This Post Needs A Pie Chart

So I’m in hot water for mentioning the ABIA awards given to Allure Makeup.  So let me clarify a few things.  I was never claiming she won the award based on my photography.  My blog readers are sophisticated enough about the industry to know that clients vote on many aspects about vendors and with enough “votes” they win.

What I’m saying is that WE get clients from photographs on our website… so the chain of events starts with ME and MY makeup artists.  Not only did she steal OUR images she even retouched the main images makeup, it’s been darkened  and re-contoured it.  So, to add insult to injury she didn’t like the image enough to leave it as is (oh wait, she took out my watermark).

So No, ABIA doesn’t give out awards based on photography, they give it out based on the vendors clients.  The clients she got under false pretenses that is.

Part of my post below and ABIA’s response to me.  They have certainly put some time into it now, looking up everyone’s email who posted under the blog post.  Wish I could of gotten this kind of effort two years ago.  I guess the post got the reaction I was looking for.

Congratulations to Me.  Based on this website I photographed most of the images that won her the honors of being voted #1 Australian Makeup Artist.  Hummm… only problem is it isn’t  true.

Dear Mary
It has come to my notice that you have accused the Australian Bridal Industry Academy of wrong doing. This accusation has been made due to one of ABIA’s Award winner’s placing your photographs on their website. Over 31,600 wedding suppliers across 40 different wedding categories have been nominated for the ABIA’s over the years. It is not ABIA’s responsibility to “police” the commercial modus operandi of each of these suppliers.
I wish to bring to your attention that your statement “At least I was voted #1 … whoot whoot” is incorrect, misleading and deceptive. Had you been more diligent in your research you would have discovered that Allure Make Up was NOT awarded the ABIA based on photographs. Each ABIA award is determined by past brides who have used a wedding supplier to provide products and services for their wedding. Each supplier is rated (out of 100 points) by their past brides for quality of product, quality of service, value for money and attitude of staff.

I draw your attention to the statement on the ABIA website in relation to how the ABIA’s are determined.
This service is achieved via information collected from over 50,000 newlyweds. Participating brides supply invaluable information relating to the ‘Quality of Product’, ‘Quality of Service’, ‘Value for Money’ and ‘Attitude of Staff’ of each nominated wedding supplier. The bridal ratings are collated and used to determine who were, in the opinion of the voting brides, the best suppliers of their wedding products and services. These suppliers are then publicly acclaimed at the Annual Bridal Industry Awards, held each year in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland

I request that you immediately withdrawn you’re Statement “At least I was voted #1 … whoot whoot” and that you immediately delete any reference to the ABIA brand from your website or blog and further, cease any assertions and allegations which may tarnish or corrupt the ABIA brand.

Please note that this email has been forwarded to all contacts who have made a comment on your blog. This incident occurred 2 years ago and appropriate disciplinary action was taken by the Academy.

I hope this will be the last time that I have to address this issue.


John O’Meara

So what is the moral to this story?… there isn’t one

Am I being fair?     Stupid?     Pig Headed?     Blind?     Insensitive?   Silly?

(Maybe I should make a pie chart!?)

The response I’m waiting for and hoping to get is that she will not be able to use the ABIA banners anywhere on her website (all five of them) or her literature.

What do you think I should do?

And yes, I’m on ABIA’s side, they have been wronged, but they have the power to do something, not me.

14 comments category: Beauty,Photographing models,Retouching

1 Eduardo Frances October 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm

… They response is… the worst response any kind of serious institution could give to the problem you have at hand…this is offensive “It is not ABIA’s responsibility to “police” the commercial modus operandi of each of these suppliers.” If they aren´t willing to corroborate and “police” the entries that go to them then they allow any crook to fake their way in their association :/!!! What good is an association that doesn´t takes cares of their potential costumers because they don´t feel like to check if their own suppliers are scammers, crooks or thieves?

And there´s no accusation going to ABIA on your behalf… You are pointing that Allure has stolen images from you and that ABIA has been fooled and giving awards to crooks…

Blake Discher´s advice is great and I would follow it if I were in your shoes.


2 Juan Manzano October 11, 2010 at 2:38 pm

So let summarize,

“It is not ABIA’s responsibility to “police” the commercial modus operandi of each of these suppliers.” So even if ABIA knows that Allure Makeup stole your photos ABIA does not care. Interesting and original…

So Allure Makeup’s “modus operandi” is not “incorrect, misleading and deceptive”. Your statements are. Interesting and original…

Mary Duprie should have been more diligent in her research…Not ABIA…Interesting and original.

