The Camera Never Lies……
This phrase popped into my head today, Ricky was taking pictures of our little girl on a swing, her hair was flowing in the breeze and her face was a picture of pure delight, I knew the photos were going to be amazing of her, capturing delight is one of the best things you can capture. Then he turned the camera on me, I was on the swing next to her. I had hardly any make up on, my hair was windswept and i had just realised that actually swings made me feel slightly sick, not such a nice thing to capture…..the camera never lies….or does it?
Ricky is a fantastic Photoshop expert, he can do almost anything to a picture. When we are working with families and weddings, you really don’t want to do anything to the people you are shooting as it then wouldn’t be them anymore, but this is what he has been asked to do only in the last couple of months: Double chins reduced (this lovely lady didn’t even have a double chin! Dinner lady arms taken away (her words not ours), wrinkles smoothed away, spots taken off, he did it all and made it all look natural (what an amazing man to have around the place!, I just wish he could do it in real life we would be millionaires!!!)
Then I started going back over our years of working in this industry, many, many years ago, I , just out of fashion college, went to work at one of the major catalogues, I wanted to see production of a massive catalogue from beginning to end. The research, the photo shoots, the buying side of the clothes and the final graphics putting the whole thing together. They used a well know ‘star’ as a model for a certain range of clothes, the contract stated that she would only appear if her legs were reduced to half there size! And there she was in hot pants and mini skirts, you never saw her in those in real life.
This was well before the days of Photoshop on a big scale, and there it was going on, all top secret, one man in charge of reducing thighs, he told me not to tell anyone at the time, and you know what? I was so shocked i didn’t….and notice i still haven’t mentioned any names!
Then years later i knew a food photographer very well, who shot hundreds of advertising campaigns, she told me how the best way to shoot ice cream was to substitute it for lard! yuk, but lard doesn’t melt under the hot studio lights and you can scoop it like ice cream. Next time you look at a picture on an ice cream box, it could be nothing but lard!
I could go on and on with these stories, and you know what all these years of working in the industry, it still foxed me sometimes. I brought a bikini, it was very overpriced, but looked so nice in the picture, I sent for it, it was horrible, not well made and not a good shape, I sat at work that day saying how lovely it looked in the brochure, to hear lots of sniggering, ” how long have you been working in this industry? and you still believe all what you see’, I felt quite silly.
I spent years of my life in London at model castings, choosing girls who would be the next big thing. These gangly teenagers would arrive, often with bad skin and lank hair. I would open there portfolio and the pages would be filled with these photos of a beautiful smiling girl, with perfect skin and bouncing vibrant hair..the camera never lies?
But there are times when the camera never lies, and its a positive thing, the joy on a brides face as she walk back down the aisle, now a married woman, the proud look on her parents faces at the church. The joy of the little bridesmaids when there dresses are put on the morning of the wedding and they feel like little princesses, twirling and dancing.
The look of love that a groom has for his bride when she makes her appearance. The content look of a newborn baby, oblivious of having his picture taken, all he knows is hes warm, happy and loved. The sheer joy of children when you blow bubbles or produce a balloon for them to play with on a photo shoot. These are the moments the camera never lies and these are moments no one would want to change for the world.
The Camera Never Lies……