Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Love My Job

But before I get into that...thank you all for your kind words on the loss of Twilight. I still look for him when I get home, but you don't get to be my age without knowing that the sense of loss eases.

One of the blessings of our new studio is that it has long been established as the place to have senior portraits taken. Last year we moved in right as the first mailing should be hitting. Although the previous owner was very helpful in providing marketing templates, everything was done in Adobe InDesign. I use Photoshop to beat the band, but the two programs are more different than similar. So your favorite Office Goddess had to move a studio, learn (partially) a very complex piece of software, familiarize myself with the marketing materials, search out and adjust images to plug into them and have it all done in time to go to the printer. I was NOT amused. But I know you're not surprised to know that I did it, and we had a very successful senior season.

Now it's time to gear up for the class of 2010. The man who puts out the marketing materials we're using is running behind. See the not amused line again. But he did get out the catalog, which is what requires the most work, and it's what I spent about seven straight hours working on today. It would have been less if I were more familiar with InDesign, but since this is my only use for the product, I don't spend a lot of time in it. I got my bearings again, and then really got rolling.

I had a blast. I went back through the images for over 1oo seniors, picking and chosing the ones that would fit the theme, and provide a good balance of race, sex, and builds. No, I don't want everyone to look perfect. That discourages the majority...but I DO want to make them feel that they will look their best when they come to us. We work very hard to make sure that they do; senior pictures are a very lasting impression. Some of the images in the catalog are positioned in such a way that they need a knock-out picture for maximum impact, and I was having trouble deciding on one of them. My difficulty was that I needed a real close-up, but horizontal. Most of the DH's work is vertical unless it has to be otherwise.

So I found this. This was not an image that had been ordered, so it hadn't been retouched yet. She's pretty, but she's not impossibly beautiful. The image has potential.

I cropped in tightly, and cleaned up her few blemishes. Her skin texture was a bit uneven, and her lovely eyes needed to be brought out. Ordinarily this would have been most of what I would do. But remember, I said the image I used had to have real impact because of its positioning. I decided to go a bit further....

And this is the result. Nothing that makes her look unlike 'glamour shots' effect where her own mother wouldn't know her. More like she had a really good night's sleep, maybe a facial, and visit to a makeup counter. I'm really pleased with it. The catalog is all set, and tomorrow I'll open it up and look at it with less blurred eyes.

Bet I will still like this, though!


cutbank said...

This is gorgeous. I'll bet you could even make ME look good!

beadntat said...

Dang, now if only you could do that to a living-sometimes-breathing for real person, not just the photograph! Sigh. I think even photoshop couldn't rescue me at this point. egad!