Fashion Blogging

Blogger Photoshopped For Catalogue, Complains

Maegan, will blog for bags, recently traded pictures of herself for a few handbags. When her images were used in the handbag catalog Maegan says they had been altered to the point of making her unrecognizable:

The deal was that they would send us each a few bags to photograph with an outfit or two…We had to send these bags back to them but were offered two new Fall styles to keep free of charge in a few months time {regardless of them using our photos or not, we kept the bags…)

Since I already had a great working relationship with Brahmin, and it was simply a few outfit posts, I agreed and signed a contract handing over full rights to use and/or alter my photos in any way. Dumb.

Yes, after signing a contract saying they could alter her images in any way they wanted and getting her free handbags, Maegan was confused when she saw her images and thought her “face looked a little strange”. When she emailed the company “expecting a simple apology” over what she claims they did to her nose, she instead received a response stating they had not altered her face at all. She then proceeded to email them again, even including the above image, seemingly all but demanding they acknowledge their evil deception. Instead, she got this:

“I have spoken to our photographer and post production person who worked on this project and he has explained the light filter change to warm up the shots to make them read Fall, not to slenderize anything. We actually asked him to do this so that we could use the shots. I would be more than happy to walk you through over the phone if you want to provide me a number to call you.”

At this point Maegan decided to take to her blog and complain, because if she “can’t stand up for myself when my face has been altered to fit some sort of societal standard and when my likeness and image, which are a part of my blog and brand have been changed drastically and compromised and then I’m lied to and told that it wasn’t retouched and that I don’t know what my own face looks like — then I am sending a message that I am okay with this kind of photo altering and I am indeed NOT OKAY WITH IT”.

This is all very Norma Rae of Maegan, and probably not very nice of Brahmin. But Maegan seems to forget that she signed a contract – she gave away her right to be outraged when she signed on the line in exchange for a couple of handbags. I mean hey, sorry, sucks for you, but maybe next time read what you’re signing and then think about how much your ‘brand’ is really worth to you.

  1. avatar Respect, Privacy and Lies OH MY

    A couple of handbags worth between $300 and $500. Love their bags though-they literally last forever.

  2. avatar Bus wanker

    That photo is creepy as fuck. It looks like they took the nose and mouth from someone else and placed it on her face. I think it’s funny that they’re trying to deny it. It is blatantly obvious. That said, helloooo you signed a contract and of course they’re gonna alter the photo. It’s still got a creepy uncanny valley vibe though.

    • avatar SleazeFrieze

      I think they applied Photoshop’s new “Annistonizing tool” to her face. It’s a creepy effect.

      • avatar Mallory Keaton

        yes, Her nose looks way different, and the overall effect is Jennifer Aniston!!

  3. avatar JFA


  4. avatar Virginia Apple

    Um I would sincerely hope that they would photoshop the crap out of me if my picture was being used professionally.

    • avatar Samson

      Really. She’s a lot better looking after being Photoshopped.

      • avatar (A Box of) Broken Crayons

        Ugh. I totally disagree. FTR, I’ve never heard of this woman before now, so I am not WKing, but god. Her nose was fine before. Cute even. The change they made does not make her look more attractive; it just makes her look more generic. That is a big, BIG difference in my book.

        I see some people below saying that all they see is a lighting difference, and that added shadowing is to blame for any difference in her nose. I don’t know if that’s true because I have very little experience with photoshop, but it doesn’t matter HOW you account for the changed nose (and it is definitely different, at least to my eyes); the point is that it was done on purpose. I think it’s absurd and sad that they thought her nose needed improving.

        Do I think she was hugely wronged, though? Nope. She signed off on this and should have known better.

        • avatar rosieposie

          she looks so much better unshopped.

        • avatar eeee

          “it doesn’t matter HOW you account for the changed nose (and it is definitely different, at least to my eyes); the point is that it was done on purpose. I think it’s absurd and sad that they thought her nose needed improving.”

          Ok, here’s the thing… and before I even start, I’ll say that I know nothing about photoshop, so I have no idea what they did or didn’t do, only that the only difference I personally (untrained eyes and all) see in the picture is the shadowing, which in my own experience, playing around with the contrast and whatever filters in Picasa, sometimes makes differences you don’t expect. I once made my own nose disappear ENTIRELY from a picture I was goofing around with, because I liked the way that particular level of contrast/saturation/whatever it was made my eyes look like a demon’s.

          And that’s the thing I’m questioning here: You seem convinced that they “thought her nose needed improving” and that they “changed” it “on purpose.” I question where you derive this conviction that the changes were made specifically with the nose in mind.

