Photoshop in the Ad World

John Knoll's photo: Jennifer in Paradise, the first photoshopped photograph
By Sara Rider   |   April 21, 2015

by Sara Rider

For those of us who work in advertising, Photoshop has long been a way of life.  The big donor you photographed for the cover of the college magazine doesn’t look quite young enough?  No problem.  The physician featured in an ad doesn’t like his hairline?  Easy to fix.  The CEO thinks her teeth aren’t white enough.  Changed in an instant.  And I’m sad to say that this has become so routine, I don’t even think about it anymore.  I don’t wonder about the fantasy world we’re creating, or the fact that few (if any) photos that we see published are “real.”  It’s not photojournalism—it bears no resemblance to the courses I took in college.  But then, I’m not even sure that photojournalism is still photojournalism.

This spring marks the 25th anniversary of the launch of Photoshop.  So we thought we’d share two articles that take two different view points about the nipping and tucking that we have all come to expect.  One is a comprehensive piece from The Washington Post.  The other is a blog post from The Mayo Clinic — which takes a different look at the whole societal fixation with body image.


photo credit: Jennifer in Paradise — the picture Photoshop co-creator John Knoll took of his future wife Jennifer in Bora Bora. 

Sara Rider

About the Author

Sara Rider, Vice President at DeLaune & Associates, has written extensively for the healthcare, financial, non-profit, and technology industries for more than 30 years.

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