Mariah Carey Before and After Photoshopping Photos – photos released today show how much digital alteration took place on the original photos taken for Mariah Carey’s Wonderland photo feature.
The Wonderland photos were taken by celebrated celebrity photographer Terry Richardson who has worked with a veritable Who’s Who of celebrities and models over recent years. Some of his clients include Beyonce, Kate Upton, Emily Ratajowski, Mila Kunis, Kat Dennings, Miley Cyrus Sofia Vergara, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Kim Kardashian and Miranda Kerr to name but a few.
Today’s before and after images of Richardson’s photos of Mariah Carey are released on the Jezebel blog site which is not a great surprise as they have a long running campaign against Richardson, who has been accused by several models of sexual harassment. The blog site also recently had an article about a special 100 page Playboy magazine special called California Dreamin’ which is entirely shot by Richardson. This issue will feature 4 models in a variety of poses shot all around the state of California and it is due to be published around Valentine’s Day next year.
We are guessing that it is not only Mariah who will be less than impressed by these new photos showing how Photoshop alterations have been made to Richardson’s original photographs of her. With all of the big name celebrities and models that have worked with Richardson people are likely to wonder what other photos of his have been substantially changed before publication. Although nobody is naive enough these days to think that every photo appearing in a magazine is unaltered the scale of digital change made to the photos here is quite surprising.
It is not just the odd change to Mariah’s body and face that we are talking about here as she has had her face thinned by bringing the jawline in, her breasts enlarged, her waist brought in, her legs and arms thinned, her skin smoothed and the tone of her skin has been changed.
Richardson is well-known for his style of shooting and it seems that the final magazine photos look very little like the actual pictures he shot in his studio. We come back to the old argument as to whether this is still art or not.
In another photo that they have shown on their site Jezebel even demonstrate that bone is trimmed back to make a better final product as one photo shows Mariah’s wrists have been digitally thinned.
Like most of the people shot for glossy magazine features, Mariah Carey can look fantastic without any digital manipulation and there is a strong argument that this sort of retouching puts unrealistic body image expectations on women. Unfortunately it is the sort of situation where unless all the magazines, models and photographers agree to publish untouched photos then the practice of Photoshopping images is likely to continue.The pressure to look flawless is just too great for one or two to try to break the system.
What is likely to happen is that Richardson will continue to take photos of high-profile models and celebrities and these are unlikely to reflect a real life look. What is clear is that many of these staged studio photos are far less sexy than the opportunistic photos taken by many ‘pap’ style photographers which capture the self-same women looking great but minus many hours of digital manipulation.