Photo Retouching Gone Too Far… THAT’S NOT MY FACE

bad photoshopping, photo retouching

A few months back Brahmin, a great brand and handbag company who I had been working with prior {see this post}, asked a handful of fashion bloggers if they were interested in possibly being a part of their upcoming Fall 2012 print and web catalogue. The deal was that they would send us each a few bags to photograph with an outfit or two and we would send them our high resolution photos that may or may not get chosen for the ad campaign and catalogue. 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 see: dome bag | crocodile dome bag | brown satchel for my outfit posts with them}. We were not paid otherwise, well, I was not paid otherwise, I cannot speak for anyone else.

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.

I took my photos in the beginning of Summer during an extremely busy time in my life, and sent them off. When I saw the final web versions of everything, I noticed my face looked a little strange but the images were kind of small and I thought it was just poor resolution and didn’t want to make a big deal about something that was really nothing. I should have said something then.

brahmin, love maegan

We got the go-ahead to publish the outfit shots on our blogs… see the photos above and find bag one here and bag two here if you’d like to see details.

Just yesterday a package arrived in the mail containing about 15-20 Fall print catalogues. So I flipped through the pages and pages of repeat bloggers and found one small image of my upper body and face and a closeup of the bag directly below it. Except the face looking back at me wasn’t mine.

Huh?

My photo had indeed been altered… but at first I couldn’t tell what on earth had been done to even get my face to look like that. Since I used to be a graphic designer, I thought the image had maybe been stretched to fit the print parameters. I emailed my contacts at Brahmin sort of laughingly and said I’m not sure what happened but this image has been photoshopped or stretched to fit and does not look like me at all. I included a link to a recent outfit post to show them what “I actually look like” and an “LOL” for good measure. Half expecting a simple apology, I received a strange email back that included this statement…

” I agree that you look much different in your latest blog post but that is you with pulled back straight and darker hair. We did not photoshop or thin you out. We chose bloggers because we wanted you as you. We did crop photos and had to change yours to print quality as they were submitted in web quality too blurry for print. This however was not or would have resulted in your face changing. I am not sure why you think it looks different than what you sent us and we would be happy to send you original files for you to compare. Perhaps you are used to seeing online and not in print?

Really?

So I capture a picture of the photo in my print catalogue with my iPhone and downloaded it to my computer. I pulled up my original “high res photos” that I had sent to them in the first place {because why would I trust their “original copies”} and placed it side by side and quickly realized it was my nose that had been altered specifically, but nothing else.

“Why on earth would they alter my nose” I thought? Did they think it was too fat? Too little? Too wide? Not long enough? But by thinning it out, making it longer and dropping the tip down, they completely changed the look of my face and then blatantly said that they did NOT photoshop or retouch my image.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was expecting a little photo retouching like the darkening on my arm to make it appear thinner, but I wasn’t expecting a complete facelift!

I mean, did they think I wasn’t going to notice?

When we first received the web lookbook of the catalogue and I only saw one shot of myself included, I thought it was because they didn’t like my outfits or they weren’t “Fall” enough. In fact, I even emailed them apologizing that my photos weren’t good enough thinking that was why they didn’t use them. I didn’t care if they used them or not, but I felt like I didn’t do my job in sending them photos they could use and felt badly for it. But now I think they didn’t use my photos because they thought I was fat and ugly… which was made clear by the single cropped photo that did not show my legs, the darkened arm, and the nose job.

At first, I had no intention of blogging about this incident, I just wanted an apology or acknowledgement that they effed up my face. But after that original response, I felt I had no choice. But first I emailed them again, with the photo I’ve used here attached so they could distinctly see the difference between the original version and their version, and really hoping again for a simple acknowledgement and apology. And they denied it AGAIN…

” 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.

Again we are sorry you are unhappy. We have been working with you a long time and do not want you to walk away from this project with ill feelings.”

I mean thank you for the apology but Really? I use filters in Photoshop and other photo programs on a daily basis and there is no way that any filter would specifically darken my arm like that AND COMPLETELY CHANGE MY NOSE. This is seriously laughable!

Even after all of this I felt like I shouldn’t talk about it fearing my future relationships with brands or being labeled as “difficult” but I don’t have a “blog agent” or a “PR person” to stand up for me in situations like this. So who is going to do it if I don’t? If I 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 for anyone on any level. I felt I had no choice but to talk about it.

I spent hours thinking about this and talking it out with numerous bloggers and friends helping me to try to figure out what to do. I mean, if they photoshopped a line out of my face or a pimple, fine, or moved a hair from my face or simply did use a filter to warm it up, okay… but altering my nose completely? I like my nose. I don’t think I’m fat. But I’m not a model, I’m a blogger and I sent my OWN images in and this is beyond what I ever thought I’d be signing away with my rights to my own photographs.

Seriously, look at this photo comparison again and tell me I’M WRONG. Tell me right now that they did NOT retouch it.

Click it to enlarge it for a better look.

bad photoshopping, photo retouching

Yes, in the big picture, this is not a big deal, it’s just a silly catalogue where my face is completely altered and I am misrepresented. I honestly did not care and thought it was laughable until I received that response and denial. But now I ask, how would you react if this happened to you? This is photo retouching gone too far in my opinion.

