Getting Real with Images
May 31, 2016
How to shoot the new "authentic"
Let’s face it, the word “authenticity” has lost all meaning. More accurately it's become offensive, instilling laughter from audiences by the sheer mention of the word with the mockery of it all.
What was once a refreshing change has become so exploited that the look of authentic has become this decade’s new cliché.
We likely lost interest somewhere around the moment where authentic starting dictating mobile culture. The initial excitement of exploring with photos that inspired us to reconnect with nature and community became an echo chamber of the same photos and compositions all with a similar intention, making the viewer feel inadequate to the curated lives of those making a full-time income from it.
They were better adventurers, better at crafts, parenting, decorating their homes and preparing meals. Yes, it has all become a bit disingenuous.
Our lives are filled with flaws, spills, messes, bad days—and when we represent this diversity and dynamic depiction of people’s lives, suddenly, authentic starts to mean something a little different than what we’ve come to associate with it.
Here are five tips on how to choose real over “authentic”:
Food shots that include unused ingredients, garnishes or props, purely added for styling.
Use food shots that include spills, messes and the actual ingredients used to prepare the dish.
Photo by Howl/Stocksy
Models with natural makeup to represent real people.
Look for quirky people who have mastered a unique style that radiates from the inside out.
Photo by Alexey Kuzma/Stocksy
Depicting moms as women who can do it all and with perfection, with picture-perfect children.
Show the moments that are unique to a real child’s life. Including the messy rooms and dynamic range of emotions.
Photo by Jessica Byrum/Stocksy
Photo by Kristin Rogers Photography/Stocksy
Faded preset filters applied to digital photos to mimic that film look.
Just use film.
Photo by Meghan Boyer/Stocksy
Focusing on 20-somethings to represent cool.
Find a 50-something cooler than what you normally expect from a 20-something. But most of all, remind us, inspiring people happen at any age or package.
Photo by Addie Mannan Photography/Stocksy
Let’s agree to bid farewell to authentic and get back to being real; real people and real artists, challenging ideas, concepts, perceptions and redefining beauty in a way that works for this generation.
Brianna Wettlaufer is the co-founder and CEO of Stocksy United, an artist-owned, multi-stakeholder cooperative in Victoria, BC.