In Short, Yes and No.
When it comes to photo editing, you can make bad quality photos look better and more realistic to the situation. However, you can also use a lot of those tools to enhance and create a whole new version of something. It’s AMAZING what you can do with photo editing these days. There are so many creative aspects to photo editing, but during the past few years I’ve noticed society beginning to shame photo editing and enhancements. Especially when people take notice of a celebrity that edits their own photographs. I think it has a lot to do with how people perceive themselves and their insecurities. Buzzfeed wrote an article with a great example of this.
Is Photo Editing a Bad Thing?
That’s up for you to decide and your opinion on the subject. If you’re insecure with yourself and your flaws, are those flaws something that you can change or are they out of your control? If it’s something that is out of your control, then it’s always good to try and find self love. Embrace your imperfections and make them one of the amazing, unique things about YOU. That being said, it isn’t any one elses decision but your own if you want to enhance your image through photo editing. It can be a massive confidence boost and give you something to aspire towards for the things you can change and become your greatest version!
Is Photo Editing Deceiving?
Not necessarily. I know a couple photographers who keep editing to the minimum. If you want to keep your photos as organic as possible, avoid flash. I rarely ever use flash because of how much it ruins a photo in both lighting aspects and the awful red eyes that appear on people in photographs. Red eye removal and brightening photos moderately can actually make your photos more realistic to the setting you were in when the pictures were taken.
On the other hand, it can definitely be deceiving. One thing I can admit that I’ve always done when editing photos of myself, is I like to bump up the brightness so high that it removes a lot of my flaws. When the picture is bright enough, suddenly my acne and imperfections disappear. Not to mention I feel like it makes me look like I dropped a few pounds. Softening skin and teeth whitening is no exception. I’ve had a couple different people tell me that my pictures look different than what I look like in person. Every time I post a new picture my aunt comments on my photos convinced it’s not me.
That last picture I DEFINITELY looked different. I was using a cartoon-y photo filter on the Beauty Cam app that made my eyes big and a different color. It added a few other effects as well. My aunt’s comments on all of these pictures made me smile and laugh. ♥ In all honesty though, I don’t think I look very different from my first two photos. If you saw me out in public I’m sure you’d be able to tell it was me. However, you can definitely tell all three pictures are VERY edited as far as brightness, softness, and other effects go. Is it hurting anyone? No, it is not hurting anyone. As long as you are happy with yourself, that’s all that matters. Screw what others have to say against your creativity!
Create a Vision for Yourself.
There are definitely things I’d love to change about myself. A lot of my insecurities are things that I can change, and I’ve come to embrace a lot of the things about myself that I can’t change. As long as you are not hurting yourself or others around you, who are they to ruin your fun? Photo editing is a wonderful creative outlet and can be a wonderful way to envision a better reality for yourself. Even if you’re not quite there yet, the first step is having a vision and then working towards change.
If you would like to learn how to edit your portraits on a professional level, I’ve created two beginner classes on photo editing that are SUPER simple to follow and easy to learn. You could be well on your way to creating stunning portraits in as short as an hour’s time or less.
In my classes you will learn how to go from the before picture and get the results of the after picture. I have these classes for both Photoshop and GIMP. For those of you who don’t have Photoshop, Gimp is a free program you can edit your photos with. It has a lot of the same features Photoshop has and is a great alternative!
Let me know if this post as given you any new perspective on the subject and what you think about photo editing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!