On Coffee Mornings this week, we meandered through a couple different topics before landing on the controversial issue of using Photoshop. Specifically using Photoshop or photo editing within beauty images, on sites such as online stores (like ours), on social media and in magazines.
Although some were not bothered by Photoshop and very much in favour of the editorial kind of image it can help produce. Others were quick to point out that our perception of people has become so altered, that when we do see photos with no editing done, it shocks us. Untouched celebrity photographs feature in articles, and weirdly even youtube videos, racking up high numbers as people flock to see what is real. In some cases it goes viral, such as the controversy over a Madonna portrait, see below.
Then however I got asked if we use Photoshop on Glow.Mo. Which we do. The response immediately was why. If our motto is ‘Own the skin you’re in’, how could we use such a tool?
The thing is, we draw a line between overall photo editing and retouching. The majority of images online, faces or no faces, have been edited. The brightness increased, the contrast pushed up. All these things occur, to try to get the image to be seen more easily by you, and to fit in with the site the image sits on. If a product photo is dark, and has lots of shadows, that product doesn’t seem looked after, appealing and perhaps even the store trustworthy. We edit our photos, mostly just increasing the brightness to get them to fit with our site.
Re-touching, however, is when every little blemish is brushed away, every little line smoothed over, and inconsistencies in skin tone evened out. We can’t vouch for the images on our site, that we didn’t take. But, those that we did, which is the majority of them, are not retouched. (See Megan below.)
We don’t retouch because (although this kind of editing shows no signs of slowing down), photoshopped skin isn’t real and we don’t endorse any kind of ‘alternative fact'. To own the skin you’re in, takes confidence. And we are on a mission to inspire that kind of confidence. Promoting images of unattainable and unreal beauty, doesn’t help that.
At the end of the day, Photoshop is a tool, which like any can be used for good and bad. We know this, and we endeavour to use it responsibly.
Poppy Out. xoxo