RETOUCHING: Is it a true representation of your work?

LEFT is your work RIGHT is retouched
Is this a true representation of your work?

As a makeup artist we all have days that just–well–suck. Then to the rescue comes photo shop riding in on his big ole white horse to save us. Yeah!!!! Right? Well yes and no.

Many moons ago I had an artist who wanted to assist me show me her book and based on her book she was hired to help me with a real important gig. She said she was comfortable working on all skin tones as her book reflected. She came highly recommended by a photographer friend of mine so I was like sure– love her book, love her she’s hired. JUMP to the night of my gig, her job–she was left to do a beautiful group of young people.

I come back from my rounds to see her sitting in the corner looking terrified, her kit isn’t even opened. I thought something had happen to her. I rush over to her and ask her if she’s OK and she replied “DeShawn I can’t do this–I don’t know how to work on Black and Hispanic people.” HUH? Well when I looked at her fabulous book it was filled with every nationality including some Black and Hispanics I was totally thrown. I said what do you mean and she repeated herself “I don’t know how to work on them.”

DING! a light bulb went off over my head and I said to myself–HER BOOK WAS ALLLLLLLLL A (#$@%^ ) LIE! It was the photoshopping not her talent.

No time to even say anything I had to then split my time between my clients and now this group and give her a lesson on Black and Hispanic makeup on top of that. Do I need to even say that, that chic was never seen by my eyes again!!!!!!



So when is retouching/photoshop an acceptable representation of your work?

Answer: When you can reproduce what has been retouched.

In other words, if you use a photo that you know your skill level isn’t up too–you’re doing yourself as an artist a disservice. Why?, Because you cannot physically reproduce the shading, the contour/highlight, the correct foundation selection for your model and the list goes on that the photographer has added to get a good photo.

Please remember you are hired by what is on your sites/social media and in your book and if you think you can just wing it when you get on the job you are truly mistaken

I have seen countless photos of befores and afters of artists work and am always amazed when I see it posted on their site. Knowing full well they didn’t have a clue as to what the hell they were doing. So be careful when you get so gleeful over a photo that you know in your heart you didn’t do well or you can’t even reproduce. Passing off a photo like that can only cause you more harm then needed. Instead use the photo as a lesson as what to do for the next time.