* * * UPDATE * * *

The Brahmin online catalogue has been updated and changed to include the original photo I sent in.

Below is a screen captured image of the first catalogue they released taken 10/5 at 12:57pm {click to enlarge}

Below is a screen captured image of the updated version taken 10/6 at 12:34am {click to enlarge}

Thank you Brahmin for removing the edited photo and replacing it with my original photos.

* FACEBOOK * TWITTER * BLOGLOVIN’ *

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at ...love Maegan.com sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

104 Comments

  • Makaila

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I would react exactly as you have, and I have a gallery of office women in Washington APPLAUDING you.

    And Yes. It’s been retouched. I’m with you- okay, fine. But don’t deny it!

  • Jessica

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    That is absolutely ridiculous. You are so beautiful, I cannot wrap my head around why they would try to change a thing!! And they’re insane for saying that’s a lighting filter – I’m in photoshop daily and what they did is no filter!!!

    Sorry Maegan, I’d be pissed too 🙁

  • Regina of Live Delightfully

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I would hate that too! Completely hate that!!! And I definitely think you are right in standing up for yourself AND letting us “smaller” bloggers know that it’s okay to stand up for yourself and say something if you’re not happy with it. Even if you received some sort of compensation for it.

    Yes, I definitely see the changes and they photoshopped you. But, you didn’t mention your eyes at all, and if you put up a piece a paper and cut off everything from the bridge of your nose down, you can tell that they also “adjusted” the shape of your eyes. Your eyes in their photo are not quite as tilted downward (looking at the outside edges) as your eyes in your photo. There was a lot more photoshopping going on then they are admitting, and I hope you keep at them until they admit it.

    Sincerely & a fan,

    Regina

  • Timbo

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    They also did something with your upper lip and your eyes!!!

  • Clarissa

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    That’s just awful! They clearly altered your face and shaded your arm. I got a little obsessive over trying to figure out what they did. I put a post-it over half of your face in the original picture. I then did the same thing to the altered image. In the original the center of your nose and chin line up perfectly. In the altered picture they do not line up. The way that they altered it makes your eyes look different too.
    I have followed your blog for about 2 years now and I think you are absolutely beautiful. I don’t think you overreacted at all. You are own best advocate in life, jobs, health, whatever. I’m glad you took a stand and disappointed that they chose to respond the way they did.

  • QueeNicole

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    wow..u did the right thing.
    Btw …their photoshop ‘fix’ is a big fail

  • Anonymous

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Hi…I am a lovemaegan follower! when i 1st saw you posting and picture i thoght WTF? ewww she looks odd.
    I tried to see the difference and couldnt tell until you mentioned.
    To some it wouldnt be a big deal, but you have a certain expectations…and they alter it without consent or notice. It’s dissapointing. Regardless you are doing an amazing job and this is just a small speedbump…the fashion industry can be evil!

  • WanderingellimaC

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    that’s CRAZY!!! your face is gorgeous! they ruined it! i can’t believe they did that. I would have done just what you did and i am appalled at that company for reacting that way.

  • Clarissa

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I tried to recreate their alteration on PicMonkey. It’s a free photo editing website. I used the NipTuck feature on my own nose. The effect was that my eyes tilted more upwards, my upper lip shape was affected and my nose appeared smaller. This seems like what they did. Shame on them for not admitting it!

  • AndreaLeigh

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    i couldn’t see the difference until you mentioned it. i thought at first any difference was just the quality of the photo. but when you pointed out what they had done, I could see it. I showed the picture to my husband, who is absolutely clueless about this sort of thing, and he could see what they had done immediately.

    i’m sorry this happened to you. i agree; if they had just owned up to photoshopping you it wouldn’t be an issue for me.

  • Jessi

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Yep, your nose was definitely altered, but like Timbo said, so is your upper lip/mouth and your eyes! BIG shame on them for denying it and lying. Bad business. I hate this kind of shiz in business.
    xoxo J

  • Rees

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I think you’re totally right. I have no idea why they would want to change your face at all, and I don’t know why they are denying it. Weird.

  • Silvana Kathryn

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    They also raised the corners of your eyes and narrowed your face overall.

    Rediculous.

  • Love + Marriage

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I also saw a difference in your eyes and chin. It’s funny because we are used to looking at you so we see the difference. To anyone else, the retouched photo wouldn’t look bad, we just know it isn’t our Maegan. And really, the reason they hired you is because we know and love YOU! NO changes necessary!

  • Ashlee~Shevonne

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    That is some foolery! I immediately was like WTF? Before I read anything I was like “is this a look-alike or something?” There is nothing wrong with your face or body. The chick on the left looks odd. That’s pure stupidity on their part. They choose to use real bloggers who have a fan base. That woman is not the blogger I follow and the fact that they would even go there, then DENY it makes me not want anything to do with their product. Really stupid move on their part.

  • Anonymous

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Before I even read what you had noticed, I said to myself, “Wow, they gave her a nose job.”

  • hotpants™

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    1. You’re gorgeous and my biggest blog crush. Altering your nose was ridiculous. You went from having an attractive nose that suits your face to… WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!

    2. Why is your face and arm darker? I’m not understanding that at all. It’s literally the worst photoshop and editing job ever. The photo, regardless of your nose, looks bad. And it looked great before.

