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To Touch-up, Or Not To Touch-up? That is the Question!

Do you use apps that make your pictures (and you) look better? Whether you’re blogging about beauty, food or travel, chances are you have used filters and apps to make your pictures pop. Some bloggers are turning off the filters and going “au natural”, so does that mean we all should?

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Recently, plus-size supermodel, Ashley Graham published new photos on Instagram promoting her new swimsuit collection. The photos are unedited and untouched with natural lighting showing off her beauty, curves and some natural imperfections such as cellulite. A bold move for the influencer with 6.7 million Instagram followers. Notice, however, her hair and makeup are flawless!

In an interview on BBC, Graham says “The photos are a reminder that being authentic is beautiful.”

In a press statement and message to her fans, she wrote “I’m not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps or cellulite and you shouldn’t be either.” The photos got great feedback from her fans thanking her for showing off a” real body.”

So, should all bloggers leave their photos natural?

In my opinion…

In my everyday life, I use makeup to make myself look better so my thinking is…why shouldn’t I use the digital equivalent?

I admit it, I use filters to make myself look better in pictures.
I’m quite self-conscious of premature age spots which are predominantly on the side of my face, so I do what I can in real life to hide them. In photos, I do the same.  It sure beats doing an expensive laser treatment or chemical facial peel.

More often than not, the pictures of me are “tourist shots”, “selfies”, or done with a self-timer without the help of a photographer and makeup crew. So yes, I tweak them to make myself presentable. The example below is a “selfie” done on my trip to Cilento in Campania, Italy. See the difference a filter makes?

I certainly agree that being authentic is beautiful. I also believe in feeling at ease and confident. If you’re putting your face “out there” then you need to feel comfortable about it. Too many touch-ups can look overwhelmingly fake and unnatural. My best advice is to use filters in moderation.

Hats off to Ashley Graham and the other beauty models sporting their beautiful, natural looks!

Apps I use for both myself and for landscape photography: Google Photos, Snapseed, and YouCamPerfect

Travel Photos

Above image: The rooftops of Lecco, Italy

For travel pictures, a filter can set a mood and make the colors pop. You can also remove unwanted objects. There are, just times when you don’t want that crane in the background or the satellite dishes on the rooftops as in the example above.  Too much trickery can also create a false impression, again use photo programs in moderation.

Its all about finding the right balance of angle, color, and light to show off the perfect shot.

Check out AppSumo for deals and discounts on pro apps.

Need original photos of Italy for your travel blog or publication?
See my Flickr account “Italy Photos” or contact me.