Life is Beautiful, and I'm Going to Photograph the Real You

In college, I first majored in Graphic Design. That's when I fell in love with Adobe Photoshop. I do SO love Photoshop. I love a good Photoshop Challenge. I've had friends ask to put nun habits on a friend in a photo, put someone's arm around a polar bear, make the shape of land masses on the earth into a guitar shape, put heads onto body builders or celebrity bodies, transform kids into their favorite characters, and added people to groups that weren't present for the photo. 

I have erased people and objects from backgrounds. I have turned frowns into smiles, I have open closed eyes. I can switch heads in my sleep.

I can work miracles, people!

But there are some Photoshop skills that I just don't do when I edit photos of people. 

When people ask me to whiten teeth, brighten eyes, smooth skin, erase wrinkles, and/or even trim their figures, I take a stance.

I do VERY minimal re-touching on my photos. I will re-touch temporary problems. For instance, acne. Ugh! I get it. The breakouts come on the day of the shoot, but they eventually go away. When a child comes for yearly photos and has a bruise or scratch on their face, consider it gone. 

But all the other things... it's life, and it's BEAUTIFUL. 

I don't smooth out newborn skin, because no baby comes out without red blotchy skin, and it's beautiful.

I don't brighten eyes, because eyes are bright anyway, and you are not a snake.

I'm not going to take away wrinkles, because growing older is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience. 

Self Portrait. Taken with a shutter remote : )

We are all different. We are all special. I feel like it's my job to capture your REAL, special moments. 

Everyone knows life is not perfect, and it confuses me so much that we still try to make it look perfect (whether in photos or on social media). 

So, let's smash that ideal. When you take photos, capture moments: cheesy smiles, cuddles, dips, silly outfits, fits, sad moments, happy moments... capture it all to remember what real life is like.

This was the saddest day of my life so far...

It's so hard to take a selfie with a DSLR.

Scariest night of my life so far...

Capture it all. Keep it real. Even if it's on your phone.


  1. Love this and your way of seeing it! Your photos are so pure and full of life! Wonderful xxx

  2. This is why I love having you take our family and the girls' pictures! (And as for that last pic, ugh! Hope he is better! Been there and done that with Bethy. Beth was two years and got sick and O2 stats went down. Got to spend the night in the hospital while 7 months pregnant with Rach. In fact, we almost took her in this past Saturday night for the same thing. Cold always turns into breathing problems for her and it's so scary listening to her try to breathe!)

    1. When your child can't breathe, it's the worst panic ever. We actually called 911 that night... ugh! AND I love photographing your family!!

  3. Enjoy the purity in these photos. I use to retouch and edit a lot but the more I started just improving my own photography skills, I learned to catch them at their best angle and best lighting. Thanks for the reminder!


    1. YES! I agree. My photography has just gotten a lot better. My instincts to "look for the light" have improved, which just makes things so much easier when editing.