A 20-year-old New York-based photographer takes a stance against the practice of using Photoshop to edit and retouch blemishes from portraits.
Peter Devito, a photographer and student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, admits that he previously had a hard time even sharing an image of himself online without Photoshopping it first. Now, he is finding a legion of followers willing to support his latest effort – a set of images, not retouched, featuring human skin with all of its imperfections, including the pimples, red spots, bumps, and the other characteristics that make the surface of everyone’s skin unique.
Devito says he was inspired by people on social media when they started posting about body positivity and self-acceptance. Noticing an absence of individuals with acne, Devito seized the opportunity to create a unique set of images tightly cropped on faces marked with temporary tattoos of statements such as “acne is normal,” and the word “retouch” (appropriately crossed out).
It's never been easier to remove a blemish and give our subjects almost alien-like skin, free of blemishes using tools made available via software such as Adobe's Photoshop, but is doing so wrong? Is there an invisible line that we as photographers shouldn't cross when retouching images? If so, where is that line? What kind of affect does retouching images to the extent that the appearance of the subject's skin is flawless have on teens who may be dealing with a perfectly normal level of acne?