It’s no secret that magazines use Photoshop to touch up pictures before they publish them—a flyaway hair here, a smudge there. The art wizards here at ATM use Photoshop, too, to adjust lighting levels and remove shadows and that kind of thing.
I was just reading about the somewhat controversial issue that recently hit Self magazine lately when they admitted they dramatically altered their cover image of Kelly Clarkson. (They aren’t the only ones—check out a few befores and afters of celebs that have been shot for other publications)
The editor-in-chief of Self has an interesting explanation as to what they did and why they did it on her blog, which you should read—especially if you’re a woman, because she says their Photoshop use helps women aspire to “be their best,” and I’m curious what you think about that.
But what was especially interesting is that she reveals that she edits her own personal photos—not saving images where her kids are grumpy, say, or removing a pound or two from pictures of herself.
The thing is, this is not just something that people in the publishing industry do. I have at least a half-dozen acquaintances who have admitted they digitally alter their own photos—pictures that aren’t going on magazine covers, billboards, or ads. They’re not going anywhere but into their archives and family albums.
There are definitely some photos of me that I think would be better off retouched (or thrown out), but I have this thing about wanting to preserve a moment as it really is. If I looked horrible on Christmas morning, I may hate the photos now—but in 20 years, at least I’ll know that the photos represent reality. And knowing that will trigger a memory: “Oh, that’s right. I looked tired and haggard because I was tired and haggard—we were up until midnight on Christmas Eve drinking champagne and watching old movies.”
What about you—do you Photoshop your family pics? Why or why not?