Terry Richardson's Before and After Photoshop Pictures of Mariah Carey Leaked

Terry Richardson's Before and After Photoshop Pictures of Mariah Carey Leaked

Famous portrait photographer Terry Richardson is back in the news... this time it is for un-retouched images of Mariah Carey leaking to Jezebel. He recently had a photoshoot with her for Wonderland magazine's summer issue, and unfortunately, the un-retouched images were leaked, according to Jezebel.com.

Many people have been showing a lot of surprise becuase of the "natural" style that Terry has given off, which now seems unrealistic. Though, I am on the fence over this entire issue.

I am definitely one to say "throw it in photoshop" no matter what to double check what flaws can be fixed. In this case, my only real annoyance is that for the shoot it is almost as if it started off with "we will be throwing this in Photoshop." Some of the before images show the pictures to even be out of focus. Though, that could just be a resize issue for when Jezebel.com got he leaked images and may have had to blow them up? The images that are being claimed as the before show very poor skin tones that almost all had to be painted over. Maybe this is what Terry has been doing all along though?

For most publications, it is almost known that the images get their fair treatment of photoshop makeup and touchups. I can definitely see why these images were retouched based off of the original photos. To be honest, I did not see the issues that were being pointed out on other sites with retouching the shape of the hair and body and making that out to be a negative thing to do. I, personally, would do the same exact thing before sending those images off to be in a magazine. Before we all get our pitchforks, let's remember these images are being published and this is something that is not new to the scene, retouching images prior to magazine submission.

If anything, I am just glad we are covering Terry Richardson for his mediocre Photoshop abilities and not for being attacked on accusations of sexual contact with models again.

[images and story via jezebel.com]

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Ralph Berrett's picture

To me the major issue here is the images were for the most part were exposed and shot poorly. Most of this could have been corrected in camera, but because it wasn't you ended up with heavy photoshop triage. I know this is supposed to be part of Terry Richardson's style, but this is case of his style not working.

David Justice's picture

That's his style. Everyone has a style, this is his.

Ralph Berrett's picture

I agree, it is his style, but it still did not work. Everyone has a style but not everyone is trapped by it.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

Everyone is entitled to their style but I've personally never been a fan of his but obviously someone out there does like it since he keeps getting high profile shoots. :/

His "style" is that he has no style. TR is a hack pure and simple.

Rob Timko's picture

He doesn't need to impress you. He only needs to impress the worlds biggest publications, designers and artists. And he's done that better than most every photographer on the planet, all with his style, which is recognized instantly by even nonphotographers.

Of course he doesn't need to impress me, but he puts his work out there so he's going to have comments on it, both good and bad. And just because something is popular, doesn't mean it's good. For example, Justin Beiber.

Rob Timko's picture

You're again arguing subjectivity. "good". Justin Beiber isn't "good" you say. Who are you? There are millions of people who'll say that they like him and he's good. Are you somehow better than them to make that call? So, let's take subjectivity out of it and quantify it with something you can compare it to. How many people think Justin Beiber is good, vs. bad? How many people think Justin Beiber is good, and Bob Dylan is bad? see how that works?

Justin Beiber isn't 'bad' - In fact, he's amazing/impressive/talented to many people who appreciate him as a performer. You....just don't like him.

It's easy to say "just because something is popular, doesn't mean it's good. For example...." and then name anyone. I can say that about Avedon, Newton, Karsh, Penn, Bob Dylan. I can say Justin Beiber is better than Bob Dylan because Bob Dylan can't dance.

Part of being 'good' in photography is, like it or not, what other people think of the photos you make. Far more than how in focus/lighting/blah blah they are. And, in that case, Terry Richardson's photos are liked by a lot more people than not.

Ignorance is bliss. Keep enjoying TRs work.

james darden's picture

A hack, maybe. But he's a hack that's getting the contracts and the jobs. How many people making negative comments can make that claim? Your retort may be "it's not about the money but the quality of work." His response might be "yeah well...keep telling yourself that and while you're at it, I'll keep shooting the high-end clients that like my work." Evidently if he was that terrible, he wouldn't be getting the work. So either

a) he has all these people fooled into thinking he has talent which he has been able to pull off for years


b) they're not the least bit concerned about how he does his thing as long they like the finished product.

It's A - The emperor has no clothes.

Mihael Julius's picture

This is exactly what came to my mind and what I was going to comment. I'm a middle aged guy who had to reinvent himself. Shot on my own for three years then to school for two to speed things up and make up for lost time. Anyway, I can't believe how crappy his pre-edits are. He misses the mark for catching it in camera by miles. They're not even sharp. Wow! Talk about a confidence booster for the little guys.

Senen Llanos's picture

I'm actually pretty impressed with the look, especially with how they corrected a blurry photo. It's pretty good editing work.

David Justice's picture

I would go as far to say that the original image was a picture from a camera, or at least off the monitor. I've taken a lot of shots off of my monitor to show people and the original image has the same look as what I've seen when I do it.

David Vaughn's picture

Not much new there. Mariah Carey has never been the....most slender or in-shape singer. She's always kind of been in love with Photoshop. I'm sure she was the one who requested the Photoshop, while Terry was probably just standing there apathetically saying "Take out your boobs."

I have a feeling that a lot of celebrities ask for Photoshop then feign outrage when it is called out. Very few get upset until AFTER the photos the papparazzi took the same day of the shoot come out in a side by side showing a huge fluctuation in appearance.

