Make money with my 'Inverse Make Over' technique

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.

Keith before

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.

Keith 2

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.

keith 3

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.

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Comments (8)

  • Anonymous


    06 February 2013 at 16:45 | #

    Are you serious??
    I think you might be winding us up on this one. I mean who would really pay for the rubbish you are producing in the name of art? Are you really a photographer? if so you really suck big time. I hate to tell you this, but your photographs should be labelled as crapatage style, my 5 year old could do better with one of them throwaway cameras.


  • Anonymous


    06 February 2013 at 16:46 | #

    Your photoshop artistry is patently clear and your business acumen knows no bounds, but tell me... is there a special secret to posing your client? I can never get the tongue fat enough and people always complain about their aqualine noses in my pictures.


  • Anony


    06 February 2013 at 16:46 | #

    "Are you serious??
    I think you might be winding us up on this one. I mean who would really pay for
    the rubbish you are producing in the name of art? "

    Jealousy is such an ugly trait.


  • Yervant


    06 February 2013 at 16:46 | #

    Derek, I would just like to thank you so much for this amazing idea.

    I have been using it recentlly on portraits, and it has increased my average billing 50%!


  • U ruined the picture

    U ruined the picture

    06 February 2013 at 16:47 | #

    The first picture is much better than the 3d one...


    • Derek


      06 February 2013 at 16:47 | #


      All the best Derek


  • Abdul Pye

    Abdul Pye

    06 February 2013 at 16:48 | #

    Mum says if you don't pay up the CSA then I have to come and live with you.

    Ball's in your court.


  • MuddySkunk


    21 August 2013 at 19:27 | #

    Love this idea but can't get the hang of Elements - do you have a set of Photoshop brushes what you can sell me?


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