…with a call for school photo airbrushing ban.

Fizz Group, a UK school services supplier, has called for photography companies to join together in a collective ban on the airbrushing of traditional school photos for primary school children.

The Redditch-based company, which provide a range of services to schools including Yearbooks and school photography, is asking for UK photographic firms to take a morally responsible lead on airbrushing – by refusing to allow it as an image-altering service.

The airbrushing of children in school photos has come into sharp media focus recently after Hampshire mother Alexandria Norman spoke out about the issue, after she rejected an offer to ‘re- touch’ the school photos of her eight-year-old daughter Blake, taken by Hampshire-based photography firm Yellow.

Alexandria criticised the photography firm’s airbrushing service for school photos, accusing them of “stealing the innocence of school pictures, threatening a positive body image and sending out the wrong message to children.”

Fizz Group, which refuses to airbrush photos under any circumstances, shares the Hampshire mother’s views and is urging photography firms to self-regulate by adopting an across-the-industry ban on airbrushing for traditional school photos of primary school age children.

Adam McGill, 24, Fizz Group’s Managing Director, said: “I think this ultimately is a very bad judgement in the pursuit of a little extra profit.

“It shouldn’t be an option. What kind of message are we sending to our children if we are telling them that a photo is only acceptable, or ‘more acceptable’, if it is showing them blemish free and air- brushed?

“Everything about each child makes them who they are – their hair colour, skin colour, shape of their nose, birth marks and blemishes. If we alter this, we are altering their identity – changing who they are. There is no need in my view to consider ‘correcting’ an image – it shouldn’t be an option.

“At Fizz Group, we won’t airbrush under any circumstances. I think it’s important that the whole industry takes a stance on this. By sending out a collective message that airbrushing at such a young age is wrong, we have a real opportunity to make a positive impact on future generations.”

Adam, who started the Fizz Group at just 17, has been involved in all aspects of the business since its launch, including spending some time in the early years of the business behind the lens as one of the company’s photographers.

Adam adds: “I have spent some time in the past behind the lens, so I do have good understanding of the photographic process and it’s part of why I feel so strongly about this issue.

“For me the whole purpose of a school portrait is to capture the child, and the way they look in that year for posterity. If you change the look of the image then the product becomes something completely different and no longer an accurate historical record.