Portrait / Wedding Photogs - How Much Cosmetic Cleaning?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by astrostu, May 24, 2010.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    So, a bride finally got back to me 8 months after her wedding with a giant list of photos she wants finished. My question is, how much cosmetic cleaning should I do without specifically asking?

    For example, the bride has a teensy bit of upper lip hair. I'm cleaning that. The groom had a sore on his lower lip. I'm removing that. Mother of the groom has several wrinkles under her eyes that I'm softening.

    But then there are the bride's cousins, two bridesmaids. Both of them have, well, more upper lip hair than I can grow in two weeks (to put it bluntly). Should I try to clean that up? Or should I ask about it first? Another example is that this was an Indian wedding and the women were wearing saris ... the mother of the bride has a fairly obvious scar on her midsection that shows in all the full photos of her. Should I remove that without asking, leave as-is, or ask?

    Bottom-line question is again: How much cosmetic stuff do you clean without asking, and for what do you ask, and what do you just leave?
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do I hear dueling banjos in the background? just kidding. My take on it is this. Scars are part of a persons persona and unless it's a temporary scar like a child who recently took a tumble a few days before the shoot, it stays unless I'm told otherwise. Temporary blemishes are usually removed and some degree of personal grooming (facial hair on females in your example) is taken care of in most cases, especially close up shots. For the most part a lot of that stuff is not really that noticeable if you're looking at a full length or 3/4 shot. You notice it more than anyone else, b/c you're looking for things to improve. They know it's there and overlook it, others don't know it's there and unless it's really bad won't notice it either. Now if they look like Wooly Willy with the magnet and iron filings, it probably would be like removing a big thick scar that's really part of the persona. I generally go a little extra on the bride though.

    just my .02
     
  3. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Well, in the bridesmaid examples, the photo is 50% their face. As in nice close-ups. My bf was looking through them and quite uncouthly mentioned, "That's not a bridesmaid, that's a groomsman." So, yeah .... kinda noticeable, and these are two girls who are (I think) around 15 years old.
     
  4. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ouch. Well, I think that would fall into the category of removing a permanent facial feature much like a scar. Personally, I might try to minimize it a bit, but if it's that prominent, they know they have the issue so completely trying to remove it would not only be noticeable to them, and probably extensive enough that others who didn't know it was there would notice that it was edited as well. Ya know?
     
  5. McMommy

    McMommy TPF Noob!

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    I think something like hair, if you have the time, should be removed. I'm shocked they didn't wax before the wedding day! But yes, I definitely think that if not at least softened, noticeable lip hair beyond peach fuzz should be removed.
     
  6. flyingember

    flyingember TPF Noob!

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    8 months later! Do you normally let someone come back on their schedule? I would have capped it to a couple of months later at most.
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Thanks for the advice, folks.
     
  8. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    whats the harm in politely and carefully asking the bride?

    as long as you dont say her sisters look like werewolves and her mom like rambo i wouldnt think she would be too offended.
    often people dont understand that photography lighting may NOT be flattering to all elements of their faces.
     

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