Before and After Photoshop Ethics?

Karl Taylor Karl's Viewpoint, Professional Photography Knowledge 52 Comments

Blog Article By Karl Taylor


Move the slider left and right to see before and after on the above image.

Photoshop is an extremely powerful tool for photographers but there has always been an ethical debate surrounding its use in beauty retouching. Before we go further let’s first understand why the controversy exists and then look at Photoshop’s influence on the modern image.


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Learn more about Karl Taylor

Karl has been a professional photographer for more than 20 years. His work is published internationally and he regularly works for some of the world’s leading companies. Click here to learn how Karl has helped hundreds of photographers improve their skills.

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Comments 52

  1. Jason

    Is there a line where we would determine the level of Photoshop to tag a photo as being “not real”?
    I mean if its any sort of photo manipulation then I feel its going to fall on deaf ears. now a days with filters you don’t see non edited photos a lot of times even from people who aren’t into photography. Everything would need to be tagged and then people would just sort of ignore the tag because everything has it.

    I like photoshop. I make changes as I see fit and the public will vary on its opinion. I have had people claim they couldn’t tell a friend because of all the “photo shop I had done” when in reality I had only cleaned up a few blemishes on her face, posting the before and after there was almost no difference. but it was in this persons head that it was “photo shopped” and thus fake and not real. The reality was she was just a really pretty girl. I could take a wide angle lens and make someones nose look a lot bigger then it really is without photo shop as well. so where do you draw that line. any photo no matter how much we work it over or not is going to be different then reality.

    I don’t know why we just don’t sit down with our kids and explain things to them. I talk with my kid about things like commercials and how they make food look amazing and the things they go thru and how there real point is just to get someone to buy there product etc.

    1. Andrew L.

      I believe that the problem is really in the expectations of the viewers. We are so gullible in taking in at face value what the pundits on TV or in the media force feed us to accept. Why can’t we be smarter at questioning the motives and agendas behind the products we are bombarded with daily?
      Educate children to look at the outside world with a discerning eye and not believe everything at first glance; learn to cut through the layers of bias or predisposition and seek out the motive or core intent of what is being presented.
      Anything that costs substantial amounts in effort or treasure to produce has an agenda to fulfill: adverts, political slogans, news headlines or editorial bylines, popularity/beauty contests, etc. etc.
      Why can’t children be taught to look for those agendas and maybe become more savvy in their abilities to see through the veils of diversity or even outright dishonesty?

  2. Parag Parelkar

    I agree to the blog & I believe that photoshop retouching should be minimal, otherwise mention that its digitally enhance or manipulated what ever the case be.
    But for a product photography editing is unavoidable. I had shots Pens long time back, which looks good by naked eyes but when it come under the lens and high end digital camera with cross lighting than all the scratches and manufacturing defects were visible. For these you need to hire the pro artist to work on the surface. Than the question is should we mention for this also that its digitally enhanced?

  3. Phil

    The largest jump of “retouching” happened between no makeup to applied makeup.
    If you are a female and you like looking natural in photos – then you can’t be hypocritical and apply makeup on your way out.
    Realize that the argument against photoshop is one that is fuelled by the make up industry themselves, like dove and other “natural” beauty products that promotes models who happens to be naturally beautiful.

  4. Michael Hallam

    Another great article and subject, my daughter is four & half years old and already showing artistic temperament, as her drawings of peoples faces, she includes spots and blemishes and also draws me fat and bald, poor mum gets the spots. I would like to think that kids do see the real world around them, and CAN differentiate between what is real and make believe, (with our help and guidance).
    I spent five + years as a model maker & 3D digital artist in Amsterdam working at the VIZ studio, 3D is also unblemished until you ad the worldly imperfections, which are mostly not added in the majority of Disney 3D movies, which all of our kids & us watch and love, and grows more and more realistic with each new film, the kids still see perfect faces like Rapunzel, and they know it is not real life.
    I don’t see Photoshop’s retouching images of beautiful people like your model Sophie a problem as far as the little innocent people of the world & most of us big kids are concerned, but unfortunately for the few supposedly big grown up people who have not got an artistic cell in their bodies, “and I do use the word (cell) sparingly” They probably don’t spend enough time with their kids teaching them what is real and what is false, (PARENTING) As they are too busy trying to find ways to P__s everyone off and put a stop to as you quite rightly pointed out, ARTISTIC EXPRESSION.
    It can’t hurt to label mainstream media images as “digitally enhanced” for the poor kids who have been let down by their parents inability to connect and mentor their offspring, unfortunately we know they are out there.
    Thanks, keep up the great Blog’s, photography & retouching in Photoshop.

