The widespread use of Photoshop in fashion is often criticized for promoting unrealistic expectations of beauty and body image.
One high-end retoucher did a revealing Reddit Ask Me Anything about what it's like to work in the controversial industry.
Pratik Naik owns Solstice Retouch. His clients include top magazines and fashion houses.
Naik says he retouches as much as his clients want him to. The work he does can range from light retouching on lifestyle or home magazine spreads to much heavier editing on fashion photos or advertisements.
But Naik says he doesn't Photoshop models to make them look skinnier:
"I personally come from a photographer's mindset where I like to keep the model's body size as is. I would alter things to a certain degree in instances that it looks weird because the angle in which the camera took the photo. For example, if a model bends in a way, sometimes the shoulder protrudes and the illusion is that she looks skinny. I fill her out and flatten out any non-fluid angles where they usually aren't for the sake of them looking normal. I do not make them skinnier like people have in the past."
Models like and expect the photo editing:
" The models who are part of the team always know the retouching is going to happen. Now, many ask ahead of time. It has been common for industry models to contact me directly asking if I could retouch their unretouched shots that they have been given from the photographer. Of course we have to request permission to do so, but they expect it. Many photographers do not practice giving out unretouched photos, but if they have such a relationship, this happens in rare circumstances."
He also says that retouching software is making it easier to have a realistic finished product:
" Before, I would see a lot of people take a brush, and brush over the skin in sweeping strokes so they remove every pore. That was the true definition of 'plastic'. I am happy to say we're starting to move past that."
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