My Name is Dee and I’m a Perfectionist!

I’ve been feeling a tad unappreciated lately. Here I’ve sat, practically chained to the computer while working away on my daughter’s wedding pictures and all I’ve heard is “Aren’t you done with those pictures yet?” I had hoped that I would feel the joy spreading up from the D.C. area as my dear child thought of me slaving away, taking such great care to edit her pictures so precisely but the only thing I’ve been feeling is my hips spreading from all this sitting.

I suppose I could have just whizzed through the 600+ photographs and only taken the time to edit out the red eyes from people but that isn’t how I operate. You see, I’m a perfectionist. If I’m going to do something, I want to do it right, as in “suck in your breath, would you look at this, hold on to your hat, Martha, you ain’t ever seen anything like THIS before, it’s better than anyone on the face of the planet could have done it,” right.

Now, I could have left this picture just like this and most couples wouldn’t have minded at all. But a perfectionist would have looked at this picture and heard that phone in the background ringing every time they looked at it. Who in the world puts a phone on the front of a choir railing? Does the choir director call the sound booth in the middle of the service if the music doesn’t start on time for the anthem and say, “Hey, could you cue up the tape already?” No, that phone had to go. So I used my handy little Creative Memories photo editing program and in a matter of a few minutes, the photo now looked like the one on the left.

No phone! Much less distracting, wouldn’t you agree? But I haven’t been stopping with just phones. Oh no! I’ve been taking out distracting microphone cords dangling from the ceilings above the wedding party. I’ve been erasing huge and unsightly speaker boxes from the walls behind the family photo groupings up on the stage. If people in the photos have had eyes glowing as red as embers, looking like they’re possessed by who knows what, I’ve given them back their normal eyes. If they’ve happened to be wearing contacts, I’ve even given them back pupils where before they had opaque white circles staring back at the camera.
If everyone looked good in a photo except for one or two whose eyes weren’t open, I’ve been examining the photo to see if there was some element that I could save out of it. For example, in the photo on the right, our groom has his eyes shut. But it is a really nice picture of the bride and her father. So I just cropped out the groom and myself and left in the two on the left. I had to do a little “erasing” of the groom out of the cropped picture but I can do that with the miracle of the cloning tool in my editing bag of tricks.

Gone is the groom (temporarily) and now we have a nice shot of the bride and her dad. But I didn’t just whip that up in two seconds. That took a little time.

I’m also doing things like sharpening the focus when the pictures are fuzzy. Sometimes I’m purposely blurring the background when there is nothing in the background of note so that the bride and groom will really stand out, or in today’s terms, so that they will “really pop.” I’m assessing the colors and adjusting color temperatures as needed or changing shadows, highlights, contrasts to bring out the best in each picture. Sometimes I’m even taking off double chins.

My son-in-law is NOT prone to having double chins. He’s in fine shape, works out and has muscles in all the right places, according to my daughter. But anyone, when tilting their head
in a certain way and looking down, will end up with a double chin. Just think back to some of your drivers license photos. I knew that I could remove that extra chin and I decided to do it. Why not? Wouldn’t you want to look your best in your wedding photos? Some day when your skinny son is looking at your wedding pictures and you are 30 pounds overweight and he says to you, “Hey, Dad, is that REALLY you?” , don’t you want to be able to say, “Yeah! Looked pretty good, didn’t I?” You betcha! So now, here’s the happy couple after a little help from Mom.
I did contemplate trying to shave off about 4 inches from my hips in some of the pictures but couldn’t quite figure out how to shave off a comparable amount from my torso so had to resist the urge and move on to other challenges.

So when my daughter says, “Mom aren’t you done with those pictures yet?”, she should remember that creative genius can’t be rushed. I am a perfectionist and I’m going to take the time to do it right.

Maybe it would help if I put it in terms that she would understand. OK, here goes. NOTE TO MY CHILDREN: Do NOT rush me! I have editing tools and I know how to use them.

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