  5. Tim Mills

    Great article Karl.

    One point that I often make to friends is that the camera does not see the world like the human eye. Does. Therefore things you would never see in the real dynamic world becomes a glaring offense in the still life world of photography where the observer can study the image for more than a few seconds.

    Plus. In reality every photo is digitally altered. If you shoot jpeg then your camera is already preprogrammed to enhance the image. If you shoot RAW you are certainly going to have to post process just to get things to look natural.

    Since everything is altered, therefore there is an undefinable slope of what constitutes too much editing. Everyone has a different view of what they like in an image.

    Photography is art. Let the artist create.

    Educate the people in your life that photography is not reality, it’s one artists impression, one artists view. Don’t value yourself based on a magazine image.

    We are all part of God’s beautiful and incredible creation.

  6. Steve

    No problem with retouching….

    Photos just need a tag at the bottom to let people know what filters/effects have been applied. That way everyone can see the image for what it is.

  7. Larry D Christy

    The question on Photoshopping. Well dark room used many of the same tactics to dodge, burn, color, duplicate ect…. I believe that the camera does not see what we see so we have to fix it. I also know that a magazine will not buy plain only great. We humans change everything to make us smile. Whether with a camera or through our own eyes via the brain. Photoshop to reality or just have fun. 🙂

  8. Kathy

    With anything in life, too much is too much and a little goes a long way. As a women, if I am not retouched, I won’t be looking at the image and the photog would not get a good review from me. We are more vain then males and see ourselves differently. Many do go to a photographer to see themselves ‘looking pretty’, they expect the photographer to work miracles in some way. It’s why women spend hours in a beauty salon, use make up and wrinkle cream, PS is our beauty salon.

    What is too far? As long as skin texture is present and the client is happy. End result, know your client and what they want/expect.

    Let’s not forget, if lighting can show nasty details, lights can hide them too, it all starts in the camera.

  9. Matt

    My theory is that in 10 or so years when we all walk around with some form of Augmented Virtual Reality (AVR) glasses, everyone & everything will have a digital overlay. Through your own glasses, you’ll see your friends the way they want you to see them. And with some new Adobe AVR plugin, anyone could then walk around being retouched in real time. Make-up artists will just sell AVR presets. Today I’m a super-model, tomorrow I’m Batman!

  10. Dale

    I have no problem with the retouching you did. You just cleaned up her face a bit. You have very nice lighting which helps too. What I don’t like is when the liquid filter is overused to make the subject look very skinny and young teen girls think that this is the way they have to look because of a pretty picture on a magazine cover. I think the advertising and editorial community needs to show what a woman really looks like. Most woman are not 5’10” to 6 feet tall and weigh 115 pounds.

  11. Jason A.

    It doesn’t matter what we as photographers do, there will always be someone out there who will have a complaint about our work. When I press the shutter button and capture an image, I am no different than any other artist out there in the world. If I want to make changes to the image after it has been captured then it is my right as the copyright owner of that image. I try my hardest to get it just right in camera, but sometimes things just don’t go our way. If I am doing a paid shoot then I do what my customer wants.
    Here lately I have seen several horrific Photoshopped images floating around on the web. If these are actual images that made it to print then shame on the editor for letting them through. When it comes to re-shaping the models body image I will not do it unless the client asks me to.

  12. Norm Gray

    Retouching photographs has been around since photography began so, in the opinion of an older guy, I don’t see anything wrong with the practice. However I do draw a line between removing a mole or blemishes and making a naturally large person, especially women, look petite. To elaborate, women are more inclined to cling to vanity than men (with some obvious exceptions) and have been masking their natural complexion with makeup for decades.

    In the days of film I learnt not to photograph women with fine grade medium (25 ASA/15 DIN) because it showed-up every single pore and blemish. Quite the contrary for male portraiture.

    Perhaps a single word or two like ‘Photo Enhanced’ would be adequate to point out to teens that the image of their idol isn’t totally natural.

  13. Bryan

    I believe there can be such a thing as misrepresentation through Photoshop, take for example an estate agent removing a power pylon next to a property he has for sale. On the other hand I have never had a portrait client ask me for a “warts and all” image. Before Photoshop we used airbrushing, it’s not a new thing, every Hollywood diva has been retouched in promo shots, is there anyone who is naive enough not to realise that? The skill of a good retoucher is to enhance an image without destroying the natural essence of the subject. Removing zits, flyaway hair and repairing dodgy make-up is fair game, but when you begin to alter the physical features such as reshaping a nose or chin for example you are creating an artistic representation which is usually unacceptable to a client.