    3. Like others have said, we have all been coming to your blog for a long time. I would have known that photo was altered the second I saw it.

    4. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

  • truebluemeandyou

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I do Photoshop for a living (mainly historical retouching) so I know it inside and out. I’m not at the right computer but what you can do is stack them on top of each other to see exactly what they did (lowering the top copy’s opacity). It looks like they also may have lengthened your fingers (besides the nose job), and done something to your eyes – straightening them (meaning putting them in a sraight line) or putting them slightly more together. What gets me is that they are LYING about it. Any idiot can see what they’ve done and how they’ve done it. You have every right to be upset about being lied to a treated so dismissively.

  • Jen

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Honestly, I was looking for you in the catalog and had to do a double take to make sure the image was you (the sunnies were my only hint it was truly you.) They did you such a disservice and the original image was beautiful, no alterations needed! Also, if they needed a certain type of image file they should be paying for them especially since they were not paying you for your service to begin with. thanks for sharing as we all try to navigate the brand/blogger relationship world.

  • ms. mindless

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    The lying makes no sense. Why not just own what they did? You signed a waiver allowing them to do whatever they wanted with your pictures. How odd? I prefer the real Maegan!

  • Eva

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Wow. This is my first visit to your site (hi!), so at first I didn’t see the difference – didn’t know what I was looking for. Then I read the whole post and when you said to look at your nose… whoa! That is a real difference! I am just wondering – whose nose is that? Do they keep stock noses around that they find acceptable? My goodness…

  • Alena

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Your nose was changed. With out a doubt. And it’s insulting that they would not think you would notice, but that they could just lie about it. There is no way a filter changed what’s been changed. A filter to change the tone? The coloring? Sure. But to darken the underside of your arm? To CHANGE THE SHAPE OF YOUR NOSE? They know they did it, and I hate that you have questioned yourself for them not finding you as beautiful as you are!

  • Anonymous

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    You sold your likeness for a couple of purses, oh well. Yes, they should not have lied to you, but I think you should enjoy your “gifts” and get over the indignation that is obviously really because you think they don’t think you’re pretty enough as is. Your readers obviously think you are – we should be the ones who really count.

    – Mimi

  • Patti

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Maegan, so sorry this is happening to you. I would also be upset with their response. Hopefully, they will come back and own up to their obvious photoshopping!

  • Camille

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Let me validate you in how you reacted- PERFECTLY! Kind but still this is a huge deal to your brand and yourself.
    I’m upset as a reader because you stand for being yourself, finding your own look and style, and having confidence in your own body. It is so upsetting that a catalog trying to show real women with real bodies is modifying them!
    It’s a lesson to all of us to never compare ourselves to anything in print- because even the most gorgeous girls in great shape like you are modified!

  • Felicia

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Holy shit, isn’t Photoshop for making people look better? They made a perfectly beautiful pic of you look sort of creepy! I admire you for handling all your business dealings on your own too. Their reps are not only unprofessional in the way they handled your email, but condescending as well.

  • Liz Lauren

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    omg your photo is so much better!

    http://lavieenliz.com

  • Adiel Cloud

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, Maegan! That’s crazy! Way to stand up for yourself and what you think is right!

  • Jennifer

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Your nose is completely different! That’s crazy.. and it was an unnecessary change!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • J

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Lying about it means they think they did something wrong. They fear that if they admit it you might try to sue or retaliate in some other way.

    They expect to make money by using you and your reputation in their catalog, so the “get over it” comment isn’t warranted. If you’d signed something allowing them specifically to alter your image, the situation would be different.

    I know you don’t need all of the positive feedback, but you definitely are in no way ugly or in need of touching up. Anyway people don’t expect bloggers to look like models, even if they used to be models, so trying to make you look more like some cookie-cutter doll is wasted effort on their part, really.

  • shay

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    That image has totally been retouched, and it isn’t a well done retouch, at that! I’m a graphic designer and playing it off as a photo filter is total bullshiit. You are WAY more beautiful than what they did to your photo.

    I would have reacted just as you did. I think it’s absolutely disgusting that they altered your photo in such a way, and especially disgusting that they lied about it.

    You just keep on keepin’ on, because you’re beautiful, they suck, and I applaud you.

  • -Becky

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I 100% agree with everyone commenting: You are a beautiful woman and they very obviously photoshopped you. Eyes, Nose, Lips. To me it looks like they took those features and warped them…like a reverse fish eye lens. I hope that makes sense. You’re original needs no altering, beyond any Fall filters they want to add. I know very little about photo shop, but I know what filter can do…and also what liquify can do…

  • Vi

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve been following your blog for a while now but this is my first time commenting because this is just too much for me to stay quiet. It’s so obvious that they photoshopped you! And not only that but they did a horrible job at it. You look so much more proportioned and natural in the original. They definitely changed more than just your nose. Your eyes have a different tilt and they may have somehow made your face look slimmer. And they lied to you about it.

  • Six of Us

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I’d definitely make some noise about it. I’m not trying to suck up, but you look better than your “filtered” image. Really. I don’t understand why they’d do this and deny it. So odd.

