General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Photoshop for online da[color=black]ting[/color] photos

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Curious on the opinions here.

I have a friend trying out online dating.  We've been working on her profile, and I've been taking photos for her.  With these photos, I've been doing a bit of retouching (softening blemishes, whitening teeth, removing a couple of pounds, lightening the circles under the eyes, etc.).  Nothing to the point where you'd end up seeing the person in person and even know the photos were retouched - you'd just assume she had a good photo day.  (Or in this case, consistently good photo days). But if you saw the original photo you would know.

How unethical do you find this?  Is it rude to represent yourself with only edited photos? I figured it was fine since if she went out to a professional photographer to get a set taken, the same thing would happen.

Well, I think it depends.  I would assume that people sometimes post pictures that were professionally taken that are probably touched up.  I'd have no problem if they had a huge zit on their nose that you photoshopped out...that zit is not normally there.

But, if you are making your friend appear decades younger or significantly changing body proportions and weight appearance, then I don't think it's very ethical.

But ethics and etiquette are not the same...even if one plays into the other.

I'd be ok with pretty much all but the weight retouching.  Is it really necessary and did she ask for these changes specifically?  They're going to see her, and I would be pretty ticked off with a friend who photoshopped me skinnier when I didn't specifically ask. 

It's not a significant amount of weight.  Basically the difference in appearance of standing up straight and slouching, or holding your arm hard against your side and holding it out.  About that much slimming.

She said she still wanted to look like her, but on a good day and said maybe 5 pounds taken off. Not retouching to the point that someone meeting friend would even know the photos had been retouched.

I think this isn't about etiquette, but I wouldn't do anything other than maybe brightening the photo. This is assuming your friend is looking for a relationship offline at some point. Her dates will meet her and I would hate for their first reaction to be, "I expected someone thinner (or with clear skin, _____).


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