retouching | Sex, Lies, and Photoshop

I am so incredibly happy when people say that my images look like they should be in a magazine. It’s a huge compliment… I always say that I am going for a magazine look, but with personality. With a real human. Without retouching.

Certainly, for boudoir or headshots we will remove a scar, bruise or other small temporary blemish… but what about the sessions where you walk in a regular person and walk out with skinnier hips, longer legs, bigger boobs, etc? Is this even real?  I know half of the women reading this are thinking “yeah, I want that!” but do you really? Do you want images that make you look different from who you are?

How about some natural-looking images that have not been altered to make you more like the mythical perfect woman that media likes to project?  The woman who embraces the idea of natural but flattering… you are my client.  You might not be comfortable and confident about every body part (exposed to media, how could you?) but we love how you are and want to help you see your beauty. Without saying “you’re beautiful… after photoshop.”

Just some random thoughts after watching this NYT op-ed video “Sex, Lies, and Photoshop” by Jesse Epstein.    [ link ]

“I dare one magazine just to publish an entire issue without any retouching.”

0 thoughts on “retouching | Sex, Lies, and Photoshop

  1. This is a great piece thanks for sharing. One of these days I will have to get my documentary project of beauty back her up on the web. It touches on some of these issues.

  2. So very very true. Everyone feels self-conscious in front of a camera, but we are who we are, imperfections and all. A few years ago, Jamie Lee Curtis appeared in More Magazine without any retouching. And, of course, Kate Winslet famously spoke out about a retouched image of her on a magazine cover. Nobody looks as good in real life as they do on the cover of a magazine – not even Heidi Klum. On the internet and in the tabloids, you can easily find photos of stars “without make-up.” It seems that people are becoming much more aware of retouching these days (probably due to the ubiquity of digital cameras and software). As a photographer, I want my clients to be happy with their photos. If that means retouching a blemish, a scratch, or some dark under-eye circles, I’m okay with that. But that scar? That’s part of what makes someone them! Rachel, I think you have a great and empowering philosophy on photography and retouching. I wish all my clients could see themselves the way I see them through the camera!

  3. As a client I can say that it’s great to know that my pictures are actually of me, and not some airbrushed, slimmed and photoshopped version of me. It’s a huge confidence boost to know that the person I think looks great in those pictures is actually what I look like in real life (with flattering lighting of course).

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