As an amateur photographer, I understand the appeal of playing with the RAW settings on your digital images and increasing the brightness/exposure to the point where the whites are really white, bright, and dazzling. In fact, if you whites aren’t as white as Joe Biden’s teeth, most people feel you’re doing your photography wrong. But what I refuse to tolerate is wedding photography where brown skin is white washed into oblivion.
Prune Prune Prune
I’m Mexican-American, my skin is brown. I like it, enjoy it, and like that even in the dead of winter, I’m not pale. Well, that’s not true. I do become pale – just my version of pale which is a light milk chocolate. Not only do I enjoy my skin, I’m pretty proud of it and what it represents: my ancestry, my family, and where I come from. I enjoy the history of it.
But God help the wedding photographer who does to me and my lovely fiancee what they did to that couple I linked above.
The guy is Asian, his fiancee is white. By increasing the white wash factor, the woman of the couple fades into Casper land and the Asian guy skin tone ends up matching his future wife’s. The distinct individualities of the people in the couple disappear and they become merely some gelatinous blob of over exposed ridiculousness. In fact, her facial features seem to vanish into the background and where she starts and ends isn’t distinct. The photographer might have been trying to be artistic or trying to symbolically show that the couple is now “one flesh” but, come on, this is an unflattering and ugly way to do it. Or it’s possible that the young woman, who admits to being photographed, preferred the photographer to render her in a fantasy/un-realistic way but, ugh. This is not an appealing way to photograph someone.
I realize that at the more wedding photography I look at, my standards and wants are getting stricter. I’m starting to realize how big of a team I’d like, the equipment I’d want them to use, and the style I’d like them to use. I want a photographer who, when I look at their pictures, I can learn from them. I know I’m not that good but, from my first glance at wedding photographers in my area, maybe I’m expecting too much. We’ll see.