Photo Retoucher Tells All! How and Why Magazines and Ad Campaigns Fake It
Says She's Spent ‘Up to 20 Hours' Retouching a Model
A professional photo editor has given an interview to BuzzFeed, spilling the beans on the highly controversial practice of retouching. Although she doesn't give her name, the anonymous interviewee does shed serious light on the subject.
For the most part, she supports light retouching - and says it's nearly always needed in certain types of photos. "In fashion, sometimes the clothes aren't fitted the way they're supposed to. Wrinkles are taken out with retouching. Nothing fits perfectly when you try it on."
Also, "if you look at something and the model's got dark kneecaps with dry skin, your eyes are going to go straight to the knees instead of whatever it is they're modeling. The goal of retouching is to put emphasis on what's being sold."
She does, however, draw the line at making models look slimmer. But in many instances, she says she's often called in to add the illusion of weight if the model is too thin or bony.
Yet in cases where the target audience is teenagers, she supports the campaign to use an extremely limited touch. "I think overly retouched or distorted models is a horrible image to show young girls, especially in a publication like Teen Vogue."
But airbrushing teenage models isn't the industry's dirtiest secret. What is? "Mascara ads are just ridiculous," she shares. "[The models] wear false eyelashes, of course, in the photo shoot - and then we completely draw the lashes in one by one, so it looks like a forest of eyelashes. That's the biggest lie of all. You can't achieve that."