  • daer0n

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I completely agree with you, this is ridiculous! I think that they went too far with the re-touching, I mean, it is soo noticeable, so in your face it is hard to ignore. I have been a freelance graphic designer for about 10 years now and I can tell that your nose and arm are not the only things that they altered, they also altered your eyes and eyebrows slightly. That is just horrible from their part. Ok, we know that in magazines they go ridiculous with celebrities and they will completely remove all of their imperfections but, changing their faces completely like this is just going too far.

    I don’t think you are fat by any means, if anything, when I look at you the words “fit” and “awesome body” always come to my mind. Your nose is cute, your body looks more than great, (you do have a great body, trust me), great hair, great sense of style, you have a cute face and really nice eyes, and I am just puzzled as to why they wouldn’t use full body pictures of you in the catalog, and change your face that way.

    I would have done the same as you, and emailed them to complain. Why do they think that just because you are ‘working under a contract’ with them and sending them your personal photos for them to use for their catalog gives them the right to give you a full face lift, that is just preposterous.

    Personally after seeing how they denied that they did anything to your photos after seeing that it is so obvious that they retouched the crap out of them I would refuse to work with them again, but that is just my opinion.

    Don’t let their retouching make you feel “fat and ugly”, anyone that thinks so about you is seriously F***ed in the head, I can assure you that.

  • Michelle J. from Kgh

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Bad retouch!
    I’m a graphic designer as well and they completely changed your face??!
    It looks like they made your face smaller?! Your mouth is smaller. Your nose.. oh my god! That is absolutely NOT you. And that’s a pity!
    That’s really bad and I can understand that you’re not ok with it…

  • jenn~the stylish housewife

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    that is just bizarre. it is SO obviously altered!!! i mean, it doesn’t even look like you! and you look 98749736497639476329476329 times better just the way you are! i knew when we signed contracts that they could use the photos as they wished but i had never thought about them COMPLETELY playing mr potato head with our features…lol! i am all for removing my wrinkles & acne but this is just weird! sorry girl…

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

  • Sara

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    It looks to me like they made your eyes closer together and shortened your face too… your chin is not as low in their shot. A lot was changed. Ridiculous.

  • Loulou

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    First I have to say that I am totally with you! For heavens sake, why ask ‘real’ bloggers, who inevitably are going to look like ‘real’ people to participate in the first place, if they really wanted cookie-cutter models. Second I have to say that the way you have told this story is hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud several times. You go Maegan! I love your attitude.

    Loulou

  • Elizabeth

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    The irony is, companies want to leverage blogs to get the support of their readership. By altering your image to the point of you being unrecognizable, they de-valued their own investment.

    I agree that they should have admitted to what was done, but my guess is that someone was scared to give the wrong answer and instead lied. Or, maybe the graphic designer just said they did a basic touch-up and the person who replied to you took them at their word and delivered that message to you.

  • Rhe Christine

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    before I even read at the article I was like uhhhhh, why does her face look weird. They totally thinned out your nose and turned up your eyes a little bit. so weird! My guess is whoever you spoke to was so me regular joe in PR or advertising that knows nothing. weird.

  • Mindy

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    First of all, your shots – outfits, hair, face, poses, are all adorable! I haven’t read your blog before, but just seeing those shots shows what a fun style you have and you were obviously chosen to work with this company because readers appreciate what you have to say. Thanks you for sharing this, for speaking up, for being confident about who you are! By the way, you should share this experience with Beauty redefined and send your original to them with the inclusion of ‘I am beauty redefined’ as part of the project they are doing.

  • MD

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Not your face…they totally altered it. You did the right thing. They lied.

  • soozey

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    They are Ridiculous. And I think the photo on the table of contents ‘meet the bloggers’ page is the photoshopped one, and it looks like they have the unretouched one on the page with the bag (uncredited wtf) do you know what I mean? So there are 2 “different” pics of you!

  • Linda R.

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    they totally changed the way you look, they made you look older in the pic and you are NOT and neither are you fat. I always think you look great.

  • GRIT AND GLAMOUR

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Maegan, I am so glad you posted this. I had a similar thing happen to me, and I did not post about it…well…here’s what I wrote on Jennine’s IFB post…it is really meant for you:

    I had a brand alter my face severely…to the point that I actually looked like another person! I was so disappointed, and didn’t run the photo on my blog, and also didn’t post about the Photoshop fail because I didn’t want to affect other people who were involved in the shoot/promotion. Lately I have been thinking about running the shots, to make this point: WE ARE BLOGGERS, NOT MODELS. Imperfections are expected! WE ARE REAL PEOPLE! To digitally alter our features is reprehensible. I’m not talking about smoothing a couple wrinkles out…that’s fine. But when you widen my forehead or change Maegan’s nose, it’s wrong. Bloggers have shot to fame because other women can identify with us because we are NOT model perfect! If brands are too stupid to realize that, they should just stick with a pro model.
    It was bad enough that I was nervous on set in front of the camera, but when I saw that my face wasn’t considered good enough since some idiot graphic designer felt the need to change it, I decided being in front of the camera and doing photo shoots was not something I ever wanted to do again. (Video…now that’s another story, and safer when it comes to editing.)

