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| p.1 #10 · Candid - The Teacher Look |
The re-touching dance is the tango where folks tell the photographer they don't retouching (because they think it's vain and maybe somehow dishonest). Then when they see their straight image they ask for retouching or, more annoyingly, just "don't like" the images until they are retouched. What they usually want is retouching done well enough isn't too obvious... and you might be surprised how many folks are willing to squint hard to not see the obvious.
Remember to ask for whom is the image intended to please. If the answer is the subject, be careful. The re-touching dance was as true back in the day when I made portraits for a living as it is now, although the actual demand was tempered then by the high cost of the analog painting retouching effort required. Human nature hasn't changed. People tell me all the time they don't want retouching and then nearly everyone later admits to wanting the works. In general, photographers seem to prefer the real whilst subjects prefer the flattering - something I learned the hard way when I started out in the portrait business. I re-learned it in recent years as people came to expect their portrait images to be 'shopped. My new standard, especially for women of a certain age, is, if they was me, how would I want the image re-touched. Notice a man of a certain age might not have similar expectations.
Personally, I'd like to photograph people in honestly if unflatteringly because the resulting images can say things about life and human nature I'd like to say. Unfortunately, kindness and subject dissatisfaction gets in the way of such a project.