Pam Dave Zaring set the Internet on fire when she posted six photos taken and edited by Lesa Hall. They have been called the world’s worst Photoshop fail, or possibly a clever viral marketing campaign by the photographer’s company – IMagery by Lesa Hall.
Well, let’s take a look, and see what we can find out with our sleuthing skills!
Updated @ 2018-01-23 : Added confirmation from Lesa Hall about the Zaring family photos.
Updated @ 2018-01-17 : Added claims by Lesa Hall that she did not “draw” on those photos.
Originally posted @ 2018-01-15
The Lesa Hall Photoshop Fail
Sometime in May 2017, the Zaring family accepted an offer by professional photographer, Lesa Hall, to snap some family portraits in St. Louis’ Forest Park. They paid just $250 for the photoshoot and post-production.
After 8 months of delay, they finally received the photos from Lesa. They couldn’t believe their eyes when they opened the photos for the first time. They all had 2D-like flat faces with the eyes, nose and mouth drawn on!
Pam Dave Zaring posted six examples to her Facebook page on 12 January 2018 to share with family and friends, but was persuaded to make them public. Needless to say – they went VIRAL.
Here are the photos that she received from IMagery by Lesa Hall. You can see why they went viral!
After receiving these, Pam called Lesa Hall and asked if they “look like cartoon characters on her end as well and she said yes“. Apparently, Lesa told her that “there were shadows in the photos she had to work around” and “her professor never taught her to retouch photos“. No shit.
It’s Surely A HOAX!
When we saw them, that was the first thought that came to our minds. They look so absurdly cartoonish that no professional photographer would claim them as their work. So we did some sleuthing.
Facebook Spoof Pages
Like many folks on the Internet, we quickly found two Facebook pages dedicated to IMagery By Lesa Hall. However, they are fake spoof pages. They are not related to Lesa or her business.
IMagery By Lesa Hall Exists!
The actual IMagery By Lesa Hall website exists, and this is what it looks like. You can also check out the sample photos of her work, by clicking on the photos below. We have to point out that there does not appear to be any examples of such drastic photo editing effects.
Lisa Hall Photography
We also found out that Lisa Hall Photography was getting a ton of heat over the viral photos.
If you are one of them, please STOP. Lisa Hall Photography is completely unrelated to IMagery by Lesa Hall. As she pointed out – their names are different, and they also use different watermarks.
Lesa Hall : Those Are Not My Photos
According to Alannah Smith, Lesa Hall may have taken those photos but she did not edit them. She claimed it edited by the client because she took 8 months to deliver the photos.
Elyse Alexandria shared conversations between Lesa Hall and another person :
Lesa Hall: Wait wait those are not my photos
Lesa Hall: I mean they are but I didn’t draw on them
Josean Rosario: Well this lady is claiming online that you did this to her photos are charged her 250 dollars and now its spread all over the net this is libel if she is lying
Josean Rosario: You could sue her for this
Josean Rosario: (*unreadable*)…believe you probably gave her less edited images and now she is making you look bad
Lesa Hall: No, I didn’t draw them. I don’t do that. This was the result of no training in portrait retouching and corrections for stark contrasts. As I noted above, I reopened the portrait files, found a combo of two Photoshop tools that corrected the shadows and wanted color casts . . . the faces don’t have the unwanted effects that you saw earlier
Lesa Hall: (*unreadable*) …soon as I can
Lesa Hall: Thanks for sharing this.
Lesa Hall: I’m in the process of seeking legal assistance for it.
Josean Rosario: Good !!
Josean Rosario: You should really upload the photos though
Josean Rosario: You would probably find one instantly if people saw your side of the story
Lesa Hall: I’m in the process of updating my website. Thanks
The story does not look so clear-cut now. She is claiming the photos she sent did not have “those unwanted effects“.
Now, to be clear, we do not know if the Lesa Hall that Alannah and Elyse saw online is the same person that took those photos for Pam Dave Zaring. As we pointed out earlier, pranksters have already created no less than two spoof Facebook pages in her name.
Pam Dave Zaring : We Did Not Make This Up
Despite claims that the Zaring family drew on the photos to make Lesa look bad, Pam insisted that they “did not edit the photos in any shape, way or form“.
Lesa Hall : They’re My Handiwork New!
The Riverfront Times managed to contact Lesa Hall, and she clarified that:
- she was referring to a different set of photos someone else had edited in a similar fashion and attributed to her.
- the seven photos shared by Pam Dave Zaring are indeed her handiwork.
So there we have it, folks – confirmation from Lesa herself that those photos are indeed genuine.
Our Verdict : 100% True Updated!
From what we can tell – this is a legit post by a real person whose Facebook profile goes back many years. IMagery by Lesa Hall also seems to be a legit photography concern going back many years, albeit there are no other clients claiming similar Photoshop fails.
It is still possible that this may be a viral marketing campaign, but with the evidence at hand, we think this is a remote possibility.
The conversations shared by Elyse Alexandria offer a different view of this viral event. But they have been taken out of context, and Lesa herself admitted that the seven photos the Zaring family shared were her own work.
Lesa Hall has not issued any official statement, and has in fact, taken down her website.
The Internet Goes To Town
In the same cheerful spirit that Pam posted this, the Internet went to town with the pictures, posting what they think are an improvement on those photos, or similar efforts. Check them out! 😀
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