In Defense of Retouching (and Khloe Kardashian)

KhloeThis week, Khloe Kardashian (I’m her biggest fan, by the way) fought back against the swarms of angry people calling her out for retouching her recent Complex cover shoot. In the side-by-side photos, you can see how the shadows and lighting have been lightly edited.

Key word: lightly.

That’s the secret to a good retouching job – making sure that the subject’s main features aren’t distorted or too edited but still enhancing the focus of the image and cleaning up any unwanted blemishes or distractions.

I’m the first to admit that I’m a huge fan of retouching. I believe, if someone’s going to spend good money on a photo shoot, that they should receive the best possible images. And I understand why there were so many people upset over the use of retouching – it portrays an image of perfection to girls and women viewing the images and may set unrealistic standards. But the fact of the matter is this – Khloe is a brand in and of herself. She is selling herself and her fitness, and if the photographer sees fit to lightly retouch her images, then I see no problem with that.

I use the same techniques in my photos. My niche is executive portraits and commercial photos, and that’s the goal of my shoots – to “sell” an executive or a professional and help them further their business.  But I always make sure to highlight their features instead of changing them all together. Now, this hasn’t always been the case. I’ve definitely made mistakes retouching images and gone “overboard,” but after years of experience and perfecting my craft, I’ve learned how to do it right.

So, go ahead Khloe! You look amazing, retouched or not.

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