February 29, 2012

A Personal Stance On Photo Retouching

Normally my Wednesday posts revolve around an outfit that I wore this week, but today I am going to take a break from my normal posting schedule to talk about a little thing called photo retouching.  Why photo retouching? Well I was flipping through the March 2012 issue of Glamour (the one with the gorgeous Amanda Seyfried on the cover) and happened upon this article.  I fell into reading it and I found it disturbing and enlightening at the same time.  Disturbing because it brought to light the prevalence and heavy handedness of photo retouching not only in the fashion world, but the world of us regular folks too.  Retouched facebook photos, dating profile pics people who want to perfect their look to try and match pop media's impossible standard of beauty.  The article was also enlightening because it forced me to examine my policy on photo retouching on my blog and in other aspects of my digital life. 

So here it is, I have retouched my outfit shots in the past, in an attempt to create a more polished, professional looking photo.  Most of the time I only correct lighting and adjust the color in my shots, sometimes I went further to erase dark circles and a few zits.  I have looked at other fashion blogs written by women who look model perfect and felt inadequate about my looks.  I have been tempted (but never have) to go overboard with retouching; making my skin smoother, teeth whiter and body trimmer. 

What stopped me was the fact that this blog is about my personal style. If I retouched my photos too much they would stop looking like me and become some strange alien version of myself.  I want to keep my blog real, and I believe that is exactly what fashion blogging should be.  A real un-retouched view of life, style, fashion.  If someone wants glossy perfection they can find it in a fashion magazine, my blog is about real everyday fashion and beauty. 

The image below is an example of taking retouching to the extreme.  It's a scary view of what image "perfection" can look like.  I don't like it, this picture doesn't even look like me, it looks like a doll version of me.


From this point forward my blog policy on retouching the images of myself (I can't control the Photoshopped fashion pics) is as follows;

I solemnly swear to retouch sparingly
Let the wrinkles in my clothes
(and in my face) shine through
Let the fact that I love green tea show on my teeth
and the evidence that I love cookies and chocolate show on my hips
Let my imperfect complexion be seen
and let the only retouching on my skin be with foundation and concealer

If you agree with the statement above and want to Keep Fashion Blogging For Real grab the button below and paste it in your blogs side bar (link it to this page or the FB page).  State your retouching policy on your blog and like the Keep Fashion Blogging For Real Page on Facebook. 




*This is my personal view of what I think fashion blogging should be, there is no wrong or right in this issue.  It's all about what you feel comfortable with, but I do think that heavily retouched photos sends the wrong message and sets an impossible to achieve standard of beauty.


29 comments:

  1. Bwahaha! To think I inspired this movement! Your before and after photos help sell the movement. The after is too weird. Viva la revolution!

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    1. Well the "movement" has been in the works, but your post on Facebook was definitely timely. I shared the video on the Keep Fashion Blogging for Real page. Thanks for the contribution, no more plastic faces!

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  2. You look like a totally different person in the photoshoped photo! I can't believe how all of those subtle changes make such a difference. It's great that you're staying true to yourself!

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    1. Petite Therapy, thank you for the kind words. It's important to me to create an attainable fashion image.

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  3. I hope this movement is contagious. Hopefully, this will be an inspiration to all women out there. Natural beauty is true beauty!

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    1. JudyG I think some companies are catching on. Smashbox cosmetics recently ran a campaign with a image that was certified to be not retouched. It's a great idea especially since they were marketing a foundation.

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  4. Good for you! Stay true to who you are and be proud... it's the best way to go!

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  5. I actually like you before a lot more and honestly don't think you ever need to retouch anything as you are naturally beautiful. And yes, certain magazines and beauty advertisers do go to extremes these days and I actually find those plastic looking images off-putting. I am perfectly fine with retouching here and there, but would still rather see emotions and skin than plastic perfection. x

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    1. Little Rus I agree with you about rather seeing skin the looks like it moves and breathes that "plastic perfection". That's why love all the fashion spreads from the 60's, 70's and 80's. The women looked more human their beauty seemed more attainable.

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  6. What a great movement - thanks for sharing!

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  7. Really i appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge.The topic here i found was really effective
    retouche image

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  8. Great post. I retouch photos from time to time because my goal is for my street style subjects to look good. But, I do so sparingly. I remove obvious blemishes, lint from clothing, etc. Going further than that is too much.

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    1. Lauren thanks for reading! I agree that the goal of retouching is to fix minor issues and present a professional looking image, for yourself and the subjects. Like you said, doing more than the minor touch up to skin or clothing is too much.

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  9. You are so right. I like you much better as yourself. Especially your dimples. But I am a bit of a hypocrit. I had my eyelids done, my jawline and liposucked a waist (which I never pocessed before). But I do not photoshop any photos I publish of outfits. The reason why I had al that work done is because with growing older and sagging, I looked droopy and sad. People asked me all the time whether I was ill. And I am actually a very cheerful person. And the waist... it was just so unhandy. None of my clothes fitted anymore and now they do.

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    1. Greetje Kamminga, thank you for reading! I appreciate your kind words. I believe that plastic surgery and photo-retouching while they both have to do with personal image are two different things. Plastic surgery is your choice and if it boosts your confidence and makes you feel more like your cheerful self, then more power to you. Image retouching in a sense can do the same, but it is only in a still image, not in reality. Creating an image that does not exist in reality is misleading and in the case of certain products, false advertising. I don't think you could be accused of hypocrisy, I hope you feel young, confident and beautiful.

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    2. Well... "beautiful" is a bit much, but I do feel fine. Don't mind mirrors. Actually, I don't think it is all that much fun to be beautiful. Women envy you all the time, guys want you for the wrong reasons. No, I am much rather average. More friends that way.

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  10. Wow...love seeing it from the perspective of a "real" person!

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  11. I LOVE THIS POST! That little mantra in the end is so great. I don't like the fake you either, I would never erase dimples!

    I do very minimal editing to all my pics. I've never actually retouched anything on me, the only adjustments I really make is for lighting or color accuracy and then cropping. I do totally feel the pressure of putting up beautiful perfect perfect pictures too. But the reality is that is not my life, that is not how I look and I am okay with that in life and should be ok with that in blog life too. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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    1. Jamillah thanks so much for the kind words. Such a fantastic point that putting up "perfect" pictures is not an actual depiction of life.

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  12. It is not only about restoration of the pictures, in case you feel that you do not have satisfactory pictures then the Digital Photo Retouching facility provided by us is able to impart you with the most suitable results.

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