Denver Beauty Photographer- The Great Photoshop Debate
Oh boy, this is such a hot topic. Photoshop. How far is too far? The youth of our generation have unreal expectations. Magazines are making girls hate themselves. What happened to Zooey Deschanel’s Face? ….I see a new article on the evils of Photoshop weekly.
I am a photographer so I know how to use Photoshop. I am a beauty photographer so I use it quite a bit. Is this wrong? Is it evil? This is my opinion. You may not agree, and that’s fine, but please read until the end before you go on an anti-Photoshop tirade.
Confession: I love Photoshop. Here’s why:
1. I don’t want to see myself with cellulite or wrinkles. Do you know how many megapixels the average camera has? When I zoom in to the photos I have taken, I can see your PORES. Like, pores I can’t see if I am standing 3 feet away from you and having a conversation. I can see EVERYTHING. Chin hair, ear hair, etc. Do you want to see EVERYTHING on yourself or anyone else? I’m guessing no.
2. If Photoshop were banned, I’d probably be out of a job. Can I pose you in a flattering way? Yes. Can my makeup team make you look gorgeous? Absolutely. But even so, a light skin softening and taking in of unwanted rolls or clothing wrinkles or scars etc. takes your eye to where it should be in a photo- on the face.
3. My clients (and me) WANT to be Photoshopped. All of these women out there crying “Photoshop is awful!” are silly. Do you mean to tell me if those women were having their portrait taken, they would not ask for a little nip here, or softening there or a chin hair removal here? EVERY SINGLE WOMAN I photograph is thankful that I have and use Photoshop. When I tell them I can Photoshop something they’re self conscious about, you should see their faces. RELIEF.
4. Teaching our children healthy body image is OUR job. Not the media’s. Growing up I loved reading magazines. I was not a super skinny kid. But my parents always told me how beautiful I was and I had very healthy self esteem. Sure, I struggled with things now and again as every teen does. But I never said to myself, “If I could only look like those girls in the magazines!” Of course I couldn’t! I am 5’3″ on a good day. While I loved copying makeup and fashion I saw, I never wanted to BE a girl I saw in a magazine. Never.
Do I think it’s ok to overly Photoshop someone and make them look like a different person? Not unless that person specifically requests it. My job is to create beautiful photos that people love, not to chastize them for wanting to look thinner or younger. Who am I to refuse someone the pleasure of loving a photograph of themself?
A light dose of Photoshop should not have us up in arms! Yes, women are beautiful, yes we should accept ourselves! But that does not mean we have to love our muffin tops and flaunt them for the world to see. In fact, if a little bit of Photoshop is what it takes to make you feel better about yourself, BRING IT ON!
And a heavier dose of Photoshop in magazine ads is the norm. Don’t most people just ASSUME that Cameron Diaz has been Photoshopped and doesn’t REALLY look like that? I know I do. I’ve seen enough “Celebs Without Makeup!!” news stories to know the difference. It’s just common sense. Cameron probably doesn’t want to see her wrinkles on the cover of InStyle any more than you would want to see yours!
Finding things you love about yourself and being comfortable with who you are does not mean you have to love and want to look at EVERY little thing. I’m pretty happy with myself but that does not mean I want to see wrinkles and fat in a photograph that will be around FOREVER.
Furthermore, I am convinced we perceive ourselves differently than we ACTUALLY look. I wrote all about it here:
I actually see myself in my head on a daily basis differently than I see myself when looking into a mirror or photo. I think it’s due to the fact that we see ourselves as we have looked throughout our lives. We can still see our childhood selves, teenage selves, pre-baby selves, pre-operation selves. ETC in our head. All of those mental images are stored in our brain. This is why often times we see a candid photo of ourselves and say, “Is that really what I look like?” It’s a brain shock.
If we take away Photoshop in the name of loving ourselves as we are, where does it end? No more makeup? No more haircuts? No more working out? NO MORE SPANX (a terrifying thought!) If we had to love ourselves as we TRULY are we’d all be in a potato sack with hair down to our ankles and no makeup, no contacts, no earrings…all of those things are things we put on to make ourselves more attractive to others and to ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to highlight our best assets and eliminate what we don’t like, whether it’s in daily life or in a photograph.
Bottom line: A little Photoshop= confidence boost= self love and acceptance= happiness. And don’t we all just want everyone to be happy? 😉