Dear those who criticize my editing habits,

To all of the overly hard working photographers,

I know you are going to hate hearing this. It will probably make your skin crawl just looking at these words so close together on the page. However, I stand by my beliefs, and I am not that sorry to say that this just isn’t one of them. I want it to be known that I have no intention of causing any overly heated disputes with this letter. All I ask is that we all possibly broaden our viewpoints a little.

As someone who has had a photography internship, has run a business doing photography for various companies and events for almost four years now, and has even studied photography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts , I have no qualms about admitting that I do not believe in editing photographs. Yes. That is the truth. I know that might be really hard to accept at first. It’s a lot to take in and maybe you need to sit down, so I’ll give you a minute to process that concept.

Now, for those of you who are still with us, let it be known that I am not trying to tell you that you are wrong and I am right, or here to criticize anyone’s style or system of editing; very contrary in fact. One of my personal favorite photographers, Renee Simone Cutting and pasting, shaping objects to create a kaleidoscope-esque interpretation of reality. All I am saying is that I believe there should be less criticism. After all, there is no “right” answer when it comes to art, right?

Lets face it, we all have been there. Spending hours upon hours that creep into the night, scrolling through each of our photographs, tweaking every detail until perfection is seemingly achieved.  It’s what we were taught to do. From day one we are shown how to properly use the camera and then how to properly edit photos. Let’s think about that for a moment though. We are learn how to use a camera; work basic functions.  Why? Not so that we all can produce the same photograph, but so that we can use what we know and take it completely outside of the box creating something to our own individualistic styles. So why can’t it be the same for the way we edit said photographs?

I personally enjoy the true beauty of a raw image and would rather spend my time out trying to photograph that than inside on a computer forging it in photoshop. Even Bayeté Ross Smith, my professor at NYU,  said that photographs taken outside or in studio with the right lighting shouldn’t need editing and even then, minimal. The endless hours of nitpicking and changing entire aspects of a photograph until the original is such a far off distant memory should be put behind us . Editing should be a creative tool, not an artificial deception of our artistic ability.

Nicolette Makris