No Photoshop Please, We’re French

In 2009, French lawmakers proposed a law that photographs where a model— the key word is “model” not your aunt Sally—has been photoshopped be labeled as such. In 2017, that law is now going into effect. The BBC reports that the Photoshop rule does not apply to the removal of blemishes being or retouching to hair.

France 24 reports that as of October 1, 2017, anyone who publishes a photo in which Photoshop is used to “either slim or flesh out” a model’s body without labeling will be subject to a €37,500 or $44,000 fine.

Another law approved in January 2016 went into effect in May that requires models—again models not Aunt Sally—present a doctor’s certificate attesting to their good health, in particular their Body Mass Index. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat for adult men and women that’s based on height, weight and age. My BMI is at a “marginally elevated level” but says that I’m “overweight.”

Portrait retouching has been around since Mathew Brady added color to create rosy checks on the subjects he photo-graphed using the Daguer-reotype process—maybe even before that. And I find that I use some Photoshop retouching on almost every portrait I make. But I also happen to think that make-up can make more of a difference than retouching. Please take a look at my post “Better Portraits Through Makeup & Retouching” if you have the time.

For today’s example, the top image was made before makeup and the below image was after makeup and retouching that should meet French standards, or maybe not. Image was created using essentially the same lighting and the same background. Camera was a Canon EOS 50D with EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens and an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/11 and ISO 100. The “after” image was lightly retouched using Photoshop’s Clone and Healing brushes. Saturation was kicked up a notch using Vivenza and then the Glamour Glow filter from Color Efex Pro was applied.

Available Light Glamour PhotographyThat same model appears inside and on the cover of my book “Available Light Glamour Photography.” that’s available from Amazon with new non-Prime copies priced at $17.58 (plus shipping.) If they’re scooped up by the time you get there, used copies are selling for $10.50 (plus shipping,) about half of the Prime price.

Author: Joe Farace

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