A Magazine That Finally Says No To Photoshop

Verily magazine is doing something completely different than all of the other magazines out there. They have decided to use no Photoshop at all for the models in the magazine. Celebrating a person's flaws rather than taking them away is their intention. They believe this is what society wants to see and they may be correct. Even more impressive is their stance on using real women as models. 

In their November/December issue, they decided to use real women as models in a fashion spread called “Runway to Realway.” Looks from high fashion brands are showcased on real everyday people.


Ashley Crouch of Verily states, “The unique features of women, whether crows feet, freckles, or a less-than-rock-hard body, are aspects that contribute to women's beauty and should be celebrated -- not shamed, changed or removed.”

They claim, “Whereas other magazines artificially alter images in Photoshop to achieve the so-called ideal body type or leave a maximum of three wrinkles, Verily never alters the body or face structure of the Verily models.”

We're interested in seeing how they do. They seem to have great support and it would be interesting to see if more magazines follow suit.

[Via Huffington Post]

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Satya Varghese Mac's picture

still to be seen: a culture that says no to make up

Alex None's picture

Yeah, because we all know how color temp manipulation is giving women eating disorders.

Tobias Solem's picture

Yes, let's have arbitrary laws against visual enhancements! A control society surely ends there.

Chris Pickrell's picture

CGI is different than photoshopping a magazine though. Iron Man doesn't pretend to be "reality." The characters aren't real. So that's not a great comparison. No one goes to see Iron man expecting reality.

Chris Pickrell's picture

You think the color doesn't effect the interpretation of a photo?

Remy Musser's picture

You're absolutely right, but every single movie is processed, retouched... and nobody ever complain about it.

Chris Pickrell's picture

Again, same reason.

Scott's picture

How much retouching was going on in National Geographic back during the film days? They shot slide if I'm thinking correctly?

God forbid people wanting to see the models as they actually look with lines, flaws and the occasional cellulite dimple.

I don't use photoshop for my photos :P

Rick O'Banion's picture

Anyone who thinks modelling represents reality has obviously not been paying attention.

Chris Janzen's picture

Do you use any post processing or just use the jpegs that the camera spits out? Not knocking your choice btw (everyone has their style) just curious...

the_pro_amateur's picture

I don't understand what's wrong with makeup or retouching. No one is telling people they HAVE TO wear makeup out and about. Women do it because they want to. If I were in a magazine, I'd want some retouching or makeup or whatever they do. Seeing a static picture of someone is different than interacting in real life. There are things about people I never noticed in person, that jump out in a photo.
Silly argument.

the_pro_amateur's picture

Laws?!? I didn't realize a private business choosing to do or not do something, somehow translated into a law being created by the government, voted on, and passed that would ban retouching and special effects throughout all media. Then, that would naturally lead to everyone being hooked to batteries from birth by squid robots.
You must be fun to date.

the_pro_amateur's picture

He said "we all know how color temp manipulation is giving women eating disorders."

Chris Pickrell's picture

WHo did? I didn't see that.

Ariel Martini's picture

you must be funnier to date with your inability to get sarcasm

Alex None's picture

Of course it does. But that's completely irrelevant to the topic at hand - the use of image manipulation tools to present unrealistic body images to women, and the negative societal outcomes that flow from that - so don't be obtuse.

Basia Kowalska's picture

Now they said no Photoshop for the models, not for the entirety of the pictures. And I'd disagree that a minimmum skin cleaning is a must; in the end, it's up to the client. If the client chooses to keep their blemishes and scars (and I've witnessed this), more power to them.

Basia Kowalska's picture

Not necessarily want to. Often women are scared into doing so. There are certain attributes in western culture that encourage practices not for health's sake or for the benefit of the individual, but for beauty's sake. Look at things like earrings; not having your ears pierced is irregular and weird, especially after a certain age. There is no difference in hygiene between a woman not shaving her body and a man not shaving his, yet for a girl to walk about with booty shorts and unshaven legs takes a hell of a lot of confidence, because of the taboos we place on going outside of what is "the norm" or "ideal beauty". In a way, it's subliminal "have-to"'s.

Katherine Mann's picture

I can't imagine that National Geographic just prints slides as they were shot. They discourage any sort of photo enhancement except traditional ones - such as dodging and burning ... but if you look at any National Geographic magazine you see the same top notch processing that you have always seen, way back in the days before digital.
As for not using photoshop for any of your photography, and I'm assuming you mean you use no photo processing at all, I assume you shoot in jpg. Most pros shoot in RAW format, to record every bit of information available, and to give us the most latitude in developing. RAW files are never printed as shot - they are more like negatives than finished photos.
Don't imagine that in the good old days the greats didn't pull every trick in the book to produce their finished photographs.

Tony Stagge's picture

why is it a must?

Brian Bray's picture

I'll take obtuse over sarcastic and condescending any day.

Scott's picture

I stick with basic raw adjustments at this point. Overall exposure, shadows, contrast, sharpness. No localized adjustments or advanced editing.

I'm not saying any of that is bad and I may move into some of that but I applaud a magazine seeking to present women and models close to how they actually look.

Rachel Di's picture

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's movie Don Jon is not retouched. I saw many many flaws in terms of that, even Scarlett's tattoo, blurred out with make-up. I guess there was no budget for that, but still it would have been nice to clean it up a bit. Great movie tough.

Remy Musser's picture

Delivering RAW pics in not professional, even back in the film days we were working on the pictures.
Why would anyone deliver unfinished work?

