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Author | Sharon Daniels

  • Behind the Scenes On Retouching for a Photo Shoot

    Do you think what you see is what you get when you see a photo in a catalog, magazine or ad? Not always. Expert retoucher Sharon Daniels shares some profrssional retouching tips on what happens behind the scenes on a commercial campaign that uses mostly real people instead of fashion models. — S.H.My partner and I recently retouched the images below for the Lindsay Phillips fall campaign for SwitchFlops. Before we began retouching the images Lindsay's creative director expressed that conceptually they were interested in keeping the images realistic and appearing spontaneous. The models in the shots included Lindsay Phillips herself, some of her friends, and one professional model.My retouching work for most clients typically involves perfecting faces and sculpting bodies. The Lindsay Phillips campaign was pleasingly different and exciting. Most of the images involved "everyday people", not professional models, and also children. I was able to step away from the "standard" advertising retouching practices and kept the retouching to a minimum. My goal for this campaign was to maintain everyone's natural beauty. When it came to retouching the images of the children, it was important not to take away from their delicate features. It was actually fun to let them keep the gaps in their teeth! I did not need to make them look like contestants from Toddlers & Tiaras.

    Published on October 26, 2010

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  • Celebrity Retouched Photos- The Photoshopping Controversy

    A former model and now a professional retoucher, Sharon Daniels has been on both sides of the business when it comes to airbrushing or retouching a photo.She opens up about when Photoshop retouching or airbrushing is excess and when it honestly makes for a better editorial or commercial photograph. — S.H.Photoshopped Into Oblivion: the scandal, the controversy, the ethics…Lately there has been much debate and discussion about retouching’s perceived effects on society. Is retouching the equivalent of steroid use in baseball? Should magazine advertisements display retouching disclaimers?Magazines and advertisers create the ideal through which many women and men view the unspoiled body and flawless facial features.Photoshopped skinny…originalFor women, perfection is a size 0. Considering the average woman in the United States is a size 14, subscribing to society’s beauty standard is generally unattainable. The average person doesn’t have a snowball’s chance on South Beach of looking like the person on the magazine cover. In fact, without the magic of retouching, neither does the model on the magazine cover.

    Published on July 28, 2010

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  • How Much to Retouch Without Going to the Extreme

    “Photos in magazines and ads get retouched– we know that. Every time a celebrity photo gets overdone, the blogosphere goes mad with Photoshop rage. And rightly so.But a little helpful “cleaning up” only enhances the image. Master retoucher and former Ford model Sharon Daniels unveils what really is behind the photo that you see and why. –S.H.How Much to Retouch in Advertising and Media… and Why!It’s no secret that photo retouching is essential to all media platforms. It can lure us in emotionally to a given product or subject and in turn serves to increase sales for advertisers. We see this phenomena at work everyday and everywhere, including in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle.Why does the media retouch and to what extent may retouching be necessary?”

    Published on July 13, 2010

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  • How to Photograph a Great Social Media Networking Avatar

    DIY tips on how to take a rocking social avatar photo without hiring a professional photographer. After the last article I wrote which discussed social media networking avatars many of you felt inspired and the need to take quick action!One reader said her avatar was basically laughable but she could not afford to hire a photographer. So, how do you get a great social media networking avatar without hiring a professional photographer?Everyone can look fabulous with a few DIY photographer pointers. Don’t believe me? Look at the amazing difference in Leslie’s before/after photos here.

    Published on May 04, 2010

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  • Avatar Your Image Stamp of the Social Media Kind

    Is it time to give your social avatar an Avatar Makeover? Let your social self shine.. We make such fast judgments and while that may not always be in our favor, the truth is that it happens. So why not make the best of your personal brand with your social avatar? I’ve asked Sharon Daniels,…

    Published on March 16, 2010

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