EYE 2 EYE: Taking photos

Stop the snapping!

The disconnect and devaluation of pictures and moments

Penelope Kladopoulos, Guest Writer

The high-quality cameras everyone has in their pockets have popularized constant picture-taking, and apps like Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram have given people platforms to share their lives with the world. However, the very qualities that make such apps popular, such as their convenience, rapid pace and accessibility, have trapped people under their addicting spell. 

Every moment is captured and taped, and it seems like people can’t enjoy anything without documenting it first. People are seeing more of their and others’ lives through screens than through their own eyes. 

We are constant critics of influencers who over-romanticize their lives. Yet we smile for a camera and turn our faces straight the next second. The constant documentation of every waking moment of our lives contributes to the very facade of these superficial lives. 

Looking up, I see people constantly making faces into their phones only to drop their smiles when the cameras are put down. Their spontaneous mood switches are just a reminder of the general insincerity that has spread as a result of excessive social media use.

When the focus of a picture is on the angle and lighting, the subject loses attention and the picture as a whole represents something much more superficial. When people are constantly posing, in ways I could only describe as ridiculous, with their phones hovering over their faces, the actual moment being captured is paused and goes unnoticed. 

It is not that pictures should never be taken. Pictures are often a great way to capture genuine emotions and memories. They tell stories, connect people and serve as bookmarks that allow us to revisit the chapters of our lives and think fondly of the past. 

But incessant picture-taking devalues them and disconnects people from what is right in front of them. When a genuine moment is interrupted by a picture, it becomes more artificial and manufactured. How many photos are needed to capture a joyful moment? What is the benefit of snapping people back and forth? How authentic are the pictures we see on our endless social media scrolls? 

The contrast between the pictures people share and the real moment can be described as the duality of social media. There are the posted versions of events, which often portray lives as constantly exciting, and the interrupted moments people alter to showcase themselves as such. 

I wish people would allow some things to go uncaptured, to let some moments live only in the minds of their participants and the stories they tell. When something is worth remembering, you don’t need a picture to remind you.


Priceless pictures

Why it’s great to take countless photos

Justine Picard, Guest Writer

Click, click, click. 

Whether it be a dull moment with nothing but boredom, or an event of pure excitement and glee, you can’t help yourself and take a picture of it.

The photos your loved ones took of you when you were tiny and curious are now held close to your heart. As a result, you’ll never quite be able to forget the beauty of your innocence and the sweet bliss of ignorance you once had. 

The funny faces people make for pictures are what can bring a genuine laugh from others.

When you take photos you get to pick what you want, don’t want and what you want changed. You have the power to alter so many things, and each change brings a new perspective of the subject. 

Photographs cannot only become art by whoever perceives them, but also show the perspective of the photographer. For example, Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square; it would not have become such a scandal if instead, Eisenstaedt took a picture of the water fountain nearby. Instead he decided to capture the people around him and their reaction to the end of World War II.

From looking at that image, you are morphed into the moment that Eisenstaedt took, you can see the environment he was seeing at that time, see how the people around him felt. Because Eisenstaedt took an image of that moment, the photograph has now become a world-wide known image that represents the celebration after war has ended. 

Photographs can place you in a new situation, encouraging you to wonder, “What was it like to be there?” 

You can reminisce about the places you’ve been and the people you’ve seen with the countless photos taken.

Of course, nothing can compare to the actual moment that you experienced. However, you can certainly go back to the photo and either laugh, cry, or feel a wide range of emotions that bring that experience back to life.

Not to mention, photos are a gateway for you to share your life with others. Whatever special event you attended or hosted, you would likely want to take photos so your future grandchildren can see how you were at your best. That’s just one of the endless events that you would absolutely want to show someone else about.

Maybe a friend took a shot of you at an unexpected moment. You then decide you don’t like it because you don’t look your best. Yet years later, when you’re more grown up, you’ll be able to look back at yourself and see the person you were back then. All those trivial insecurities will mean nothing to you and your loved ones as you reminisce on the fun times you had together.

When a graphic is able to spark a memory that was once long forgotten, it becomes priceless and that’s just the plain truth. For this, we should take as many pictures as possible to relive that moment when we look back at it.

Common Ground 
– pictures can spark memories from the past; you’re able to look back at your life with the help of pictures
-experiencing the moment without any distractions feels better
-fun stories don’t require images to make them better, but it certainly makes it easier to visualize