Photographers, If You Photoshop Your Images Tell the Truth About Them

Be proud of your work and don’t lie about it when asked or confronted about it.

Ah, Photoshop – the digital playground many photographers and media creators use to manipulate, and edit beyond all recognition, the images they spent time taking. There is nothing wrong at all with using Photoshop to alter your pictures, unless, of course, you use it to lie and draw money out of others. Recently, a pretty high-level influencer on Instagram was called out for an incredibly poor Photoshop job, and for somehow duping a client. Join us after the break for all the juicy details.

Applications like Instagram have been the birthplace of many so-called “social media stars.” Being an influencer today is no joke as there is big money involved. Some individuals make well into six figures and beyond. With this in mind, you would think influencers would be careful about the images they share. You would hope that their images were of the highest quality, especially when you consider the amount of money being paid. This is not always the case though, and a recent post on Reddit shows just how bad some people are at Photoshop.

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As you can see, very little care was taken when this image was created. The picture on the left was supposedly a photographer/influencer who had traveled to Paris. They were called out when this picture was first shared on Instagram, but the comments and calling out had little effect. You can see how terrible the cutout is, and that there are no shadows under her in the image. It’s truly awful. What’s even crazier is that a company paid for this. Now, the image on the right was apparently a joke as it was tagged with #icangowheeveriwant. This though shows that there is little remorse about the original lie and deception and that’s incredibly sad.

We, as photographers, have a responsibility. We need to be honest about our work. The world we live in is full of fake news, and fake media. Now, more than ever, we need to stop the charades. We’ve said this before, and we will repeat it: there is nothing wrong with using Photoshop. Photoshop is an incredible tool. With it, you can create truly stunning images. But what has to stop is the constant lying about images being 100% real when they’re not. Especially if money is changing hands.

If you Photoshop your images, please don’t claim that the image was captured in-camera with no manipulation. If you edit exposure values and colors, don’t worry about it. But if you make significant changes, like adding or removing elements, own it and be proud. It takes serious talent to manipulate images so that they look like the real deal. It’s better to take the plaudits for the Photoshopped image than it is to be discovered as a liar and a fraud. Let’s bring some credibility back to our profession and hobby. All we have to do is be honest.