Tuesday, October 5, 2010


So recently I had an inner dispute. I was angry at myself for making my model in my last shoot look like something she wasn't. I tweaked the heck out of the pictures until she no longer looked at all like herself. That night when I emailed the pictures to her she started crying with joy because I had "made her look so beautiful." I was sick over it, I had done something I told myself I would never do. I wanted to redo them, to take the ones I gave her back, to tell her that she didn't need retouching, that she IS that beautiful. Without even realizing it I had done something I hate most about my business. I've always wanted to be a photographer who caught the truth whether it was beautiful, quirky, odd, or down right hard to look at. Let's face it, we all love looking at beauty, and I try to find that in everything I shoot, but I crossed the line on that one. I think if we all knew the truth, especially us women then we would have much healthier relationships with ourselves. So for this shoot I wanted to show you a before and after. Tesla, my model, is stunning, and she was stunning before makeup, wardrobe, lighting, and retouching. Most of you know I am an amateur to fashion photography, so I'd like you to know I am still learning retouching, now just think about how much more manipulation the pros can do. As photographers our responsiblity is to capture truth, unfortunatly there are many who make fortunes on lies. Frankly, I'm done with the lies.
P.S From now on I will be including a "before" picture.


  1. Nicky, these are amazing! And I love the inclusion of the before shot.

  2. Nice Pics Nicky...she is beautiful, before and after ;-)


  3. These are great! What did you light her with again? I forget what you had in there.

  4. WOW. SHE PUTS ME TO SHAME!!! I LOOOOVE all of them!! The ones in the vest are my favorite!! Good job lady!!

  5. Beautiful Nicky. Love you for who you are and for staying real. Its so true how anyone can be photo shopped to be someone else. Doesn't teach our kids these days anything about being true to themselves.

  6. These are beautiful! You and the model did a great job!

  7. I kind of agree with what you are saying. And that is why I love documentary photography or photojournalism. But, in my opinion, Fashion and portrait photography have a little more room for adjustments. In portrait photography someone is paying you to make an image that they are going to like. Women put makeup on to enhance the features of their face. You increase the lip size or make they eyes bigger by one or two percent. What is the difference? I understand there has to be a line somewhere...shrinking hips or cutting the jaw line to form the body that society wants, but is that the call of the hired photographer or does the client make that call...I don't know.

    Even without photo editing, the nature of photography is not pure. The camera sees what the photographer makes it see. The photographer is biased to what he or she likes. what is pleasing or displeasing, appealing and interesting to them, not what is reality. The way I see it is... there is no truth in photography...only opinions. The photographer creates the image that they want, weather it is close to truth or far fetched, but it is all skewed from reality.

    Anyway, don't beat yourself up over it. You have realized that you don't want to create an image in a certain way and you don't have to. It is all about learning.

    By the way....they are really great images.

  8. Thanks Heidi,Ryan, Jason, Liv, Pam, Renee, and Scott:)
    Jason, I used two soft boxes (2:1)and some (3:1) I did'nt end up using the hair light.
    Pam, you're so right, when you have kids you are so aware of what you set as their examples, Alessandra and Jaiden will know all of this, wish I would have known as a teen.

    Scott, you are so right. There is no truth to photography, we as photographers are no different then painters, sculpters, and musicians. We create what we want to see, or sometimes when documenting we try to tell the story that we see. Either way, it's only what "we see." As we know perception is different from every single being to the next. I know fashion is exagerated, and sometimes fantasy which is what I love about it, as long as we know it for what it really is and we don't send the message saying this is the "right way to look, the only way to look." You and I both have gorgeous daughters, and they may never be super model material but who says they are any less beautiful than Gisele. I think in our eyes they will always be more beautiful than Gisele, and that's OUR perception. Thanks for the great comment Scott:)