I remember when PhotoShop was a free throw-in when one purchased a certain price-point of a PC. That’s actually the only time I ever owned or used it. By the time I purchased my second computer, it was something one had to pay for and I opted, ever more, to not utilize it in my work.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a purest. I take no moral stance against this revolutionary software. The abuses and the glories of PhotoShop are widely known and fairly well understood by even the average observer of imagery. It’s just that in my style of portraiture it has no place in my editing decisions.
I love the natural beauty of a person. I seek, sometimes desperately so, the goodness in people. My ideal model is someone standing near me in a museum or anywhere in the world around me. She’s the grown up version of the girl I had a crush on as a young boy. (Thankfully, for the sake of variety, I had many crushes back then.)
I once photographed a woman more than ten times and we became good friends. One afternoon, well inebriated after hitting a number of bars, she criticized me for my lack of touch up work on her face. I saw her face as perfect. She saw it as a grocery list of imperfections. She later sent me some of my photos of her after she had Photo-shopped them. Those retouched photos were no longer mine. It was then that I realized an element of vanity in her and though we are still friends, I can’t bring myself to ever shoot her again.
So for better or worse, I maintain a light approach in editing the vast majority of my photographs. It’s already a battle to fight the mechanical aspects of the camera, I don’t want to then lose the war during the post-production processes.