Anyone who has picked up a magazine with photographic content is well aware of the amount of retouching and massaging that goes into many of the photos displayed in advertisements or in editorial features. But at what point does the 'retouching' go too far?
Model Coco Rocha was shocked when she discovered that an image of her taken for the cover of Elle Brazil had been retouched in order to show much more skin than she had anticipated. So much so, that she decided to take to her tumblr and publicly post the following:
Coco is quite adamant that they had gone so far as to breach her verbal and written 'no nudity' contract. We haven't seen a response anywhere from Elle or the photographers and retouchers involved.
Do you think the photo itself is too risque? Do you feel that Coco has a legitimate concern? I can see both sides of the issue. I feel that there was a lack of communication and trust between the model and magazine, yet I also feel that she must have known that retouching and adding and removing of certain elements is incredibly commonplace in this industry. Popphoto.com was able to get in touch with someone who claims to be a senior photo editor at a top fashion magazine.
"We spoke to a senior photo editor at a top women’s fashion magazine who told us, on the condition of anonymity, that she couldn’t believe it either, but more because she was surprised that Roche didn’t assume, or guess, that this would happen. The editor told us that it’s common practice for a model to wear a bodysuit under a dress like that, and that, particularly if the bodysuit is not part of the look’s design, it is understood that it will be removed during postproduction. It is, after all, a fashion magazine, and the photo must look like the dress. Particularly, said the editor, when it’s an image that’s being shot for the cover."
I'm tempted to agree with parts of the above quote, however, I wasn't in the room when the shoot happened so I can't say for sure if her wishes were completely thrown out the window or not. She is absolutely entitled to having her wishes respected, but she must know that this sort of thing could happen in her line of work, where retouching and altering is the norm.
I've scoured the internet for some sort of a 'before' picture so that we can really see how much retouching is at play (and so that we can all really have a firm opinion on this), but as of midnight, May 13th, I've seen no such photo, and unfortunately I don't expect one to surface. Here is the cover as it went to press:
What do you think? Completely acceptable, or was the end result of the retouching far out of line?