So it's picture day! Yippee! Anyone old enough to remember when you would wear your Sunday Best to school, stand in a long line, have your hair re-combed by an assistant to the photographer and then snap! that was it. Then you waited a month for the photo packet to arrive at school, hoping that you smiled nicely and that your hair was perfect, then you take them home and mom or dad decide what/if they are gonna buy and send in their check?
In hindsight wasn't and isn't the best part when you look back at your middle/high school photos and you had acne, or a crooked tooth, a weird smile, frizzy hair etc? Then you could be grateful for the beautiful swan you turned into. It was also equally great to stumble upon a friends old school photos and laugh your ass off.
Well times are a changing. Now you get a pre-photo-shoot packet with all the ways you can control what your pumpkins photo will look like. Some of it is definitely good stuff; choosing the background, color, style but the one that bothers me is "retouching". Oh hell yeah, basically airbrushing. You decide prior to the photo shoot that your child isn't cute enough so you pre order that his/her photos be retouched.
Now, heres a few issues I have with this.
First off, that retouched perfected version isn't even your child. It is a magazine cover version of your child. What does that say to your child about their appearance, that it needs retouching?
School photos are ridiculously priced as it is but if you want a pretty pic you must pay extra $6 for basic retouching, $12 for Premium retouching. Premium retouching WTF? How do you determine what level your child needs? If they are somewhat fucked up go with basic but if they are really fucked up then roll with the premium.
A quote from the website
"Our digital retouching removes acne, pimples — all blemishes. But please be aware that we cannot remove moles,braces, scars, glass glare or “fly-away” hair."
Do parents really request that the finished product not include fly-away hair or the mole that is by the upper cheek? Or even that their braces disappear? Isn't that what is so great about being a teenager, you haven't quite gotten into your look. You are a work in progress damn it! I wish the world would stop rushing our kids to grow up. Let them have acne and braces, and moles! Get over it "perfect parents" that mole is your child!
Okay what if after paying damn near $50 for some basic ass photo pack an additional $12 is not in the budget? Is that fair that my kids photo won't be as perfect and will even be dull in color compared to the retouched kids? Here is a quote from the photography website to confirm this
"Let the real you shine through — just add retouching to your order for a flawless look on your portraits AND your yearbook photo, too!"
Great so if I go with a normal real photo of my child he will look dull and fucked up compared to all the other retouched kids in the yearbook? Let the REAL YOU shine through!? Are you kidding me? The REAL YOU? Isn't the REAL YOU the one with acne and a crooked eye maybe?
Here is a sample from the website of the REAL YOU.
Yes I will agree that the premium chick is way more pretty than the before chick. But come on, that before chick is really extreme and that's what foundation is for.
Here is a more realistic version of what retouching will do.
Again, as expected the after shot is better, But I think the before shot is more important because that is what the damn boy actually looks like! Maybe I am just not sensitive to this because currently I have been blessed with beautiful clear skinned teenagers. Maybe when the acne sets in I may feel differently.
Another quote from the website:
"Retouching is typically offered through our partner secondary schools, where kids are older and the demand for acne-removal is higher."
Where does it end? Will we soon be shaving off a few pounds from our kids photos, adding to their bussom? Giving them the blue eyes they always wanted? How bout straightening out that crooked nose? How much you wanna bet a few years from now they will be touching up the preschool photos? So tell me will you be retouching your school photos this year?