    I came to fashion blogging primarily as a writer, because that is what I do—and I love the perks, I won’t lie—but after that incident, I pretty much knew I’d never pursue top-tier via representation because I will never forfeit my power to decline projects, or to speak out when things go awry. For me, fashion blogging has always been about the clothes, the stories, the art, the connections—not my face. Which I like just fine, thank you very much!

    I’m glad you posted this. It’s about time someone pointed it out. On the same shoot, I saw other bloggers who lost 15 pounds in the editing process…it’s all an illusion, and a unhealthy one.

  • GRIT AND GLAMOUR

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    And PS: They DID alter your nose and smile, and you look so much better as your natural, beautiful self! Good for you for calling them out. Shame on them for not listening.

  • Lorena

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I’d be upset.
    This is not you, did they want Maegan or not ?
    What is the point of asking for a picture of you if they don’t want you ?!
    But for me the worst part is that they ARE DENYING IT!
    I could never trust a company that does this, I could never buy from them.

  • Denae

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I am a long time reader of Jill’s (baby rabies) and I am sorry but I disagree with you. I deal with photos and altering them daily and reading this post my first thought was “what altering”. Before reading your beliefs I compared the two photos critically and could only see that filters had been applied and the lighting/colors had be drastically changed. I 800% agree that changing the balance of shadowing/exposure can dramatically alter and even thin a person’s appearance. Softening filters make me look fat and 10 years younger. Its amazing what a simple lighting filter can do. Like most people I am sure you arent used to seeing yourself (mirror) or photos of yourself in that unnatural lighting. It does place greater emphasis on the contours of your nose that honestly arent that prominent. I do not see obvious thinning or retouching by the brand. Your arm is not measurably thinner, it just appears thinner because of the new heavy shadowing. Hue, color balance, lighting, exposure, etc are frequently used in print to create visual unity in photos that are shot in different places/times but published as a group and do not alone speak to a desire to create a thinner or “more appealing” shape. I agree you look different in the two photos but i see no proof that this was caused in an effort to make you look “more appealing”. I honestly think the photo you sent was prettier but might not have had the lightening color/balance they were looking for.

  • Molly

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I can definitely see what you’re talking about! Honestly (I swear I’m not just saying this!) you look strange in the re-touched image! Your natural nose is so much more proportional and prettier! I’m so sorry you have to deal with this situation, I know you have the support of so many of your readers. We’re sending good thoughts your way! Keep your (naturally beautiful) chin up!

    mollywallaceblog.blogspot.com

  • carla5555

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    If i’m gonna be truly honest, and this isn’t to flatter you, but your original picture is so much prettier then what they did. Honestly, I think you handled yourself very well. It wouldn’t have hurt anyone to apologize but instead, they were kind of mean! You should absolutely stand up for yourself! Your fans are glad you did! xoxo

    http://www.fashionmavenmommy.com

  • Kier Mellour

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I would be soooooo mad if that happened to me. Honestly, your readers love you, we love your face and body, and we love your candor. I specifically became a fan after you posted an “outfit post” of you in sweat pants, and read about you wanting to start a family. You are personal and real.. that’s why we love you. And we love you even more now. Thank you for sharing. I wouldn’t worry about us all boycotting their company, I’m not thinking twice about them at all… I however am more in love with you and your blog than ever before.

    With Love From Hollywood,
    Kier
    Fashion Addict
    Follow me on Pinterest!

  • Laura Wears...

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    I applaud you for discussiong this subject on your blog. There are obvious differences between the two photos & it is ridiculous they wouldn’t issue an apology.
    You are a gorgeous woman – do not think any less of yourself becasue the photoshop-happy folk at Brahmin chose to alter your photos. Like the other commenters have been saying – the original photo is FAR better.

    xoxo
    Laura

  • thankfifi

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    The ‘real’ you looks better – that’s what makes no sense. Assumedly they are within their rights to edit as they see fit but I can’t understand WHY they had edited in this way… I guess it’s a lesson learnt through you for all of us, thanks for sharing the story.

    ♥ ThankFifi

  • Joy Rothke

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    we kept the bags see: dome bag | crocodile dome bag | brown satchel for my outfit posts with them}. We were not paid otherwise, well, I was not paid otherwise, I cannot speak for anyone else.

    IMO, getting something like US$1K in handbags is certainly getting paid. If so, you’re “out of gas” to quote Judge Marilyn (People’s Court).

    That said, they did a pretty ham-handed job of Photoshopping.

    Did you sign a release/waiver giving them the right to alter the photos? If so

  • Kristina

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Maegan, I’m a photographer and just did a quick comparison in photoshop overlaying the two in top of each other. They actually totally altered your face shape (and with it the features). If you have someone who is versed in photoshop, ask them to the the comparison and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Your face is smaller in catalogue photo, lips are higher up, nose is thinned out, eyes are higher up, etc, etc…. It was not just the nose they altered but quite a bit.

  • Olivia Lisa Mangle

    October 5, 2012 | Reply

    It’s sad that they even thought it was worth doing all that, you are beautiful the way you are! Hope you keep your chin up! Liv x

  • mail4rosey

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    I see the difference, totally.

    Wonder why they’d even bother, you look way better in the original shot.

    Crazy days.

    Good for you for standing up for yourself.

