that's not your face

June 23, 2017

  Can we just talk about pet peeves? Don't we all have them? But there is one that I just have to address.

  What on earth is going to with this extreme skin smoothing filter? I don't get it. I don't get it as a photographer, I don't get it as a woman (why are we constantly trying to change ourselves?) and honestly, I wouldn't get it if I were a man either. I just don't get it.

  I DO get wanting the perfect skin you sometimes see in images - no blemishes, no wrinkles, no freckles, slightly glowing from being being kissed by the gentle rays of the golden sun. I do not get skin so smooth that there are no pores & no definite facial features. 

  I know there will be some people who would say, "but Tonia, yo are a photographer and probably critique every image you see." The answer to that would be - no. If I see an image posted by my friend or family member on social media, I look at it as a non-professional. A snapshot is just that. A cell phone picture that was taken at a party, in a restaurant, in a backyard, on vacation does not get my critique - unless it has that skin smoothing filter on it. And then the image is just getting side-eye. If you want to post a picture sideways, upside down, under or over exposed, please do! Use that cell phone to capture those memories! But can we just please leave that crazy filter behind?

 Look, it's one thing when it's just you in the picture. We all take selfies that can be...shall we say less than desirable for social media postage. The easiest way to fix it is to see if you can slap on a filter in order to get that post out. But when there are other people in the it's just gone too far. I've seen people's husbands, boyfriends, dogs, small children, elderly parents and beach life turned into an overly smooth mess. Did they ask for that? I think not. 

 I get that we all want to look our best but can we just stop and realize that the people who are going to see this image do not see you the way we see ourselves. Hopefully you have people in you social media feed who love and care about you and are not complete strangers. That scar you have from falling down in the street when you were young (yep, that's me), those freckles, those smile lines...people who have seen you in person know you have them. And yet, they still love and care about you. They DO NOT CARE. They just want to see you living your life. They just want to see YOU.

  There is a sense of freedom that comes with being able to limit your selfie "re-take so it can be perfect" to 4 and throwing caution to the wind if it's not perfect and posting it! So can we just be caution tossing people, cut back on the filter a bit? Kinda ration it out?  In the words of Dj Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba - "try it, you'll like it!"