Professional photographers are true artists, poets in mega pixels. We see the world differently from normal human beings or hobbyists. And as such are held in high esteem by those lucky enough to be our subjects. However it's not enough to be a genius to succeed as a Pro, you need to marry your art with the ugly world of commerce to make it in this game. Here at Derek Pye Photography we've developed some great techniques for extracting every last penny from our clients. From hidden costs to expenses fraud, you name it we do it. Here's a good example of how we Pros make a few extra quid from each client. I call it the 'Inverse Make Over' technique.
You may have seen 'Make over' shots on inferior photographers' web-sites. I love looking at these pictures. The photographer takes a portrait of some old granny and then uses Photoshop to remove all the lines and blemishes until the ugly hag looks like Sharon Osbourne. They usually end up with a weird halo glow and perfectly smooth skin. I can't really see the point of having your photo taken and then receiving a picture of Mrs Osbourne, but the client is always right. The client is always vain, more like.
This kind of work can be tedious and time consuming for my assistant Muktar. At this time of year he's busy Photoshopping receipts for my tax return, so I've developed this much quicker method.
Step 1. Take a superb portrait like this one of my brother Keith (fig.1). You may think this shot is perfect as it is. I used a Fuji Finepix 40i. Always use the lens built into the camera or you'll void the manufacturers warranty. Don't send this shot to your client, just yet.
Step 2. Open up Photoshop and create a new layer. Now we're going to add some lines and blemishes. Yes that's right add a few spots and extra lines. This is loads easier than removing spots; it takes a few seconds to add a boil or wart.
Step 3. Print a copy of the new image (fig.2) with the warts and boils and send it to your client.
Step 4. Wait. Have cup of tea and a biscuit.
The client will eventually call and say something like "Hi Derek, thanks very much for the photo. I love it but I didn't realise I had that boil on my chin, I wish you'd mentioned it"
"Oh", you say, "I thought it was part of your face, a birthmark or something. Don't worry we can remove it in Photoshop. It's only an extra £25"
Step 5. Delete the blemish layer, print a copy (fig.3) and send it to your client. They will be impressed by how effectively you've removed the spot and tell all their mates you made them look younger too.
Step 6. Buy a bottle of Jack Daniels and a big cigar, you are a genius.
You can use 'Inverse Make Over' (IMO™) on all kinds of images. I 've added warts to everyone in a wedding line up and on one occasion,when I didn't like the bride, a hump. Once you're skilled in this technique you can add Eczema, Scabies, Psoriasis and all kinds of skin conditions. As with all Photoshop work, you need to know where to draw the line. Adding tumors and other cancers, especially to baby portraits should be done with caution. If the client seeks medical advice you might have to return your fee.