  14. Simon

    I think that the use of photoshop is evolutionary.

    Photographers will use many techniques to “improve” (you could read manipulate) an image before they even pick up their camera.

    You would not take a portrait at midday in full sun because it wouldn’t be very flattering! You choose the right sort of light for the image you want to take.

    You choose a background that will not overpower your subject, or distract the eye from what you want the viewer to look at.

    You arrange your subject in such a way that facial features are presented as well as possible, and choose a point of view that flatters.

    The subject may have chosen some flattering clothes, styled hair, applied makeup, added jewellery.

    Once the camera is in hand there is the focal length to choose, aperture, iso and shutter speed that, when chosen correctly can all improve (read manipulate again if you like) an image.

    Lightroom / Photoshop is evolutionary, it is the next step in the process of creating the image.

    Karl, I have 4 daughters aged 8 to 2, and like you, I am concerned about the image of perfection that they may want to portray. As parents one of our jobs is to make them aware of how and why these “perfect” photographs and images are created.

    Do we really want or need every magazine, news paper, photograph or piece of art to have to carry the following disclaimer:

    “Warning – images of people in this publication may contain makeup, hairstyling, clever use of focal length and digital manipulation”

    What’s helpful is, on occasion, having someone like Sophie allow you to show us the start and finishing point. This is a great way to demonstrate how the “perfect” images are created.

    Thank you for your great article, also to Sophie for allowing us to see her in all her natural beauty.

  15. Paul

    Most of us aim to get our images right in camera in order to have the best basis upon which to craft our art and meet our clients’ expectations. Those expectations may be commercial and the quality of images is the currency of our business. In some cases, a clean and blemish -free portrait is exactly what the client is paying for. However, I think we need to be careful what we ask for regarding caveating our work and further complicating our workflow by attaching some kind of government health warning, a list of camera settings and filters for all to see. Photographers like to see their work admired not slavishly copied and ultimately blamed for incidences of body dysmorphia. I think the general public are pretty savvy when it comes to photoshop and altered images and actually some of my best images of people are largely untouched in post production and I would define them as ‘interesting faces that tell a story’ beyond looking unnaturally perfect.

  16. chris

    Hi
    What the client wants with what the subject agrees too to achieve our goal as artists is fine. Our new generation of children are fully aware of manipulating images and do so themselves vigourously on social media and on their own technology. Thats what makes art great! discussion and interpretation 🙂

  17. Warren Millar

    IMO the use of photoshop here is perfect and very well done. I see a lot of portraits where skin smoothing has gone to far, eyes have changed colours and my pet hate body or face shapes have been changed ……. Thats not photography that’s “digital art” in my view. Great article Karl 🙂

  18. Doc

    In all my time as a wedding /portrait photographer (Over 30 years),I have never had a female client who wanted to keep spots or blemishes on their face or body in a photograph. This includes the days when imperfections` were painted out using photographic dyes.
    Today its so much easier and less time consuming with digital and post processing with software.
    At the end of the day, ask the client how they would like to appear. I would suggest that very few would like to be seen with a big red zit on their nose or chin.

  19. Mike

    I don’t have a problem with touch up. What I have a problem with is when people change the quality of the shot when they like the subject but are not happy with how the picture turned out.

  20. Simon

    Karl, this has had me thinking most of the day! The more I think of it the more I think that using the law to police “photoshopped” images of people is the wrong way to go. Who would police the process? What would the penalties be for artists or magazines that fail to say if they have manipulated an image? What is the allowed limit of manipulation. Does in-camera software count, eg setting up specific portrait settings in-camera, changing saturation levels to manipulate skin tones and reduce blemishes? Will you be allowed to use lights and focal length to manipulate facial features, flatten face and shrink noses, will you be allowed to use poses that reduce double chins or make people look thinner / wider, would you be able to use filters, or specialized lenses? The list is endless..

    It just sounds too much like big brother and the thought police. The art of photography would end up be effectively censored. This can not be a good thing.

    Could a different approach, using the enormous piles of money it would take to police this proposed law, be to educate the kids at home and school. Show them photoshop style products, add it to the curriculum, let them play with it, have fun and understand what photo editing software can do. This would help take the idealistic view of perfection away from “perfect images” without the need to monitor and censor photographers and artists. It would also have the much desired effect of getting lots more children into the great art of photography.

