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Retouching a photograph , also known as the repair and improvement of a photograph based on making alterations to the subject, has been controversial since social media has taken the the art of editing too far to meet realistic standards. Retouching can be as slight as removing a stray hair off the face to completely changing the way the subject appears and looks. Photographers feel that this type of editing is mainly useful to enhance the features of the subject.
These days, photographs are retouched in such a way that many magazines and popular blogs are defying the natural boundaries of the human anatomy which may be viewed as an extreme photo manipulation. These standards of ‘beauty’ may affect the way that students see themselves in their yearbook photos as well as how the company editors retouch the senior portraits that students receive at the end of their high school career.
Continental Studios, the yearbook company that the school uses to take the senior portraits has been noted to give out free retouching services. Steven Fink, one of the editors that retouches the senior photos states, “What students order, all regular facial retouching, pimple blemish removal stuff…some smoothing is all including in the price, no extra charge. We do offer optional, extra, higher end retouching services for other prices. That would be teeth whitening, braces removal, hair fixing, even teeth straightening, that kind of special retouching,”
Due to social media and the art of photoshopping and retouching to a great extent, young people are more conscious of the way they look and appear to others.
Most of the time, celebrities are retouched to the way they have perfect, tanned and even faces, which can all be done and altered by retouching the photo.
Fink continued by stating that the stress of social media doesn’t affect his work, instead they strive to look more realistic, “… a lot of the celebrities in the magazines and such are what we all feel is over photoshopped or over retouched. You know, because they do go for that “perfection” look. We go for more of a “reality” look, but with imperfections removed.”