Photoshop. Not just because it helps with retouching pictures, but because I actually know how to use it. But there is a bad side to Photoshop, which is what this post is all about.
It is one thing to use Photoshop in order to create a cool effect (like the photo associated with this post) or to magically get rid of a zit or other small detail...but it is another thing to use Photoshop to make yourself appear flawless is every photo you take! This may seem harmless but could prove disastrous in a worst-case scenario.
Photoshop and photography have gone hand-in-hand for some time now. At first using this software program was limited to just the photographers who needed to retouch images to meet the client's standards. However, more and more models are learning this software and are able to use it for their personal reasons when retouching their own photos.
Personally speaking, the most I do when it comes to my own photos and Photoshop include cropping the image, resizing, lightening/darkening, and adding text, logos or graphics. When it comes to my photos, I like to look as real as possible. One of my biggest fears is to have someone see me and say, "Hey, she doesn't look anything like this photo!"
Unlike Playboy, which publicly admits to airbrushing and Photoshopping the crap out of their models, I like to look like me. And while I wish I didn't have stretch marks, blemishes and uneven skin tone, I still refuse to completely mask that behind Photoshop.
When shooting my 2007 calendar, I went over the images with my photographer. She is a perfectionist and can spend hours retouching just one image. I told her that I didn't want too much work to be done because I didn't want my photos in my calendar to seem "unreal." She did follow my directions...to an extent...lol. She used Photoshop to reduce the severity of my stretch marks in one shot, and evened my skin tone for shots that showed my stomach. Those kind of changes I could deal with.
But on a different occasion, she touched up a swimsuit shot I did in a yellow string bikini. The original looked fine, although my uneven skin tone and some stretch marks were visible. Her retouched version looked amazing...it was perfect and if I actually did have that type of skin in real-life, I'd have nothing to worry about. But while it was a beautiful picture, it wasn't one that I could use.
This particular image was one that I often used when submitting to gigs that called for swimsuit models. But I couldn't submit the Photoshopped version because, in a sense, it is false advertisement. To send out the retouched image would more than likely get me the gig but what would happen when I showed up on the shoot with skin that looked nothing like the photo? Enough said.
So, models, when it comes to using the wonders of Photoshop to get rid of all the stuff that bothers you, keep it to a minimum and don't let it get out of hand. Clients and casting directors will not be pleased if the photos you submit don't match how you are in person.
We all have the little things that bother us that we wish we could change but at the same time, we are our own worst critics and most times the things that bother us the most tend to go unnoticed by others. Don't let Photoshop turn you into a fantasy model. Be as real as you can in more ways than one.
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