    You would be a great ambassador to do this!

  21. Sarah Cooper

    Where’s the video…looks like it was removed? I am on Safari and it indicates the video has been removed on all the links and arrows that I clicked.

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  22. Michael Rapp

    Excellent read Karl,
    I really like the fact that you neither wave the torches nor release white pigeons across the skies here.
    (Meaning that you look favorable on both arguments).
    I too like the idea of labeling altered images, I would even go a step further: Like you guys on the island do with your food labeling, green, yellow and red; for light, medium and heavy editing.
    I agree that education is the key, just like our parents had to be educated in terms of advertisement in general, what differentiates a bold claim from a white lie to an outrageous lie.
    Really enjoyed reading your thoughts.
    Cheers,
    Mike.

  23. Brian James McManus

    I have no problem with enhancement to something that is already beautiful, we are photographers not magicians.

    People wear make-up to hide blemishes or enhance features. I don’t think you can beat a well light , posed model with strong features and natural beauty.

    It is for the customer to decide. Sometimes a natural look is best and looks even better in monochrome.

    I like beautiful things !

  24. Ricardo

    If photoshop and solves everything why keep taking pictures? I believe that photography gives us what is the most genuine of past history (Bartes would say better) – Leaving a trail of our being and our past to photograph something. We understand that the merchandising and advertising need photoshop, but how long we will continue discussing the ethics of the ways that we show by photoshop? And while an image improvement photoshop also deforms without prejuiios or escprúpulos.

  25. seoras

    Excellent blog post, open minded and fair.

    Though I know what you mean I might argue with your use of the phrase ‘hyper-real’, there is a point were it’s possibly more ‘hyper-false’. Having moved onto a stage of disconnect from reality. A point of semantics perhaps.

    As to perceptions by the young; I wonder if you have any views on differentiation between imagery of models as opposed to images of ‘Celebs’. I think retouched images of celebs possibly have a more ‘damaging’ effect on the young. There being a perceived disconnect with images of models (models = false) compared with more aspirational celebratory perceptions.

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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Seoras, I agree with you that the celeb images are probably more damaging than the models shots. Many of the advertisements with models in often have an overly polished look that hints at something being inaccurate. The celeb images can be the ones that look like normal snapshots but still have had a ton of work done to them.

      1. seoras

        Very interesting. thanks.

        Though not my area of photography, its still all very interesting. I do say to those generally interested in photography that they should look at all types and genres of photography, always something to learn.

        bookmarked.

        s

  26. marc thorner

    Karl, I personally don’t find anything wrong with what you did to achieve the end result. Here are some of my thoughts:

    This reminds me back when there were “Photographers” and “Photographic Retouch Artists”. As a game my pals I use to play was “guess the touchup”. (using a loupe was not allowed) we would each buy a magazine and sit around and figure out what was done (it also helped that one of my colleagues at that time was one of the top retouchers in New York City) to the image. What would pass as a type of work flow/guide was you light and used makeup as best as possible, so you didn’t have to go to the retoucher, unless the client was willing to pay for it. Now the Photographer IS the retouch artist.

    Also, as someone who was Adobe Certified to teach PS, when it came to the retouching bit, I would demonstrate just how if taken too far one can really ruin a whole job with retouching tools. Or how the viewers eye can detect, on a subconscious level if something is wrong.

    However, in a lot of circumstances with a fashion shoot, there is that “look” now that is almost expected that can be achieved with PS.

    My other though that is ancillary to this is that have the makeup artists learned to deal with this as well? Has anyone done a study on lighting and digital reproduction of various makeup types

  27. Ray Wilson

    Hi Karl
    First, I must say that your videos are great.

    With regard to Photoshop retouching. Fine – up to a point. Sophie is a beautiful girl but should you re-touch her two moles? That to me is, perhaps, a step too far because you are changing physical features. Would you then change the shape of her nose or ears or the colour of her eyes?

    Keep up the good work !
    Ray Wilson
    Photo Website: raywilsonpix.weebly.com

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      Karl Taylor

      Hi Ray, thanks for the feedback but as you guessed this was more an example by demonstration to show the sort of thing that goes on as mentioned in the blog post words. Often what get’s retouched is not down to the photographer or retoucher, it’s down to the client or advertising agencies requirements.

