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The Reality of Models and their Skin

Posted 03-26-2008 at 12:28 PM by cricket1961

At my seminar in Vegas last January, a lot of the attendees sort of gasped really loud at the before shots of some of the images I have worked.

Loud and very audible from at least 50 feet away.

Quite amusing really and at the same time quite a eye opener for me. You see, most of the class were already involved with what they called "Hi End Beauty Retouching" or were Photographers in the industry. Their response took me by as much surprise s the images did them I believe.

The reality is that the vast majority of models out there do NOT have good skin, never mid perfect or flawless. Usually no where near it.

Are there models out there that make it easy for retouchers? Sure. But far and few between and usually out of most photographers price range.

Are there every day people like you and me in the world that have better skin than some models? Oh yeah. The vast majority of us is my belief.

Just to inject at this point, having a 22 or 30 or higher mega-pixel camera is NO guarantee that you will automatically get flawless skin. You are better off with spot on lighting and a good makeup artist to minimize.

Most of the models out there are chosen more for their bone structure and aesthetics than their skin. Or their weight. Or their height.
Hair color, shape of the mouth, and such are more important than how beautiful your skin is unless of course you are shooting for a makeup line. ( and even then I have touched up some dreadful skin)

I have done Beauty retouching to models who are overweight, out of shape, had a hair makeover disaster (or nails), and the list goes on.

But the one thing they ALL had in common were beautiful and classic bone structure. Someone who no matter how they presented themselves would look like she spent a lot of time doing it. Even at the bare bones level. ( no pun intended... sorry)

When I lived in Ct I was asked several times to talk to women's groups or at schools about the
" apparent attempt to influence how we feel about ourselves visually" by the media.
At the majority of most of them when it ended there were more comments on the line of "we do it to ourselves" more than "The media was to blame". They understood that it wasn't a weight issue as much as many were lead to believe. or that you needed to be over 5'9" to be thought of as perfect.

Granted that that is not ALWAYS the case, but it is the larger reality of things.

But back to Retouching and Skin...

There isn't going to be a guarantee that you will get flawless skin ever. Most likely you will get what you have already been seeing, good all around skin with acne and scars (possibly), but mostly skin that you and I already have.

I really hope that none of you get the skins I have had to work on. But you will get a chance because they surely will be on my skin dvd coming soon.


Posted in Uncategorized
Views 12169 Comments 10
Total Comments 10


  1. Old Comment
    Janet Petty's Avatar
    It seems as if youth today are very insecure about who they are, even more so than when I was young. The images portrayed by so-called ideal looking models give fuel to the identity confusion. Your comments are spot on. I wish more youth could see the reality of your work instead of striving for an unrealistic image that affects not only their outward appearance but who and what they are inside as well. Thank you.
    Posted 03-26-2008 at 04:41 PM by Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
  2. Old Comment


    Hello cricket,

    Where can I see some of your befores and afters?

    Thanks a bunch!

    Kristina Sherk
    Washington DC Headshots
    Posted 07-31-2008 at 09:17 AM by DC_Headshots DC_Headshots is offline
  3. Old Comment
    I'm doing a school project on the retouching of images. Basically to what extent it is used in the media and what effects this can have on audiences; such as self-esteem issues, etc.
    I have personally been shocked by a lot of images I have seen and was wondering if you would be interested in answering a few questions I have, as I need an "insider's" view for my project.
    I would be very grateful for your time and would be able to send you the questions over e-mail or blog.
    Please let me know either way, thankyou.
    Posted 11-24-2008 at 11:22 AM by kat91 kat91 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    cricket1961's Avatar
    Sure thing Kat91.
    Posted 12-01-2008 at 12:15 PM by cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Hello everyone, I just subscribed. Just a few minutes ago, I was searching the web for advice on how to retouch hair to make the model look as though her hair was flowing when I ran into retouchpro. Does anyone have any techniques they can share with me? Also I am new to photoshop, in fact I have Photoshop elements 6 that I work with and I am pleased with it so far. I haven't mastered it yet, but I have been working with healing to fix skin blemishes, paint brush to airbrush skin that gives the appearance of makeup and non destructive doge and burn. I would love to learn more.

    At the moment I am shooting a calrendar with Brides and I really must do well in my retouching work.

    Thank you for the invitation to get acquainted with you. Don't be a stranger, get in touch!
    Posted 07-29-2009 at 03:16 PM by Janice Kendrick Janice Kendrick is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Nice post... Im' wondering people screamed mad at you because the difference between before and after? I don't know if I'm misunderstanding that part because my english or what. How could people act that way!? Quite weird... you did a seminar about skin retouching as far as I understand, so what they wanted to find there...

    By the way, there are quite a lot asians having flawless skin. In fact, asians have the most polished skin. I have read that in some enciclopedya =D
    Posted 08-06-2009 at 01:58 PM by Quantum3Studio Quantum3Studio is offline
  7. Old Comment
    cricket1961's Avatar
    Quantum. They gasped because everyone thinks models have perfect skin already.
    Posted 08-07-2009 at 08:42 PM by cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Hello everyone, I have recently run into a tutorial that shows how to create a skin texture using noise and embossing at the latest steps in creating flawless skin. I don't remember the link but when I rediscover it I will let you know. The results look very nice. I didn't have to download any skin actions. I think I'll pactice with this new tool. I'll let you know the results! Have a wonderful day!
    Posted 08-10-2009 at 07:57 AM by Janice Kendrick Janice Kendrick is offline
  9. Old Comment
    stevecavalcanti's Avatar
    Is funny this subject ,my mother used to be a famous model in my country and in that time choose a model was difficult because they really needed to be flawless or at least look like this with makeup and light ,and my mom used to say that one spot in her face was a desaster ,so find people who could combine multiple beauty signals was a bit hard ! but today not even more models are required for commercials anymore,actors can now play the models because the computer can make them model material ! I work doing retouch but always try to be sensitive and show the person in their best but not playing the extreme makeover !! new in this community and site ,so HELLO GUYS IM STEVE
    Posted 09-15-2009 at 01:28 PM by stevecavalcanti stevecavalcanti is offline
  10. Old Comment
    I have Photoshop Elements 12 and wanted to know if anyone knows how to retouch skin by separation (I think that is the term) anyway. Can I do that with the program that I have?
    Posted 05-11-2015 at 08:02 PM by Janicek Janicek is offline

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