There' a difference between having well-edited, good quality, clear photos, and down right altering them into oblivion. When is it going too far for a blog, and is it deceiving to readers to Photoshop certain things? These questions came into my mind after a reader had posted a comment on a closeup, detailed shot that I should have Photoshopped out a few strands of body hair — ouch!
…a reader had posted a comment on a closeup, detailed shot that I should have Photoshopped out a few strands of body hair — ouch!
When editing the photos for size and any minor enhancements like sharpness or saturation, it crossed my mind that my practically white, blonde hair caught the light, but why would I alter that? We all have hair, and in my opinion, the whole allure of bloggers is that we are supposed to be “real people,” celebrating our imperfections, flaws, and natural beauty instead of banishing them. Within the realm of that, keeping your images as nice and professional quality as possible is key, and its one thing to correct a photo-related flaw like red eye, but actual, physical differences start to get into the blurred lines category.
Sure, I'm not a fan of my perma-dark circles under my eyes, and think my toes look like weird spores, but we all have our hangups, some of which we can easily reduce with normal remedies, just like everyone else does with a pair of sunglasses and concealer, and others, we just have to live with and learn to accept, and if we are lucky, eventually appreciate as unique to us. Plus, the bottom line is, my priority with my blog is as a writer, and although I'd like to do my best at everything, I'm not planning on, nor have the time and resources to produce high caliber photo shoots; it's just me, a camera, and my limited photo editing skills.
An Increase In Blogger Status & Expectations
I'm curious to figure out when things changed and what ideas of what a blogger is and does might give the impression that magazine-quality photos and professional photography skills is the standard. Perhaps the rise of “blogger as celebrity” has caused the bar to be raised unreasonably high, and as blogging gets bigger and bigger, there is an expectation (see Ashe's feature that discusses this) that our content and images mimics that of the big publications. Sure, most bloggers hold a multihyphenate of roles from IT, to editorial, marketing, photography, and the more time we can invest in these the better we get at them, but does that mean that if we even can, we should we be masking or enhancing ourselves digitally?
Keeping Blogging Authentic
To me, it feels to be the antithesis of the appeal of bloggers and quite disingenuous; I think it's important to take a lot of photos so that you end up with a few clear ones to work with, sans distractions in the backgrounds, so that you have even less to worry about it when it comes to photo editing, and can pretty much run the pics as-is. You can also completely destroy a photo by overly Photshopping it (see Jennine's article on the subject, here); magazines are constantly coming under scrutiny for drastic retouching with some vowing a “no-Photoshopping” pledge. So many times I've seen a cover image on a magazine, to which the celebrity is unrecognizable as his or herself, due to a heavy retouching job.
With that being said, is that what readers ultimately really want, or assume they should see in a blog? I'm quite skeptical of this, and I'd love to figure out where the line truly is drawn (according to the IFB community) when it comes to bloggers digitally correcting their own bodies.
What say you: are you for, or against, Photoshopping your body?
[Image Source Shutterstock.com]