Is there any more heavenly sounding day job on earth than being a ‘travel influencer’?
Most of us have to resort to a series of complicated shift swaps to ensure two weeks worth of sunshine. However, for Instagrammers such as Tupi Saravia, jetting off on jollies is her bread and butter. Or rather, her cocktails and ice cream.
However, Tupi’s work isn’t without its stresses, and the Argentinian blogger has recently found herself embroiled in a surprisingly fierce controversy over cloud formations.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed how many of her pics had suspiciously similar cloud formations, leading to heated speculation and some pretty funny jokes.
One person teased that the clouds were actually ‘loyal followers’, while another chuckled, ‘It’s actually the cloud’s IG account’.
The pictures quickly went viral, and sparked a debate over whether or not influencers have a duty to ensure their public photographs were authentic.
By manipulating their images, influencers are offering a different or enhanced version of reality. While many would argue this is all part of the job description, others would say this is misleading people in a way traditional media outlets would certainly be called out for.
This travel ‘influencer’ spookily has the same clouds in every photo. 😲🤔😆 pic.twitter.com/uYzXhTiRJp
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 28, 2019
Now Tupi has spoken out about the debacle, showing transparency about her manipulation of photographs using an editing app called Quickshot.
She told UNILAD she doesn’t see anything wrong with using the image manipulation app, adding to images doesn’t change the subject of the image, and that she hasn’t harmed anyone.
Writing to her 289,000 followers on an Instagram post, Tupi expressed surprise at how the discussion had blown up, arguing she has always been open with her fans about the way she edits photographs.
Its an app called QUICKSHOT that I’ve always been opened [sic] about with my followers, actually there is a highlighted story on my feed where you can see how I edit my followers pics changing the sky.
No big deal, I use it for better composition in my pictures when the actual pic has a burt or overexposed sky can’t believe how far my clouds went, if you need some I can do a giveaway.
So.. this tupisaravia character is an influencer after all..?🤔
— Roelant Siekman🌱 (@RoelantSiekman) August 29, 2019
Tupi spoke with UNILAD about why she chooses to edit her – already gorgeous – pictures, explaining this helps to ‘enhance the image to have it fit an artistic vision’:
I’ve always been honest about using this app called Quickshot to help the composition of my photos.
Never lied about it or underestimated my audience, actually you can see in my highlight stories how I openly edit pics with sky showing the before-after. Maybe I just needed to change the sky but I kind of like the one I use.
I don’t see anything wrong about it. Editing photos means changing colour balances, exposure, clarity, contrast, etc.
They are all to enhance the image to have it fits an artistic vision. Adding clouds to bright, outdoor photos doesn’t change the subject of the photo, it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t really where the photo was taken.
The reality is that anyone who works from social media polishes up the images they present to the world. I believe adding a few clouds It’s the most innocuous kind of compositing one could possibly do. I think I didn’t harm anyone.
Tupi Saravia cloud gate has gone international. https://t.co/5gx48cLe5w
— Alejandra Pintos (@Alepint) August 29, 2019
There is no doubt that Tupi’s pics look beautifully polished, and indeed there is enormous pressure on influencers to portray a vision of their lives which is almost too perfect to be touched by changing weather conditions.
However, this has certainly opened up an interesting debate about the responsibility such Instagram stars have to be open and truthful.
These are the people who influence our fashion choices and our holiday destinations. Surely they should be held accountable for the visual stories they tell?
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.