Artistic vs. Untouched Photos in Reviews

Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Since coming back to the site I've been trying to make my reviews a lot more creative because it's always a fun challenge. It's also a great reason to break out the camera and snap some photos. (Once upon a time I was a photo major in college.)

The one thing I've been wondering is if people enjoy artistic or untouched photos. Over the top photo editing might not be a great idea (products with color in black and white, overly artistic filters, elaborate borders and designs, etc.) but I think it's fun to capture the true beauty of something, whether it be lingerie, toys, or BDSM gear. A good example for comparison are the customer images on this page that I contributed to. I always try to capture the true color and details that can be lost in untouched photos, and fix any blur and bad lighting.

For lingerie a comparison would be these untouched photos from an old review and this photo for a review I'm working on.

What's your opinion? Do you enjoy artistic photos or do you like them unedited?
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
I appreciate artistic photos on reviews! They're so pretty!
Badass , Silverdrop , Ms. N , Master DarkWolf , Alura Une , Missmarc
6  (11%)
I can deal with a little photo editing, but not much.
sktb0007 , Zombirella , Terri69 , Beck , blacklodge , mmike1900 , Missy May , Nazaress , SilverMinxxx , Rossie , MistressDandelion , Kitka , ToyTimeTim , sunkissedJess , xOhxSoxScandalousx , LovesAPoet , Elnoa , Arch600 , ellejay , lilly555 , Chirple , November , Adriana Ravenlust , DreamWolf , XYCopperheadSly , True Pleasures , Stinkytofu10 , Raigne , Djiffy , DeliciousSurprise , Gracie , darthkitt3n , padmeamidala , dhig , humblepie , PeaceToTheMiddleEast , Crystal1 , aliceinthehole , northstar , solitudinarian , *Camoprincess* , TheSinDoll , TheHardOne , nanamondoute
44  (77%)
I really don't like artistic photos at all.
js250 , ghalik , sweetiejo , Geogeo , Starkiller87 , indiglo
6  (11%)
I don't care either way.
Incendiaire
1  (2%)
Total votes: 57
Poll is closed
04/17/2012
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sktb0007 sktb0007
I prefer untouched photos but if a photo has a bit of editing, I can deal with it. As long as the part of the photo that has the product in it hasn't been played around with (like you were saying, changing colours, etc). Borders and whatnot are a-okay with me though (I don't edit my photos but it does look pretty in other peoples reviews lol).
04/17/2012
Annemarie Annemarie
I saw some review recently that had like, sparkly .gif borders on every. single. picture. (and there were many photos). It annoyed me so bad, I didn't even finish reading it.

I'd prefer relatively untouched. Compensating for blur, lighting, exposure, whatever, is all fine. A watermark is okay, as long as it's not obnoxious. Skip the sparkly .gif borders and other unnecessary stuff. It makes me feel like they're compensating for a bad text review.
04/17/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
I like them as long as the colors aren't altered. Like Annemarie said, the sparkly, animated things aren't something I'm crazy about.
I have seen some nicely edited ones here. I would add to mine but I don't have a program to do that and the free one I used is either shut down or shutting down soon and I don't do much photo editing other than cropping and red-eye removal so I don't have any need to purchase a program.
04/17/2012
js250 js250
I like untouched photos, just because they load faster, look more accurate and we get enough retouched pics on the product pages. I realize you are talking about nicely and tastefully retouching for artistic purposes, maybe you could do a couple artistic and a couple basic and untouched to make everyone happy????
04/17/2012
Terri69 Terri69
I don't mind them as long as it doesn't really change the item as far as color and size
04/17/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
A photo can be artistic without being manipulated.
04/17/2012
ghalik ghalik
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
A photo can be artistic without being manipulated.
Yes, this.

If the editing draws attention to itself, it's too much. You're photographing a product. If you're going to edit, it should make the photo better, not more fancy/decorative/prett y/etc.
04/17/2012
Missy May Missy May
I really like what you did with the hog tie photos, but I think the lingerie photo takes away from the main focus and makes you want to focus on the picture as a whole, not just how the lingerie fits... does that make sense?
04/17/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Missy May
I really like what you did with the hog tie photos, but I think the lingerie photo takes away from the main focus and makes you want to focus on the picture as a whole, not just how the lingerie fits... does that make sense?
Yeah, it's just that I had to do a lot of editing to those because I have crappy lighting that I'm trying to work out because my pictures get blurry and lose contrast, brightness, and color. With better lighting I wouldn't have to do much.

