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There’s no denying we live in a time where everything we do, everything we see is accompanied by a photo taking session. We live in a digital age, where sharing everything over the internet has become as natural as brushing your teeth in the morning. From a perfectly iced cupcake, your freshly manicured nails to posing next to that must-see holiday monument, we want the world to see. We want people to believe we live that luxury life portrayed by those perfect pictures.
However the truth is, these scenarios aren’t always as perfect as they seem. The cupcake you ate was dry, your nail polish chipped after one day and you had to push your way through miles of tourists finding the ideal position to not even appreciate your surroundings.
Does this mean that every photo is a lie? Unrealistic portrayals of life we use to trick the world into thinking we’ve made it? And if so, what does that mean for bloggers?
The blogosphere is filled with content creators who waltz down empty picturesque streets in their latest ootd. We seemingly devour cupcakes at the latest cafe hotspot without another single person in sight and pose like we’re supermodels at LFW.
I’m certainly guilty of many blogger photography foibles and these pictures highlight them all. Taken in one of Glasgow’s most popular tourist destinations the Kelvingrove Museum, you could be fooled into thinking I was the only one there. Posing and pouting next to each painting, it’s as if I’ve got my own personal art collection.
The reality of this shoot involved a lot of loitering (probably to the point of suspicion from near-by security guards) and waiting for people to move so I could quickly run into place. If someone suddenly popped into frame then I would take the photo again and again until it was right. Whether it’s waiting for people to pass by or waking up at the crack of dawn to beat the queues, bloggers will do anything to make sure photo focus is on them.
What about all the posing?! My laptop has hundreds of photos from different shoots with only 10-15 making the final perfect pose cut. I could show you many photos with my hair all over my face and my body in weird unattractive angles. I have several images of that ‘stepping off the pavement’ pose where I’m yelling CAR as I quickly dash away. Let’s not forget after all of this, each photo is edited and filtered, sometimes within in an inch of its life, before being published.
So are bloggers liars?!
Are we promoting a lifestyle that is completely fake and in no way achievable? Furthermore, why do we pursue the perfect picture?
I’ll be completely honest and reveal it’s a purely selfish reason that is centred on one word. Distraction. All these things are just another element that can distract the reader from something we have worked hard to put together. No one is going to notice my cute mom jeans, if there’s screaming children on a school trip behind me. Who will see the meticulous thought behind each chosen accessory when I’m trying to not get run over. No one will want to drink that fancy rose/matcha/creamy coffee if my polish is chipped and my nails discoloured.
The fact is every blog post involves a myriad of steps that can take days to sort out. We wake up super early to apply makeup and hair. We spend hours setting up photo flatlays or travelling to carefully researched destinations. Finally, we write what is hopefully interesting content to go alongside all those photos that need SEO optimisation.
Ultimately, the pursuit of the perfect picture is a result of wanting recognition for our hard work. We’re proud of our content and I don’t think there’s anything wrong, or more importantly deceiving about that!