Rick O'Banion's picture

No one gets my RAW images,ever.

mirza indigo's picture

nice one Kath....:)

Daniel Aguilar's picture

i think it should be discussed between the model and the owner of the brand or whatever is being advertised (not necessarily sold) a model should have a say in the way he or she is represented and the owner of the brand should have a say in the way the brand is portrayed. personally i think scars should be worn proudly. They're part of who a person is and tell a story of what they've been through. As far as having flawless skin, there's always going to be opposing views. on one hand we're pushing an idea of what beauty is, and on the other hand some people want that fantasy of a perfect being. Scars and winkles are a real part of life and we should admire them not hide them.

Daniel Aguilar's picture

i think it's more a matter of representing real people. im sure (by looking at some of the images on the website) that the pictures being used are definitely processed.

Daniel Aguilar's picture

i shoot raw, but i set my camera to black and white so i can pay attention to tones and light as i shoot. i worry about the color later.

Katherine Mann's picture

That is a really interesting idea. For an old timer like me I find that I can evaluate a photo in b&W much more easily than in colour. And of course, shooting RAW it's all still there when you get to post processing. I might try that! Thank you.

Daniel Aguilar's picture

:) hope it helps, a lot of the time I end up liking the black and white versions better.

Daniel Aguilar's picture

ive never thought of it that way.

Daniel Walldorf's picture

But that is not the point IMO. I think it is kind of a sick trend, that wherever you look and whatever magazine you are reading, you will never see a real natural woman (or man). I think this can cause some real damage on young people because they see all this women "who made it" and they see how a "beautiful" woman should look like.
I guess it won't harm anybody if there is a magazine that decided to show real women.

Rick O'Banion's picture

So we have to protect women from themselves because they are too feeble minded to understand that pictures and reality are two different things? Women are compelled to improve their looks to compete with other women, not out of fear.

Basia Kowalska's picture

It's not [always] to compete with other women. People are social by nature and by stepping out of the norm you risk being ostracized.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that women are too feeble-minded to understand the difference between a picture and 'reality', as the argument I made relates to both live interaction and uni-sensuous media (and there is quite a distinction between social theory and generalisations about a gender).

Rick O'Banion's picture

They have to be colour corrected, converted to sRGB, colour profiled, resolution optimized and some publishers prefer tiff files. Every printed picture is edited in some way. Cameras and printers do not produce the same image unless the image is adjusted.

Ihab Mokayed's picture

I think it's a challenging thing for the photographers who depend on photoshop too much to complete a big part of their work. While they are forced to get an already stunning result straight out of the camera in here!

Jens Marklund's picture


Jerry Chen's picture

That's awesome! But i am curious if they not retouching the images at all or just the subjects?
(Ex: background flaws or flaws on outfit) Or are they completely nixing all photoshop editing-- color corrections, dodge/burn...ect.

Remy Musser's picture

I'm curious to see how the next Iron Man movie will look like without CGI...

It's only when it comes to photography that people are complaining about retouching.

Sure most of the mags have been overusing Photoshop, but that's not a reason for showing unfinished pictures, there are ways of keeping things natural while using photoshop.

I shoot most of my models with no make-up, I do not reshape the bodies, but a minimum of skin cleaning is a must!

Ariel Martini's picture

still to be seen: a magazine that finally says no to makeup

whitcombemedia's picture

Well most people who buy magazines don't even give a crap. Unless you're a photographer or something, you're not gonna look at the pictures and go "oh that was photoshopped"

Hal Harrison's picture

"Verily never alters the body or face structure of the Verily models.” leaves a whole gamut of things I can change. I could change the color tempature, I can smooth skin, I can do anything except use pixel moving tools.

Will Bremridge-willbphoto's picture

This seems so pointless to me. Photoshop isn't the devil and people retouched photos in a dark room to achieve the desired effect long before digital and photoshop. There's not a clear line that separates retouched photos to non-retouched ones and it's hardly like they are two disciplines fighting against each other. There are plenty of mags that prefer ambient light and very natural looking photos but there's still retouching being done. When someone who clearly knows nothing about photography condescendingly asks me 'do you use photoshop on your pictures?' i just completely ignore them. Photography has never been simply whatever comes out of the camera and so it's not even like this magazine are going back to an original format etc. I'm sure the shots will be great but I cannot see the point in a mag that uses this tag line as its main selling point. i totally understand the point in not altering a person's appearance to achieve a more ideal look but banning photoshop entirely is pointless.

Pete's picture

I want to know how many magazines had been trying to pass of mannequins as real women.

I jest, but I've seen far to much of the usage of the term 'real women' be used in a damaging and unhelpful way. It is often use in an arbitary way, and to attack those not fitting its criteria.

I agree to much photoshop is a bad thing, and a wider range of models should be used, but the term real women needs to fade out as its often used in just as unhelpful way. (Note the article here seems to be using it more reasonbly than most but there are ways to avoid using it at all.

Katherine Mann's picture

If there were as many Photoshop users as there seem to be people with an opinion about "photoshopping" Adobe would be the biggest company on the planet.
That said, I applaud the intention here - manipulating body and face structure perpetuates an unhealthy mythology of what constitutes beauty.

Brian Bray's picture

Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software, and I highly doubt that every image in Verily will be straight out of camera. Don't blame the software, boycott the practice of distasteful excessive retouching instead.

Dishan Marikar's picture

Perhaps they just don't wanna pay for a Creative Cloud subscription :-P

mirza indigo's picture

these models are not real woman. lets not talk about fake in photography, lets talk about fake in life. they dont eat, dont live normal life, dont look normal... thats the real problem, not a clone stamp tool

Norshan Nusi's picture

So they use GIMP now?

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