Friday 12 April 2019

How social media has changed holiday photos

I bet if you go through your family photo albums from when you were growing up you'll find lots of photos like this. A recognisable landmark in the background (this is Epcot in 1997) with everyone lined up grinning at the camera. There's probably only one photo at this location, and there will be someone not looking at the camera, pulling a grumpy face, or squinting into the sun.

Epcot Disney World in 1997

Recently we had a wonderful holiday in Dubai, surrounded by beautiful things to see, and as I looked at the people around us I noticed how much holiday photos have changed. We spent quite a bit of time in the aquarium that was a part of our hotel, and we loved standing in front of the tanks with the children watching the fish swim by. So I started to get really annoyed when people asked me to move the children out of the way so that they could take a better picture of themselves in front of the tank for an arty photo like this:

Lady posing at aquarium
Photo credit Silas Hao via Unsplash
But I did find it funny seeing people posing for photographs that were clearly only being taken for social media. I was swimming in the gorgeous hotel swimming pool and was very amused to watch one lady tip toeing through the water to the far side of the pool, staying as dry as she could, then hoisting herself up onto the side, posing to show off her low cut swimming costume and flipping her hair about so that her boyfriend cold take a series of photos with the hotel in the background, then gingerly making her way back through the water to rejoin him and look through the photos. She didn't show any enjoyment at all from actually being in the pool!

And it's funny watching people line up to take photos in the same picture perfect spot, or contorting themselves into different shapes to best show off their body and clothes, yet never looking directly at the camera.

Lady posing on hill top
Photo credit Jakob Owens via Unsplash
I found it so noticeable, that after seeing several people posing in front of this large screen depicting waves on a beach I made Harry recreate their poses, with his foot kicked back, arm out, and gazing off into the distance!

Child posing by beach on big screen

I love that now you can take a photo and see it instantly, so that you can retake a bad photo and choose your favourites. But I think it's a bit of a shame that sometimes taking the perfect picture can be more important than experiencing the moment, and I must admit that sometimes I'm guilty of this. I want to have real holiday memories, not fake ones that are set up only to show off to others.

It's a bit why I've gone off Instagram lately. I love taking photos when I visit somewhere, and I do try to think about the composition, the background, the lighting and so on. But I only want to spend a few seconds taking a snap, I don't want to waste my holiday spending hours on a photo just for the social media likes.

Have you noticed this when you've been visiting Instagrammable spots?

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