August 17, 2018 by phicks2012
Okay folks, I have worked (albeit long ago in my dubious youth) as a photographer, and I still take my camera with me to many events, where I make rather a lot of pictures. But many of these never see the light of day — let alone the glare of social media — because I EDIT.
If I make a landscape photo that is boring or badly composed, as a general rule I delete it. You can do that easily in the digital age! If the photo includes living human beings and captures someone in a really unattractive posture or at a horribly unflattering angle, unless it’s a group shot and I have absolutely nothing better, I will DELETE it. If the photo is of a single individual and truly dreadful — I DELETE IT!
I do not rush eagerly to post it to Facebook where hundreds of people (at a bare minimum) can marvel at my lack of photographic skill and good judgment, and where my subject can cringe and wish me a swift and colorful descent into the nether regions of Dante’s Inferno!
Some people are really photogenic, and cameras seem, in general, to love them, but nearly anyone can have a bad photo made, and most of us are not having an ongoing love affair with cameras. They can catch us slumped over, or from our least attractive angles (for many of us that may be bent-over-and-from-behind so that our already large posteriors look twice the size they actually are), or scowling, or committing a felony. Okay, that last was a joke (hopefully), but I hope my point is made.
It’s not difficult for most of us to know when we, as photographers, take truly unflattering pictures of other people. That’s generally obvious. However, I’ve come to realize that some people armed with cameras either 1) make no effort to review their work and to delete the horrors, or 2) have absolutely no eye for composition or symmetry, or visual appeal, or 3) simply do not care, and believe that every photo somehow has a God-given right to be shared.
I’ve also come to realize that while a number of the photos taken of me at events are actually fairly nice, rather a lot of the really unflattering photos posted of me (and of others) come repeatedly from some of the same sources.
I’d say “You Know Who You Are”, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case, and that the snap-and-sharers in question barely bother to glance at their work before scrambling to post every last frame (good, bad, indifferent, or fodder for a special effects horror film) to Facebook! LOL
So this is a plea. If you own a camera (or smartphone) and feel morally or compulsively obligated to immortalize everything and everyone you see crossing in front of your lens, take a moment to look at your photographs with at least a semi-discerning eye before sharing them with the (horrified) world in general.
Photographs do not have to be, God forbid, “Great Art” to merit sharing, but unless the photo is truly hilarious (and approved by the subject) I do not knowingly post horribly unflattering pictures of human beings — at least if I ever hope to keep them as friends.
If a photo seems (because of the angle, lighting or the subject’s momentary body position) to add 50 pounds to a person’s weight, makes them appear to have a serious double-chin, or dowager’s hump, or gut when they do not, accentuates and memorializes a moment of really bad posture, or makes them look 10-15 years older than they actually are (or generally look) — you might want to consider not sharing it with the known universe.
Show a little compassion, okay? Just sayin’. 😉