What is real?
As a photographer, this is all a bit farcical
1. what does the woman actually look like?
I ask this because typically, I shoot a colour chart, and then do a custom profile for the shoot, and then do a custom white balance, working on profiled monitors and printers yada yada. Without all of the above, it is hard to make any judgement
And.. and then my software alters the image (a lot sometimes) to give a fair representation of the skin tone and colour
Some editing is very good, and gets closer to real, other editing goes in the other direction
2. What is the target media...
I sharpen differently for print and provide a different sort of file (CMYK) than say for web, where I provide a RGB file, both can look different from each other, and sometimes I then have to edit in a compensation for it
3. So what bout blemishes...
On say a wedding shoot, of course I clone out zits and spots, but I leave in permanent markings like moles and birthmarks. I also will clone off the odd straggly hair, or mark on a suit etc.. along with the fire extinguisher in the background..
There is a line which is about reality. Its akin to a room, it can be cleaned and tidy, or it can be a mess. If I am shooting for an estate agent, I will make sure the windows are clean, the room is hovered, the cushions are straight. It is the same room, but with a professional attention to detail
4. Its a studio shoot
And that is all about the lighting. I could take an average woman (or man) and produce 6 completely different looks (from scary and harsh, through to soft and beautiful) im a few mins, just by manipulating the lighting
This shoot is of a woman, in an un-natural pose, on a white background, and careful lighting. the environment is unreal, the lighting is unreal, the pose is unreal and the clothing is chosen for her..
It is all unreal
If they want a real shoot, I am available for hire...Week by week, I shoot real women and men in real environments, usually with the lighting that is already there.
If they want to REALLY connect with real people, then they need to shoot real people in real environments with thier own clothing, warts, wobbly bits and all. (and I am still available for hire on that one) LOL