Image retouching – the good, the bad and the (too) beautiful ?

It’s been around long before digital photography.  It used to be called airbrushing and was done with an ink/paint spray device; now it’s done digitally with photoshop and other software.  Still, the goal remains consistent – alter the picture and make the model look better.  What used to be reserved for the famous is now commonplace with standard professional portrait and wedding photography.

Everyone (subject and photographer alike) wants the subject to look good for a shoot.  The subjects/models may use make-up artists and hair stylists – or just spend a little more time in the bathroom and make sure they have put themselves together a little more than usual.  Photographers use our most effective tool – light – to shape and present the subject’s face  in the most flattering manner.

So what’s the problem?  Too much of a good thing?  The American Medical Association criticized extreme retouching  for its effect on the psyche of kids.

So where do we draw the line?  Well – I’ll ask you that.  Take a look at some of the models that I have photographed.  I’ve included the unretouched image, typical retouching, and the glamour effect retouching.   I’m interested in what you think looks good, real, fake , terrible, get another photographer…


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