Bizzarre Series of Portraits Shows Adults ‘Shopped to Look Like Toddlers


Photoshop wizard Cristian Girotto‘s photo series L’Enfant Extérieur (the outer child) takes his subjects’ inner children and brings them, quite literally, to the surface. In the series, Girotto explores what adults would look like if men and women never left the cuteness of infancy — at least in some respects. Each photo, originally captured by photographer Quentin Curtat, shows the subject ‘shopped to look like a toddler.

The resulting images are cute with a big dash of creepy:


















L’Enfant Extérieur can be taken several ways: from a fun experiment in Photoshop to an exploration of the “nature of purity and the unavoidability of corruption.” But whatever your deeper meaning, at its core, the series helps us envision a different kind of world. As Michele Panella writes in the description on Girotto’s website:

L’ Enfant Extérieur … show[s] us a world of men in the shape of children, as if the body could slip on the ugliness of life, less expected to imagine big fawn’s eyes winking in the night clubs or little chubby hands shaking in the offices.

You can find more of Girotto’s work over on his website.

L’Enfant Extérieur by Cristian Girotto (via Mashable)

Photo credits: Images by Cristian Girotto

  • Reallyenjoyedthatpost

    Fantastic! Keep up the good work!

  • MMielech

    No way. much creepier.

  • Hugo Cuellar Rodriguez

    I love these! great photography & great editing skills.
    The 5th looks like Ellie from Disney’s “Up” :)

  • Hugo Cuellar Rodriguez

    Someone’s jealous cause they live under a rock.

  • Bill Binns

    Awesome! Anyone who thinks these don’t take skill to produce has rocks in their head. I have been using Photoshop for 10 years and couldn’t come close to pulling this off. The underlying photographs are excellent as well, perfectly lit and look almost like Dan Winter’s portraits.

  • Alan

    Well, he studied the works of Loretta Lux very well.

  • DamianM

    I am not jealous. No need to be.
    I am just amazed of the praise this work is getting.

    I love photography truly
    Its not photography anymore and just a mockery of the medium.

    and this is the problem with the internet as well. nobody say anything bad because they are considered jealous or a$$**** or simple jerks but that not fair and this kind of work should stop being babied.

    Suck it up I don’t see this as a major photographic achievement, its more of a bad joke.

  • dudung10

    damn he good at shop,

  • Alana Dill

    They all seem to look like Elijah Wood.

  • Josh

    People can be such negative jerks. Why can’t people just have fun in Photoshop anymore without a huge discussion about what is real art/photography?

  • Lj Hamilton

    The clue is in the text…

    “Photoshop wizard Cristian Girotto‘s photo series L’Enfant Extérieur
    (the outer child) takes his subjects’ inner children and brings them,
    quite literally, to the surface. In the series, Girotto explores what
    adults would look like if men and women never left the cuteness of
    infancy — at least in some respects. Each photo, originally captured by
    photographer Quentin Curtat, shows the subject ‘shopped to look like a toddler.”

    NO-ONE is claiming this is a photo gallery of Quentin Curtat’s work, rather a Photoshop gallery of Cristian Girotto’s work. This is an art in its own right.

  • Chris

    We’ve been having this discussion in our camera club and it’s been a great debate.

    My opinion, which is probably just semantics, is that this is photography, but it’s not a photograph. “Photography” I think is anything involving the use of a camera as the primary instrument. The result of photography can be a photograph (minimal processing like cropping, dodging, burning), but the result can also be an image (composite, digital manipulation, addition/subtraction of major elements).

    Either way, and regardless of the label, I see both falling under the larger umbrella of “art.”

    But, this is just my opinion.

  • DamianM

    I believe it was photography, now its just an image.
    Also just images to show off the retouching skills for the pure sake of commission, so it isnt art nor photography after all.

  • Maituk

    In the world of photography, as it has been since the invent of the medium. There seems to be a misunderstanding of the difference between photography, photo design, graphic design, photo enhancement, and many other venues. Each begins with one thing. The image captured. The moment captured. It is the eye that captures. It is the mind which creates, manipulates or changes. Purpose is simple. The artist see what they want to see, or change. The photographer captures the moment, and changes nothing. Artist changes to suit their eyes or vision. The photographer captures without change. Thus said, no one is right or wrong. It is a perception based on one’s own thoughts. A real photographer can see without seeking. An artist changes to suit vision of what they think they see. Just saying.

  • Maituk

    I don’t agree. A photographer see, and captures the moment. A graphic artist takes that photo and manipulates it for purpose of sale. Whether film or digital. Technology vs eyes. What would those with digital cameras do when all their batteries die. Would they be able to use film? Probably not.

  • Matt Katzenberger

    >What would those with digital cameras do when all their batteries die. Would they be able to use film? Probably not.

    That’s absurd. Firstly, photography is about understanding color and composition, not about what gear you use. Anyone who is good with any medium of photography will adapt fine to others as soon as they learn the technology. Film to digital or digital to film, it doesn’t matter.

