Internet Slams Model for Using Hurricane Sandy Wreckage for Photo Shoot

A Brazilian model named Nana Gouvea is the latest person to feel the scorn of the Internet. After Hurricane Sandy plowed through New York City this past week, Gouvea decided that the wreckage presented the perfect opportunity to further her career. Going out into the devastation with her husband as a photographer, she posed for a photo shoot amidst downed trees and smashed cars. She then shared the resulting portraits through her Facebook page.

Needless to say, people didn’t respond very positively to the pictures. They quickly went viral, but in a bad way.

Her photographs became the subject of critical news articles across the world. Gawker also used them for a tongue-in-cheek “Guide to Posing for Glamour Shots in the Aftermath of a Devastating Natural Disaster.”

Her Facebook account containing the photographs has since been taken offline [Update: It’s back up again].

The images also spawned a new Internet meme. People began Photoshopping Gouvea into various photographs of disasters and human suffering. A Facebook page called “Nana GouvĂȘa em Desastres” quickly attracted thousands of Likes, and a dedicated Tumblr page popped up as well.

Gouvea definitely succeeded in getting her face and name in front of people’s eyes, but we’re guessing it’s not exactly the kind of publicity she was hoping to achieve. Unless this meme quickly dies off, Gouvea portrait may soon be synonymous with “disaster” in Internet culture.

Update: Gouvea has released a video response to the controversy, offering her explanation of the images.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Gismarina!

Image credits: Photographs by Nana Gouvea

  • Richard Lurie

    She’s not Jewish though. But yes, Jews have been through a lot through the ages.

  • Eduardo Mozer De Castro

    my man, you’re absolutely right!!!!

  • guest

    how can you possibly not grasp the distinction? for politicians, it’s kind of their duty to make a presence and look like they’re aware of the situation–no matter how artificial the situation is.

    the other photos aren’t as bad, but the first where she’s splayed over others’ damaged property is just bad, bad taste.

  • guest

    historical preservation is one thing, being a politician and faking a photo op is another, but splaying your body over wrecked personal property for your modeling portfolio is just bad taste.

    if she wasn’t mounting a stranger’s squashed car, it wouldn’t have looked so bad. the idea itself wasn’t terrible, but the execution was. I’m sure she knew it would be viral, you’ve got to be daft to post the first pic and not think someone would take offense.

  • @thevacationwanderer

    I do like the photoshopped ones better.

  • Bill Kearns

    Gee, maybe she can pose next to sexual assault victims – think of the juxtaposition !

  • Mike Penney

    My only objection is the poor quality of the lighting in the photos… Crap is crap regardless of the model or background….

  • guest

    also, “sheepishness” probably doesn’t mean what you think it does lol.

  • guest

    officials are SUPPOSED to look like they give a damn, when they don’t. There’s outcry when they fake-pose, but there’d be more outcry if they stayed in their warm homes and did nothing.

    Sprawling over others’ damaged property for your own little modeling shoot is something very different. Don’t equate the two, it’s apples and oranges.

  • nk12

    Are you kidding me, the author used scarcasm when they describe the husband as being a “photographer”. Surely if he was remotely close to being a photographer he would have put thought into these pictures.

  • Dyna Turner

    I’d hit that tho…lol

  • maclovia

    The disaster here is the terrible photographs.

  • Carin Basson

    South Africans also have a tendency to make light of serious events. It’s a pressure release. For me the scale of the “shoot” is what makes it just that little too far – just too many pictures and poses.

  • Alan Dove

    Hippocracy: a form of government based on wading in shallow ponds and consuming huge amounts of roughage.

  • Eric

    The main difference is the photos are usually better with the politicians.

  • Eric

    Hi J5.
    1- I am a professional photographer.
    2- We post comments just like normal people.
    3- They are bad pictures.

  • Eric


  • Eric

    If that was indeed a photo opportunity then it was a wasted opportunity.

  • Eric

    Good point but aside of photojournalism, disaster art really does not generate much income.

  • Eric


  • fartyblartfast

    Nobody’s been fooled by politicians for a thousand years.

  • morgannagrom

    No, it’s not ironic. It’s hypocritical, contradictory, and probably some other words, too… but not ironic.


    PLEASE MADE SHE GO BACK BRAZIL PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Antonio Carrasco

    How is this any different than Kim Kardashian showing up in Haiti after the massive quake?

  • dan

    Her poses and his photography only add to the horror that is Sandy’s destruction.

  • Julian Maytum

    No not the internet! Whatever will she do!

  • Timothy_D

    The pictures don’t even cut it! They suck – objectively speaking! Please don’t tell me her husband’s a pro photographer! Puhleeaasee!!!

  • rilokiley

    All that work, and the pictures SUCK.