I enjoy photography, both actively participating in this arty pastime and looking at the snapshots of life other people have captured on film. It gets my creative juices flowing, it’s relaxing, and it’s a way of documenting life as it slowly passes by. I’m a rank amateur, but I feel I know the difference between a good photograph and a bad one, whether the subject matter is kids or pets. I also know you should never delete photos, however dodgy they may be.
The thing is, despite my complete lack of snobbiness when it comes to photography, the emergence of social networks and smartphones have combined to mean photos are an integral part of the Web, and I’m not convinced that’s a good thing. People shoot liberally and then post them online immediately. Which has led to certain trends emerging over the past couple of years thanks to the glut of photo-sharing websites clogging up the interwebs.
What follows are 10 annoying photo trends that have reared their ugly heads thanks to social networking sites. If you want to keep your friends and not look like an absolute idiot then you’d do well to avoid copying any of these trends when taking and uploading your own photos.
Call me a prude if you will but I really don’t enjoy seeing my friends’ fleshy parts. This equally goes for men and women. Men will pull a bodybuilding pose designed to show off their muscles, while women will wear just slightly less clothing than is suitable for a photo that is going to be posted to the web for all to see. You may be proud of your body but the rest of us really don’t want to see it.
It now seems absolutely fine to take pictures in bathrooms. When did this change occur? Whether it’s a group of friends taking an informal picture of themselves doing makeup or an individual who thinks he or she will look their best when seen reflected in a mirror, the bathroom now seems to be a common choice for people to shoot photos. Do your business and get out, and please, no photos.
While you’re slaving away at work in a job you hate, with rain falling outside the window, and no one waiting for you at home, there is nothing better than signing in to a social networking site to see one of your friends bragging about their life. Whether it’s a photo of them on holiday, of them sitting in their brand new car, or of them kissing their new partner, it really does wonders for one’s self esteem.
Babies are adorable. Seriously, there is nothing cuter than a child doing whatever it is children do. New parents suddenly find themselves in possession of a helpless little person who is the center of their world. And their first instinct is to share everything the bundle of joy does online with an album full of photos. Babies are adorable… but other people’s babies are boring.
Selfies used to be a last resort. You’d be stuck in a moment you didn’t want to forget, but as you were on your own you’d take a shot of yourself as a permanent reminder. Now, selfies are the norm, and it doesn’t seem to matter how many friends and/or family members are in close proximity. Selfies are not arty or adventurous, they’re just a sign that you’re a walking ego.
Everybody likes a good party, right? Right. But they like attending a said party, getting drunk, dancing like a loon, and waking up the next morning with a sore head and no idea how they made it home. What they don’t like is seeing photos taken at the party of people getting drunk, dancing like loons, and making sweaty passes at members of the opposite sex.
Food is an essential part of life for everyone. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, or whether you’re a celebrity or a cleaner, you need to eat to survive. What you don’t need to do, however, is take photos of everything you eat and post them online for the world to drool over. We don’t care that you’re enjoying a pizza, even if it is covered in bacon. Just eat it and put the camera away.
If you don’t have at least once friend guilty of pulling the duckface every time a camera is pointed in their direction then you are very lucky indeed. Why do females (and it is primarily females) feel the need to purse their lips in such a way? It isn’t a good look for anyone. And no, it does not make you look like a supermodel. Try smiling instead. It’s natural, and it’s a look that will make people like rather than loathe you.
Tagging is now officially out of control. People will tag strangers in photos without first asking permission. They will also tag friends that aren’t actually in the photo purely as a way of notifying them the photo exists. And then there are hashtags, which are only useful if they’re used as and when necessary. If you use dozens of hashtags for a photo then you’re just spamming people.
Smartphones come equipped with cameras; often good enough to mean you don’t need a dedicated point-and-shoot camera. However, this doesn’t excuse crap photos being taken. You still need to think about the lighting and the framing of each shot rather than just click away without first thinking about your subject. As if that wasn’t bad enough some people then add filters to each photo to make it look even worse than it already did.
I feel much better for having got that little lot off my chest. But this wasn’t written for that purpose; it is instead meant to act as a guide for others who want to avoid annoying their online friends. By all means take photographs and share them online. Just don’t fall into the trap of doing what everyone else seems to be doing. You’re better than that.
What do you think about the state of smartphone photography? Do you think social networks have been a good or bad influence on people’s photography skills? Out of the annoying photo trends mentioned above, which do you agree and disagree with? As always we’re keen to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.