Internet Social Media

Annoying Overload: 10 Social Photo Trends To Avoid

Dave Parrack 06-06-2013

social photo sharingI 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 Top Tips: How To Take Amazing Digital Photos Of Your Kids While owning the right equipment, and knowing how to use that equipment successfully, can help anyone take good quality photographs, more important is the knowledge of how to take a good shot. Some people are... Read More or pets How To Take Amazing Photos Of Your Pets If you haven't yet experienced the joy of owning a pet then you're missing out on one of life's simple pleasures. While owning a pet isn't a wholly positive experience - especially when they pass... Read More . I also know you should never delete photos, however dodgy they may be Why You Should Never Delete Dodgy Digital Photos [Opinion] The digital age we're now living in has changed our ideas of ownership and copyright. For better or worse. It's also changed the way we do various things. In the field of photography moving to... Read More .


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 5 Online Photo Sharing Sites Which Are Free Alternatives To Flickr Read More 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.

Fleshy Parts

social photo sharing

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.

Inappropriate Places

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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.

Hello Losers


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 Everywhere

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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.

Selfish Selfies

how to avoid bad photos

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.

Party Time

how to avoid bad photos


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 Porn

how to avoid bad photos

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.

Dreadful Duckface

Annoying Overload: 10 Social Photo Trends To Avoid duckface large


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 Trauma

Annoying Overload: 10 Social Photo Trends To Avoid hashtags

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.

Stupid Smartphones

social photo sharing

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 Top Tips: How To Take Great Photos With Your Smartphone Smartphone and mobile photography are becoming increasingly popular. And no wonder. Every year, mobile and smartphone cameras get better and better, until many people don’t feel the need to carry real cameras around anymore. While... Read More ? 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.

Image Credits: Jade Nemy Leonard, Chris Gilmore, Hvnly, Dan Taylor, Kyle & Kelly Adams, Garry Knight, Eric Molina, Pat David, Jim Wall, Michael Coghlan, Prophetic Blogger

Related topics: Photography, Smartphone Photography, Web Trends.

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  1. macwitty
    June 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Good or bad influence? At least I see no improvement of people’s photography skills. It is point and shot without thinking of composition and other things. I don't mind people publish babies, food... what I see more of a problem is that some people seems more interested in taking photos and publish them than be in the situation (party, children activities... ) and socialize with those who are there

    • Dave Parrack
      June 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      That is a very good point. Some people are living their lives from the wrong side of a camera, missing out on experiences in order to capture those experiences for other people. Which is madness.

  2. android underground
    June 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    There's something missing from this list and there's no excuse for leaving it out. Dave, are you one of those @#%&$ who spams facebook with pictures of their cat?

    • Dave Parrack
      June 9, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Hmm, ah, you may have spotted my weakness. I don't do it any more but I must admit to posting a few pics of my cat when he was younger. Kittens are far too cute for their own good lol.

  3. Erik
    June 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Agree with all but one. "...women will wear just slightly less clothing than is suitable". That was a really weird one to list. Why wouldn't you want to see that? Not trying to be funny. Confusing how I could be so in synch with all your points but be so opposite on this one. I don't get it.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      I really don't want to see my female friends half-naked. Strangers, perhaps, but friends, no.

  4. ReadandShare
    June 6, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Agree with all the above -- although a moderate number of baby pics ain't so bad. Babies are genuinely cute in ways that many adults are NOT. :)

    • Dave Parrack
      June 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      If parents shared a moderate number of baby pics then I'd be happy to see them. But they generally don't, instead posting nothing but baby photos!!!

  5. Aleks
    June 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Good post. This is the main reason i stopped using Facebook. No one wants to see these pictures plastered all over your wall.

    • Dave Parrack
      June 9, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      I'm still on Facebook, but if people do spam me with any of the above I tend to make a sarcastic comment. They either stop doing it or unfriend me... and I win either way.

  6. JC Hall
    June 6, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    There is a great program out there for those who want to share but not with everyone. Try "SnapChat" ( This program lets you decide how long you want that photo up.

  7. dragonmouth
    June 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    You have just eliminated all the reasons people take and post pictures! What else can people without one ounce of creativity/originality take pictures of???? /GRIN/

    • Dave Parrack
      June 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      Nothing, I guess. Oh well.