Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fun with Photos

In one of our latest marketing campaigns, we've been sending a mailer to Realtors, attorneys and the like, suggesting that they "upgrade your image!" The impetus behind this was driving past some truly appalling photographs on billboards. People trying to tout their services as bankers who look as green as the money they refuse to loan out. Women leering out with lipstick on their teeth in their '80s hairstyles telling us to join their churches....they need to pray for a new haircut.

Two of the biggest marketing boo-boos are not marketing when times are tough, and using such an old image that, when people actually meet you, causes them to wonder aloud when you became the Crypt Keeper. Vanity is all well and good. It keeps a lot of people employed in the cosmetic industries. But you have GOT to keep that in the framework of a) age-appropriateness; b) reality of what God gave you; and c) "damn, girlfr'en'!" (or boyfriend; men are certainly no strangers to vanity!)

We had a really nice lady in here today. Dawn sells insurance, and actually was one of the billboard images at which we shuddered. Not that we told her that. LOL She's a nice-looking lady of a certain age - I love that French phrase, so tactful, so not me - and she has some sun damage from a youth misspent in the sun of Florida. Repeat after me, "Sunscreen is our friend." But she didn't know that then, and she wanted some issues fixed. Well, hell, so would I if my image were going to be twenty feet tall!
Here's the original image.
You can see some issues here, some simple, some, not so much. For one, as you look at the image, her right eyelid droops more than the left. I sympathize; I inherited the same characteristic from my Dad, and it's more pronounced when I'm tired. She wanted that evened out if I could. Ha!...if I could, puh-leeze.

Next, her skin tone is uneven, and on her chest, badly freckled from the sun exposure. She's self-conscious about that. And although she didn't point it out, her hair highlights have grown out some, and it's fairly noticeable on the left of the picture. I decided to give her a touch-up on them.
And of course, she wanted to look a bit younger. DH told her I would be her best friend. :-D Again, remember that this will be BIG, so minor flaws that I might ignore for a 5x7 print have to be addressed for this. One thing I do not do without being asked is to remove beauty marks. Goes back to that reality thing again.
So here's the enhanced image. It's still recognizably Dawn, the lines are still there, but more like she would have had them a few years ago. The skin tone is better, the hair fixed, but natural looking, and the eyes are brought out a bit, as well as being more symmetrical. Let me know what you think; I love feedback on my work.

And in another bit of niceness for the day...my eldest daughter called. She had just gotten a message from the mother of one of her best friends, Lindsi. Lindsi married her long-time S.O. on Saturday, and I was the officiant. Much to my daughter's distress, she couldn't be there, because she has a strained back. I felt badly for her, knowing that she really wanted to attend.
Anyway, Lindsi's mom sent this to my daughter: "I just wanted to tell you: You have a beautiful Mother with such a kind heart, she touched me yesterday and for what she conveyed to me, I will be forever Grateful. Please tell your Mom, Thank You from the bottom of my heart."
Awwwwwwwww. So sweet! So thoughtful! So....she doesn't know me too well, does she?


beadntat said...

Now if only a few hours of fun with Photoshop, etc. could do that in reality...no stinky solutions in salons, no botox, etc.... SIGH!

SBL said...

Pretty good...

SBL Photo repair services

Diana said...

The client seemed to think it was more than "Pretty good." Her emailed response to the proof was as follows:

"Wow. Is that really me? It looks great! THANKS SO MUCH. Yes, you have my final approval. Dawn"

The trick is not to change facial characteristics, and the one example I saw on your site does just that, I'm afraid. I know your comment was just to advertise for yourself at my expense, and since you put it out there, I have to say that you changed the person's color (i.e., ethnicity), lost his dimple, and pretty much took away everything that makes his face distinctive. That's not enhancement, or retouching...it's renovation!

Grannie said...

That's such a good job - so subtle yet effective! And I agree with you about SBL - he took all the individuality out of the face!

Diana said...

Thanks, Grannie! I thought twice about allowing SBL's post, and my response, feeling it was a bit snarky...but hey, it's what I do!

I like your winter bird shots, too.

Rosemarie Buchanan said...

What, you were having a nice streak?

I'll mark it on the calendar!



Grannie said...

Thanks Diana for visiting my blog. It's still in the infant stages, I get frustrated with trying to place the photos. I love the birds, most of those shots were taken right from my kitchen window.