Friday, April 17, 2009

A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words - Tawny Weber

Remember Glamour Shots? Back in my teens, those intriguing mall photostores that an average, every day woman could walk into and be tousled, teased and photographed into looking like a sexy cover model? I remember when they were all the rage to give a significant other a boudoir photo for special occassions. And, if I recall, photo retouching was a part of the package.

Then, photo retouching was 'rare'. Nowadays? Well, who with a computer and digital camera doesn't own a photo editing program? And have you seen the cover of a Cosmo, Glamour or Elle lately? The stars gracing those covers are so smooth and blemish free, its almost surreal. In a way, they're selling a fantasy - a really well edited one *g*

This whole photo editing phenomena inspired the plot of my May Blaze, Going Down Hard. The heroine is being stalked via photographs. The photos are obviously edited, at first very poorly (she comments at one point that the stalker can't even get her head facing the same direction as the kinkily posed body he's pasted it on to). But over the course of the story, the stalker gets more proficient with his editing, and the pictures get more nerve-wracking.

Sierra, my photoshopped heroine, ends up having to agree to a bodyguard so her company won't lose a key client. I had a lot of fun writing this story, but always in the back of my head was the whole 'would I want to be photo edited or not' question.

Oh, definitely not in the 'orgy with chocolate' way that Sierra was. But maybe in more of a magazine cover, the same but improved version of myself. I still haven't decided *g*

So I'm tossing the question to you - if you were asked to do a photo shoot. It could be for an interview, an award or to sell a product, would you want your picture altered? Or not? And why? Let me know, and I'll pick one commenter to win a copy of my May Harlequin Blaze, GOING DOWN HARD.


Helen said...

Hi Tawny

Great question I have had a few photos taken for a couple of awards I have won and I gotta say that they have turned out really nice without any tweaking. I think a good photographer can take a good photo without all the retouching.
I have seen a lot of the glamour shots that my friends have had done and although very nice they really aren't pictures of my friends they are really different.
So to answer the question no I wouldn't want it altered.

I am so looking forward to reading Sierra and Reece's story in Coming Down Hard.

Have Fun

Tawny said...

Hi Helen :-)

I know exactly what you mean. I wonder how much of the art of photography is lost in the photo editing craze? A good photographer understands angles and light and while the photos are great, they still look like the subject.

My dad was a professional photographer *g* I'm partial to the profession LOL.

And thanks so much. I hope you enjoy Sierra and Reece's story!!

Anonymous said...

I can't say I'd protest to my head on Angelina Jolie's body! Does that count?

Caroline said...

Hi Tawny. Umm interesting question. Would I air brush out my double chin for a photoshoot? Yes... No... Umm not sure...maybe. It depends...ummm not sure.. Clear? Good me too!! Caroline x

Tawny said...

MsMoonlight, sure it counts *g* Especially if that body is wrapped around Brad Pitt LOL.

Tawny said...

*g* Caroline, I totally understand what you meant!

kim h said...

i wouldnt mind being a mascot for one day

or on a hair commercial like the patene or revlon

congrats on teh books and great reivews

Tawny said...

Kim, I want hair like they have on those commercials *g* Talk about full and shiny!!

and thank you :-) I appreciate it!!

Ash said...

Ooh I love that title!

Tawny said...

Thanks, Ash. It's the follow up to my April Blaze, Coming On Strong *g*

PJ said...

Hi Tawny! I'm looking forward to reading GOING DOWN HARD!

I've had several professional photos taken over the years in the course of my career and never opted for re-touching. Then, last year my church did a new member directory with Olin Mills taking the pictures. I let the rep talk me into re-touching and did. not. like. it. I'd never do it again but something good came from it. I discovered I really am content with the way I look. :)

Tawny said...

PJ - Isn't that a fabulous thing to know about yourself?!

I had my wedding photo edited, but only the flowers *g* The roses on the arch we were standing under clashed horribly with my wedding bouquet *g* So while I'm willing to make concessions for color coordination, like you, I'm perfectly content with my own image as it really is.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Tawny,

I am what I am, so the world has to take me as I am!

No alterations, except for my new
pants that need to be shortened!

Pat Cochran

Tawny said...

ROFL on the altered pants, Pat :-)

I wouldn't mind altering off the few pounds I've put on with my writing schedule the last year or so... but I want to do that the exercise way, not the computer way.

CrystalGB said...

Yes, I would want my picture altered so I would appear thinner.

Estella said...

I'd want my picture altered to appear younger.

RachieG said...

:) My mom had glamour shots taken...such good memories! :D

After she had hers taken, my cousin came over. Mom was so proud showing them off, and my crazy cousin blurts out..."Who is that?!" Mom didn't know if that was a compliment or a put down, but boy oh boy, did she like telling them that the little hottie in the picture was her! :D

Virginia said...

I don't think I would want the photos altered but a little touch up can't hurt that much! It really depends how much they are going to do to the photo.

Tawny said...

Crystal, my brother once made one of my pictures slimmer -he stretched it out and made me look 7 feet tall... but really skinny *g*

Estella, younger is fun!!

RachieG - ROFL your mom had to have so much fun with that.

Virginia, I've done touch ups on pictures I scrapbook - usually on ones I scan in and they end up a little fuzzy (I can't seem to get my scanner bed clean -the fuzz is on the inside and drives me nuts) and touching up here and there makes it a much cleaner, sharper image.

Marie said...

I'd want them to do some retouching, but not so much that I don't look like myself anymore. Kind of boring when everyone starts looking the same way.

Tawny said...

Oooh, Marie. I like that point. Its our uniqueness that makes us beautiful, yes?

Ash said...

Oh, I forgot to answer the question! I don't think I'd alter the picture all that much. Maybe make my eyes stand out a bit more, but that's it.

Tawny said...

Ash, I love the idea of accenting your best features. I read a lot of scrapbook magazines and have seen some incredible layouts where the artist has made the entire photo black and white, except the eyes. WOW! Talk about impact.

Tawny said...

And the Winner is: Kim H!!! Kim, you've won the copy of Going Down Hard. If you'll email me with your shipping information, with Tote Bags in the subject line, I'll get that right out to you!

Thanks everyone for hanging out today :-)

Michelle Monkou said...

I would have the photo tweaked. We are very visual beings and connect what we say to what we like.

However this may mean getting rid of a blemish vs. sinking in my cheeks for a gaunt look. But I think how far you go with the editing is a reflection on your self image.


Knit Twit said...

I say no now, but I've never been in that situation. I'm honest enough to think it just depends. If it was a photo being sent off to a class reunion that I never planned to attend, hmm. Maybe. I never plan to actually see any of my former classmates again, so why not?

Newspaper or magazine article, no way would I want it retouched. The people who matter to me would see it and know the truth and probably be disappointed in me. And if they weren't, I would be disappointed in myself.