What Unretouched Photos From Victoria Secret Look Like

What Unretouched Photos From Victoria Secret Look Like

Victoria Secret, the company famous for selling underwear, lingerie, and overall sex appeal, is also notable for their amazing models. By the time you see the images from their catalog or campaigns, they are always retouched. Do you ever wonder what the shots look like before retouching? Here are a set of unretouched photos of V.S. Angel, Doutzen Kroes, from a recent shoot. 

Victoria Secret released these shots on accident in a public area of the website.

These images were posted to a public area of the VS Web site (apparently in error). They come from the forthcoming September catalog, which explains why retouched versions do not yet exist for a side-by-side comparison. They were shot around July 21 in Turks and Caicos. Even without retouched images to compare, the raw shots are still interesting to look at. -Jezebel

Although the final shots are not released, here's an idea of what you can expect them to resemble.

How do you feel about the shots before retouching?

[Via The Fashion Spot via Jezebel]

Log in or register to post comments


Previous comments
Corey Melton's picture

who said a photo shouldn't be retouched? ignorance is in the eye of the assumer

Tanja Schulte's picture

even the beautiful girls live under the pressure.
ask me ... i do modelling myself. :)

look at you... i mean males.
males too feel more and more the pressure to "look good".

look at "real" males from the 60s or 70s.. and look at the metro males from today.
my last boyfriend had as much deodorant, parfum as i have.  LOL

i would like to know how many men shaved their chest or armpits in the 1970s.....

"males too feel more and more the pressure to "look good"."

I don't, I'm married. :)

Tobias Solem's picture

Fantastic shots, these show them as confident, beautiful AND powerful all at the same time. Why anyone would want to remove any of that from photos is something I'll never understand. A world without uglification (the photo manipulation that is done in this industry) would be most appreciated by me.

an unretouched photo is like raw ingredients from the farm. You need a retoucher to finish the job and make it better.

elspeth's picture

Personally, I'm happily getting my ingredients raw from a farm and cooking them myself. What usually results is better in every respect than I could get from something that was processed before it got to me.

George Socka's picture

but you DO cook them.

I think they will have to continue retouching. They have already sold us a distorted view that we have bought into. If they change to a more realistic one, I don't think it will sell as well. Taking the photoshopping out makes these images look more like shots that anyone can take, given a beautiful model. And the models themselves look more human--with scars and bruises and skin issues visible. People buy presentation. Period. The unspoken thought that goes through the head is that "If I buy these clothes, I can look like this". If "this" is anything close to what they look like now, you have a weakened selling point.
I personally think the models look gorgeous as-is, but that isn't what advertising is about. It's about selling a product.

Tobias Solem's picture

It might sell even more with realistic ideals, given that people would feel more comfortable about themselves AND feel that they would do the clothes justice.

Advertising 101:
People want to look better than they already do. Exploit this for maximum effect.

It's sad that it is that way and I wish it worked the way you described.

Matthew Guss's picture

I always find it amusing whenever I see these articles or comments that seem to demand that retouching is deceptive and should not be used.

Breaking News: Photography is Deceptive . . .

Before an image is even retouched, the subject itself is manipulated. The photographer’s choice of lighting reshapes the subject. The choice of lens manipulates features of the model, i.e. compression. And, don’t get me started on posing. Just watch Sue Bryce’s course over at CreativeLIVE. Before any retouching of any kind was done, Sue was able to completely change the structure of her models with just posing.

Lies, Lies, Lies!

Yep, photography and cinematography, advertising, TV, “reality”-TV it’s all “fake”. Why? Is it projected on us? No, of course not. Don’t put the cart before the horse. It’s basic human psychology. Man wants to disassociate from reality . . . because reality is tough, life’s a struggle. Does that Wendy’s burger on TV really look the same as the one you pick-up at the drive threw? Mine dose not. And, do you truly think McDonald’s is going to make a commercial showing some home-video looking film of an over-weight man chowing down on a burger, and then cut to him later in life paying hefty medical bills for a triple bypass? But is that not more realistic? Obviously false
expectations harm sells, right? The whole-truth would sell better right? It’s
all about realistic expectations, right? No. This could not be further from the truth. Psychology proves otherwise.

I digress. Like all companies, V.S. is selling a product. And, V.S. has a target market. Women who want to look sexy. And the last thing V.S. wants is for their target market to ever at any moment feel subconscious about their sexuality. If V.S. shows a model with a stretch mark, their potential buyer will be reminded of her stretch mark. If V.S. shows a model’s bikini rash, their potential buyer will likely think about theirs as well. And this is not good advertisement. Why? Simple, V.S. is selling a product (in this case a bikini), not a model, not a women, not skin, not hair, not makeup, not a beach . . . a bikini. The hero is the bikini. Anything in the image that distracts from the bikini is a flaw.

