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A New First?

March 14, 2014

I think I just wrote my first letter to the editor! If you’ve read my blog long enough or know me on FB, I don’t try to get political. I have my views, I speak up when necessary, and I let my actions speak for themselves. But this time I just felt I needed the editors to know I was disappointed.

The magazine in question is Outdoor Photography. I got a subscription because my children were selling magazines for a fundraiser and I didn’t like too many of the choices. I’ve always wanted to get into photography but, well, like most of my endeavors unless pushed I rarely move forward with it. But I like this magazine and all the amazing outdoor photography and photography tips.

To my great disappointment in the April 2014 issue is an ad on page 19 for photo editing software that extolled the virtues of taking a photo of a rather pretty young lady and manipulating it to the point that I was left shaking my head and wondering what on earth was wrong with the first picture?

I know editing software is a must. I play with the lighting effects; I’ve cloned out a stray foot or wonky background. Heck, I’ve even blended out a pimple on my nephew’s forehead. I’ll even agree to whitening the eyes and teeth (haven’t figured out how to do that yet). But to give this beautiful young woman a nose job, new cheekbones, and new chin and reduced jaw line to try to achieve some fake and unrealistic view of beauty is just wrong. They even played with her beauty mark and removed a mole on her neck!

“Transform your portraits into polished, cover-worthy images. Capable of sophisticated enhancements, yet extremely easy to use.” Digital Photo Buyer’s Guide Nov 2013 said of Portrait Pro’s product.

Wow.

I felt compelled to write to the editors because I have recommended their magazine to the girls I mentor through scouts as they work on digital photography. I will think twice about recommending the magazine. There are other ways of demonstrating the value of retouching than saying “your everyday subjects just aren’t good enough.”

Seriously, what message does this send? And trust me, I’ve been watching the friends of T1 play with such “enhancements” to their photos that they post on Instagram and I’m heartsick about it. Is it any wonder they think less of themselves and think they have to market themselves as pieces of meat with ads like this and so many other horrible images out there?

I encourage anyone out there with a photography interest to contact not only Outdoor Photography but Portrait Pro to ask them to change their advertising messages. I also encourage you to support forward thinking projects like the Eleanor Project and get their message out to girls and women of all ages that beauty radiates from within.

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One comment

  1. Yay for you for speaking up and out! More people need to do it!



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