I know, I know, we all bloody love an edit. There is nothing more satisfying than defying mother nature and transforming a photo on a dark day to something that could be taken in mid June. And whilst I am an advocate for making your photos beautiful and having complete creative freedom, is it a lil too much?
For so long now I’ve seen so many feeds on social media (*cough* Instagram *cough*) that go beyond editing. Photos are completely unrecognisable, and whilst you can do whatever the hell you like, is it a bit misleading?
We all know the drill, people see your feed and are likely to engage if they like your content. As we are all conditioned to do so, we like order and uniformity, thus the emergence of the ‘theme’. And the easiest way to have a theme? The exact same editing style on all of your uploads.
But it’s no secret that we’ve all heard of people editing in birds, photoshopping themselves into tropical and luxe locations, completely airbrushing themselves – to the point, no one knows what’s real and what isn’t.
Of course this is all down to personal taste and the type of content you like to consume. For me, I like to see photos that look like photos. I want to see the colours, the textures, what it feels like to be transported inside that shot. I want it to be real.
Below are the same photo just run through different editing software. And it just goes to show, how easy it is and how quick it is to completely alter a photo. And whilst I do brighten my images, y’know so you can see my face through all the shadows of London, it’s incredible to think what can be done with hours of time.
It’s just all gone a bit mental. We’re competing with each other for what? Likes? Validation? I understand for some this is their career, how they pay their bills and their creative outlet. But be truthful with it. I’ve seen certain accounts claim that photos were completely legit but when the photo is deconstructed, it’s all a lie.
Much like the updates to the #ad guidelines and so on, I think as long as you’re honest about your content then; as you were. It’s the deception that grinds my gears. It’s curating a fictitious world that may actually negatively affect someone, thinking that they can’t compete or showing them a world they want to be a part of but can’t. BECAUSE IT’S MADE UP.
I know I’ve felt this way, consuming content from some of the largest names out there and feeling totally pants after. Feeling that I’m not successful, that I’m not as good as they are, that because I don’t own a Gucci bag and seem to be in the Maldives every other week I’m rubbish.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when it comes to having a following of any kind I think there’s a responsibility that comes with having that level of inspiration. That you have to consider what you’re putting out into the world and how it can affect someone. If someone see’s a photo of, let’s say Morocco that you have edited and tweaked within an inch of its life and someone takes inspo from that and decides to invest their money in experiencing what you’ve put out. They’re going to be pretty bloody cheesed, and down potentially a lot of money, chasing something that isn’t real in the first place.
A prime example, the hot air balloon backdrop in Turkey. We’ve all seen the photos, and all agree that it looks bloody phenomenal. However, I’ve heard of so many people travelling to Cappadocia for this one off experience. Only to find it’s completely underwhelming because people have edited in hot air balloons to make it seem more dramatic.
If we’re all a little more truthful, all lighten up on the editing software, and show what life is really like, would we all be a little happier? Who knows. If nothing else I’m too lazy to spend hours airbrushing a flock of birds into my photo to add a bit of jazziness.