Photographer Under Fire Over Retouching Options For Elementary School Portraits
By Mikelle Leow, 07 Nov 2019
Image via Shutterstock
Most commercial photos have been given the Photoshop treatment, and while retouching pictures is frowned upon by many, it has unfortunately become the norm. For the most part, though, parents might agree that airbrushing photos of children is unhealthy.
Let kids be kids, insists one mom from Phoenix, Arizona. BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Sam Walker’s tweet showing a selection of retouching options for school portraits by an unspecified photography company has made its rounds.
Walker relates that her daughters just had their school picture day, and as much as it should make parents proud, she laments that “there is the option to AIRBRUSH the picture!”
The presenter adds that there are “two levels” to the bundle. The basic tier comprises blemish removal, while the premium version additionally fixes uneven skin tones and whitens teeth.
“What eight-year-old needs to be paranoid about an ‘uneven skin tone?’” Walker asks.
The choices offered were especially distressing for Walker, as her eight-year-old daughter has a rare autoimmune condition that causes lesions on her skin and turns her teeth yellow.
“To suggest we can wipe that away [and that] you can look like everyone else is incredibly dangerous and very sad,” she tells Metro.co.uk.
Fellow parents share her sentiment, with one writing, “Lunch cardigan stain… Dishevelled hair… Face graze from fall at lunch time… That makes it a school photo.” The mother of a four-year-old elaborates that her young child’s photo packages also include similar options.
The girls have their school photo today and there is the option to AIRBRUSH the picture! There are two levels offered!! What the....?! Have complained! What 8 yr old needs to be paranoid about an “uneven skin tone” pic.twitter.com/6BGCx3FRZ9— Sam Walker (@WalkerSam) October 28, 2019
My 4 year olds first ever school photo this month. This is also an option. I was gobsmacked then disgusted. Who photoshops school photos?— Kate (@ellasservant) October 28, 2019
Lunch cardigan stain ✔️
Dishevelled hair ✔️
Face graze from fall at lunch time ✔️
That makes it a school photo 👍
This is appalling. My daughter has 9% full thickness burns and we have never attempted to hide her scars in photos. We just taught her that she is amazing as she is.— A Better Way To Work With Home Owners (@HISalesAcademy) October 28, 2019
Photos tell a story. We cherish the ones which remind us of who we are/were. I have one of me at school with my jumper on the wrong way around, & one of my son with no front teeth after a seesaw incident. They are our past. Never use photos to lie, you will lose your history.— Mother of Bunnies SDP (@Bigwig_Fiver) October 29, 2019
The ENTIRE point of grade school photos is that you look back & laugh at how goofy & well, institutional they look! I love the horrible lighting & flaws captured at Valentine Elementary School in San Marino, CA! Just BE kids!!— Janie (@jbr485) October 28, 2019
[via Fatherly, images via various sources]
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