          The statement from the company says that they used a warming filter to give a more autumn-y appearance, which is consistent with the rest of the changes in the picture (look at the white pattern in her shirt – more tan in the catalog’s picture). It is ALSO consistent with the change in the nose, in my unprofessional opinion (based solely on similar changes I’ve seen in my own photos playing around with effects/filters/contrast/saturation in non-Photoshop applications).

          I don’t mean to bodysnark here, but others have also mentioned: If “slenderizing” or changing the subject’s face was the goal, we’d definitely have seen a change in the jawline as well, and possibly in the depth of the “smile lines.” If anything, those features are instead *more* accentuated in the retouched picture, which is again consistent with the given explanation of a warming/darkening filter applied to the photo.

          Which picture she looks better in is always going to be a matter of personal aesthetic, but I think you’re making unfounded claims. There’s just no evidence that this filter was applied because “they thought her nose needed improving.”

          • avatar lurktastic

            This ended up tl;dr – so here’s the short version: Photoshop is my job, and this photo has definitely been tampered with.

            Long version: I am a professional in Photoshop – and there are a lot of weird things going on in this photo. I pulled the images into PS, cut out the magazine image, and layered it over the original. By hiding and un-hiding the top layer, you can see the things that have been edited really easily. I can also reduce the opacity of the top layer to see what’s not lining up, and the edits are glaringly evident.

            Everyone is saying ‘shading’ but it’s not really shading, it’s a photo filter, which inadvertently adds shadow. Plus, she probably took a picture or scan of the magazine, which would look very different color-wise than her digital image. Print color is going to be different than monitor color. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

            1. I can get everything from the neck down to line up very closely. There were no changes that I can see the the neck, shirt, necklace, arms, or hands other than the photo filter.

            2. With the neck down lined up perfectly, they’ve actually taken her head and squashed it down so it’s quite a bit shorter. The original sunglasses sit in what would equate to a real life inch above the altered photo’s sunglasses. This makes most of the things on her face lower like her eyebrows, eyes, and the (new) nose. However, the mouth and chin are strangely exactly as they were.

            At first glance I thought they’d done something to make her smile less gummy, but it’s just the photo filter. Her mouth is, if not exactly the same, very similar.

            3. The nose is totally new. Well, I suppose it could be her nose that they narrowed, but they would also have had to pull the tip down. They’ve shortened the space between her upper lip and nose tip by half. The nose is less ‘snub’ or ‘ski jump’ and more model-like with the snub nose lengthened to point downward.

            4. Oddly, even though they squashed the head down a little, they didn’t narrow the face at all. The width is the same, and the hair nearly lines up, it’s only off because the new head is squashed.

            All in all, it’s a weird edit, rather badly done, as most quick magazine and catalog jobs are. Her smile lines in her cheeks are higher, while her smile remains in the same position.

            That said, blah blah blah. You signed a contract. Magazines and catalogs are famous for retouching. It probably wasn’t even personal, t hey probably just shuttled her photo through the same lines they shuttle all their product photos.

            • avatar shalter

              + 1

            • avatar (A Box of) Broken Crayons

              Excellent. I had not even noticed the shorter distance between the tip of her nose and her upper lip, but wow. Busted.

            • avatar notdamama

              I’m wondering if part of it was the angle of the catalogue page (it was a printed catalogue, no?)

              Also, it’s SO zoomed in. Nothing looks good that grainy. Let’s be honest here. And, contracts are contracts. She signed away her right to bitch, period.

              • avatar Snootch

                I think there is, it looks like she took a cell phone pic of the catalog rather than scanning the page. Everything at the bottom of the pic looks a wee bit bigger than the things at the top.

                That said, her right arm WAS altered. Look how smooth and rounded it is on the left, compared to the image on the right. Her nose does appear altered and I agree, everything else is simply a filter of some kind.

            • avatar KERFPolice

              Very interesting. I would never blog or “model” for anything, but if my photo was going to be public, I’d be thrilled to be photoshopped. I don’t hate my looks at all, but if you want to make me prettier go for it. I hate being photographed, but maybe I would like it more with a little free nip tuck. It took forever for me to lose babyweight and I’m proud of my loss and I want to be healthy, but if you want to photoshop me to make me look supermodel thin, go for it!

  5. avatar granola scam

    I can see the photoshop on her nose, eye area and forearm. But like someone said elsewhere, it would’ve been better if she’d spun it into a body acceptance message or something. I mean, really. Photoshop happens. I’d hardly call her unrecognizable. It’s not like she’s Rita Hayworth post-de-Latinizing.

    • avatar It's Always Shitty in Donkadelphia

      I had to look close before the changes were apparent ~ main thing that jumps out at me is the saturation change is both good & bad, depending on where you look, but overall, she continues to look FAS w/ a bad dye job.

    • avatar CadyHeron

      She actually did talk about body acceptance. That was her point.