If a potential buyer’s focus in not upon the bikini, but let us say the bikini rash. That buyer will begin to think. And, thinking is bad . . . emotional reactions are good. For instance, that beautiful lady considering the purchase of said bikini, that has noticed this humanly natural rash, will naturally begin to think, “I don’t know about this bikini? I have a similar rash; I don’t want to show it. And, company-B sells another bikini that looks good . . . I don’t see no rash in their ad. Perhaps the V.S. bikini is to skimpy and revealing?”. Or, after seeing a small stretch mark in the ad, “I hate that one stretch mark on my upper thigh. The last thing I want is to show that off this summer. I guess I’ll purchase that other suit with the different cut.” And, yes we subconsciously think these things. Advertisers aren’t dummies, they know.

Whether we like it or not, advertisers are reacting to human psychology. There are certain traits that we as humans find physically attractive in the western-world. And advertisers react to those natural traits that have been engrained into our subconscious by years and years of survival. Does this mean, a stretch mark makes a woman any less beautiful? Of course not. Everyone has them, it’s natural. But, again, V.S. is selling a product, not a person. And, V.S. understands the psychology of human desire.

Like I said earlier, photography is Fake . . . and so is advertising. And, remember, retouching existed long before Adobe Photoshop. There is nothing new under the sun.

Amen! Very well-said and I totally agree with everything you said!

- Joe

John Dewberry's picture

Does anyone have any idea why in the last photo she is wearing a skin colored bikini bottom?

Vip Angkoon Klangchanee's picture

They wear that extra layer to prevent cameltoe :)

I don't think it should be called cameltoe...I think it should be called "the reason I go to yoga-class".

Jordan Brehony's picture

you can also see it in the zebra print one.. I believe Vip is correct- that and also because they are changing a ton of bikinis on the beach and need to stay hygenic. im sure that is normally edited out so really great observation! I didnt even notice it.

Geoff Lister's picture

Sanitary reasons, they only use one bathing suit for multiple models/shoots. You can see it on another suit about halfway up as well.

Ryan Peterman's picture

Beyond what was stated, some bikinis (underwear etc.) are fairly transparent. It maintains the allusion of naked, with out being it.

If you go on the VS website, you'll see that when you select different colors of an item, the same picture is used for each one. I imagine they just Photoshop the colors on there rather than try to take the same picture of the same bikini in each of its dozen colors.

As someone who was a lingerie model once (literally only one time, ha), I can tell you that they do it primarily for sanitary reasons. We were trying on products that we couldn't keep, and like all lingerie/bikini bottoms, you're supposed to try them on with garments on underneath. I also imagine there isn't a place to change on the beach, so it could have a second purpose.

Albert Pedrosa's picture

no amount of editing can salvage a bad photo into an excellent one. the raw shots shown are good as they are.


What I like the most of these untouched photos is to have the option to retouch them myself (it's always good to practice), as well to have an idea of how photos that many of us are only used to see in their final version look like. And - maybe - use as reference for any future work, if one is not that experienced.

Steve Thurston's picture

Glad to see they face some the same challenges that I do. Gives me greater confidence in my own unretouched photos!

Mark Gangasingh's picture

This was shot at the resort where i work in the turks in caicos. Awesome!

Tanja Schulte's picture

im so happy that i now know that.... :)

Rachael Babineau's picture

It's nice to see that even VS bikini models get razor burn when taking care of their bikini zone!

Ronnie Mayo's picture

There has to be a big diffuser. Bright sun on the beach in daylight
would be way too contrasty. I bet they have a big reflector set far
enough away to make it look natural. BTW that girls belly button is
kinda gross.

These are great foundations for finished artwork for print. The model has pretty good skin and in very good physical shape. Combine good styling and makeup and the retouched files are awesome. I would rather see retouched files in print that the "before" shots...I can see regular women walking down the street for free.

Seems to me that in light of all the crap being thrown at these companies, laws in other countries being changed this might have been a "leak" by VS on purpose to gauge reaction. It just seems to be a internet trend that's been carried by large companies: "opppps how did that get on the website, but nowhere ever, in large quantity and formatted correctly for the site, and approved by the like 6 people" orrr "ohhh silly us, we left this brand new phone in the bathroom at the EXACT same time I knew that a chief writer for an important magazine happened to be in the same place" orrr orrr.... orrr "ohhh here high end, well known model, play with this brand new camera...... I'll just 'neglect' to have you sign a release or not even tell you what not to do with it" ...... "leak", companies way of saying prerelease buzz.

More comments