I got into it with a few people over on LinkedIn about the “ethics” of photoshopped resume photos. Surprisingly enough – I’m totally in favor of it … to some extent, and if the photoshopping isn’t being done to fake something that isn’t there and it’s done honestly. Which – yes I do realize the concept of “honest” photoshopped images is a bit of a Starburst sized contradiction.
An “honest” photoshop job doesn’t hide anything or alter the appearance beyond what could actually be seen under the optimal circumstances in the real world. Here are some real world examples. Here’s someone who looks great – frankly I see no problem at all with this pic. It’d look great for a resume. But… let’s say you’re up for a really awesome job – you just got off the phone and found out the guy going to do the face to face… really has an issue about ANY nose piercings. And the best picture of you that’s even halfway recent is a snapshot – that “Arrgh!” has a piercing. (I am exaggerating here.) Well this is where the slippery slope begins.
Once you decide you need to remove the piercing the guy doing the photo’s gonna offer to fix the color… oh and he can smooth the skin… and… if you want they can take a few wrinkles off. We went from very sincere snapshot… to glamor shot that screams fake – and it’s not as honest as you’d like.
You can see where the completely ethical removal of a nose piercing is now… an “issue”… or is it? It doesn’t have to be. Provided you’re happy with the results and you still look like you. Being glamor shotted up isn’t bad. All that you’ved done with Photoshop is basically what you can do with makeup. Which to me – ethically is okay. But let me offer a compromise. When someone does a glamor shot of you … see if there’s a happy medium between the artificiality of a photoshopped head and makeup – and your own original.
My personal standard rule of thumb is that if I’ve seen make up do the same thing on a person – it’s okay to do with with photoshop. But for those who really want to be “truthful” and use a more honest photoshoping approach – here’s a cool trick to suggest the next time they give you some glamor model look and you just want a nice honest picture. Have them use the “screen” filter like in this shot.
Mind you – it gives a slight over exposed look, so back it down slightly… just a little bit… a little bit… by having them reduce the opacity so the original takes over… and there we go – its’ more “honest”… no fake super model look, but very professional.
Just my 2 cents on it all.