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Kerri Cipriani Posted by: Kerri Cipriani 2 years ago

What is retouching? What is our philosophy on retouching? How does our philosophy directly affect your Boudoir experience?

This bombshell usually covers her freckles with full coverage make-up. However, she trusted our suggestion and our amazing HMUA Ashley to leave them uncovered, the results were beautiful! (unretouched image)

What is retouching?

Before we discuss our philosophy on retouching, or anti-retouching. we need to first clarify what we are referring to when we use the term retouching.

Retouching in terms of photography and manipulating a raw file refers to any adjustments or processing of an image by software. This includes color tone, white balance, image warmth, contrast, softness, clarity, etc. We shoot all of our images in a raw format because this gives us a great deal of flexibility to manipulate the end product and create a clear consistent style of imagery. It’s why all of our photos have a similar warm moody feel. Think of it like coloring in a coloring book. Every artist will do it differently, but each will likely have a clear style. Initial photo retouching is more like adding color and shading to a drawing, we are simply styling an image.

Continuity in our editing style helps our clients to exactly what they can expect from our work, and also helps us tell beautiful image stories in Boudoir Fine Art Albums. (unretouched image)

Therefore, when we talk about retouching in this blog, we are specifically referring to the part of retouching that means manipulating, altering, or completely erasing something in regards to your physical body. We are not referring to the process of warming up color tones, or darkening shadows. We are talking about what is widely referred to as photoshopping. The reason we are not going to refer to it as photoshopping is because Photoshop is a widely used tool with a great deal of capabilities and altering people’s appearances is just one way to use that tool. Also, Photoshop is far from the only tool photographers use to retouch their photos. It’s like calling a tissue a Kleenex. Tissue is the tool, Kleenex is a brand. So for all intents and purposes, moving forward, when we use the word retouching, we are specifically referring to altering a part of or something on your body.

Women Empowerment and our “Style”

If you have been following us for a while, or even a short time, you have probably picked up on the trend that we are fully invested in women empowerment. This takes a lot of forms for us, including the ways we meaningfully interact with clients, but also very specifically in our shooting and editing style. One thing that separates our style of photography from some boudoir trends, is we do not shoot “Light and Bright”. We see the light and bright style as painting women as perpetually happy, simple, soft, and here to bring pleasure and joy to others (specifically men). We view women as strong, complex, and deserving of validation. Our “dark and moody” yet warm photography and editing style portrays this.

This pose and lighting shows our Boudoir Bombshell is strong, powerful, and complex. (unretouched image)

Furthermore, you will often find some boudoir photos to be heavily retouched. Much like glamor photos. Skin glows to the point of not looking like real skin, and bodies are manipulated one way or another. This completely defeats the purpose of boudoir. It sets unrealistic beauty standards, tells you you weren’t enough the way you showed up, and when you look at your photos you won’t see your true self! Who the heck are we, or any other photographer, to tell you what you should or shouldn’t change about your body? We want you to look at your photos, see YOU, and LOVE you. Plain and simple. This is why the only retouching we do is removing impermanent marks from your body, like a bruise or cystic pimple. Or we might brush some hair out of your face if we want to see more of it ;) We will never change the shape of your body or face, and we will use proper lighting, posing, outfits, and makeup to decorate and highlight you! We even take into consideration what color outfits and bedding will best compliment your skin tone and eye color. We have got your back!

How our philosophy affects your experience!

Besides, “beauty standards” are constantly changing, restrictive and non-inclusive, and in our humble opinion, all around just bull shit. They are used to reduce women to their looks and keep them so focused on their image they cannot excel in other aspects of their life. Seriously! Moreover, most of these “beauty standards” were CREATED by photo retouching in the first place, they were not created by people existing as real live humans. So let’s throw it out the window. We are going to show you  you deserve to be celebrated every day. Come as you are, you are already perfect. You are already beautiful, and you can therefore go about your day chasing your dreams, being your presently bad ass self. 

When we flip the camera around during a photoshoot to show women just how amazing they are photographing, they often reply “That is not me!” To which we simply remind them, there is no one else in this photo but YOU! Even more, this photo is completely unretouched, this is just you, looking amazing and powerful with one click of a shutter. 

What exactly do we retouch?

Uneven skin tones – I.E. harsh tan lines

Impermanent marks – I.E. Skin blemishes or bruises

Things that are out of place – I.E. clothing tags, or hair in your face (but not in a good way)

Special requests – I.E. That old tattoo from when you were 16 that you routinely cover up

And that’s it!

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