I would have done the same retouches, honestly. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting tired of the Photoshop "scandals". Photographers retouch based on the brand and image of the person they are photographing and the brand and image of the clothing/accessories/whatever that person is promoting. We don't control if a celebrity gets a disasterous spray tan or if they gain a bunch of weight, and we certainly don't control how photogenic someone is (which even the most attractive people can photograph not so great). If things don't look perfect, it's the photographer's head on a platter. I get being upset with the over the top photoshopping where 50lbs are digitally shed and it presents a false image, but there is nothing scandalous about these retouches.

The thing that does suprise me about these photos is the bad photography in the before shots. Out of focus, terrible lighting and exposure. Makes me wonder what this guy did before Photoshop. Yikes. I'm not sure WHY he released these.

Lee Morris's picture

I think these are particularly funny because the pictures are "snapshots" but they are still retouched.

Haha, yeah that is kinda funny. Although... I have been known to retouch my own pictures before I post them to Facebook. "Where did that wrinkle come from? Let me just get rid of that..."

From a business standpoint though, I wonder if maybe he had a contract with her about retouching everything? She is very particular and I can see her not signing any releases unless she was retouched.

Jason Ranalli's picture

Completely agreed Jennifer...completely agreed. Retouching has gotten a bit of an unwarranted bad-rap IMO.

On the topic of this joker....well let's just say the stupid thumbs up in every photograph, lame hipster glasses, and general poor ethics make me far inclined to not like the guy....crummy photographs aside.

Mark Weikert's picture

My question would be why is she shooting with Terry in the first place?

Sam Merkel's picture

"All over bronzed skintone" Seriously? You're trying to crucify him for correcting white balance? The photoshop treatment that these photos received was nowhere out of the ordinary and honestly more on the tame side when it comes to fashion magazines. People love to try to tear Terry apart because they think he's creepy but the majority, if not all of them, don't realize that he's a pretty damn talented photographer. I'm so sick of people on the internet getting angry simply because someone else said they should be. Use your heads, there are much more pressing issues to be upset about. Pick up a newspaper and read about actual problems in our world today.

Drew Pluta's picture

What is so sad to me is to see how many people repeatedly parrot "that's his style." Sorry but why is not knowing how to use your camera considered a "style" only when it comes to him? I know for sure that if I were turning in photos that look like his to any client, they'd come back at me with a list of complaints, and they'd be right.

Rob Timko's picture

Because he's turned his style into being one of the most successful photographers in history. His style is recognizable by people who aren't even into photography. Many photographers will never accomplish that in life. Speak for yourself, I make tons of money on clients asking for this look. He doesn't need to impress you or any other photographer. He doesn't need to have even close to "technically" exposed and composed right photos. He only needs to impress the worlds biggest publications and people in the industry. He's done that. He's done that better than most other photographers....and with technically "bad" photos. Other photographers who circlejerks about the next new lens being what's going to take them to "the next level" hate that. Or if they "technically" nail a photo, they are "better".

Drew Pluta's picture

Your comments basically sum up as "he's rich and famous so shut up." Thanks for pointing that out! You obviously don't understand an insightful point. He doesn't have a style, the style has him. He didn't invent taking a bad photo, he just became famous for it. His (and your) point of view is cynical and arrogant. He's saying "You're all so stupid I don't even have to do good work." He's Warholing his career as a famous person.

Rob Timko's picture

How can you say he doesn't have a style? He has a more recognizable style than any photographer out there at the moment. You may not like it. It may not sit right with you as a 'technical photographer' - that's fine. He doesn't need to impress you. You aren't his customer. I get 3 emails a week from agencies, models, apparel companies that mention 'Terry style'. Hell, I heard "terry style" referenced about 10 times today on various photography websites/forums. "He didn't invent taking a bad photo, he just became famous for it." - nor did anyone else who has a style, invent lighting/post processing - they just made it famous. Yep. Brenzier didn't 'invent' his style. Dragan didn't 'invent' his either. Nonetheless it's their style. THEIR name is associated with it.

He's saying 'I'm going to shoot what I want. I only have to impress major publications and not pretentious photographers' and guess what? He knocked that out of the park better than you or I ever will.

"He doesn't have a style, the style has him." - deep man, deeeep....

"A technically perfect photograph can be the world’s most boring picture." - Andreas Feininger

Tell me, in your work, what style did you invent that someone walking on the street will say "That's a Drew photograph!"

I mean, if you want to climb on the 'well, I'm an artist and Terry isn't' high horse and poo-poo what the general public likes, go for it. I don't think Terry really cares about making 'art' in the technically right perfect exposure and lighting way that many of the photographers who post here do...as evidenced by the 'he can't even get exposure right!' comments.

Who are you to say that for something to be a 'good' photo it has to be meet a certain measurable criteria? Because I'd argue the public who love his 'bad photo' style already decided what a 'good photo is' and it reallllly urks the 'technical' photographers out there.

Drew Pluta's picture

Your doing that thing people do on the internet where you pay no attention to what the other person has said and you simply assert straw men at a position that hasn't been taken. All the stuff you're arguing has not been asserted by me in any way.

You should check out Richard Kern if you want to see everything that is wrong with TR. He basically stole what he misunderstood from Kern without any of what made Kerns stuff work. A great photographer will evolve their look and technique but always retain their style. TR doesn't even register a blip on the radar.

In the world of arts fulfillment there is such a thing as doing it right and doing it wrong. What much of the generation he's marketed to doesn't understand is how much better humans have already done things. We've progressed past not understanding on camera flash. People under 30 think they're being cool by "breaking the rules" when in reality they're just doing it wrong. There's a difference.

But hey, as you point out. The kids love him so the money follows.

Sam Merkel's picture
Drew Pluta's picture

Your not going to educate me

Sam Merkel's picture

Very well then