The fact that Allure Makeup stole your photos has nothing to do with “Quality of product”. Interesting and original…

The fact that ABIA awards prices to a thief does not “tarnish or corrupt the ABIA brand”. You, by denouncing Allure Makeup, “tarnish and corrupt” the brand. Interesting and original…

Just one question…Are the so called “Participating brides” real ones?
Well that does not matter…ABIA does not care…


3 Mary DuPrie October 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

ohh la la… i like how you think!


4 WH October 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

Mary isn’t disparaging these people their behavior is. A thief with a backer is nothing new but you would think ABIA would want to distance themselves from this thief, not try to strong arm the victim!


5 Mary DuPrie October 11, 2010 at 11:01 am

Hey Frances

I read your email to ABIA. Good for you.
It all makes sense. Where are you located?


6 WH October 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I am in Austin. I’m not a Photographer but I am a creator of digital media. I pay good money for Media hunters to scour the internet and send out DCMA notifications to sites which display my work. Those in foreign countries are the hardest to reach as not all have our kind of copyright laws. Sometimes you just have to out them and/or publicly embarrass them with the facts. Sometimes that is the only way to get anything done. The best defense to their slander accusations is the truth. The truth is John is right, there should be a diligent, complete and thorough research (investigation) into the practices of those who openly admit they don’t do their due diligence when it comes to promoting…it appears promoting thieves is just fine in their book. Of course that’s just my conclusion based on their behavior and John’s oddly clueless e mail.


7 Tim October 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

Fraud is fraud. If a makeup artist uses photos to promote their business the implication is that the photos are images of their work. Even if the photos are not images of their work, permission needs to be obtained to use the photos. This makeup artist didn’t obtain permission to use the photos. The ABIA holds up this business as a success story. This sounds like a shaky house of cards to me. The back story you tell, Mary, appears to threaten this group. Any reputable trade group would take action with the copyright infringer instead of attacking the copyright holder.


8 Mary DuPrie October 11, 2010 at 11:01 am



9 Kevin M. October 11, 2010 at 5:37 am

Way to go Blake! Talk about doing your homework at 5:00am! 😉


10 Kevin M. October 11, 2010 at 5:25 am


You have completely missed Mary’s point here! And the sad thing is that I am not sure how you can do that…’s pretty obvious.

Where’s David Thorne when you need him?! Pie chart? No way. John needs a logo!


11 Mary DuPrie October 11, 2010 at 9:56 am

YES, a logo would be perfect. Hey Kevin

I’m sure you enjoyed David’s site…


12 Detroit Photographer Blake Discher October 11, 2010 at 5:06 am

This is my SECOND comment, but because of moderation, this comment may appear BEFORE my first comment. It continues my thoughts expressed in the first comment.

So Mary, I did a little more digging. I’m sitting here wondering how ABIA monetizes what they do to remain in business. What sort of interest do they have in the people they deem worthy of the awards they give out. It turns out, a financial interest. And now everything makes sense… this “academy” is a for-profit academy. And the profit is, at least in part, generated FROM their award recipients. Read on:

From their website:

ABIA exists to Promote Your Business

At ABIA we recognize the financial strains that Marketing & Advertising can put on small businesses. ABIA is committed to helping you continue to achieve your sales targets so that your business will grow and prosper. In short – we want to help you promote your business!

ABIA has evolved from a brand that is known throughout the bridal industry for its annual bridal industry awards to one that that is now recognized by your most important source of income – the Bride to be!

We achieved this milestone partly by promoting the ABIA brand in 15 bridal magazines in 2009. In 2010 we will raise the bar again to 19 bridal magazines as we add 4 new magazine titles to our advertising register. This register of bridal magazines will be further enhanced with a brand new ABIA website and a whole new brand identity for ABIA with fresh new ads targeting today’s bride to be.

And that’s OK, everyone has to make a living. OK, as long as ABIA pays for those ads, not the award recipients. Then it gets a bit self-serving and one might suspect that the award is given in order to “lure” the recipient into helping finance the ads. One might start to think, “conflict of interest.”

But here’s where it gets interesting. ABIA solicits ads from their award recipients. (A friend of mine wondered if it was reversed: they give the award to companies that purchase advertising. I assured him that wouldn’t be ethical.) Scrolling down the v-e-r-y long page,, after they tout the power of their advertisements, they show a sample ad. And guess which company is listed number one in that ad? Yep, Allure Makeup.

