I recently watched this video from an amazing and most humble retoucher, Calvin Hollywood.
So, what do you think? Should a photographer show his or hers before and after images?
Calvin said it very well (and I’m going to paraphrase), if you’re soley a photographer, maybe it is a good idea that you don’t show your before and after photos. Once you open the doors to other avenues, you are not a photographer anymore by definition to your clients. Maybe to other professionals and colleagues you would still be considered a photographer but whatever your client thinks and considers you for is golden while everything else is just second place. Are you’re skills and capabilities not strong enough to capture the initial image from the get go? Are you a “photographer” or are you a “retoucher” and a “graphic artist”. Do your clients know why you retouch, if you do at all-better yet, do you know why you retouch? In other words, perception is EVERYTHING. Educating your clients and your audience is everything because it leads to how they perceive you, your product and your brand.
So, where does this notion place me in the midst of everything since I produce how-to videos via youtube on editing, pre and post production and just my life as a photographer for the whole world to learn from my experiences?
If you’re going to post anything online, whether it’s a simple twitter post, pictures or videos, it should be as polished and non-disruptive to your branding as possible. What would you think of me if you read a Facebook status from me such as, “Ima tryanna gonna drop this stuff rite awayz!” I mean, I’ll admit my English isn’t the best and I joke around but that is distracting for my audience.
So with the videos, posts and blogs that I put online, I make sure that they always accomplish three objectives: 1) Educate aspiring artists on creating complex images with straight forward workflows 2) Make sure the production fits my clean and simple branding 3) Always stays true to who I am and what I’m about as a creative and a person. Fulfilling those objectives allow me to let my clients and audience know what I do, how I do it and why I do it.
This video was food for thought. As for me, I will still post how-to and behind the scene videos and I encourage everybody to do the same whenever you have the opportunity to do so. With the technology we have today in being able to instantly reach someone, I believe that the internet, mobile devices and the million and one apps that exist are all awesome tools that we as artist and creatives have at our fingertips to reach the masses. It also allows my audience a sneak peak at a true sense of who I am and an insight to my personality behind the camera. With that said, just be cognizant and aware of what you post online, especially if you are trying to establish yourself as a professional. Be yourself and always keep your audience in mind.
Illusion is the first of all pleasures – Voltaire