taste.
It's all still Loopy, though. She is beautiful no matter if her images are edited or not. She is also as beautiful in real life as she is on the blog. Sometimes she doesn't believe it and Saucy likes to remind her, that was the reason they started the photo shoot project in the first place. It was to enhance her self-image, not to destroy it. When Saucy plays with images, she's not changing Loopy, she's just fiddling with colours and light. She hopes Loopy knows that, deep down inside.
|Gorgeous already but a very fun image to start playing with...|
|First sweep - adjusted light and cleaned up|
|First sweep - basic adjustments to light and tone.|
|Edited - added contrast around eyes, lips and hair|
So maybe Loopy isn't too impressed with Saucy's editing... but Saucy knows one thing for sure. Someday, years from now, Loopy will look back at these images and remember all sorts of things from them. Maybe she will remember how cold it was that day. She might remember putting on a vintage fur coat that was already cold from being pulled out of storage. Maybe that we slipped on the icy ground. Maybe she will remember fussing about how her images looked or how they were edited but in the end, Saucy hopes what she remembers is that her mother thinks she is a smart, clever, drop-dead gorgeous young woman who will forever be the greatest muse of this camera.
You cannot filter that.