Earlier this week, actress Rumer Willis very publicly called out photographers Mark Williams and Sara Hirakawa of Williams and Hirakawa on Instagram for allegedly over-editing her facial features in a photo for Vanity Fair.
Now, the photographers have spoken out against the criticism saying no unnecessary post-processing was done to the photograph.
To catch you up on the saga, Willis brought attention to the allegedly manipulated image via the below Instagram post. In it, she criticizes the photographers for making her jaw look smaller, a feature of hers which has been the center of bullying before.
In a follow-up statement to New York Magazine, Williams and Hirakawa claim to have had no intention of altering Willis’ jaw or any other features and confirmed the photograph never appeared in Vanity Fair, either online or in print.
In a newer statement to Bokeh though, a more in-depth explanation was given by Williams and Hirakawa as to why Rumer’s facial features appeared toned done:
The retouching that was done to the photograph was only done to resolve some distortion with using a wide angle lens for a group shot, and not to alter or modify anyone’s face. We used a wide angle lens, and it might’ve made Rumer’s chin look smaller from the higher angle that we shot the image. We did correct for the optics of the lens slightly as people’s heads get distorted through the wide angle lens. We certainly did not intend to change the way she naturally looks. Our intention was to capture the special bond between Rumer and her sisters […] It saddens us that Rumer feels the way she does about the image and hope she understands that there was never any intention with it to alter her appearance.
The language in the response feels like a bit of a non-apology, but without the original images we have no way of finding out who is telling the truth.
Wide angle lenses are known to cause distortion, especially at the center. So, if that is indeed the case, Rumer’s complaints do fall on the unnecessary side.
However, if the photo was altered unnecessary and Williams and Hirakawa are bluffing, it only further perpetuates the ongoing problem of unrealistic expectations set by post-production manipulations.
Willis has not shared a follow-up to Williams and Hirakawa’s latest response.