    And the batteries dying thing is just silly. What would happen to film photography if everyone ran out of film?

  • Maituk

    It is my opinion, after 27 years in this area, that most which claim to be photographers, are only graphic artists. Photoshop has killed the real photographers. Film is still the way to go. Can’t change that which is already perfect. Photoshop, which I do use for making posters, and such, is not being a photographer. Anyone with experience can take a photo from someone else, (copyright infringement and change it. Doesn’t make the a photographer. Makes them a graphic designer. Using the eyes of someone else to make copies and sell them, no pawn, their pieces off as their own. Fraud

  • Maituk

    It is obvious you are young, and new at this. Preaching to the choir is not a way to express. Respect the knowledge of those which have seen, and not so much by what is written in books. You do have the ability to use the technical things written in books. Makes a good clone. Check out 500px, and look at real artists.
    Much like, well……..I have seen your pieces, and have seen your website. Looks like millions of others. It is also obvious the facts have been overlooked by the facade which I was attempting to express. Your pieces are good, I won’t deny that. Unfortunately, no originality. Might as well make a copy of someone else’s work, make some changes in Photoshop and pawn it off as your own. You have a lot to learn. You have talent, I won’t deny that. I suggest you find your own eyes, and not replicate others. I wish you success, and hope you keep on doing your own. You have talent. Get away from fallacy, and seek honesty. This comment does not require, nor warrant a malicious, nor repugnant response. Speak with results, not malicious inuendo’s

  • Matt Katzenberger

    I’m definitely inexperienced with photography, having only been at it a few years, but I do take offence to what you’re saying.

    Firstly, youth has nothing to do with my opinions on this issue. Photography is a fluid art, and isn’t limited to what you can do with the camera, but also what you can do with photoshop and/or in a darkroom. That’s just the way it is.

    I take issue with the implication that being young means being naive. I take issue with you making this personal.

    >Unfortunately, no originality. Might as well make a copy of someone else’s work, make some changes in Photoshop and pawn it off as your own.

    That’s not a helpful criticism. That’s an insult, an intentional one, and someone as (presumably) old and experienced as yourself should know that. Telling someone they might as well steal other people’s work? That’s shameful.

    I’m sorry but this is nonsensical. I don’t see what bringing my hobby into this discussion has anything to do with what we were talking about before.

    >Get away from fallacy, and seek honesty. This comment does not require, nor warrant a malicious, nor repugnant response. Speak with results, not malicious inuendo’s

    Your comment very much deserves a harsh response, given it didn’t even have anything to do with what we were talking about, but regardless I’m done arguing with you. You’ve proven yourself unable to carry on a reasonable discussion on a set topic, and would rather call out a young photographer’s inexperience then answer the challenge to your argument.

  • Maituk

    A photographer sees the whole image, not what they want to see. You didn’t see what was written. Only what you wanted to see. I had given a lot of praise to you, yet you saw only what you wanted to see. I don’t criticize. As I said, “you have talent.” You didn’t see that. Let it go. There was no insults here. Nor was it personal. To be personal, I would have had to actually meet you. Some times, it takes a realistic look at things to remove the clutter of non-existence. A photographer see’s beyond what they have been taught and have been conditioned to see. Look at the works of Ansel Adams. Norman Rockwell, and other great artists. I don’t take your response personal or malicious. For the record, I don’t use Photoshop. Don’t have to. Everything is done manually in the camera. No effects. No changes. Minor ones is post production. See beyond what you think you know or see. I DO’NT CRITICIZE. Criticism comes from those with no experience. Also, at no time did I say “YOU” were doing this. I just made mention that millions with IPOD’s and Photoshop think, just because they snap a picture, they are photographers. NOT. No more discussion on this matter. I wish you success, and keep on shooting.

  • kw

    how to flatten boobs? must be lots of tedious touching and drawing, no?

  • autumnbringer

    That’s funny, all the film cameras I’ve owned used batteries too.

  • Daniel Thomassin

    original et bien fait!du bon travail jaime

  • Tyrone

    All you haters… Get a grip. We are well beyond the point of purity in imaging. The day has passed, gone, dead and buried. Like it or lump it, sure as death and taxes the original form of photography is but a memory and history has shown time and time again… Adapt or die… I shoot film often. I shoot Polaroids often too. I shoot it for me, because I can and because I want to… But clients want to be edited, magazines want tweaks and mods at the very very very least. This blokes colour management, lighting, casting, editing and post production, framing and posing is spot on for the brief. That my friends is the epitome of a consummate professional. Just because he isn’t getting around on a fixed wheel bicycle, wearing vintage aviators, corduroy pants, a mighty-mouse t-shirt, scribbling in a moleskin, recycling Helmut Newton quotes and shooting with a 1960’s Hasselblad and expired film sourced from a vinyl dealer in east village, doesn’t make the guy any less of an artist. GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!

