One of the most common notions about fashion photographs is that they go through a heavy retouching process. Retouching imperfections is not as far fetched as it seems, and yes it does exist. And yes, many photographers take refuge under it.
There are two mindsets. One that nothing in this world is perfect, and the need to retouching imperfections is required. Second is that people expect flawless images from the fashion industry. To be honest, both are correct. As there are only a handful number of people in this world who let imperfections slide.
So you can either go with what is in demand keeping in mind the mass majority, and what the industry is after. Or you can cater to the few who welcome imperfections.
As I really do believe that there is beauty in some little imperfections.
Now, let’s get to the matter of retouching imperfections. The thing is, there are two types of retouching one that entirely remake the image, and second that covers up the slight imperfection. Obviously, no professional fashion photographer including me wishes to take imperfect images, but there comes a time when its inevitable. At times you just go like, “okay, these I can fix this later”.
This does not mean the image will go under such heavy retouching that they will change the entire image. But let me tell you it depends on the photographer as well. There are a number of photographers that process their images so much that slightly retouching imperfections becomes remaking the image entirely. These are the kind of images that at times show the heavy amount of retouching they have been under. But as technology is on the rise, I myself have at times have seen images that have gone through heavy retouching, but there was no sign of it.
So in reality it really comes down to the photographer, and the individual who will be retouching imperfections.
As I can only tell you my side of the story, I have to admit I have used retouching softwares. But never have my images gone through heavy remaking. As I am the kind of fashion photographer that is set on bringing both glamor and realities of the fashion industry forward. As I really do believe that there is beauty in some little imperfections. This is the reason I play around with different techniques, and try to promote them as much as I can. As there is no reason to portray an image of the industry that makes no image.
Similarly, there is the “perfect body size”, that most people love to capture and see in magazines. Yes, there are fit models, and actors and actress who have worked extremely hard to gain the perfect body. But the notions of retouching are what set things in a different direction. So in order to clear the air, I would like to tell you that each image that the fashion industry provides you with is not remade, it might have gone through some slight retouching imperfections. But that is all they have been through.