  28. Alexander

    Hi Karl,

    Thank you for this article and for the effort you put into.
    At the end, we all want to look good in a certain way. We all love the illusion and in the end – it’s part of the business, if we like it or not.
    Photoshop helps us to make beatiful girls to look even better. Using PS in an intelligent way helps to enhance the work and it’s part of the game.
    Thinking a bit further: when you look up photos in National Geographic or other “high quality” magazines: they are post processed as well, some of them are very heavily. Nobody really cares about this. But why is there always an “ethic” debate about portraits? I really do not know where the difference is.

    Take care and keep up the great work

    Alexander

  29. Glenn Brown

    Interesting post Karl. I don’t see anything wrong with using Photoshop, as well as lighting, make-up, clothes, and camera angles to enhance that which is permanent, and reduce/remove that which is not. A pimple comes and goes, a stray hair is just being obstinate, skin discolouration from being flushed or a bad night sleep changes day to day. These things are not a permanent part of who a person is, but the shape of their nose, the size of their lips, the length of their neck, the size of their breasts (to a point) is.

    I just don’t understand why this hunt ‘perfection’ has to remove what is actually perfect already. It’s a false concept, it doesn’t exist. Why? Cause it’s too fluid, it changes constantly from era to era, culture to culture, day to day, client to client. You ‘enhance’ to make an image ‘perfect’, yet that which is ‘perfect’ changes almost instantly after you finish it.

    I think the answer is not to educate the public on not believing the lie of altered images, but instead we should educate the clients to not believe the lie of ‘perfection’. There was nothing wrong with Sophie’s neck and shoulder line, yet you changed it. Her lips were beautiful and enticing, and yet you made them symmetrical and boring. Her little moles and freckles on her neck and chest fascinate, yet they’re now gone. (how many people have played connect the dots on their lovers skin with freckles and moles)

    Photoshop is not the issue. Chasing perfection is. It never ends. It’s the chase that produces stress. It dominates and depresses the images young people have of themselves, and increases anxiety about who they are and what place they have in the world. Things will change when the retoucher starts looking for things to leave in the image, rather that just for things to take out. That in my humble opinion is where the balance needs to lie.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Glenn.

  30. Uwe Deffner

    There is nothing wrong with using Photoshop to enhance an image, same as women use makeup. It just has to be balanced and should not look artificial. In fashion photography you have to accept that pictures have to be photoshopped in extenso in order to appeal to the customers.

  31. Matt

    Many of the comments above would imply that everyone on the planet knows the model personally and would even notice that an image had been shopped.

    There is no misrepresentation in photo-manipulation any more than there was when portraits were done with canvas and brush.

    The fact is there are real human beings that look just as perfect as the finished product in this picture. Her face gives women something to look up to, and aspire to. Should we ask Ussain Bolt to slow down just so other sprinters don’t feel so bad about themselves? Or should we continue to make high school exams easier at the detriment to our education standards, just so that kids all walk round thinking they are geniuses?

    Holding back the genetically gifted among us holds back our development as a culture. Removing blemishes and tidying up a picture of a model so that they also appear to be genetically gifted is not promoting anything negative.

    The people really responsible for promoting negative body image are the tv personalities who spend all day providing obese or lazy people an armory of excuses for it being ok to live an unhealthy existence.

    I take pictures of all sorts of people. depending on the client or intended use of those pictures i might give them a quick once over, or i might have to go in deeper and really manipulate the image. Do I envisage that anyone looking at the image will have any clue the model has been altered and does not look like that in real life? no, nor do i care. I care about my artistic vision and whether or not I am being true to it.

    I have every sympathy for people who are either jealous of, or intimidated by what we protray as beauty, But I shan’t stop doing it just to pander to them. Using Photoshop to enhance pictures is a positive thing, and letting a handful of noisy people spoil it because they manage to twist the facts to make us look morally corrupt, is making yourself just as bad as them.

  32. Mark Bridgewater

    I have no problem with retouching, but its time advertisers and magazines inform their readers that it has been retouched. I would like to know what models think of all this retouching… yes they now look fantastic, but they will never look as good as their retouch version.. so does make them more subconscious of there looks? what a lot of pressure to put on yourself..

  33. viva Habbit Van Assen

    I think with anything a little goes a long ways. Now with that said you need to know what you’re doing. Your model is already lovely and great bones nice neck line and wonderful eyes.

    I like the retouch and see nothing wrong with it because I see you just high lighted what is there on your model. Her MU was light and not heavy by any means. So to clean up skin when it not even that’s your job as artist and to know how is an even bigger job.

    Lovely job.

