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Retouching in Portrait Photography

If you saw my recent post on Instagram you saw that I wanted to expand on my thoughts regarding retouching in Portrait Photography. I would love to have an open and honest discussion with you about how you feel when you see images being retouched!

What is retouching?

According to retouching is defined as "the process of altering an image to prepare it for final presentation." You might be familiar with retouching for magazines with your favorite celebrities gracing the cover. Retouching can be whitening teeth, removing blemishes, smoothing skin, removing flyaway hairs, covering scars or bruising.

What is my stance on retouching?

Personally I believe that it is perfectly fine to remove the items that do not completely alter the image. I would never want why clients to get their images back and not even recognize the person in the photo. I will absolutely remove a pimple or get rid of that bruise you got while running around with your kids on they playground. If requested I will also skin smooth a small amount (no more than 40% opacity). However I will not edit to make you "25 years younger and 30 pounds lighter" Thats in quotes because I can't even tell you how many times I have heard that from clients. Which is incredibly sad by the way.

Final thoughts:

I understand artistic expression and wanting your images to look a certain way, however I believe as a creator that it is my responsibility to provide realistic body standards to younger viewers. As someone who was once a young and impressionable girl who never saw stretch marks, wrinkles, or rolls in the media or in magazines I know just how damaging it is to only see "perfect" bodies.

In my next post we will discuss the difference between editing and retouching.

- Sabrina ✌️📸

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