  • J Patrick Nessia Gatdula

    Those great photographers you mentioned might not use Photoshop but they all certainly used one form of technology to capture their imagination. May it be a pinhole camera or a super powerful retouching program… they used technology to enhance their art form.

    There was also an article I read about Ansel Adams a few years back (and a few coffee table books) where he credited a lot of his work due to his eventual mastery of his camera – learning to adjust lighting, shutter speed and aperture to get it right. He would take hundreds of shots before deciding on the perfect one which he would then take to the dark room to print the perfect print.

    So may it be film or digital… analog darkroom or digital darkroom… they are just tools to produce an art form. I believe that those who look down on digital retouching are those who are threatened by a new tool and are too lazy to compete and to evolve their art.

  • J Patrick Nessia Gatdula

    Art is the the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. It’s art… his art. Even you said it showed off some kind of skill to produce an image. Stop being so arrogant. Go learn Photoshop so you know that it’s no joke.

  • Manuel Acevedo

    I personally do not like these images. I find them kind of disturbing. However, I do appreciate the skill used by the graphic artist; how this became an argument about the decay of photography and society in general is beyond me. I am sure that neoclassic painters thought impressionists made a mockery of painting, along with the many other samples given by other readers about painters vs early photographers.

  • Tzctplus -

    I’ll let know all the masters of photography past and present. They will be glad to get these news.

  • Tzctplus -

    This is not using a camera as its primary instrument. The camera is almost incidental to what this chap has achieved.

  • Tzctplus -

    I don’t bedrudge the chap that made these portraits. They clearly show a level of skill that defies belief, and although I personally find them distasteful (can’t really point out why, call it gut feeling) I can recognize the artistic dexterity involved.

    But this isn’t photography.

    As always, it is a good idea to refer to a definition, and I think Wikipedia’s one is quite a good one:

    “the art, science, and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film, or electronically by means of an image sensor.”

    That is it really. From this point on, regardless of what you do or how you do it, you are no longer taking photographs because you are no longer recording that electromagnetic radiation.

    You can do very skillful things, and nowadays we have names for them (graphic design, retouching, even painting if you must), but the photographic moment that gave birth to all these activities is very specific and well defined.

    No photographic contest I can think off would allow these images in a competition. None.

    And this has nothing to do with “purity” or senseless conservatism, it has to do with knowing what we are doing and respecting other people’s skills. So you need to take a photograph to make these images? Fine, but the final result isn’t any longer a photograph, that should be obvious to anybody that can check a dictionary.

    This is relevant because in the “About” heading of this website it clearly states that its contents is about photography.

    I understand that the owners of the website can publish whatever they want, but that doesn’t mean that established and new disciplines are the same just because people are too lazy to make the distinction.

  • Kimmy Brooks

    i totally LOLed.

  • ripley

    Mine don’t.

  • Dave Jurgensen

    Hate to break it to you, but it is taken seriously outside of petapixel. This is my first time visiting, as I’m following a post from another reputable photography colleague via G+. This is art, this is great, and if people pulled it off in a nice neat collection like this 10 years ago, it would have even more of a positive reaction than that of which is has already received in oodles here – by artists, photographers, and reputable photographer critics alike.

    But this is the internet, and as the internet is, we allow the hearing of narrow minded trolls quite openly.

    Have a GREAT DAY!

  • Steffen Graumann

    First of, I don’t know what ACLU is but they, like you, seem very offended by the word breasts and think that I am sexist because I use that bad bad word. Personally I think it sad that this one word makes you that mad. You know, most women have them and where I come from is a everyday word that no one gets all tabu about.
    About the pictures, I still find it odd that the boys have male features but the girls have no women features and I was thinking that the beards (I do hope that word does not offend you!) was an error and I wouldn’t have used males with beard for this project (if I was the one doing the project).
    But you just couldn’t get past that one bad bad word – and that says a lot about you …

  • Laura Obiedzinski

    You sir, just made my day.

    I wrote my dissertation on this, and couldn’t agree more with you.

    I think the biggest point to consider (in my opinion of course) is that, ‘photo-shopping’ is just a new form of art.
    Throughout time, there will have been painters saying photography isn’t art because it didn’t involve a paintbrush. This is the same thing here.

    In an age, where technology is rapidly expanding and I bet half of these people own iPhones and computers, you’d think they’d understand that with technology increasing, so will the skills and trades that come with it.

    I can’t believe some of the comments people are making saying it’s not even art, nevermind photography. Like i said, photo manipulation is an art; it’s just a new form of it.

    Anyway, love this work, and would love to see more of it!

  • Laura Obiedzinski

    This made me chuckle! :)

  • Alexander Ernandez

    I bet you take pictures of flowers, pets or sunsets :/

  • Joe Palffy

    none of the pictures show, tried it in 2 different browsers