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Photography - better than reality?

"It’s important to understand that the body type illustrated is NOT realistic."
"It’s important to understand that the body type illustrated is NOT realistic."
Photographer Sarah Brown, Model Priscilla Ahn

Although it’s important to understand how fashion photography has the power to transform and boost self esteem, it’s also important to understand how fashion photography imagery can be misleading.

Images aren’t always what they seem. We’ve grown up in a culture that surrounds us with beautiful images telling us what the ideal body type and look are and how we must achieve it. We’ve been told our whole lives that the media alters images, but do we really know to what extent?

Thanks to programs like Photoshop, editors have the ability to stretch photos, making the models appear thinner or larger than reality. They have the ability to create fuller lips, stronger check bones, longer necks, brighter eyes, softer skin, and change original colors. Different angles and lighting techniques can create misleading impressions, typically making the images seem better than reality. Of all photographs published in a magazines, 99% have been edited, creating a false message.

The sole purpose of advertising photography is to sell the material in the photos or to sell the actual magazine. The art of photography is making the product look better than it actually is. And today, more than ever, photographers and editors have mastered that skill.

While we can still gain fashion inspiration from the clothing and accessories photographed, it’s important to understand that the body type illustrated is not realistic. Nor should anyone compare themselves to high-fashion models.

Next time you flip open a fashion magazine looking for inspiring pieces, remember, it’s the clothing and accessories in fashion is that has the power to transform; not body type.



  • HonkyTonk 5 years ago

    yes, it's the clothing and fashion and not the body type that transforms an image.

  • sam 5 years ago


  • Amanda - Indianapolis Healthy Living Examiner 5 years ago

    A good reminder to all of us. There is no way to reach an ideal that isn't real.

  • GaBe 5 years ago

    yeah true ... I fully agree..