I always try to preserve as much as I can with the photos. Sometimes the true colors and such don't come through on unedited stuff.
04/17/2012
Nazaress Nazaress
I said that I can deal with photo-editing but not much. And really, the editing can only be dumb little things that don't matter (or at least don't change the item and how it wears/looks/etc., such as getting rid of blur and bright spots). So mostly, I don't like photo-editing, ESPECIALLY on lingerie items. If I wanted to see a fake-looking or hard-to-comprehend photo of the lingerie piece, I'd look at the model photos. I want to see the piece AS IT IS and how it looks on an actual person without any distracting overlays or Photoshopping of the body and lingerie. That's why when I take my pictures for lingerie, I'm not in some deceiving sexy pose and I don't touch up anything. I am standing front, side, and back, like any other big (or small) girl would, because we are not always posing seductively (and thus making certain parts look better) when we're wearing lingerie. Sometimes, we're just standing there and that's how I want to see lingerie, at its most natural. Anyway, I got kind of carried away but I've had that opinion for a while and never had the opportunity to bring it up. It seemed to tie in with the topic at hand since it can make an item look better than it really does.
04/17/2012
SilverMinxxx SilverMinxxx
I like a little photo editing.
04/17/2012
sweetiejo sweetiejo
I don't like photo-editing on reviews. I like straightforward pictures of the product, bad light, or good light it needs to be shown either way. When it comes to lingerie I like plain and simple.
04/17/2012
Badass Badass
Personally, I love a good artistic photo.
04/17/2012
unfulfilled unfulfilled
For lingerie reviews, I prefer them to not be edited because I want to know what the true colors are and what it looks like on a real person instead of a photoshopped version of a person that the product pages have.
04/17/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Quote:
Originally posted by Badass
Personally, I love a good artistic photo.
So do I, but not in a review where I am more concerned with accuracy.

@Lilac Distraction
Of the two sets of lingerie photos you linked above, I prefer the first set (with the yellow background). The edited photo is really nice and I probably wouldn't mind seeing it added to the product page, however I don't think it is anywhere near as helpful as the photos in the first set.

If you're having trouble with lighting and blurring, consider placing your camera on a table and using the shutter delay setting. Most digital cameras have a 10 second delay setting, and with a little practice it's more than enough time to press the button and get into position.
04/17/2012
Rossie Rossie
I just need clear images and true colors on the pictures. Fancy flashing borders are cool, but they give me a headache!!!

And I agree with Petite Valentine, the first set of your lingerie photos are better.
04/17/2012
Antipova Antipova
I'd like an "other" option---I really love the angles and framing and how you composed the hogtie photos, but my gut instinct (without seeing the unedited shots) is that I would probably prefer them unedited. I love your photographic artistry in general (mine are always so straight-view and boring), but the fewer color filters etc I think the more helpful they'll be for me.
04/17/2012
Kitka Kitka
I prefer images that are barely touched up. Some nice borders or tags labeling things in the photo are fine but using different filters may cause problems with what the actual item in question looks like.
04/17/2012
Silverdrop Silverdrop
I think you've done a good job on the editing, but I doubt it's a skill most of us have. So I guess my actual answer would have been 'I like it if the photographer knows what they're doing'.
04/17/2012
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by unfulfilled
For lingerie reviews, I prefer them to not be edited because I want to know what the true colors are and what it looks like on a real person instead of a photoshopped version of a person that the product pages have.
The only problem with untouched ones is that they can often distort the colors of the item depending on the lighting and white balance used. Whenever I edit my photos I try to get it as close to the actual color as possible. Sometimes I'll blur the background so it puts more emphasis on the lingerie piece itself.

That and I'm working with a shitty iPhone camera and bad lighting so the unedited photos would look terrible.
04/17/2012
Arch600 Arch600
Quote:
Originally posted by Petite Valentine
A photo can be artistic without being manipulated.
Exactly!

I'm all for making photos a little fun. Editing to correct color or make the pic represent the product as accurately as possible is a good reason to 'shop. As long as it doesn't misrepresent the item or take center stage, I don't mind at all.
04/17/2012
lilly555 lilly555
There's a fine line here. I like to keep the color the same and only add a border for effect if its a toy, lingerie product, or one of the first reviews on the product. But I have taken liberties for bath and body reviews where I was one of many to write on it with pictures. Even then I try to keep it clear. So I would say edit but may sure to keep it light and clear for the reader.
04/17/2012
Ms. N Ms. N
I am fine with photos being edited as needed, as long as it doesn't leave a misleading view of the product, as some of the photos on the product pages do for the lingerie. If it is sheer, we need to know it.
04/17/2012
Chirple Chirple
For your photographs, I wish they were sharper. It's hard to see the detail in them. I read that you're working with a not-so-great camera, but you might have good success with various tools (unsharp mask, spot-touching with a brush).

I like your artistic picture, and I think it would be good in a review as long as there were other sharp and clear pictures without manipulation as well.

It's sort of like the adult videos vs. video reviews. I think both have benefit and a place.
04/17/2012
Adriana Ravenlust Adriana Ravenlust
I think it depends on what you're showing. There's less to learn about an item, like that hog-tie set, from photos. So some editing just makes it pretty. With lingerie, people like to see a LOT of detail and too much editing will prove distracting
04/17/2012
Master DarkWolf Master DarkWolf
I like artistic photos, but I don't find them necessary.
04/17/2012
DreamWolf DreamWolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Master DarkWolf
I like artistic photos, but I don't find them necessary.
Yup, when not overly applied... ^^
04/17/2012
Geogeo Geogeo
I prefer untouched photos. As well as not-so-close-up photos so you can see the overall appearance (specifically for clothes), which I know is difficult if you're taking the pics alone. Artistic videos bother me a little too.
04/18/2012
Raigne Raigne
I like them edited only when the editing helps it more accurately reflect the real product. I know the company photos are rarely perfectly accurate, and I depend on reviews to let me see an item in different lighting, on a real body, or in comparison to a similar item.
04/18/2012
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Total posts: 43
Unique posters: 37