You can change anything in an image now using Photoshop and airbrushing.

This is a software program I use nearly everyday – it enables me to shoot in Camera Raw and open the images in Photoshop to edit … WAIT … that’s already too technical and if you haven’t switched of, let me explain something that will make a lot more sense to you.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the term ‘photoshopped’, it’s even in the dictionary! In brief it is image editing software. It’s the industry standard widely used by Photographers, Videographers, Graphic Designers and many other creatives. It is huge and very versatile. You can use it for years and still find you only access a small part.

As a professional photographer, I need to get as much right in camera as possible rather than spending hours in Photoshop afterwards. However, generally speaking, there are situations where I need to be able to correct an image because conditions were not quite right at the time of taking the image. Photoshop enables me to do this – i.e. adjust the light levels, colour balance, improve the crop. Most of these are only small adjustments, and is part of the processing. 

However, most of you who know me as a photographer of people and that is the focus in this blog, so …

Are you aware of just how much can be changed and its effect on how we see ourselves?

To illustrate, the two following images of myself, say it all really. I would add however, that while the two examples are a bit extreme (in my opinion), a lot of media airbrushing that happens, is barely noticeable and it’s kept very realistic. Leading us to truly believe that models, celebrities and those frequently in printed media do look just like that.

A self portrait without airbrushing or being photoshopped

Before editing …


An airbrushed self portrait photograph.

After editing …


If I was happy and liked the results of the second one, what I’ve really said is …  

“I don’t like how I look in the first image”


“I’m not good enough without some re-touching”

But if you hadn’t met me, what would you think if I used the second image as a headshot! 

If you are in business and out and about networking, what does your headshot say about you? This is what people may have seen before they meet you for real.

Where has all this come from???

Before editing software was available, photographers had to get it right in camera, or have a very fiddly task of correcting something on a film photograph. With the rise of digital cameras has come the development of editing software. Don’t get me wrong the software editing tool is hugely useful for all sorts of things. My concern here is what it can do to our self esteem.

Here are a few examples where I would and have agreed to correct:

  • An engagement shoot and there was a very sunburnt nose on display.
  • Someone had a tooth fall out and the person was having it replaced with an implant. 
  • A black eye! 

You never know what might happen just before a booked shoot.

However, technology develops at a great pace.

Our younger generation especially, don’t know an age when photo re-touching at the touch of a few buttons didn’t exist.

The following video is by Dove and has been in circulation for about a year now.

Why aren’t we telling all young girls that they are beautiful just as they are???  


Well hats off to Kate Winslet – in this this particular video as she removes her makeup, but the message is the same, whether it’s makeup, or digital editing.

BUT Christmas is round the corner, so let’s finish this blog with some positive tips.

If you are heading off to Christmas and New Year parties, or catching up with friends and family, the cameras will be out in abundance! 

If you’ve been following my posts on social media, or have signed up to receive the top-tips, yes all these things apply. However, we are talking about situations where there will be a lot more spontaneous moments. The tip on lighting still applies, but there will likely not be an opportunity to do anything about it… you may be amongst dance floor lights, Christmas lights, and spotlights! 

  • Tip 1 – Don’t stand and wait to be positioned. Whether on your own or in a group, it’s unlikely to happen! Position yourself at an angle that is comfortable for you and watch the person with the camera at all times! 
  • Tip 2 – Be yourself, and in the moment. Not all successful photographs have to be looking to camera. 
  • Tip 3 – Get the person in charge of their camera, to give you some idea of when they are taking the photograph! You can do this too when capturing others. 
  • Tip 4 – Don’t let others make you feel awkward or bad if you politely decline to be in a photograph. They are not in your shoes or understand how you feel. 
  • Tip 5 – Typical example of what can happen when people are just not ready … and seconds later when they are. Give people a chance to be at ease and smiling. 
Image illustrating two photographs taken seconds apart.

Let people know when the shot is being taken!

These tips will be posted on my social media platforms each Friday throughout December, with an image to illustrate. However you get to have the tips early :).

I hope there will be another blog before the end of the year, but in the meantime, do have a happy and enjoyable festive period, wherever you are and whoever you share it with. 

PS – don’t forget Love Your Image has a You Tube channel

PPS – If you haven’t already done so, do sign up to the mailing list and always be notified when there is new content to devour!