So as I said, it all makes sense. Why would ABIA discipline Allure Makeup when Allure Makeup is happily purchasing advertising from ABIA? Of course, they would not. At least, nothing more than a wink, wink, “I’ve got to mention this because some photographer over in the States is complaining on her very well-read blog.”

Like my dad always said… “Want to find out what’s really going on? Follow the money.” And, just in case ABIA swaps out that image in which Allure Makeup appears number one in the ad, I’ve grabbed it here:

Expecting ABIA to discipline Allure Makeup in any meaningful manner would be like expecting the bull not to charge because you’re vegetarian. Facts are facts and money talks.

And no Mr. O’Meara, I’m not disparaging your “academy’s” brand, so no need to send me threatening emails demanding retraction. I’ve simply laid out the facts as evidenced on your website. Your disciplinary process for a copyright infringing ABIA award recipient is what I’m calling into question. As for the destruction of your brand; that will occur when your advertising readership becomes aware of ABIA’s “pay to play” scheme for advertising “the best” companies with which brides should transact business and begins to question how or why those companies received ABIA’s “award”.

If you and ABIA want to not only “walk the walk” but also “talk the talk” as we say here in America (meaning back up one’s talk with action), you would strip Allure Makeup of all the “awards” it’s received from ABIA over the years, remove it’s listing from your website, and discontinue taking money for advertising from copyright infringing Allure Makeup. Failure to take these actions will simply make your rhetoric ring hollow with the photographic community you’ve engaged in this forum.

Blake Discher


13 Detroit Photographer Blake Discher October 11, 2010 at 3:31 am

Hey Mary,

I’ve read and re-read your original post and I cannot see where “you have accused the Australian Bridal Industry Academy (ABIA) of wrong doing” as Mr. O’Meara says you have. Rather, you have accused Allure Makeup of wrongdoing with evidence to back it up. It’s interesting to note that your emails of two years ago to ABIA went unanswered and it took your blog post to get their attention. Mr. O’Meara points out, “This incident occurred 2 years ago and appropriate disciplinary action was taken by the Academy.” If part of the discipline process was a demand that Allure remove ABIA’s banner(s) for the year in question, their efforts failed. What is obvious here is that Allure’s fraudulent and unlawful use of your copyrighted images garnered Allure clients, who in turn voted her number one in wedding makeup in Australia.

You ask what you should do? Here are three steps I would take if I were you:

Mr. O’Meara intimates that you did not do adequate research. So do more. If I were you, I’d dig a bit deeper into the ABIA’s past advertising campaigns to see if any of YOUR images were used in ABIA’s advertisements to gather ratings from wedding customers throughout Australia. If YOUR images were used without your permission by ABIA (perhaps to congratulate Allure publicly, or perhaps to encourage voting the following year,) you may have an actionable claim against ABIA because Australia is a signatory of the Berne Convention and as such is required to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals. See for more information.

I think any intelligent, reasonable person reading your post would realize that your statement, “At least I was voted #1 … whoot whoot” was made in jest with a touch of irony and a dash of sarcasm tossed in for flavor. Although I can’t blame Mr. O’Meara for wanting to protect his brand, nothing in your post disparages his brand, only the company to whom his company chose for an award of distinction. Now that ABIA sees that one of their award recipients obtained the distinction, at least to some degree, with the use of another photographer’s images, Mr. O’Meara is requesting “that you immediately delete any reference to the ABIA brand from your website or blog and further, cease any assertions and allegations which may tarnish or corrupt the ABIA brand.”

In my opinion you have not tarnished or corrupted ABIA’s brand, instead, you’ve simply made the world aware that Allure’s award given them by ABIA was undeserving. An embarrassment for ABIA at the very least.

Second, I’d ask Mr. O’Meara about their disciplinary process. If one goes to his association’s website,, clicks the “Directory” link, enters “Make Up Artist” in the category pull down, and enters the name “Allure” in the “Business Name” field, Allure Makeup is shown. And, to further call in to question ABIA’s “Disciplinary Action”, you’ll see that ABIA ****ONCE AGAIN**** awarded this fraudulent company its highest honor for 2010! And Allure’s listings still show it for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. So I’d ask Mr. O’Meara to clarify their disciplinary process, it appears to have failed entirely. (In case ABIA does indeed take disciplinary action with the removal of her listing, I have grabbed it and posted it at so everyone can see it.)

And third, I’d ask Mr. O’Meara to get serious about their “disciplinary process” imposed on Allure Makeup.

Good luck!


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