Is using filters dishonest?

This is a tough one.

I can absolutely say I have checked out the “Bold Glamour” filter on TikTok to see what the hype was about. It was intense.. I barely recognized myself. It was very odd to see such luscious lips and full eyelashes. Was the person in the filter pretty? Sure. But she sure wasn’t me. The funny, not funny thing about these photos, is all I see is an oversized chin, which I am already self conscious of. I always purposefully use angles and posing to minimize my chin, so this filter just made me more uncomfortable.

Authentic Me

Natural or Enhanced? To each their own.

The biggest reason I don’t use filters is because my photography business is all about embracing your natural beauty and feeling good just the way you are. It would be pretty hypocritical for me to then overlay a filter to change my own appearance. That said…there are some filters out there that are beautiful. Not over the top, just enough to add a little extra somethin’, somethin’. So I won’t ever say that I will never use a filter, but as a rule, I’m more of a natural, no filter fan for maximum authenticity.

I hold no judgment at all with anyone that uses filters. I think they can be fun and playful, as long as the intention is not to be someone you aren’t, or to hide who you are. Loving ourselves just the way we are isn’t always easy, but definitely deserves the effort.

Trust me, there are definitely days that I am not “camera ready” to take photos or videos, and that’s cool. But when I do go on video, I practice what I preach and that’s putting a little effort into my makeup, hair and clothes and most importantly angles and lighting to flatter me best.

I think more education on the basics of lighting and angles and proportion can help make a lot more people comfortable in front of a camera.

Are presets filters?

Back to filters…as a photographer, admittedly I have set “presets” that I use to edit my photos. They are not filters exactly. They don’t alter or enhance shape, size, or physical attributes. They do however save me a shitload of time with exposure, colour, contrast and shadows/highlights.

So I guess the question is, can a preset for editing an image be considered a filter. Kinda, maybe, to a certain degree.

I think photographers are hired based on their style. Style is not just the location, props/no props, couples, weddings, babies, maternity, etc…

Style also includes editing style. I would be shocked if any professional photographer didn’t have a preset that they use to create consistent images.

Presets can be compared to ingredients required to make a consistent menu item over and over again, creating a dish that is predictable and exactly what you expect.

Imagine going to McDonalds and ordering a Big Mac (no onions, lol), and instead of 1000 Island Dressing, they used Ranch. First…yuck., but more importantly, you would be disappointed for getting a burger that was nothing like what you were expecting.

I absolutely believe photography presets help a photographer create a consistent editing flow, consistent portfolio of images so as a client you know what to expect when booking. Without a preset in their editing style, you run the risk of getting your images back edited in a way that doesn’t fit your personal style.

I recently created some content for my Professional Selfie Program and took the photos with my iPhone 13 Pro and edited with Lightroom Mobile, starting with a preset and then tweaking the settings to create images consistent with my overall style for editing. Warm, and vibrant.

Straight out of camera
Edited to match my style

If you want to learn more about to pose yourself and use angles and lighting to provide maximum va va va voom in your selfies, click here to get started.

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