    • avatar KERFPolice

      I agree. Until I read more and found out it was the nose, etc that bothered her I could not tell the photos apart. Now I see it and while she is attractive in both photos, IMO the chopped photo is better.

  6. avatar justsomelady

    Maybe she should have just photoshopped herself first and they wouldn’t have had to do it.


  7. avatar FattyMagoo

    Do bloggers not know how to read contracts or terms of service? There’s way too much of this shit. “OMG! I signed away my rights to my photos, and then the company did what they felt like with them! SHOCKGASPSURPRISE!”

  8. avatar Katie

    The filter they put over the image makes the shadows darker, so shadows around her nose more accentuated. You can see the same thing in her hands, where the second photo her hands blend into each other and in the first there’s more of a contrast between them. No photoshopping done here other than the filter and to be honest, it seems like she’s just trying to stir up some drama with this. “Oh, poor me, I’m being victimized by this big bad company but darn if I’ll let them push me around like the strong woman that I am!” Throw in a creep stalker and we’ve got a lifetime movie here.

    • avatar Pickle

      That’s what I was thinking. The extra shadows from the filter are akin to contouring on her nose. The whole thing is ridiculous.

    • avatar tink

      This. I photoshop a LOT and she’s pretty much untouched except for the filter.

      Also, I wish they WOULD have photoshopped her roots. Barf.

      • avatar ActualRunner

        YES. Her roots are so distracting and white trash. I’m surprised they are acceptable for a ‘high end’ handbag line.

        • avatar KERFPolice

          I thought the same thing. She has gorgeous hair, but my goodness-photo chop or shop or whatever off those roots.

  9. avatar M

    Doesn’t seem like a big difference to me?

    But they definitely should have ‘shopped out those heinous roots!

    • avatar So Pensive

      Exactly. But, if her nose is her concern, well…SIGH. You signed over your rights honey. They can make you look like Shrek’s bride if they wanted. There is nothing TOO major about the changes here. I think they “enhance”. What ever the hell!

    • avatar aimless

      It looks like they messed with some light filters.

      If there were going to photo-shop, they should have dealt with that chin.

  10. Who cares, she got free purses. Why make such a big deal out of it. Both pictures look bad to me. They are blury and out of focus. I sent off for a free pair of glasses, when i get them I have to write a blog post about them. I could care less if they grab the picture and make it look better or alter it. As long as I get my free glasses, I could care less.

  11. avatar JudgyjudementaljudgerConcernedco

    Brahmin can photoshop me any which way they want for a free purse. I am a purse whore and I don’t care who knows it. It’s not like they made her look like an alien or anything…

  12. avatar Betta Fish

    I looked at this for 3 hard minutes before reading the comments, and could not discern ANY difference. Once I read the comments, I could see the nose thing…but really, I couldn’t tell there had been any change (besides lighting) at all! Girl needs to chill.

    • avatar rikkitimbo

      Samesies. I didn’t see a difference other than one being a bit darker than the other. But seriously, it’s a crap photo anyway, I mean, she’s not even in focus and her hand placement is super awkward and looks ridiculous.

    • I couldn’t tell either. They’re both shitty photos. Its hard to see the difference between “crap” and “crap” unless its something entirely different like piss.

    • avatar raisesun

      I don’t see any difference other than the lighting. What am I missing??

      • avatar rikkitimbo

        Her nose looks slightly pinched and drawn out and her chin looks pointier…but it’s really not that difference, IMO.

  13. avatar Reeda

    When I saw this on her blog, the first thing I thought was that they’d messed with her nose and maybe like the corners of her mouth (she’s almost got a Joker smile going on). If all that can be done with lighting, I don’t know because I don’t know the first thing about Photoshop. I can understand her being disappointed with the way the photo turned out, because it doesn’t really look like her anymore, but she signed a contract and she got the free bags. I do follow her blog and actually enjoy it (I like her style and the fact that she isn’t a twee 21-year-old size 0), but I find myself eye-rolling at her attitude a lot.

    • avatar eeee

      How does it “not really look like her anymore”? It looks exactly the same to me, except one is slightly darker and thus giving the appearance of shadows. If I stand in the light and then stand in the shade, do I not look like myself anymore?

      • avatar Reeda

        I’ve followed Maegan’s blog for a while, so I’ve seen a billion pics of her. I guess I’m just used to her face. The face in the catalog pic, to my eyes, doesn’t look like her face.I think she’s overreacting, but that’s Maegan for ya’. I like her blog, but I don’t like her blog persona. She often comes off as an entitled brat.

    • avatar Katie

      It’s actually really easy to make a photo look “tweaked” just by putting a new filter over the original photo, it makes the shadows you didn’t really see stand out so you notice more details, like her nose, hands and the eyebrows. (The filters are crazy easy, it’s just about the first thing you learn in Photoshop.)

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