Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Be Thankful for your Features!

Happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the US, and those of you celebrating it abroad.  It is a work day here us, so we always celebrate it on the weekend.

My son had a small Thanksgiving breakfast at school yesterday.  I was in charge of table cloths.  Knowing I can deliver a huge dinner, with Turkey, pies and more, I felt I was cheating somehow just bringing a festive table cloth.  So, I bought two.

We also got back the school pictures this week.  A professional studio in Dubai banks on the market of school pictures here and seems to do well in this.  It is a smart way to boost their business, and they probably get some families that come in for portraits as a result.

I saw the proofs - one head shot, and one upper body.  Both very cute, but of course, I think so because he is my son.  I am very impressed at the over the shoulder look my son gives the camera. They have posed him well.  His hair is so well groomed it looks like they had a stylist on the set.

The prints came back and they are beautiful.  But wait.... the more I look at them, the more something looks different.  It is him, but it is just different somehow.  I see the package every day on my desk waiting for the weekend so it can be framed.

Then yesterday it hit me.  They have photoshopped him too much!  That is why he looks so different.  His face is very soft and angelic-like, and it seems they have photoshopped his nose to the point where it is almost too small.  It does not look unnatural or out of proportion, BUT, this is not my son's nose.

My son is blonde haired and blue eyed.  Just like his father.  He looks just like his father did when he was that age.  A photocopy.  He even has his nose.  Yes, his father is 100% Turk, but most Turks are not blonde and blue-eyed.  In many ways, his nose and it's cute little deviated septum is one of his few physical features that is distinctively Turkish.  They took away his Turkishness!  Not many people would notice the difference, but it is just enough that I can.

As a photographer, yes I use photoshop.  I use it for mild corrections and to enhance colors when I need something to pop out of the frame.  I do not really use it on people.  The only time I have was to photoshop a huge vein sticking out of my own forehead on a snapshot that is now my Facebook profile picture.  Its not something I would usually do, but I do have a pretty big forehead so I thought it best to avoid Neanderthalism on social media.

But to overly photoshop a child's nose?  This just seems wrong.  How are we supposed to teach our children to love themselves just as they are if someone is photoshopping out their ethnic features?  

I will contact the studio as I am curious to see the pre-processed image.  I doubt anything will come of it.  It is not a bad picture, but it is just not quite him.

So on that note, have a great Thanksgiving and be thankful for your God-given features!

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