Photographs, living and “serving suggestions”

When I look at people in old stock photos I wonder where they are now?
Did they marry, do they have kids?
Do they even hang out in that place where they were photographed?
Were they really as happy as they looked in the photo?
Did someone ask them to pose in a specific way?
How long did they have to maintain that pose?

I’ve experienced fun moments in the coffee shop or in the office.
But somehow I feel we’ve never looked as “brochure ready” as the people in the stock photos.

The pictures of burgers on the restaurant menu always look better than the real thing you get served.
Even worse, on the pictures you always see side dishes and extras that seldom accompany the actual meal.
Restaurant owners have cleverly circumvented this problem by labeling their display photos as being “serving suggestions.”

Don’t walk into a new job and expect the photos on the company website to be a true representation of actual working conditions.
Perhaps the company’s graphic artist could label those website pictures as “Working suggestions.”

The same “serving suggestion” applies to people in holiday adverts.
To be honest, I often mistrust any form of advertising.

A picture might paint a thousand words but only a few of those words paint the real picture.

We’re all advertisers these days.
Consider the extent we go to in order to make ourselves look appealing to the outside world.
We have filters and a truckload of other photo-enhancing tools at our disposal.
Often it’s quite shocking to see a person’s “serving suggestions” in comparison to the real deal on offer.

I do understand it’s a competitive world out there and influencers need to have proper HD photos in their arsenal.

But recently I saw an old grainy photograph from my childhood.
It was out of focus and faded.
But it represented a broad swathe of how I remembered our old home.
It wasn’t picturesque or retouched in any way, but it was real.
There was no “living suggestion” viewed through the beauty filter that society has come to expect …
There was only “living!”