If I ran a fast food franchise affected by this kind of legal action, do you know what I would do? I’d try to turn it back around into marketing exercise with a bit of crowdsourcing!
Think about it: get your customers to take photos and send them to you. For every franchisee that uses a photo you take, you get a voucher for a free meal (redeemable at any
outlet, of course). And where it appears on the digital signage menus they all seem to have nowadays, your photo will have your name on it too.
Most submissions will be… unsuitable, of course. You’ll need a team of people vetting submissions. But for every 50 people who send a blurry picture of an unappetising bit of
sludge-meat in a bun; for every 10 people who actually try hard but get too much background in or you can see the logo on their clothing or whatever; for every 5 people that
deliberately send something offensive… you might get one genuinely good candid burger picture. Those pics get pushed out to franchisees to use. Sorted.
Now if anybody complains that you fake your photos you can explain that every one of your food pictures was taken by a real-life customer, and their name or handle is on the
bottom of each one. Sure, you get to vet them, but they’re still all verifiably genuine pictures of your food.
And you probably only have to do this gimmick for a year and then everybody will forget. Crowdsourcing as a marketing opportunity: that’s what I’d be doing if I were crowned
Taking a photo of our kids isn’t too hard: their fascination with screens means you just have to switch to “selfie mode” and they lock-on to the camera like some kind of narcissist
homing pigeon. Failing that, it’s easy enough to distract them with something that gets them to stay still for a few seconds and not just come out as a blur.
But compared to the generation that came before us, we have it really easy. When I was younger than our youngest is , I was obsessed with pressing buttons. So pronounced was my
fascination that we had countless photos, as a child, of my face pressed so close to the lens that it’s impossible for the camera to focus, because I’d rushed over at the last second to
try to be the one to push the shutter release button. I guess I just wanted to “help”?
In theory, exploiting this enthusiasm should have worked out well: my parents figured that if they just put me behind the camera, I could be persuaded to take a good picture
of others. Unfortunately, I’d already fixated on another aspect of the photography experience: the photographer’s stance.
When people were taking picture of me, I’d clearly noticed that, in order to bring themselves down to my height (which was especially important given that I’d imminently try to
be as close to the photographer as possible!) I’d usually see people crouching to take photos. And I must have internalised this, because I started doing it too.
Unfortunately, because I was shorter than most of my subjects, this resulted in some terrible framing, for example slicing off the tops of their heads or worse. And because this was a
pre-digital age, there was no way to be sure exactly how badly I’d mucked-up the shot until days or weeks later when the film would be developed.
In an effort to counteract this framing issue, my dad (who was always keen for his young assistant to snap pictures of him alongside whatever article of public transport history he was
most-interested in that day) at some point started crouching himself in photos. Presumably it proved easier to just duck when I did rather than to try to persuade me not to crouch in
the first place.
As you look forward in time through these old family photos, though, you can spot the moment at which I learned to use a viewfinder, because people’s heads start to feature close to the
middle of pictures.
Unfortunately, because I was still shorter than my subjects (especially if I was also crouching!), framing photos such that the subject’s face was in the middle of the frame resulted in
a lot of sky in the pictures. Also, as you’ve doubtless seem above, I was completely incapable of levelling the horizon.
I’d like to think I’ve gotten better since, but based on the photo above… maybe the problem has been me, all along!
My team and I do get up to some unusual stuff, it’s true. I took part in this photoshoot, too:
I’m absolutely not above selling out myself and my family for the benefit of some stock photos for the University, it seems. The sharp-eyed might even have spotted the kids in this video promoting the Ashmolean or a recent tweet by the Bodleian…
“Passport Photos” looks at one of the most mundane and unexciting types of photography. Heavily restricted and regulated, the official passport photo
requirements include that the subject needs to face the camera straight on, needs a clear background without shadow, no glare on glasses and most importantly; no smile.
It seems almost impossible for any kind of self-expression.
The series tries to challenge these official rules by testing all the things you could be doing while you are taking your official document photo.
I love this weird, wonderful, and truly surreal photography project. Especially in this modern age in which a passport photo does not necessarily involve a photo booth – you’re often
permitted now to trim down a conventional photo or even use a born-digital picture snapped from an approved app or via a web application – it’s more-feasible than ever that the cropping
of your passport photo does not reflect the reality of the scene around you.
One of the benefits of being in a camera club full of largely retired people who were all into photography long before digital was ever a thing, is that lots of them have old film,
paper and gear lying around they’re happy to give away.
Last year I was offered a photographic enlarger for making prints, but I initially turned it down because I didn’t think I’d have the space to set up a darkroom and use it. Well,
turns out with a little imagination our windowless bathroom actually converts into a pretty tidy darkroom with fairly minimal setup and teardown – thankfully we also have an
ensuite so my partner can cope with this arrangement with only minimal grumbling
My friend Rory tells the story of how he set up a darkroom in his (spare) windowless bathroom and shares his experience of becoming an
increasingly analogue photographer in an increasingly almost-completely digital world.
Every morning, Lena Forsen wakes up beneath a brass-trimmed wooden mantel clock dedicated to “The First Lady of the Internet.”
It was presented to her more than two decades ago by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology, in recognition of the pivotal—and altogether
unexpected—role she played in shaping the digital world as we know it.
Among some computer engineers, Lena is a mythic figure, a mononym on par with Woz or Zuck. Whether or not you know her face, you’ve used the technology it helped create; practically
every photo you’ve ever taken, every website you’ve ever visited, every meme you’ve ever shared owes some small debt to Lena. Yet today, as a 67-year-old retiree living in her native
Sweden, she remains a little mystified by her own fame. “I’m just surprised that it never ends,” she told me recently.
While I’m not sure that it’s fair to say that Lena “remained a mystery” until now – the article itself identifies several events she’s attended in her capacity of “first lady of the
Internet” – but this is still a great article about a picture that you might have seen but never understood the significance of nor the person in front of the lens. Oh, and it’s
pronounced “lee-na”; did you know?
So Reflex are now designing the 2.0 version of the camera they’ve so far yet to ship version 1.0 of – or even find manufacturing partners for. Add to this the nonsense of trying to
build a set of primes, film processor and scanner without securing any more funding and I’m increasingly leaning towards this…