As a body positive photographer, my main goal is to capture my subject’s beauty and uniqueness while also promoting body positivity. However, I must admit that I still use Photoshop to edit people’s bodies in some of my photographs. I understand that this may seem contradictory to some, but I believe that there is a way to balance both and still remain true to my values as a body positive photographer.
Firstly, it’s important to note that Photoshop can be used for much more than just body editing. It can be used to adjust lighting, color, contrast, and other minor edits that can enhance the overall quality of the photograph. For example, sometimes lighting may not be ideal during a photoshoot, and I might need to adjust the brightness and contrast to create a more polished image. These types of edits are typically minor and don’t involve significant changes to the subject’s body.
However, there are instances where clients may ask for more substantial edits to their bodies, such as making their waistline look slimmer or their thighs appear more toned. In these cases, I approach the situation with caution and always strive to maintain a body positive environment. My ultimate goal is to make my subjects look and feel like their best selves.
When working with clients, I always have a conversation about their expectations for the photoshoot and what they want to achieve from the images. I ask them about any areas of their body that they may feel self-conscious about and discuss with them different poses, angles, and lighting that can flatter their body type. I aim to create a collaborative environment where we work together to create images that capture their essence and make them feel confident.
Secondly, I want my clients to look like themselves on their best day. I don’t want to create a false image of them that they don’t recognize. Instead, I aim to enhance their natural beauty, making them look like their best selves. For example, if a client has a blemish on their face, I may remove it from the photograph, so it’s not a distraction, but I wouldn’t go as far as drastically altering the shape of their face or body. I want my clients to be happy with their images, but I also want them to recognize themselves in the final product.
Finally, I also believe that Photoshop is no different than wearing shapewear or using special lighting. These are all tools that we use to enhance our appearance and feel more confident. Shapewear can make us look slimmer, and special lighting can hide imperfections. Similarly, Photoshop can be used to enhance the overall quality of the image and make small adjustments that can make a big difference. These are all tools that can be used positively and negatively, but ultimately it’s up to the individual how they use them.
In conclusion, being a body positive photographer and still using Photoshop to edit people’s bodies can seem like a contradiction, but I believe it’s all about balance. As long as it’s done in a respectful, collaborative, and body-positive environment, I don’t see anything wrong with using Photoshop to make minor adjustments that enhance the overall quality of the image. Ultimately, my goal as a photographer is to create images that empower my subjects, promote body positivity, and capture their unique beauty.