The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it like:- Author Photographs – To Edit or not to Edit?

Me and my adorable stinky dog, Diesal.
Me and my adorable stinky dog, Diesal.

I should preface this post with a brief explanation. Those that know me will realise I am a bit of a show off, quite happy in front of a camera. However, those that know me really well, will also know that I’m not a huge fan of posing for photographs for long periods of time. A more tedious, head ache inducing task I can not imagine.  I am not kidding. I asked the very expensive photographers I’d booked for my wedding to leave half way through because I’d had enough. It is, therefore, a testament to Bristy Chowdry, of Pagli Rajkonna photography, that I tilted my chin this way and that for nearly FIVE HOURS in order to get my very first official author photographs. Ok, some of that included having lunch and prancing around in a wood throwing bits of paper about (we picked them up again) Still,  the point stands,  it was a long time.

Bristy is known for her amazing story telling photographs.  My lovely niece, Rebecca Hodgkiss features in quite a few of them – she loves being photographed and is happy to clamber into a mucky pond for the sake of art – and I do love the resulting images. Aren’t they amazing?

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I was not keen to clamber into a mucky pond but I loved that Bristy had an eye for story and I wanted my pictures to tell my own.  Bristy came to my house to do just that: she photographed me in my own library,  in our raspberry fields, in my garden  and on my favourite beach. I wasn’t the perfect model, I was a bit moany and did decline seeking out a sandier beach when I’d really had enough. But Bristy was patient and kind and in the end, we had so many pictures it was hard to whittle them down .

We chose 12  and Bristy took them away for editing. When they  came back, I was stunned.

They were beautiful.

Really beautiful.

Too beautiful.

Airbrushed Me.
Airbrushed Me.
Normal Me.
Normal Me.

It was the close up shots I struggled with.

The ones that would be used for publicity.

I looked smooth skinned and lovely. Oh, the temptation to keep those edited pictures! But I couldn’t get away from the fact  – they weren’t honest. They didn’t tell my story. I’ve spent a lot of my life either laughing or worrying, a lot of it working in fields in sun and wind and rain.

Wrinkles are part of my story.

I’m sure Bristy  thought I was a bit bonkers –  the images she’d created had been edited to look the best they could be. No different to me moving fullstops and commas in a script. But when I asked her to put my wrinkles back in, she did.

I’m DELIGHTED with the results. I think they’re still flattering but now no-one will get any nasty surprises when they meet me in real life.

Although I did allow a little cheating…

My desk is NEVER this tidy. It is also not in this room.
My desk is NEVER this tidy. It is also not in this room. That little Usborne duck does watch over me though….

11 thoughts on “What’s it like:- Author Photographs – To Edit or not to Edit?”

  1. The air brushed you isn’t you and you’re so gorgeous, why would you want to look like someone else in your photo?

  2. Airbrushed you looks ever so glam – but normal you is the perfect you – gorgeous in every way. And I’m so glad Diesal made it into the photos!
    They are all lovely!

  3. The Photogrsphers work is stunning, as are the photographs of you. However I’m totally with you when it comes to the editing. When my daughter was a baby she had really bad Eczema (she looked like she’d been boiled bless) and the baby photographer was amazed when I wanted the non-photoshopped photos, but the thing was the originals were more like her, and showed she was a brave little fighter! Photoshop is great, I use it every day but never to alter pictures of people. Well done for taking a brave descion!

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