  34. Eugene Polonsky

    English language has an excellent word – “likeness”, means a portrait or representation. Since any photo no mater how it was taken, is but a representation of thing and not a “real” thing, I choose to call all my photos (modified or not) “real photos”. A bunch of photons of various colors were captured, modified by either chemicals or digitally and placed on paper or any number of media. Unless those captured photons can be reverted back in to a person or object, they are not “real” they are a representation, likeness. So all my pictures are “real photos” and if someone objects – they are real “likeness”. I do object to warning labels in this case. It is a sign of a mental laziness to force others to explain what should be obvious.

  35. Les Boucher

    As someone who came up destroying my mothers bathroom with chemicals, before setting up my own purpose built dark room, I have had this argument numerous times.

    As I have said I used a darkroom, as opposed to a digital darkroom such as LightRoom or Photoshop but the techniques are basically the same. Every Photographer, maybe I should clarify that with the word SERIOUS photographer has, and will continue to, use whatever tools are available to “Enhance” or “Personalise” their work. It may be something as simple as dodging and burning, but it is, to my mind, an integral part of being an artist.

    I often hear people argue that they will only use shots “directly from the camera” and I think that is a load of…. for the sake of this post I will use the word garbage….. If you ask any Landscape Painter if the work that you see on canvas is EXACTLY as it appeared in nature the answer, in 99.9% of the time, will be something along the lines of …using artistic licence. The same happens with photography. Do people honestly think that the greats that they try to emulate, such as Ansel Adams, Helmut Newton, Walker Evans, Nick Night the list is endless didn’t, and don’t in some way, manipulate the final print from what they originally took?

    Ansel Adams once said, ” You don’t take a photograph, you make it”

  36. Pingback: 後製、用燈、化妝,對人像相有多大影響呢? | FLiPER 潮流藝文誌

  37. Pascal DELAUNAY

    I disagree.
    I disagree because as always, is is overdone and that’s where the problem is.
    As a photographer, you try to take the best possible shot and minimize the post processing. I understand that we all try and want to find a way to improve our pictures, but now Photoshop becomes the savor for all our mistakes or what has been forgotten during the shot.

    On magazine, it is horrible! I was looking at some report done on Elizabeth Hurley. She is 49, a bunch of pictures were there, you could give her 20. Is it right, no, not at all because it is like that on every magazine. If you meet her in real life, even she still looks very good, she is not 20 anymore…..
    You see some pictures sometimes from actress and you can barely recognize them, the post processing has been huge.

    So, it is good to have tools to help us, but we have gone to far, it will be good to come back to “a normal processing “, limited, to keep some “real life ” to our pictures.

    Thank you Karl for what you do, very interesting work and information for all of us.

    Pascal

  38. Joel

    Karl, do you have a video/course that shows you step-by-step (if I followed each step, I would end up with the same result) how you went from the before to the after image?

  39. mary martinez

    In a bit of irony today my sister and me were watching s news report on this issue involving Kiera Knightley and she told me that during a photography session yesterday for her CA state employer she was photo shopped. The photographer took pictures of her and other CHP employees and informed her that he removed what he felt were imperfections from her photo. A fellow female employee said that the photographer modified her to the point where she looked as she did in 2004. My sister has been sensitive about blemishes on her face since she was a teenager. She has self esteem issues and didn’t feel she could have said anything and since others there weren’t speaking up she just let the changes stand. It seems from my perspective that these women were coerced into this photo shopping and its probably due to the county of Solano and CHP not wanting to line their office walls with pictures of imperfect ugly women. I’m incensed and shocked. I have always considered my sister beautiful and have felt for her struggle with body image and to think someone could just come in and start modifying what they deem as imperfect is inexcusable and a sorry reflection of how intolerant society has become of imperfections of any sort. For women dealing with body image issues and other emotional issues a situation like this one could lead a women into a downward spiral. If I had been there I would have asked the photographer to show her the untouched photo and then ASK HER if there was anything SHE didn’t like. Leaving the choice to retouch or not to the women is being respectful. Retouching without asking is projecting your own judgment of what is beautiful on others with no regard to your subjects feelings or values.

    Mary Martinez

  40. Curtis

    The thing is, where does it end? As you can see in the video, the image is enhanced even by the girl just applying makeup. It is also enhanced by having a proper lighting setup. So should we also have to mark images as enhanced if the person wears makeup or if we use studio lighting? What’s the difference? Either way you are showing the person in a different way. A boy might fall in love with a girl by seeing her at school with all her makeup on but find she looks quite different first thing in the morning. Is that somehow different? I just think it is best to educate our children so they understand that images and even people or other things are often enhanced.

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