Much like President Obama, there are many pictures of me out there that I wish people didn’t have. It is the price that the most powerful person in the world (President Obama, not me) must pay and it is the price that many lonely lame people must pay (definitely me).
A few weeks ago, I became a victim of being Photoshopped (not by Paul, this time). I had to have a head shot taken for my role as vice president of the Cross County Chamber of Commerce (even though I only hold the postion of vice president, I carry many of the same burdens of the president—of the chamber, that is, not the United States) to be placed on the chamber’s website (www.CrossCountyChamber.com). Like most people who have to get a head shot, I was not overly excited about it.
The morning of the head shot I was wrestling around with my 22-month-old son William. Using a great professional wrestling technique, he scratched my face just under my right eye. (Note to self: a 22-month-old is too young to be watching World Wrestling Entertainment: Smackdown.) I had made the appointment with the photographer and I wasn’t going to let a little scratch change my plans—especially on a thumbnail photo, since no one would notice it anyway.
Later that afternoon the photographer emailed me a copy of the photo. As I opened it, my initial reaction was that the lighting was really good—so good that the scratch applied by William “The Chunk” Lewis wasn’t even noticeable. In fact, it was gone. That is when I started noticing several other changes.
I pulled the image up in Photoshop and soon made note of the following: My raccoon tan from my sunglasses was gone, circles under my eyes gone, gray hair gone, a small scar from childhood gone, and wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes gone. My teeth were extra white and my eyes were extra bright. Much to my dismay the two things I would choose to change in real life, my double chin and my receding hairline, were both still there.
Does the picture make me look better? Most definitely. Does anyone care? Not really. I think if I knew that it was going to be doctored I would have felt better about it. Does the image effectively portray me? Possibly. Did the changes make so much of a difference that anyone besides me and my scratched head would have noticed? Hopefully not.
Should have I shared this image and pointed out all of the improvements with my co-workers and the readers of IBD? No way.
So here’s the image…if there’s anything that I have learned through this experience it is that I can relate to President Obama in one way and I will think twice about fixing images in my work. Let the comments flow.