View Full Version : Blemishes--should they stay or should they go?

8th of March 2009 (Sun), 21:56
I take a lot of photos of high school students during plays, recitals and other events as a favor/service to the students and school. I do minimal post-processing (mostly cropping, noise reduction, sharpening) and then post the photos to a web site that the students, teachers and parents are welcome to visit and download any photos they like. I am not a professional photographer, and I do not sell the photos.

Some of the students in a recent photoshoot had some fairly serious skin blemishes. I did some mild retouching using the repair tool in Aperture, but I was strongly rebuked by my young teenage daughter. Her opinion is that the kids know they have blemishes and if I fix them, I send the message that they look ugly. My opinion is that I don't want a student to be embarrassed, and I am willing to do a modicum of retouching to help keep that from happening.

Asking the students how they would like their photos processed is way too much effort. For what it's worth, I've only heard positive feedback on my photos--I've never heard that a student was upset, and I've never had a student ask me not to take their picture.

Any suggestions?

8th of March 2009 (Sun), 23:05
If by blemishes you mean zits, most pros would go to a little effort to remove them.

You're not sending a signal that your subjects are unattractive, just that you care enough to touch up these temporary things that they usually think are unsightly. If it was scarring or birthmarks or something less temporary then maybe that would be a message you're sending.

If you're not getting paid you're being very generous with your time too.

8th of March 2009 (Sun), 23:53
Yes, I did mean zits. Thanks for the clarification.
This is a high school where I don't mind contributing time and expertise. The school is a Charter that emphasizes both academics and the arts and survives/thrives in part on the contribution of parents. The students and teachers are incredible individuals--I only wish my photos could better capture the skill and spirit that they bring to events.

9th of March 2009 (Mon), 07:25
Definitely not a problem here. GG man :).