It is mental health awareness week and I felt this was the perfect time to release a blog about ‘edited’ images. This topic is extremely important to me, as in a world of high level editing software and filters, whereby someones features can be changed and altered almost unrecognisably with the click of a button; it really is important that I preach the message, this is NOT what I mean by professionally edited images!
Before going in to what I do mean, I want to show you just how deceiving this world of image witchcraft can be and how damaging it is to people’s mental health, so I am going to put my big brave pants on and show you what I mean with a photo of myself.
Rather than artificially enhancing an image where I am wearing makeup, I thought it best to share the ‘natural’ look, under a particularly unflattering light, whereby realistically everyone would have pores, in my case (the thing I am most self conscious about) moles and uneven textures of skin.
Before (left) After (right)
So, this is me. In all honesty, by the time I had finished preparing these images, I really questioned wether I was happy to share them, as having seen the smooth finished look of the ‘edited’ version, my brain began noticing every single ‘imperfection’ in the original… But that is exactly why I need to share!! The more you see your face wiped of all its unique features, which make you who you are, the more insecure you become about your true self. It really is a vicious cycle!
Equally, we see these filtered images shared online on a daily basis, possibly without realising it, forcing us to compare ourselves to what is in-fact an unrealistic image of perfection, which causes not only problems with self-esteem, but can also lead to further mental health problems or in certain cases eating disorders.
Make up can be an amazing thing! it enhances the features you want to show, but filters completely change them, by physically altering the size of noses, eyes and crafting a slimming look, so there is an enormous difference between these medias.
So, now we have covered the dark world of artificial enhancement and filters, I now want to go in to what it is that I mean by ‘professionally edited images’ which is what I do to prepare every photo shoot gallery for viewing.
Firstly, there are two things which make an image the distinct Amelia Hart style:
1 – is the way the image is taken, the techniques I use when composing a photograph, through framing, the way I use natural light on my subject, the poses I use and lots more.
2 – is the way I edit each image after a photo shoot, making alterations to the highlights and shadows, correcting and altering some of the colours, removing unwanted objects which are causing a distraction in the background of a shot and NATURALLY enhancing the light and softness within an image.
That is it… I do not alter or enhance faces, I simply capture that wonderful connection between each of my beautiful clients and their horses and ensure that I use flattering light and angles to let them shine when capturing them. No smoke and mirrors, no hidden tricks, just you, your horse and a lot of love.