You may have noticed that I don’t have photos of myself on my website or my blog-that’s for a few reasons.

One, as a photographer, I’m the one that takes all the photos! So it logistically is hard to find someone to take a photo that will be to your standards. (I’ve tried the whole tripod it and then run thing…but I need help posing myself!)

Two, as a photographer that uses my name as a business name as well, I value my privacy and like a degree of anonymity that comes with not posting my photo. 🙂 I’m an introvert like that, what can I say?

Three, I believe the focus for clients that come to my website and blog should be on my work and the clients’ moments, because the wedding day isn’t about me at all. It’s about you.

But then I ran into a dilemma. I wanted to show what can be done as far as retouching and give a little glimpse into my behind the scenes work, mainly to show how much time goes into an image in post-processing. I previously showed how composites are possible with my friend Jen’s family. This round, I wanted to show how I retouch my client’s skin, eyes, hair, teeth, etc on portrait shoots and select wedding images (blogged, album, favorites, and prints) to let their images reflect their confidence and beauty.

The problem-I would never, ever, ever put an unretouched image of my client out there and then point out how I enhanced their shot, as this would call attention to the “before” areas, whether that be some small smile lines, a slipping bra strap, etc. That makes no one happy, and if retouching is done correctly, the client should never know what has been nipped or tucked or smoothed.

So the only image I could show a before and after of is…*gulp* a photograph of myself. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to put this out here. My own husband *rarely* sees me without makeup. Like most women, I won’t post unflattering images to Facebook. And yet, I’m coming on here and showing all my clients.

My friend Jen (of the fabulous Jen Stevenson Photo) took this image for me in the middle of her family session. Here it is with no retouching, perfectly exposed, posed, and composed, but not fully retouched. As photographers, we sometimes will exchange RAW images and edit ourselves.

The cameras today, and Jen has the top of the line, really show every single pore. We were in the shade, so the light is a little blue-when you shoot RAW images, this has to be manipulated later.

In the after image, I removed the bruise from my left arm and the sand from my face. My guideline is to remove anything that’s not there all the time (so I leave intact birthmarks). I also removed the clasp on my necklace and the bags under my eyes-I guess I wasn’t getting restful sleep! I did my skin smoothing I provide for all clients on select images.

And lastly, I sharpened for web or print, especially the eyes, which is necessary for RAW images to come across nice and crisply.

I’m not professing to be a magazine-caliber retouching expert, and I try not to do it with a heavy hand. I just want my clients to look as amazing as they feel and display their images with confidence. The camera can add ten pounds and show us wrinkles and blemishes that we don’t see with our naked eye, so I like to restore that look in the portraits.

I hope that sheds the light on just a little of what professional retouching is capable of and one of the reasons we spend so much time in editing perfecting the images.

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I met Arielle and her mom through Kaitlyn, one of my 2011 senior reps! I think we were by the pool for a swim meet when we all met, so I was so happy when Arielle called me earlier this month for her senior portraits.

Arielle and I met up at the Cocoa Beach Pier for her senior portraits, and we had a great time. The weather was beautiful, not too warm, and even though it was a little windy, her hair still looked great because she had it professionally styled before the shoot, which I highly recommend.

Fall was definitely in the air with the slightly cooler weather, so now is a great time to get your senior portraits and family portraits done.

Thanks to your friend for coming along too, Arielle, to hold your phone and lip gloss and just generally help out during the shoot, greatly appreciated!

Arielle is so smart; she is already taking college courses while still enrolled in high school and will actually graduate with her associate’s degree around the time of her high school graduation. She looks forward to attending UCF in the fall for electrical engineering.

I knew when she said she was interested in engineering that she must be very bright and focused-she’s also good at math.

But she isn’t just book smart. Arielle also has been a member of her high school’s swim team for many years, and she also holds down a job. She also is into fashion and wore a favorite Guess dress with a pink shirt over top and brought along her favorite peep toe boots. I know nothing about fashion, but I love when my clients wear an outfit they really love. If you are comfortable in your clothing, it shows in the images.

Arielle (and family), thank you so much for choosing Kristen Wynn Photography for your senior portraits. Arielle, I wish you so much success for your senior year and beyond-you are such a sweet, nice, hard-working and smart young woman and I know you will achieve your goals! 🙂

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Rebelle said: | Sep 26, 2011 - 09:09:57 |

What beautiful pictures! But then my niece makes beautiful easy.

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Jen is my photography bestie. 🙂 We met back in 2009 on a photography board and started our businesses at about the same time. There is no one else that understands me the way Jen does, and we will txt or Facebook back and forth for hours about business issues or even about a particular edit.

Jen is also the photography friend that lives the closest to me. It has been really hard for me to meet people since I moved here, and I’m so glad I found her! 🙂

A year ago, she had A, and I traveled over to her home in Orlando for her session. Now, A is so much bigger! I can barely believe how much she has grown. Jen’s older daughter, L, is a sweetheart too and very, very bright.

Jen is the owner of a portrait photography business working primarily with children, families, and newborns, so before her super busy holiday season, we met up for family portraits of her own at Cocoa Beach.

I loved working with them as usual and was so honored to be asked. I wanted to put up a few sneak peeks for them today even though Jen and I are getting together to photograph tomorrow-can’t wait! 🙂

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I met Rachel a few weeks ago up in Cocoa, Florida. Rachel’s a Kristen Wynn Photography senior rep, representing Cocoa Beach High School.

She’s in the IB program at school, so she’s definitely smart. 🙂 Rachel and her sister are both really involved in theater (they gave me a long list of all the musicals that they had been in; I was very impressed), so we made sure to get a few photos of her outside the Cocoa Village Playhouse and in downtown Cocoa. Rachel also incorporated her love of theater into the session with her first outfit choice. Cocoa Village is a really cool spot for photographs that I hadn’t been to before, very cute area.

Rachel’s the proud holder of a Florida driver’s license and is a much better driver than me, that’s for sure. After starting at her house, we went around to a couple different locations, and Rachel knew her way around town confidently, while I had to ask Rachel’s super sweet mom to show me where to go at every turn. 🙂

Rachel also has cute taste in shoes, so I wanted to show a few fun shots of her choices. We ended up at Cocoa Beach for a few fun shots as the sun was setting.

I talked to Rachel a little bit about her future plans, and where she’ll go to college is still up in the air, but she has plenty of time until then. Whatever college Rachel ends up going in 2011, I’m sure she’ll have great success!

It was so great to meet you, Rachel!

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