Is photo retouching ethical in the fashion industry?

Is photo retouching ethical in the fashion industry?
02 Jul 2021

There has been a lot of debate about the ethics and authenticity of retouched photos in the fashion industry. When brands displayed heavily retouched photos of celebrities and models, both men and women got outrageous. They were against Photoshop for its negative effects, particularly on children and young adults. 

Young girls are manipulating their appearance and looking for insane body looks for likes and popularity in social media. On the other hand, boys and men increase their expectations of their partners unrealistically. Children grow up watching commercials of celebrities and models. Their brains will register the retouched portraits as a norm. And when they realize people usually do not look so polished, it affects them psychologically. It is a fact that models think retouching photos influence people to look good all the time, leading to low self-esteem, depression, etc.  

What is photo retouching?

Photo retouching is the process of removing undesired elements from a photograph. It helps correct skin abnormalities in fashion and beauty photos. Photo retouching is used to enhance aspects by sharpening dull areas and focusing on the subject.

Photo Retouching services go beyond editing to add the finishing touch to images. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom are popular software using tools such as the Healing Brush, Patch tool, Clipping Paths, Color Correction, and many more.

How does the fashion industry benefit from retouching services?

No one wants to look at dull and colorless photos. If the picture flaunts their favorite celebrity, the audience wants the idol to be impeccable. Using Photoshop, retouchers take the photos to the next level of beauty. After all, brands retouch their photos to compete with other brands through advertisements.

 Photo retouching removes imperfections to promote beauty using techniques like color correction, white balance, etc. Even the slightest flaw in the photo brings down the value of the product. Hence it is essential for the images to be spot on to increase market value and sales.

Pro’s of photo retouching in the fashion industry

  • Retouching is art. A retoucher or editor has the freedom to explore various tools. They comply with the client’s briefs and also work artistically to enhance the photo. Everyone praises a good retouched photo. At the same time, a badly retouched photo brings negative comments. Sometimes temporary imperfections creep in while photo shooting and retouching is a boon to erase them. 
  • Remember when I mentioned models believe that product photo retouching services puts pressure on people to look good. Well, introducing retouching has made the model’s life easier. Their flaws are covered up. They don’t have to follow strict diets to maintain clear skin and look skinny to fit into clothes perfectly. 
  • Stand out among the competition- Almost all companies retouch their products. And they are coming with innovative ways to promote the brand. New features such as color changing, ghost mannequins, sharpness of the photo are enhanced for a better shopping experience. Also, poor lighting while shooting can distract from the beauty of the image. Contrast is corrected by tweaking the image’s brightness and color balance. You can also composite the front and back views of a product to make it appear more desirable. 
  • Brand image- Retouched photos appear more professional. Perfect photos are a hallmark of the brand. 
  • Better sales- The higher the quality of the product’s photos, the better the chances of attracting customers. In comparison to raw pictures, optimized pictures have the potential to captivate viewers and eventually drive revenue. A company’s purpose is to promote aesthetically appealing products to customers. New marketing strategies allow the company to outperform its competitors and increase sales.

Cons of photo retouching in the fashion industry

  • Loss of authenticity: In today’s world, retouching is useful primarily to make objects more visually appealing. It may provide the feeling of naturalism, yet it does not mirror reality. For example, a fashion model’s face is edited to conceal her true self. The model’s photo reflects the fashion norms established by society. Natural emotions and expressions are not promoted. This depiction is the main motive why many do not support photo retouching.
  • False beliefs- We look at old pictures and say to ourselves as good old times. And in the present, we try to bring back our youth or make ourselves yet more beautiful using apps. High time we realize retouching photos impact our self-confidence when we try to replicate models.

Conclusion

Okay! Here is a truth bomb. Retouch experts retouch the portraits to match your liking. When you look at a celebrity or a model in a 2-D photo, the flaws look more significant. It is the job of a retoucher to make the photo presentable. Besides, we overlook people’s flaws in real life. Thanks to our brain’s positive approach.

People must understand the purpose of photo retouching. The photo retouching services sustain because viewers cannot get enough of new beauty trends. Some people perceive beauty trends to demean others. Brands are slowly dragging the audience to more retouched photos. It is not to give you a false sense of beauty but to entertain you for a short period. The ultimate goal is to advertise their product. In contrast, some brands are coming out to display untouched photos.

We cannot have it both ways. It is hypocritical to think we are the victims. We should accept the gray area when it comes to the ethics of photo retouching. In fashion photography, the people are the prop to the products. We shall teach kids to see beyond the image. The story the photos portray, the brand photos advertise, the product the brand wants to highlight.

Photo Retouching Services

Are you new to Photo retouching and Photoshop? And are you looking for photo retouching services? Our retouching specialists retouch photos according to your requirements to bring the best out of them. We at Digi5Studios offer various retouching services. We specialize in Product retouching, Beauty retouching, Fashion retouching, Automobile photo retouching, Real Estate retouching, and Clipping Path Services.

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