Why You Should Go Au Naturel in Photos

Ready to go Au Naturel?

Is anyone else tired of seeing completely airbrushed, retouched and unnatural photos? I'm one of those people who loves to see "real" people in photos, real moments, authentic beauty. Who's with me!?

This blog title is slightly deceptive, #sorrynotsorry. My intention with this blog title is to get people thinking and talking about how to be more natural in photos. The use of artificial light (botox in a bulb) can be extremely helpful in photos, and look great! However, most of the time, it is over done, excessive and fake looking.

So let's talk about what it means to be natural...

 
Why You Should Use a Natural Light Photographer - Brightly & Co
 

I believe in using natural light (with the help of artificial light as necessary), because I truly believe that people look their best when they are natural. If you read my blog post on Why I Hate Traditional Headshots, it's the same concept. I want to help others be ok with their natural selves! Using natural light is just one more piece to that puzzle. 

Beautiful headshot original and final. Taken with completely natural light, slight retouching, and basic light editing.

In my line of work I see more insecurity than I do confidence. It doesn't help that we as a nation are so used to the fake-blasted-with-light-over-makeuped-crazy-eyes photos. It screws up the view of ourselves. These photos make us believe we should look that way too. But the truth is, we don't, and even more truth is...we can't!

For example, let's take a beautiful woman like Jennifer Anniston:

Photo 1: Here's an example of truly over done artificial light (with crazy eyes! - the light is so bright it creates an extra circle in her eyes that's very unnatural), with extreme retouching vs. Photo 2: A much more natural light (with light flash) barely retouched. Jennifer Anniston is a beautiful woman! There's no reason to go overboard by so much. Am I right? Heck yes!

So, here we are, back to the point of why you should go au naturel in your photos...

Most importantly, because you need to be you! Your photo represents who you are and you don't want clients, friends or family members telling you, "that doesn't even like you!" or even worse thinking it in their heads. No one should be surprised to see you in person after seeing your photo, because your photos should look like YOU.

We need to embrace ourselves, how we truly look and not be afraid of those real moments. Embrace those beautiful lines! Embrace that genuine, big 'ol smile! And LOVE the natural you!

I love these two photos (shot in succession)!  The joy and laughter on his face is so precious. He's such a fun person to talk to and be around, it's only fitting he should have an image that matches his personality!

When I take photos, I still "touch-up", I still will use artificial light when necessary, but I will tell you one thing that I am beyond passionate about...you will look like you!

I've had some photos taken of myself, and even though I may like the way I look when I'm overly lit and completely retouched  - my heart hurts far greater later when I look in the mirror and I realize the same face I just saw in photo is not the one staring back in the mirror. 

 

Here's what I'm hoping you get out of this blog post:  

We look our best when we are natural. Using a photographer who understands this will give you photos that you can be proud of, that make you recognizable and show off your personality. 

"The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else." - E. E. Cummings