Photo Book Takes On the Media’s Abuse of Make Up and Photoshop with Portraits that Need Neither

Photographer Jack Salzke is on a mission. By drawing on years of experience in the fashion and modeling world, Salzke wants to show the world that, while Photoshop and extreme make-up is an issue in the industry, it’s not as prevalent as the media makes it out to be.

He wants to show the world that the models being used for this sort of imagery are often just as beautiful without the makeup as they are with it, and he’s planning to show this beauty off in a 100-photo book of real models, photographed without any makeup or Photoshop.

Ally Ribaux & Jamie Fowler

Ally Ribaux & Jamie Fowler

Salzke is currently trying to crowdfund this photobook on Kickstarter, where he promises to take the most minimal approach possible to the photography in the book.

The final images, he writes, would contain only “their beauty, expression, lighting and a simple black-and-white conversion.” As to why he actually took on this project, you aren’t going to find an in-depth reason on the Kickstarter page. But he did speak with F Stop Lounge about that very thing:

Because I’m sick of the media telling everyone that these women are actually ugly without makeup and Photoshop, whenever you see a gallery online of models “caught” without makeup, they’ve been caught in bad lighting, in an awkward position (maybe eating or talking) and they probably have some makeup on anyway.

Rebecca Hunt & Clare McInerney

Rebecca Hunt & Clare McInerney

Further into the interview with F Stop, Salzke explained how he’s actually approaching the lighting in this project. Rather than opting for a one-lighting-fits-all setup, he is making it a point to change it up for each model.

The reason for this is twofold: first, he’s using this project to improve his lighting abilities, and second, he wants to highlight each model’s face in a way that best fits their individual beauty. He specifically hints at the use of softboxes, making sure to shy away from any hard light.

Tamara Mircic & Colette Walker

Tamara Mircic & Colette Walker

The idea seems straightforward enough, but that doesn’t at all discount the amount of time or effort that’s needed to bring this project together. Right now, Salzke is looking to raise $2,000 AUD (~$1,870 USD), $405 AUD of which has already been raised.

Pledges start at $5 AUD, which will give you a back page mention in the book, while an early-bird pledge for the softcover copy of the book starts at $75 AUD (~$70 USD), hardcover at $100 AUD (~$93.50 USD). For more information or if you’d like to support the project, check out the video at the top and then head over to the campaign page by clicking here.

(via F Stop Lounge)

  • Adam Cross

    how does using black and white help his case? Surely the best angle to attack this would be to show models without make-up and Photoshop in colour?

  • Martin Francis

    I hope he did his B&W conversions in-camera!

  • Amando Filipe

    Ah, I guess I’m the only one that carries 2 soft boxes pointed at me everywhere I go then… that explains the weird looks I get.

  • Toby Hawkins

    There seems to be a plethora of unfinished crowd funded projects on here (that don’t need the funding to be completed). It’d be nice to see more finished projects.

  • andydv

    wow, those are the ugliest naked young girls i’ve ever seen. somebody clone out that mole before i puke.

  • Polisonico

    $2000 so he can shoot 100 beautiful models in “no makeup” in black & white (of course!) and we get mentioned in small letters in last page. Wow.

  • anacronopia

    Leaving aside the fact that you are being incredibly rude, I’m very curious about your ideal of beauty…

  • Chang He

    I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm.

  • Chang He

    Wait, who are these “people” who think models aren’t beautiful? Isn’t that why they are models? I’m sure Photoshop helps some, on occasion, but didn’t Allessandra Ambrosio model on the catwalk (obviously without Photoshop) for Victoria’s Secret something like 5 months after giving birth? They have totally won the genetic lottery.

    The bigger problem isn’t their unargued beauty, it’s the idea that they are all that is beautiful, or, to get to the crux of the matter, that beauty in a size 0, 5’11” frame is so vitally important.

  • Chito

    so…. this is a campaign to show people that models are good looking… sounds like a worthwhile cause to me

  • Christian Schwieter

    “A beautiful set of girls, some flattering lighting, and black and white conversion in Adobe Lightroom, that’s all it is.” Pretty sure a simple skin-softening effect can be achieved simply by playing around with the colour channels, e.g. brightening up the reds.

  • dan110024

    You can’t knock a man (and fellow Aussie) for going after something he believes in, but I’m sick of hearing about the editing debate. You need to edit some models for particular shoots. It’s just the way it is. And of course, that’s only my opinion.

    But good luck to him! Not bad for a guy who’s only been in the industry a few years.

  • dan110024

    As been mentioned, I giggled as my sarcasm detector tickled my funny bone.

  • anacronopia

    Oh, I hope so :)

  • OtterMatt

    What do you mean how does it help his case? His whole goal is to show that you can PHOTOGRAPH people without needing to retouch everything, not just walk around and see people in the daylight.

    Also, I think your idea would be the weirdest book ever. I feel like you’d probably have to buy in from a rack behind the counter and walk home with it in a brown paper bag. :s

  • Adam Cross

    well, he talks about how the media shows bad photos of models/celebrities in bad lighting, bad angles etc to prove how models just look awful without make-up and photoshop so he’s setting up these photos to show that the models do honestly look great… but then he’s using pro lighting techniques and converting to black and white that’ll make anyone look half decent in that situation, not just a well groomed model.

    He would do a better job shooting them in colour and under everyday florescent or incandescent lights with no softboxes if he really wanted to prove a point about models looking good without make-up and photoshop. Shooting them in an everyday setting would’ve been much more affective.

  • Asgeir Misund

    Yes we all know that models are beautiful with or without make-up, so it seems like a pointless exercise to make book about it.

  • worker88

    I don’t understantd any aspect of this at all.

    He should be using a print on demand option or blurb for something like this, not crowd funding.

  • Randy Dowell

    i guess overweight girls aren’t beautiful then. theres already like 4 other projects just like this. i already donated to one. but they don’t discriminate. looks like this guy just brings in beautiful models. what is the point of this?

  • OtterMatt

    I think it’s mainly the “in their homes” part that crosses some weird, unwritten line in my head. I dunno, the whole thing just screams “awkward” to me.

  • Mark Wheadon

    :-) Because these women look exactly like this when walking around on planet earth without the beautifully saturated shadows, the perfectly placed soft lighting and the wonderful tones brought about by a complete lack of colour.

  • Alan Klughammer

    Landscape photographers should not wait for the perfect light, perfect weather, etc. since that location does not always look like that…

  • Brad Trent

    I’m kinda getting’ sick of crowdfunding in general and this guy and his smarmy poke at the fashion biz ain’t helping…..

  • C Schel

    This is a joke, right? Why on earth would anyone give money to this guy for this project? If he believes in it so much, he should fund it himself. Grow up, and stop looking for handouts.

  • empireinrecline

    OK, but let’s acknowledge this is playing on easy mode. I’ll get young hot women who aren’t wearing clothes and make them look good without trying too. What’s next, a trip to the beach to take a picture of a sunset, no one’s ever done that before.
    This is an appeal to reality? Wow, we’re way inside the box on this one. How about one shot of a 40 year old.

  • Michael Andrew Broughton

    so this guy hand picked a few professional models who look good without makeup, shot them at the most flattering angle under lighting specifically chosen to be flattering and hide skin imperfections and then he converted the photos to black and white to hide uneven skin tones and whatnot… all to make a quick buck fighting against the “abuse” of photoshop and makeup? *sarcastic clap*