Photo: Victoria’s Secret
The widespread use of Photoshop in fashion is often criticised for promoting unrealistic expectations of beauty and body image. One high-end retoucher did a revealing Reddit Ask Me Anything about what he wishes he could change about the industry.
Pratik Naik, owns Solstice Retouch. His clients include top magazines and fashion houses.
He explained how the industry justifies using Photoshop:
“This will change based on who you ask in the field. A common answer people give is that fashion has always been about selling a fantasy or feeling rather than the clothing itself (in many instances). For example, take Abercrombie. Typical jeans and apparel, but the selling point is the lifestyle portrayed. Similarly, Victoria’s Secret sells sexy. What if the same bras were sold at Walmart under a different name, would they sell less? Probably.
Is this fair and is this misleading? It’s probably very unfair and it is misleading, but knowing this will help tremendously. Be careful before you buy it, name doesn’t mean everything, but it is associated with quality by the public. Whether this is true, is based on the buyer.”
He said that retouched images are becoming increasingly realistic:
“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.”
And the standards he has for his work:
“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…I do not make them skinnier like people have in the past.”
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