  • Elle

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    You can totally see the difference! It’s sad that one person behind a computer felt the need to do that since you’re obviously a beautiful girl, and silly that they would deny it and think that you would just believe that they didn’t completely alter your nose! And even your eyes and mouth! Nobody is safe from photoshop!

    P.S. I love your blog, your REAL photos!

    Hooray for real beauty!

  • Me

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Absolutely unacceptable! Good job standing up for yourself and not letting these people get the best of you!

    I want to be your blog agent! Seriously. I have an idea about this gaining some big attention.

  • Scott B

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    On the brighter side, considering the industrial-strength ineptitude of far too many Photoshop Jockeys these days, we can be happy that the final photo shows that you’re still white, female, and possessing the proper number of appendages and/or sensory organs.

    Seriously, what you sent them was a picture of you with their product. What they seem to think they received was just a new stock photo of their product.

    This should be cautionary tale scattered across to the other fashion bloggers: while it may seem flattering to have a company want to feature your picture, if the face looking back at you in the final product isn’t yours, you didn’t really get flattered.

    Maegan, you and your nose are beautiful just the way they are. Keep up the great work.

  • Anonymous

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    You signed a contract giving them permission to alter your image plus you received payment for it. I seriously fail to see the problem. Get over it.

  • rachelle

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    I dont read your blog often, but after this honest post, I am now going to add it to my list. Great post and Im glad you called them out!

  • Lucy Ball

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    I think both pics are beautiful, but the real YOU is the best.

  • kates new life

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Have you looked at the Brahmin online catalog tonight? It looks like they put your original picture back online. Take a look and see what you think. I know you we’re talking about the paper catalog at first. Just take a look, did they change it back to your original photo you sent them?

  • Stephanie

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Yep they definitely gave you a nose job! They also pulled the (outer) ends of your eyes up.. don’t know if you noticed.

    You look much better before the editing! x

  • Kara

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    This really makes me want to look up the other bloggers who did this promotion as well…I can’t imagine what horrifying things they did to their faces!

    Free bags or not, no woman should expect to be drastically altered in a company sales photo. It’s a yucky thing to do as a business.

  • Anonymous

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Stand up for yourself – no one else will. Cliche yes, but true. This is no small thing like some commenters on FB are making it out to be. Push back and push hard… these people need to stop this sort of crap, and what’s so insane, is they don’t even KNOW that we PREFER the original 99.8% of the time. Time for some TRUTH in advertising!

  • Arash Mazinani

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    As a guy looking at the photos even from a purely as ethical point; you are a lot more attractive in your original shots than you are after they edited your nose.

    I really don’t understand why they did it. Take out the fact you’re a blogger and meant to be representing real women for a second. But you look much better than the ‘edited’ version they actually printed.

    I think in all honesty the brand are idiots. In this day and age with consumers holding so much power via social media they should really be careful about doing things like this. When someone with such klout posts negatively about a brand it can really tarnish their image. If something goes viral then they really need to worry and no brand is safe from that, not even the big guns like Sony etc.

    I’d really push this message until you get them to admit they DID edit your face and they were WRONG for doing so. As a blogging community we can really make or break a brand and it’s time they realised, actually they can’t mess people about.

  • jimjam

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, they definitely changed your nose which you know because it’s YOUR nose and I can see because I have eyes… I can’t believe some people can’t see the change. They would probably have an issue if it was their face.

    Did you sign anything to say that they were allowed to change your image?

    I agree, continue to stand up for yourself. Would anyone accept this if a catalogue had changed their daughter’s face? No.

    ps. you are stunning so don’t think it’s anything to do with you or feel bad about yourself.

  • Hair Romance

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Maegan,
    I’m glad you posted about this and I would have reacted in the same way. The brand has completely missed the point of working with bloggers. Making the changes to your photo, and then denying it, were two big mistakes. I applaud you for calling them out on this. You’re beautiful just as you are.
    Christina x

  • Marie-Charlotte B

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    But they changed your upper lip and your eyes shade ! You’re right to react like that ! You’re just gorgeous the way you’re ! Don’t let anybody change this !

    Kisses from France !

  • Mich

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    Why would they even do that?? I may be biased because I love you and your blog, but you look better in the original!
    xxxx

  • Anonymous

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    I’m a longtime reader and fan, but I disagree with you on this whole fiasco. You signed a contract waiving your rights to the pictures. They are allowed to edit/modify the pictures as they see fit.

  • Anonymous

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    You signed the consent form and I think it would have been refreshing if they had just said, yup, we did it! The nose is obviously different. I just really can’t figure out why. Your nose is lovely and your photo is great. I understand “autumn-izing” it to make all the bloggers’ photos look consistent but why the nose? My theory is someone got carried away while working on it.

  • The Vintage Modern Wife

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    wow! glad you took a stand for yourself. they clearly retouched your pictures. how disappointing! you’re gorgeous and don’t need ANY retouching at all.

  • honestysprotegee

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    I immediately wondered why they altered your nose. You look like another person. I don’t know much about photo retouching, but it looks like they also changed the color of your eyes in the altered photo.

  • Mawiyah

    October 6, 2012 | Reply
  • Anonymous

    October 6, 2012 | Reply

    My honest opinion:

    1.) The photo was unnecessarily photoshopped. You’re lovely and you take lovely photos — I don’t get why they did that.

