A friend asked me to photograph him after a Rotary meeting. He was the newly elected incoming president of a business organization. I posed him outside the old Temple Theatre with a large bush as the background. I sent him the image via email. “I wish I had taken the time to get a haircut before having the photograph,” he responded. A few minutes later I answered his wish with nicely trimmed hair. He replied, “Perfect!” About twenty minutes later, for fun I sent him a doctored image, which took off about twenty pounds. He immediately wrote back, “Now, that’s what I think I look like.” Guess which image he used.
I have produced hundreds of celebration of life videos from photographs for most of the funeral homes in the area. Often I was asked to remove an ex-wife or an ex-husband from family gathering pictures. Mine is not to reason why, I just make people happy. I’ve altered composition by moving people closer together or further apart depending on the wishes of the clients. I’ve worked with the police and prosecutors capturing and presenting frames from security cameras, including one child abuse video, which will haunt me until I die. I’ve trimmed hair, beards and mustaches in addition to shaving off weight as well as restoring old or damaged images and photographs.
The skill is in making everything look natural and believable. You have to know when to stop.
Restoration of photographs requires a good computer paint program, a nice touch, and a little imagination. Old family photographs sometimes are damaged by sunlight, or dampness. Restoring images back to what they once were . . . or better is not magic or black arts . . . it’s just art that makes people happy.