Abundant: The Lie

It’s a lie, and we all know it.

We all know that what we see in magazines and online, images and video can be manipulated. We know that the people on the cover of magazines are photoshopped. We aren’t stupid. We know.

And yet. And yet, even though we know it, we still think “She’s beautiful, he’s let himself go, she’s still got it.”

Images can be manipulated, and I don’t just mean photoshop, I mean makeup and choosing where to point the camera, I mean angles. That’s what an artist does.

Katie West once pointed out, and I’m paraphrasing, that you only see what she wants you to see. I think about this concept a lot when I’m taking photos.

It’s easy to manipulate the eye. That is one of the first things you learn, as a photographer – where to crop, where to look, how to see it. After a while, you can make a healthy, glowing person look ill, and a ill person look healthy. Point the light this way, turn the camera that way and you’ve got your very own reality.

All of us know this, but we still are seduced by the illusion.

I am not sick. I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. Glowing. But I can show you what I want you to see, how I want you to see it. Next time, I’ll show you something else.

From my Portrait Project: Abundant.