Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ready for my Close-up?

According to an article in the latest EOS Magazine (the mag devoted to Canon's EOS camera system), research has shown that 86% of Brits believe they are unphotogenic. The survey of 1,700 UK residents also showed that the increasing used of digital cameras and social networking sites often meant that these subjects were being reluctantly thrust into the public gaze and their images preserved on the Internet forever.

  • Body weight was an issue, with 52% of people admitting to holding in their stomachs in photographs.
  • Having a double chin was perceived to be a problem too, with 25% of people happier to look slightly odd by thrusting their heads back when pictures are taken.
  • Apparently, 19% won't be photographed in direct sunlight and 3% insist on being lit from below.
  • Twenty percent of people admit to digitally retouching pictures to make themselves look better.
I actually love photographing people, but I do find that many folk are unhappy about being photographed. Partly for this reason, many of my Flickr photographs are only visible to friends and family. I'm sure a lot of these problems result from media images of the "beautiful people" (enhanced in many cases by Photoshop, sophisticated make-up, or even cosmetic surgery) making the rest of us feel inadequate for some reason.

Why can't we just celebrate the variety of humanity, with all its many imperfections, and above all be happy?