    2.) The company’s response to you was offensive — both in its tone and denial of the obvious. They don’t deserve good customer relations.

    BUT

    3.) I really didn’t notice the difference until you pointed it out. If I saw that photo in a catalog, I would have thought, “Oh look, it’s Maegan.” Nothing else — especially since you said it was small.

    4.) Given we live in a world where every sales picture of a woman is expected to be photoshopped, I was not particularly surprised (or outraged) that the image was altered in the way that you described. That’s why I don’t read beauty magazines, but turn to blogs instead. 🙂 It’s not that I don’t think that the alteration was wrong — I just feel it is widespread ,and I’m not particularly outraged about this singular instance.

  • Anonymous

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    Not sure if this will work,
    http://makeagif.com/i/R5Sg0r
    Definitely photochopped. Don’t see why they would lie about it.

  • JoDi

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, that photo is so obviously Photoshopped, it’s ridiculous for them to deny it. The worst part is it’s badly Photoshopped, and the original is much better. The commenter who agreed that it’s just a filter is full of crap. She must work for Brahmin.

    I know it’s disappointing to realize that they weren’t really interested in representing real women even though they chose bloggers and not fashion models, but if you think about it, you shouldn’t be shocked. I am a big fan of Project Runway like you, and you know what happens when the designers are presented with a real woman who has…… BOOBS!!! **GASP** Of all things, on a woman, who would imagine!!! It completely unhinges them because they don’t design clothes for real women, they design clothing to fit the shape of a prepubescent boy.
    Seriously, there is nothing real about the fashion industry even when they’re selling purses. If they have to Photoshop waif-thin anorexic models, no real woman stands a chance of not being seriously altered.

    You are a beautiful, healthy woman, and you look beautiful in your blog pictures. Your legs look athletic and muscular, not fat. What they did to you just shows how out of touch they are with reality. Fashion is its own little bubble world trying to sell everyone their vision of what women *should* look like. Don’t buy it, and don’t doubt yourself for a second.

  • gina

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    (1) You are a very pretty person and your original shots are great, so I don’t know why the company would feel the need to photoshop the photos in the first place, especially given that this is a campaign using bloggers (i.e. regular women) instead of models.

    Even given that…
    (2) It’s not surprising that they photoshopped you, b/c it’s so so so common in the industry. What is surprising is that…

    (3) The photoshopped version doesn’t look as good as the original! Why would it help their business to publish less attractive photos in their catalog when you sent them a much more attractive original?

    (4) You signed a contract giving them the right to alter and use your photo as they choose, AND photoshopping is super common, so why lie to you? Lying about something you did wrong ALWAYS makes it worse, and arguably they didn’t even do anything wrong b/c legally they had the right to photoshop your photo in whatever way they wanted.

  • myweekendfoodexperiments

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Maegan! i have never commented on your blog, but i am a big fan of yours. At the begining i though they made you face smaller or something, couldnt just point my finger at anything in particular until you mentioned the altered nose. Thats really wierd, i completely agree with your reaction. Thats just not you in the picture.

  • Anonymous

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    I am seriously shocked at the comments from people who see no major difference between the photo of YOU and the photoshopped version. That just proves how completely oblivious so many people are. If I saw the photoshopped version alone, I wouldn’t even suspect it was you, and I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year. It’s clear they altered your nose, teeth and eyes.

  • Anonymous

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    You look like a different person on the Left. They wanted to market YOU and YOU are the ‘brand’. So, they messed up – and then they lied about messing up. It was unethical – NO matter what the subject of this post was about.

    **btw, just ignore Jessica Gottlobb or whatever her full name is – do a bit of research and you’ll quickly learn she is a big joke on the interwebs. She will *love* tearing you down though, so just put her on mute and keep moving; she is all white noise and nothingness. 😉

    -Ann

  • Megan

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    I know the point of posting this was not for compliments, but I just wanted to say for the record, your real nose is way way way way way cuter than their fake one! You have every right to be peeved!

  • Trissta

    October 7, 2012 | Reply

    Ok. Here’s my thing. There’s a lot of comments saying that you’re full of yourself or whatever, but I understand the reasoning to this post. It’s the politics of the action itself and the business not being willing to be honest. For those commenters saying they don’t notice the difference… I say, take off your damn sunglasses or put some prescription ones on. Seriously. How can you not tell the difference? That’s beyond me. I know that if it was MY face that they had altered, I would be having the same damn reaction. You didn’t get paid for the shoot, so why the hell should they be altering the photos that much? I adore you and your blog because you’re REAL. You have your faults and your strengths, but in reality, this is just one of the small steps along to way to becoming a ‘star’. You’re going to have people do this all the time once you’re published and on your way to the top. Hater’s gonna hate. Just proves that you’ve got something that they’re jealous of.

    Much Love,
    Trissta

  • Rhonda

    October 8, 2012 | Reply

    Omg!! I am so glad you were persistent! That other photo is clearly not your face and had been altered big time. I am happy that they removed it. You are beautiful. Not fat, not ugly- beautiful!

