Here’s the power of a make-up artist: “before” and “after” shots of Liz Medori:
Now of course you will notice a few things. First: on the left we have done nothing to make the image look good. NO make-up, but you will also notice the lack of a background light, the lack of a friendly expression, no fan for the hair: while this is not a deliberate “let’s make her look bad” shot, it’s certainly not a “let’s make her look good” shot!
The photo on the right has all those things and a little post work, but in regards to that post work, I want to emphasize “a little”. I do not like to “Photoshop” (Lightroom, really) the heck out of someone to make them look like something they are not. I never, ever do any liquefying, or anything like that; only minor fixes of skin contrast, fixing of temporary blemishes, and so on.
So what we did on the right:
- Lit the background
- Better expression
- Used a fan on the hair
- Fixed minor blemishes
- Decreased “Clarity” a little (skin-tone contrast, if you will) – but not by much. -15 to -20 is a common setting for me. Much more and it gets obvious, porcelain dolls, and while some photographers love that look, I would rather see people the way they are.
A rule of thumb: if any alteration to a person is obvious upon seeing it, I do not like to do it. I am not fan of the “Portrait Professional” ads that show people made into something completely unlike the way they actually look.
Anyway – the make-up is the major difference: thanks to Melissa T. for doing make-up, and to Liz Medori for modelling.