In the past two weeks I have had photographers come to three of my classes to take pictures of me.
OK, maybe not me specifically, but they were there and they were taking pictures for marketing purposes and the university’s website.
I found that many people have an adverse reaction to the thought of their picture being taken, while others sit up straighter and look more studious in the hopes that they would be found worthy of getting a snap shot chosen for the final product.
I’m one of the latter, but this time I wouldn’t mind not making the cut. In one of my classes I had on a massive fanny-pack filled with sound equipment and holding a boom mike over my unshaven head, the picture of nerdy-ness.
In another class, everyone at the table I was at happened to be absent, making me look like a complete loser sitting by myself. I can just see 15 years down the road pointing out those pictures to my children saying, “Look at how awesome your dad was in college.” This then will be followed by said children asking their mother what she was thinking.
There is a saying – “Photos never lie.” (This theory was later disproved with the invention of Photoshop.) Regardless of whether I like the image of me in those pictures, that is who I am and what I was doing.
Having spent some time with both cameras and video cameras, I know the importance of setting up a shot, looking for angles and sometimes even staging a little. But that is completely different than some of the things I saw those photographers doing on campus last week.
In one class the photographer gave an iPad to a student to mess around with so they could get pictures of him using it. One of my friends had her BlackBerry taken away and given an iPhone to “text” on. Those photos are a misrepresentation of those students and I believe purposefully shot to make ACU seem more technologically integrated than we really are.
There are plenty of people on campus with iPhones and quite a few with iPads. Why couldn’t those photographers go and find one of them to take a picture of?
If ACU wants to hire photographers to show the world how intergrated we are then get them to take accurate pictures. I can see prospective freshmen looking at those photos and wanting to come here and being faced with the reality that most students aren’t like those in the pictures.
ACU might not use those specific shots, and hopefully they won’t, but if I know of two specific examples there are probably more and I’m betting at least a couple will be used.
It would be different if those students got to keep the iPad and iPhone after the shot was taken, but giving students equipment that they don’t use on a normal basis for use on the website is tantamount to a lie.
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