  • Laurie

    October 8, 2012 | Reply

    I like your real nose much better! This would make me SO mad, too! The “edit” completely changed your face…I mean you weren’t unrecognizable, but you weren’t YOU!

    I applaud you for standing up for yourself, for your nose, and for women everywhere!

  • Amanda @ Eloquent English

    October 8, 2012 | Reply

    That’s awful! I’d be upset too! I definitely think your nose looks different… weird… Glad they replaced them for you!

  • Cate Young

    October 8, 2012 | Reply

    I understand how frustrating it must be to see your image altered so obviously, then to have them deny it, but you signed a contract and were compensated. You literally gave them the right to do this. You can’t really be upset about it. It’s disingenuous and makes you look either a. ungrateful for the working relationship or b. too dazzled by the lure of free stuff to look out for your own best interests.

    I think the issue here should be that they denied it, not that it was done. The implication that your body is not good enough is obviously upsetting, but that’s why we put things in writing. It’s on you to know what you’re signing.

  • Anonymous

    October 9, 2012 | Reply

    Maegan, I know my comment is just one out of the many but I just wanted to say that I hope you don’t let stupid people’s comments ever get to you. As a blogger, I believe you are in the public eye and can be easily criticized. Hopefully you can easily brush off silly comments from unhappy people who seek to make negative comments to make other unhappy too. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and i LOVE that you are personable and real. Thanks for sharing that with the world.

    Cheers,

    Dee

  • Alice Barton

    October 9, 2012 | Reply

    Hi maegan,

    Thank your SO much for this post.
    You standed agains a company proving you brave!
    Most bloggers wouldn’t have ever said anything against a company, concerned that they might not want to work together again.
    I mean, why on earth did they do it?? The “new nose” was just HORRID.
    You are perfect, beautiful as you are. Just like we all are.
    And that company’s response was just SO SO SO outrageously rude! Incredible.
    I am just curious if the company let you know that they had changed the photo, or if you found out by checking it by yourself.
    And for those who think this is just “blogger drama”, you can all F**k off. This is real life people.
    We can NOT let companies do the hell they want. We have to say NO, when we have to.
    We can NOT let them get away with whatever they want to!!!! We have to stand on our own feet and fight for what we feel is fair.
    End of rant.
    Thanks again Maegan, this is why I’ve been reading your blog for years. I know that whatever I read here is 100% honest and that you are always staying true to YOURself.

    Now… that was a long comment! 😉

    Alice Barton ♥ The Mow Way

  • The Scarlit Harlot

    October 9, 2012 | Reply

    I can see the whole lighting has been changed which in itself is a huge problem. There’s nothing I hate more than looking in a catalogue and seeing a deep blue almost purple shirt, and then having it come in the mail and be navy blue.

    Even if they darkened a photo you would just notice heavier shading on your face which would be apparent in your neck, face lines, and under your eyes. Overall it looks like they extended the light line down to your nose to make it thinner. Your original photo goes about 2/3rds the way down your nose, the altered goes to the tip of your nose.

    PS – you are perfect the way you are. Retouching has always been a mjor pet peeve of mine – you’d think a world like blogging would be exempt from that – guess not. Glad you spoke up!

  • Anonymous

    October 10, 2012 | Reply

    In response to your update: has the company apologized yet?

  • Kristen

    October 10, 2012 | Reply

    Whoa. Ok first it looks like they overdid it on the blur tool in Photoshop, notice how the curve of your left eye is slightly leveled. I’d also guess that they selected part of your face and the top part of the image to lengthen your head just a smidge.

    Whatever, you’re way cuter in the original. Not sure why they decided to edit where they did… the “new girl” they created isn’t cute.

  • Peace Love Applesauce- Terri

    October 10, 2012 | Reply

    Awwe.. what a bummer.
    Honestly, I couldn’t notice a thing different other than copy quality until you pointed out your nose.. I have an untrained eye. ;o)

  • NYC

    October 10, 2012 | Reply

    They obviously photoshopped your image. But, what we intially noticed was they altered the slant of your eyes. Then of course, the slimmer nose.

  • A.Co

    October 11, 2012 | Reply

    Okay whoa, your nose was TOTALLY altered and it made you less beautiful, if I can be blunt.

    I think you did the right thing, and agree with how you went about it. AND, good on you for having the balls to stick up for yourself and get this fixed.

    But seriously, had they just apologized in the first place, it would have saved everyone a lot of headache! Sheeeesh.

  • Rachellabelle

    October 14, 2012 | Reply

    They clearly built you a whole new nose. Wow. Anyone who can’t see that is probably the kind of person that gets into a car crash on a sunny day in July, or can’t find the glasses on top of their head.

    By the way, isn’t Photoshopping supposed to make you MORE attractive. Major fail on their part for shoddy work and then lying about it.

  • azc

    October 22, 2012 | Reply

    Here’s an animated gif that cycles between the two noses. Makes it blatantly obvious for anyone who can’t see it. http://i.imgur.com/cYaja.gif

  • Photo retouch

    November 8, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome Pic I love This funny Photo Editing ..I like it.

  • James Smith

    January 16, 2013 | Reply

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  • Tamara Thomas

    February 23, 2013 | Reply

    azc, that is a terrific simple animation to show the stupid, bad behavior of the company. Shame on them.

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